OK, the first official one on one Presidential debate is over. We were promised big things! A cataclysm of epic proportion where the spin of the actions of the candidates would be brought up and exposed in lurid detail. A mighty clash between failed policies and inappropriate behaviors that would leave the entire studio scorched from the level of vitriol cast forth. What did we end up with? A squabble between two social role model surrogates locked in an ugly divorce proceeding. Forget about the economy, forget about the chronic joblessness, forget about the overall demise of the USA as a one time independent world power now turned into a starved junkyard dog fit only for guarding global interests! It was an ad honimum attack by the female of the species upon a less articulate redress by an exasperated man. Forget facts or realities however dire because it is a fact that this society is currently so damaged that it can no longer distinguish substance from style. That is why everyone remains perpetually in the mess that we all suffer as a result of. Elections at all levels are no longer run on facts, if indeed they ever were? They are run on skin deep appearance and the public animal identification that human beings are prone to confusing with content. They are based upon verbal quips that have staying power when repeated 24/7 at all hours of the night. “If she don’t look good than you don’t look good!” If the current president is perceived as being black then everyone black has a dog in the fight by virtue of that trait. Common sense and the timeline of provable statement and action have no bearing! Even if they are immediately accessible to public view. It is the semblance of what is taught as reasonable behavior rather than the paucity of content of what was important and how it was presented.
The ‘daddy’ of this drama didn’t play this game because quite frankly his lifetime success in business has not exposed him to the same sort of marital confinement at the mercy of an unsatisfied demanding female’s power games. He has no experience with that sort of well-practiced shrew of a wife whose every other word has a well-planted barb leaking accusatory venom. And by someone quite literally a master disciple of Gods of the harangue like the late Saul Alinsky. His overbearing male empowered white privileged behavior provided a convincing appearance of a stereotypical White patriarch male . Something that is instant anathema to all women and the institutionally Liberal minded. Mommy played her usual game salting in denigrating comments less than artfully delivered to his unsophisticated temperament of self-serving defensive rhetoric. So the election will be won based upon the way that society has been carefully devised for literal decades. If Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. Then this election has been already prefigured by the many pages over the years within the self-help lifestyle books that trumpet the ideologies behind Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou. Men of White European heritage that dare to overtly display any sigh of macho privilege will be immediately dismissed as arrogant and socially destructive. Women that effortlessly adhere to the playbook of faux public civility as socially inculcated in millennial sensibilities will play the clever victim being tyrannized by the brutish male. The fact of the imminence of a violent dangerous financially bankrupt world rapidly becoming a terminal proposition having absolutely no bearing when confronted with this type of media soap opera featuring straw dogs and straw men. The ‘just write a hot check‘ despite the fact that there is no money in the account philosophy will persist unabated. The convenience of denying any responsibility for your own misdeeds but just simply sloughing them back at anyone that calls them into question will make them disappear for the moment. People will dance and sing and wave their arms around like something important was accomplished by killing off yet another supposedly evil social miscreant with those ever reliable hurtful ideologies of the past. But Charles Darwin’s propositions when taken in their original form as intended by the spirit of the author will insure that this addictive need for the perpetual balm of ‘gangham style’ mutual consensus will assure the destruction of this society. Where in world history has one ever seen any longstanding empire over the millennia ruled solipsistic obsessed Amazons?
The current tradition of ‘Kill the Messenger‘ is in its halcyon. The whiners will continually self-righteously whine. The minorities will continue to play victim for as much as they can get and burn down their neighborhoods when they don’t get as much as they think that they deserve. The barbarians by the gates will walk right through them unmolested and commence to fracture what was tenuously a like minded society into an uneasy collection of hostile ideologies forever in unrest with each other. The national interests with be directed from afar and the government and military will be led around by the nose into ceaseless intercine conflicts by pipsqueak nations that control out puppet leaders cheaply bought off and firmly in their pockets. What few jobs there are will level most into low paid food service workers or temporal employment in some other menial type of tasks that provide absolutely no hope of growth or advancement.financially or otherwise. Women and men will exercise decadent abstract behaviors in lieu of starting viable families capable of properly raising sane responsible children capable of producing the extension of a civil society. Americans as a whole will be bred down to populate just another homeland in a backwater global territory populated by ignorant lumpen masses that are incapable of exerting themselves upon a system that will treat them equivalently like dumb farm animals fit for industrial processing. And in the end, it will be all daddy’s fault!
You enter a world of strangers and leave it to same. The ways that you become accustomed to become equally so towards the limelight of your existence. Some attempt to build monuments in the material sense of the physical world as the name that they were known by in this life becomes so instantaneously forgotten. The empires of the past must literally be daily swept about with both vacuum and broom. So what, if anything, can one count upon beyond this but their accumulated knowledge of a lifetime of unique experiences to them? Most of which almost no one will retain beyond a vague sympathetic fragmentary memory of things how they were so distinctly foreign from what they are in the half-life of an ever mercurial present tense. Past eras signal to those few listening that the larger existence of society could be swept away tomorrow. More dust to knock about the ages along with the senseless worries of everyday routines that have immediately become extinct. What does that leave one?
The current version of social tyranny demands everything from those that it states are members of it. The arrow that points down circumscribed upon its upward pointing reverse no longer equals the sum total. There is only the social structure of an ever increasing pyramid scheme that the exclusive membership of the perpetual few demand that the many must carry on their back. They demand that the larger ‘we’ recognize them as our one and only God. There is no prophet or avatar of superhero that will save one above and beyond one’s self. To many currently spiritually seduced by these times that spells out the seeds of chaos. It surrenders the inconvenience of free will that demands common sense and intuition to a mechanical sense of 24/7 obeisance to theoretical persons unseen. A society governed by robots at the mercy of a series of glitches both accidental and planned.
If one surrenders to fear and anger on command then they are nothing more than domesticated beasts ripe for the coming slaughter. Not some predicted Armageddon! But the daily meat grinder of overstated importance of the external that will invade the ego and rot whatever personality one has concocted for one’s self over many long difficult years from within. The struggle of life in its many forms defaults inevitably to a migratory existence on the sands of time. The spark that we bring with us can so easily be lost along the way. A tiny flame that one ever expects will serve as a torch but so often flickers in the unexpected torrent of hurricane winds. Count your blessings and discard your foolishness while you can. It’s going to be a rough ride from here on out. One could expect nothing less.
The T-Shirt said “Black Lives Matters”. It had been raining that morning and the traffic at the end of the line was mostly ‘White’. The rush hour’s end had afforded the stainless steel cars a peppering of available seats in the ‘New York Style’ arrangement of face to face, “I got my back covered.” That dookie smell of urine was gratefully absent. Traynor strolled in just after his phone which floated just ahead of him. “Say What?“, the expression of the sum total of the provision of his internal thought process. He sat down flashing his best case of aloof diffidence a seat a way from post-bangable soccer mom with small puppies who was vigorously massaging her I-phone so as not to see him. An old fat ass white racist muthafucka topped in an unexpectedly fly Kangol sitting like Jesus in shades the seat across. Traynor sat down matching the other fat fool’s ‘man spread’ with his own appropriation of a ‘yard and a half’ thumbing the tiny windshield of his own crappy phone. What up with these honky muthafucka’s? A couple of Tom’s in three piece monkey suits on either end of the car trying to look white enough to get past the man. It was a sad day! The pigs had offed another two brothers over the weekend out east. The hood in Charlotte was ablaze. And these fools were just sitting here silently freaking that the brother’s here on the West side would mind their manners long enough to let them all get downtown. He was pissed! Tall with red half downs and his own matched flipped Ivy cap he was sending a message to the world. The day was coming. Coming soon! That day when the black man didn’t have to put up with any shit anymore from nobody. The ofay across the way was looking over at the fat booty sista as she scribbled in her book. The busta had a tiny banger smaller than his dick clipped in his pocket of his new black Levi’s. Maybe he thought he was cool or something? He’d have popped the sucker’s mouth if he didn’t have to go down the the Cultural Center to dress up and play toy cop. He was sending out an all points bulletin to score some much needed cheddar from some of his ace boon coon’s that he had done a few favors for. Last month’s check had left the planet three weeks after it had landed and he was being paid monthly by the city. Ten dollars an hour! Damn! Our homey in DC hadn’t exactly come through after seven years of playing golf! That tiny bitch boating nigger from last week had chowed down all his green after he and his patna Harold had horse wanged her last Saturday. He wasn’t looking for a boo but he had to admit that she was fine.
The ancient fat faggot across from his was peering out of his shades just past him now. Good! Traynor reeled out his legs splaying them across the aisles to bust some chops. But the old geezer didn’t budge. A played out pig? “Who gives a shit?“, he thought. He better not be messing with me even if he was a gray grandfather of the man. Too bad that old fool wasn’t around to chase those two bare back’in faggot bitches out of the gallery the other day! They started touching stuff in the community outreach baby nursery where the black kids had posted their best shot with paper and pencil across the wall. He was just waiting for some sass from the two of them so he could call security and toss them out of the building. He didn’t care how much these two interior designers paid in yearly taxes. “Don’t touch the Charmin!” He knew that the gaze across the way was checking him out. Not playing chicken like some of those other younger skinny ass white dudes. The chip taken out of the bridge of his nose was itching big time from the heat. Damn! He had gotten banged walking into an open kitchen cabinet door eye high over at grandma’s. He had been getting some street respect and he let anyone who was curious think that he was doing a little gang banging. He felt his face melt down a little more into his toughest ‘don’t fuck with me’ expression. His friend across the way didn’t move a whisker. Traynor had to wonder if this guy though paunchy in the middle was for real? Certainly he had seen the message on his ‘T’. The old turkey looked like he didn’t even carry a phone to hide his attentions in? His two feet solid on the deck and the small black truncheon of an umbrella that got unconsciously nervous being passed from one hand to another. Was he side dreaming of how to stick it in the young black youth’s neck. Maybe years back he had done the Nam? He was as old as Traynor’s uncle Bill. It made him a bit nervous to think that his new white homey across the way was not. He fumbled for the other phone that he had boosted from his little brother’s dresser that morning. The one that mom had taken away for the week after this last report card. The little bitch had scored a brand new slightly used Samsung for his birthday for getting through math with a C+ at the end of Spring. He thumbed through some Android favorites, ‘Leap Day’ through to ‘Bejewled’. What was the point he thought. He had a job but how many burgers could he buy on $400.00 a week after taxes? The Muzzies and Chinkerbells were coming over to take all the jobs that were left. You couldn’t call up to complain without talking to some Punjabi. Sure there were some brotha’s hauling down some serious bread but the action on the street was getting terminal. That was the way that the white man had planned it! Destroy the Black race! The MSNBC Lemon had a much as admitted it about Trump. If Hell-ary didn’t get back into the White House then the game was over! And that old bitch was going to stir the pot at that with a bunch of camel jockeys that she was going to import after the election. It was tough enough to keep one’s head down not the street with the 911! What in the world could a black man do? Trust in Jesus?
The train’s white voiced soul chimed out the usual delay message at the Loop’s crossroads. The usual silent sigh of relief from all the white passengers evidenced in a less frozen sense of attentiveness to their immediate surroundings. Traynor could breath a little freer now that all the silent eyeballing had ceased. The old white dude was no longer in his seat but by the door staring at the scenery waiting for the train to pull into the station. The fat sista had gotten off the stop before. Traynor was still waiting impatiently for a return text to see if he could shacka-alacka a five or two for some much needed Dunkin. How the day would work out was anybody’s guess? The train started moving and the Ding Dong rang out with that faggot white voice again announcing to the world that his own stop was two away. So what in the fuck did a Nigga have to do to survive in this place for yet another day?
As I sit here in one of two chairs I realize that I am but a cinder of past events. Somewhere in-between what what life once seemed and what it has turned out to be. Today is a dual anniversary of sorts. A day when all pretense of a family legacy died. A day when can recall two years past my mother bid farewell to the place that she had resided for some thirty-five years on her way out to the inevitable great beyond. The death of the family which was an iron reality that was tossed to the fluff of imagination by her passing. Today, the last client signed off from the illusion of the company that they created. I am totally alone. The default state of everyone at some certain point in human existence. Only one of you in particular comes out of the womb. And only one of you is able to fit in the coffin. I am ready. Life at a certain point shifts from an endless number of first’s to the inevitable series of last’s, I am running through a list of my own. That communal entity that I formerly was in civilized society has gone underground. The chaos awaiting him with the passing from this world leaves him pondering the slow slide into eventual dissolution. This is the terrible inevitability that seemingly all must face. The game can only go so far. I know this brings the inevitable protests from the young. I was young once until I realized that this was only an LP re-echoed. something that can only be so many times before it gets stale. Then what?
I surrender my name and my illusions and become whoever anyone thinks that I am. What’s the use? Who cares what I thought the episode of some passing nothingness was infinitely more interestingly than anything about me. That is what I share with everyone else A fundamental sense of anonymity. The people that think they control things are mistaken. They are so predictable in their desires that they don’t even rate as a viable life form. Iv’e been there, done that. It’s bullshit! The secret is that we are in an infinitive loop. Repeat, repeat, repeat. But hoping, ever hoping for a then what to appear. I am a witness. But that does not make me alive! So what do you do when the hair is gray and the organs begin to fail. Gather thee rosebuds while thee may! I will probably outlast the rest! Not because I deserve to! But because it is my penance. Hubris is its own reward. For all you psychoanalysts out there let me leave you with a thought. This could be you. But you were too much in your thoughts.
A long and exceptionally buoyant Summer was coming to a close. The spider nestled outside the kitchen door in his web tightly notched in the crook of one of the uprights of the porch sat patiently as always for the visitation of a new meal. The owner of the residence had observed its evolution over the preceding months from barely a thimbleful to a size almost rivaling a strong man’s fist. The implicit relationship that had ensued between the apartment’s occupant and the imperturbable cootie was based upon the fact that the season had been virtually fly free. The spider’s residence providing a buffer to other genus beyond those pesky Diptera. Their understanding a matter of behavior and continued performance. This impression had been quickly dashed when due to some mysterious oversight the Araneae had transgressed into the house to envelope a hapless kitten. One of a fresh litter of the cat that the man had been bamboozled by his ‘Ex’ ito watch from the current weekend through to the next. His solitary search of the surrounding grounds and within the one story structure yielding no immediate evidence of the fledgling’s presence. That was until the man opened the back closet of the back room to find a tight grid inscribed above an upper shelf. This thickly woven net encompassing the shriveled remains of a tiny emaciated little fur ball vibrating within its tension in mid air. The best supposition to the solution of this encounter offered in the fact of the older structure’s faulty construction yielded ingress of the ‘eight-legger’ via a ceiling fissure straight through from the attic along the pathway of a decaying soffit. One by one over the coming days the remaining occupants of the litter disappeared with the same spiderish alacrity as the first. The evening preceding the arrival of his ‘Ex’ to retrieve her pets was greeted by the disappearance of the tabby mother. The man now loathe to check the corner for further evidence of what he was well aware of what was now transpiring. Though he had not personally seen the perpetrator of these serial disappearances he could only imagine in his mind’s eye how it had grown both in size and boldness. His own bedroom’s battens checked for the possibility of ceding to an unexpected confrontation in the dead of night he pondered not only what he might say in defense to his ex-wife’s expected wrath. he was already in trouble with her lawyers due to his spotty record of alimony payments over the preceding months.
Slowly a plan congealed within his brain that swept away his lurking sensory revulsion over the previous week’s events and the inevitable showdown with this monster to contest any further animal mayhem. By now he estimated that the creature must have assumed a size that at least equaled that of the combined weight of its victims. That in some way must have limited its area of travel as the consumption of six kittens had precluded further travel through the hole int he closet’s ceiling. He had secured the door the to back room that very morning. It being the site where the cat’s basket had been left at the commencement of it’s happy little family stay. His lodger must still be in there? It’s appetite growing progressionally? Would it be a match for a smallish woman of barely a hundred and five pounds? He got out of bed and armed with a flashlight and baseball bat struggled warily up the attic’s steps. It’s small door opened with the greatest of care so as not to unexpectedly loose the possibility of an insect opponent. A carefully inspection from the door jamb as the strong column of light issued from his electric torch verified his theorem. The spider was nowhere to be found in the attic. His gumption amplified by his careful search he advanced to the general area of the closet where the fissure had provided access and shining the light through it spied the glint of small stack several eyes peering back through the hole at him. Judging as best he could he returned downstairs and continued his plot sitting at the kitchen table just before the break of dawn. His wrathful former spouse need only tale down the back hall to the room holding the empty basket. A subsequent search in the usual places under the bed would leave only the open door to the closet. The inevitable would transpire and depending upon the current dimensions of its current occupant his longterm problem and the beast immediate issues would be resolved. The only decision that was left to be made was whether he should attempt to close the room’s door while the spider was busy with its new prey or simply prepare a bag to vacate the entire premises upon verification of the completion of the deed? Both seemed to have some merit? Considering that the initial shock of an attack by so large a creature would cause immediate incapacitation of itself and allow for the requisite serum from the spider’s vomit allowed for it to digest its silk wrapped prey. What would be his reaction to the possibility of the lament of his Ex’s muffled shrieks? he was after all a person who could claim a certain sensitivity to the distress of others. But considering the torment that had been purposely visited upon him by the constant wrath of his vindictive former love, the experience might lead to a balancing of the inner trauma he had suffer over those years. Maybe he would give it a try for a night or two before making a final decision?
But what would he do with his increasingly voracious pet. It’s desire for sustenance would not abate with one hearty meal? The light of the morning sun had enlivened the room before he had come up with a seeking brilliant intuition. His line of trade had left him with an awareness of certain personalities whose unsavory nature in the business of loan sharking demanded that a lesson or two occasionally needed to be taught. Perhaps he could rent out his residence for the purposes of providing an efficient alternative to what he surmised were freshly congealed concrete shoes and a midnight ride to the local quarry’s reservoir? These matters requiring a certain delicacy that an initial test of services might confirm. The accumulated fees for the provision of such services allowing for a more upscale type of existence in another town far away? This seemed a win win solution. A sharp rap on the front door announced the arrival of his shrew. She blustered in irritably beset by some minor interruption that had noting to do with him beyond being the most convenient target of her vitriol. The issue of her valuable time being wasted by her continual presence here solved by his simple invocation that the cat’s basket was still resting in the back room where she had left it. Her curses of possible concerns suggesting the possibility of his neglect in ignoring her pet’s welfare floating behind her as the stamped down the short hallway to the closed back bedroom door. He sat in the kitchen careful cocking his ear to detect the possible events that his mind’s eye so graphically provided. Her tinny voice loudly demanding the whereabouts of the cat amidst short episodes of the the scrape of furniture being roughly yanked aside. “Have you looked in the closet?”, he lazily replied in a purposefully lackadaisical unconcerned tone that he knew would drive her into further fits. A short span of pregnant silence that seemed to last for seconds converted into singular hours ensuing. He sat there somewhat perplexed as to what the outcome had been? Had he imagined the spider’s presence in the dim light of the attic. Had it somehow taken flight through a shattered window in the interim of early morning to better pickings within a local barn or shed? Cautiously he regained his heavy flashlight and bat to explore the hallway and peer into the bedroom’s door now open. Whatever sense of possible disgust he might experience at the possible sight of what lay within overcome with the need for closure. He picked up a small shaving mirror in the bathroom along the way and carefully fished it around the jamb of the room. The occasional brush of the sound of an impotent struggle coming from within the darkened closet was verified visually by a single woman’s empty shoe flipped over haphazardly upon it’s side. He reached in and quietly closed the door in a manner that would not disturb the cloaked embrace now in progress just beyond. The recollection coming to mind of how his wife had always been partial to silk.
Blankenship studios was considered a minor player in the major motion picture game but equally a springboard for a number of entry level talents wishing to make the jump from Indie productions into the big leagues. Not as legendary as the Roger Corman concern of decades past who had recycled major stars of seminal eras barely distinct to the sensibilities of his own respective breakthrough era. Yet holding enough cache that if ones product received reasonable box office on its opening week might suggest a promising future. Frank, Dawn and Jerrold had found themselves an unlikely match when they discovered each other within the bowels of the three story twenty-thousand foot warehouse that served as studio and headquarters for this pecuniary conscious concern. Located on the fringe of downtown just on the edge of L.A.’s skid row its exterior seemed as innocuously dismal as the neighboring soup kitchen and bulk clothing concern that flanked its adequately expansive fenced in parking area. The impression left by this dismal location challenging the artistic resolve of new hires as to what sort of working budget they were most likely to contend with before they had even breached the over-painted aluminum extruded doors of the front entrance. For all intents and purposes one might have expected to find yet another East L.A. sweat shop operating in place of the tightly packed departments that lingered catching dust behind the small collection of tiny offices huddled at the street side. Anonymous moles past back and forth in the perpetual dimness between narrow corridors formed by multi-level shelves packed with second hand props and aging studio equipment. The three fledgling aspirants aghast at the contrast of this hoary archive of artifacts remaining in service from a recycled ancient Hollywood past lingering on to barely accommodate the demands of an artistic transition to its current future.
Frank lamenting aloud after three days in on a two week production schedule that his submitted script had been eviscerated by phantom parties unknown in the front office. His ire deferred with short speeches by what appeared more correctly as cigar chewing clothing salesmen turned occasional to movie moguls ever reminding him of the golden beginnings of the epic age of the silents. That time long ago int he past when movie sets utilized for an entire feature might expect less than a hundred square feet. And the studio’s collection of same were crammed together side by side working feverishly around the clock to deliver on a one week schedule to deliver the requisite reels of nitrate stock before the vinegar syndrome set in and made them unusable. The recitation of this same speech having been recited almost rote by different lips of variations of the same kinds of characters. The end of each day’s conversation protesting more unexpected shortcoming always ending with the analogies of the films “Nickelodian'” by director Peter Bogdanovich, or alternately, Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” screenwriting quip of cinematic ‘war hero’ Alan Ladd’s transformed into a Baseball epic. Frank’s boiling dissatisfaction’s bubbling over to the point of unexpected tantrums betwixt the inner recesses of plentiful dusty corridors ripe with barely usable moth eaten props shelved high in adjoining rows serving as soundproofing. His new companions fared no better wrangling the jury rigged parts in obsolete film cameras gripped by rusting booms and stuttering cranes. Their culturally correct director sharing the fact that blowing her brains out might be preferable to allowing her name to be associated with the crap that was being assembled in spite of their growing protests by the establishment’s resident coterie of Bühnen gnomes. The solitary progression of individual despair ranging unabated within these same lost canyons of past tense artifact lore. The three had found themselves caught upon he collective scow of sinking career expectations in the bleak prospects of their respective careers blunted by releases that publicly demonstrated only the adversities that this environment offered and not the creative genius that each posed to overcome same.
One day at the end of the first week, the twenty year old director now near to fatal exhaustion after three sleepless marathon sessions she staggered to far end of the front office opening the door from the cavernous studio into a plush suite. There sat a little girl of seven patiently awaiting her fat uncle with the cutest little dog that anyone could ever have imagined. Dawn stood star-stuck at the contrast of the misanthropical world outside behind this fairy tale setting. A sweetness and life engendering warmth generated by the combination of the two and their accommodating tranquility for what the director knew was a bitterly mercurial magnate. She backed away quietly suddenly struck with an impromptu plan to salvage sanity in the midst of the current grinding ordeal of the three. Why not supplement the house resources to produce their own feature using the characters at hand as models for a heart warming classic tale surpassing the antiseptic version of the tripe that they had been bamboozled into producing? This thought came like cooling waters to the parched sensibilities of her two equally indentured companions. The next few days occasioned by reprimands by panatela abusing executive Philistines providing dire warnings of going off schedule. Their dailies now absent of that elusive struggle for inspired creativity in rapid one take haphazard rapidity. The drive of their own undisclosed mutual endeavor supplanting those missing hours that might have at least made this form of output vaguely professional. The crisis point coming in a mere day’s time when to their surprise the executive producer arising from his king’s chair within the diminutive screening room pronounced their lack of effort as exceptional genius. So refreshing was it to see true professionals that understood the importance of coming in under budget ahead of schedule with the least level of effort expended! Each of the three with the exception of Dawn offered the impromptu bonus of a cigar as reward for their noteworthy efforts. The dark communal cloud above them now dispelled they secreted a conference among themselves concerning whether to reveal their own masterwork. Coming quickly to the conclusion that the best course of action being to offer it at a later time to the next major annual Indie festival competition in the mountains of Idaho. Their personal production subsequently winning a best in show award under a collective pseudonym as thematically least saccharine the most promising trend for the coming ‘avant guarde‘. The moral of the story being that ultimate success is never as far as that current appreciation of the fulfillment of your own dream.
The street was dark, September almost passed. Where had this year gone? The calendar had nearly flown off the wall it had seemed so fast a transition. It seemed a pleasant temperature to him as he walked back through the small maze of local lanes that comprised his neighborhood. No sense of imminence about the fact that the sun had now had been missing for over an hour or two. Just a slow steady walk in the emptiness of still night. Cars swished by in the distant proximity of the boulevard a few streets away to far to beset the quiescence of what was a rarity of mental unity of the larger oneness. He heard a woman’s voice from far off and immediately recognized it as Babs. Babs who he had not seen for a decade and a half. Babs who he had wanted so much that he thought so frequently that he would have liked to have stone her favors from two other men but could not. He had been given his chance one night when she had invited him over to cook him a small repast but he had bolted because her young child was sleeping in the small bedroom off the foyer. What a naive fool he always tended to be. He was found out so easily to be a fool. It made no sense to turn around to chase up to her. He could see a small figure down the street as he rounded the last ‘T’ that lead directly to where he now resided. He simply called out as if they had just left each other’s company but a minute before. Kind repartee’s of cheerful words sent to echo into dense nothingness between them. Each round of her voice was a little more distant as the distance mutually increased. Perhaps she was naught but an unexplained resurrection brought on by an odd combination of the unsure measure alcoholic drink and dinner? He knew that the silence that occasioned his thoughts in the last few paces while he checked and rechecked for another exchange came up blank.
Age and the vagaries of the economy had dispelled all myths of prowess for self-survival and he found himself living much-diminished. Those days of indigence over a proclivity to spend money he did not immediately possess for items that he have rationalized that would one day aid his eventual success now gone. The building that now housed him housed so many others long down on their luck. Fortune had not smiled upon the land and there were so many disappointments to be read that the stories of same were no longer worth relating. He walked into the small shabby lobby of what in former generations of the previous century had no doubt been a boarding house. The halls were long with innocuous apartment doors on either side. All painted in some eggshell or cream color that homogenized with the dirty carpet of the rambling passageway that kinked left just outside the elevator then again before it reached his own space. He dodged a couple of his neighbors doing their surly best to avoid him. One uncharacteristically engaging him in conversation for a short sentence or two about the general discontent of the imagined constituency of the indifferent phantoms loosely referred to as tenants. As he rounded the first cataract after propelled by the door slammed he careened past a surly looking male in pajama bottoms sporting his svelte six-pack in a dangerously silent and obvious manner. It being of no consequence in keeping good relations he hustled past minding to his own affairs. The closing proximity to his own door springing forth an immediate mental image of his own rumpled bed covers all askew as he had unceremoniously left it earlier that morning. The obviousness of a lack of prospects in newly encountered unexpected companions accompanying him back after some chance meeting at dinner the now expected nil. The flat mates of bed and despair were the only possibilities awaiting him as he rounded the other blind meander that signaled a arrival at the building’s rear. A less than desirable pair of strangers being caught in flight down the back stair at his approach. Like the others he paid them no mind.
The combination of top lock and its mate broached he entered his own small entryway and turned in the usual smooth rhythm to push the door shut and bar it with an old cane that he had long ago rescued from the trash as part of the contents of a nearby unit ceded by recently deceased resident. He pushed it mindlessly aware that it would not close all the way as if the threadbare rug had advanced into the gap. He pushed and felt the door push back. The instantaneous nature of the circumstance found his sense of curiosity at odds with his caution and he did not answer back with redoubled force. A surrender to a chronic weakness of spirit his current malaise. Two figure pushed unexpectedly past him making a beeline at top speed to the small studio’s opposite corner. A small table’s underslung shelf holding a small stereo with a record turntable sitting atop. The two scrawny malcontents stood poised for the attack that they expected from the room’s most recent tenant. Their adversary posed with an instantaneously rapid assessment of the pros and possible cons of his own fitness to exert his manhood as far as physical violence. He found the cane now gripped in his hand like a cudgel. His opposite picking up its mate in response next to the bed. The probability of being overwhelmed two against one demanding another possibility. Beneath the covers unbeknownst to his new visitors lay an old 32 caliber revolver that represented his only nightly companion. The thought of making a leap over what would be at his current age a senseless geste raced impotently to indecisiveness. The possibility of mortal danger had finally caught up with him in the least expected of locales. He cursed the unexpected smoothness of the night and the way it had derailed his usual streetwise sense of regard.
The instant of eternities passing deferring to the immediate transition of his awakening alone in the dead of night. Feint strokes of light impotently brushed upon the ceiling above him by the streetlamp outside. The covers still up to his neck but a dull ache in his cranium. He lay still flat upon his back trying to sort out the situation in terms of what was his current sense of real and what was nightmarish hallucination. His consciousness analogous to the passing of two workman passing at shift’s conclusion. The normal sense of chaotic order room relatively the same after being rechecked for any details matching the dream he sighed. This cauchemar puzzled him as to it’s source. Given the dun of by the unforgiving hour of the night the possibility of a neighbor’s carelessness in overturning a piece of furniture being the most likely offender for the interruption of sleep. The shackles of sleep still heavily poised upon his limbs he had to fight to regain his normal impulses to rise from beneath he fisherman’s net of covers restraining him. How odd that he could not still disseminate the scenario of the dream from this dark empty room? There was no revolver. That had been a quick invention of the mysterious author of the eerie scenario. The turntable had been a persistent artifact long ago lost immediately after youth. How strange the play of circumstance of characters that though some actually existed in this current iteration of life’s unsolved puzzle, the others had no part whatsoever in his conscious thoughts. Perhaps they were unseen patches to a haphazard rambling existence of the time in-between come precariously loose? His facilities now returned to full functioning he rose from the rumple of covers to patrol the room sneaking a peek outside at the alleyway and narrow corridor and back over to the peephole in the entry door of the tiny studio’s opposite end. All was quiet and undisturbed.