There are times you see the rot you’ve always been. My days were a trail of liquor-store bumblings and sunrise guilt, and every penny I’d earned these years had come to rest in a dirty glass. I’d ceased caring for others, and definitely for myself. The only things that mattered were booze and books. Scrubbing toilets–the very ones I’d puked into so many times–that was what I knew. The hurly burly of solitude that took me come each day’s midnight had stripped any cool I might still have owned a long time back. Night after night, in the chill of an empty school, my ambitions fell away like leaves from boughs in autumn. And wandering those halls, moving from bin to toilet to bin, the few kind trophies of memory that did remain floated by as evil nymphs–evil because angelic, angelic because there are in the corridors of my past those trophies were safe from deeper ruin. And like angels they were accessible in only the cruelest ways. What was the good in having something you could never hold?

-From Made to Break, a novel by D. Foy. Read more fiction.