The conversation quickly turned from Kurt Vile to whatever the approaching clack-clacking noise was. I swivelled around in my vantage from the first-floor apartment’s patio and saw you stagger nearer and nearer, a handful of smooth stones held out as if you were serving hors d’oeuvres. We complimented your rocks and the beat you were keeping by smashing them together. You seemed to take offence to this and held a large, dark grey one by your ear; cocked and ready to fire. “Want me to rock you? Huh?” I almost laughed at the slurred-word play but looked nervously to the large, glass patio door instead. We did not want to be rocked.
We asked if you were okay. Within seconds you were over the small concrete wall dividing us from the lawn, sitting in a chair opposite me and weeping. You mumbled to us of turmoil in the motherland, the death of your brothers and the demise of your marriage and business. All we could offer was “it’ll get better”, “you just need to sleep this off” and a glass of water. Once you’d calmed down enough you agreed to let us walk you home. As we made our way back to the apartment I wished I hadn’t said what I did. I had no idea if things would get better.