Hands trembling while seated at a splendid table, nausea rises and takes hold. Sweat trickling down your brow, you repeatedly swallow to stop yourself from being sick. There was a time when this kind of thing never happened. There was a time when to exist came naturally. But not anymore. Sat at the stupid table, you’re struggling. Those around you eat and talk with ease, but the room is too full. It’s all too much. Reaching for the drink that has been ordered against your wishes, your shaking hand almost knocks over the glass. Telling yourself you’re going to be ill, you feel your stomach heave. Saliva dribbling from your mouth, the only thing to do is to get up and go to the toilet, puke, and hope it’ll be okay. But you don’t know where the toilets are, and you don’t want to leave your seat. Cause if you do, you’ll pass out. Images fill your head like a disease. They leave you broken, humiliated. Desperate to escape, the rain outside suddenly takes you away from danger. Focusing on the endless droplets as they fall down the windows of the restaurant, you try and lose yourself. At first, it works. Entranced, you gaze in wonder at the natural patterns that form on the glass. Outside in the winter air, it seems so fresh, so free. Nature is the key; it has to be. Clenching your hands, you close your eyes and picture a field. Memories of green, of a day in July when everything was perfect. When music played, and the girl you loved pressed herself against your naked body. Swallowing a mouthful of wine, you feel in control as her mouth places itself on yours. Together, forever, in the blink of an eye. Leaning back, the waitress over at the next table is doing her thing. She’s cute and alive. Leaning forwards, she lays out fresh cutlery. Momentarily leaving the maze of your mind, you look down her top. It’s a cheap thing to do, but hey, what the hell. Only she looks up. Eyes focused on yours; she stares at you intensely. Reaching out for your glass, you knock it over soaking your chosen meal in Chardonnay. Auburn hair hanging down from her shoulders, the scent of oranges drifts to you from her slender neck. It reminds you of your childhood and all those lonely roads that followed. The waitress, smile spreading across her lips, moves to some other table without looking back.