Stood on the balcony of some apartment block, there’s a woman who smokes a pack a day. She’s worth a fuck, but there’s not much else going on if you look past her body. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a good body, one worthy of some serious attention for sure, but meh, it’s just muscle and stuff. The whisky and cokes I’m knocking back are doing the job, but as sweet as they taste, I’m trying to quit. Chewing gum to help myself stop, she picks it out from my mouth and slides off my belt before reaching into my pants and grabbing hold of my cock. It’s cold, I tell her, and the birds circling overhead are making me nervous. It doesn’t matter, she says. But it does to me. Taking me into her bathroom and shaving off my beard, she kisses my face before sniffing her magic powder to make it all better. As the sound of smashing glass rings in our ears as we frolick on the stained linoleum, the urge to mutilate a horse is almost overwhelming. Sex and paranoia. Social hierarchy and the need for an economy that thrives on absent decadence. These are the subjects we should be discussing, but our conversation is limited instead to grunts and growls. Communicating through pen and paper alone, she spells out in no uncertain terms that she wants me to whiten my teeth, and that she then wants me to tie her legs behind her head with a length of rope the colour of depression before choking her with a rolled up copy of Hustler. Holding hands like the strangers we are, we stumble around the living room drinking and singing songs to bring us comfort, but comfort soon fades. What we want is something a little harder and with a bit more kick. This whole thing is a glorious failure, and I’ve become someone I told myself I’d never become, yet it means nothing. Going back into the bathroom and attempting to stick my beard back on, the bruises on my knuckles mirror the bruises on my soul. In a state of turmoil, I grab a can of paint and transform into Jackson Pollock, just like I did all those years ago in my youth. Creating shapes that resemble the shyness of her smile, my attempts to deny the itch grow more reckless by the day.