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Showing posts from December, 2010

that guy - part 5

You think you’ve seen it all; every kind, every side, every vantage, every lousy everything and all the beauty there is to behold; and then one day you see Babe. You don’t melt for Babe, you don’t go blind over her, you can’t even see her at first, there on the southbound A train, there in the Dirty Bubble Laundromat, there on a swing in the park halfway swung this way or maybe halfway back, but always all by herself looking as ordinary as miracle can look. You don’t know what it means, what it feels like to be mesmerized by Babe, because it feels like the middle of all the things you ever felt - that is to say, barely felt, but felt so often it’s what makes up most of your being, most of what you need to survive. Babe is the better after your sick, the nothing after the pain, the dark empty space between your nose and the ceiling after a nightmare. Babe is what you love but take for granted. You should never take Babe for granted. Gus had Babe by the wrist. Instructions, threats, flirt…

that guy - part 4

Gus lay nearly flattened in the old recliner, feet up, and he peeled the peanut butter-side from the jelly-side making a V of the sandwich, sighted it up with the matching V of his filthy, white-sock-footed feet and squawked at Crawly (whose given name was, by surprising coincidence, Crawford, and then jokingly, as children will do, Crawdad - cause he was a small boy, prone to shuffling, and he wrinkled his face too often for any child to get away with - and, and finally Crawly - so yes - Crawly was in fact Crawly. No joke.), squawked and spit at Crawly, “Damn it to hell, put the lid back on the coffin, I’m trying to eat for Chrise-sakes!” “Shit on you!” “Put the god-damned lid back on, I can’t stand the stink of him!” Cause Creepy didn’t say it but the rot gave him the jitters. The corpse was what, five weeks? Six weeks? And even with the makeshift embalming job they’d given him, lousy mess that was! The bastard was just falling apart in the box. “If you don’t like it, why we got’im here…

that guy - part 3

Back in bed, toes sticking out, numb, that guy - that stupid guy - he whined, whispered, even touched himself but lost his nerve when he tried pushing the bleak image of the woman in the hall - the ugliness of that incident - into something less than, other than… what? Awful. Weak. No, wretched. That was it, wretched. “Why me,” is what that guy said, barely. Not at all why you imagined he’d said it. No, because in that cold night that guy convinced himself that he had to help that wretched woman, that beautiful wretched woman. He lay there, limp, sweating bile, dreaming up for the very fist time something like nerve to believe that she (that knee, that sad, sexy eye, those tears) needed him, his help, that she – lost shadows, given up, hopelessly cast aside – like he, stood staring at that front door waiting for him to save them both. “Why would she believe in me?”
End of part 3

that guy - part 2

That guy, the ache in his breath jammed up the peephole, misery, desire, fear.
In the instant before his fingers fumbled free the paint-heavy chain-lock to mouse the door open he heard the footsteps on the stairs, a ready shuffle, and then a muffled wedge of words, the sound of a tight smack.
"What the fuck with these people?" moaned that guy as he heaped up his shoulders, tightened his toes to the old vinyl tiles and hitched the door open with a twist.
And what he saw through the yellow slit across the hall was the woman once again staring at his door in the company of the tall-haired man from the apartment above, the man who lived with his grown son, the man who dragged coffins around his apartment in the middle of the night - in fact the pair he had just begun to call Creepy and Crawly one month ago, just five weeks after that guy had moved into the apartment on a miraculous rent deal.
Creepy had the woman by her thin, reddened wrist and he too was now staring at that g…

that guy...

That guy:
     He lay there folding darkness over blunt shadows in his mouth thinking, "what the fuck with these people?" Cause it sounded like a coffin being dragged, maybe shoved, across the floor above, the ceiling vibrating, coarse words draping, dangling heavily over what he figured had to be a corpse the size of a gorilla, and,
     "Really," he said aloud, loudly, to the tip of his nose, above, a threat stuck in the paint above his head, "WHAT the FUCK!" and the bed creaked with the force of his breath.
     The sound stopped, a footfall hung in mid-air - the recognizable silence of recognition.
     They'd heard.
     They'd heard?
     The sweat on that guy, it stank, ran yellow and stained the sheets, nerve-yellow, when they run out, when they turn liquid, when the anger uses them after the adrenaline is shot, if stink could glow, this the stuff.
     The air in the room shifted direction, new attentions pushing silent weights; a …

This here, that there...

"Here monster, monster, monster..."

Every time you laugh so hard your body rushes through with silver stars,
Every night that quietly offers a perfect shadow to stare at the bed,

When one man succeeds by displaying another man's failure,
When joy claims your heart and is stunning,

As all words fail in front of pure understanding,

Where the truth is damp under sleepless dreams and life and death show a landscape in the universe bound by a delicately woven hem of both sides,
Paradise is - that monster there...