I couldn’t sleep last night. I’d drank far too much during the day, and my evening had been a busted flush, sprawled on the couch in a semi-coherent state robotically playing old video games and trying to ignore breaking news alerts that make my heart skip because I’m sure the next one is announcing the end of the world. Anxiety weaves through me at the moment. I feel like a ten year old boy again, sitting in a science lesson learning about meteors and thinking one is going to smash into the playground outside.
Collar popped, beanie on, headphones on. Music. The streets were empty except for one guy marching quickly from an alleyway. We connected and fixed on each other with mutual distrust, like two wounded ships who don’t have the capacity to fight anymore, and the moment passed. It’s not that kind of town though. No bonfires on the beach this time, just strange arrangements of stone. No birds, just the gentle lapping of the tide. No ships. No taxis. One light on in a house, where an old man sat with his back to the window reading.
I walked along the pier as the wind bit my face. It was a clear night and I could see the belt of the Milky Way above me. Three shooting stars streaked overhead. I tried to make it to the end but someone was there with a flashlight, moving it over the old lighthouse and into the sea with a strange rhythm, like they were performing a ritualistic dance. Three times I tried to force myself to investigate and three times my courage hit an invisible wall. Anxiety. Instead I jammed my fists deep into my jacket and strode home, pausing only to have a piss inside a ‘haunted’ tunnel.