by Nik Perring
I do this because it makes me feel better. It is a ritual.
I pull out everything that connects me to you: postcards, birthday cards, photos, letters, tickets – a sock, a plant pot. I lay them out in chronological order, set them on the carpet in front of me, and I sit cross-legged and watch. It makes me feel like I’m dying, like I’m seeing our life flash before my eyes. Only, I’m not dying, not really. That’s just how it feels.
And though it doesn’t seem like it, I am in control; I could scoop everything up and put it back in the Tesco bag whenever I want. But I don’t. I leave the pieces of us where they are. They stay there, in their place, on the carpet and I go to bed. I tidy up when my mind’s dull in the morning. That’s the ritual.
They are laid out now, those pieces of us. Some edges flutter in the breeze.
The ritual ends tonight. I don’t know what I’ll think come morning.
Tonight, we burn.
Nik Perring is a writer and workshop leader from the UK. He’s published short stories and poems and a children’s book.