Invisible Man – by C. C. O’HANLON

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I can’t say when, exactly, I became invisible.

There were intimations of it – in the eyes of shop assistants

focussed elsewhere, or not at all, when I spoke to them, and

younger, busier people that bumped and jostled me, saying nothing,

I am not a small man. I am robust and upright. I occupy space.

But my presence had receded, withered. I had become less.


Less here. Unseen.


Look at me. No, don’t look.

My eyes have sunk into my skull. Framed by ursine droops and

dark shadows, the irises are paler, a little watery and unclear.

My hair, what little of it I have left, is grey, and while my face is

unwrinkled, my jowls, chin and neck are fleshier.


Every trace of the middle-aged man I was not long ago is gone,

the essence of him – the thoughts, imaginings and memories he had,

the itchy energy and will – gone, too. Did it all abandon me as I slept –

like rats from a reef-wrecked ship, scampering over rusted gunwales,

repelled by some grim inventory of decay?


I am, somehow, other.


C.C O’Hanlon, 2016


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***C.C. O’Hanlon is what the Germans call a lebenskünstler (‘life artist’). He has also been called ‘an indisciplined polymath’ and ‘a rogue’. He refuses to be called a writer, although he has published numerous essays, short stories, and diaristic photographs. He currently lives in Berlin. Find him on Twitter at: ***

*Featured photo courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*

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