It was growing dimmer and the air began to cool in the night. Burning pinks and oranges continued to peek from the horizon, eyes still visible from the tree tops. Light, playful goose bumps prickled on her forearms. Her arms were quite thin, he realized, endearingly defined by little muscles. Her grip around the chains loosened, her toes rested half-heartedly in the sand.

It was about to rain, and there was a sweet calm.

He was happy he bought a bag off Shinshi.

Nature seemed all the more insignificant—a gentle burden when he was high. When sober, he could appreciate the fact that destruction knew more than one form.

And he pondered still. When had this let him think so inertly? When did happiness equate itself with indifference?

But, he took pride in it. Strangely. It simply was an activity.

She twirled from side to side, a turquoise going nowhere. Her feet created incoherent pathways in the sand, and he could picture a dinosaur resting beneath. Just shit piled on top of more shit. You dig?

Just removing yourself from your surroundings—how bored man becomes, a couple of million years of evolving and for what? Lets send shit into space, lets dig up the ground. Lets fuck the world and then not call the next the day.

Such a gentleman.

Pills like: tictacs and skittles or popcorn, baby's blood, fried chicken and AIDS. A lot of the same.

Like sand or beads in between your finger tips. Some comfort. And he patted his right jeans pocket, as though checking for his keys, and reassured himself that the baggie was still there.

She continues, looking pretty on the swing, dyed hair floating when she moves. Her soul gliding right along with the squeaking of the chains—rusted and tinted like recollections of abuse. The persistent crying from the rust embedded in the ears of parents.

And he sometimes---sometimes he allowed himself to consider whether his mother heard any swings. If she heard laughter or crying. If she felt his infant self leaving her body in hazy afternoon dreams.

Did she even remember giving birth at all?

Or was he best forgotten.

How long would he live like this. There was some peculiar warmth in the thought—that those fucking stars had something to do with it.

It is so sweet it seems artificial, the way the rain comes down. The smell abruptly sends him back to the foster home.

Kaori mentioned it too. She said something about a mickey-mouse book bag, and he's angry that he can't remember more of it. It's as though trees and sand were apart of story books. And finds himself lost in the sheer surroundings. It's pathetic, but in the way mass suicide. As though just having enough metal and cement will save you. You and me. All of us.

It's humorous how suffocating the city is. The more you're surrounded the more comfortable you feel—hey, at least there are people to help in case some fucker tries to stomp you out. But, if there's so many people that they all seem to introvert into lesser beings. All mingling down into some whole consciousness while continuing to kill one another. Bees buzzing meaningless noises while serving a nonexistent queen

Okay, maybe drugs actually make him think too much. Kei had been too upset to even talk to him lately. Kaneda wouldn't return his calls.

Turning to that after all that happened?

Kaori is so sweet though. And, maybe he isn't a good person.

But, she is so gentle, and honest. And maybe, he was like that once.

The wet grass is a million times better than any orphanage mattress. Maybe he doesn't have a reason, not one good reason as to why he is so fucked up. He can think of no reason why Kaori is here with him. But, she is.

And her weight is perfect—on top of him. And he's nothing at all when she's not around. And the way she moans is like the leaves falling, the wind blowing, or the ground opening up.

They're far away from the city.

He never wants to hear gunshots again.