Small town syndrome. A syndrome that results in the complete abandonment of the idea of a life outside your home town. You pathetically lay in bed frantically scrolling the feed of your Instagram, in an attempt to find a temporary escape. Seeking the assurance that there is a world out there.
You become so embroiled in the day to day drama of the the town, that you become the town. Keighley is one of those towns.
You’re trapped in a one of those snow globes, that some exterior force seems to shake up every now and then. People rarely come, people rarely go.
The town centre, marred with signs of eternal social deprivation, is a hub for a broken community. The aroma of unnecessary racial tensions linger, and drift through the streets past derelict shop windows.
Social status is forced into the empty mind of newborns. Youths spend most of their time on hands and knees, crying, clawing, and begging their Facebook following to grant them some form of acceptance. You commit financial suicide, so those peering your shop window are impressed. Smiling and waving as you display your new car, with your designer labels, but behind the glass your alone. Deafening silence panics you, so you cling to whichever dope you can to remind you that you are actually alive.
Demons, feed on despair and resentment, and cling to the backs of the weak minded. Like some sadistic form of jockey, they steer them to the local Bargain Booze, or one of a thousand bookies in the town, and rob them of any remaining dignity.
The underclass is sneered at by the prying eyes of those on the outskirts, with their nuclear, two car families. You’re seen as a success if you end up with a particular type of transportation vehicle, or if you move to a particular area of the cesspit.
A place where a human being who’s life is at a state of disrepair is dubbed a scruff. Where the disease of addiction is treated as criminal characteristic. Where the desperate are ridiculed, and mocked. Where Big Issue vendors are nothing more than failures, and given a cold, silent shoulder, it’s no more than they deserve after all.
Intoxicated aggravation sets up camp on the infamous Church Green. A place where men feel the need to justify, they are in fact men. The random bouts of assault are in fact tests designed to settle the internal hierarchy of the town. Who are they without the bravado? Who are they without the reassurance of a Class A narcotic? A lonely shell, a shell that has been perversely mutilated by the expectations of Keighley.
Women, seek comfort in a glass of gin, a sparkly dress, a painted face, and a good filter. They plot, and they scheme. They assault the unsuspecting mind of others with words, fuelled by insecurity and jealousy. They attempt to mask their vulnerability in some form of faux fitness regime. A resting bitch face keeps the world forever at bay, which isn’t actually what you want. Continuously tripping on the treadmill destined for nowhere.
The majority of our children aspire not to be great, but simply to gain entry to K2. The pillar, the church of a generation. Where adultery is encouraged, and alcohol and bright lights temporarily empty insecure minds.
A place where the majority of the people reading this, are at a breaking point. Where discussing mental health is a weakness. It’s seen as a cry of attention, ironically by the same people who vainly change their profile pictures once a week in the hope of a few artificial thumbs up.
You live for the weekend, because apparently there’s only really two days of the week worth fucking living for. You find some tiny, contentment in your day to day job that you actually despise deeply within the roots of your soul, when you’re awarded that promotion for an extra couple of quid an hour. You work to retire, and surrender any chance of a life containing any real value.
Your lifestyle is plagued by the myriad of takeaways available, illegally ran, hygienically illegal. They feed you with the silent killer that is procrastination, and ill health. Your dependency on them becomes problematic. The only greens consumed is the pathetic garnish concealed in a questionable paper bag.
It’s a cancerous tumour located in the valley of the most beautiful place on earth. It’s damaging, it’s terminal, it’s filled with fire, plastic, and deceit. It contains a population that want to be anywhere but. Alas, they will never leave.
But its ours. We won’t have a bad word spoken against it. And if we’re in lands afar, and you do disrespect our volatile habitat, you’ll probably get fucking levelled.
The reality is, the majority of us will live , and die, in these towns.