Peeking through the pines, I see there are many signs that signal a descent. Hours later, and streetlights are casting shapes at my feet that remind me of the small, perfect mouth of my first lover. My first lover came to me in a dream. I was four, maybe five, and in my old childhood room, she appeared one night from within the pages of a book. The book bore no image on the cover, nor did it have a title. The pages didn’t even have any words. They didn’t need to. I dreamt it only once, and ever since, I’ve been trying to dream it again. In a café I’ve never before frequented, black tights on slim legs cross and uncross as grinning lips part to reveal gums as red as blood. In the distance, train stations sink into the ground as if the ground were made of wet leaves. Wet leaves and snails. The snails are soon crushed out of existence because why did they have to move house when it was safer to stay where they were? I dunno, I tell her. I dunno. When you least expect it, here comes the falling of snow. It falls before a rising moon as afternoon makes way for a night of wine and lips that kiss as if kissing were as natural as breathing. There’s a certain reluctance to take form. You shy away from what it means because what it means is incidental. Fish and chips for dinner, yeh? No pudding but we can do oral, yeh? Beneath the sheets, we seek the stars as the nature of our design dances among the particles of dust that caress our coffee-stained fingers.
I don’t drink coffee. I drink soluble aspirin, though. Once a day in the morning, to take the edge off living. Because living is a problem. It never used to be, but things change invisibly. Like a gust of wind. Sometimes thrashing. Other times floating. Life floats, and then it sinks to the ocean bed along with those train stations and the ghosts of them crushed snails. Chilled vodka in a crack’d mug. Sunny-side up and the beads of blood that splatter upon the kitchen floor as you sit rocking back and forth at three in the morning with a nosebleed unsure of what to do next. She twitches in her sleep due to a muffled fever. Her delusion grows with each step as you cling onto the curtains, searching the darkness outside for signs of what made you happy before the adult world came and did its thing. The sky is malleable. It bends to your will. There are eyes that covet your every move not because they love you but because what they see just so happens to be you. Intervention. Some more dark, and then a butterfly turning in circles upon the nose of a dog on heat. The dog is now bones in a hole. We’re all bones in a hole, we just don’t know it. Through the pines, I’m drowning and scratching at the stains of some former life. I can hear the silence around me echo for miles. The sounds reverberate in my skull, giving me another nosebleed. Don’t bury me, I cry. Not just yet.