cigar-tin stories number eighty four // i never sleep

Spring, and getting warmer. It seems like I never sleep. The drifting classes are all over Princess Street, spectating and standing around. Some have spotted dogs. Fat kids in pink corduroy try to eat giant chocolate bars that are too big for their hands and mouths. Silver foil litters the sidewalk. Why are their feet so tiny? A woman with her head in some kind of decorative net tries and fails to walk and cough at the same time; she keeps having to stop and fling herself around. The cough itself is an animal, ugly and wet, the kind of cough they use as shorthand on television when someone's going to die from cancer. A million years ago, in some remembered lifetime, a guy I used to work with enjoyed teasing me about dying from cancer someday. It was just something he did. He had been a Thalidomide baby, so now he'd use his stunted arms and sardonic mind to mimic a cancer guy having to talk with a robotic voice through a hole in his throat. It always made him laugh. One day, after a bunch of us had gone out for lunch, he hopped around to the back of my car where another guy was getting out his wheelchair, but instead of handing it over this other guy rolled it away from him, across the parking lot, making him chase it on his undersized legs. We all laughed and laughed. We were real monsters then, I guess. Now I can always be interrupted and I never ask for anything. A friend of mine says I use this as a pretext to complain about not getting help but the last thing i want is the unwashed grip of someone’s grubby opinion. In front of me, a cross-eyed man with a red beard and a bad limp jaywalks at the intersection. He has on one of those caps that seems to invite unwanted violence. A truck with decorative flames on its front grill drives by playing Spoonman loud enough to make people look up from their phones. Temporarily. What a ridiculous song––the musical equivalent of pouring maple syrup down a snake pit. The truck rattles like a tin of dishes. The night before I'd dreamt about a woman with a yellow onion for a head. In fact, it was only half an onion, with the flat side presented instead of a face. In the dream we'd talked about that at some length, this business of having no face, and the whole time she'd sat there with a lit cigarette in her hand. The room next door with filled with greyness. At some point, too, there was the buzzing open concept modern plan pinball foosball soft chair tumbled over thing, all around us, and these slumping young adults. I have absolutely no opinion. As a rule. With spring all the storylines start splaying and crossing. In front of me is a guy on a bike so obviously stolen that I can't believe he doesn't burst into flames. He stares straight ahead, betraying nothing––some kind of internal cathedral. There are oceans of data out there but this guy is in his own little world. I wonder what that must be like. 

Oh, and Happy Easter.

djb

Draw things, paint things, write things, make things

This is a version of my every-Tuesday Tinyletter, which you can subscribe to.

Legal imprint