I am on the lam.
My glory. Everywhere I go I am pursued. I am a self-perpetuating offense. I must escape. Funny farm, but with no cows or jokes, just cold brick, locked doors, high fences and stifled dreams. And needles too. Can’t get away from here.
A little girl recounts a sad, lowly tale of a lost slipper. A dapper little pink and white marshmallow she is. Insignificant. I am frustrated. So is she by the way her face cringes grotesquely like a hybrid angel-goblin. But her story matters. Does mine? To another? Visited by Lazar the rep, with whom I had spoken to earlier on the phone. Sound familiar? Taller than I took him to be. Lean with an aura of self-imposed dignity. The smell of his lambskin coat intoxicates me. A clean, brisk, tight musk permeates my soul. I was busy at the time. Roxanna, ah yes, she has a story as well. She has grown into a voluptuous jardinière, topped with a bit of perky aplomb that arouses. Everyone has a damn story.
Someone responded to me finally. Taken apparently by my obscure wit. Quitting this guy’s church, my offering is paltry but he didn’t have to make it known to everyone. A gaunt man with robotic features wearing a jacquard apron trails me wherever I go. Too bad I am stuck here in this place with him. “Do they know you in this place,” he asks. Getting late, time for a little shopping. A sepia-toned silhouette at the checkout window engaged in a spirited conversation with an attentive and apprehensive other. ‘Tis the end of something (school, work, freedom, not sure). Got into a fight with P.J. from grade school. A hulking mammoth of a man. Still has that lazy eye. I’ll fain give him another. Oh yeah and that other P.J. needed his ass kicked as well. That crimson beast, that moose-eyed supercilious bohemian outdoorsy son-of-a-bitch. Yeah, that one. How crazy is that! Damn, late for class. Not gonna take the test. Screw it.
Janice singing and testifying, taking up the whole sermon with her greasy gesticulations, her sanctimonious theatrics. Give her a stage for the Pharisees. Old Buzz from the call center clowns around in the seat next to me. Flirting with some corpulent bubble of a woman with studded nails, as if it mattered. Some resistance there. I give up. Damn late for class again. No work to turn in either. Eight weeks behind. A year and nothing to show for it. Hardly anyone on the big six-wheeled multi-passenger Cadillac today. Probably because yesterday was a holiday. Most are still in varying stages of recovery. I see, I see…Hey wait a sec! Why the hell am I driving this animal? I’m a bit nervous. Swerving but maintaining control. Steady as she goes!
My nerves are wracked; my hole in the heart has gotten wider. So wide that it is violated at will by spirits with oblique intentions. Heather from the hospital shares her story. I like her story the best. What an adorable woman. I cannot resist. I want to melt into her faster than an ice cube cast into the springs of Hades (a nice vacation spot I hear). Furious. I am going from classroom to classroom, picking off guileless soldiers and soldierettes, and those who dare to get in my way. I am a machine, again. This time for real. Or maybe not. Where’s my piece? It may not be here, but the intent is undeniable, as my soul jerks back and forth with passion moving with the threat. On offense.
Navy installation. Half suited up, half in pajamas. I don’t care. Shosty’s Sting Quartet number 8. A beautiful tragedy for the beautiful people. Maybe for the exceptional among the base-born as well. They are after me again. Same half-renovated building, same rickety elevators. Same metallic taste of tap water. 15th floor, no 16th is safer. Less exposure, but harder getting down. Nowhere is safe. Prescription drug recall? You can’t be serious. Insolent service rep (who isn’t?) Forms to sign. Maybe I’m leaving after all. Can’t walk straight. I think I left my neurons in a mason jar on the LCSW’s desk. This desk is new. New staffer too. Very articulate. I am probably safe now, or probably all the closer to destiny. An old man to my right is going through the same rounds as I am. Not so alone anymore. Not so pursued I guess. Apartments, the paint fumes are bold, robust, but I still kiss them like I would have kissed Heather. Tree-lined streets. Baby Jonathan is all of three now. Can’t believe so much has passed. He’s so cooperative now, and smart too.
Art: “Relativity” M.C. Escher