After collecting her bottle of wine and packet of pastry, X pays for them as if in a trance, not speaking or making eye contact with the person serving at the checkout. Outside, she looks over to her car but decides to have a cigarette. Standing there beneath a canopy at the entrance to the store, she looks up at the sky and blows smoke towards the stars that hang there just the same as they have since she was a little girl. Gazing at the moon, she touches her neck, and although those around come and go without noticing anything out of place, she can hear that music again, so slow and heavenly as if it were coming from somewhere in the sky. Swaying from side to side, she puts her bag on the floor and closes her eyes, and even though she’s crying, it’s not because she’s sad. It’s because life at once feels so infinitely beautiful and yet terribly cruel, and when mixed together, such emotions touch her bones the same way he once did. From foot to foot she keeps pace with the brushing of those otherly drums, and the voice that sings might be his or it might be that of God. She’s not quite sure. Moving in a slow dance, she hears plinky-plonky piano and an orchestra as ancient and as grand as the creation of the first galaxies, and as the tears stream down her face, she raises her hands and caresses that stark, timeless moon, and although her heart feels as heavy as a lead balloon, the music lets her know that somehow, despite the pain, her footsteps are a thing of beauty. Neither right nor wrong, they shine like animal tracks in fresh snow, and those animals, how they watch her from afar, dancing the same as she does, and that lover of hers, at that very moment, although finding himself far from what he once resembled, he’s looking up at that same cold moon in a forest many miles away, dreaming of her face in much the same way she dreams of his. With the trees singing her name, he raises his paws the same as she raises her hands, and as the animals watch him as they watch her, he turns his head to one side, losing himself in the memory of a kiss that exists outside the realm of time. Wiping away her tears, X gasps, and as the images in her head shimmer like the stars in the sky above, the music wraps itself around her, spinning her as if she were a leaf caught in an autumn breeze.