Taking a pinch of tobacco and rolling a cigarette, I chew my fingernails as she rests her head in my lap. In this cage of flesh and bone, I try to defuse my erection but she keeps prodding her fingers keeping me in a state of heightened awareness. On the wall, above the TV, a lizard crawls and eats a spider. It sticks its tongue out and looks at me. In my younger years, they used to call me Mr Lizard. Perhaps it knows? Who can say? Inhaling smoke deep into my lungs, I explain how being a writer is a curse; that it’s like having a midlife crisis every day of your life, and that if I could, I would never put pen to paper again. She tells me I’m exaggerating; that if I wanted, I could let go and do something else. But she doesn’t know; she has no idea. Feeling dizzy, I lean back and drink some more miracle sauce. She says I should cut down but it’s no use; I have a taste for the end. There’s no helping it. Putting on some King Crimson, she complains and goes into the bedroom. Flicking through Netflix, she spends the next two hours checking her complexion in a vanity mirror while messaging people she doesn’t like. I’m appalled and bored in equal measure, but she’s a good fuck, and so even though we have little in common, things keep ticking along. Just like life in general, things happen and are never questioned. Jotting down ideas for a future novel, I make crude sketches of car crash victims drawn amidst symbols representing sex and social anxiety. Thrown into the mix are the initials of the girl who took my virginity, and in the top right corner of the page, a small portrait of Sarah the night we had our first date. I ate steak; she had nothing. Never liked eating in front of people she didn’t know too well, you see. After food, we watched the Butterfly Effect back at mine before kissing outside the train station as I walked her home. It was raining, and as she tiptoed to kiss my lips, she closed her eyes and I closed mine. Stepping outside to catch some fresh air, a train blasts its horn somewhere in the distance, and in the street behind me, a man shouts in a drunken rage outside the local off-licence. There’s danger and emptiness everywhere you look, and with each day that passes, we find ourselves drifting further out of reach.