Smoke-ring haloes of golden light spinning around my fingers on my left hand. A cigarette burning down to the filter in my right. I forgot to inhale.
I was only going for a short walk and found myself here. I think I came here to die. I didn’t follow the tread-worn path, took a right at the split tree, blackened from the lightning weeks or months ago. Who knows?
Hell, when I was a kid, I figured I’d be dead by now like the rock stars I idolized.
I spit on the butt of the cigarette, the slight sizzle extinguishing the bit of hot ash.
The brush looks as if the forest has tugged its great carpet out from under me. Splash, into the mudpuddles by my feet. My back dampens. The sky is twisting and disappearing like water going down the drain.
I feel the life leaving me. I feel like a string is tied to my sternum, pulling my chest out through my skin. My back arches, the cigarette rolls away.
A gust of wind lifts the leaves around me. Dazzling.
Then, the darkness comes up over me, a blanket of warmth.