Tilt Republic. Johannesburg. New York. Cape Town. London.

forty am

Woke up and faced West. Red eyed I wandered, cow-like into a mirror. Faced myself under faint neon wash. Then I knew. I must find it. The god-monster at the end of the world. Sometime after cereal, the bitch would be mine.

Shaving, I was afraid. Foam, blood and hair in the basin. Hold on, I mouthed, just hold on. The terrors passed as steam came, chasing the shadows forming under my nose.

There were eggs. Unblinking, they stared me down as I looked on. Toasty soldiers tasted of butter. Fat salt, really. I walked on by. I liked the brown bittersweet in the mug, and it liked me, mom, so we kissed. Outside, people were going everywhere.  I wanted to go with them, they just drove on by. In the rich car, words were leaping out of vents in the dashboard. That’s not your real accent, fella, which is the flaw in radio. I see through you.

I came across two roads. One man sold blow-up hammers, another trafficking the blind to the motorized. See what I did there. It was red, but Jesus built my hotrod. And I was gone.

There were meetings along the way. Rooms crowded for thought, deadlines and new meetings, lists, also awkward jokes. Words hit walls like brains in hip film, slid down them all the same. Everyone in the office danced, I liked how safe it felt for two minutes, but the battery flickered just under the veneer – this world is in a condom all the time, even when it pisses.

“You need to be crazy to work here…” thought of taking a wank in the corner. But round here, it’s the dead man’s hand, is prescription spunk. Didn’t. Muttered to the water machine: You know how hard it is for me to shake the disease? It was real.

I am no George Michael, see. Then I see not my boss, he’s a strange animal, soft and feared – once a tiger cub maybe, a celestial baby dragon, but too long in the circus and he has come undone. Now threatening his lings with bared gums. What a sad little film he has written himself into and can’t act his way out of.

If I were such a thing as a king, he would be first against the wall. A small mercy, not a real killing. And then I see Nike on a billboard and I wonder if a model killer makes a model prisoner? Bullet in the chamber indeed – aimed at the whoosh now that he has no girls in range.

I am feeling the psychoactive noise of the coffee like a gentle, electric balaclava and standing fleetingly enfeebles me.

The blackout will not come if I think furiously, just like at the bottom of the sea, on the way to the sharks’ church, when the terrors come amongst the bubbles of those below me.

There is breakfast, a late fade, and a lady at the next table berates a child. She is angry at the child, but not really – she is yelling at a mirror.

He was in love with someone, someone she shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Then the child came and she’s been mean ever since. Her face is cracked, it may be erosion from tears. and she’s fat, which doesn’t help.

I saw a girl sitting alone and built a story for her. I’m not for everyone, and soon I brought the curtain down on this idea. After the whores and all those bathrooms and the ink that just missed my veins, my insides are not apparent. Sure.

Forty sneaks up, just behind thirty, and then it grabs your neck and presses down.

Forty is a pirouette in the seesaw’s middle. The last pivot, the marker of how short half is… …the strong half.

Perhaps I’m just another motherfucker in a motorcade.

Settled the debt, melted out and into the sun.

July 17, 2013 John Vlismas