Outside, a darkened sky. Trees with no leaves standing motionless and lonely. The nature of love, haunting and faint as the lights of town shimmer far away on the horizon. I’ve run myself a bath, although it’s too hot at the moment, so I’m waiting for it to cool down until I can slip in and ease my aching bones. Red like strawberries, the smell of the soap I’ve used reminds me of things long since forgotten. I entered today with a hangover. Sunlight pouring through dusty blinds, my head and mouth dry and dull. The first morning back on home turf, the broken wasteland, the place I feel destined never to escape from. It’s in my veins and crawling beneath my skin, flowering invisibly. Salem’s Lot they call it. Feeling better after a cup of tea and breakfast, I decide to leave the house and take a walk around the quarry. I prefer it in summer when it’s picturesque, but February just won’t shift. Tripping and stumbling my way along the well-trodden path, I stopped every now and then to admire the view. Head pounding despite the aspirin I’d taken, the scenery was reassuring enough to make the walk worthwhile. And yet a strange sensation gripped me as I stood there looking out over the wet and weary fields. Everything felt unreal somehow. Dreamlike and irregular, like a painting with moving eyes. The landscape shifts yet stays the same; it sings to me of machinery, of years gone by when ghosts were once real. Returning home, I looked through old photographs. I haven’t changed much; despite my poor diet and fondness of alcohol, I’ve aged well. People have come and gone, some I can’t even remember the names of while others have never left my thoughts. Listening to music as images danced behind my eyes, the day passed regardless. Sprawled out on the bed, I drifted in and out of sleep, obscure visions repeatedly flickering on and off in my brain. Things that have been, and things that haven’t. I tried focusing on them, but they wouldn’t let me. Always out of reach, what I wanted to see most changed shape as soon as I focused. I intended to write, but unable to shake off my uncomfortable mood, I retreated to bed again. Falling asleep proper this time, at first I dreamt I was laying in the gutter with some masked man standing over me hacking my limbs off with a machete. It didn’t last long, but by the end of it, I was drowning in a pool of blood, my hands and feet detached from my body in the middle of the road next to me. The following dream was murky as if viewed through a filter. I was stood in a room, and she was asleep in the corner. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, I ran my fingers through her hair and smiled as she opened her eyes and looked up at me. Pulling me close, I kissed her lips then laid down next to her. The two of us curled together, everything was peaceful and still, a perfect moment- so serene. And then I woke up. I’m trying to be coherent but lack energy. I want to swim out the window and fly through the night until it’s autumn; I want to dance with the trees and watch her as she sleeps cradling the moon the way she used to cradle me.