It’s just another one of those days. Heavy feet. Slushy brain. Cloudy eyes. You move in the eye of the storm – you don’t know where you’re going, but you have to keep moving. Anything is better than staying still. It might catch up with you then. The thing that lurks on street corners, eye corners, just out of sight.
It always starts like this. Slow build. Hold on tight. The day wears on, the hours bleeding away into nothing and slowly it creeps up behind you, hot breath on the back of your neck.
You have fallen a long way. Everything inside has ground to halt, constricted to a knot in your chest. Everything that separates you from the centre has dropped away. Your edges are fragile; everything could come pouring in. You walk down the street, full of sky.
All your filters have evaporated. Light and sound roll through you. You go into the supermarket and the shiny wrappers sting your eyes. The clink of cutlery on china plates sends shivers down your spine. The buzzing of the fridge burns your eardrums.
You try to get a grip, but everything slips through your fingers, like balloon strings and wet things. Your words splinter on their way out, blood on your lips.
Everything begins to pick up speed and once it starts you can’t stop, you’re taking off and the colours are running and it’s too bright and you’re unravelling and it’s moving quicker and quicker and quicker, spiralling, dizzying, out of control and you cover your ears and shut your eyes and please just make it. Stop.
* * *
In the end it’s just a moment. A blind step, a swerve of the handlebars, an open window.
Brakes gasp. A shopping bag hits the floor. Broken eggs bleed into the asphalt.
When you’re under the surface, no one can hear you scream.