Revelation, Rimshot, and a Hallelujah

12 Aug

The old man at the table closest to the washroom is thumbing through his 3 x 5 cards. I crane my neck to see what’s written on them. Looks like calculus or elementary analysis. I think, who the hell cares about trajectory and angles of re-entry in a coffee shop at two in the morning?
And he says:
“It’s no different in any other city; even the weather doesn’t make it easier, whatever your taste may be.”
His words bounce off the window. A drunk sorority girl with large Greek letters on her sweatshirt makes a face as if someone just dusted her. She is with a very skinny boy wearing a baseball hat turned backwards who is biting something on the side of his thumb and scratching his left calf with his right foot. He looks like a self-cannibalizing stork.
The old man shuffles his cards:
“I woke up early in the morning and stepped in my cat’s puke right off the bed. It was a fitting farewell. I flew that day straight across to the other coast. I was put up by generous friends in a heavenly, small room in their house; private, cool, nice mattress, secluded on my own level. I woke up early in the morning from the jetlag and stepped in their cat’s vomit right off the bed. She had made a reconnaissance visit overnight and decided all was well. Not one goddamned mile of the three thousand in between counted enough to change anything—even luck.”

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One Response to “Revelation, Rimshot, and a Hallelujah”

  1. Maxwell 14/08/2008 at 5:09 PM #

    First blink of the morning and it is the same sticky panic inside my humid ribcage; fear frolicking in that place where the heart beats sluggishly; with just enough regularity to maintain life, a sick, shadowy, sentient phantom spreadeagled in a oily pool surrounded by clouds of midges; above you rise the spectres of unlived, unloved dreams in the empty skies. Thin skin covers my ribs. I wonder if it’s possible that one of the bones could puncture through my shirt whilst I am at work. I imagine the embarrassment more than I imagine the pain. But as my mirror monitors my body wasting to a wafer of bumpy sinew, awkward bone and sluggish veins the lactic acid is busy eating atrophied muscle; slowly, like a slug or bloated bacteria; like an aggressive mucous membrane covering the muscle like corrosive egg-white. The years of inactivity and stagnancy have resulted in this chronic and terminal condition; a coma-like state where the mind is gone; whittled away by force, leaving only a body to navigate the wastes like a cold, lifeless, godless infant.

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