i want to scream. i want to roll down the window and let loose into the cold morning air an aberration of pent up self in an animalistic orgasm, but this penchant of release is tamponed by Malady’s crick, like a plug of gum shoved between the ears.
Burger King …
i slow the truck to an easy, slow stop - allowing myself how to properly remember how to operate a manual: the stick feels alien in my sweating palm – at a red light, momentarily adjust the way i am sat. Look at myself in the rearview: my beadies’re all red and puffy painful around the lids and the surrounding borders; the sclera, usually virgin-colored and agreeable, a rash of pink spilling its low-hum intensity in a slow, frozen inky expansion into the iris: a sanguine pool of pulsating ache. It feels like Tired when tired becomes misery.
Twenty miles per hour when flashing …
Last night is a wet painting after a hand’s heavy swipe. The back of my throat drips with what maybe i could call memory: it is a sour and acrid drip. Burns, but not brightly enough to form any kind of mental account. Perhaps this is for the better, if history is any sort of index. With what feels like more of a chore than it should be, i lurch the truck forward with a shuddering series of jumps when the light turns green and return to the hunched position i was in before; granny-like: chest kissing the steering wheel, face two feet from the windshield, straining to see through the anguish of my pulsating beadies, which seems to be percolating deeper into my brain, taking root.
Great clips …
R.C. Will-EEEE …
i want to scream. i mean hell, do i look like i should be driving?
In two years a book might get published, maybe poetry. It might even be Your book. Maybe You will be standing in the rain, at a payphone, trying to remember Your girlfriend’s number to tell her the news; Your hair dripping, plastered to Your forehead. She will tell You how great it is, that she is proud of You and that she loves You. You hang up and get a cup of coffee at a nearby café, just down the street. It’s possible that this will be a good day, but maybe it won’t last. Perhaps in the coming weeks You will receive a dollar advance for Your book, two subsequent checks totaling a week’s worth of Drunk each, and half of that in feeling like You’ve accomplished something meaningful, at last – magic almost – that will burn off as quickly as a splatter of gasoline on concrete because You will allow Yourself to recognize that publishing doesn’t mean shit and that going up and going down are the exact same thing because Everything is only a symptom of death, and Your readiness to eagerly give Yourself compulsively to something will melt away to little else than a pornography of Nostalgia. But it is likely that you will continue to write regardless, unable to ever really put the pen down. You will believe this to be the mark and curse of a true writer, and You will learn a new type of hate.
Conceivably, weeks after the publication of the book, after quaffing a bottle’s last scintilla of a bottom-well Whisky earned with Your literary debut, You’ll sit one morning on Your brother’s apartment’s balcony, steeped and soggy at 6:30, wondering how such a thing like an empty bottle can affect such an ambience of sad; or why, after standing the depleted bottle down next to Your static foot and lighting another cigarette, there is a feeling of being caught between this world and the one that exists clear on the other side of distrait reverie. Maybe then, You get up, go inside and grab a bottle of Drambuie that Your brother is saving for a special occasion, and suck at it with a syrupy-sweet mouth thinking that if being folded within the Trauma of Perception isn’t a special occasion then what is?
It’s feasible that in a seemingly unbreakable blotto stare, You stay on that balcony for the next three days, never uttering a word.
Bradford is sitting in the passenger seat of the truck - it is a small rusted-cream colored thing that heaves and hiccups in vehicular pain as it attempts to reach a speedy 15 Mphs – with his head slumped against the rain-spotted window in a bare-boned bleaky stare out into the grimy-goop of the day, dour and dim with Weather. Like rolling banks of highway snow, the sky is dappled with dingy hues; tinctures of oyster-grays give to shadows of coal as i look out farther West. The fragrance of the Season’s first snow hangs, albeit idly, unmistakably in the air’s doughy veil. A cigarette that has managed to stay unlit protrudes from his limp, slightly parted lips. His manuscript, as it stands now, a sheaf of loose-leafed paper, sits between us on the bench seat.
Another red light, another stop. This one performed with a tad more fluidity than the one before. My body is acclimating to the dizzying pain, settling into a faded compromise, like dreams and echoes and memories and conscious thought twined together loosely in one large neutral ball of commotion, then bewilderment, then a consuming distraction, then a dulled acceptance.
Bradford is hard to drive with. He’s one of those guys, staring all dumb and gloopy out the window, that reads allowed the texts of as many signs and billboards that pass by: his voice a tonal flat line of apathetic dullness, often stretching out random syllables as if they are colorless sticks of gum.
“Would you stop, for the love of GOD,” my voice sounds like it is underwater.
“The whole world is fucking signs, man.” He finally lights his cigarette, rolls down the window, letting in a blast of cold air that flutters the pages of his manuscript like a bird with clipped wings.
“Well,” I say again, “do i look like i should be driving?”
Each day bleeds profusely, pooling indistinguishably from one to the other. Gets so bad that the phrase, What day is it? is a constant bullet locked and loaded in the chamber of Your dry mouth, an itchy finger wrapped stubbornly around the trigger. But that’s the problem: when memory is nothing but the posture of the quiet voice laughing at lost Humor laughing at nothing – a kind of posture of symbols; a variable outline of trinkets dividing a life You think You can remember but aren’t even sure You’ve lived, like waking up inside a dream – Your own – but the dream continues to unfold anyway, despite a living acumen, and You don’t – or can’t – wake up.
Competition: Friendly feedback, Round 1
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