Three hours. It had only been three hours before the chills struck. The cold sweats and the itching and the biting and the hair pulling and what fucking time is it. I can’t live like this, but who can. Not me, that’s for sure. But there’s only one way out and I’m afraid of heights, so it’s back to the corner where the dealers deal death and the prostitutes guarantee the Promised Land.
I stare into the mirror and all I see is denial. Denial for what I am and what I used to be and how I got here. A zombie staring back at me through lifeless eyes under which big black bags have formed and dying veins zigzag up his neck.
The drunken kitchen born tattoos try to cover them but fail and instead add to the overall putrid look of my feverish yellow skin. The blood inside is all but dried up, drained by some undead creature; a vampire of the day sucking the life out of our once beautiful community.
My life used to be different. I grew up privileged in the suburbs of a big city where crime seemed out of reach but we all claimed to know a thing or two about a thing or two about shooting guns and drugs and women but of course we didn’t. Money sprouted from the ground of every front lawn, they spent a fortune to keep it green all year around, never allowing a sign of imperfection in the form of a little brown patch to sprout up. There was a white picket fence, of course. A tire swing. Golden retriever. My father wore suits and my mother stayed home cleaning and cooking and cleaning to perfection. Her work was never done. She cleansed the filth of the world off of front porch; dusted clean the grime of lies and deceit that oozed from my fathers pores.
What kind of life is this, I ponder late at night with the rubber band tight around my arm. Is it truly a life to merely survive or does one gauge one’s life in their accomplishments, because if the latter is true so many have wasted their time. Is it enough to only be remembered by friends and family members, can this be a worthy goal, or does it only count if the masses shout your name.
My biggest fear is to be forgotten.
The front door of my squatting residence leads to another world and one of these days it’ll take me to a better one. I envision a bright light, that’s what everyone sees so I might as well too. Singing cherubs, although I don’t have much taste for musically talented naked babies. Relatives welcoming me into the void of eternal bliss and I will smile organically for the first time in ten years.
I itch now. Scratch! Quite frequently, in fact. Fervantly… that’s not even a word. It began with my forearms but it didn’t take long for the skin to start fleeing from my nails so now I scratch my neck which may have very well been a worse substitute. My glasses lost their nose pieces a long time ago which leads to bruises which in turn leads to migraines which in turn leads to substance abuse.
I kept a permanent residence in what some may call a crack den but what I have called home since I was seventeen years old. Even got my own room, seniority and all has its perks within the junkie community. I’m bullshitting of course, I had to ass-stab the last occupant with a rusty nail I found in the furnace to get this spot and when someone else decides they want it they will probably do the same.
My father came to visit once not long ago. It feels like years but I know it was only hours or days. He stepped over naked bodies sleeping in the hallway and the crunch of glass shattered the silence as he tried to sidestep someone’s face and wound up putting his foot on a glass pipe. People were unhappy to say the least. We sat and we talked about how things are, should be and once were. Well, he sat and talked while I tucked my knees into my chest in the corner of the room biting my nails and muttering obscenities about the jackass who stiffed me on the last batch. He told me about my mother and my brother and my sister who was to be married the day after next and how it would be best if I didn’t attend. Thanks dad for telling me about something I didn’t even know about just to ensure I wouldn’t go.
Smoke and shame converged in that shanty Pub across from the one pump gas station where I spent my time sitting in the bathroom stall with its green tinted lighting fixtures, carving poems and random insight in between unintelligible garbage on the stall door with my trusty rusty nail. One day a man or even a woman will come in here, the men’s room because the woman’s room has a glory hole for some very strange reason because the last female who allowed me to see her naked didn’t possess a penis of her own. They will sit in this very stall, maybe because they need to shit but more likely because they need a fix or are trying to escape an ass-stabbing. His or her eyes will fall upon my body of work and briefly carry them away from this dreary existence and I will be remembered.
Below the “Live Free/Die Young” carved at the top of the door and above the crude drawing of the last supper depicting Jesus as a giant penis with arms and a beard and even a little halo, my work shines. A poem for the downtrodden masses that reached their hands up in an attempt to get their head above water to call the attention of someone with a buoy and received a boot to the chin instead. The song of those rotting, decrepit individuals that nobody ever noticed and assumed their life to be worth less than their own. For the artists and criminals and poets and dreamers that killed themselves daily for some semblance of recognition that they too existed.
I stand on the sidewalk and remember riding my bike down Main Street with so much ahead of me, the world ahead of me and I hear the bell of the ice cream trucks and the cat calling from the windows on the third floor apartment building across from the one-pump gas station. A man on the street calls to me, says my name and then says it again. Asks if I was that writer who wrote that one thing and then he asks if I’m deaf and I plead to him to just shut the fuck up so I can stay in this moment for just a little while longer. I’m trying to time travel and you’re pulling me back closer and closer to death.
The moment is gone.
The room was dark, pitch black except for an outline of light that bled through the cracks of the door. All around it a small blade of light shown through, highlighting the door. The light was on in the hall, as it always was. Maybe this time it would open up into heaven. Maybe this time it would be a completely different world where things were happy again.
Created: Feb 11, 2012Horace Jacobi Document Media