Songs once had context. Closing my eyes would invite my imagination to paint new images to accompany whichever music was playing in the background. An implied audience, an assumed crowd, something close to self-hypnosis. So much repetition over the lonelier years has effectively re-written certain songs on a permanent basis. But after so many years the realisation of what is actually going on is pretty embarrassing. Singing to yourself if an empty room fitting alternative lyrics to music that no-one else will hear.

You’re too honest said a man, once, in a context of his own. My assumption was that our conversations were effectively pre-ordained. Something close to fate and fortune, I supposed then, and still do to some extent. The other quotes which slosh against the shore of night-time contemplation endanger any potential calmer dreams; you’re a very good liar, said a friend, which hurt. Not sure of the position at which I stand, now, or how far along this route I want to go at this hour. Or indeed within this month. Some dark shadow hides most of the year’s end, appearing in my mind as a darkness dissolving the calendar.

I don’t know how to take the implication that, as a writer, I can only be recommended if my work is limited to 140 characters. Polite laughter, then silence, eyes around the room and slight sips of drink. Polite smiles, voiceless mouthing of promises to sit down again but mingling needs to be done, it is a party after all, thanks, see you in a…Eyes front, inspect the fingernails. Always end on a handshake, says the old wise man, whose beard is a phone-pad scrawl and whose eyes are framed by the curves of magnetic fields. I cannot remember what became of the old wise man. Worryingly his voice remains clear but his face hides in fog and crackle. Worryingly I am starting to convince myself that he does not exist.