“You can keep going with this woo-woo mystical bullshit if you want, but no one’s buying it.”
“Well that’s handy, ‘cuz I ain’t fucking sellin’ it. It’s a fuckin’ fact. Snatch. Guy Ritchie. No?”
“You think this is some kind of game?”
“Yeah, well, it isn’t.”
“Sure it is. You’re just pissed because you’re losing. And you’re losing because you don’t know the rules. And you don’t know the rules because you won’t accept that it’s a game.”
“Yeah, well, looks like we fuckin’ gotcha doesn’t it? Or you just biding your time? Planning your great escape?”
“Says the guard with a wooden baton to Magneto in the plastic prison.”
“Keep it up, tough guy.”
“Notice you’re not wearing your badge. Must have forgotten it, huh?”
“How’s this for a fucking badge?”
“Looks more like a gun. And you look like too big a pussy to use it.”
The rain is a meteor shower. Life is a tidal wave of red and white and green and yellow.
The world is streaks of color that yell out like angry geese with megaphones.
He’s screaming, “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” in his mind while his lips are silent – hands gripping the steering wheel like a gun-lobbyist on Christian morals. He’s frantic. The world a blur. Letters zip by, half-obscured by rain and dark, by the glare of street lamps where the insects of the night flock like Johns to brothels – like prayers to God…like rain to the pavement.
The rotation of blue and red and white like the star-spangled banner is playing in color – like a floating apparition in his world. It’s screaming at him like a harpy that’s being gutted. It’s a cat with a bullhorn in its mouth. It’s the exclamation at the end of the sentence that once said, “Shit always goes sideways. You can’t plan for it. All you can do is adapt.”
He’s thinking back to that night. The night she brought him the list.
“The fuck is this?” he asked.
“You need…” she looked so sad and he didn’t understand why. Maybe he never really did. Maybe he never really would. “There’s a lot that you need to have right and…” she looked away and sighed. She looked so tired but he was the one that felt like he needed a small coma. “Just memorize it, okay? Just…you need to know the words.”
“I don’t even believe in this shit. You know that, right?” he said.
“It doesn’t…” she started to say.
“I swear,” he interrupted, “if you say some shit that’s akin to ‘Even if you don’t believe in God, he believes in you’ line, I’m gonna vomit. Like…seriously. I’ll fucking vomit.”
She looked so sad. Why did she look like that?
She shoved the paper into his hand and looked up with those doleful eyes. Those eyes that said they’d seen too much and yet never seen half of what they’d wanted. Those eyes that were begging him to do what he needed to do and yet seemed to say, “I’m sorry. I’m so…so…sorry…”
He took it with a shrug and said, “What the fuck ever…”
It rained blood that night.
At least that’s what he saw.
“You’ll do things you never imagined.”
“You’ll do things that you wish you never had to do.”
“You’ll do things that, right now…in this moment…you would say you’d never do. But you’ll find yourself facing them like a broken mirror. You’ll have to choose which shard of glass to use as your truth.”
Letters and numbers flashed by like hieroglyphics in warp speed. He could hear the wail of America’s finest in pursuit while he tried to get his bearings.
He needed time to focus. He needed time to sort things out.
He needed time.
He needed time.
He swerved by a car that was taxi yellow, whether by mistake or by occupation, he couldn’t tell in a world where speed limits were suggestions and repercussions were theories. He saw it with clarity then. He almost grinned as he did.
Metal met with metal. Fiberglass warped and cracked. Glass erupted like a volcano of bad endings in every daydreamer’s worst nightmare.
His head moved forward with the urgency of life running from death and landing squarely in its embrace. His head like a melon as it struck the steering wheel, warping his skull and face like putty wrapped around a stick-figure frame of popsicle sticks.
In his eyes, he saw starlight even as the impact made the passersby suddenly shift backward like a bomb had gone off at their very feet.
He almost laughed at the irony.