The clock strikes twelve and daylight greets a splintered mind that should know better. Bodies flicker in and out of existence, and as a cup of tea takes the sting out of what’s become a habit I can’t seem to shift, the words of a girl who used to be a lover ring in my greasy ears. They speak and sing and hush and although I forget them soon after, their essence pinches the backs of my arms and legs throughout the day leaving me more of a mess than I already am. Fuck it. It is what it is, and as TV numbs my brain so I don’t have to think, the hours pass without incident. At one point, just as I’m focusing on a question no one seems to know the answer to on some mundane quiz show, my phone begins to ring. Stirring from nothingness, the screen displays a name that leaves me indifferent. It rings on several occasions over the span of thirty minutes. Each time it does, I look at the screen and shake my head wishing for who’s calling to leave me alone. Eventually, they do, and then I’m gripped by an acute sense of sadness and my mood sinks even further. In my lap sits a copy of The Wasp Factory. She bought it for me one Christmas. Sniffing its pages, I read it for a while before putting it down and thinking of her. There’s good stuff. Love. Tenderness. Her beaming face grinning at me through the falling snow and then her breast in my right hand while we fell asleep not long after in her house upon the hill. Stuff that doesn’t exist anymore but of which just won’t shift. Now there’s only indifference and forgetfulness and the temporary high of the creative act. It brings her back to me, but never for long, and so the words pour like water from a tap as I desperately try to sustain the feelings she puts inside my weary heart. Without them, I lose myself and slip away as if I were never here to begin with.