to all my friends…

I can’t drink for shit. Never could. That’s OK. There’s so much I can’t do, it makes the few things that I can seem like nothing in comparison. Seeming sobriety on an easy pay plan. All of this (gestures wildly around the room) feels like the great cover-up never caught or explained. Sometimes everything hits me all at once, and all I can do is duck behind the counter and hope the flying shit doesn’t stain my shirt. Nobody gets off on coffee and cigarettes. It takes an effort beyond what is called into existence by violence or the ability to feel so much that it’s like feeling nothing at all.

None of the characters that waltz in and out have the kind of staying power found in ashtrays full of crushed cigarettes. The wind attacks, but only for a few moments before the cigarette butts are dispersed by a wall. There are limits to everything. Personally, I’m laden with dead eyes. Everything looks the same. In the suburbs, that is on purpose. They got the big houses and parkways, the places behind the dumpsters for cheap skags to play games with needles and lighters, the kind of people who would gladly lift a man’s spine right out of his flesh.

With the melange of painted walls, I’m the crossover archetype that’s one part limp walk and one part pierced ear. I spend a lot of time wishing my beard would finally go gray; another wish comes true somewhere down the line. Luckily appearance doesn’t count for much. In the past, I saw a blond that wouldn’t quit squirming like a worm caught on a hook. She was waiting for a better fish than me, and I was hoping to swim away before the water got cloudy. Just in time, right baby? The resultant scream was heard a mile away. The bigger fish came along, and the last I thing I remember was an argument and a slamming door. Who did what to whom is lost. Even if you could go back, who would want to?

Lately I been noticing that the powder power seems to decreases in direct correlation to how much time is spent searching for sterling silver spoons. Bunch of bullshit, like the three layers of bullshit I’m fighting off with a strategy ripped from one of the greats. My capacity for creation is nowhere near what it once was. I employ a hat and sunglasses over a beard, and even though that beard refuses to go gray, I can wait. Waiting is the natural antecedent of desire. It’s hot in here when the cold wind blows.

Did you want to be the cool kid? How’d you manage? Ever feel the kind of pain that keeps you up at night cursing and spitting and waiting for it to recede? Such a damned kick to the lungs. They tighten until the point of vexation, a tight embrace that pulls and gives short shrift to sound of unknown people people fighting over some unknown thing. I’m pretty sure the guy downstairs punched his old lady in the jaw, but she’s wearing a scarf as big as her head. Not enough for conviction; it barely enough for suspicion. I’ll hold tight to the silence, until a scream splatters sound all over my apartment. I don’t really know who is waiting downstairs. It’s too early to stumble around without blood flowing.

Impermeable condensation on the bottom of the coffee cup. Lucky for me the heat keeps the liquid like steam. All the hellish ontogeny of proper commiseration can’t seem to stem the tie of red lined fusion. The sound of my voice sickens me, and frightens the congregation (me again.) I’m almost always sure my voice comes from somewhere else. What you see here is just the rambling explication of a side character, a cautionary story of stupendous success. The place is wrecked, pieced together from a dozen other lives that never touch. The bands tighten, stiffen, crack, but never relax. The voice never stops; just a machine gun rattle of things that ain’t there. Memory beads together. How sure can you be about what did or didn’t happen? Everything here is just as it was left when the remains of last night were sanctified into today. I don’t know nothing. I know it real well.

Back here in the world of directionless antipathy, it’s all one small part of a larger picture. I’m in the vein now, feeling the pulse and concerned that the pain is spreading. It hugs on to my hips, shoots down my legs, scratches at my ankles. I never want to be recognized for anything that might be true, so the freight train continues unabated. It continues coming through a tunnel, that light freezing my dark eyes until all I see is the light, and all I feel is the pain. Another injurious phone slamming moment of ambidextrous ecstasy. I don’t bleed much, so none of this must be real.

Here ensconced in the land of somnolent fixation, I wonder about all my friends. Can they be trusted? Perhaps. Can they trust me? Perhaps. As much now as earlier, though not quite the same as soon to come. It is what it is. I’d buy them all a drink, but I don’t drink. I’ve smashed up the viral, made it to the morning cigarette. My mind wanders, wondering just what the hell they might see when they look at me, or if they see anything at all. In my imagination, there’s always someplace to go, someplace you just have to be, a certified time to be there. For me, that only exists as a transitory imagination. We can’t really let go in public, but in this sphere of graphic novelization, there is always a chance that things will turn out just like they should. Let me see your marching orders; then we can talk trust.

I think the neighbors downstairs broke someone’s nose. He must really love her. Thank fucking Christ whatever he has ain’t catching. I’ve done some rotten, but all he is is rotten, to the core, like a bad apple. The standard amount of ridiculous salvation should be denied to people like that. Supposedly, he drives a really nice fast car. I’ll bet it cost a fortune in missing teeth. Maybe I’ll get lucky, and he’ll come up here to talk.

Sometimes it is a nasty business feeling like you got what you paid for. I look back at so many fucking moments of indecision that turned on a simple sign from some unseen hand and wonder where this goes from here. Not much a future in pain, but it has a hell of a present tense. Comes with the territory and makes me want to destroy every last word I’ve ever written in the name of hiding the evidence. A little bit more complacency would do us all some good. I’m past any of this making any sense. Binged out on ephedrine flavored licorice and apple juice. Bite the hand that feeds, even if it’s your own.

There’s no end in sight. I still can’t drink. Not for shit. It’s been tested, so I know it’s true. I’m just walking around, trying to remember if eccentric is a synonym for crazy, or just precedent. To all my friends…have a drink on me. When this is all over, I’ll leave some money at the local bar. I’m feeling bad poetry and old music. I’m wondering… what do they see in the reflection of the booze? Do they see a halo surrounding their image made out of glass? Me too. Me too.

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