The City of Babble On

The dark sunglasses can’t hide the crippled heart clinging to life beneath the threads of this wrinkled $400 shirt—baby blue and too heavy on my frame. It’s uncomfortable, just like my entire existence.

“Don’t you think?”

The desk clerk ignores my audible thought and smiles his forced, stranger danger smile, hands me the key card and says: “Welcome back to wherever you are. Enjoy your stay.”

There is cinnamon-scented opulence all around me as I wander through the thickening crowd of patchouli- and rose-flavored people, stiffly clutching my black bag with clothes, pills, bottles and raining valentines, all around the circus show roars and no one even notices that I am alive—in any way—as I sneak past, up the golden shaft and down the hallway that has no end.

After some rest and staring out the high window at heartbreak, I was in some Buddhist thrift shop in some town I didn’t know, like a place in a dream, that couldn’t possibly exist. Some long-haired hipster had a beat-up blue Subaru out back and said he wanted to give me some peyote with some nice juicy mescaline in it. He pulled out this big branch from the back of his beat-up blue Subaru and held it out in front of me in a gesture of giving.

I looked it over and it looked nothing like peyote, but rather testicle-sized coconuts or kola nuts. I plucked one off and ate it and it wasn’t long before I was feeling something weird, dreaming within a dream, tripping within a dream, and I wandered the Buddhist thrift store full of incense and the remnants of people’s damaged lives—once things they just couldn’t live without, now thrown out. I saw some glossy chick on the other end of the shoppe in a fuzzy pink outfit from the 60s. I was trying to make my way like through an unwanted nightmare, but there were all these silver turnstiles, turnstiles, turnstiles—in my way—like walking in cement, the lurching longing left unsatisfied by being dream crippled.

And then I became outside and into the light of night, what was, some birthday candle bomb walking on the perimeter of broken heart, broken glass, it was the expanse of my ticker, caved in, tripping along some bronze sidewalk looking up at the great towers of glass and steel, watching the jumpers float down all whimsical and contorted and then the splish-splash like big, meaty raindrops upon the hard world so far below. I had to step over some puddles and then the sirens and the gasps filled the air like some big juicy ocean of panic room noise. I had to look away for I could not stomach the twisted sickness of it all, like great Universe God just tossing worn dolls into a dust-covered toy chest destined to be tucked away in some shadowy, ghostly attic in Rotterdam or Amsterdam or the Hoover Dam. Damn man.

I saw inside glass, and I pushed my way through the rollercoaster dance bar like Aquaman. There were plenty of dancing vibrations in hot, hot dresses and well-groomed animals slobbering over them, eager to mount. I finally found a place around the bend, right beneath a giant, neon fizzle stick cascading anti-gravity toward the dirty Heaven hood just slightly above the rush and roar of the modern carnival warfare. I ordered $17 shots and played solitaire with the shimmering eyes of all the well-crafted ones flowing around me… hearts, hearts, hearts need diamonds, diamonds, diamonds… I asked a cocktail attendant if I could get a Super Bird… I had to shout it to her because the place was roaring:

“Can I get a Super Bird!?”

“A super what?”

“Never mind glory devotchka, I’ll just get room service.”

She looked at me like I was some kind of Fellini film-watching freak and walked off shaking her head, shaking her glass body, shaking her heroin-filled heart and guts.

I saw someone’s wedding ring glistening atop a pink urinal cake in the men’s room of the bar, I thought of all that love pissed on as I looked up and stared at the star-spangled jangled ceiling; some drunk dudes came in and asked me if I wanted to fight, I told them to “zip it” as I zipped it, flushed, threw my pink-stained soul into one of the punks, he fell, I walked out, back into the fuzzy bar, five more $17 dollar shots and then upstairs to my suite for a good puke, some food and sitting down to write about it.

Hollywood ordered some vision, but mine was all but a blur, tapping pen on pad, 3 a.m. fury vs. valium walk, then took play chalk from my bag and I started writing on the walls–something I had always wanted to do—IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. LIPSTICK RED, MANIAC RED, SUNSET HEART RED:

Love her madly, love her madly, love her madly, love her like nothing else matters, love her like tomorrow may never come, love her like a bomb without war, love her until all is said and done. I am outside myself, my head is over there, my torso hanging from the ceiling, my legs are buried in the walls, there is real country dark and the sounds of water slapping shore on the tip of Emerald Land, curled up lonely in my gray Navy coat, tossing thoughts and memories to the sea, the yellow flowers a perfect contrast against the steely water as they float like a baby. I’m listening for the dead heart girl to call back, tell me about it all, the history, the afterlife, and she spits a salt-tainted kiss, cold, makes me shake and bake. I walked into the mirror and saw the world behind me, the beautiful people greased over by the ugly ones, Sunday peacocks stuffing dynamite beneath the thrones of twisted and vicious kings.

“How does that explosion taste? Want another and another and another. It’s what we do best ya know.”

“So why do you spend money to kill, when you could spend money to heal?”

“We are heartless, greedy maniacs with no proper sense of moral direction. Don’t ya know?”

“I don’t much care for your brand of life,” and I walked across the whole of the ocean, to Bath, to take a bath and get bent to it at Public House numero uno with salty dudes and fish ‘n’ chip chicks covered in lavender tattoos and smiles like perfect summer night. I sat for a while, watching and listening, tacked to the wall like a famous dandelion, and when I was done with peaceful crucifixion, I dropped off, dropped out.

When I get back to my hovel on Titshire, I see the small stack of Christmas cards left unopened for three years. I flip through the lopes, toss aside, toss aside, toss aside; for whatever they have to say in there means nothing now, it would be all different now, it would be the opposite, panting hearts now thrown into reverse, damaging the love engine, black smoke, fire, explosion, wandering aimlessly with a concussion and no arms, sunlight reversed, magnified hurt, her skirt still in the closet, some alabaster girl with curtains on her eyes—the place still smells of the lies, lies, lies… close the closet door and the memories squeak, go sit at my favorite table, the one by the window with a view, the sound of loneliness, emptiness is kaboom and pain. And then it’s the rain coming in, the dark, beautiful clouds, like slate-gray cotton candy with muscle, now crying hard over the town and the city, washing away the needless words, dousing the flame in all those lost hearts wandering the wayward paths of some heaven’s pinprick on spinning Earth. All the doors close in one final and infinite swap.

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