Out on the fire escape, a couple of steps down, legs pulled up to his chest and wrapped in his favorite sweatshirt. His head rests half on his knees and half against the wall. Comfort. A light mist falls from the sky, and neon lights reflect in the puddles down below. He’s lost in his own lullaby. He wants to sleep, but he doesn’t want the day to end. Tomorrow could be worse. He takes a deep breath, letting it out in a yawn. A plastic cup sputters past him, spinning, down the steps as two girls run down the steps. He doesn’t flinch, just shifts his eyes to the cup. He watches the red and white spin, teetering on the edge. He feels drained. It’s that time of day again, when the floodgates are opened. He starts to feel the tremble, he can hear the roar. The feeling intensifies. The images start to flicker. One after another, until they’re all a blur. They blend together like an animated comic strip, spinning around and around. He keeps his eyes closed so that he sees better, so that he can relive it all. The sights, the sounds, and the smells. He starts to hum. It’s a low tune, one that could easily be mistaken for a groan. His chest hurts, a dull pulsating pain. It’s a pain that he’s used to. It grows at night, leaning towards the moon. It has become part of who he is. The light in his head burns out. He opens the window and steps through it. Dragging himself to the bed, he crawls under the sheets. He closes his eyes, hoping to wake up.