All She Sees

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Sat outside a little café off the beaten track, she’s reading an article on her phone about the sun. They say in ten billion years or so it’ll die a great death by becoming what’s known as a planetary nebula, and after expanding in size and destroying all of Earth and everything in between, all that will be left is a glowing ring of interstellar gas and dust. Looking up from her phone, she brings her hand to her chest and feels her heart palpitating. The thought of everything being gone leaves her cold, and for a second, she struggles to catch her breath and thinks she’s gonna have a panic attack. Swallowing mouthfuls of dry air, she wipes her forehead with the back of her hand and drinks some water from her bottle. Those sat at the other tables don’t notice her situation, but she’s sure they do, and so she does her best to pretend everything’s fine. It’s not, though. It never is. Still, she keeps her shit together the best she can. But the thought of not being here, she just can’t shake it. All of her memories, her lovers. The idea that one day they’ll be nothing but dust. It makes her head spin so much so she thinks she’s gonna puke. Looking down at her pretty dress to take her mind off things, she flattens out the creases and admires the floral design. Stretching her legs, she inspects her flesh and is pleased by its almost flawless appearance, and yet that too will be dust. Everything will be dust. Her love. Her body. Her dress. Just dust. Reaching into her bag, she brings out her tobacco and rolls a cigarette. Smoking it with one hand while massaging her temple with the other, she watches those about her doing their shopping. Some are on their lunch break. Some are just passing the time. Children rush about the feet of their mothers, and dogs on leads skip and bark at the sight of pigeons feeding off crumbs while nosing through the trash in the gutter. The sun shines down on everyone, and in her bones, she feels so much love, and yet she can’t help but cry thinking this is only temporary, and before long, all she sees will become shadows of their former selves. And what about the love in her beating heart? Will that too turn to dust? Will the heartache and storms she’s lived through have been for nothing? Wiping her eyes, she lowers her head and stares at the ground between her feet looking for answers, but there’s nothing there at all.

A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon.co.uk

A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon.com

28 replies »

  1. wow. i feel like you captured a moment from my life (probably from many people’s lives) in such an insightful way without being heavy handed–you expressed the fear-inspiring feeling of being in a moment of fullness with two fighting realities/eventualities. well done.

    • That’s so touching of you to say.
      Like you, I know of such moments very well. How one second life feels beautiful, and then the next everything is tinged with fear and desperation. I guess the trick is to embrace everything. To go with open arms and not be afraid of where this journey will take us.

  2. “All of her memories, her lovers. The idea that one day they’ll be nothing but dust. It makes her head spin so much so she thinks she’s gonna puke.”

    I never dwelled on death, not until I lost one of my best mates and then dad. That was hard. I questioned everything then, for a while…but life IS short for some and utimately there’s sod all to be done about that. For me…I can’t dwell on death. I can’t think of others dying either, ’cause I want to live while I can.

    This is a beautiful piece though, Stephen…as per. ❤

    • It’s something I’ve wrestled with too. On the one hand, you can sink in the mud worrying about not having enough time, but then in doing so, you waste what time you have left. It’s a no-win situation.

      I just try to be aware of how fleeting this all is and appreciate the small stuff. Appreciation is the key, I feel.

      So pleased this piece resonated with you, Allane ❤

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