The day ends like so many others, a dusk littered with crows and dogs. I finish reading my book before the clouds conspire too well to hide the sky, and I feel a little dizzy, walking in circles, thinking in keys and crosses. Words such woefully dangerous things, set swarming behind my eyes. Words such inadequate weapons until they mass in attack, consuming every intersection, each object devoured by the calumny of names. I always thought things begun so badly would have to end better. I always thought I would at least claim something of tomorrow, laboring after this spectral trade.
The dog breathes softly, resting against my ragged dresser. The dog sleeps so still he seems like he just dropped where he was shot. The lapsed aesthetic of fitting the words in the frame catches in the back of my throat, a profanity choked back, an epithet best spared on mixed company. The worn amalgam of broken english and the sorcery of a soul as it smolders, the long love story reaching the natural end of all things. Breath saved, breath spent. The unfurling of the hours, the unwinding of the night.
I never learned how to be among other people. Something about the effort of connection, something about the strangeness of my approach. The punishment fitting the crime giving way to various misfit roads until the outside is all I knew a thing about. I read a lot, learning only how far away I was from those I was reading. I worked the sort of jobs that ill-mannered losers can get, poor pay and crumby hours, pushing mop and broom, burning that shockingly toxic midnight oil. Years of failing everyone, bridges blazing away at every turn. The sun sets today on that last ambition, and I return to this life of lapse and gather, still smoking though I burned out long ago.