He’s seen a thousand kilometers of road – all the same – pass the same over and over again under the tyres of the cabs that carried him from point A (home) to point B (the scene which lie behind yellow tape, kept preserved just for him, for him and him alone.) This is how he lives. When the city breathes out, he breathes in. Alone.
Sometimes when he looks up at the stars (pretty little useless things), he wonders if he is not missing something. What does it matter? We are alone in the cold, dark universe. We are alone. Why should anyone bother with the rocks and dust that lie behind the planet when there was so much to be gathered from what lie on the surface (or just below)?
He dreams in the shadows of the street lamps, sees women half-clad in fishnets and torn satin, faces caked with layers of foundation and blush and coloured powders, as they seduce their customers down back alleys and divest them of their self-reasoning and bills; the teenaged boys who leap from roofs and fire escapes, dashing through the streets fueled by adrenaline as they snatch purses and throw rocks at cars and (in between breaths) think about the day when they’ll be married with children and live on a second-floor walkup and barely scrape by; the lost souls who stop at corners and try and remember when the cold glass city grew around the warm, coal-stained brick, somewhere between their second nervous breakdown and the Dickens novel they used as a hat to keep out the rain as they slummed in the doorway of the church doors that kept them locked out.
When the city forsakes its inhabitants, he takes them up and he gives them a final word; his word is often their deepest secrets but it is the only word that matters to them now. He is never wrong.
He is never wrong. It is nothing to lose a child. It is nothing to be honest. It is nothing, nothing, never anything that isn’t something which concerns him. The world is populated by idiots; none of them bring him any joy. It is the work that keeps him going. The work is all he has(/is.)
He is cold-pressed glass, formed of the finest sand – pressed and shaped and burned in ice; his eyes are cold, his bones are cold, his soul is cold, cold, cold. Corpses. It takes one to know one. He’s heard it all: thank you, Anderson; thank you, Donovan. He doesn’t have to ask to know that they do not find an ounce of warmth in each other’s arms.
Physical chemistry tells us that like attracts unlike, using words like polar opposites; covalent, ionic, hydrogen, van der waal that ultimately mean: For any bond to form, one must first give away a piece of oneself; either it is shared between the two in the relation, or it is torn away entirely.
Noble gases keep alone, rarely ever paired off – although it is acknowledged and proven a possibility (not not for all; not for all). (Keep away, John, can’t you see I’m in the midst of an important experiment. I must not be interrupted. Why don’t you go see what Sarah is doing? I’m sure she’d love to hear you chatter inanely about the American civil war.)
He has taken up the handle of knife and remarked how light it felt in his hands, but he has never (truly) had the urge to stab it through anything other than the rising pile of bills and papers and the wood of the mantle below. He has taken up the firearm and has felt how easy it rested in his grip, but he has never (truly) wanted to use it against anything other than the wall which offended him in his growing, restless state of crippling boredom. Victoria regina, indeed, not that he’d accept the knighthood of course. Mycroft could shove it up his fat backside. Sideways.
He is not that which he hunts. Predators never are. Cannibals were usually only confined their meals to special ceremonies – but there is not another like him so he resists the taste for his own flesh/mind, and leaves the flat still stinking of Mycroft’s absent-presence to walk the Thames. The Irregulars – as he calls his underground network; oddities with no place to fit much like himself – supply him with hours full of stories and he soaks in their words, exchanging fivers and tenners as their fingers teethe and their eyes salivate. He will expect no less than three calls from Lestrade over the next week and so he returns home satisfied and does not even require the small soothing injection of nicotine; he retires to bed (the time is now 3 a.m.) and waits to be woken by phone.
Sociopath, they say—although he never would exactly found out who ‘they’ were (but it sounded good, didn’t it? It kept him separate from them all. It segregated him for the drones buzzing about in their daily boring lives.) Of course he did his research and while factors could be attributed elsewhere he took the label in stride and used it as a shield against the prying eyes of the idiots who would never ever matter to him – whom he would never ever let matter.
And he never cries when it rains]
After quitting university (twice), he takes up residence in the heart of the country, in London. When he breathes in her air for the first time, he knows he has come home.