Sunday, November 1, 2009



I'm in another dingy apartment in Seattle. Jerry is telling the same story he always tells when he's full of meth.
His buddy "The Machine" a meth junky and sometime around the 20th hour of binge, he'd always accuse everyone in the room of taking his shit. The guy also had MS. So, he'd be this shaky, struggling bag of nerves pointing a vibrating finger at anyone in the room demanding his shit.
When that failed, he'd fall to the floor and have epileptic fits he'd break only to dig into the shag of the carpet in the hopes of finding stray meth.
I can't help but feel sorry for the guy. He's dead or in jail now, I always forget the end of the story.
I'm far from high, myself. I've come here to collect and I'm at the butt end of an Americano and I'm starting to feel as twitchy as Jerry.
He stops his story, mid-sentence, to ask me if I want a beer for the fortieth time.
I tell him no and drop the rest of the espresso back into my mouth.
"I suppose you want your shit."
I tell him yes, make a sweeping gesture across the room and say "Yes, my shit."
"I'll get it." He disappears into a back room and I'm stuck with his girlfriend whose coked up and keeps on asking me about my love life.
"You seem like the sensitive type, I know this girl Debrah who would love you. You're not married, right."
I tell her no and light up a cigarette, and ask for an ashtray in an attempt to change the subject.
She brings me an ashtray and dumps it onto the floor.
"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit." She's off to the kitchen to find what I'm sure will be clensors for a good hour long clean of the front room. I diabolically hope that Jerry is the wife-beater type. I'm sick of listening to coke heads talk on and on about nothing.
Jerry appear and does a double take of the floor and yells "Becky, you got it?"
Becky shouts something back to affirm it.
"She's a clutz. Here ya go." He drops the cylinder into my lap.
I warn him that it's glass and he responds "What the hell do you do with that stuff?"
I tell him it doesn't matter and that I have to go.

I'm in the car on the way to drop it off. I hate holding onto it and I don't know how long I can keep doing this.
The world will end soon and I'll be holding one of these damn cylinders, like a dumb ass who never really learned.
I guess it's something that I got rid of the drinking - or rather the drinking got rid of me.

I woke up one day in a hotel in Everette, full of Scotch and cigarette ash. There was a demon the size of Buick, pulsating on the floor. It was a great worm with the head of a wild boar. It said a few ancient words and the acne on my chest erupted in pus bearing blisters of which small insects arose and took flight from me and began devouring my body that was now writhing and peeling apart.

Nine hours later I was walking from Everett to Seattle in an attempt to walk all the booze out of me.
Five hours later I gave it up and walked into a bar. Before I had a chance to order a man sat down hard next to me and put his hand on my shoulder.
I was still shaky from the hallucinations from the morning and I shook as he pulled me closer to him and asked "You want a cure?"

I walked out of the bar with him sober and tied to this damn contract. Now, I sell nightmares for a living.

What's a nightmare anyway, but a reflection of what you really want? It's like looking in the mirror and seeing a reverse image of yourself. Therefore, he told me, nightmares are no more than assurances of the good dream.
I don't see too many good dreams in this line of work and I try to avoid thinking about them. If, for a second, I gave any real thought to what ought to be, I'd be waking up to worms again, if there's anything you can be sure of in this world, it's that I never want to see that thing again.

He lives in an abandoned pool house in the back of a condemmed hotel in Federal Way. The place reaks of chlorine and hospital. If he's the devil, you wouldn't guess. He's neither rich or destitute. He's just a normal looking guy: fat, balding, badly dressed in old suit jackets and Target shirts.
When I come upon him tonight, he's full of sweat. It's a fare night, but the guy's pits are two black circles in his sport coat.
He's watching the same thing he's always watching. I never ask him what it is; I don't ask him shit - I don't want to know.
On the television, via VHS are two rooms in split screen surveilance. One is of a bathroom and the other is of an empty pool. It's not the hotel pool. Both are empty of water or people. In fact, they are cleanest, whitest things I've seen in my life. My guess is that they may have to do with the cylinders and what he does with them. Maybe some sort of super clean labratories to process the stuff.
He's swaying back and forth on a lawn chair. The room is covered in water damage and a few pool accessories litter the place. I've never seen a fridge or any cooking supplies and I've never seen him eat.
"How'd it go?" He asks me.
"Fine. Same ole', same ole'."
"Good. How is the condo?" He put me up in a Condo in Seattle, overlooking the Elliot Bay. Which pretty much does fuck all to explain why he lives in a pool closet.
"It's fine."
"That's good. You know, we're going to go out of business soon."
"Why do you say that?" He is still bobbing back in forth on the chair, but now he hugs himself and rocks faster and I begin to smell some awful smell.
"Because there'll be no one left." He snorts this out and begins laughing.
I watch him bobbing back in forth and wait for him to dismiss me.
He doesn't and I realize that I never gave him the cylinder. I put it down on a small wicker table that sits next to him.
He puts his hand over it and stops rocking. I hear some sort of whimper come out of him and think about running.
"Is everything all right?" I ask.
He takes the cylinder and puts his hand into his coat. It comes back out empty and he begins drumming his fingers on the table. "I have orders from on high." He says deadpan. All the lunatic laughing now out of his voice.
"Oh yeah. What are they?"
"They are manifold."
I let this hang in the air for awhile and look out the small window in the room. The window is a perfect portrait of nothing. There's not a star in the small piece of sky that the window frames. Not one.
"Can I be of any assistance?"
He shouts back before the question is even asked "You will be of no assistance to anyone!"
"I'm sorry."
He quietly asks "Do you believe in God?"
"No. Not really."
"Neither do I."
For some reason I ask why.
"Because we wouldn't be having this conversation otherwise." I think about asking him just what our conversation is about, but he gets out of his chair and turns away from the TV and to me. His eyes are bloodshot and cruel now. He grabs my shoulders and just stares into my eyes, grinding his teeth. His eyes keep widening and to my horror, his teeth are smoking and a fine powder falls from between the friction onto his lips. "" He speaks through the disaster that once were teeth. "...well met for...duty..." His eyes pop like bubbles and shower my face with blood and pus. His arms get heavy and I slowly drop to the floor with him. "...they are here with.....US!"
I catch movement on the TV screen. A man dressed in Military clothes, maybe a general or something, comes up through the drain of the pool, throwing it back like a hatch. At the same time, the same general appears in the bathroom from a door I can only see now because it's been opened.
Both generals make an about face to the camera and look at me. He barks "Fear will find you!"
Both Generals hands fall to their sidearms and he bring them up to their heads and trigger a small explosions. One sends a General to the floor of a bathroom, the other sends the thing in the pool into the room with me.


No comments: