I know the rules. I've been living here longer than you have."He cracks a smile then. He nudges me back. "Hardly.""Born and raised. You're a transplant." I nudge him again, a little harder, and he laughs and tries to catch hold of my arm. I squirm away, giggling, and he stretches out to tickle my stomach. "Country bumpkin!" I squeal, as he grabs out and wrestles me back onto the blanket, laughing."City slicker," he says, rolling over on top of me, and then kisses me. Everything dissolves: heat, explosions of color, floating.
It was unfair that people could pretend to be one thing when they were really something else. That they would get you on their side and then do nothing but fail, and fail, and fail again. People should come with warnings, like cigarette packs: involvement would kill you over time.
And it's the funniest thing: as soon as I see it, the whistling in my ears stops and the feeling of terror drains away, and I realize this whole time I haven't been falling at all. I've been floating.
This is what I want. This is the only thing I've ever wanted. Everything else—every single second of every single day that has come before this very moment, this kiss—has meant nothing.
Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go.Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure. Let yourself go deeper. There is nothing but bottom. There is nothing but the taste of metal, and the echoes of old things, and days that look like darkness.
If you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up
Amazingly, I can still see the stars: whole galaxies blooming from nothing - pink and purple suns, vast silver oceans, a thousand white moons.
The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win.
I keep quiet and look out the window. The light is weak and watery-looking, like the sun hast just spilled itself over the horizon and is too lazy to clean itself up. The shadows are as sharp and pointed as needles. I watch three black crows take off simultaneausly from a telephone wire and wish I could take off too, move up, up, up, and watch the ground drop away from me the way it does when you're on an airplane, folding and compressing into itself like an origami figure, until everything is flat and brightly colored - until the world is like a drawing of itself