Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In the Light of a Single Cigarette

I can only hope this will not make a difference. I hope, I dream, but what comes of it is half realized. There once was a man here that was something else, but now is as he never was, so cold, so dim, in a shadow that is unrecognized by these eyes. No matter of compensation could ever rearrange the feelings that have died. Oh yes I recognize this one, she, for what she really is, but does that matter now, no not somehow.

This is the after-scene, the closing of the screen before the tolling of the bells, and after the eyes have shut out the light. There is that slight glow around objects that exist still, but even this is dimmer now. The sunlight does not matter now, it is all just a shadow of its former self.

Thomas in this darkness holds close to the flame of the match, lighting another fag. His trembling is not from fear, but from the lack of drink. He shoves the matchbook back into his dirty jeans pocket, inhaling deep on the filter of his cigarette. Rocking on his heels to stave off the shakes that make his hands tremble a little to much. The wretch in his stomach is calmed by the hot smoke he draws into his ragged lungs. He wipes his hand on his thigh, not to dislodge dirt, but to remember the feeling of touch. The street lights cast shadow deep enough to allow him to slip through without touching the light.

He moves only at night, for the day is to congested with feelings and monsters that look quite like ordinary people. The hot smoke burn his lungs and his nose, but it gives his mind something else to focus on. First he would find a drink, then he would find something else to do.

Beggars rarely ever need the money they are begging for. Most of the time they are seeking attention, and the money only provides them with fuel for their own ventures into oblivion. Thomas stops at the first liquor store he comes to, careful to keep his face hidden from any of the cameras. He heads directly to the scotch isle and grabs a bottle of single malt at least 12 years old. His journey to the counter is careful, for the cameras are everywhere in places like this. He sets the bottle on the counter, with a few bills, "keep the change" he says to the clerk.

"Yea, whatever," the clerk scans the bottle, and pockets the cash.

Tomas has the top off before he leaves the door way, drinking deep of the sweet liquor, calming his retching gizzard even more. He heads down the street now, less concerned about the light, as the fog begins to grow within his head.

He lights another cigarette, and feels the weight of his pack, before shoving it back into his back pocket. Now onto other things, Thomas smiles as the whiskey has brought him back to life, this time, again.

He could feel the weight of the steel on his back. He knew all to well that the clerk was just reacting to his appearance, but that reaction was tinged with the fear all men have for reapers. He slipped the hood of his cloak over his head, put on his gloves, and put the bottle into his pocket. It all turns to shadow now, with the street lights only showing pinpoints of lights that cannot penetrate the darkness of his mental state.

Where to go from here? I can feel the direction, but it seems bloodless, so I cool in the glow of Neal Young on the radio, while I realize that he needs more background. Not just an introduction, but more depth than he was given, so I will watch this one from the safety of the audience and see where he runs with this little tale.

That's all for now kids, tune in tomorrow to see where we run to when there is no place left to run to. Can you run from yourself?

Sleep Well;
JD

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