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Clocks

There were no clocks. I guess time was supposed to be put on pause there. But there was just something about the halogen lights, the hopelessly stained couch, the absence of windows, and wallpaper that showed signs of long term neglect that made one all too aware that minutes were passing. One by one. Very slowly. But one by one indeed.


“You do that a lot, you know.” I turned back to back to Audra and wrinkled my nose at her accent. She lived in Lithuania for the first few years of her life, and, oh, how she misses it. It’s a story I could easily recite if prompted, voice inflections included. Her name means “storm”. She gushes about this often as well, finding something deeply poetic about it. I dismiss her ramblings and decide simply that it is very fitting.


“Do what?” I shifted uncomfortably on the couch, finally deciding on a position that didn’t leave me with springs perforating my spine.


“Scratch yourself when you’re thinking,” she said flatly, smoothing her hands over her plum skirt. “Violently, though. Vigorously. Do you have any other compulsions like this?” I glanced down at my arm, which was now a brilliant red.


“It’s hot in here,” I sighed. Air doesn’t circulate well in an eight-by-eight room, I supposed. “Is this over yet?” She glanced at her watch – something I often equated to the Holy Grail.


“Ah, yes.” She didn’t try to hide the disappointment in her voice. “We ran a couple minutes late. Same time tomorrow?” I became aware of my nails furiously clawing away at my skin.


“Every day is excessive. I don’t understand why I can’t just be left alone.” She didn’t blink.


“Because the last time you were left alone, you ended up with twenty-four thousand milligrams of antidepressants in your stomach.”



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