The outlines of these moments run like mascara. The mascara she bought from Boots on her lunch break, along with a pack of tampons and a sugar-free Red Bull. The flesh of strangers smears the exposed skin of her skinny wrists. Wrists attached to fists that shake at the sky for no particular reason. The clothes clinging to the strangers appear crumbled like the rags left in black bags outside charity shops. Like the one next to the pawn store that was once an electrical outlet selling Sega consoles back in the ‘90s when I was a kid whose biggest fear were Sunday evenings and the threat of school that loomed like the creeping hand of a pervert on a bus. In her handbag next to her smokes, a comb clutches the hairs on her head. If I had them, I’d place them between the pages of my favourite book and wish myself away. The comb is plastic. It’ll stick around long after she’s gone. People are plastic. Their dreams more so. Her lower lip trembles like curtains in the wind. Curtains in a childhood window overlooking a letterbox where kids dispensed crisp packets and the wrappers of football stickers purchased with coins plucked from the gutter like the needy hand of Charlie Bucket. Most days are written off without much affection. They come and go like the flickering flame of a lighter outside a closed chippy at two in the morning where you drunkenly wish to cling to something, but what that something is, heaven only knows. The light of hers is delicate and strangely appealing. Flawed yet appealing. Like many others, I latch onto it, using it to guide me through the days I would otherwise have no problem leaving behind.
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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