The thing you couldn’t place. That feeling, unsure. A look, a gaze. Recognition. Maybe. That well in your heart. That spike in your pulse. A bite in the air. A chill at your side. That was me. Waiting to be seen. That was us. Lingering over a moment.
Sun glistens. Ripples wriggle. Silt dances in the stream. Clear water no more. Mud moves, water flows. Yet still we swim.
We were always on the edge. Never quite falling. That freedom of flying just out of reach. The time we didn’t but almost did, and again, and again. Time spent wasting, time with you. They said we would. They said we did. But we were almost something. Just an almost.
Beating in, out. Stomach rising. To that thud, that drum. Vibrating. Moving. Breaking. Beaming. You.
Away from here. From the daily grey. Give me the blue of the ocean, golden sands, bright white spray. Give me air to breathe.
Envelopes. Paper. Painted with letters, woven with words. I sit. Scissors in hand. Feel their weight. The solid steel. Lift the first letter from the pile. Place the blades gently around it. Slowly squeeze the handles. Smile at the satisfying snip and slice of cutting paper. That crisp crunch of the blades biting. A metal smile hiding teeth within.
Night walking. Head hazy. The streets warped like an Escher picture. Yet my routefinder kicks in. My feet walk a path they’ve walked too many times before.
Third lamppost on the left, take the snicket Dark and narrow I snag on brambles falling free, skin torn, stinging. Head for the light, the other side. Stumble on loose paving stones down the steps to arrive on your street.
Quiet. Calm. Unchanged.
I sit on the pavement. Hug my knees tight. Here again.
Climb the stairs, close the door. Think no more about things. That big pile of things waiting. It can wait. Slip into time. Time before. Just you, your room. Music on, lights low. Lay on the bed. Stare at the ceiling. That blank space. Listen. Breathe. Hypnotise. Hibernate.
Not large this land, yet it holds a library of stories. A collection to conserve. Dragons and monsters. A first loves kiss. Nature trails, jungle songs. Snake attacks and long faught battles. A whisper in a cold clasped hand. It is everything, this wasteland. Bookmark it. Return. An old favourite.
Thinking back it seemed to last an age. My memory reel playing in slow motion. Recounting frame by frame an event that lasted less than ten seconds. That’s how long it took for the world to change. Just ten seconds. A fall, a dull thud and then silence. Heavy silence. Winded by inaction. I couldn’t get to you. Couldnd’t cry. Sirens wailed, a seagull screamed, an arm on my shoulder, steering away from the scene. Away from you.