Water pours out the window to my left. On my other left, a hunched woman with filthy feet, walking the street in search of a lake that’s long dead. As dead as my cigarette. Around every corner, a version of me I’ll never meet, and a version of me that repeats with alarming regularity. My feet are soaked. It’s a Sunday, the same as it always is. The newspapers spell out stories I can’t comprehend, just the same as I can’t comprehend the stories carved by my own two hands. Snapped out of a dream, the old town stretches for miles out of the window. It’s not snowing, but it could be. There’s a fly on my chest that jumps and then disappears into thin air. A mild hangover has me in its arms. The town is a secret. It’s a grave. I’m a stranger on its shores, yet I and I alone am the key to its mysteries. With one mouthful of frozen breath, I exist on an old dirt track connecting the belly of the town to the planes above. With another, I’m in the pub, drinking through the afternoon and marvelling at what it is to be a teenager with nothing to worry about other than who’s got enough money for the next round.
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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