uncertain cities

words and sequences of them by Rhett Davis

Inflicting

We expressed our misery through inflicting it. It was the easiest way. It felt like everything was running out. The fiction we read, the television shows we watched, the movies we saw, the games we played, the news we made; all were about the end of the world. Or if not that, the end of kindness, perhaps. It was understandable that we were miserable. It was getting hotter. The houses we had built had become fortresses. The rents we charged vicious. We didn’t know our neighbours. We didn’t like our families. We argued with everyone, all of the time, over the tiniest of things. It was as if there could be no agreement anymore. No common ground. There could only be your opinion, and my opinion, and no matter how much we agreed that yes, the sun was up, the fact that it was in a slightly different position relative to where you sat meant that we simply could not understand one another at all. Sure, the sun coming up was the single-most important thing to happen to the earth that day. But I saw it from my backyard after a heavy night of drinking; a brilliant shaft of orange light poking through the eye of a horse-shaped cloud; and you saw it from your backyard, without your glasses; a brilliant shaft of orange light poking through the rectum of a cloud you thought looked like a dancing pig; and so we agreed on nothing. We could only imagine things running out until we finally believed it. Only then did it come true.