January 2019

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It'll eat away at you, if you let it. At first, you see them everywhere. In the street, in other cars at junctions, behind your own eyelids. Then you start to get better at not seeing, but it doesn't stop them following you, a drifting reminder, a bullet's range away.

- - - - -

I remember you most with a drink in your hand. I remember our late nights and sunrises, our beaches and rainstorms, our plans for the future. I remember your anger and blame. I should remember the last time we talked. I don't. But I remember the drink in your hand. 

- - - - -

He paces, rattles the cage, occasionally bangs his head off the bars, putting on a show. Whatever.

"Why are you doing this?"

I hang the key on a hook on the wall, where he can see, just out of reach. "Consider it therapy. For both of us."

- - - - -

On my knees, I whisper apologies for years and misunderstandings, for neglect and abuse, for not listening or caring or loving as much as I should have.

A hand reaches down, helps me up, and I stand face to face with myself, smiling and calm.

"Shh. We have today."

- - - - -

I dream of the old tyre swing so often when I need to feel like I can cheat gravity, when I need to feel like I can fly. A decade of nights later and I wrap my fingers around the rope with reverence and understand that we put magic in things by needing them.

- - - - -

Another anxious dream of winding roads, faulty breaks, a slide, a tumble, shattered glass and crunching metal. She wakes in a cold sweat. 4am is not the ideal time to go over the details, but...

What if it goes wrong?

What if he survives?

- - - - -

The revolution I choose today is to look in the mirror and smile. It is not to weigh or measure my body, or anything I put in it. The revolution I choose today is to eat the cake and remember that food is not a sin, that pleasure is not a sin.

- - - - -

I lost track of what he was saying half a conversation and two courses ago. He doesn't care if I'm listening. He doesn't expect me to understand anyway.

I watch the chef, the waiters, the door, and I smile politely as I count the minutes over dessert.

- - - - -

I pose him in the chair, not for his comfort, but for mine. His eyes flash wild and I brush a strand of hair from his face. There's time still, before the poison shuts down his respiratory system. Time for me to talk.

And for once, he's going to listen.

- - - - -

He was a mountain with a funeral smile, fingers made for pulling triggers and the kind of face people should've remembered, but no-one ever did. He knew how to be invisible when it suited him. Being seen is a hell of a thing to give up, but I guess he had his reasons.

- - - - -

You tried to teach me how to lie. I practiced in the mirror, keeping steady eyes while I said a different name, told a different version of events. You said I looked trustworthy.

Now, taking everything we stole, leaving you asleep, I know you were right.

- - - - -

I don't know where I'm going, but I know I need to drive, to get away from something, from everything. I can't get lost here anymore, but I can still find pieces of myself, fragments of soul drifting along dark roads waiting to be collected.

- - - - -

I'm all out of grass, all out of pills and all out of patience for dealing with anyone's shit. There's only so much healing can happen when you're swigging straight vodka, watching the world waste its time 16 floors below, but maybe I'm not here for healing.

- - - - -

I lean a little further every time, look harder at the street below, think about how much I'd feel if I hit the concrete or if it would be instant death. I'm never going to jump, but sometimes I half wish someone would push me and take the decision out of my hands.

- - - - -

There's a melancholy feeling to the sunset. Fiery colours spread  across the rooftops and it should be beautiful but I can't shake the chill of something being over. Whether a bottle's half full or half empty depends on why you're drinking and nothing's keeping me warm.

- - - - -

It's not about optimism or pessimism anymore. Nothing's half anything. The bottle's just empty and I should know better than to fuck with fate but I still lean  over the edge. Not too far and not for long. Life's waiting down there and I need to face it in one piece.

- - - - -

It would be more poetic if I'd washed my hands clean in the sea, but I didn't. The blood went down the kitchen sink, but I still headed to the beach to watch the sun come up. Salt hovered in the air, seeking a conscience to gather around, and found nothing.

- - - - -

You can change your clothes, grow your hair, whatever, but some observant fucker will still get all "Hey, I know you from somewhere." No matter how hard you tell them they don't, they keep pushing until you have to make sure they don't remember you this time.

- - - - -

You see a bridge, I see fuel. It takes years to get this good at dropping fire on all the shit you're done with and even longer to be able to walk away without looking back. But here I am. No regrets, just a comforting warmth behind me and an empty road ahead.

- - - - -

Drive like a girl. Fight like a girl. Shoot like a girl. All insults, coming from him. When I unclipped his seatbelt just before I slammed on the brakes, when I grated what was left of his face off the road, when I put a bullet in him, I guess I did it all like a girl.

- - - - -

It's that kind of sunny where it could be summer if your feet didn't touch the ground, but your breath mists and you don't know why you're out here with no shoes. Maybe you need to feel the earth holding you. You need to feel like part of something again.

- - - - - 

There's pink and orange in the sky, almost red, but not quite a warning for sailors or shepherds or whoever else wraps superstition around colours and clouds. I gave up trying to predict storms a long time ago when I realised it made more sense to bring them myself.

- - - - -

I try not to think about how many parents I've left without children, how there's no real balance to any of this. It's the worst part of a job with arguably not many good parts, having to deal with how it isn't really about what anyone deserves.

- - - - -

It's not even itchy feet. It's fire under my skin as soon as a place starts looking too familiar. And I'm not blaming the people either. I just reach a point where I start to shrink if I stick around for too long. I'm not sorry and I've run out of ways to say goodbye.

- - - - -

Her house in London, a cottage predating the urban sprawl around it. A room empty but for a guitar no-one had played in years, bathed in dust and sunlight. An attic wardrobe, a grave for his clothes. Twenty years since I saw her last and I don't think she remembers me.

- - - - -

This is some pantomime-level bullshit right here. Everyone's faking as close to basic human decency as they can manage, pretending they got clean hands & no concealed weapons, basking in the cold glow of a funeral they didn't cause for a change.

- - - - -

They say follow your bliss as if it's always walking in front of you, like those point-of-view photos where one person leads another into some place people go to find themselves. Thing is, I know exactly where I am and bliss is somewhere else. Whatever. 

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