She’s like every autumnal daydream, but with hairier armpits and an infected toe. The white bandage, yellowing in spots, pokes out like an eager tumour from open heels. We walk hand in hand but yards apart, because I’ll interfere with her wings apparently…. oh fucking whatever, woman. I roll my eyes so often I can feel Sisyphus struggling on my eyelashes. On the bright side, we can swallow up a busy pavement, sending old people on mobility scooters into oncoming traffic; taking out little kids with no awareness of how hard two fists clamped together with love can be to break.
We eat ice cream in a seaside town, and she laughs at topless old men with pubes on their chest, skin peeling at the shoulders and scrags of chips in the nipples like savoury piercings. We watch the gentle hiss of the sea as it approaches the bathers, waders, whales and grandmothers, encroaching and retreating like a threatened cat, scared of all this filthy humanity polluting the already brown water with Factor 50.
We pass the arcades where exasperated parents stand bored as little Tarquin and Emily blast the heads off zombies; Mum and Dad are preparing their lines for an earlier breakfast fight not yet settled. Others wander around with tubs of coppers, like this worthless browngreen shit that you pass on the street is now precious suddenly.
We hear a strange noise, like the very Earth has indigestion. Behind a row of bucket and spade shops, a ferris wheel is beginning to tilt and then topple. The screams of the manicled prisoners gradually grow in intensity, starting with individual voices at the top, before being swallowed up in a hurricane wail as the Big Wheel slams down out of sight, in a deafening eruption of dust. The screams silence immediately, followed by the roar of a laughing tide, and the gradual murmur of paralysed consternation, people on phones, people asking the person next to them what happened, people running to the scene, people rushing to film the carnage.
Huh, look at that she says…. she’s pointing to a blob of ice cream on her nose, and laughing.