Some woman—I don’t know who—she’s running through town. All hysterical like, y’know? She has a dog on a lead and drags it behind her as if it weren’t a living, breathing creature but rather a bouncy, animal balloon. The kind you get at summer parties or in hospitals. On the kiddy ward, y’know? A place where God has never stepped foot and never will. The woman’s calling out a name, over and over again, but her accent is so thick I can’t make out what name it is. Sipping coffee, I suck on my smoke, pretending I’m not privy to such an event when really, I’m savouring it with glee. The woman drags the dog along so that its feet barely touch the ground. I think of Laika, floating in outer space. Poor thing. There are snowflakes in the air. They remind me of kisses tasting of Sunday mornings in bed as the world churns and gurns as it does and always will as long as we are here to take it. Like the woman’s comical limbs, our fingers twist in the mist escaping our lips, creating shapes that express what we can’t explain with words. It’s a beautiful world and a terrible one all at once. It’s an itch that when scratched, brings with it the sweetest, most unbearable of ecstacies. Beneath the table, my hand caresses her leg. She beams at me and blows smoke in my eyes. Her eyes are blue. They take me back to the days of eating ice cream in the back garden of my grandparents’ old house. Those endless sunny afternoons in July when the world existed only in my mind. How I wish to be there again. How I long to manipulate my position in the here and now so I may slip through the cracks back to where I belong. The cracks in the pavement beneath my feet spread like forks of lightning, and the more I look, the more I see, so I close my eyes and drift on the breeze like it’s no big deal.