It starts in my fingers. I can feel numbness, just a slight tingling in the very tips. The cold clings to me like the bobbles of grass on a woollen jumper. Its tangling fingertips caress my own and stick to them like a tongue on an ice-cold steel pipe. It creeps like a mouse in the shadows up and along my arm. I feel its little feet tipper tapping up and around the hairs.
I have a t-shirt, shirt, jumper, and cardigan, yet I still cannot get warm. The tentacles of iciness tighten around my feet. The double bagged toes are not enough to keep it away. It gnaws at my skin as it penetrates and tangles around my nerves, gripping hold and refusing to let go. When something is numb, I’d usually think of a lack of pain, but in this case, the slow, tentative nipping sting of bitterness is an aching pain that moves up along my legs and arms.
My nose and the tips of my ears were the other first warning signs. Teeny tiny little nips of coldness have made their homes there. I imagine that I’d look like a fence that has had a frosting and is glistening in the morning sun in the right light. My ears and nose sparkling like glitter thrown into the air on a hot summer’s day. Sparkles of icy cold stardust decorate my face.
I know why I am cold. It was maybe my own fault; I am dead, you see. I died in this long cold winter. No need to worry about me; I am sure someone will find me soon. I am a nobody, an irrelevance. I am, in the words of the faff rags, a scrounger. I am disabled; I was disabled, well I suppose I still am. Is death a disability? Tenses, I am going to have to get used to these. I am dead; I was alive, but now I am cold, dead, and still alone.
Why was it, maybe, my own fault, I hear you ask? I had a choice between heating and eating. I picked eating. What would you choose, had you to? Have you ever had to? Can you imagine having to make that choice? What if you also cook with gas? What then? Come on, chip chop, what’ll it be? Food or fuel. Maybe gas is also your source of hot water. Food, fuel, cooking, or washing… It is make your mind up time. I picked food, and now I am dead. I do have a full stomach, small mercies, and all that.
I wonder if Hell is as warm as they say. What if there is not a Heaven or Hell? Is that why I am still here? Am I destined to haunt this place forever in death as I did in life? I was nothing in life; am I set to be the same in death? Just wallowing in my coldness in this place, stuck with nowhere else to go?
I am nobody. I am that weird bloke who lives on the corner. I am the homeless guy that you avoid making eye contact with. I am under that mass of blankets outside a store or takeaway. I am the one you ignore and don’t think about. I am the one who sits dead and alone in my house.
I do not matter. Look out for the ones that do. Check on the family that may be struggling. Look out for the weird one. Buy a copy of The Big Issue; make sure the homeless person is okay. I do not matter; I am long gone, but they are not.
But that is me; I am a nobody. I am Mr Nobody, the ghost, or at the very least, the talking corpse. I shall remain deanimated until I am found. I suppose my landlord will wonder why he has no rent cheque at some point. Maybe I smell? Someone might notice; I had not thought about that. No hot water see? I’d been using the kettle and sink to wash. But still, my freezer has some food left in it. I hope it goes to a good cause.
I am nothing. I am nobody. Cold, alone, and dead.
Buy the complete set.