She Sleeps, He Sleeps

You can walk down the same street and never see where it is you’re going. Trip on a kerb, fall into a wall at that eerie time of night when the only sound is the buzzing of yellow street lights. You might not even see the blind baby bat wriggling in a huge spider web hanging between facing walls of an alleyway. Might not ever notice the girl who see’s you stagger home that way, every Friday night. Her eyes, behind that window, wondering who you are. She wants your blood, to obliterate you so she won’t have to stand there waiting for you to come along. To make her feel like she wants you gone.  Or maybe she wants something else. To make you tea. To warm you up. And maybe that’s all. Just to keep you warm. And she’ll be happy to send you on your way as soon as some colour, some semblance of life has been restored to your carcass. She would like to tell you about your drinking but would never dare.

You look out into the middle of the road, keeping the rows of terraces either side. You imagine that the houses have no windows. No doors even. And you imagine her, inside bricks and alone and quiet. For no real reason, your feet tread more carefully upon the pavement. You blink, like an idiot.

Then there’s some sick.

You turn your head. There are windows. And in one is the face of an old man. Lit by red light, his face appears frozen in a scream. The light goes off and drab, faded green curtains replace the face.

A motorbike helmet lies upon its side in the middle of the road. A rat scampers from it. Out of the shadows, a large lizard darts after the rat.

Your mind, you realise, is too easily adept at scurrying away from even a daydream of twisted love.

Better to dig a hole deep into the dark places. Peer into the realm of creatures for whom death and murder are the only possibility. But, then, there is always the salvation of the bar at the end of the road. And who knows, maybe that other one will be in there. The one who you play at sensitive with. The one that plays at attracted to you.

But first, a pint.

And, behind another window…

She would cry but she can’t because she doesn’t feel sad. At least not in that way. She has seen him and he seemed okay and that makes her happy. She has seen him worse. At least, she thinks to herself, he’ll be safe. And as the another one climbs clumsily on top of his half-conscious body, giggling with white wine, she lays her head upon her pillow and sleeps. For the first time that week, she sleeps.


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