There are little blue fishies all over the room and the music is very loud but there used to be not-fishies who were very rude and one of them looked like somebody I knew once, I think. Sometimes I'm a fish but not today. Today I'm just me, like a normal me, not a different me from any other day since I stopped being the way I was before, when things were better. Or maybe they weren't better, I don't know. It's hard to remember sometimes because it was very long ago and remembering it too much hurts like there are spikes sticking into my head and I wonder sometimes if there are but then I look in the mirror and there aren't.
Is there a word for being hurty and not-hurty all at the same time? You know, when you feel like everything inside you is too big for your skin and it's all going to come out through your eyeballs? It hasn’t happened yet but I think it might, ‘cause I feel like my eyeballs are going to go pop! And fly across the room like ping pong balls, except they never do. They could if I wanted them to but Barnabas says that's a bad idea. And hey, where'd he go?
I lost everybody and now nobody can tell me where they are because they're all busy flipping and flopping on the floor and making little gaspy screamy fish noises. There are fish on chairs and it looks kind of funny because even I know that fish don't belong on chairs. They belong underwater so I fill the room with water and wave before saying goodbye.
I leave the music on because the song is about bananas and I really like bananas even if fish can't eat them because they don't have teeth and their tummies are too small to swallow the bananas all up. Once I got all swallowed up in myself because I forgot that I'm not many things I'm just one thing and that thing is me and I was so deep inside myself that I didn't know anything, anything at all and I just fell deeper and deeper inside where things are all swirly and rainbowy and there are swishy butterflies that taste like peanut butter when you eat them.
It's raining outside a little and everything is very gray but I think the rain should be blue and pretty so I make it that way with my hands. I wave them in the air and I keep walking and the people think I'm crazy. They're right.
I didn't always used to be crazy but that was a very long time ago and I don't mind it mostly, but sometimes it's bad. It isn't bad today like it was when I swallowed myself up and couldn't put myself back together again. Barnabas had to do it with help from some of my people. I have people, just like Desire does, but my people don't always smell too good. Sometimes they smell like words I don't know and rusted steel but Desire's people always smell like something nice that you want to have and hold.
There are little shiny things on the sidewalk and I kick them and they make a funny tinkly noise when they hit the lamppost. The sounds are the little songs that the metal sings to itself, like a lullaby and I hope that it doesn't have nightmares when it sleeps.
Everything can sing, it's just you can't always hear it. Not even my brothers can hear it. Destiny doesn't leave the garden too much, and Dream doesn't know how to listen. I never asked Destruction, but I bet he can hear it. The way the little fishes sing in the big, big ocean and the tiny pieces of glass sing on the street and when rain falls it makes a funny noise, unless it's falling really hard and then it hisses and sounds quite angry.
"Blue rain is angry and I can sing tralala…I like bananas and peanutbutter-flies and where is my doggie la la la…" I sing and people walk by a little faster, and the air curls up behind them, and none of them are Barnabas and I don't know where I am and there should be ice cream that tastes like lost.
The sidewalk is cold when I sit down on it and the lady behind me trips and falls down. She says mean things but I don't care, I just make it so that she falls down every three steps for the rest of her life, and I stay there and watch as rain gathers up in the crumples all over my jacket like tiny little swimming pools and wonder where Barnabas is because if he was here he would know what I should do and I don't.
"Lost lost lost lalala," I sing and start to sniffle. I want to go home but don't know how to get there and instead I'm just sitting here listening to myself sing and the rain sing and everything sing and I'm thinking about different kinds of songs.
Plant songs and rock songs and cow songs. Goats can sing too, and there's a special word for goat songs and I don't know it but it makes me think about Dream and how I can drive really well. I found that out when we went to find Destruction, and I want to go driving with Dream again, but I can't because he's dead and there is a new Dream but he isn't the same and I miss the old him and sometimes I think I can hear goats singing about it from far, far away.
And I can't remember the right word and I know it's there and it's making my head feel all tight and I start to cry harder and the rain turns green.
"Hello," says a voice I know behind me and I turn around and it's Destruction. I hug his knees and start to smile and the rain is pink because I'm so happy. "What's the matter, then?"
"I don't know the word for goat songs," I tell him. "It's a special old word for goat songs and I don't know it. Don't you think the rain is pretty now? You came and made the rain pretty."
"Tragedy, Delirium," he says, and helps me up. "And the rain is very pretty."
"You said you weren't coming back," I say, taking his hand and skipping after him as he walks down the street. "And now you're here!"
He smiles and his eyes are all crinkly-like, and his teeth are very big and square. I don't like squares mostly because they're so closed, but it's okay because I like Destruction. He's my favorite brother of all times, even more favorite than the old Dream and I don't know too much about the new Dream but I think that Destruction's much better than him.
"I'm here to take care of you, for now," he tells me, smiling still. "Barnabas keeps losing you and you shouldn't be left alone."
"I get too lost."
"Yes," Destruction agrees and his voice is like a lot of little bubbles all over the place. "You do."
And so we keep walking and he is staying with me and I'm happy, even if the rain keeps falling down down down, because I'm not lost anymore and my most favorite sibling is here so everything will be better now and I'm telling him all about bananas and fish and he thinks it's very interesting because he loves me.