The month is now September, and the chill wind that blows against my face is letting me know that fall is on its way. Slowly it approaches. Inevitably it crawls. The streets are empty and echo with the chatter of distant magpies as someone plays the guitar behind closed doors. Sounds Spanish somehow. I’m in the middle of getting ‘Damned Lovers’ proofread. Had a phone conversation with an American chap about how much it would cost. Made me cry a little inside, but it has to be done. He was calling from South Carolina. Said he liked the title, for which I thanked him. The internet keeps dropping, though, so I can’t pay the fee, which makes me swear and throw things around. Then the internet works again, but the transaction fails, so I have to call my bank, but I’m tired and irritable, so I’ll call them tomorrow after work. Everything is a ball ache, so I abuse myself in an attempt to feel better while thinking of a woman I’ve never met but of whom I dreamt about last night. Was one of those dreams where there’s no logic, but everything makes sense. She had these perfect teeth, and her flesh was both warm and soft beneath my touch. Was supposed to work on the front cover for ‘Lovers, but I’m tetchy. Nothing good happens when I’m like this, so I do my best to keep as still as possible so as not to provoke myself. Earlier in the day, I saw some video that detailed the effects of the sudden removal of humans from Earth. Within a few million years, all traces of our occupation will have been completely wiped out. Made me smile to think of all the animals enjoying themselves without us butchering them, but then it made me sad because I want to be there with the animals as well. I want to be completely untouched and free to be who I want to be, but instead, I’m here with the rest of them, dissolving at the hands of their toxic ways. There’s a grave I walk past on my way back from work in the local cemetery. The weathered name is old. Over one hundred and fifty years old, in fact. Mary Squire, it reads. She died in 1834 at the age of eighty-seven. Who was she? What kind of person was this woman who’s been dead for over a century and a half? Did she ever think some mental writer would be thinking of her so long after she breathed her last? Did she ever touch herself while looking up at the stars in the glory of her youth? I hope she did.