You got the jitters

You are scared of trains
buses
planes
Osama Bin Laden
kids that kick bottles on the street
the pimple that's growing on your foot
next week's deadlines
war
bankruptcy
mugging
the woman you sit next to
cats and dogs
the London underground
failure
six-inch beards.

On Sunday evenings something
gnaws at your stomach as you eat,
when you sleep the pain gets worse.

So you eat more,
laugh,
make plans,
sleep with people.

You buy house in the country (it's safe there)
an Audi TT
Apple Mac
leather sofas
a conservatory
swimming pool.

But on Sunday evenings you
feel like you might be sick.

You play golf, ride horses,
take up jogging,
join aqua-aerobics.
You host dinner parties
and get quietly obliterated.

On Sunday evenings your gut wrenches,
it's being spooned out like a
strawberry yoghurt.


You're scared of the wrinkles under your eyes
greyness in your roots
yellow in your skin
veins you can see on your legs
that chunk of lard on your arse.

You buy a hi-fi
something from Prada
a few magazines
your favourite perfume
a therapist.

You join a yoga class
buy new lino for the kitchen
an automated garage
and a DVD player for the kids.

You buy brand-new everything
you eat organic food
but you're sick more often these days.

You're scared of
AIDS
BSC
CJD
Anthrax
old people
the wrong shampoo.

You take up trampolining
origami
you get a life-counsellor
you start painting watercolours.

One Sunday evening you vomit in
your bed.
You had a nightmare.
You dreamt of a big black pit
where you walked
and walked.

You heard a bat you think
and the scream of a child.
You couldn't see a wall
or a way out,
the ground was shaky
you remember that.


You knew someone
would come along,
if you walked for long enough,
yes, someone would come along.

You really did walk for a while
and your knees were shaking
then you began to cry
because there was nothing.

You lifted your head up to scream
but nothing came.
Just the pungent liquid
that streamed from your mouth
and caked the hollow of your neck.

(c) Alicia Buller 2002
Alicia Buller
An AnotherSun favourite, she works as a writer inside a large multinational.