I was thinking of the scene in Amelie when he leaves the cafe and she melts into a puddle on the floor.

“Y’can’t expect it to be easy,” Posey said. “You’ll have gapin doubts you’ve done the reet thing. You’ll hit ‘the wall’ and think the only way is to go back and try again. But it’s broke. You knew it were broke when you walked out. You think you wudha put yissels through this if it wont?” She ran a hand through mussed hair and sipped her second morning brew.

It was too early for breakfast. I shivered in my hoodie and looked at the glum Northern sky over the flat roof. Mizzle was forming around my shoulders and dampening my soul, but I needed another smoke.

I sat rolling it with hands that shook barely perceptibly. Anxieties threading in my blood stream.

“Of course you miss her. You’re crashing now,” she continued. “This is the come-down. You’re body is begging to feel better. If you don’t sweat it out and just put more shit in your system, you’re just putting it off for later. And later will be worse.”

The marathon metaphor… the druggie metaphor. They were all so easy to say. But neither lasted for endless weeks. Neither summed up the sense of loss and failure and the rising yowl of doubt which hissed and fizzed to the surface. I was a crumpled bit of scrawled-on paper stuffed between sofa cushions. A little piece of insignificant history which would sometime later be summed up in a casual sentence. The details of petty arguments forgotten because they never mattered anyway.

I lit my rollie, puffing life into embers with sagging lungs and charred lips. Ash formed sluggishly on the tip, eventually falling, dissolved in the feint rain.


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