“Love tastes like crying in train stations. This seems wrong, and like it should be more like laughter and kisses in the rain.”

That is what she said. Sad and sweet like a rose prick.

The air is thick like molasses but it’s easy to breathe here, now in the embers of August, with the knowledge that, in a few hours, I’ll get to kick this summer to the curb. Autumn is a phoenix. I want September hopes and hot tea and blazers and dusky breezes and fiery leaves. I am a phoenix too, by default, because I play with fire and I like plays on words.

In the blue afternoon light, to the soundtrack of other people’s lives, I can feel my body heat reflecting back to me like my bed rejecting me. I am hot but I don’t want the air-conditioning breathing down my neck because I like the world outside reminding me it exists, floating through the windows. I like feeling the heat on my hands because then I remember that I am filled with blood, that I am here and I am real, and I am not just a an archive of memories and thoughts that I go over and over again like a scratched up mixed tape. I am not just what I have been.

I am still here and I am still going and tonight is real and I want to feel it now, not tomorrow or next week when I think back to it, not when it plays in my mind like a home-video I can’t quite remember. I am here and I am real and I want to stop living as if the world was covered in cling-film, as if nothing is tangible, not even me, and everything, other people, the laughter, the pain, is nothing but shadows floating like a giant collage of photographs that have been double-exposed, triple-exposed, million-exposed…

I want to expose myself. I want you to touch me. I want to touch myself. I want to feel the heat between skin and for it to mean something, for us to recognise that invisible je ne sais quoi that becomes crushed when two bodies press up against each other and then seeps into them so that they are, in some way, together forever. I want to look at people, really look; throw fishing lines into their eyes and reel in their souls, and then let them have a piece of me, a soft word or maybe a secret. I want to go bungee jumping so that I can feel the rush of life zip by me, to be in the moment, when nothing else exists.

I do not feel my soul is rusty right now but I am scared of going there again, to the place when my imagination has cobwebs and my heart feels like a big bucket of water all the fucking time and my mind actually hurts from the sheer volume of doubts. I don’t want that again. I am here and I am real and I want to stay.


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

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