- Vol. 03
- Chapter 06
I crawl through urban catacombs. This city is analysed and interrogated beneath UFO beams, a little petri dish of the iridescently hidden. Our retinas are polluted by floodlights to coddle us from kamikaze, a shield from the nightly seppuku of a star-crossed sky collapsing in on itself. Meanwhile, our voyeuristic galaxy plays bystander to a forsaken species, cultivating its own intricate little humant farm of dying things.
I skulk between synthetic sights and baited wonders, down paths already fashioned neatly by human perspicacity, or perennial ego: avarice, nonetheless.
I am lost, listless and lusting.
I am leaving.
City-dwellers on the train rub their eyes until their vision becomes the grainy purgatory of a video tape, prickled with sharp needles of a cosmos absent from the alien spotlight of their skies.
Existences spill upon one another, skirting and siphoning strategically in a game of liquid Tetris. Afraid to splash audaciously, to settle within their peers’ discomfort, to kaleid. Layers of lonely. A cohesive and co-dependent coma.
At yet another nondescript social obligation, my patchwork elbows are sticky upon a sin-soaked bar-top. My absence has often been a point of contention among peers, and yet when I do show up, I seem to have an honorary throne reserved in no one’s company but my own.
I feel the hot, stale breath of a drunkard too close to my neck and I begin to cry.
How did I get here?
Across the road, I wait in the line of a convenience store behind men who expect too much from their lives and their late-night microwave dinners. I make some small talk with a stripper from one of the boys’ clubs down the road. She is kind and ambitious and thoughtful. This conversation is far more pleasant than many I endure from the starless-eyed singers who lean at my desk of a daytime – young, wealthy girls who aspire to dabble in sex work just for the “cute” experience, a comfortable, risqué-risk within the orbit of parental paid tuition fees and guaranteed future prospects. Happy-go-lucky with no reason not to be, an atmospheric ease both astounding and frightfully, frightfully empty.
I am not surprised that I can see more hope within the glitter-nailed, perseverant grasp of this kinaesthetic caterer than the expectant, unscathed mittens of a child who stubs her toe on inconvenience and names that little piggy Depression.
I walk to the train station along alleys of broken homelessness. In-streets, out-patients.
An archetypal villain in a suit secures his cufflinks tighter around cuttwrists as he waits at a pedestrian crossing.
Sad. Stop. Unlucky.
The planets suffer in silence, while ours is a noisy hub, a radio satellite of novelty sound effects. Deafened to the splitting cries of interstellar defeat, fat and privileged on the static buzz of ignorance.
I search for an empathetic gaze in glass-shard gutters and event horizons.
Once I find it, I will let it tear my ribcage open.