Waiting for the Flow.
On the inside looking out.

Standing on the balcony, I'm enveloped by a thin drear, a clinging damp mist. I watch as the steam from my tea rises and mingles with the moisture hanging in the air; the hot swirls with the cold. It's as if I'm watching my burning temper merging with frozen calculation, and dissipating; or perhaps it is my torrid fear colliding with stony determination.

There are, inside me, words that need to be said. I am a chamber of bubbling rage and, just as welling magma, it is preparing to course like lava, a cursing diatribe. Yet somehow, between the venom in my head and the silky-sweet words on my page, this grisly polemic is trapped. Maybe it's trapped by my own terror of the consequences these words might wreak. Or maybe my wrath is confounding my thoughts.

Usually, each word comes to me as a point of light. Sentences map themselves like constellations. The argument forms a galaxy. But not tonight. Tonight the words are blurred and muddled. Tonight, there is a blanket of cloud obscuring the paths between the words, the constellations. I can't navigate the argument. It's the same as I look across the sound, as the boats are charting their courses out to sea. Normally, their bow lights are clear and bright, weaving through the blackness and making for the horizon. But not tonight. Tonight, their beacons are obscured; tonight, they have been transformed into halos of white in the mist.

Hurried, tense footsteps ring out from the cobbles beneath me, piercing my frustrated contemplation of the horizon. A young woman is moving through the shadows, skimming the darkness. In the distance, there is a clash of metal against metal, and she stops momentarily; there is a flinch in her progress. Even three stories up, her inhalation is palpable as she recomposes herself and continues on her furtive journey.

I drink my last mouthful of tea and then draw a deep breath. The air is so cold it burns. I turn back to my flat, and prepare to tease these words of determined resistance from my conscience.

I can hear angry voices somewhere ahead.
To resist is to conquer.

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