Mike and I slumped beside our restaurant table and stared at the overhead television.
Despite seeing your empty hospital bed, writing your lengthy obituary, donating your emptied Levi’s, stuffing the jumbo plastic bag of your heart meds into the police department drop-box;
Walking home as a child was an experience in shifting realities. It was like the moment in a fairy tale where the heroine rides through a forest that changes into a magical wood, riding from light to darkness, and from summer to an unnatural winter.
1. Red squirrels are endangered in Britain and aren’t always red.
I wasn’t drowning when you heard me calling out, I was swimming. Those were yawps of exhilaration. My ex didn’t throw me overboard, we mutually agreed I’d dive into the Pacific.
Brown eyes. She’s the one who’s difficult to find in a photo, as though she’s been practicing to avoid this all her life.
They came for us on a goddamn Tuesday. Our streets were underwater. An epic flood that led them to us on black boats, lights flashing sirens silent to respect the dead.
The night the sky cracked, I was sprawled on the hood of my car beside that good-for-nothing boy, naming constellations, ignoring his fingers on my neck.
Before anything else, the mottled smell of blood and sawdust from across the street.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.
Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.