|Photo by Laura Vinck
Night had fallen but the darkness did not descend. We were looking for an outlet. Some way to redirect the inevitable. Your smooth face, soft against the unconscionable evening, filed off the edge of a moonless sky. The mood toned down through intended arousal. My head against your chest is all I can remember. The terminal place. The fortress one should never leave. A garden of earthly delights in a whirlwind of confusion. I would swear by that merciful down, never wanting to look up. Josh came in at 9 p.m. wanting to score. We heard he was dead by daylight, taken out by excess. It was so strange seeing him like that, alive I mean. Dying is quick, so easy to happen. In a flash, in an instant the lights go out.
Three made an exit that summer, one after another. The dominoes fell without any repercussion. No one questioned the missing. The party was to go on forever. All the big names had gone five years earlier. Everyone noticed that, commented on it, then quickly forgot. You left to follow the money, the inheritance. I can’t say I blamed you. I just missed you for a while. The chest is what I remember though. A place to rest for a moment. The place of comfort in a harsh landscape. The contrast gave it potency. Night was falling on the day and that I did notice.
An saxophone player cajoled me on the bus home from the state institution after visiting hours. He suggested another kind of refuge. He said it worked for him. He didn’t mention it was a thicker, sicker jungle than the Congo but I guess that fact would not have registered anyway since it had all become the land of the continually ill. That house didn't work out as planned but it did have a lasting effect. It was the beginning of the end. The place to start. No one said how absurdly long it would take to come round. It took another lifetime but here I am. Alive. A thinking sentient being. Troubled by the glorification of ignorance sweeping the land but no matter. I made it back intact. It just took so damn long to get to shore.