She does not move; she does not need to. Movement is for the middle class. God damn plebs with atomic status and a dazzling collection of spoons gathered from all-over. The poor don’t move. The rich don’t either.

She doesn’t move because this is her last cigarette and her last match to light it with. Two sparks were lost when the wind picked up, extinguishing the flames with a hiss that sounded like criticism.

She doesn’t move because she doesn’t need to light her cigarette. She knows if she sits there long enough some guy with sparkling eyes and untrimmed nose hair will approach her in an entitled way, bring forth a light or a stove or a magnifying glass made of copper to entreat her addiction.


A cigarette entitles you to silence and thought, or at least a communion of such. And she would move for that, just a little budge.

A bus flies past and she gets that feeling she thinks other people feel when they are on a bridge or are looking down from a great height or are handling machinery which could rip them limb from limb.

She chooses not to move because deep down all she wants is a cigarette and if she has to suffer through the cold and fog and another sparkly eyed boy with no concept of conceptual adoration then that is her burden.

This morning she read about a Japanese soldier. A man who hid in the jungles of Indonesia and never knew the Great War was over. He stayed out there in the wilderness with no friends, fighting for a version of his country that didn’t exist anymore in a war that was a memory to most. He lost half his life out there. She wondered if he was a war hero or just insane.She makes a list of things she would do for a cigarette right now but she realises it would take too long to list everything. Addiction curls his hand around your heart and says everything is going to be ok. Then one day you wake up and realise that it is just your hand. No one else’s. So, of course, you go searching. But all you can find is claw marks.

“Can I help you?” Says a voice from behind her. She turns to put him into perspective.

“I don’t know, can you?” She knows he can’t. But he lights her a cigarette anyway which helps, and as he starts becoming friendly and his eyes light up with prospect she turns to look at the road and gets that feeling everyone gets when they see a bus fly past, like what would it be like just to step out into the night and fall. Because maybe the wilderness that surrounded her, kept her.

Sometimes she wishes that if you were bored enough you could freeze a moment entirely.


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