Saturday 11/05/2016 11:09:00 PM

The distance overtook her. A wealth of miles that were all, but worthless. She didn't care for the irony of it and the irony didn't particularly care for her. The years hadn't changed her much, but the changes that did occur were deeply embedded.

Tomorrow was always the enemy in a war that would never be over.

The days and nights would bend and fold. Creasing like paper at each moment of expectation or epiphany. A worn and random tapestry of the minutia and catastrophes that comprise a person's life.

Beautiful and hideous in every possible way.


***

Change had never had any mercy on her. It was always abrupt and brutal. It came the same way her thoughts always did. Like thunderstorms in the thick of the summer. Quick and violent. The event itself lasting only minutes, but its effects profound and eternal.

The last flood had been particularly destructive. Nothing was the same anymore. Everything was lost or broken, inside and out.

Each day time would stick in its dirty needle and suck out a little bit more of her life. She could feel the reservoir was getting low. It wouldn't be long now.

***

She had loved only once. It had almost been too much for her.

***

Alone, she thought to herself, was the only place she'd ever really belonged. Anywhere else she had always been a trespasser. Time with anyone else had always been borrowed. Her solitude was the only thing that truly belonged to her or ever would. She cherished it. She despised it.

She had been lonely once when she was much younger. It was a small box inside her mind in which she locked herself up with only her thoughts. Years later she wasn't lonely anymore. But she never left that box. She was still in there.

***

She awoke to the smell of sunscreen and blueberry donuts. Strangers faces above her looking very concerned. Rapidly her mind took inventory of her extremities, flesh, organs, bones. All still there, except for a small chunk from one finger. It was missing. Her blood escaped furiously through this aberrant vacancy in her flesh.

She stood up. There were murmurs and gasps questioning her physical soundness.

She only cared about her finger. She only wanted to make the red stream flowing from it stop.

She stood in the middle of the road, surrounded by a cautious crowd of would be rescuers. The traffic waited patiently as the signal cycled from red to green and back again for what seemed like forever.

Various people asked the usual questions you would ask in this situation. She remained focused on her finger. Cradling it in her t-shirt. Fascinated by how easily it pushed blood out of her body. There was no pain. Only the vague sensation that it should hurt and soon would.


***

The road turned. As roads often do. Limping off in a wild spasm of directions. None of which seemed to lead anywhere at all. She was okay with that. Destinations are unreliable at best.

The morning erupted in its most arduous summer perfection. Warm and hungry and full of miles yet to be spent. A bold cacophony of skin had charmed them. They lay there consumed by their own appetites. Bitten apples bargaining with the remaining poison in their crumbling flesh.

The angles flirted with their task. Simple whispers peddling the void. like a buried treasure.

There needn't be an end. It was always there. In the gap between them. in the swaying bridge that dared them to cross it against the stiffening winds.

---

Her wounds healed. As wounds are given to do. The gap in her finger replaced with thickening scabs. And the notion that life is the vacuum. and we are only the feather within. falling  at the same speed as all those boulders.

she didn't say because the choice wasn't hers. she didn't ask because the answer wasn't what she wanted to hear.

the miles found her easily enough. lost in the hunger of the distance. a precipice of skin. the edge sharp and eager as she watched the world unfold in fraying ribbons. gravity as confident as it's ever been.

love still wet cement. blood still bending.

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