Extinguish.

The definition of a true friend is one who won’t hesitate to kick your ass when you need it, when your head is jammed into your own sphincter and you’re unaware of it until said swift boot loosens it and you’re no longer talking ignorant shit.

At least, that’s what I thought.

Does this kind of friendship crumble so easily beneath wounded pride and passive-aggressive denial? Worse — does this kind of friendship no longer exist at all?

Is everything so disposable now?

Life: a shallow musing?

Or am I actually the one in denial?

I don’t know anymore.

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Gutter.

A tiny flame, lit. A tiny hope, kindled.

The gale wind of harsh reality, smothering.

A frail spirit, crumpled.

A world of condemnation in a single, unspoken word:

“unfollowed”

When did it gain so much power? When did we give it that power?

Social media: both universe and culture unto itself.

Despair.

To the south: the boots of fascism stamping bloody parades over the bodies of those who just wanted to live, love, and be.

Further south: the roar of those who would teach freely vies with the chatter of guns that would silence them to see which is louder.

To the east, north: those not sound of body nor mind are regulated to death while xenophobia chants propaganda.

To the east, south: bombs fall in carpets, run into crowds, explode from a curb, all for a war that ends not with exaltation, but with Ozymandias.

I am watching the world murder itself, and I know there is no future I want from it.

Tear.

A border set, immovable — or is it? For now, perhaps; for always, doubtful. Regardless, the damage is done, and no challenge will be given.

Truth was not silent. Truth was spoken. Of hurt, some; of disappointment, more.

Pebble by pebble, the foundation crumbles. Will what rests atop it fall? Only time knows.

Scratch.

Scar after new scar dots my skin in haphazard constellation, a chart of sites where tiny, greedy mouths took their fill of my life. Unwelcome guests, all, who reduce me to nothing more than an eternal meal, and yet such is their power that I’ve not slept in my own bed for three days. Such is their hunger that they take what their airborne compatriots shun.

Food for bugs in the end, I.

This round, however, is to be cut short by a professional hunter with chemicals of mass extinction. I look forward to sleeping in my bed again.

Pain beckons in the meantime.

Harden.

Across years, across tangled histories, a familiar hand reaches. Lonely, whispers a half-forgotten voice.

I take the hand. Friendship.

Feelings are complicated, comes the reply.

Between my shoulder blades and through to my solar plexus, I feel the iron orb sitting heavily. Once, I loved easily, but faithfully. Now, years and scar tissue later, I do not love at all, not like then. The body is but an ambulatory meat sack, not the vehicle of passion; the heart within is bled dry of red roses and romance.

Once upon a time, I may have asked to reweave the threads of my life with theirs. Now, there is nothing left of thread or loom, and it would be reprehensible to pretend otherwise.

Feelings are complicated, I say in agreement.

Amity reigns.

Crumble.

To stand on a road and look back, to see the path you walked crumbling behind you, to know there is no chance of return — and, even if you could, you no longer remember where it once led.

Memory is such a fleeting thing for those of us unable to keep it close.

Time? Time is even more slippery: quicksilver, blinding, gone.

When did this event occur? Was it yesterday or three months ago? Did it occur at all? Fading, fading, shredded to frayed scraps, relegated to the jumbled heap of torn threads.

Every moment is immaterial, for the bridge between mind and memory has long since fallen to ash and blown away. Nothing stays, lost instead to eternal fog.

Such is the state of the deteriorated mind, ever shunned in a world that equates memory with intelligence.

Pulse.

The drums of war beat in the south, restless, reckless, unrelenting. The clamour of ignorant superiority arises now and again, drowning out reason, washing over those caught in the middle in waves of bullets and blood, ever louder each time.

It doesn’t matter that the truth looms large and wide for all to see, for those who can see it in its entirety have moved too slowly, too late. Paranoia is the order of the day; racism, a widespread filter; armaments, a commonplace adornment; and terror keeps the blinders on.

It can only end in fire, and everything burns.

Drift.

Tonight, after 33 hours of awake, I float off on an 80-proof maple syrup cloud instead of magnesium and meds. It’s a comforting blanket I’ve long missed, and yet it’ll help me wake when I need to. Can’t miss my gyno appointment in the morning.