Getting to her feet, she downs the last of the coffee before lighting a cigarette. She’s not supposed to smoke inside the house, so she opens the window. Sucking in and then blowing it out, the smoke escapes only for the wall of mist to hurl it back at her. If she squints, she can just about decipher the outlines of the trees surrounding the garden, but other than that, the world is a giant marshmallow—slowly swallowing all it deems fit to swallow. Flicking ash into a sink that’s full of dirty dishes and icky water, she guesses she could go back to bed. It would be the easiest thing to just slip beneath the duvet and disappear for the rest of the day, but a lack of art erodes the soul, so she decides to visit the studios in the centre of town. Not just yet, mind. First, she needs to eat, bath, and possibly nap. She doesn’t like going into the studios early, because she might bump into others, and the thought of leaving the house is scary enough as it is without having to deal with people who might want to engage her in conversation. Continuing to blow smoke into the mist that spits it back, the exchange resembles two lovers sharing a spit kiss, and as she sways as if lost in the memory of some dream, the whiteness of the swirling smoke spinning around her head causes her to bite her lip. The dust in her belly is coming into bloom. It’s stirred by the trembling in her bones from the little-death that still has her in the palm of its hand. Sucking on her cigarette, she closes her eyes as the memory of her favourite song slips into her mind. Like a wave of melancholia, it lifts her up before prising open her chest the same way a breadknife slices through a crusty roll.
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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