• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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I am by myself. She knocks and then there is a long silence. I hope she’s gone away, convince myself that she has. The letterbox clatters and I can see her pale, grubby hand grasping through it, long fingers clawing the air. I know that you can reach the handle that way and turn it from the inside. If you’re slight and you don’t mind the pain. I’ve done it often enough. I think she really might get in, but after a while her hand retreats slowly.

What would it be if I had let her in, if I had been strong enough. I think I would have liked it. Imagine what night-work we might have done. She would have led me down the road, and out upon the lane to the woods. What a friend she could have been.

I sit on that thin brown carpet for years after, listening to the hiss and click of my tapes, and think about my own weakness.


The computer is massive, taking up roughly a sixth of the room. It squats in a corner where a nest of wires erupt from its back and circle it protectively. The fans are distractingly loud and it always seems on the brink of overheating. Shelves of old DVDs and floppy discs pile around the flickering screen. I hunch in front of it, pallid in its blue light.

Impossible bodies, moving impossibly. They flex and pose and meet on streets and in parks. Pulling together and peeling away. Another species, another plane of existence, parallel to mine but resolutely intangible. I dwell in the liminal, there is warmth to be found, but it takes a feeble form.