Last night, we all walked home without our shoes on.  It was raining, and someone started crying, and suddenly, we were all crying, holding our shoes and crying in this rain the colour of metal. Why are we crying? Someone asked.  I didn’t know his name.  We want to be beautiful.  Someone else said.  I did know her name, but I forget it now.

Hung over, I lie on the couch holding the box with the Ibuprofen in it.  I hold it with my eyes closed, feeling the brail on the box and listening to the Bob Marley the neighbours are blasting through the walls: Iron like a lion in Zion, and they’re playing it so loud that they must be playing it just for me.

Yesterday, I drank coffee until my hands shook and I felt my heart was a foreign object in my body, beating out of time.  I could feel the blood in my veins in rivers under my skin, rushing and rushing and rushing because I wanted to feel something or to not feel something, I wasn’t sure which, until I was afraid of my own heart.  I was afraid that it would beat right out of my chest or leave a bruise on the inside of my ribs.

When I was younger, I’d put on a long sleeve t-shirt and get my brother to tie the sleeves behind my back like a straight jacket.  I’d run around the house pretending I was insane, and I sometimes wonder how that affected me, if that has anything to do with who I am and my current interest in late eighteenth century literature and philosophy.

Next door, they’ve switched from Bob Marley to something quieter, and I think they’re having sex over there, quiet sex to something quieter.

The brail on this Ibuprofen box doesn’t make sense to me.  It’s the freckles on the back of this girl I once loved, another girl I once loved and the night I said what do you need from me, what do you need from me, what can I give you? And she didn’t say anything back, and that’s how I knew it was over.

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