Now that I understand this right, let me take it to the mic. This revolution has just begun.
This isn’t an apology—I already told Sterling I was sorry. So many times it makes even me sick. Like Kurt, I’m just trying to figure out, “…What else can I say? Everyone is gay...”
Keep livin’, keep livin’—Remember the Past, Embrace the Future—but I can’t get this dream out of my head, a nightmare world too slick to be real life, it was an anime transit station, populated with anime people, each with a cool haircut. It’s the first time I’ve had cartoons in my dreams since back when I used to double-dip for breakfast. I think I got it from Sterling’s porno blog link that pissed me off so much. Freud says that most of what happens in our dreams is taken directly from the day’s activities. That explains the anime as a possible dream ingredient, but its actual inclusion—well, it occurred to me that the anime signified my feeling of displacement—the sense that the world belonged to a reality I couldn’t quite grasp. I remember that the anime people were trying to tell me something, motioning like crazy up at the archway over our heads. As I looked up, I heard a hiss and saw a plume of green gas unfurl against the vaulted ceiling. The color was sickeningly bright. It’s all my fault, I thought, as I watched the poor anime people hurriedly brush aside their fashionable bangs and struggle in vain to open previously invisible compartments in the wall. There must have been masks or something in there, I wanted to help them yank it open, but as usual in nightmares, I was rooted to the spot. I watched with sick fascination, as they started gasping for breath and clawing at their faces. Neatly drawn bubbles popped up on their arms as their eyes bulged and they fell to their knees. I was made to understand, by some omnipotent dream narrator—silent but all knowing, like an impulse or a god—that the people could no longer breath and would all soon be dead.
I didn’t know it was a dream. I thought I was dead too, even though I didn’t feel any effects of the gas.
Walking down the road with my little rude gun…
I couldn’t shake the feeling the dream left. I got drunk and walked up the island of Manhattan all the way from the red cage of the Williamsburg bridge pedestrian walkway to the secret laser canyons of midtown, telling myself I was getting it out of my system.
Walking down the road with my little rude gun. Top of my gun, cock it for fun…
There was a message radiating out to me, in the amber streetlights of Grand Central. I was looking for you, Sterling, thinking you might be getting out of work but it was already too late for that. The arched overpass spanning 42nd Street was identical to the one in the dream. I paused—the fireflies swirling in front of my eyes—before I shook my head and pushed against the brass handles on the doors leading into the station. I took long strides down the hall to the main concourse, where the plastic visors on the lamps at the ticket booths were the same green as the anime gas. Fat people passed dragging wheeled suitcases and slurping on Starbucks frappachinos. European teenagers stood in groups, filming the constellations on the domed ceiling with expensive digital video cameras. Just one push and a quick grab and it could be mine. The police officers and the camouflaged National Guard were too busy watching girls pass by. Anything could happen. I looked all around, at shops selling gourmet olive oil and shops selling expensive pens and shops selling golf clubs. They were mostly empty, and the Indian and Hispanic clerks leaned on their elbows against glass desktops, languishing away until the time when they were free. I took note of the glossy magazines in neat rows, the poster-sized advertisements for retro leather jackets, the actors, the actresses and models, famous people posing on beaches and in clubs and in parks—and I knew that the cinematic scene on each and every poorly bound page would someday make picturesque ruins.
The green in the circles of the 4-5-6 subway was the same, as was the new micro fiber shorts in the window of the jogging specialty shop, as were the jumpsuits worn by the cleaning crews sweeping trampled candy wrappers off the floor…train schedules, dirty tissues…leaves from outside…balls of human hair…
Exhausted from my walk, I elbowed my way onto the 5 train. The A/C was on full blast; it seemed too thin after the clammy air in the station—as though all the oxygen had been filtered out. I reeked of booze; the other passengers shot my dirty looks. I felt a tightness in my chest and concentrated on the subway map, staring at the big fat borough of Brooklyn and planning out which bars I’d hit next. This gave me some measure of calm until I realized that the band of green signifying Central Park was again the same…I peered around me, looking for someone suspicious as I gripped the bar so tightly I could smell the metal in my perspiration. My heart was banging in my chest. Not now, I told myself, not here. It wasn’t only the embarrassment of hitting the floor, but the expense. Do you have any idea how much it costs to have some EMT come on the train to slap you awake?
I don’t know how I made it—time stood still, no tick and no tock, but somehow, someway, I made it to Brooklyn. I put my hood on and went straight to my man’s place. Ringing up and banging on the metal door with an open palm while he brought his slow ass down the steps to let me in. Some neighborhood girls walked past while I waited.
“Who’s that kid,” I heard one of them ask.
“I don’t know, some thug…”
I turned their way, dipping my head in the blue streetlight.
“Oh, shit, it’s a girl,” they said, before scurrying off.
… top of my earth, tip of my birth, top of my death, tip of my breast, top of my chest, tip of my guess…