A loosely fictionalized tale.

Finally around one o'clock, the Xanax kicked in. She lay there on top of the blankets, curled in a fetal position. In sleep, her face relaxed. The highwire tension left her. I watched her from across the room, from the couch where i stayed up screwing around on the guitar, leaving it unplugged so as not to wake her. The songs weren't coming, but I knew they would, if I could only remember later how it felt to be in this moment, surrounded by her, and by this senseless pain that kept crashing down on us.

I must have drifted into sleep. The next thing I felt were her fingers gripping my shoulders, gentle but insistent. I shot back into consciousness. I saw her face close to mine, lined and ravaged with tears. She parted her lips as if to speak but the tears would not stop and the words would not come. I sat up + pulled her in to me, buried her face between my neck and shoulder, and planted little kisses in her long black hair that smelled of stale smoke. "Babe, it'll be alright", I said, "whatever it is, it'll be alright. Tell me what's wrong Babe, we'll fix it, we'll set it right, I promise." She tightened her grip, nearly breaking my ribs, choking out my breath, still crying silently. I lifted her + carried her back to the bed.

We lay there, locked together in the darkness. I was riding the black wave, completely out of control, praying that somehow I could be strong for the both of us + keep my head above it.