It’s safer here where I’m alone, here in the half-light where I hold out my hand and watch the glimmers float down and die as evening surrenders to redemptive night; here the smoke cleanses and doesn’t judge; here I am lost and alone, but safe; here choking in my dark, smoke filled room I wait for night to deliver forgiveness.

Today I craved the distant company of strangers again, I found an old abandoned smile, dusted and adorned myself with it; I glanced my elbows against theirs in malls, sat and watched them running from afar in parks, listened to their glistening conversations over coffee cups in bars (small, bleeding reminders that life could exist again); but soon I saw them gather as they always do, those who follow me into my smoke-filled rooms: sneering with fortitude across the iron bridges, vindicated through contempt on Victorian street corners, I watched them cower with disdain at the foot of clock towers as I strolled by.

Smoke dances to the song on the radio, slow and transient, but soon the music and the darkness will fade and I will be left alone with my shattered prize; there in the terrifying silence of cold, malignant morning, fear will rise like clouds of smoke, and once the smoke recedes they’ll be waiting, we will look in each others’s eyes as morning breaks through the tobacco-scented air with one unanswered question left: which one of them am I?

© 2016 Occasional Dreams
In response to: Three Line Tales, Week Forty
Image by Dominik Martin


3 thoughts on “Isolation

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