Downfall: Chapter 3 – Love disappears by Liz Davinci

Punk Noir Magazine

This is the third trailer of five to reveal a glimpse of the coming album “Pax Victoria” (2021), with a spoken abstract description of the concept “Love disappears.” The abstract text was written by James Shaffer:

Downfall:  Chapter 3 – Love disappears

7am: Friday

Bus 262 slithers across wet, curved roads.  Lining the road outside its window, the shuddering Eucalyptus trees gulp the rain thirstily.  The grey, shrouded sky offers no promise of change on this Friday morning at 7am.

The bus is crowded, wet, and stuffy, filled with out-of-sorts people annoyed with the rain. Spilled coffee leaks down the centre aisle.

Slowly, the winding roads are replaced by straight thoroughfares, and the trees exchanged for houses, then large buildings. Finally concrete-grey skyscrapers appear as the bus nears its destination.  

A woman, dressed in a black-and-white checkered rain jacket, shiny black rain boots and red lipstick, exits the bus at 7th Street, nearly the end of the line.

Pop! She opens her yellow umbrella and trudges the short distance to her office.  

As she enters the building around the corner from the bus stop, the receptionist says, “Morning Victoria.” The woman’s work day begins.


4:30pm: Friday

The work day finished, Victoria waits at the 7th Street bus stop on the opposite side, ready to do the morning commute in reverse.  Luckily, her work colleague, Lily, left early today, so Victoria can ride home in peace.  No buzz alert comes from her cell phone, so she refreshes it once again to make sure she hasn’t missed any messages.

Her eyes darken at the silent phone.


1am: Saturday

Last week I started singing at the club again.  They had a slot open up, so I said yes. I felt like I needed a distraction.  I don’t make any money off my singing. It’s fun and I’m tired of canceling plans just in case Alex might call.  Besides, I’ve started talking to Stella, a waitress at the club.  You could call it a developing friendship.

Alexander’s been absent lately, more frequently and for longer periods.  I go through cycles: self-doubt, anger, jealousy, followed then by forgiveness.  I experience my own little “circle of hell” privately before he returns. Then when he’s with me again, I celebrate.

I notice the darkness in his eyes when he returns, as I always have, but now I start to suspect it.  Perhaps he’s with another woman – maybe he’s involved in something illegal.  He seems less open with me, less vulnerable.  But he always returns and always tries to make me feel special.  That’s what makes it hard.

I’m drinking more.  I’m even smoking my rollies when things get really bad.  I can’t go back to my romance novels. Now they disgust me.  I rip them all out of my bookshelves and kick them around the room in a fit.


Why don’t I just tell him to stay away?  But I feel some kind of responsibility – a duty not to throw in the towel.  Is this feeling blind love?  Stupidity?  Or is he really just a calculating, horrible person?

I keep giving him time – another chance.  And he keeps fulfilling my expectations just to the edge of “acceptable”.  I know ultimately what I have to do, but I dread it. I stare at my phone, no messages, no love. I grab another glass of whisky and have a fit.  

Who am I?  What have I become? A suffering fool?  Where can I go?  How can I find the energy to leave him?

I roll a cigarette and stare out my silent apartment’s open window.  To fill the void, I put on some Charles Mingus, take deep breaths to relax, and blow streams of blue smoke into the cool, dark summer sky.  I get lost in the music.  I feel the presence of the musicians—the music magicians–and I begin to feel a spark.  

It’s late. I finish my cigarette, turn off the music, and sit down at my desk. The whisky rests untouched on the window sill.  The spark I felt, like a small outlet for my agony, begins to flare.  I start to write, frantic at first.  Then my pace slows as the flow of words begins to soothe my troubled heart.

I awaken at 9am, slumped across my desk. My phone’s buzzing. There’s a message.  

Alexander is back.


Written by Liz Davinci and James Shaffer