Depression isn’t a black dog, or a shadow, or a metaphor for drowning.

Depression is.

It just is.



Remembering how your lips once tasted like liquorice,

Standing in the aisle of the supermarket

Pink-tinted-purple and black sugar’s gone,

All that’s left is aniseed

I find myself at home.

I take off my coat,

And stand in the corner of the living room,

My hand on a rounded corner of a desk, fingers brushing against the grain, into the polish.

The walls are paint-on-paper, paint-on-paper,

Bees stenciled over the top,

Bookcases – and I can hear your voice in my head telling me already that I

Have too many books

Dreaming built this place brick by brick,

Thinking about it when I didn’t have to,

Constructing the creak into the floorboards

Layers and layers of sentiment,

Like layers of liquorice,

Pink-tinted purple,

Black-and-blue sugar,

Until all that’s left is aniseed.

And I’m standing in the supermarket,

Remembering how your lips once tasted like liquorice




“Your apartment smells like wet dog,” she states, stepping inside and taking off her leather jacket. It smells faintly of  rain on pavement, the cold air before sunset, and well-worn hide.

“Thanks,” he replies. “Have you met Lucky?”

“Lucky, Natasha; Natasha, Lucky,” he shrugs. The dog wags its tail, hopefully.

“Hey,” she says, nodding at the dog, thin plastic bag in hand. Natasha walks over to the kitchen, but stops by a window. “You know there’s some scumbag Russians hanging around in a van outside your apartment, right?”

“Yeah. You wanna help me with that?” he walks over to her, and stands by her shoulder.

“Mm. Later,” she says, rolling her eyes and opening the fridge. “Oh my god, there’s like … nothing in here, except … what is that?” she frowns, shutting the door and opening the freezer instead. There are a few bags of frozen vegetables — used more for bruising than eating — and something else.

“This vodka is too good for you,” she says, putting the groceries away and grabbing the vodka from the freezer instead.

“First of all, are you actually going to help me with those Russians? And, second of all, the vodka was only because I knew you were coming.”


“How do you get someone to forgive you?” Clint asks, stiff eyebrow raised almost mournfully.

“You’re asking me that?” Nat blinks. Seriously? “Okay, who’s upset with you?”

“… uh. Everyone?” He slouches lazily over their food, an improvised dinner from the deli.

“Uh huh.”

“… so?” The butterfly bandage crinkles over his brow. He’s always been a little bit more deaf on his left side — harder for him to catch a blow that way.

“I can’t help you there.”

“No?” he asks again, as hopeful as Lucky, sitting near his lap.

“No,” she shakes her head. “The last thing your exes want is for me to get involved.”

“How did you…?”

“It’s pretty obvious, Clint. You’re pretty obvious,” she offers, leaning back in her chair, leg thrown over a knee. “… I’m going to go open the vodka before your dog farts again.”



“Why are we sitting in front the TV if it’s not even plugged in?” she asks, watching dog hair accumulate on her dark jeans.

“Have you met someone?” he asks.


“… shit. Didn’t think you’d actually say yes. What’s he…or she, like?”

She smirks.

“He’s a Catholic from Hell’s Kitchen.”

“A Catholic?” Clint grins. “Seriously?”

If you really want something to hate about him, I could tell you he’s an ambulance-chasing defence attorney,” she says, half-shrugging. “He’s not all bad, Clint. Might even be able to help you with your tracksuit mafia.”

He scoffs. “What, is he gonna stare them down and threaten fair representation in the court of law?”

“No. He’s blind.”

“He’s blind?”

“And he likes to go out in the middle of the night and beat Russian gangsters with his bare fists.”

“… I think I like him already.”

… ta to the wife, for helping me edit this, and allowing me to borrow a line or two from chat-plays and other stuff we’ve written~.

(Her site is artbyval.ca and her art is brills. :3)