Listening to love songs from the 90’s, my headache is bettered only by my need to drain the bottle dry and fix the holes that keep on letting in the rain. There are blood blisters in my mouth, and as the skies continue to darken day after day, summer slowly fades without so much as an apology. The year is slipping between my fingers, but it has to for me to reach a state of being that’s been elusive for so long. Work comes and goes. The days play out. Faces appear and then fade like the pages of the comic books I’ve kept for the best part of two decades. My childhood hopes and fears crystallised within those images along with the many Goosebumps books I still own, they’ll continue to gather dust long after I’ve gone. Simply Red is playing. Stars. And then Kiss from a Rose by Seal. For some reason, I’m feeling romantic, but I’m not sure why. My beard keeps growing. A few grey hairs thrown in for good measure, my body aches in places I’ve never before noticed. It’s telling me that I’m no longer a boy and that these days won’t last forever. Running a bath, I soak while having a cigarette. It’s Linger by The Cranberries next, and then Marigold by Nirvana. As the songs play, ash falls onto the floor as the blinds dance in the breeze that comes in through the window. The night is just like any other. It whispers to me of beautiful things but it’s in a foreign language, so I can only guess. Never was any good at them; my F grade in French for my GCSE’s is a testament to that. As naked as I was born, the water eases me back to a place both warm and familiar. There was a time when my wish was to be like others, but such a thing is beyond me. On the wall hangs a painting of a beach. Blue and sunny, it speaks of a freedom I’ll never be able to taste, not physically at least. No matter what my dreams, in the cold light of day, such joys were never meant for me.