sky is so black. It's a huge maelstrom I tell you. There are
tornados, cyclones, hurricanes, the whole deal. If we had
cable I am sure I would see my own face on the television. I
can't stop gesticulating. I am sure I am on the television. I
have to control the grimacing. I can't see the lovely blue
sky, that lovely azure that reassures the soul. It's so scary.
I drag Kitty outside and point up into the violent soup. I am
in such a febrile mess. Kitty looks sick. This is not
incongruous, everybody has the façade of sickness. It is the
fear. I could be looking in the mirror. That hue of green and
yellow, the furrowed brow, the chapped skin, the dry lips.
am going to kill myself. I practice with a red crayon. I draw
two lines across my wrists. The line on my left wrist is
tenuous, it makes me mad to look at it, by contrast the right
wrist looks so beautiful, so full of pathos, I cry when I look
down upon it, I truly feel like Petronius. I flop upon the
couch, I huff, I emit, I smell flowers, I saunter lazily
around the apartment. Kitty says, "Now go and wash that
use spit and my old jacket.
at the clouds!" I scream. I'm waiting for the
thunderclap. "Those are not clouds they are—" here
Kitty stops and gawks fatuously. I don't know what she means.
I can't think straight. The sky is swirling.
are around one hundred and twenty of them flying through the
air. Maybe more, I can't compute, I'm terrible with numbers, I
can only count using coins and notes, with the concrete, I get
lost in metaphysical labyrinths. There are debt collectors,
sin collectors, dirtydream collectors, all kinds of
collectors, even stamp collectors. The fat ones are having
trouble, they're the sex collectors, fat and slobbering, they
barely hover over the ground, the weeds.
they can assault us we make it to the door but locking the
door is a waste of time, we're up shit creek for the pride
collectors are top notch when it comes to knocking down doors
and invading a room like a bunch of Vikings with a thirst. We
hide behind the couch, leather, expensive, but they see us, those vanity collectors, they can see through it all,
nothing's concrete, everything's invisible.
make a run for it!" I shout out. She runs like a man
suffering from piles that are ready to pop. I can't help but
laugh. This winds up Kitty and she turns and slaps me right
across the face. Well, this gets the dirtydream collectors
coming straight for me and in their hands are broken bottles,
sharp, serrated, deadly.
me laugh Kitty, now irate, turns to me and says, "if you
laugh at me again I'll slap you!" I don't believe her,
violence is antithetical to her nature. I think our marriage
is falling apart.
you are unemployed in America the jackals appear, in Britain
they make you confess to your crimes, in Russia you get vodka,
in the Cameroon you train to run marathons, in France they
teach you to cut up garlic, in Belgium you get fat, China you
juggle rice, Greece you have to read out loud both The Iliad
and The Odyssey while stuffing olives into your mouth, North
Korea you have to write Kim Jong-Il a million times on the
black board, Australia you stand on your head, in Patagonia,
down in Patagonia I heard that when you defecate you do it
standing on your head. I want to go to Patagonia, I want to
get away from all this worry, worry about money, debt,
insurance, immigration, the bomb, outsourcing, the INS, AIDS,
black holes, obesity, global warming, global cooling, lead
paint, in Patagonia I won't have to worry about China, about
India, terrorism, Wall Street, Microsoft, the monopoly, heart
attacks, dog fighting, the football results, dishonest
referees, the house prices, the economy, who's number one,
which star is in rehab, who's going to win the Oscar, I want
to get away, I want Kitty and me to escape, because sooner or
later cancer will get us.
can't get out of it," says Kitty. I hate it when she's
steadfast. Out of the window I see the taxi pull up. It is a
yellow cab with black writing. "The taxi's here,"
says Kitty feigning excitement. "I don't want to
go," I say putting on my coat. "Stop being a
child," says Kitty, opening the front door. "We need
to eat." "Please," I plead, "let's stop
going to the Borgias for dinner." The blood has
coagulated and my snot is brown. I feel as though I am
standing on top of that metaphysical mountaintop. If I slip
and fall down it will be the end of us. Kitty says, " We
are not walking over egg shells, we are living on egg
shells." Kitty is always on the move, I truly believe it
is because our marriage is metaphysical that we are still
together. We sit on the floor. The couch has been repossessed.
We have no television. We sit in darkness. A bitter jest, a
libel, a pasquil, satire, a fart, singing in the ear, a
puerile giggle. I've heard it all. I no longer have any pride.
Even our friends won't call around, they are embarrassed of
us. We have no friends. My life is no longer fragmented. The
taxi is outside. We eat only Ramen noodles. Pork flavor is the