When I awake, cold daylight touches my bleary face. It’s most unwelcome, and so I roll onto my side showing my contempt at its presence. There were dreams about ladders and rooms and hallways with yet more ladders and torn curtains the colour of lost love. She had appeared in one of the rooms, and she was wearing torn black tights. She was also wearing a jumper with the image of a mouse on it, and she kept running around the room in circles squealing and pinching me whenever she could. I kept trying to grab hold of her, but she would evade my grasp, pinch me on the arms, and then hop and skip out of reach until I got a nosebleed and felt dizzy from my failed attempts at catching her. This was when daylight came and made her dissolve, and just like that, she made way for the cold ache of morning that invaded my bones. I feel bad. Most of it’s down to regret, but there’s also the usual sense of desperate longing that never seems to shift. There’s a store that comes to mind. I’m not sure why. I would always go there on my break when I worked Sundays at the bookshop. Used to buy an energy drink, milkshake, and two packets of cheese and onion crisps without fail. Is the place in question still there? Getting to my feet and shuffling to the bathroom and going for a piss, I think about all the chocolate bars and sweets that would greet me at the kiosk, and how even though I would try not to, my eyes would drift to the porno magazines on the top shelf to my left. Do they still make dirty magazines? Everything seems to be digital these days, even pleasure. Closing my eyes, she’s buzzing around inside my mind. She’s like a bee, a busy bee, endlessly keeping me on my toes, always driving me to distraction.