The man with the broken foot limped to the bar to thin his blood, sew his ligaments together, keep his spirits up, warm, bright futures with paychecks written in godscript, a typewritten letter finds its way to your shore in a floating bottle, or drifts down politely like a feather windtornfree of a bird, a dazzling bird, that hopeful blue bird, remember him? He flies away when you know you’ve died.
Bodies decorated with permanent pieces of artwork. Footbroken man slurs at us, “My pain tolerance is notoriously high.”
But I think notoriety has to come from the outside, a whisper across the room, a muffled sigh or two, a trembling pointing finger, like an old woman whose nerves gave out when her second husband, the percussionist, passed into the ether to meet up with his jazz giant idols in the cloud stages and cloud crowds and speakeasies filled with smoking angels, smoldering ruins of the great gates, a be bop rhythmic dance on old limbs renewed by a generous idea of continued life rather than desolate, buried, wormhole death, under the earth and become pieces of it.
When I die, mix my DNA with the soil or seeds of a tree, a blue spruce in a grove of evergreens.
One of the pin up girls tells me I must have commitment issues because I have no tattoos. Certain truth, and yet, my issue is against the needle, the anxiety of the approaching point toward the skin like an aircraft crash landing into a frozen lake. No, not that metaphor. Terrible one.
He said he fell down the stairs and orders two more shots of tequila. The bartender tells him to ice it. To cool it. To put it above his heart and to lay down. To smoke pot and watch the cosmos.
Another man, leaning in toward me, buttressing, yielding, folding, climbing, grasping, colliding- with his demons as he visibly became drunk and on the offensive, self-hating for fear of consequences of coming out to his good ol’ god damned southern cross-hearted family. “I hope granddad…” and he stops, looks blank at the wall, and relocates to adhere himself to a different set of ears, perhaps a set either more argumentative or placating. I was neither. Mildly supporting his decision, trying to fill him with bluebird hope. He called me the “dumbest fucking person I ever met,” because I am straight and offering advice to his belligerent mind, where within everything was inputted as an affront. This continued for awhile as I explained to him ‘the universe is chaos’ and his recent run in with some hoodlum, getting beat down in the street, had nothing at all to do with the devil or fate or any consequence of his orientation. He misunderstood me and thought I said the devil attacked him, his eyes wide with fear at the prospect. In his mind, I bet, any horrible social disaster during this night would be a self fulfilling prophetic vision of his fears and anxieties.
I walked home quickly, in a very straight line, feet working fine, glad to have them to carry me, glad to be aware that nothing else carries me. My energies are caused by a random circuitry of flashing electronics, a swerving of nerves, flooding of blood cells, and no mythical figures wearing hoodies in dark alleyways.