by Eli Davidson
First item. For people who are waiting for meaning, who are hoping for closure.
I looped them over my head, inserting the buds into my ears before sinking into the stained seat, nestling my arms against my chest, taking my fingers from the wheel, closing my eyes, trusting the car. The song came to brisk crescendo as I leant my head back with my eyes shut, feeling my body close in and in that single moment, I felt like I was marginally alive. 'Don't hate me, am I crazy?' were the words that I heard before I slammed my hands back to the wheel, the words I heard before letting out a breath. I took a drag from the cigarette, pressing my toe into the accelerator and willing the number to heighten.
It didn't, because my eyes were filled with tears before I could even look. And I was stupid, I was stupid, and the car was drifting but I'd do anything to feel so alive that I'd come to the edge if it meant that I would feel safe in my own body. And I let the inhale fill my chest. And I took a breath. The song changed from Joji to Sufjan: 'I have loved you for the last time, visions of Gideon'. I mentally chided myself, stretching a painful smile to my cheeks before wiping a tear away. I needed to add some happier songs to my playlist.
another song began, and from somewhere, a loud sob choked inside my throat and my arms were compelled to reach above my head and from-
one of my earbuds dropped out, and I inserted it back into my ear before releasing a scream from my chest as each chord sent a shiver into my back that juddered my hands into the sky, catching these stars before they could crash land inside my skull, the words screeching from my lips: 'Look up, through the trees to feel as small as you can', and I could feel this stream of water along my cheeks.
In this tiny pocket of the universe, where the cigarette in my hand was burned out, and my car was speeding along country lanes before I pulled it to a stop, I leant back my chair as another song began, falling asleep.