i was up above it...


Now I'm down, way down in it. Fitz picked me up at the bus stop. "Fuck work," he said, and waved me into the Land Rover. He was wearing his antique greatcoat. He looked like Napolean except many sizes bigger. But not in a bad way. He had on those shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather. I watched his feet go up and down and let myself go in the aura of security that his confident gear shifting created.

It wasn't until we hit the highway that the tears started rolling down my cheeks, fat and slow. It was relief--the sensation of lifting off of myself. "My hero," I said to Fitz. "Stop it, you're making me feel like a cowboy," he said. He spun through the stations on the radio before turning off the ancient stereo with an angry snap of his wrist. "I wish 'Tangled Up In Blue' was playing," he said. "Second verse--where he meets a girl who was married, soon to be divorced. 'I helped her out of a jam, I guess, but I used a little too much force.'"

Hours and miles later, he pulled out a string of sausages and dangled them over a metal pot. One was torn open length wise; the pink flaps of flesh swung luridly in the air.

"Well," he said, primly, and a joke or two flashed past his eyes before he changed his mind and whisked the small feast off his fork with an exacting flourish.

It can't be that far now, I thought--the words lighting up in my head as though spoken by someone else as I stared across the table strewn with newspapers and prescription pills, sugar and teacups.

We were on holiday. We'd make lamb stew for later; this was just a snack.

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