Whisk.

Hallmarks of my dreams: slightly revolting public bathrooms in strange configurations, and me attempting waste elimination in equally strange places. Once it was in a desk drawer; another time it was in a recliner; and this time it was in a short hospital laundry basket, my legs hanging over the edge, and a couple of litter boxes, where I strained in futility.

Why this happens, I don’t know. Why I occasionally see people I used to know and last saw over twenty years ago in these dreams, I have even less idea.

My brain can be a surreal place. Freudians would have a block party with it.

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Suffocate.

Tonight is blanketed in sweltering heat that costs thousands of disadvantaged their lives. No god nor spirit is responsible for this — only our own avatars of avarice. How useless a system we have chosen to live within; how arbitrary and self-serving, and ultimately short-sighted. Those selfsame avatars don’t care what kind of legacy they leave as long as they are rich in their lifetimes.

Who needs four horsemen when extinction is possible with a button?

This wasn’t supposed to happen. This was never supposed to happen.

Aurora illuminates my windows. Feathered children chirp in the trees below. Beyond is the wavering, slightly dissonant breathing of an awakening city.

Rebellious crimson brings dull but pervasive ache. It preoccupies me too much to do more than notice what lays outside my skin.

Comfort is fleeting.

Sway.

Fickle, fickle Dawn. You’re early today.

A clenched jaw: unconscious strain, unnoticed, a habit born of stubbornness. Detected, a deliberate effort made to loosen it, but slowly, slowly, it creeps back into the fashion of the moment, for the mind has yet to cease its frenetic dancing between topics fluid and slippery, and it will not be denied. Ever willful.

Louder is the silent protest of fingers made cold and pale by lessened circulation. A cocoon of icy cotton, layer piled upon layer. Not enough and yet nothing else will do.

Forty-two hours awake and counting. Skittering walls give me hope that my count will soon end.

Fidget.

Insomnia, insomniac — who speaks in the night, I wonder?

A sudden scrape with a friend, confused hurt, disappointment, the knowledge that all things end, whether we want them to or not, whether we work for them not to: a nebulous future, a guttering candle.

A rotting heart learning to nourish, withering in the harsh light of unpleasant, necessary truth.

The antidepressant filters, thick cotton for bleeding emotion without edges that eventually soaks through. What comes out the other side?

Persephone’s cool breath through the cracked window, caressing my forehead with absent fingers. Tonight, it may be enough to bring me in the rest of the way gently, rather than down via Dionysus’s swaying embrace.

Aurora says hello.