Dreaming to Death – Stu Hennigan

        You look better when you’re wasted.  Your face is so pale when it hasn’t seen the light for days, and your eyes are darker and wider than the cold night sky.  Sometimes you cry and cling to my arm like a child lost in a wild and wicked world, craving a return to the vagaries of youth – the mum that never loved you and the dad you never knew.  I’ve lost track of how long we’ve been up but we’re tough enough to cope and we’ve both been here so many times it’s not worth counting.  We could move mountains when we’re like this, but all desire to do so ceases to exist when the wine takes hold and the pills kick in.  Naked now, you look so thin, bones escaping through your skin and the suit of scars you wear tells the tale of a life sadder than death as you dance here alone in the darkness.  Time passes.  Glasses are filled, and drained, and filled again.  Outside, rain begins to fall as the wind whips at the windows – a prelude to the storm.  You fall into my arms and sigh, a crooked smile smeared wet like red paint across your face.  I’m so damned tired, you say.  But we’re both fucking wired and sleep is a long way away.  I think forever must feel like this.  I suck the poison from your lips, brush your cheek with my fingertips and ask if we should go outside.  We’ve been hiding for too long, I think, but you pour us both another drink and we sink soft into a steady lull, rejecting the pull of a world we’ll never love.  Sometime later I’m awake, watching you sleep on the mattress next to me.  The wine is wearing off but I’m still grinding my teeth and my mind just won’t down, no matter how much I tell it.  Shit.  I’m frayed at the edges, l’ve lost all my reason, we’re coming apart at the seams.  And as I kiss you goodnight one final time, I hope we don’t die in our dreams.