When he rubbed against her lips she did not push back. I was watching her. She was not watching anything. Her focus was somewhere else and would not be called back for his easily ignorable touch. She was caught in a dream, elsewhere. We all knew this was not really happening but she knew it deeper. On autopilot. They said, later she will crash, she will break down. But she won't.

Driving home, I had bad things in my body - spikes through my temples, sour heartburn leeching upwards, pounding pulse, but it was all right by comparison.   I'm alive, I can prove it.

I was thinking, my pulse will pull me along, this is a good omen, this pounding heart, it will draw me farther from any silent stupor or absence of words. Will keep me from being lifeless.

Then I was thinking, my pulse is pulling me but I never think to ask where, just follow, my brain takes its track and I never think of fighting.

Then I was thinking, when is the last time I made anything, I know I have paint somewhere in my house but I never think to use it on anything, time skims past me, surely I am not growing older, it is not really happening. Then I was home and sleeping and forgetting and tomorrow I will break down, or, I won't.

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