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Uncurled from slumber with a yawn, I woke up late; again. Naked; again (the dent of emptiness on the bed beside me). Sharp glass from broken beer and wine bottles lay scattered about, like some echo from another misfortune. My flesh felt like a used festival, painted in grotesque shades of drunkenness. My eyes ached, pale
against the impromptu gloom. I was staying at the rundown hotel Toreador Hall; room number 42. The silvery white metal door to the front patio was wide open and the stained light coming in was metallic red, splashed from a heroin sunset. Somewhere outside a car backfired,
sounding not unlike a gunshot. A startled crow flew out of the room thru a cracked window into the outside. It flew above the hotel's buzzing burnt orange neon sign and charcoal sketched telephone wires over high-rise apartment roof-tops and office buildings. Old factories. Its wings flapping and
fluttering into the far away. The pages in my unfinished book, "No Ordinary Exits: Exercises Into the Exhile", were smudged with decay and delirium; thickly settled dust and ash. Weathered. Vibrating in the snarled breeze; a soft resemblance of the black bird's iridescent wings. On an old RCA turn-table a bent record was playing something existential and operatic; a poetic song of surreal reincarnation:
the Celebration of the Lizard. "Lions in the street and roaming/Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming..." Static, scratched and warped - as my late morning mood. "Barely alive and absolutely perfect," I muttered to myself in a broken reflection.
Time dripped from the badly coloured hotel walls like a delayed withdrawal. I could smell dead cigarettes congealed in the small, suffocating room; yellow and greased ash in the air. The smell came from the television which was playing some old film from the 1940s or 50s, glowing in
photographic blacks and whites - something with Bogart or Bardot. They stood in shadows and fog, kissing and bleeding in Scarlet Street or The Big Sleep. Their action was hot. The hard-boiled edge of the criminal, violent, misogynistic world drenched in a darkly wet psychological perspective. Thickly seductive with
a raspy voice of seriousness. A benevolent kind of romance, less then porcelain perfect.
It wasn't Casablanca, which is supposed to be a dumb joke.
I don't tell jokes, I only sell them.
Nobody buys my jokes.
I took a train into the city. I was feeling cynical, hard-hearted, and disillusioned - gritty as the grey sky and morally-ambiguous. Such is the inertia of my psycho-engraved film noir dreams: shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of my human experiences. Soft disorienting juxtapositions in badly edited camera angles. Badly edited moods and unbalanced compositions. At times I was in calm motion; at times I was frantically stuck.
The train moved me forward as I
sat still, going nowhere. Going everywhere. Going down. The world sunk away between blocks of cement buildings as the train
descended, deep into the city, through years of passages down below the concrete upon the tracks.