doctor benway makes work for idle hands
\”It was just that I felt out of step with prevailing weather patterns.\” – ib
I resolved to divest myself of corpse hair from head to toe. To more accurately calibrate the distance between bruise and wall, the Velcro bracelet of eczema and smooth plaster. I did not make the first phase of it, the shaving of the skull. I did not make it. There was no ritual cleansing of the body. There was no rolling away the stone. I stepped out the bath without treading water. I could not bare to hear the sudden rush of it. The razor lay where I placed it next to the soap, a pubic curl embedded in the amber translucent heart of it like a fossil or a negligent surgeon\’s stitch. Something happens between January and April. Resolutions wither on the vine, just as yellowed fats asphyxiate the vein, the artery, dislodged like the best of intentions. My quit date came and went. The cigarette glued to my lip, the ceramic perimeter of a inexpertly mended ashtray. How do you like my emotion tree ? she asked. It looks like it needs a Valium, doll. I never learned to keep my mouth shut. Even as I forgot to breathe. Through the narrowest of tunnels. I listened to the radio. The channel murmuring thick invective as I slumbered on the sofa in a rudely sewn together pile. Too sick in my bones to move beyond a twitch. A young woman in India had been doused in acid. A suicide bomber in burning dungarees had just detonated his vest in a children\’s playground in Pakistan. I chewed on curdled sours. Spat them back out like Robert Mugabe breaking bread with indigenous insurgent admirers. I fled to the window and watched two dogs squaring up to fight. A bitch in a Pomeranian furred parka. A witless terrier. The needle grazed fifty while my eyes were resting. My pelvis fell like it was floored. My mind had scrambled back in the trunk years earlier but it had a habit of sneaking out to write once in a while when no one was looking.
There were twelve cunts gathered round the table. I pulled up a chair and made it a baker\’s dozen. No-one was going to invite us any time soon to sit down as a jury. You could tell from the errant tufts of hair, the furtive glances, the chewed on hangnails, that we were likely more accustomed to being molested in the dock. One of us sported an alarming contusion where practicing Sannyasi daub paint upon their brow. He was frigid and unflinching under polite interrogation. He gave no indication as to whether he was tripping out his socks or simply mad. He rolled the pen across the table when prompted a little too fast. He failed to pass his disability assessment. A voice rolled upright and wrestled for clarity. Sanders savages Clinton in Washington. Milwaukee pokes its tongue into the corner of green sedimentary blown glass. Garry Shandling dies. There is no encore, no part two. The surgeon knits one, purls one just like granny. The barber calmly snips. The fat man upstairs is depressed but has been prescribed no pills to alleviate his condition. They throw him out of hospital after just a fortnight. Those two weeks are nothing short of a holiday for all concerned. The fat man relishes the free dinners served at regular intervals. And, because the ward is all but unoccupied, he enjoys a monopoly on the flat screen television. How do I know this ? The fat man tells me so. I take in a young Jack Russell to see how far I would get walking the dog. I listen to Emerson, Lake & Palmer just to punish myself and find myself implausibly wanting more. The puppy pisses on my carpet. I do not warm to the neighbourly practice of wrestling its turds into plastic bags to dispose of them discreetly. It escapes and I labour after it in the dark, attempting to lure it away from the genitals of other dogs with rawhide chews purchased from the crappy lime lit corner shop. Stop me if you\’ve fucking heard this one before. The circus tent is straining under all that political correctness. The global village has been commandeered by terrorists, geriatrics in a national lottery to sock the patsy in the jaw. The barbershops are overrun by skinheads. Merle Haggard is back in the saloon. Don\’t stop me now. I\’m having such a good time, I\’m having a ball.