• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 03
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The Clothes Line

A line. Taut, about to break. It’s only visible because of the kitchen light. It’s all I can see. The concrete ground beneath me is vaguely uncomfortable, but the thought disappears as my consciousness is covered with something like a heavy duvet.

Then it’s there again – that line. A clothes line, now. Still strained. Still close to snapping. Now it’s illuminated more so by the morning light. I blink. There’s pain now, as the duvet smothering my consciousness lifts and my body forces itself onto elbows and knees. I stay there for a while as my limbs and muscles scream at last night’s mistreatment. I shut my eyes and try to stretch out my neck and back before standing up and stumbling to the half open kitchen door.

My head throbs. The house is February-in-Ireland-cold. I notice a thawed pizza on the kitchen counter. Pizza sounds good right now. I turn the oven on and pop it in. Thank God I didn’t turn it on last night. The thought springs up like a bad habit. I don’t really care. Nor do I believe there’s a God.

I stumble upstairs and take the first door on the right. A hot bath will fix this. Or, at the very least, it’ll take the edge off. I turn the taps and lean against the tub, trying to not think about any of it.

Towels. I needs towels. I get up to get them but the linen closet is so close to our room so I pause. Our room. No, don’t think it. There is only my room, in the back, with all my stuff strewn across the floor. A friend – I can’t recall who – went and got all my stuff for me from the other room. I can’t remember why, exactly. But now all my stuff lays on the floor of the back bedroom. The smell has gotten bad in there, but I haven’t figured out where anything goes, or if anything should go anywhere. Not yet.


The Clothes Line

Towel. Get a towel. I squint my eyes half-shut, as if obscuring my vision will help to cease the existence of that door. I go to the linen closet as quickly as my muscles will let me. I keep the door of the closet between me and our old room. I’m slow. I’m so tired. I rest against the closet. Then, I reach for a towel.

And, as if the reach of my arm was an invitation (or a half-arsed beckoning) for the waves of darkness all around me to swarm up and consume me, they do. I begin to drown. Crumpled. Breathless. Rolling waves upon waves engulf me, spin me, bash me.

I run to the bathroom and just about make the bowl. I flush. I sit beside the cistern and listen to it refilling, as well as the bath water thundering down. The room is warm now. I can smell a pizza cooking.

I miss him so much.