An orange airplane is accelerating across a sky unsullied by weather. It revs its engine and the tailfin gets hooked in a catch in the atmosphere. Things start to unravel. The plane is a zip, the trails are teeth, and they part in a yawn from so many years of keeping mum. It is a belly yawn, a yawn for the pure of heart. No coy hands here, shading the tonsils. I try to feel horror: a chasm is spreading across the sky. We’re finally going to see what was behind the ziplock all along.
However, all I can think is, this soil is so quiet. This afternoon is not the right one for the apocalypse. Listen carefully, there’s no panic down there with the worms. Maybe it’s just an earthquake in the heavens. Maybe the angels grew tired of being so lofty. Maybe from now on, we’ll all be in this together.
Would you prefer, when it comes, for it to be the soil or the sky? Do you fear chasms beneath your feet or a fracture in the endless snowglobe? I can’t help but wonder what would happen if this ball of atmosphere were fumbled and a hairline crack appeared. First, small beads of condensation. A drip. A dribble. A flow. A gush. And then all of us spill into space, fire apart like mercury, giddy as Icarus, breathless as scuba divers, weightless, endless, dead.
Today, I feel like filament. Not sturdy enough for the world. I temper a three-day hangover with small kindnesses: Bolivian alpaca wool gloves, sweetcorn and cheddar fritters, sweet chilli tea with honey. I let myself reread my favourite short stories from the umpteenth time. I let myself use the word umpteenth. I wander idly through blog posts about kink, newspaper articles about scientists’ tattoos and wigleaf’s short short stories.
The tattoos are paltry. The smut is comforting. I am endlessly delighted by this.