I was standing naked in a parking lot waiting for life to pass me by. There was nothing left to do but wander outside, dressed like Marilyn Monroe or my mother, whichever seem to pass.
Gina Lawson was outside making animal sounds as she bounced merrily on the diving board hovering over the empty pool as if in a dare to come and get her.
Nobody wondered about life, as we sat there, watching, drinking gasoline like it was gin and huffing on paint fumes like it was the sweet smell of sex in the mid afternoon day trip on Eastern Boulevard.
Down on the street, past the sidewalk heading east, at the mall called Hoover Ville, there sat a shop that sold tacos but now closed but for a time, it was the best place to go.
“Angelo died last night!” Gina said, bouncing higher and higher.
I sat there, wondering if one more hit would kill the pain.
It probably wouldn't, but I didn't care.
“On the count of three, we die!”
Higher she jumped and then, on the count of three, she was gone, vapor in the wind.
What year was it that she shot herself in the head?
Miserable year. Guests of the morgue, lost to the coffin, lost to the care taker.
Jane wasn't dead but she was in prison for drug charges.
Something made up, she always said, throwing her head back, drama queen to the end.
“I wasn't even at the shop when the bust went down! My name is on the lease but so is half the city!! Sons of a bitches just want someone to pin this on! Five years!?”
She was down to one year and three months when her dad died.
She got out just in time to see her sister hit by a bus outside the prison.
“Beautiful! Fucking beautiful!”
I was still drinking gasoline like it was gin. I was sitting outside at a table, dreaming of Paris, a night scene, gentlemen in high hats and the women in the lovely fashions of the time.
“A round!” I said, twirling my fingers in the air.
The nurse smiled and nodded and kept moving into the room to the main ward.
“He's at it again!” she whispered to the man inside.
He nodded and wandered outside.
“Time for your meds Mr. Jones!”
I smiled. “Ah, Atlantis is wonderful this time of year!”
I was drunk, stoned, fucked and heading towards a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, and I didn't care.
Luke was in a padded cell, away from the general population, he was a 'Danger to himself and others' according to the judge and the doctors.
I was sane, to a point, as long as I didn't watch Wheel of Fortune.
Apparently that show was the trigger to my episodes.
Nobody knew why, it just happened.
One minute I was fine, the next, I was trying to kill Eric by wrapping a cord around his neck, screaming, “DIE PAT SAJAK!! DIE!!!”
The day of the Fifth of January, I was telling my imaginary friend, a squirrel by the name of Charlie, that the world was flat and I could prove it when my father, or someone's father, came in to see me.
“How are you?”
Nobody who asks how are you really gives a flying fuck how you are, so it's best to lie, such as,
“I'm wonderful! Did you bring some good drugs?”
He shook his head and I cried.
Down the street, across the way, in a park, a man was shot dead for $12.37.
This was the way of the beast, the life of the world, killing someone for nothing, just the thrill of the hunt.
Rockets in the sky, heading toward the moon, crashing into the world, killing us all in a flash.
“God where are you?”
What is love?
Why do we need to love?
Why was I even thinking about love while the world was dying?
The answers never came.
I wasn't expecting them.
I was stoned on pain killers I stole from old man Jackson down the hall.
I was a loser, no money in my pocket or bank account and the only lover I would know was sleeping tightly underground in a cemetery.
“Misery...” old man Jackson screamed.
Painful memories came up from the depth of Hell. Christians were killing babies in the name of peace.
“War on terror...”
I turned off the TV, it was killing my buzz, making me go back to my suicidal days and making me forget what I wanted to remember, fucking in the park on the Fourth of July.
Angie was there.
She was 19. I was probably close enough to say I was 19. We were out there, flying on something, angel hair in our eyes, and a lust in our heart.
She was married now, her husband an accountant, four kids, all blonde, except for one brown haired son they named Calvin.
Who names their kid Calvin?
Apparently a few.
There was nothing left to do but close my eyes and go to sleep...