sundaytuesday friday thursday wednesday
swill friday and beer mondays.
don paused, in his room, on a bright sunday in august. the sky was hung low with water, a smearing grey against what would otherwise be a moon visible ina vast encompassing well of blue. he was in a stark military apartment house sold to the public. lots go cheap in atlanta. his companions were his portable electric and a small bag of dark green vitriolic weed, a product of kentucky's embedded mountain valleys.
i think this is all about agony. or maybe what i'm trying to do is something about knowing agony, or...knowing agony's coming! i don't know yet; this thing isn't working though. i've played with it all morning and it isn't working. i keep putting in these descriptives as if to make it clearer. but they're going to see all this stuff anyway. or it won't matter. half of this shit doesn't make sense! i like the way it can put it out of my head, though, i have to know what the room looks like. and what they look like. and then i can put them in it. i think it's about them not knowing what's coming. or seeing what's coming. or sort of as if afraid of it. hey...yeah...afraid of it.
don took another hit of the weed. a resinous taste, like pine almost, deep in his lungs. he felt very stoned. he had been using ren's bong, but that was in the corner of the room now. he looked at it. even the glass had a shadow, a flame of darkness rising in the tube and a glean refracting scratches in the glass at the top. in between was the fade-out zone. he was fading out. and feeling disturbed in his stomach.
he pulled aside the cheap stiff curtain and looked out the window. nothing moved in the bright winter sunlight. colors were bright, everything was stark. a world in fright.
he looked down at his typewriter, paper a sash in its claws. fuck it. he went over to ren's bong. it was big, and glass. don was too stoned to use it, afraid he'd break it.
still it was good.
he bent down and poked some weed into the bowl, the angular hairs coming out in slack shanks, rough and pungent. raw. it hurt his throat sometimes too, but it was hard. the stuff he'd smoked in zimbabwe had made him climb a tree to hide for a day. the inhabitants had taken no notice, more as courtesy than anything else.
he reached to the top, and hooked his hand into the tube.
he moved nylon in his jacket as he reached into his pockets. he found one, and held the flame to the dried plant. smoke unfurled in the tube. two hard knocks (heavy blunt sounds) from the door.
sweat came out from under the hairs over his forehead. "hello?" he said, and then breathed. "DEA/Dallas Police," the voice came back, "with a warrant for ..." and then the door opened, the lock smoking from a shotgun blast. Two tan and angular cops took sides of the door, and another scoured the room with eyes and ready weapon. "Just you?" he said, walking over to don.
don was barely breathing, the sweat dividing his brow in stripes of slickness. "uh. yes sir." he said. his palms twitched, and his neck was cold. he flinched.
"watch that!" the glove held the top of the bong in the cone of the hand. "okay, so you are not, i repeat not, carlos ensenanza?"
"no sir i am not he." said don. "i am a writer, and i am having a nervous breakdown."
the cop looked at him, catching the sweat and the jittery hands on the bong. "better put that down, you'll break it. you getting paranoid?"
"yes sir in a nasty cold way."
"sorry to hear that. the best cure for paranoia," bending closer to don's face, sunglasses bent with the pattern of water, "you gotta get yourself in charge, you know," he said, real softly, and then swung a pat to don's back.
"you get some sleep, you'll be better" as they left, and laughed in the hall. explosions broke the strict abstract suspension of relevance don had fallen into. he set the bong upright.
under the door he could see the muttering shadows playing in the carpet, overlaid in shades of fading day on the bright flashes sliding into the room.
don leaned back against the couch. "paul," he said. and put his weed in the drawer. the bong stood out in the sugar white light of the soft lamp. silence had fallen next door, and he heard gurgling, coughing, wet cursing.
he looked out the window. below a water fountain splashed dark on the road, and he saw it was a fire hydrant, the red bright against the concrete like a mitten lost in snow. car rolled past, nowhere going, nowhere gone. must be nice.
something flopped wetly on the balcony next door, and reluctantly forced out a
groan. don turned. the cop was on the balcony, his sunglasses slick with
blood, the droplets congealing into flat conglomerates. he looked down. don
looked at him. "fucking maggots," he said, pulling himself up with his arms, to
the edge of the balcony. "there's tons of them..." and dropped.