Textual Dérive; The Kinetic Phonetics of a Terminal Fool. Written in the Key of H
I saw man leaning out into the street, his cell phone in his hands. He was taking a photograph of something, so I looked to see what it was.
Before him, along the side of the road, was a dead rat. Three hypodermic needles had been stabbed into the middle of its belly.
My girlfriend works in a food truck. Friday is Chicken & Waffles day. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? A whole day, just for chickens, and waffles.
A man got on my bus the other day. He was shirtless, and carrying a staff that’d been carved to resemble a snake. I had my headphones in, so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but you could tell he was up to nefarious deeds. You could tell by how he held himself.
Bad things happen to good people everyday, you know that?
My problem is that I don’t got no problems. My problem is that I go down smooth, like smoke filling up your lungs. My problem is that I’m something that ain’t what it is, yet.
But maybe I will be tomorrow, right? Yeah, sure. Anything could happen, tomorrow.
It’s a big city.
And somebody’s out there, stealing up used heroin needles, and storing them in the city’s rats.
Stranger things have happened.
And continue to happen.
The city is growing storm-clouds, high above the sky.
We work so hard, and the effort trickles down to us like sweet-smelling beads of sweat.
We push away the sky, like it might collapse and suffocate us, crush us, overwhelm us.
The sky pushes back like a lover eager to join us in bed.
It’s very moist outside, very quiet, but not quite silent.
You can hear the footfalls of the rain as it approaches.
I am the caterpillar inside the cocoon.
A few years a go, I was out in the world. I was dating girls and taking drugs and dancing all night. Out in the world. But not so much now.
Now I’ve got a mission on my mind. Now I need lots of little day-to-day activities to keep myself busy. Goal-oriented and focused on an uncertain future.
Outside the sky is as grey and uncertain as I feel. You have to assume that there’s sunshine somewhere above the clouds, or maybe it’s just that dull flat cement colour forever and ever and on into the stars.
I’m getting lost in myself. My mind and body are like some labyrinthian puzzle placed before my soul, the spark of existence that separates my life from the oblivion that exists forever on either side of all that I am. I was nothing forever before this moment, and I’ll be nothing forever after I’m gone.
But right now, I’m the caterpillar inside the cocoon. I’m evolving, changing, and reformatting myself, so I might better move through the universe.
Or maybe I’m just stuck in the mud and spinning my wheels.
Honestly, it’s really hard to tell some days.
We’re on the inside, looking out, on lovers and sunshine and dogs rolling around in the grass.
We’re not trapped, or cowardly, we’re just staying still for a few moments. We’re standing like statues and sitting like inanimate objects that’ve all been put away for the time being.
I can sense the changing of the seasons, rattling beyond our windows like skeletons shedding flesh. Trees get naked. Everybody remembers what it feels like to be cold.
Darkness is coming, down the street and over the hills. Darkness is approaching, and it’s hungry for light and warmth. Darkness consumes all that we have, and it exudes both danger and peace.
The danger of darkness.
The peace of stillness.
We’re not afraid, or alone, but we are scared to be left lonely.
At midnight, all the ghosts strip down to their skeletons, and start wandering around the place, looking for hot spots in the house to drift through. You can hear their ethereal bones as they’re pulled across the hardwood floors, making eerie sounds but leaving no marks.
This is a crooked house on a crooked street in a crooked part of town. Even the spiders are all turned around, down here, weaving sideways webs into the corners of every room. They’re hungry little cross-eyed things, with nervous twitches running up and down their skinny little limbs.
One of the most difficult parts about selling art & literature is trying to explain to people that these things are neither good nor bad, but that they exist in a speculative, subjective state, which can only be contextualized within the ideological framework of an audience.
"You can’t stop me or tell me what to do," she screamed at the sky, pinwheeling backwards off the side of the highrise, the A.K. in her hands beating out a savage rhythm that somehow synched up the noise in her headphones; KMFDM, or one of those other 90’s noise explosions. It’s all shite.
Some bald maniac with giant sunglasses and an almost overly-pierced tongue. Speaking of the 90’s, right? She’s a sex-doll in the uniform of a school-girl, that’s what she tells herself when she’s standing in front of the mirror at home, getting dressed. She’s half Travis Bickle, and half those bits in the Batman movies where he pulls on his suit in a series of fast cuts.
But let’s be honest: there’s no stopping her. There’s no reasoning her. You’d be lucky to just get out of her way for a few moments.
She’s broadcasting on every known frequency and the signal is very clearly one of the FUCK YOU variety.
She takes aim and hits the target.
The moment shatters like you’re a fractured little space-case on too many trips or ecstasy.
And you fall.
This has been the broadcast of SUMMER, 2014.
Now it’s over, and it’ll never back again.
Time keeps moving, slipping, falling into the future. And the future remains forever a day, an hour, a second ahead of us. We chase it and we chase it and we chase it until we drop dead on the floor.
Can you see the sun up there? Can you imagine catching it in your mouth? Sunshine spilling out from your lips like laughter.
This was the summer. This was our lives. You’ll never be eighteen again. You’ll never be who you were, ever again. You’ll move forward and forward, gracefully sometimes. Sometimes not.
This was the future, and now it’s the past. Once it was pure expectation, and now it’s locked away in a box, fully digested and dissected. We know what yesterday was, and now it’s gone.
We’re standing here, today. You and I, and everybody else.
Trying to figure out where we’ll go. What we’ll do.
Some day we’ll be done.
And these words will echo,