She closes her eyes, and for a second, she’s a butterfly dancing on the nose of a hungry dog. She’s a kid leaping into her father’s arms greedy for his embrace, and when he gives it to her, she squeals and kisses his neck as he lifts her high onto his shoulders so she’s a giant looking down on a world that will never be enough. Touching the clouds, she clutches them with both hands and tries her best to chew them like candy floss. She’s a bird on a wire. A sunbeam destined to shine too bright. Taking in a mouthful of air as the tingling in her toes fades the same as her visions, she reaches for her cigarettes and lights one without opening her eyes. The smoke makes her cough but when she sucks it down it makes her feel like one of those clouds. Thinking of her father, the cats outside sing their songs as the day passes unseen. She feels like crying because life to her seems so desperately delicate, and there’s nothing she can do to make it any other way. She does her best not to shed those tears, but soon enough they come. It’s another tidal wave. Another surrender to go with all the others, but she knows there’s no shame. Curling into a ball, she wipes her face with the bedsheet and reaches for her toes. Pinching them between her fingers with her knees pulled into her chest, she looks at his photo and wonders where he’s at. It’s been so long now. Three years? Five? Time lost its meaning to her long ago, as did the meaning of most things. And yet some things keep their meaning no matter what, even if she isn’t able to put into words just what they might be. Taking a hit on her stick, she flicks ash onto the carpet. It’s at moments like these she feels most alive, and yet whenever the wonders of life present themselves to her in such a way, she feels as though she can’t take it. That her poor heart will surely give in. And yet here she is. A freak for sure. A fuck up most certainly. But those like her don’t come around often, if ever. Most live out their days never knowing such a creature exists, but those that do will never quite be the same from having crossed her path. Curled up with her cigarette, the sun comes in through the window along with the sound of those meowing cats. It makes her smile. Not much, but enough.