“It gets dark so early these days.” “Which happens every year.” “Yes, I know, but -” “I don’t think you need to point it out every year.” “I was just saying.” I’m going to go upstairs and read for a bit, I think. I take the zine on green anarchism from the table and stand and take the narrow stairs up to my mattress and sleeping bag. It is not so dark; I can see out of the skylight at the grey clouds above. I see a seagull fly by. I attempt to astrally project myself into the seagull’s body, but I realise I know nothing about astral projection and think that is probably not how astral projection works. The seagull disappears beyond the frame of the window. I continue to stare at the darkening sky, green anarchism zine in hand. When my neck begins to ache, I lean back against the wall. I flick open the zine and try to concentrate on the article but the words all blend into a mush of grey ink on beige paper. I blink three times. The words, now clear, all read ???? I rub at my eyes. ‘In our capitalist society...’ The question marks intrude on my vision but I know I can defeat them if I focus hard enough. I am actively trying to block out the voices from down the stairs. I don’t want to be anywhere near arguments. It seems to me that all couples bicker. I don’t know a couple who don’t bicker. I know my parents bicker and that is the only way they communicate and I know, or do I know? There is a sense of my past relationship with somebody important or not so important and Jake and his partner’s bickering reminds me of this bickering, and that is why I take a special resentment to it. Bickering or shows of bickering in front of others that will not escalate over a certain point because of politeness and social norms but also with the saying of things which could not be politely said in private because they would escalate to a fight. “Maybe if you fucked me every now and then, ha, ha.” “Maybe if you did the dishes a bit more often, ha, ha.” “Maybe if you get a job so I’m not the only one paying rent, ha, ha.” “Is that okay, like that?” “Like that.” “Just checking.” “Does his wife know?” “... fucking with you.” My body jolts and I flap around the room, misunderstanding my arms as wings. Why so I feel so warm and heavy, so heavy. I scream from outside the window. My spirit cannot re-enter the home. I have been banished. The body of the seagull drops down as a dead weight onto the roof of Jake’s house, splattering in blood and feathers with a bang and the seagull’s spirit dies and my body is empty and rapidly cooling inside the house and I bang on the window with no force at all because I have no corporeality. The body’s eyes are stuck open, both of them, and they stare at me out of the window but they do not see, they do not focus and they do not move. The body is empty and I am outside and trapped and away from it and I do not know how the rejoining could occur without outside help. I am panicked. I search around my spirit self for an answer but there is nothing; no secret knowledge in a hidden pocket, no weapons to break the window. I bang and bang with my fists and the impacts ripple up my blue spirit arms and into my blue spirit eyes. The pain sears. I weep and I weep twinkling stars. I fade and fade into the black of the night. The body below me freezes into a stone statue of a man, rigid yet slumped in a relaxed state, apart from the eyes. The eyes are the black of granite and stare ever upwards through the window. I think ‘Jake and his partner will come for me in the morning when I don’t wake and they will find this statue and they will be too late to let me back in.’ I know I will have faded entirely by the morning. I scream and howl and thrash and rage but there is no noise, only pain, pain and bright light cascading from my eyes and out of my throat. The tears and spit float upwards and join the stars in the sky, which wink down at me, condescending. We’ve made it. You never will. I swear at the sky, attempts at verbal and non-verbal, but my fingers have gone. My throat wisps out of existence. I shake a fingerless palm at the sky, a try at a fist. My limbs disappear. I am a torso and a head. My head evaporates and I can no longer see. I can feel the earth. I can feel the planet. My torso crumbles around my heart and my red blue heart falls from the roof of Jake’s father’s house and into the garden and into the soil and waits for an age before sprouting as a seedling and flowering and growing blue leaves and ever upwards and harder and harder and more leaves and flowers and cycles and I am tapping the bricks of the house and tasting the acid rain: a seagull stole my body and I am a tree.

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