A JUNKIE’S LAMENT
Took a walk down the street the other day, just to get out of this clammy solitary cancer ward of cold sweats and heroin tears for awhile, seeking release from these creeping drooling walls and the hideous memories they whisper incessantly.
But as I walked along I felt that people were staring at me and I was not at all where I belonged; like some unholy experimental ape released from his cage trying to look all casual as he strolls down Hollywood Boulevard, it didn’t really work out too good.
I passed by hot dog stands and shop windows, but all I could see were slimy entrails and pig shit and blood and shredded fragments of what used to be human beings.
“That boy had guts,” some guy leaning against a wall guzzling a beer said, chatting easily with his friends after work. That boy had guts. Yeah, I could see the blood and guts there too, splattered all over Hollywood Boulevard, all over people’s shoes. Someday those shoes will be empty, sitting on a dusty shelf for forty nine cents in the Salvation Army store around the corner and their feet will have turned to dust too, that’s no lie. Don’t you see? Don’t you see, goddammit? You sit there drinking your piss-water beer and then you go home and beat your fucking wife and eat some cold chicken out of the refrigerator and you watch some television and you go to bed. Do you have the nightmares when you sleep too? Do you people ever stop and think that your feet will turn to dust, you fuckers?
I couldn’t cut it on the street, but it doesn’t come easy wherever the fuck you are. I just knew that the pavement was slippery wet with bloody entrails and things I didn’t care to know about and it seemed better to think about home, shelter from that bloody circus tightrope walk.
When I got back, I switched on all the lights and turned up the music on the radio loud as it could go and hoped the pay phone would ring out in the hallway. After awhile I got up and turned off the music and lights and then I stood by the window and cracked open a can of nuts which I didn’t really want to eat. I walked down the hall to the bathroom and looked into the sink and thought about vomiting for awhile but I didn’t. I walked back to my room and thought about Brazil and stared at the wall for a very long time. Too long.
This room is so empty; the bed is empty and the chairs are empty and the closet is empty and the world is empty and I walked around and around waiting for something to happen. Nothing happened.
I noticed there was dust everywhere, under the table and chair and lampshade and everything but I couldn’t get too excited over that. If there is such a thing as being insane this must be it, I thought, but there didn’t seem to be much sense in thinking either so I just resumed my circular pace like a beat-up old circus tiger in a cage as my eyes scanned the place like a cold searchlight. Where is hope? Where is happiness? Under the chair, under the rug, in the bottom drawer? Behind the table?
I got down on my knees and looked under the bed. A bunch of old cigarette butts embedded in puffs of dust like decayed angel-hair Christmas ornaments. Shit. I looked around some more and all over the floor in one corner where I guessed dust should be like some ever-present reminder of my ungodly wretchedness, there were these little piles of dead butterflies. Seriously. Dead butterflies wrapped up in little plastic bags.
I remembered when this love now decayed and warped and only a fetid memory in a deadened mind had placed them all so delicately along the windowsill with a lover and I remarked to her how beautiful they looked there with the morning sunrise. They had long since fallen to take their place in the dust beneath my dying corners like little crippled skeletons. Like me.
And the morning sunrise is only a time when I moan out loud now from my empty place of rest like a terminal cancer patient, hand groping blindly along the dusty alleys of my crippled little world for some new drugs to feed me with oblivion…