Two: I hear the sirens again.


From Some Stones Don’t Roll

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In Stockbridge, Massachusetts, during the 1970s, the author befriends a young man, unaware that this newcomer is a paranoid-schizophrenic who depends on medication to keep him from suicidal and homicidal behavior.

2014

I hear the sirens again. And the drip is more insistent, faster. I need to shave. My bags are packed almost. I need a bag that can carry a cane which I may need if my knee gives out. I never know if it will give out. I am in intimate contact with my body. I am my body. My fingers do the talking. Swish. Where are the pigeons? You see. I knew that I would avoid the blade that I knew was incipient. If I could forget I had ever known him. But no! The lyric cannot be LITERAL. Excruciating. I am no stranger to excruciation. There was a siege of craziness in the north west area of Las Vegas where you are almost free of the town and speeding toward Carson City and Reno. I was still writing songs. Just as I did with Bill, before I forgot I ever knew him. The Vegas boy was named Charlie. He was TALENT in a dysfunctional suburb populated by crazies. There must be some way out, I thought. I was. I am. Harnessed by lyrics.

I reach for my tweet writings. I read the New York Times in bed about how the Communists of China were attacking a commune where communism was actually practiced and harmony appeared to reign. Gray Communism, Chinese Style communism, is the government coming down on this breath of fresh air. And I think my own polity within my mind is just as fatuous as that. “Keep fewer things for a longer time.” I look at my recent tweets. Two of them have minor errors. I am a fallible law giver. Do not trust me. The drip is faster now. I have lost $40K on paper in the last four days. I tell my man relax. Where are the pigeons? I will have some more coffee. Funny. Coffee was my nemesis when I was in my late 20s and going mad in Geneva. They said it was the coffee that was making me crazy. I believed them. I had no will. I was the captive of others all the time. I was without a center. I was a ripping success. I had friends who spoke truth. I hit walls and cried they will not move. Whew. I will have that coffee now.

I have a judge’s chair whose skin has peeled and given way to duct tape and then to a denim covering. It has lasted longer than most of these chairs I have had for decades now as I have spent all my days at this and other keyboards writing away, rolling away and pushing myself up ambulatory to go and get coffee. It has been five years of iced coffee poured into me and stowed in plastic highball sized screw top containers. Between sips I screw the top back on so that I will not inadvertently cause mayhem with an involuntary movement which cannot be explained. There. Did I see a pigeon? Something went by outside. Outside, I see my building reflected on the black glass side of the building across the street. I see two duplicates of the little lamp by my keyboard. I look over the obsolete music things on the sill and beneath the blind and nothing moves. The radiator that once functioned is mute. The floor is snaked with cords. I scratch my head. Ah yes, the coffee.

There we have it. Combine the remnants of the Sweet and Low with a miniscule squeeze from the inverted Trader John’s honey container with the clever plastic, opening, squeezable, dispenser, more spare in size than the aperture of a penis. The thinnest stream on earth. It is twenty feet to the little kitchen from here in the front room where I sit. Back and forth I go. This is my life. I travel from this chair. I converse with my followers. I am set to Eastern US -5 GMT my country is worldwide as it always has been. I will see photos or video even if they contain sensitive content. 2008–2014. 4x my time online. Hiding in plain sight. The voices here are from the street. This is the old McAlpin Hotel, thick walls and silence in the building proper. The drip is internal to the apartment. The street is external to the windows, eight floors down. A girl flew down from the top a few years back. No one knows if she was pushed. It was not her idea. She is gone. Now a slow siren.. Life goes on.

Stephen C. Rose has written a number of books (Fiction/Non-fiction). You can tweet him here.

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