Town drenched in mist. Thick, gloopy mist that reminds you of the grave. Not yours, of course, but it will be one day. Roads leading to grey stores and grey people with their grey hands stuffed deep into the pockets of their threadbare jeans. Pockets got sticks of gum in them, and bus tickets chewed through nervous bouts of anxiety knowing that death is waiting and can be postponed but never evaded. Hills. Crescent-shaped paths that slither around the local college where kids dream of being anything other than what their parents are, unaware that twenty years in the future they’ll be the mirror-image of what they said they’d never be. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself nailed to history. More hills, and buildings that exist without ever existing. Without knowing it, in the time it takes to remember what you once said you’d never forget, you’ll crumble to pieces and scatter into the stratosphere like a discarded bubble of thought. There’s this place on the corner. It specialises in acupuncture. The needles give relief. There are other kinds of needles, too. In a town like this, drenched in the aroma of misery and piss, poison becomes bliss. It paves the way to enlightenment without the need for understanding. TV this. Junk culture that. A pearl necklace for every empty promise that haunts a little bit more with the passing of every dreary season. There’s a service station. Almost out of business, but the memories keep coming even though so little occurs. Faces on their way to places. Dirty hands flicking through the pages of magazines showing what you could’ve had if only you traded your soul for the dulling lights of papier-mâché dreams.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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