editors note: the 3d world is requesting that i spend some time doing shit that i do not want to do...so i am taking a hiatus. believe me i would rather be here, bloggererland...i need to deal with stuff that i cannot type away, cannot pretend is not there, cannot ignore any longer.
i will be back as soon as possible. i know i have some stuff to deal with, like awards and such...
oh and i have to get some discs sent out for contest winners from way back, but, you know shit happens...just wish i were partying naked. then i could blame this all on the booze.
if i have time i will stop by your blogs too...
i will leave you with a little story...
He wakes up, just before the alarm rings. The same routine he does every morning, as he has forever. It is his favorite time. That time while his nerves are still sleeping and his lungs have not started burning, and hurting.
Here, for just a minute, he is whole and unbroken.
Here, for a moment, life is still filled with possibility and a bright future.
Here, for just a minute, he has not abused and battered his body for years.
Here, for a moment, he still feels young.
Here for this moment. He lives for these moments.
But quickly they pass.
And reality says hello.
He crawls out of bed and turns on the heat pad. Lying back down, he starts the routine that his day has become. Every joint gets a dose of heat; the snooze alarm keeps the routine fair.
It could be worse.
His breathing is cool. The burning has not yet started. No exertion in sliding a heat pad around the old bones. No exertion, no burning. He begins to plan his day like he has done for years, except he will go nowhere today.
He will stay home.
Just like yesterday.
And the day before that.
Doing very little.
No gain. No pain.
Take that Nike.
Or whoever coined phrase, No pain. No Gain.
It is still semi-dark. The sun has yet to break the horizon. The alarm sounds. He adjusts the pad. The warmth is like a welcomed friend, soothing the stiffness. He stretches as the heat does its job. And then he settles in for the duration, at least an hour and a half. Ten minute moves. To each major joint.
every. fucking. day.
He closes his eyes. A smile plays upon thin lips. He strokes his beard, and decides after this round of heat therapy, he will go to the downstairs bath and shave the scruffy, unruly beard to neat and trim.
After what seems like days, he gets up and walks down the hall and then down the stairs. They seem like they are miles long. And this is going down. He does not remember them ever being this long.
He says under his breath, “No chance we are making it back up those in one sprint. We will need to take a break.”
Down. Down. Down.
Down. Down. Down.
The steps end in an unearthly darkness.
He is in a part of the city he has never been before. The odor is a sharp punch in the nose, equal parts of yesterday’s urine and fresh feces. The weight of oppression is everywhere. The desperation is palpable. The distant screams of sirens is never-ending.
The darkness is a hungry gelatinous moss, pervasive and intrusive, blanketing the city. No crack or crevice bears light, for it is merely food and sustenance for the darkness.
A baby cries. Dogs bark. Humans yell things at each other that even he would be rarely vocalize. This place is home to the pounding proliferation of poverty and drumming din of the disenfranchised as its essence assaults every sense.
The squalor is disgusting to even the rats and cockroaches.
He sees a figure in the distance, pushing a cart of some sort. A hooded, twisted stick of a human, sex and age indiscernible, crab-like, slowly inching along, singing and talking to itself. Oblivious to the murk and morass in which it moves.
Suddenly, from the shadows, its headlights gobbled by the gelatinous moss- darkness, a speeding car approaches, filed with teenagers, catcalls, and bravado. The driver swerves toward the crabstick, veering off at the last possible instant, tires belching a wave of puddle grime. The crabstick scuttles sideways causing it and its cart, contents and all, to tumble. The tsunami of slurry slop, however, is unavoidable. It washes over crabstick, the cart, and its pathetic plunder.
Two brown bottles whiz through the air, exploding beer infused shrapnel as they hit the filthy pavement. He expects to hear the roaring of gunfire at any moment. However, and thankfully, it is not forthcoming.
The cacophony of crazy laughter echoes the city canyon walls, obscuring the curses and ranting of the crabstick person. Buried is also the raucous rattling of worldly goods strewn like so many trash bags from a moving vehicle.
Here, for a moment, even the unending din subsides, lost in the insanity of a completely senseless act of plain stupidity; a random and unprovoked maneuver of malice.
Here, for just a minute, he hears only the beating of his heart. He hears only his humanity, and no one else’s.
He is compelled to act.
In his limping metered gate he shuffles over to help crabstick. The mad mutterings are laced with expletives and gibberish. He reaches down to help crabstick. Crabstick, its hooded head still dripping, looks up.
Their eyes meet.
Crabstick’s eyes are bespectacled and blue, eerily similar to his own. The beard, more white than its original red, also a haunting similarity. A thin lipped grin reveals teeth that have seen a few too many cigarettes, chased by coffee. The hint of stale beer clings to this specter of some fucked-up funhouse mirror.
Wordlessly, the two broken individuals return the cart to an upright position and load crabstick’s worldly possessions.
Absently, he feels a dim burning in his hips and lower back.
He says to himself, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
In the distance, he hears the sounds that are familiar, yet he cannot quite place where they come from and how he knows this voice- noise.
A sirens wail?
It grows louder and closer. He struggles to place it, or its significance. There is so much confusion of sound in this place. The gelatinous darkness disguises and controls all, as sound and light are also blurred.
Crabstick’s cart is full, and the mutterings have ceased, as crabstick and his stuff move noisily away.
Still the voice-noise beckons. It becomes louder and more urgent.
The burning in his back and hips are now demanding of attention as well. The fingers of the gelatinous moss begin to relax their slimy grip.
His blue eyes open suddenly. For a moment he is unsure of where he is. The stench and decay are gone, replaced by the familiar aroma of fresh brewed coffee and a woman’s perfume.
Thank God, he did not have to climb back up those stairs.
“We’re leaving” says a woman’s voice.
He reaches over to hit the snooze.
And slides the heat pad farther up his torso to continue the routine.
Just Another Day In Paradise