Sometimes I bite the back of her neck, just for something to cling to. She gasps, arches and flicks; hair swirling like a waterfall turned to nonsense by a lack of gravity. Everything shimmers… walls, concrete, glass …all these things ripple and sway. I feel seasick just looking out of the window, as the entire house dances around me.
I reach into my pocket for the blade. Not against her or anyone, just to know it is there. The cold is an anti-aphrodisiac, a killer in every sense of the word. It bundles me down to reality, and it’s needed in our situation.
We sleep in opposite corners of the room. We love each other, we need each other, we fuck the sweat out of each other… but the roof has a relaxed attitude when it comes to keeping out the rain. Pooling in the centre, we keep to the walls where the boards feel solid and less rotten. Even now the floor bows and sags, clinging on pointlessly, as though anyone would want or wish to dance across it.
I’m reflecting on all this as I see her now, one foot raised in the air, a penknife jammed in her toenails removing the muck. Her legs are streaked white in the mists of rain, against the dull grey dust that sticks to us whenever we spend more than an hour or so here. I look down at myself. Bleached denim, a thin shirt with holes at the hips and a pair of boots that hum quietly to themselves like an acapella duet rehearsing. Sunlight beams down between us, a rainbow of solid gold. The few items of furniture we have gleam like weak candles in a mine-shaft. I reach into my other pocket and grab a sea-green thin pebble and hold it to the light.
I haven’t seen a tree in six years, but I can still smell the leaves as they die under my bare feet in a soggy October. The green backlit reminds me of being a child again, lying on the floor for hours as the sunset bled through the fading canopies of the woods and fanned us with damp and warmth, as centipedes and earwigs crawled into our shirts confused by these new pale caves. Those moments when you wanted to be absorbed by the earth, to become one with the ground as it throbbed and pulsed; Mother Nature’s Heart. With the right ears and eyes you can lie on your side and hear the grass grow; see the surface rise and fall with deep, unconscious breaths.
Now I sit here absorbing a concrete bunker that leaves everything tasting of dead metals. I walk on soft splinters, pouring crap whiskey over my feet to keep away infection. Once I was a parasite now I am a host, and I don’t feel noble for the change in circumstance… just a feeling that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong message to pass on.
I call across the shallow bowl of water that makes up the middle of the room, slivers of mouldy carpet falling away between our feet like dead vines. The wind whips around what is left of the eaves. Those emerald eyes pierce my collarbones and laser down to my hips. She cocks her head to one side, asks me what I have just said…. and just like that, I have already forgotten. I grab my penknife and, following her lead, I begin on my blackened fingernails.