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Heartbreak, fresh. Haven’t felt this way in years. You feel soft, defenceless. You don’t like it. Build walls, reinforce barriers, lock the gates—entry denied.

Fuck a stranger in his dimly lit bedroom, head to the chemist the following morning, pop a Postella-1, arrange to meet another that night. Drinks with friends first, maybe a dinner, smile and bid them goodbye, leave thinking about how much you should get back on the pill. Meet the new guy, sex is good, go back for seconds later that week. A month passes, he tells you he needs space. Another one bites the dust. Find new things – a new house, a new job, just to keep yourself from falling. Things become too much, you retreat. Curse your job. Curse your situation. Repeat.

Fuck yourself over by not thinking enough, wonder what things could’ve been like. Return to the drudgery, day in, day out; work, home, work, home. Wonder how you got here. Lose good friends to bad romances, realise you’re alone. Wonder whether this is what you want, whether this is where you need to be. Impulse decisions take your far, across oceans, but leave you feeling poor—not enough in the bank. Remove people from the scene for the sake of your health, wonder who you’re meant to be.

Future uncertain, present unplanned, past somewhat regrettable. But still, you go. Fake it ‘til you make it. Smile here, flirt there, say the right things, get what you want. Lie, manipulate, but never steal. You know all the right words.

Freeze—the unexpected. Accidental acquaintances. The feeling, it returns, the desire to be loved. Hush it up, push it down, not now, not now. Adopt indifference. Feign nonchalance. You know what you want, but do you know how to get it? The cycle says no. Hellos and goodbyes, too frequent— you should be used to it by now.

Get to the end, congratulations: another year complete. 2017, an odd number, doomed from the start. A sigh, exhausted, relieved, you’ll never have to see it again. You watch the fireworks spark, a collective audience across the world.

3,
2,
1:

Happy new year, welcome to round 22– maybe you’ll figure it out this time.