Man in Picture part two. The way we were.

I’m a submarine, way down deep, hull compromised. Pinhole leaks will soon begin to gush. You’ve seen the movies. Once that shit starts, it’s the beginning of the end.

Now he e-mails me on all three of my accounts.
Nothing too sinister, emoticons and random puncuation
that I’m sure are supposed to correspond or be in
context somehow with sightings of him.

I haven’t filled an ice tray in weeks, but they’re always full. Lately, the toilet paper is installed properly on the wall dispenser. Something I never do.

I keep hearing the wind blow outside. When I step out
for a smoke, the air is still.

The radio turns on in the middle of the night. Wierd stations that sound like Hamm radio. Sometimes orchestras from the forties.

Constantly lately, what must be ancient perfume. Simple pungent notes. Disturbing but instantly nostalgic.

Then there’s the pigs.

I ask her if she’s noticing them. Not so much says she.

They seem to be everywhere. Iconic to a degree in American culture, she points out, smirk gratis.

Maybe I just notice them more. Everywhere from news magazines to National Geographic.

The ones in the Geographic have dirty tusks and crazy eyes swimming in violence. I smell them when I wake in the middle of the night. I hear their bifurcated hooves in other rooms.

They squeal and clack on my balcony.

They’ll eat anything you know. Anything.

The very next time I see him, his eyes are filled with
blood. Our entire encounter, he blinks once.

There’s a big ass Ralph’s across the street. Tremendous selection of frozen meals as well as standing at the fridge food. Good soup kiosk and a really good salad bar. Single males understand this food dynamic as well as the need for as many plants as you can possibly get down into your goddamn gastrointestinal.

Anyway, sometimes I start on the right because I’m in a hurry. When I start left it’s because I’m cool and I have a little time.

It was an afternoon copasetic as I entered left off the elevator with my smooth and noisless cart. I turned right after perusing the produce section and picking out some avacados, tomatos and onions. I proceeded down the middle north to south aisle. It bisects the store and aisles on your right and left.

He appeared at the head of the first one.

His eyes were rimmed with blood. His hair was more yellow. I thought of a naked corn cob. Right there, thirty five feet to my right. Not showing his teeth today and that’s a relief. Kinda, because the lower front of his face seems to struggle at containing them.

Next block down he’s at the tail of that one and thirty five feet to my left.

The next aisle is a block party. Fireworks bust and spatter in the night overhead. It’s the nexus of this retail venue, and at the same time, red and gold popcorn carts, clowns, balloons and herds of women in pastel stretch pants and heels.

I jerk left down the next lane and it’s just carnival games and frozen food. He’s at that end as I roll up on him while he stares at me through eyes full of blood. He blinks slowly and his lids are squeegees. Fresh red blood runs from his eyes and into his teeth as he begins to grin.

He’s got dozens of pigs with him. Some are hogs. Some are boars. Some are swine.

I understand that if I’m not his demise, he will be mine. I smell this fact when I flip a bitch in front of him and head down the road on the opposite side.

He follows me and it’s loud. He marches and brings his feet down hard. He constantly sucks drool back through his teeth.

I’m panicking. My heart in my throat as my brain screams about how life is fucking tough enough, why me today?

I glance back and his nose and ears have joined in the gush over his giant teeth.

Red blood streams into his maw like rivulets before a wash.

Now he’s ahead of me eating slices of pineapple from a can. Blood and fruit juice run over his chin and down to his shirt to look like sweat. I wonder if I have just minutes to kill this crazy motherfucker.

Or will it be another day?

He beats me to the register and I watch him bag my groceries. His shirt is a dark blue now and his eyes are bloodshot but clear.

I tell him paper & plastic and to pack them heavy. He does all that.

I still understand that I have to be this guy’s fucking hurricane.

Drinks for my friends.

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