Sweating, endless summer sweatings, overheated, brain-addled over heated against the next fix, and the next fix. And the next fix. Wondering around the red-tide beach, a beach filled, filled to the brim if you asked him, with fetid smells, nice word, fetid, fetid clamshell-seeking mud flat smell, and rightly named, and maybe mephitic gases too, gases of some same 1950s childhood seaside marshes some thirty years back, and other schemed wonderings. Always wonderings, eternal wonderings against the brain-heated reality. Wondering this day for the high tide that signified that he could prepare himself for a new fix, another sure thing to take the pain away, and to scrabble his fired-up brain further.
So he ambled, walked briskly really, these were not the times, and this was not the place to amble (he thought later when the brain had cooled down) away from ocean-flecked (or charred) beaches, ocean logs rolled in, ocean smells described, toward town, his new town. A slack city, a black and white city without color, or need, with a multitude of sinners, some brain-addled like him, some beyond brain-addled, but all waiting for that next fix, that next sure thing that would break them out for some important life work, or not. Like a sign. Signifying? Maybe just to whet the appetite for more fixes, more sure things to chase the hard-hearted day away.
He, uneasily, roamed among them, trying to hear through the mumble, through the deceptions, through the glassy-eyed stare, the never-ending glassy-eyed stare. And heard shouts about this and that, about the next sure thing maybe, against the coming of the new day, hell, about heaven and heaven’s blessed, and about heaven’s luck, and about the next journey. Ya, that next journey, like maybe there were ten or eleven, hell, twelve gates to the city. Jesus, the brain-addled confusion was starting to kick in, kick in with a thud, as he thought he heard some high white note trumpet blowing some sweet Gabriel blow. But that couldn’t be right because he could clearly see the trumpeter and trumpet although the high white note had turned to air ashes in the hubbub of whiskeys ordered, pizzas consumed, and coffees (no teas here, not among the brain-addled) sipped and slurped, constant milling chatter, chatter beyond that, all inchoate.
Then he started to work, his mumbo-jumbo work, eyes left, eyes, right, eyes up in heaven’s door, looking for that right combination that would fix him, fix him until the next fix, jesus, will it ever end. Of course he had his maw this day, a few shillings (nice touch he thought), and desire, word desire, number desire, word-number desire, number-word desire, and then silence. He had hit the fix line, the line of no return as he heard, heard in his head at least, the mandela turn once more. And then he heard bells, laugh bells at first, then diminished, and then silent. The waiting began, and the crowd hushed, or merely mingle talked in low places, before the great yawl, before nature’s spin turned.
About eight visions then came to him, one after the other like some childhood parade, all in colors, all in order, all with determined looks. He did not believe in colors, or numbers, or words, just then just mandela fixes, and release. And as the four winds blew across that city just that afternoon and those eight (or was it nine or ten he had never thought to get an accurate count, and didn’t think that he needed to) visions blew this way and that he knew, knew for certain that he was doomed, doomed to repeat that eight -visioned scene over and over. That thought, for just that minute made him think, made him realize that the abyss was not such a bad place. At least the fix-dreaming would be over, and the number worry, the word worry, the color worry would be over. And maybe he could cool off his tormented brain.
Later lashed against the high end double seawall, some unknown, unnamed shoreline below, bearded, slightly graying against the forlorn time, a vision in white linen not enough to keep the wolves of time away, the wolves of feckless childhood petty larceny times reappear, reappear with a vengeance against the super-rational night sky and big globs of ancient hurts fester against some unknown enemy, unnamed, always unnamed, or hiding out in a canyon under an assumed name. Then night, the promise of night, a night run up some seawall-laden streets, some Grenada night, maybe Spanish, maybe Moroccan or maybe a desolate sky boom night, and thoughts of finite, sweet flinty finite haunt his dreams, haunt his sleep. A ring cries out in that abyss night. Wrong number, brother. Ya, wrong number, as usual.