Continued from Part 1: Ephram's Timely Escape

He such a small, dainty, grey, wacky little man. I swear his eyes like gnomes or some painting or some, like he knows all about it and you just wasting time acting, Jim. Like he your uncle, the cool one who would sneak you a beer sometimes now and then. Fuckin’ Effie, right? And the funniest thing is sometimes you’ll see him being a total fucking asshole. He’s like an ancient Russian math professor or whatever and I seen him cheat against this six year old kid, Todd, he dad takes him on the weekends and this kid strong, no doubt, no doubt. But Effie will not lose to him, and when the time gets tight he’ll like distract him and move the pawn over to an open file so it can queen. Swear to God – cheating a six year old and shit. Kid knows, too, for sure. Effie might even know he knows. Fuckin’ Effie, right?

So shit, this morning is fucking hot. Some mornings it’s like the world steams your ass from below, flames and shit just soon as sun takes the sky. Some folk seems always like they cool, never sweating and just smiling away like the world wasn’t most of the time completely on fire. Cops and lawyer and doctor and that sort of folk. Now I am crazy, that’s a certifiable fact. But this goddamn heat cannot be a part of my mind. It’s got that solid feel to it. You know that truth weigh more than make-believe. Even crazy Larry know that much.

I see people seeing me, man. Still early and a weekday but along the lake they is constant flows of pretty white people, streaming by, women pretty like sleek gazelles or ponies, men powerful and top they shit. They own this damn place, sir, and they kings and queens sweat too but it’s like a sheen, dewy and fresh and healthy and alive and goddamn if that ain’t a work of art right there. Best mind your own, Larry. Scare the shit out one them and it’s questions of the official nature. I know how I look, sir. I know my eyes red on the edges, my face saggy, sweaty. I know my arms long, my shirt filthy. I know I’m wearing green sweatpants in the middle July. I know this stuff, sir. You think I want to be this man I am? Hah, sir. I’ll leave it right there.

Truth is I am way the worse of it from night before, need to just sit a few moments to get it together. So I’m sitting on these stone benches which ain’t comfortable but they shady – least way back under the pavilion they is even with light coming in from off the neverending lake. Played a few with Ephram earlier this morning and won like usual but my brain couldn’t really focus right. Like all mornings after really tying it on, I have these flashbacks that burn up from the back my head. Last night me and The Philosopher were at it good – he was all on about how the purpose of living is to find one’s idiosyncratic value, so-called. I said only value separates humans from dogs is the fact that we’re defining value. Been a vegetarian since I was old enough to walk. Human dignity is bullshit. There’s thinking things and rocks, only difference is we accidentally got the second loop of reflection. Planning. Strategy. Stupid mutation all it is. Shit…. Later I pissed into the fire with everyone watching and stormed off. I never black out no matter how far gone I get. It’s more curse than a blessing, that’s sure. I’m shamed today, burning.

Effie comes and sit with me round noon. He got his orange and a Sprite like always, and he holds out a slice. “You want?” he says. He squinting at me. I can tell he knows I’m destroying myself. No place in this world for a man like me. I see through the illusion like a transparent veil, right to the ugly arbitrary heart of the thing. I gave a simul once in New Orleans as a younger man – 25 club player against me. All their ideas so trivial, man, but in a way so sad and hopeful, too. So simple. I never been simple a day in my life. Not old Larry, boy, old crazy motherfucking Larry.

Part 3: James' Defense

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