Crocodile tears

The weather outside is cold and wet, rain streaming from the windowpanes, I am standing in the shower looking out. Whirling steam makes a bid for escape into the black night, billowing out to join its larger cousins, to be borne down and forced into the earth. Hot water beats down upon me, red streaks of heat spread across me like tropical blooms.

I am not burnt out but burning up, a candle lit at both ends, baby, and I can’t set myself down, now, because I might burn something else too. Incandescent heat is spreading over and through me, I am a brand burning bright in the darkness of the night and I twist to avoid myself and somehow end up even closer.

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I am rising with the sun, a great glowing orb in the eastern sky, and I am drinking dark orange pekoe tea and looking out across the cityscape, streetlights flickering out one by one, I am watching the night workers go back to bed. I am watching the garbage men with their heavy loads in the glittering morning and I see the frost retreating on the roofs and there, just there, in the gutter, I see a gleaming bottle tossed aside in the heady midnight. I am watching the cars crawl across the morning, I am smelling the morning baking, I am gagging on the hops from the brewery, I am burning.

I am dodging the raindrops, I am skirling away from cars, I am muddy, I am wet, I am stuck in a rut a routine an unstoppable course of day after day after day and I can’t see the way out, I can’t see the forest for the trees. I see the roses blooming but I don’t dare stop and smell them and fat drops of water sit on their pouty lips like kisses, waiting to be shaken off by angry business men and fast cars and petulant teens walking. Each day blends into the next, everything is now as it ever has been, and always shall be, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel because there is no end, just this, now, forever.

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I am waiting for something to change but I can’t imagine what and until then I am frozen in indecision. Left or right? At the same instant I am in a moment of permanent stasis, I am a whirl of activity, so tired, exhausted, I can’t remember how to walk, how to sleep, how to eat, I drink dark orange pekoe tea and eat creamy sour yoghurt without thinking about what I am doing, and when, and how. The humdrum of the doldrums of the tedium drags me down like wet hems, dogs my footsteps and makes streaks on a clean floor. I am sharp, I am brittle, I am burning, on fire, call the service, put me out.

I am closed, I am here, I was never there, I am always missing. Once upon a time there was a princess who turned to lead and King Midas couldn’t put her right so they used her as an anchor and there she sits, stagnant, on the bottom of the ocean, glassy eyes staring out into a dark world she can’t see and she wonders to herself: how did I ever come to this? Has anything ever been different? The fish that pass her by gaze upon her in sympathy and coral grows from her ears while algae springs from her toes.

I am faithful, I am faithless, I am waiting, I am abandoning.

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Once I was the Queen of Sweden, now I

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I am breathless, I am burning, I am hopeless, I

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