Although I’m a child of the light, I do miss the dead of winter. Waking to a darkened, lonely world is one of my favourite things. Watching shadows dancing in the rain as I dart down lonely streets on my way to work—it only ever soothes me. In fact, it hardens my nipples no end. These days, the sky’s already light the moment I open my eyes. My eyes don’t like it. The sickly glow weakens my heart, and the day begins not with enthusiasm but dullness. I get to work and the coffee machine’s out of order. Within an hour, I’ve no energy for anything at all. The lines on my forehead are deep. Like canyons. In Texas, or Mars. The skin beneath my eyes is a murky bluey-grey. Like the colour of a lake, or a grave in a cemetery crumbling to pieces as the world changes while remaining the same. As the hours tick away, people crawl out of the woodwork. They wriggle and writhe like lice. It was the Queen’s Jubilee recently. The old biddy hasn’t got long left. Every day, they say she’s suffering from some niggling illness or other. I’m quite looking forward to the day she leaves this mortal coil. I want to play The Queen is Dead by The Smiths and dance with abandon like I did as an angry teen. I don’t hate her, but why couldn’t I have the luck of being born into royalty? Why couldn’t I sit on a golden throne, sneering at peasants? Instead, I’m forced to sneer at them from the shadows. Saying that, the shadows are where I grow, and I retreat to them the way others throw themselves into crowds. Right now, the temperature rises and I grow dizzy like a flower bending in the breeze. With each mouthful of scuzz I spit onto the sidewalk, the town becomes a city, and the city a poem that brings me to my knees.

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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