The broken fly describes a collapsing circle around the stuttering bulb and I don’t know what time of what day it is. I can’t remember the last time I opened the door. I can’t tackle thinking about what might be happening out there. In here at least the storm is caught, roaring and throwing itself in leaping shadows of mud and poison flame at the pocked walls of its bone prison. I don’t like people, but I have decided to be on the side of the people in the war that’s coming. It’s a mess. A swamp of nicotine and caffeine and god knows what. The spears are tilted and lashed to the barricades. Should the enemy break our perimeter, kill the children first and then yourselves. Cowering in paper trenches, sloshing through a stew of seething rats, unpaid bills, dessicated fries, the shells bursting overhead, darkness mustering on every horizon, bolts being drawn like a massed shudder from a million iron bones. I hear it rattling ever closer, among the diesel fumes and the chipshop’s greasy breath billowing by its open door as the hunched tracksuits slope past and the angry people stream past to their angry homes with their jaws clenched and a military kick drum pounding in their ears in fascist 4/4. Everyone I know is falling apart, kettled into advancing years, the children torn from our arms, weeping our way to senility and irrelevance. There’s a jackhammer pecking at the pavement outside, and the constant trembling beneath my feet from the endless loop of traffic, and I’m thinking about bills and Donald Trump and addiction and delusion and the games we play and the stories we tell ourselves to give the meat of meaning to the scattered bones of reality that were never designed to fit together in anything approaching a sensible way. You cannot build a creature of reason from them. They were never designed to fit together. They were never designed.

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