You lean forward. You are blind. Hysterically so.

Something brushes against your face, like ferns or the tatters of shredded opera gloves.

Tinny, distorted music creeps up out of nowhere- well, not nowhere.


By way of your love handles- yes, you were thin once. Terrifyingly so. And though you’re still thin- all that shitty wartime food, or lack thereof- time and terror have caused parts of you to run like the wax in those cheap emergency candles.

The tune continues on its way, scouring a nerve or two as it heads north by northwest under your ribs, jostling the heart, scaring you for a long vacant moment where you think that nothing remains in that fleshy cavity.

A snippet of lyric. Brief clutches of rhythm.

A burning as it reaches the large tendons in your neck, pulling in every direction with unrealized spasms. The heat radiates out through the fascia along quivering muscles.

The little tune finds your face, your long, plain face, your skull that vibrates with a resonance that you realize is your own screaming.


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