13 August 2007


When you tried to outrun them in a public place, your mother’s voice the leash that yanked you always back; when you plunged from the basement into blotted trees, cement, the sun whiting everything out like a migraine; when you counted the pencil marks up the door, the painful centimetres to freedom - did you realise then that all you would escape was the serrated edge of your senses?

The scuffed sneakers, the hundreds of thousands of millions of pedal pushes, the tarmac oiling thickly beneath rubber tyres; you were running in circles, the block looping back in a friendly, an insistent, a relentless, an oppressive treadmill.

Six years later you blew out a lungful of smoke and the wheels came off your bike. Then you sucked back the sharp, cold, midnight fumes of a bottle and forgot the way back.

Weren’t you pleased when the doctor’s scissors snipped out the lights in the house one by one. And in the morning they didn’t look for you.

And after all these years, there is still no one watching you run. You could run to the ends of the earth and no one would notice. Go on then.

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