\”Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident.\” – Arthur Schopenhauer
All flight paths to perdition converged on P\’Yongyang. A ridiculous haircut. He sat snuffling Cointreau like a spoiled little bitch. All that was missing was mink, a shard of ice off the shoulder. He sat trailing a long shadow. It spilled off the stool and onto the floor. Climbed up the washing machine and ate into exposed brick. An inky aspidistra itching to shed leaves. The decor was frigid. Magnolia. Baked tile. A tea-towel hanging next to the porthole window. A map of San Francisco in the shape of a heart. Pier 39; Fisherman\’s Warf. Bleeding out toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz. It was a night for arseholes. Buses in the rain. He got down off the stool and threw open the door. Fell twice, while cueing up George Jones. The cigarette glow mashed across his face. Aside from ghosts, he spent Halloween happy hours holed up alone. His left elbow practically in the kitchen sink. Flirting with anxieties. He could not wait to buy himself a dog. A Shih Tzu maybe. Teach it to squat in a sandbox in the corner like an infant spilling out its pants. The right hand a paddle as eager to chastise as reward. Like a bitten ring left in the ashtray, the tail of a dress shirt caught in the closet, he gave himself away. From here, under the ceiling light, he could glance back between the years to count close friends lost. He missed each more than he missed his mother, his wife, that was the still pulseless heart of it. His legacy was a tumour ducking into a taxi like an engraved folding blade.