Read my lips. When I’ve completely given up on the world, you’ll know it because they’re chapped. The crack down the middle, the white, ragged-edged flakes that rake on the back of my hand are the most outward physical symbols of my defeat. I’m too worn out to go looking for the ‘schtick (why bother). I’m dehydrated (too much coffee and not enough water). I’ve probably been napping (breathing through my mouth when my room gets warm in the afternoon). I’ve probably been chewing at them, peeling layers away until raw patches of red are another wound on display.
You can’t smear fruity lip gloss on those defeated by the world lips. The sugar stings in the spots where you can taste blood. You need the protective, albeit waxy coat of some purified balm to seal off the damage. It smooths away the prickle but puts up a shiny rampart to ward off any new foes.