The Pro-Active Insomniac

In the solemn heartbreak of the small hours, the street is paved with whisky suds and gospel of past times and pastimes. The gutter that dreams are made of.

He is tall and stoops to scribble with his eyes a pattern on the tarmac. The girl in grey waits for him to approach. She sees in his face that he has not slept for days, maybe years. Waking time has drawn Saturn rings around his eyes, sketching a face that is older than its sum of years.

The girl in grey rests folded hands before her, long grey skirt billowing slightly in the 3 am breeze. When she blinks her lashes are like moth wings, frantic for a light not owed to creatures of the night. He stalls when her sees her – quietly waiting, as though she had waited for all time. He had not noticed her as he approached, but then lack of sleep fuddles him and he was busy scribbling the new order on the road beneath his feet.

He sees she is grey from dust and wonders what time has nibbled from the edges of her soft silhouette. He has written countless roads and walked countless books, but he is still stalled by the look in her eyes, as the moth-wings flash in the half-light. He scratches the tip of his interesting nose in indecision. He trusts chaos to bring him all he needs and all he doesn’t need, this has served his story well, for he always knows that something will happen. Whether or not it’s the right thing, is neither here nor there.

But now he is struck dumb in his abstract frame. Chaos has gifted him the girl in grey, but he must do something or say something. Or else she may well fall to pieces like the mist in his hands.

“You must be Nether Ed,” says the girl in grey.

Nether Ed crinkles with the kind of happiness the gutter can only dream of.


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