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this point), only faint bits of raw sensory data were available. I remember the sound of a bursting bottle, the sickening swirl of the yellow wallpaper, the fireworks of a thrown lamp, the cold of a phone, a flash of flesh, black. When noon came, it dragged with it wakefulness and the disappointing knowledge that death did not find me in my sleep. I stumbled into consciousness while a wildfire seared the insides of my eyes. Pulses of pain, acute and vengeful, throbbed synchronously with my heartbeat. A fist-fight had erupted in a back room inside my brain. Around me were the dregs of a night ill-spent. Lingering from the night before was my scornful sorrow. It now mingled with the sorrows of those who had stayed there before. My story had been added to theirs, written into the gloom. I looked at the half of the room that was visible as I lay sidewise and took all in. Polygons of glass adorned the carpeting. The few conveniences I had been gifted as a hotel guest were strewn about in every way and state possible. They were relics, allegories of my failure. Then I felt a movement next to me‌ behind me. At first I was startled by the movement, and as I whirled around, my surprise ebbed then roared back. A woman—an actual woman, a creature of flesh and 92

The Metric Issue 08 - Literary Magazine