Pavement

There was once a girl walking down the streets of Paris. She tripped on a little rut in the sidewalk and looked down, the corner of it was peeling upwards like a piece of wet paper drying swollen. She lifted it up slowly and saw beneath it, a night sky with perfect five point stars in white. Pulsating against grainy deep blue in a way that was so vibrant it was almost perverse. She wanted to put her hand through it to feel the texture, she could only imagine what that texture might feel like. Like velvet and pinpricks and warmth followed by piercing coolness, like a hard candy she thought it would feel like sweet and sour soup, but nothing she could explain.

The truth was if she put her hand in, she would fall in completely and she realized that it would be a certain kind of death. The kind of death that comes to you when you're trying to fall asleep and can think of nothing but how sleep is a small death, a small death is an orgasm, and to love is to kill apart of yourself and replace it with another mortal ribcage. Anyway. She looked up at the real night sky, it was distant and nothing pulsated or glowed or demanded a part of her. One little look though and she felt such a whole and unadulterated love for her own life that goose bumps flew down her limbs and prickled her dry tongue, so damp and alive were her organs. She kept walking. She knew she had a home in Paris, but the farther she walked the less like home it felt. Distant and irrelevant. But it was home!

She thought about the mouse in the kitchen and how maybe it was more of a home to him than her, and then how of course she had romanticized the mouse's life and that he was probably just passing through, finding no beauty or breadcrumbs to fill himself with. Ha! She would have to buy a mousetrap anyway. Suddenly this seemed incredibly important. She walked further and felt like road kill, like beautiful bloody road kill, the kind you'd want to stop and take a photo of just because of how gruesomely accidental it was. At least we always hope its an accident, and not that some young psychopath revved the engine when he saw her crossing the road, and when he felt the thud we hope he didn't feel the bruises of bumpy pleasure. She felt immortal too. And kept walking. The streets got narrower and she felt her big bones span farther than the width of the pavement. Quite without warning she knew she was walking a tightrope and she was disgustingly drunk and swaying languidly, lashing out at strangers with her big feet. Distant and irrelevant.

She seemed unable to make comparisons to anything in her actual life. Did she grow up here? Certainly not, or she would at least speak French fluently. She couldn't tell what language she was thinking in because it seemed to be more of a series of pictures and painted night skies than words with their ambiguity and certainness and arrows. She walked further but at no point would she run. She hoped for sleep. She hoped she could get addicted to cigarettes so she could force herself to quit and say, "I'm trying to quit, hahahahaha, okay okay I'll have one. You know I have social anxiety... it started out I was a social smoker, man, fuck! You know how it goes. I think it's like that for everyone, or at least most people. Are you from Paris?" She wished she had a watch like a church bell, that the sound could resound in her wrist bone and shock her fingers into over dramatic gestures. She walked closer to the buildings, feeling the heat of their bodies against her own. It seemed intimate and unfair that the building itself, built and brought into life without choice (as we are too) are then made immobile, and forced to be inhabited by these people who they have no part in the choosing of, and have to move their organs aside to create space for these people who buy things the building would never choose to put inside itself, but because it was born without a will or thumbs or lungs to scream with, it would have to stay there and watch. It would watch people fight and fuck and eat and sleep and do things that nobody is supposed to know anyone does, but the building has to know these things and harbor these secrets and feel horribly impure and full of irrelevant gossip. How unfair. Inanimate intimacy, like a fucking sex doll. She felt the building's hot sad heat and promised she'd come back to light it on fire or take it apart brick by brick if she had to. The other buildings around her moaned in concurrence that they would like her to do the same. As usual she felt helpless and overwhelmed.

Every time she thought she saw the sun start to rise, it was just her pupils floating out of her head like tiny black raindrops and she'd grab them back and place them under her tongue. How demonic it must have looked. She wanted to feel tired. So tired. She wanted to! But you don't get to feel tired when you want to. Nobody should sleep so soundly she thought, it's very dangerous, and it really is. She thought about boys and blackberries and weird hot fire and what she would do, where she would go, if she could fly. Things like that made her sob and not because of the way they flowed together, but because she wanted so badly to go up up up and just fall for a bit and then taste sour wild sweetness as she hit the ground a little less than gently. She wondered if she would ever wake up in the hospital and decided if she did it would be so predictably, indulgently poetic that she might die upon revival. She started feeling tired and became too conscious of the skin on her inner arm touching her side. That was a late August feeling. She sat on a stoop and felt beautifully addicted to her newborn freedom. Before falling asleep she thought about the boy she loved because how could she not, she loved him so fucking much. The feeling, the thought, it made her melt. There's no other way or no better way to put it, and this caused her several moments of panic. As a puddle of hot ink on the pavement, she waited to be walked over and leave the stain of a sentence on the sole of a stranger's shoe.