Thursday, October 10, 2013


            Most of my friends were the kind of kids who get called names and beaten up at recess. You, of all people, do not know at all what that’s like. The below-the-surface fury of this feckless struggle to ignore or run away from things. I am in constant fear of being waylaid. You, sir, certainly have no capacity to understand this. It is beyond your universe’s scope. Sorry, am I boring you? You fucking doofus. I could shit in the corner and tell you it’s a bowl of Frosted Flakes. I could slap you with a live fish. I do not like this visage that I am peering at here, cowboy. So get your fucking two-face self together and take it. Pull it together, Shemp. We ain’t got time for any misappropriating here. Got it? Shit. So, the customers come in, right? They’re always wrong, but we don’t let on. It’s stop time, and we are taking, taking, taking; and all they know is give. Put it wrong. But, pal old buddy, we’ve got bottled water for sale, right? We’ve got toothbrushes with the NDCs of narcotics. We’ve got sunglasses with tiny video cameras on the lens. We are trained to serve. It’s simple. It’s the wind’s geometry played out for sissies with fake tans to splurge on without a nod or a hope at ever knowing why. And they don’t. Care, that is. Why? I don’t know. I stopped asking those questions years ago. They just don’t. Strange. The manners of the told are rubbing off on us, huh? We used to be the ones doing the telling too, you know. That’s how it all started, this whole go-to-hell mindset, that in hindsight seems just unreasonable enough to have worked. There it is. And there, of course, it all is not. Fuck it. I’m sending in the funambulists.
             A warm, windless night comes around. A night that’s great for walking about idly with nowhere to go and nothing to do. A vagrant breeze in your head maybe, but that’s it. Mind readers be damned. Don’t get touchy now. Don’t get all abysmal about it. We’re copycats at best. And so you get to walking around, gazing in closed shop windows, shuffling on and down narrow alleys, crookedly strolling across streets against light traffic. As if this or any passing of the time is ever really easy, you go on, and maybe you squint through the streetlights’ sodium glow, and the flickering neon signs, and perhaps even a bit of moonlight struggling through from a starless opaquely tinted sky. A word of advice? No. I’m just another cohabitating pseudo-realist who just happens to believe in mushy foresight and shipshape disaster theory. You sympathize, right? There’s a lot to not understand about it. You get that, at least.
            Play the tambourine at a criminal’s funeral and dispense with the easily lost satisfaction of tears. I potty-mouth the whole affair. Remember the cadavers who never got dissected? No anatomy lessons learned. It wasn’t disgraceful though. Not at all. I still get the chills when I think back on the bad old days of suffering and defeat. We sulked around. We got traumatized. We were less nimble than we should’ve been, and more capitulating to the sorry demands of hulking grade-school beasts. We were weak and ineffectual poltroons, cowards of the most literal tail-between-the-legs scuffling. These are things you look at and probably say, “So what?” to. That is not my opinion.
            Me? Me? Well, I go pointing to foul territory, in a determined distress, while riding the bus, faking a cough into my fist, something about the angle of light daggering in through the high trapezoidal windows, the stingy ones you can open by pulling them sideways, horizontal, a challenge at times because they get stuck and it can take some serious grunt work to get the job done, something to be done while standing and not for the less brawny among us. I am wincing at people’s faces. There’s a rubbed raw hue to the persistence of vision. Colors are warped. The fabric of whatever seems like the nature of my current reality is shredded and threadbare. Some of the advertisements close to the ceiling are stretched, the elongated pictures and words pulled taut and thin, and somehow I feel like something will snap suddenly and nothing for me will ever be the same again. But nothing ends. There is no finality to any of it, and this fills me with dread and terror. The phrase, “I got treble in my mind,” flickers through my thoughts. I know something is wrong there. It’s close, but not right. I can’t figure out why. Something is wrong with me. The pinball game of my head is permanently tilted. A scream longs for a mouth. A small Chinese woman, whose feet are swinging high above the grip-tape covered floor, sits eating a lychee fruit on one of the facing seats at the front of the bus. Her smile is crooked, something skewed about it. I can’t bring myself to look at her with more than a general glance in her direction. I feel as if I am being expertly watched, and I don’t for some reason want to make any mistakes, though I don’t know what would constitute a mistake in this position that I’ve found myself in, whatever that position might be. You wouldn’t know, Charlie Cheese. You wouldn’t allow yourself to become lost in this sort of spellbinding and eerie situation. To ask yourself, “What’s put me here?” You see, it’s as if the world around me is appearing to whatever’s passing for my eyes at this moment to be some sort of drafty Phenakistoscopic vision, something playful and lost, and I can’t make this fluidity of botched movement stop, even for a second. I’m not looking for a fight. There are no giant oak trees to hide behind. My pockets are empty and out. Everything is just flowing, bright and dull, in exasperating shivers of kinematic sadness, a strobe-like flickering paired with torched remnants of stop-and-go animation, or perhaps things being continuously carved into wet cement that never dries. You’ll never comprehend what any of this is really like. You see, there is no me here.
            Whatever we don’t end up selling we’ll end up stowing away in the rafters of our desire. Got it? And think about it. All those stories we used to tell ourselves to keep up the farce of being contently ourselves. Then, well, you go to the office. And me? I go straight to hell. Now, get the fuck out of here before I really start launching into some theatrical tirade and “accidentally” punch the literal lunch money right out of you.