In my world, I let you see right through me. I listen to my truth on every radio, I decorate the walls with beautiful paintings of my most precious memories, and I have large windows in every room. From here, you can see right into me. Those trees over there? I have so many stories about those who planted them. And the pool? I built that myself, out of all the times I wanted to drown in it. The mountains at the back? Ah, that one’s for later, much later. But if you stay, I’ll stay with you and I’ll tell you everything. It will just take a little longer. Are you ready?
Here I meet you in smoky bars. You wear a brown hat and the kind of clothes I wish men would wear more often. There’s a cigarette hanging out of your mouth, which you take out every time you smile at me. You look kind and gentle and tell me story after story, and teach me how to love after a storm. I get us more drinks and laugh at all your jokes, because you’re exciting, and mad, and pure—and I can always recognise others like me, or the me I wanted to be outside of this place. Listening to you is like seeing Heaven burst into flames; giving me the thrill of a lifetime in the safest of places. Please, don’t stop. What about the time when…?
Ah, I almost forgot. I can’t stay long. Everything here is amplified to match the intensity of the world I want, and the flames get too big after a while. I’ll come find you again next time, and we’ll pick up where we left off. I do hate it when it’s closing time in my world, but I’d rather leave at the end of every show than never make it in. Because every now and then, as the curtain closes behind me, a little warmth makes it out into real life with me—and keeps me warm for a while, as I move through the world. And that alone is worth sneaking into utopia for, again and again.