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Hey look Phil wrote a storee.

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The house it is a house. The house it is a plain. The house it is an acrobat and swings from place to place.

Did she mean “plane” or “plain”? The house, in fact, was once an astronaut and flew from Earth to space. That might have been an indulgence.

The melody changed, too. Sometimes she made it sound like a nursery rhyme; sometimes a hymn. There were occasions when she sang it so fast that melody was lost to velocity. Once she sang it during the act and broke into laughter when her voice cracked from the thrusting.

She was correct only once during the song. The house it is a house. The house it is a red house and it neither swings nor flies. A film of snow — yes, a film of snow — crackles under the sunlight on the roof. “A film of snow crackles on the roof in spring” is how she put it in a whisper in between verses. Sunshine and snow in the season of growth. She thought herself eloquent. Perhaps she was; he won’t be the judge.

The house it is a house of menstrual red, surrounded by a bush of wiry trees of unknown genus. A single oak tree surges motionlessly from the earth on the side of the house, close enough to the backdoor for phallic connotations. She loved that. Or still does, if sex is practiced where you go when you ain’t here.

It is a house of Northern charm, if you’re into that, which he isn’t, because charm is a cheap substitute for qualities that matter, like fidelity, which he has, although nobody is here to appreciate this in him, not right now, because there is nobody here except the one man who knows the song she used to sing, and she was the only one who knew this place when it was happy, and that was clearly a while ago, since the bikes leaning against the filthy red wall over there are rusted and the grass is so blanched as to look cancerous, and cancer is no friend of his, so he shouldn’t even be here. But without at least seeing her childhood home, he will never move on.

That little window up there must be where she watched from when she had another attack and couldn’t go out to see her brothers performing stupid stunts on their bicycles. When she was grounded for kissing the neighbourhood boys gratuitously. Or when she lifted her skirt for money.
— Let us see it.
— Three bucks.
— Take it. Show us. All the way up. More. Nice.

That shed over there is where she smoked pot with her friends. Lying on top of him, bare breasts rolling along his back while her lips pressed against his neck, she told him stories. Pot was the only thing she wanted to do when she was sixteen. Then she outgrew it. She never tried acid and never got drunk, until the night she met him. And that was a nice accident. She had a thing for immortality, an obsession. She turned out the lights each night and jumped on him, singing and undressing and laughing and not dying. When she came she rolled her eyes. Then she thanked him for making her feel immortal.

Their house was a house, and far smaller than this. No trees, either. A flower garden, but that lasted mere weeks before she got bored with it. The garden is so overgrown now with pesky, meddling weeds, it could conceal a corpse. He wanted to bury her there but it is too late. This country house is the only trace of her immortality left. That red on the walls is not her blood, and the film of snow crackling in the sunlight is not her innocence. Nothing is that beautiful and nothing symbolises anything. She is immortal because nobody remembers her. There is nobody to notice that she is dead so she never died.

He counts as nobody. He walks towards the shed where she filled her lungs with dope and her head with stupid teenage fantasies. Perhaps if he listens with enough pathetic longing he will hear echoes of the conversations she and her friends had.
— I want to get out of this fucking town. I’ll become a hooker if I have to. Just get out of this turd of a town.
— It’s not so bad here.
— You could become a porn star.
— Yeah, you have nice tits. Tell her.
— Because of my tits.
— Yeah.
— Maybe I will.

But instead of a porn star she became living dust just like everyone else he knows, then lifeless dust, then postdust, then metadust. An idea of someone who might have existed, though nobody will ever know for sure. He doesn’t remember anymore. Did she like Chinese food? Was she blonde? What was her story? Was she female and did she love him? Is she beyond death or within death? Was this her house? Was this house a house as it is now a house? Will she come back? Can her dust be gathered again? Was she ever dust to begin with? Is time sliding backwards as it seems to be?

She will be born again. He will wake up next to her warm body.
— Good morning.
— Let me sleep.

And though she will be sleeping for a long time, missing breakfast, even lunch, a very good lunch too, she will be there in bed if he needs her.

Maybe she will never wake up, but as long as her body stays warm, he will not howl at the moon.