ROUGHLY FIVE MINUTES AGO
Inside a blue and white house was a green room. Inside a green room was a yellow desk. Inside a yellow desk was a drawer. Inside that drawer were three envelopes and nothing else. The first was marked ‘Mother’ and the second ‘Father’. Both held their respective obituary. Both were still sealed. Both were over ten years old. The third envelope was marked ‘Y2K Fund’. It was two thousand and ten. It was a Thursday. It was Thanksgiving.
ROUGHLY ONE YEAR AGO
i wake up in a hangover haze. looked up and looked down. saw the vomit and piss adding to some stained sheets. good. sit up and cause the first vomiting fit of the day. it only takes one trip to the bathroom to get up all of last night. good. back in the bed i stare at the ceiling waiting for the ceiling stucco to form words, pictures, something. nothing. i fight to wrap the to small shoes around the to big feet and head to the corner store. down san pablo, south through chernoble. an RV is parked on my side of the street and a dog sits ears up watching me while listening to two people fuck in the back. i stop and the dog and i lock eyes for a second. a woman approaches from behind asking for a smoke. hesitate then offer her shorts and by the time i do she is pantless taking a shit in the gutter. good. i walk to my local neon sign and the door buzzes when i open it. mange looks up from the register and smiles. the boss sneers and walks back to his office. it’s only three pm and i’m already shaking so mange offers me a drink from his styrofoam cup. straight ancient age. we shoot the shit for a while. he gives me a sandwich. it smells sour. we smoke a cigarette. drink some more. shoot the shit some more. all of the sudden its closing time. good. boss walks out and murmurs something like ‘get a job’ or ‘fucking alcoholic’ or ‘you were an accident’ on the way out. so mange and i finish the minimal closing procedures on our own. have another drink. another cigarette. then we raid the scratcher case. mange hands me a stack as thick as a deck of cards. i cut the deck and put half in each pocket. under his breath he says something about losing this job someday or something like that. i say something like that mouth breathing mongoloid couldn’t fire someone with a can of gasoline. mange twists his face trying to look confused and says he doesn’t understand. yeah, i don’t know. let’s go.
mange walks out and i follow. it had rained earlier and now it’s hot and humid as hell outside. he starts the rubiks cube of closing the myriad of anti-theft gates. i light the last pall mall in the pack and think about how rain usually cleans out the streets but here it just wets decades of dry feces embedded deep in the sidewalks. so the thick air smells and tastes like piss. i get queasy again. even the rain here is dirty. good. now i’m blowing chunks into the gutter next to a picture of a dolphin that reads ‘don’t litter; drains to the bay’. good. mange stands over me.
why’d you puke into the bay?
i don’t know.
we walk around the block to mange’s car. i hop in through the passenger window and sit on some broken glass. the door hasn’t worked since some kids broke in and stole his stereo a couple months ago.
why don’t you get your fuckin’ window fixed?
why don’t you get the fuck out of my car?
the car pointed east and we sat in silence for 23 minutes. mange and i circled familiar blocks seeing the same neon signs over and over again and finally passed one we hadn’t stopped at before. the door buzzed when we walked in. the face behind the counter smiled. we redeemed the poor man’s currency from across town into real currency and mange questions why i always win about as half much as he does. i blame my bad luck and ‘the worst hangover i’ve had in ten years’. he buys it. then he buys me a beer. i guess he feels bad. good. we drink. we drink more. we walk down to the lake. we throw things at birds. mange falls asleep on a bench. i talk to mange. he doesn’t talk back. i head home.
home through chernoble. the hot, heavy, piss filled air. passed the human shit sidewalks. my vomit passes underneath on it’s way to the bay. i pass the dog watching me while it listens to people fuck. good. i head up the steps of a blue and white house. into my green room. i lay in my bed with the spins staring at the stucco ceiling for awhile waiting for picture to form or words or something. something doesn’t come. i stuff my unredeemed scratchers into an overstuffed envelope marked ‘y2k fund’ and pass out with my clothes on.
ROUGHLY FOUR MINUTES AGO
Delirium Tremens fingers reach into a yellow desk drawer, seeking out one of three envelopes. After some hesitation, the hand decides on the envelope marked ‘Y2K Fund’. The hand sifts through six months of stolen scraps of paper and settles on one titled ‘The Lords Lotto’ with a pixelated depiction of The Last Supper to scratch off. It seems appropriate. It is Thanksgiving. She takes the ticket and stuffs it into her right pocket and heads to the corner store. The door buzzes when she enters. Mange no longer works the cash machine here. And the boss still sneers in her direction. She trades the ticket for twentyfive dollars.
ROUGHLY TWO MINUTES AGO
my right palm is pressed against my forehead and it is cold outside and my left hand is holding a twenty two dollar bottle of wine.
In a blue and white house. In a green room. In a yellow desk. I open a drawer. I open two envelopes marked one is marked ‘Mother’ and one is marked ‘Father’.