You pour a small bottle of Prosecco into your water bottle every morning. Your mouth smells of candied oranges from the herbal tea your neighbour dropped off. Each breath feels like you’re drowning in a vacuum where everybody laughs at you. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t fall asleep. Stay awake. You bite down on a tea towel as you pour the acetone into the half-moon paper cut just below your fingernail. The pain hits you like a sugar rush, making your head feel like cotton and your teeth like those gummy fangs you used to buy as a kid. You catch the bus into town. The driver comments on how you never smile, and all you can do is stare at him with a smirk that is never fully realised. Every passing stranger is a blur, a mote in a landscape. A little girl points up at you, tugging on her mother’s sleeve.

“Look, mummy, that woman looks very sad.” 

You turn to the woman, and you share a glance, knowing that everything and nothing can be understood.


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