Tybalt's voice, rate it yourself.
They stare at me from across the room. Carmine label pierced by an odd white pentagonal with over-tall roman letters spelling Marlboro across the front in the natural black as contrast. Rectangular and half again as tall as it is wide. Why was he here? He's Harley's friend, I think. I wouldn't credit the vapid little tow-headed twink with much more than six neurons behind those pretty little blue eyes. Certainly not deep enough to dispatch a saboteur. I have to laugh, though, if it weren't so fucking painful. I don't know why I torture myself like this. It's easy in the end: cigarettes make the bourbon easier to swallow. If I have a cigarette in one hand and a glass in the other, I don't have to worry that I haven't picked up a pencil, pen, brush, or knife in a year other than to sign my name and fill out the time cards for the temp agency. That run-in at the gallery last March only made it worse. I bite the plastic and squeeze the aluminum and a blast of compressed air and bronchodilators fills my mouth and I inhale and I can breathe, again. I've been going through more and more of these little cylinders, but that's okay. At least I know what I'm doing. I'm getting up, crossing the room and confronting the little package. Still empty. Jesus.
All the leaves are brown,
And the sky is grey.
Is the reason for the season. That's what the nuns said. They'd know. You would think dedicating your life to Christ would result in at least a little joy when those ever-important pagan feast days converted to Christian Holidays for the marketing department rolled around. I think I broke a finger, last night, when I punched that kid. Tannin, or Citrate, or Acetominophen. Fuck. Butane. His name's probably Juan and he's afraid to admit it because he thinks people don't like Mexicans. He should really get over himself. I tie my hair up in a ball at my neck and stuff it up in a cap. Thankfully, the Jews and Muslims operate on a lunar calendar instead of the Gregorian. At least I know the corner store will be open. It may be Christmas, but people still need cigarettes and booze.
I've been for a walk,
On a winter's day.
It's fucking freezing out here. I still don't know why he was there. I felt like I was in a John Hughes movie. I guess the good thing is my career's already dead; I don't have to go through the pain of atrophy and necrosis like Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, and Macaulay Culkin. I could feel his skin crawl under my hands. I've never had anyone react like that. He was disgusted and aroused at the same time. Maybe I shouldn't have punched him. Maybe I should've just gone west.
I'd be safe and warm,
If I was in LA
Whalid, or whatever his name is, is happy to see me. Why wouldn't he be? I'm the only one who's come into the store all fucking day. Separation of church and state, my left nut. The whole fucking country shuts down because one group wants to illuminate a pine. Still, the corner store has a loaf of questionable sourdough and some pressed turkey that is still within the century-distant expiry. Beauty. It's better than an apology, though. I do nothing but apologise to myself for the things I've done. I suppose I'll need to manage to spit them out, one day. But fuck them if they can't take a joke. I'm not here to be perfect. Popular Belief says that there was one perfect guy and he was nailed to a cross for it. Happy Birthday, Jay Cee. It's a better title than Double-Oh Sexy.
On such a winter's day.
The plastic shivers in the wind. I pull my hoodie about my body and brush the bits of hair that always manage to escape away from the cigarette. The warmth is kind to my sub-zero hands. Complaint isn't easy to come by, here. I know it could be worse. My first summer at school, I spent on the streets. That was about 6 months before Mikhail. I never told him about the other street-rats. The kids I'd spend my days sleeping with and my nights hiding from. The kids you see on the streets aren't homeless. They're disaffected teenagers from the suburbs who pour mommy & daddy's money like water to look like they just rolled out of a shelter. The real homeless kids are the ones you see cruising around at night. You see us because we need to be seen or we'll disappear. I lost five friends in that time from June to September. Don't ask about the sixth. He. It shouldn't have happened, but I had no choice. It's over, though.
Stopped into a church,
I passed along the way.
He held me back. It took Mikhail a year to do that. The rest... The rest are only interested in whatever's below the chin, preferably south of the navel. I don't know what they want. They don't want to talk about music, art, literature, current events, or the best wine they've had recently. I don't even kiss them, anymore. I thought girls would be better. I thought there'd be more reciprocity. Love. Yeah, I killed him. He was going to kill me. I'm faster. That's the way it happens. I never went back. I swore I'd never go back. God damnit, these tears make it hard to see.
Got down on my knees,
I pretend to pray.
I mix ground dill-seed, a pinprick of curry, a dash of paprika, a touch of garlic, and a pinch of cayenne pepper into a coffee cup with mayonnaise, a bit of dijon mustard, and some cracked black pepper. The same spoon I use to stir it I use to spread it on the sourdough. The turkey-like substance is folded and covered with a leaf of romaine and a bit of red onion. It's not a feast, but it's what I've got. There's no sense in breaking out the gourmet version of myself. They don't want that, either. Mikhail didn't. He was satisfied with McDinner, a lollipop, and a blowjob. I think his only talent is with a brush. He may be hung like a horse, but he's a racer, and I prefer steeplechase. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
Preacher likes the cold,
Knows I'm gonna stay.
Fuck it. It's over. I'm gone. There's someone knocking. I smash out the cigarette, spray some lysol, light some incense, and look through the peep-hole. Nobody. But another knock. I can feel it in my chest. Rhythmic, in time with my heart.
"Who is it," I shout through the door.
"Cyanide," the voice on the other side says.
Him. I throw the locks and open up.
"Back for more," I stab and drum my fingers along the doorframe. His hair is smashed under a watch cap much like mine was an half-hour ago instead of standing on-end like an angered cat rolled in styling products. The punk version of Mikhail.
"No," he halted, "I thought you'd like this more than your turkey sandwich," as he held up a pie-tin of food under cling-wrap. I could see the steam re-condensing into droplets of water.
"Will this blow up, too, or is it something a bit more subtle," I could feel a smile stretching the corners of my mouth. How did he know about the sandwich? I didn't even have the turkey, yesterday. "A namesake, perhaps?"
"Look," he was frustrated. I've pissed him off. Nice going, O'Donnel. "I'll make you a deal," he paused. Is he playing me? Nobody plays me. I'm in charge, here. I could see the smirk on his lips and in the shiner covering the left side of his face. "I won't blow you up if you don't punch me in the face."
If i didn't tell her,
I could leave today
"Fair enough," and I grabbed the plate, slamming the door in his face.
On such a winter's day...