I tossed back the fat line and inhaled the stale, hot air of the stagnant hotel room. The air reeked of sex and ash and smolders from cigarettes given up as lost causes. Rising from the chair while rubbing my gums with some of the sweet white stuff I could already feel the high-wire act of control beginning. The window had been closed to keep the screams from the street, and I opened it half hoping for a cool breeze. No dice. Even the wind was hot and disgusting. Like the breath of an animal. I could imagine being eaten by a lion.

When I was a kid my Mom used to show me pictures from an illustrated bible. There would be an abbreviated version of one of the books many fables. There was a cartoon Noah herding two by two the elephants and the giraffes and the hippopotami into a ship that never quite looked large enough to hold all those animals without someone getting devoured. There was Jonah and his savior whale, being horked up on some lonely beach, pissing himself with excitement over not being dead. But the one that always hit me was the picture of Daniel. Standing in that lion den. Benign grin on his smug face. Impervious to the oversized pussies around him. But what I always wondered was this: what about the other sad bitches who DID get fed to the lions? Darius the king tossing mad prophets and people who owed him money into this lions den. Its a nice little racket Darius had going. And then I get to thinking, how many poor sons of bastards being fed to Roman lions thought back to that story as Big Kitty took a tear at their complacent meat and bones? God will deliver me. Good luck with that.

Thats the air outside. Its the air from an animals mouth. The moist, too-hot exhalation that precedes the canines and the screams. Its been like this for weeks. The city boiling over in its own juices. Brick and cement and tar all steam roasting us in the day. Steaming us in a constant mist of piss and garbage and sewage and sweat. And at night? Well those bricks and that cement and that black tar just hold onto that heat. Just keep it simmering till the glorious fucking light of day rears its brilliant mug over the horizon.

The gentle clinking of stainless steel shakes me from this miserable stew. The one-armed woman in the bed, the one handcuffed to the wrought iron headboard, shes a good kid. Real go-getter. I guess if her screams hadnt bothered anyone so far that this hotel must be just my style. The nigh-vacant roach hive that I may end up calling home till this job is done. Through the coke-frenzy I remind myself to unclasp the chick from the bed before I go out. Theres enough smokes setting little fires in this place, I would hate to have a flare up. Hate to have this poor one-armed vixen faced with the horrible choice of chewing off her one good arm or burning alive. But not yet. Shes sleeping so sound. Her deep heavy breathing tells me shes sleeping with a good conscience. Shes going to feel it in the morning though. Gonna feel like she was run over by a truck. She never saw me coming.


Duke said…
I read this to Elvis’s rendition of Joshua Fit The Battle. …it was surreal. And oddly appropriate.

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