I am trapped inside a garden. The roses have withered and died, yet the thorns still prick me. I still bend the twigs into a whip and then they hit me. The thoughts. All the institutionalized patterns of guilt, humility and hubris. Weird cocktail? That may be, but it’s laced with so much sugar it flows down your throat smoothly. Just a bitter aftertaste as the last leaf drops on your head and it’s a warning that on that other bench, you’re soon going to be hit by chestnuts. And in my chest, it might as well just be a nut. Hard shell, soft… just kidding – nothing soft about it. And sometimes you get a walnut that’s hollow. That’s how I feel every time I swallow: my pride, the propaganda, the preaching, all these worldviews formed by blind people. Can I see? In the dark? When I’m blinded by the light? The ground keeps on cracking, the abyss comes closer with every second. Second. Never first. No, second. Disappointment in this appointment and any other ones during the span of my life. And how they span my life at the eulogy. They tried to squeeze out something positive. Something positive which was not my HIV status. The status quo as perpetual prison with no chance to escape. No chance to escape this landscape of rotten fruit, barren land and a horizon so close it makes you claustrophobic. Phobia. Put any word you want in front of it. Then look at me and you’ll be looking at it. Anxiety, sobriety, I wish I could get rid of both at the same time, quietly. But complexity is usually a good trait when it comes to the amber liquid. Liquidity: none. Not in my account nor in my wallet. Where did you last see the cat? Oh shit, they walled it! Or the dog might have mauled it. I’m not sure. Not about this. Not about anything. Any thing: better than this. It’s more a feeling than a conscious thought. It’s more what you see once you’ve already gone over the brink rather than a last resort. What do you scream back from the void? The one you’ve tried to avoid all your life? This life that thus becomes a reason in itself. A reason to prefer crime, debauchery, lack of freedom to the end of it. The end that shouldn’t come because you quit but because you’re being kicked. You’re not going down without a fight – futile as it may be. We’re going to be alright. Maybe. Ibuprofen only blocks so much pain. Serotonin only makes me function as though I were sane. As though. As if. It’s not reality. Pretending never is. Though, in a sense… Trying to make sense of all this evil, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned: thinking is lethal.