Short days turn into long nights and I notice the birds no longer sing, their voices frozen in time. I spend every morning nowadays sitting by the window shivering, wrapped in an old sweatshirt with a cup of tea, each sip accompanied by the nervous clink of a spoon. I watch the world awaken as the nine-to-fivers scrape their cars and shake rain off their umbrellas and I look east and see the skyscrapers rising into heaven like the tower of Babel. Christ my arm hurts, I think I see the beginnings of gangrene. I hear your soothing whispers and they are reassuring. I can also feel the soft touch of your hand against mine as a torrent of realer than real memories wash over me and, predictably, I get swept away in the undertow. Old and cold. Dead and alone.
If there is heaven, I imagine it would be a successive series of images flitting across the screen, each beautiful moment we ever spent together flickering by in grainy black and white to a wonderful soundtrack complete with an orchestra. A soundtrack that sounds ancient and old and grand and cracked, crackling and distorted, as though broadcast across millions and millions of miles of wire. We’re both holding cups half a world away from each other and I suddenly realize this isn’t heaven but hell. It’s now. Here I sit covered in rain shaking from my own self staring at the skyscraper, desolation peak, rising before me. Here I sit, front row center, next to Judas Iscariot, and hell is cold and I keep getting older and I’m still trying to figure out why it is I chose to fall.