It’s 4.30pm in Preston,
Another cloudy but warm Thursday.
It’s 2010 and I’m sat on the floor in the attic.
I take my eyes off the envelope in front of me
and smell the summer breeze.
I can’t bring myself to read it, it’s too hard.
Even gentle waves on the river, I can hear through the open window,
won’t calm me down.
The door slams downstairs and I immediately jump up
and run barefoot. I don’t care that the carpet is still dirty
from the Saturday’s party.
I give Darla a hug , her hair is still wet from the rain
and it leaves a big dark stain on my new silk blouse.
She follows me into the kitchen for a refreshing glass of Dr Pepper
and we both agree to go for a walk –
– it seems like a perfect way of running from my fear,
that’s still lying on that cold attic floor waiting for me to face it.
We walk towards the park and talk about Darla’s new boyfriend
and other trivial things, but I’m struggling to take my mind off the letter.
On the way to the park we nip to the small shop on the corner of Taylor Street
and buy couple of bottles of Corona and a box of Menthol Pall Malls.
I instantly open the packet and light a cigarette
thinking about the show I saw earlier on You Tube.
It was a comedy and the content was rather weak but I remember this guy
claiming that men have a ‘nothing box’ in their brains, and that they can
run into it whenever they want.
At this moment in time I wish I had a ‘nothing box’ in my head.
The sun begins to set and as we take the last sip of, already warm, Corona
we start making our way back home.
It’s almost 7 and I feel restless. As we walk into the house I hear my friends’ excited
voices in the kitchen, but I don’t stop, I run upstairs – suddenly impatient.
I sit on the freezing cold floor and start reading. My hands are shaking and I can hear
Byórk’s ‘Army of Me’ being played in the room downstairs.
And then, just like that, my world falls apart.