“You’ve been working too hard,” he murmurs.
I can hear the engines of the plane in the background. He is enveloped in a living, breathing organism. A membrane through which I cannot reach.
“So have you,” I point out, taking another pull of my Scrimshaw.
“And drinking,” he says. Touche.
We sit for a moment in silence listening to each other’s background noise.
“Sometimes I feel so alone that I am going to break,” I whisper. I feel a tightness beginning in the back of my nose, somewhere.
“I know,” he says simply. “I miss you.”
“I miss me too,” I wise back.
“You should come visit,” he says.
“Will you be there this time,” I ask. A strange click resounds inside my head, as though someone has struck a tuning fork on my skull.
“For you, yes,” he says. “Sometimes it doesn’t all happen at once, you know. You’ve got it together now, you can pull through.”
We sit in silence for another moment, thinking about all the other times I’ve gotten it together.
“Sometimes we throw it all away, too,” I say.
Later, in the shower, I feel a burst of heat and bright blossoms of blood flood the white tile.
“How ideal,” I say, mostly to myself. As blood continues to gush through my nose, I address the toilet. “Well? What the fuck am I supposed to do now?”