In the morning, I wake to the sound of drowned birdsong. The streets. The town. The cities beyond. All of them drowned. My mouth is dry. This brain of mine rattles in a skull that feels too tight. Stretched. Like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe. Rolling about with the duvet clutched to my chest, the days that have escaped haunt me the same as they once did Scrooge. The booze from last night swishes and swirls within my belly. I have this love for a girl who was once mine, but not anymore. Not in the real sense of the world. In dreams, though, she’s mine. All of the time. Because time is no time, and distance no distance. I stopped believing in time a long time ago. It’s of no use to me whatsoever. All it brings is heartache and debt, and I’ve enough of that already. If I close my eyes for long enough, the rain outside becomes a heavenly orchestra. The screeching cats not screeching cats at all, but tenors singing verse too beautiful for words. Instead, what I actually hear are bums and drunks on their way to the shops around the corner where they’ll hang around in the hope of scrounging cash for their cheap cans of cider. I haven’t drunk cider since my days at uni when all it cost to have a good night in the flat above the chemist was the price of a giant bottle of Strongbow that looked and tasted the same as piss.