Man in picture. Hey hey it’s The Monkees

It is easily one of the worst things there is.

Waking up, unable to breathe, smeared in your own shit.

Horrible. Blunt force trauma. Shame, fear, confusion in volts and watts of angst, without understanding.

It gets worse when I begin to remember. When I start to understand.

I’m to the point where I can’t stand myself. I’m pitiful. I loathe what I’ve become.

I’m a fucking mess.

I was going to drop the sheets in the drink until I figured out I’m back on land. I ball them up, stuff them in a pillow case and head for the shower.

I stand under it for a good long time. I scrub. It takes a long time to feel clean. I scrub some more.

Watch reads noon but it’s not yet nine thirty according to the red digits on the bedside. A pillow case full of my own shit mocks me.

I’m on the second floor of a two story chain motel. I step onto the balcony wearing a towel and alley oop the pillowcase onto the roof above. I have a smoke. Clip my nails with shaky hands.

My nails are yellow.

I honestly don’t want to think about the rest. What the fuck was that? The last fucking thing I needed. I’m scared. Now. After all of this. I’m gonna lose my shit.

He’s got me rattled.

Can’t remember my last meal.

My fingers stained from cigarettes. Better than liver disease I guess.

Tomato juice and antacids.

I see his face, hear him pant and suck back drool. I’m shaking. I puke nothing over and over and over. It turns yellow to burn on the way up. I spit dayglow bile.

Back here, on his ground, he is going to kill me or scare me insane.

I wait twenty minutes for a cab sweating like a sprinkler. The driver tells me I can’t smoke. I drop a five through the little window and burn a hole in the back of the seat. I can smell him. I smoke in his fucking cab.

Somehow I remember the garage where my car is. I get in, fire it up and crank the air. Time passes and I listen to talk radio. Randi Rhodes. Yes, Republicans, particularly neoconservatives, are assholes. Seventeen after.

I know I nodded but my watch says noon. Fuck.

The beautiful chronograph Carlo insisted I own has ceased all operations. Think that means anything?

The sun hasn’t moved much. The clock in my car is a joke.

I feel like going fast.

My car is fast.

I ask the booth attendant how much to back up and charge through the arm. I ask where they got that cool reflective tape. My fee is eighteen dollars. She hates me. I pay her and the arm goes up. She thinks I’m an ass. I feel for her. I see she’s customized her stool with duct tape and yellow carpet pad for maximum comfort. What a shit job.

Instantly I have wide streets and freeway entrances. I am a demon. A loop off the 110 with little to no traffic. I barely miss pedestrians and parked cars for a while. After a few laps, they figure out I’m coming around again and get off the fucking street. A few more laps and they give up the sidewalks by hugging the buildings.

I can’t believe I don’t get pulled over, even here in the land of the lawless.

I stop in some dark dive for a handfull of whiskies and a cold long neck. Looks good to me from the outside. Round and brick. Inside smells of men and cigarettes. Nobody smoking. Old TV high in a corner and the click of balls on a table. It doesn’t take long for me to know the place got quiet when I hit the door.

I order a shot and draught. I try to make it clear I’ll be keeping to myself. I relax as the noise rises. I have a few more and take care to pay as I go.

There’s a woman at the end of the bar holding a motor to her throat to talk. She smelled my fear when I walked in. Her nostrils flaired.

It looks like a prototype for the first ever electric razor from the sixties. One pitch. One note. Bb, B-flat, I’m thinking. No subtlety. Forget inflection or emotion. I’m spooked immediately before I’m fascinated.

She is otherwise beautiful. Crisp white blouse and a dark green skirt. Milky skin and raven haired. Red lips, black pumps with a small cluster of pearls in the middle above the toes, reminding me of the strand around her neck and the diamonds in her lobes.

I pass her to wash my hands. Smells like a meadow, woody and fresh.

I don’t look so bad in the mirror. Typical dive piss trailer. Dank and disgusting, the odor of urinal cakes as icing on the ambiance. I piss a little. Touch nothing. Wash my hands and use the paper towel to open the door before I drop it wherever.

Transfixed by her but in a quiet panic, I smile, smack a twenty on the bar and try not to break stride before I hit the door again. Unable to compensate for my ordinary shoes.

Mullholland. I hit a stretch and work the gears finding a rythm just dangerous enough. I come to a stop sign and my headlights shine through brake steam. I apologize in advance. I headlong without caution on Wrightwood, ripping down it without giving a mad fuck.

Every stop sign is stupid. My goal is no brakes.

Downshift.

Eyes wide open.

Wrightwood becomes Vineland at Ventura. I stop at the light, smoke seeps into the intersection. No cops. I creep with care.

I loaf down Vineland for a few blocks, downshift to second and put my foot in it. I’m doing sixty when I spin the wheel hard left towards an opening in the island and jerk the hand brake, drifting just right, I end up in the opposing lane.

Just like that.

I grab second and bury my foot again. A hard winding right going from third to fourth and I’m doing a hundred and thirty in fifth gear on the 101 towards Hollywood.

Sixth gear is dumb. Never use it. Once on open road in Arizona, once in Nevada.

I brake and shift down for Vine. Left on Sunset and I’m prowling.

Grease.

I pull into a Dennys. I order some grand slam thing that promises lots of pork and eggs. A side of sliced tomatos. They have good bleu cheese dressing. I like toast. I ask for coffee and lemonade. I read the free hooker paper I got from a beat to shit red box on the sidewalk right out front. Horoscopes. Movie reviews. Trannies. Oh my.

She tells me the plate’s hot as she drops it in front of me. I ask for A1 and green Tabasco. Just like that, two bottles are in front of me.

Far better than a prefrontal labotomy. I ask if she’ll cream in my coffee. She brings me a small bowl filled with those little mini shots of half & half. I’m so goddamn funny. How could you hate a loser like me.

Is the brochure on the counter the dessert menu? She tells me those are specials, all desserts are at the back of the menu.

I begin to understand how bad I don’t want to go home. I can’t get away from him, he’s waiting for me to come home now. I can’t get away from him. Kill or die. I am damaged. Way off balance. Feeling far from lethal.

I can’t kill. I want to hide. Maybe to die.

Can’t ask for shelter from anyone I care about because I can’t put anyone in harm’s way. I’m not willing to ask people I don’t care about.

I’m almost out of money.

One Response to “Man in picture. Hey hey it’s The Monkees”

  • Starlight Tripp'n:

    Blue whale trying to fly or even stay a float! It been obvious for some time; you are very angry at yourself. When your mother told you to vacuum the astro turf; you needed to plug in the machine. Your running on empty; any one person you grab onto would sink down fast.The red snapper & I have wings but even we would hit the ground, with a destructive thud, if too close to your wake. No wonder you love the buffet,& L.A; you can get lost, in all the choices. And that is what you need to do, observe the good around you and take a tiny bite hear and there. Then Become that, which is lovely. Breath by breath, and step by step, become the fighter, the dier whom defies gravity. When the machine is out dated it is vital to rework the innards, remake the chassis and stream line, casing. Be Detroit and reinvent yourself, the new Michael that gets to grow old, slowly with the rest of us. Otherwise your just an antiquated Republican in the skin of a Democrat; yuk! Stretching truth to the breaking point…, Yin & Yang baby!

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