Synthetic silence, packaged and mass produced. Wonderfully artificial, ingeniously manufactured and easily applicable to any situation. It's taken over the world, and it's here too.
Don't look me in the eye, don't you fucking dare to breathe in my direction. It's a mutual agreement, an ancient one - and therefore highly respected.
Synthetic smile, plastic and pulled wide open as if another's enthusiasm will somehow feed into ours. She says, 'is this everyone for the mood group?' in her cherry-gloss-strawberry-bubblegum voice and we all rise, authentic joints cracking and uneasy stares flickering to the tiled floor.
The lights inside the small room hurt my eyes. They vibrate sardonically in tune with their electrical pulse, and they are white, too white. It's the constant mechanical beat of it that is like holy, blinding punishment for my tired eyes. I have never been to church but this, this fucking light is the divine suffering that echoes through those sacred white walls. Maybe if I stop looking, it will fade away.
Roots look like blood vessels when it's nighttime and the traffic lights hit the bark just right. It's raining, and the red lights glide through the pavement, the grass, the tiles. It's raining, and the red lights stretch on further and further in languid morbidity: a violent sort of laziness. I am the scalpel that cuts open the arteries of the city.
I am not a smoker but my grandparents were, and sometimes I still feel their heavy smoke set deep in my lungs. Second-hand addiction to nicotine, first-hand addiction to affection. They come hand-in-hand, really. I can't see one without the other.
Sometimes I understand them, with their burning lights and breath opaque. Sometimes my lungs scorch on their own, lit on fire by the churning of my stomach, the knot in my throat, the instinct to scream until my voice is raw with use and I burn. I read a case where a lady caught on fire while she slept; spontaneous combustion. That's what might happen to me one day.
Sometimes I wonder if they felt like me.
Sand dunes meet icebergs. White and tan and pale and blue all blend impossibly together, forming an abstract landscape - cubism come alive, breathing through the vessels of ourselves. My limbs are always heavier than yours. Your breaths are always deeper than mine. Art borrows us, uses us, disposes of us when our purpose is fulfilled. There's a reason why they call it la petite mort, my dearest; together, we are art.