Two days outside obligatory parameters, and
you’re sober
for the final stretch of tarmac.

Everything is slower. You notice
you didn’t used to, like
the desert grass
wilting under triple-digit Texas summer, or the ink making neat urban hieroglyphics on the page, or the herculean contrivance it takes to not look someone in the eye when turning that particular corner. But, of course, she didn’t look at you, and you were too afraid to run up to her and grab her arm and say hello, and now it feels like that one moment of cowardice and indecision has caused everything that
came after.

Sober, it all feels like puppet theatre. Like, if everyone would just slow their heart rate for a minute and look up they could pluck the strings out of the air, severing the tendrils that connect subconscious algorithms and logarithms and synaptic electricity to the body without their consent.

Sober, you wonder when last you weren’t a plaything of time and kinetic energy and reflexive ego; when last you made a decision unbound by automatic processes and instinct.

Sober, you realize how much you still love her, and how there’s nothing you can do about it now the cards have been dealt and inevitable hypnosis has become indelible beyond the veil.

Willie Watt


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