The Last Page
A cigarette butt skitters along the curb ______ each time a cab passes and flushes oxygen through the embers it flares for a second ______ I silently fixate on it.
Waiting for a bus, avoiding eye contact with other passengers, one of whom holds a tissue to a mashed lip and swallows blood and tears in great gulps. The distended face of Keira Knightley glares at me from the bus shelter over the road, the whole scene really unsettling.
I could walk with my eyes closed from here to the doorstep of another fictional ex-girlfriend, a hybrid blend of relationships I never quite had. This one ______ this one lies on a mattress on the floor ______ I lean on the windowsill, yes, the windowsill of the bedsit window that offers an infinite horizon of Holloway’s grey desolation and schizophrenic neon marketing. Her eyes are bloodshot, bloodshot or shut, and the sheets only half-cover her, again. I know the subtle charge buzzing away at the back of my head will resolve itself into lust, but it’s really fucking late and I’m huffing coffee. ______ Every time I look at her I hate her more and more.
Ugly, but compelling. Nonetheless I shake of this version of someone I knew and start again.
Strains of Verdi, creeping through the floorboards, a perfect little autumnal moment lying on a bed in Dalston. The cartridges of a vintage Nintendo litter the bedside table, spent condoms in an ashtray, your hand at the small of my back
No, sorry, I haven’t got the energy to believe in you anymore. Besides, I’ve reached the end of my notebook.
© Matthew Sheret, 2008