Hitting a Brick Wall

Jack Fanciulli (age 18) Mount Temple Comprehensive, Malahide Road, Dublin 3

Jack Fanciulli
Jack Fanciulli

And. But. Because. There is no start, beginning or intro. It doesn’t lull you in; there are no greetings or definitive lines. It doesn’t progress or evolve, you stay in the exact same place the entire time, it just looks different. You don’t come away from it changed or having learned something, you’re just a bit older than you were before.

“Why don’t you care about things?” pleaded Little John.

“I can’t be bothered to care,” answered Psychopathic Bill.

“Well, look at that old man over there - he can’t walk, he can’t see, has no clothes, and has no love. Can’t you feel sorry for them?”

“I think that he has no point in living anymore and that someone should put him out of his misery.”

“How can you say that? How can you be so heartless? Where’s your empathy?”

“I don’t care about empathy.”

“You’re just a disgusting monster! How can you live with yourself?”

“If I have no empathy then how can I be morally culpable, then?”

And after that, Little John became Big John.

Things start to repeat. Things start to revolve. Things start to move in a circle. The mind becomes a sampler, taking in scenes from life or that catchy line that plays over and over and over ad nauseam.

“I keep giving bad people good ideas; I keep giving bad people, good ideas . . .”

“An interstellllllaaaaaaa burssssssstttt!”

“Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was . . .”

“Come togetherrrrrrr . . .”

You have planted the seed and it grows. It looks good at first, but in seconds it is old, rotting and fermenting. The clips begin to speed. They get faster and faster. “CCCCCCCOMMMMMME TOGETHEEEEEEERRRRRRR!”

You can’t pull it out, its roots are too deep and strong, it sits and decays and the circle gets faster and faster.



It’s oooozing grey. It still grows and now it is sucking you in and pulling your face under water.


Look at it go! Look at it Grow! Goddamn, it’s almost impr-


You think about something else and the cycle repeats.

That’s what I think. At least I think. I breathe. I breathe again. I keep breathing. I think. I lie to myself, but I don’t realise that. I remember things: early dumb kids’ stuff, achievements, lack of achievements, empty thoughts and things I shouldn’t remember. I think. I think about the future and the past and when I get bored I think about other times. I obsess on details. I fret, no actually I don’t, I forget about it. I analyse symbols where there are none. I mostly whine and moan.

I should stop that. I should be more considerate. I should talk. I should stop saying unnecessary things. I should stop caring about image and appearances. I should being so insular. I should stop being so self-centred. I should stop starting every sentence with “I”. I should think up the next line. I should get out more. I should stop being so cold. I should stop caring altogether. I should get more angry. I should stop waiting. I should stop conforming. I should cut ties with all I love. I should start more chaos. I should learn how to be more soulless, because, to be a true anarchist, you have got to be unlikeable.

I should stop being so pretentious.

What’s next? What’s next? Words, more words. Words that don’t make any sense. Words that don’t mean anything. An endless stream of Goddamn words.


People say things all the time. There are more words than breaths. Some people breathe way too much. Everything has a word. Everything.

“I don’t talk,” I say.

Your hand gets sore from holding the pen. Your mouth and cheeks tire from talking. Your ears are constantly ringing and buzzing from listening. Your head overheats from processing.

“I should think less,” I think.

Everything has been said. There is nothing left that has been uncovered. Every combination has been used and reused until it is limp and juice-less. Even that statement has been beaten to death.

“I should think less,” I think.

I write in English so that you can understand me. He’s a gas guy, a true comedian, you’ve got to laugh but it IS funny.

Images flood in. Tattoos on sick individuals’ arms, holding their precious daughter’s hand, grand, white defines less spaces that you could get lost in for years, down the rabbit hole sort of stuff, with no sense of resolution or finality. Things pass by on the way down: pictures, familiar faces, homes, forests, an old woman in her kitchen, unable to get up.


A rash spreads, now everywhere, it’s itchy and raw and bleeding. But you grow used to it after the years.


Why should we care about racism and mass genocide, because in the end -


I used to like the rain before I got wet. Stop. Sometimes I think about - Stop. To be blunt I don’t quite see the - Stop. Stop and go, stop and go, stop and - Stop. Just a quick BANG! BANG! and -


I get up out of my coffin bed, walk out of my decaying house, go over to the solid brick wall where I smash my f***ing head in till the thoughts spill out.