You are no longer paralyzed with fear. You finally notice the pair of scissors that have been in your pocket all day long and remove them. Fading from your worn sheets is the smell of apples ripened to the point of turning, then fondled excessively before being peeled and eaten, there, naked, stinking of guilt yourself. The nap was good, you may take another.
There is always more wine. And cigarettes. And food. The fruit was only a single milestone in this eating through the day's time. You are preparing for something. Gearing up, a marathon ahead.
There is a plateau you know you have reached many times in some empty room, one quiet and satisfied (alone unwatched and fearless with no concern of time). Where every air current moving through this space is governed by your will. Opening windows ceases to be an obsession (as you only itch to in the company of others anyway). You suspect hell was like this, or will be, and eternity is no longer a problem if you look at it correctly. Every strata of your possible existence is an eternity, like endlessly layered continents, but you are merely a tourist. You kill time. You bite your nails viciously. You ash in the keyboard and blow it at the screen automatically. Happy birthday. Make a wish.
You enjoy rubbing chalk into your fingertips and looking at the whorls. You want to be a bankrobber on postoffice Wanted posters. Because they had guns. Because they had style. You see the same damn faces in every city, have the same damn conversations year after year, and yet somehow you seem to be evolving. Or improving. Mastering the technique. You do small things with your hands during conversation, folding bits of paper into birds or tracing out woodgrain faces on the table with your spoon. Your eye contact is blistering when you stir up some soul inside to shine out, but most of the time you allow it to sit like sediment in your leaden flesh.
Reading Rainbow taught you that early SFX for the Star Trek transporter was just a glass of water with glitter swirled in it. And that Geordi wasn"t really blind.
You only pretend to hate people. You always consider jumping when crossing bridges on foot, always. Just for the hell of it. You have almost perfected the art of the old mug-for-coffeepot switcheroo under the automatic drip to capture that precious first crackhead-strength cup. You wish they sold heavy narcotics over the counter. You secretly despise signing petitions. You allow scraps of paper to pile up around you; drifts of words and numbers you will never call but still keep. When coming across any password or bank account number you record it for the little book. Just in case. For Armageddon. This is what you pray for everyday. Absolute destruction. A clean cut. Trespasses forgiven. Complete absolution. You are finally beginning to understand slaughter for the purposes of recreation.
So here you are. Alone. Finally. Eternity awaits your prepared mind. You decide to pack up for the road ahead.
*** ( . ***
The rain washes cold and static outside; you are in the bath. Smoking cigarettes languidly and drinking cheap wine out of a coffeecup. Reading aloud to the empty room Philip Whalen, Ed somebody, Allen somebody, Diprima, their words echoing tribal mythology and traveler wisdom (berkeley, new york, portland, all these drunken miles) bouncing from tile to white leadpaint tile, the water is growing tepid and you barely notice. Pollyjean sings from the next room. Then a wedding march plays and the rain washes into dead television sound, and these raw nerves were never ready for war. You can’t care, you don’t, it’s beat reader bathtime and you are slowly drinking your way into noon and your birthday is tomorrow and you want for nothing.
You're a made man, you remember this, right?