A wall of water

Walking in Brighton with X, always with X. The streets slope sharply down towards the sea so that the sea looks like a wall of water at the bottom. The sea should give me a sense of freedom, says X, but it doesn’t, it’s like a wall, looming over us. We have to get closer, he says, let’s go down this street, we have to get closer so it flattens out, so we can see. I feel like I can’t breathe, he says. This is a free-spirited town, but not for us. Can you feel it, he says, this thing that looms over us? Look at you, he says, looking all calm, smiling at passersby, you don’t fool me, you’re as browbeaten as I am. Talk to me, he says, tell me all about it, there won’t be anything I haven’t felt, get it off your chest. We should talk more, he says, reach out and touch each other like in that old phone ad. No, not like that, he says, ow.

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