The sunset’s quite beautiful and as the hours pass, I become progressively drunk, which is even better. There’s a barbeque with lots of people I don’t recognise, each with their own agenda. Laughing and smiling, they look so content, and as they talk among themselves about the jobs they have, it feels as if I should be joining in because these are the types of people I should aspire to be like. Eating a beefburger feeling ashamed of myself, someone asks what I do for a living. Do I tell them I’m in retail, or that I’m an unpublished writer? It’s not much of a choice. Lighting a cigarette, I make up something about working in an office for a company that deals with housing contracts for the city. Don’t know where the fuck it came from, but nonetheless, they’re pleased with my response. Flashing their white teeth at me, there’s a girl across the garden who keeps looking over. She’s blonde with a tight body, but not really my type. When the dickhead talking walks off, he goes over and whispers into her ear. She was sounding me out, and sure enough, a minute or so later she comes waltzing over adjusting her bra. I want to run, but the people I’m with are busy, and it’s miles from home. Knocking back my glass of Jim Beam to make it more bearable, she introduces herself. For the best part of thirty minutes, I do all I can to put her off without being unpleasant. In the end, when she begins touching me affectionately, I tell her I’m married. It works. Watching her walk away feeling guilty yet relieved, the night sky shines something wicked overhead. To think of all those planets that remain untouched by our dirty paws and how they will live and die without us ever knowing their secrets. To ponder where all my memories now reside, and whether or not they still exist, or they’re just someplace else waiting to be played out again because times arrow wasn’t shooting straight after all. It’s enough to give me both a headache and a hard-on. Moving to a corner of the garden not occupied, the smell of burnt woods takes me to a place those around me can’t fathom. I’m not even sure I do, but as it swallows me whole, there’s no denying the strange shapes that dance before my eyes.