You have been inside too long. The room closes around you with every exhale, layers of your self coating the walls like breath in an igloo. The floor is dotted with spent matches. Party decorations loll at your feet, embarrassed after the fact.
If you stay here much longer, you will form your own private coffin from your own frozen breath. So you leave.
You step outside, and the city opens up like a rare jungle flower. Place one trembling leg inside and let the pollen dust your thighs. In the city, you are suddenly a wild pony with hooves built for the night.
So you start to run.
It is a Tuesday and the roads glitter with broken bottles like mock galaxies demonstrating the foolishness of time. You hurdle entire universes with one well-placed leap. You run further and faster than any creature has a right to. You run, crafted of need and knuckles and bone.
In the city, you are not running from predators or villains or anything with teeth. The only thing behind you is your own quiet room with your own quiet mind, snug and swaddled. And yet, no beast could pursue you faster. You run on.
Past neon shopfronts and crooked bus stops and lurching playground swings. Past gates and gutters. Past empty phone booths that have all run out of calls.
Finally, you reach the riverfront, which even your legs cannot leap. You stand, hands on hips, panting, while the river rushes by carrying all the sky’s stories from the mountains to the sea. You stand, panting.
In the frosty night, your breath is a white dove testing the buoyancy of air. It leaves your lips, beats its wings twice, and takes off into the night.