I’m laughing along with everyone though I’m not sure how, it doesn’t feel like I have the breath. Doesn’t feel like I’m in my body anymore. I’m watching from somewhere outside, pulling the strings on my face into a smile I don’t feel at all. Careless, crinkled eyes; even I would believe this act. I try to convince myself that’s not what it is. This only happens in films: the music fading into the background, everything slowing down as I see them together. I think a part of me has broken, here, in the last five seconds, reacting slower than my instinct not to let it show. That can wait until later, when I’m alone. When the stack of rubble that my spine is now can crumble, when the hollow cavity of my chest can collapse in on itself. I have no right to feel this way. I wish I didn’t feel anything, and that’s what I try to do as I finish my drink, finish another, finish the night by slinking away unnoticed. I’ll feel it in the morning.


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