THIRD P{ANET

Dark Centre Of The Universe — Modest Mouse

The moon gets big after a certain hour, have you ever noticed? I think it’s between 2am and 4am, it swells up and blots out the rest of the stars like it’s trying to impress them, the streets feel a bit lighter for a while. I love being outside when it happens. It’s so still, the grass feels fresher and springier, smoking a cigarette tastes better, the hairs on my arm stand up and I can hear my heart beating. I can’t take my eyes off it and I almost miss the headlights that are creeping up behind me.

Only four miles left to go. The night is a blur and I wonder if I will remember it when I’m an adult – a proper adult with a proper job and a proper life and a proper house and a proper wife. There’s always some drama going on and it always boils down to sex. One day I’ll realise that the moon doesn’t get big, it’s just my world that gets smaller.

She hasn’t seemed that interested lately. The furtive looks aren’t there, the blushing smiles are saved for others, I haven’t seen her coil her hair in her fingers for weeks. Even when she arrived the embrace was just for show, a sterile kiss on the cheek to acknowledge all that’s been before and a raised hand on my shoulder to divide what lies ahead.

The road seems to go on forever, it’s never this long in the car. Roads are just not designed for walking, the bends stretch on for miles and my feet keep slipping off the tarmac and into the dirt, and whenever a car does pass I am forced into the shrubbery to avoid it (out of fear? or embarrassment?). My jeans will need a wash. I wonder if they miss me.

I had been outside smoking a joint when I saw them. They were coming out of the woods, she was smoothing down her skirt and he was still fastening his fucking belt. They came down the dirt path and he slapped her arse and she slapped his hand away with a blushing smile. My mouth was dry and my head was spinning from the weed and suddenly I felt dizzy and my throat was tight and my face was clammy and I knew I was about to whitey but I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction so I took another toke and held it and waited until they had crossed the gravel driveway and under the stone archway into the back garden and –

At least the walk has scuffed the vomit from my trainers, one less thing to explain. I keep on walking. Must be less than three miles by now.

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