Sounds follow me from the corners of the flat which folds up around me like origami into a claustrophobic cupboard. Each day I find new ways to drown hardened optimism in despair. As though despair can dilute the alien sense of having done more these past few months than ‘earn a few quid, spend a few quid’. I’m scared my default setting will always be nostalgia or craving some future happiness that will not be what it is when I find it. The tangible is only the shadow of the cat at the window pane, dissolving into darkness all too easily. A faded photograph that becomes only a reproduction of itself as it fades from memory to a vague representation of a memory, to a vague memory of that. Someday you will doubt your own ability to recognise the real person the camera once snapped. They’re so mixed up with your old perceptions, with your dreams that desperately try to recreate, to repaint a version of you that you can maintain.

The memories become so smudged with hopes and dark fears hiding in the foot of the wardrobe. You wonder what was ever real. Who are we who sit here like shadows? Did we ever talk of cobbled future plans? Or was that a conversation you hoped to have next time. And next time never came?


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