Monday, August 4, 2014

part 4: a knife, a fork, a spoon

I fall out of bed on the flat of both feet and weave to the bathroom. The Shaving Mirror. One glance is sufficient to identify a welter of mistimed feints. A jumble of standing counts lurking just beneath the tissue thin skin.

My eyes are ringed blue and black. The hair is an affront. I do not have the fortitude to peel back my lips to examine what remains of the gums.

I fill the kettle and leave it to boil. Forced to transfer water to it from an empty coffee jar. The sink is too shallow, its taps set too snug in its porcelain bowl, to do it directly.

The entire process reminds me of Necchi bailing out his scow, his barge, on that stretch of black ribbon between New Jersey and Coney Island. Several inches of bilge water lapping at the timbers, his kit packed neatly in a tin box on a string. Bobbing in the hold.

I sit on the bed and roll a cigarette.

It is three minutes past eight. Another morning, but this time I am summonsed.

Already I am hot under the collar of my favourite shirt. The colour of scorched jacket potatoes. The boiler is working again, intermittently since the front desk fixed it, a seizure during the night once more sending the temperature plummeting.

I crouch on the edge of the narrow bed and pull on the spastic chain inches from my shoulder. The blind flies up and rattles on the spindle fitted in the window. I look out. Watch a fox take a crap on the bed and breakfast's stricken back lot. Littered with felled trees from the storms, snow from an upended sugar pot.

Listen to a door slam and the creaking of the stair as the first tormented soul ventures down into the bowels of this ship for a cup of milky tea. A sliver of toast.

I rub my nose as the fox shivers up on its haunches.

The building has been besieged by an uncharacteristic calm all weekend. The tone deaf midnight singer has checked out. Two more ejected when prohibited paraphernalia is discovered by room service.

A crack-pipe on a bed. A stash of syringes behind a u-bend.

Anyone here will tell you.

You don't need fucking junkies ruining your Christmas.

Pupils contracted to the size of pinheads from his most recent hit. Irises the precise colour of pebbles paled and eroded by repeated body blows, the crashing Irish Sea, the constant movement of sand, peat. Weighing probabilities as he eyes my hands clenched in my pockets.

And through it all, yet, a New Year looming.


jonder said...

No Xmas for John Quays.

ib said...

Hey Jonder. Good to see you.

Ha. Now I need to go and dig out some old Fall.

ib said...

I just reread this in its entirety with a random (I think) Fall tune playing in my head under an imagined Mark E. take on my words and your comment mysteriously makes even more sense.

The guitar is crackling as I type.

Uncanny >>

ORIGIN late 16th cent. (originally Scots in the sense ‘relating to the occult, malicious’): from un-‘not’ + canny.


Totally lost here.
Am I Fall (ing)?
Are you talking about Frankie Lymon?

ib said...

Were I posting music links here, as a soundtrack of sorts, I believe Jonder was suggesting The Fall's "No Xmas For John Quays" from "Live At The Witch Trials", fittingly too, perhaps.

I was simply rereading my post, with an imaginary Mark E. Smith interpretation rattling through my skull.

Lost ? Don't worry about it. I can scarcely remember which pills to take with my coffee in the morning.

ib said...

"Tell me wh-y-y-uh is it so-o-o-uh ?"

ib said...

The tune I was "playing" was, in fact, "Dr. Buck's Letter".

I think Jonder is on to something. Maybe every visitor should leave an MP3 suggestion as a comment, assuming they can be bothered. A sort of scrambled reheating of "Name That Tune".


I find myself hoisted on my own petard. Leaving you amiss on the slim thread between sarcasm & subtlety. My riffage would have struck a knell swift caught up by Ib of yore. Now it appears to dance too quickly from allusion to confusion. Though not being a Fall fan (though I am an Autumn fan), I understand this MES(MarkESmith)sage with all its inherent Burroughsian Junkies Christmas connotations. “Talking about Frankie Lymon” is a line from the song. I was referencing my own Muse(sic) in my own private code(X).

Sorry for any misUNDERstanding caused by me tangential mind. I should have thought something was amiss when you never hit on the 9mm story by J.J. Mundis that you asked about years past. I have become more & more obscure living in my private cabinet of curiosity.

ib said...

Oh, I did HIT on the J.J. Mundis insertion. I just did not expand on it, that's all. Rudeness on my part.

And, the "UHs" on the line quoted from the Lymon song are typical Mark E-isms. As in my acknowledging the line from "No XMas For John Kays" you were referencing.

ib said...

But. You are right. I'm a shadow of the husk I used to be.