Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vile{ward} (excerpt from The Last Life)

It is in the eyes of those who see you.  It is in their minds.  You are nothing and you will die alone.
You are nothing but meat and bone.  You are the illusion.  You are the last of your kind.

The street is empty at night, clean of people but still full of filth.  Garbage floats in stagnant puddles and mounds of ants build at the base of light poles.  A burnt down house, just wreckage over a foundation greets me at my back door.  It has been that way for most of the year.  My neighbors saw the fire that burned it down, but I slept through it.  I can't always sleep, but when I do, its usually strong sleep.  

I keep the dog close on the chain while I walk.  He's a pit bull and he wants to run and play.  I tell Him he's a good boy.  He digs his face into his crotch ferociously after a flea or something.  Fleas and other insects are the dominate species in this city.  We just live here in their world.  If they were big enough, they'd have eaten us already.

I don't know why I'm awake at this hour.  The emptiness of the city always depresses me and makes me think about death.  It took me years to realize that I wasn't a victim, but I thought that I would be eventually after all the television I'd watched.  Everybody on TV always has such a hard time.  

I'm walking the dog at 3:00 in the morning and I don't fear victimization, but every time I see someone on the street I prepare for some sort of confrontation.  Maybe they'll say something about me not picking up after my dog.  He leaves grimy piles of shit in the slivers of grass in front of all these nice town homes.  Maybe I wasn't built for city life.  
They grew me in the suburbs.  There's no telling why.

A man is walking down the street about a hundred yards off.  He sees me.  Sees the black dog on the chain.  The dog stiffens whenever he sees anyone new.  The man crosses the street and goes in the other direction.  He avoided looking me in the eye.  He never got close to us.

I'll have to appear meeker if I ever wish to have a confrontation.  Perhaps the pit bull doesn't help.

I can't sleep.  I can smell the sewer underneath my house.  The fleas on the dogs have become resistant to high grade insecticides.  I found one on me while I was at dinner.  The truth of the matter has eluded me.  Am I really just one vile word away from a psychotic episode?  It feels that way. It feels that way all the time.