The drinking was as good thing for him, a really good thing. He neither had to worry about his feels, nor those of others. It was as though the world really was just a dream. And without having to wake up into hell, he could just open his gullet and pour it down until numb enough to face the thing snarling up at him…a child; indistinguishable sex, black hair and long, thin teeth and no lips; lidless eyes filled with fear and hatred. But, with a drink in its hands, the thing became distracted; chomping at the bitter wine with phantom lips. He steadied his hand and forced more of the strong liquor down. He feels the questions come with the tears. That smile, Nanny; why do we grow up to forget it only to look back at what we’ve lost, and that which we’ll never regain? Why is one of my arms colder than the other? Why do my feet itch? Why is evil everywhere?
The answer is indigestible and yet, here is comes; served steaming upon chipped plates to be eaten with soiled cutlery.
The creature sits alert in the lap of the old woman and claps its hands, suddenly indifferent to the now sobbing man.
The old woman looks at the man, and with a free hand wipes away his tears. With a free mind she answers all his questions at once.
“Because, my love, the World is dying.”