Eyes closed, an unseen lighter sparks in front of me and I inhale the first puff of my last cigarette.
I can’t help but smile. This annoys the ones holding guns.
It’s not that I’m not scared, but the absurdity of it all is too much to handle.
The deal is they’ll wait until the light goes out.
Nearing the filter, I take an extended breath.
Wait, wait, don’t pull the trigger yet.
I’ll confess if you let me.
Let me talk for a minute.
Let me walk for a minute.
You’ve got the wrong guy but you won’t believe it.
If you only knew how I knew to begin with, you’d let me go.
But I can’t risk it. I need to preserve the memory.

Gliding across the Icelandic coast in a vehicle specifically designed for the trek, we remained oblivious to any foreshadowing of our relationship. A narrow section of a lazy river appears, with the active volcano on the other side inviting us with its history. The dense fog blurs the communal vision and obscures the warning signs. Another country might require more prominence in the notice, but taking responsibility in our own safety was ingrained at an early age. It’s a bumpy ride as we forge a new path, but nobody is going to suggest veering away from an adventure. The fairies protect, but not implicitly. A limit is approaching. The engine’s horses grow tired. Water rising, we’ll soon need to face acceptance. One final attempt is futile. Relinquishing all that we have, we abandon hope and swim to the shore. The vehicle, unconcerned, slowly disappears under the meniscus. And wing bam boom, her knickers went up in smoke in a lava pit.

December 30 – Lebron James gets the wrong end of a firing squad
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