The slightest of movements. The flickering of a light as you wake with shortened breath. It’s raining. Early hours. The only soul left in the universe. Silence is all there is, and as you struggle to comprehend your own mortality, you sit drenched in sweat on the edge of the bed. Time slips through your fingers, and as you contemplate naked flesh, you realise just how pitiful you really are. Neglected and damned, you’re growing old, and there’s nothing you can do to stop the tide from dragging you out to sea. Swallowing quickly as the palpitations increase, you light a cigarette with shaky hands. Sucking the smoke down deep, you feel the tears welling in the corners of your tired eyes. They fall like towers of strength. They crumble like pillars of lost faith. Using a beer can as a make-shift ashtray, there’s no way of pretending. Alone with only who you are, there’s no escaping the shell that struggles to even exist. And then the thought that underneath it all, you’re but a mere animal. That magic is contained to just conscious thought, and that the notion of love and fate falls as easily as ash from trembling fingers. Everything still. Everything calm.