The morning brings coffee and the waft of dead cigarettes drifting from crushed beer cans. The day before me is a blur, as is the week, the year, the blah blah blah. The stairs leading to the kitchen are narrow. I stumble and almost trip. In the kitchen, a spider crawls over the toes of my right foot and I simultaneously whimper while reaching for my balls. They shrink like shrivelled peas, and very briefly, I’m a child touching himself for the first time taking a bath late one Sunday with the threat of school looming like the stench of a corpse. Upstairs, she stirs at my muffled howls, opens her eyes, and then retreats back to sleep, burying herself beneath pillows of dreams. In the pockets of my dressing gown are a handful of notes regarding my declining mental health. My mental health is neither here nor there. It’s a storm in a teacup. It’s a secret in an envelope burning upon the dying embers of a fire. Opening the back door, I step into the garden. The sky is heavy. Too heavy, in fact, yet it’s as light as the dust that falls from my brow. With an unsteady belly, the ink on my skin crawls with a mind of its own. The trees wrap around me, and for a moment, the din of the distant present is a tiny thing indeed and my world is contained within the song of a single, falling leaf.