My name is Mercy.
Yes, I'm aware of how dramatic that sounds. I'm also aware of how, ultimately, it has become so fitting to me. Some people, I suppose, might see me as an angel but plenty more, no doubt, now think of me as a monster. That's ironic in itself. I'm here to keep the monsters at bay. Sadly I have to keep the angels at by too.
When I was younger, I used to keep a journal. Things were simpler then, in all the ways we can never believe as a kid, because we're all about trying to enjoy being young and not have to deal with all the shit, unaware that we get just as much shit dumped on us as we get older. You write things in your journal that you can't tell the friends you haven't got, or don't want to stick up on some blog for your peers to read. I used to fucking whine about the kids who overlooked me, write awful poetry about the noise in my head, anything to make me feel some sort of connection to the musicians and the authors who somehow seemed to have their shit together, or else made not having their shit together look really cool. I did that for a few years, I suppose, until university, and drunken nights out, and sleeping through the weekends, and suddenly there's no time to sit in your bedroom and scratch out your innermost thoughts across a sheet of paper.
So, yeah, I figure I can do this journal thing. I mean nowadays I have all the time in the world. Me, these four walls, and my imaginary cat.
I don't have an imaginary cat. Just putting that out there because, frankly, in this line of work people do sometimes surround themselves with imaginary companions. And reality, such as it is, does sometimes give the imaginary a little push, and make the unreal real. But, no. I do not have an imaginary cat.
I've not much to say at the moment. Not about, you know, any of the real shit going on out there. This is just my attempts to get into the habit of writing. I'm so used to just going for nightly walks, trying to get my thoughts in order that way. But, well, I've been doing that for years now, and it feels like the process isn't really getting me anywhere. Inevitably I find myself standing on the bank of the river, just staring out. Like this evening, for example.
It's cold, and dark, and the lights of the building on the far bank were dancing across the surface of the water. As the light twinkled it felt wintery, festive, although with Christmas already gone it's lost some of that magic. It's wonderful to think how we can think of a season as magical, simply by bestowing on it some meaning. And yet it's a fine line to walk, when you value things that raise the human spirit, whilst simultaneously deny the existence of anything that would be recognised as magical.
I'll be honest. The river is usually my destination after a job completed. I find staring out across the dark waters, or straight down into their depths, the easiest way to wind down. I enjoy taking moments such as these to myself. To think of how normal everything is, when you take time to stand and watch the world rush by, instead of focusing on the details. The devil is in the details, of course, and like all angels he cannot be ignored. But he can be kept at bay, for a short time. We need these moments to remember we're human.
Mercy. My father always suggested that I got my name because, as the nurses handed me to my mother she breathed out in barely more than a whisper "Merci"... but I don't know. It always seemed a bit cheesy to me. Father would always wink if I begged him to tell me the truth.
Neither of them are here any more to answer questions. The dead aren't always as silent as the world would have you believe. But my parents have been absent for much of my life, and they don't really fail to disappoint in that regard.
It's late. I've got work tomorrow. I'm going to wrap this up for the night.