Two Hundred and Ninety-Five.


Izzy circle


sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
7. Would you carry yourself like a child, if you could?


Sarah circle


My feet hit the floor like lead balloons – KER-THUNK – and I’m up and Adam, as it were. Coffee pot sets to boiling when it sees my reflection, and the toast is up early and ready to greet the day. The radio slides its dial to smooth cool jazz to ease the transition from sleepy oblivion to the bright dull fluorescent November morning. Front door creaks thoughtfully. Next door’s cat runs a paw under the gap from the floorboards, waves a jaunty hello in shock-orange fur. Time trickles on. I think about juicing an orange, but the kitchen isn’t giving me a hand so I roll it around under my palm, pressing a finger into its navel, extracting it coated in bittersweet pith and skin. The tap drips. Sun bores in through the window and lays a coat of colour on my cheek. There’s a flat THUNK-shhh as the paper hits the glass and rolls into the bush below. I don’t know what type of bush it is. It’s green. Dark green, at a pinch. Fat plump leaves that turn frail and sapless in summer and throw themselves uselessly at my feet as I stride by in careless benediction. Somewhere, a mouse scurries madly into a skirting board. Across the room, discarded on the sideboard, my watch beeps. High pitched and insistent. There’s no auto-off function for it, as far as I can tell. It just keeps whining on until it’s attended to. I tell my legs to get up. Go on knee, I say, move it along, foot. They don’t budge. They sit, silent and sulky, flat as a tack, cement heavy. I try my hands, but they won’t have a bar of it. The watch beeps madly. I can feel the blood settling in my toes. There’s a slice of my face in the burnished metal of the fridge. I look like plaster.



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