Asphalt knows I’m thinking about you – your reflections glistening in the shards of broken glass, your hands caught in a fragment of cement, your smile lost in a pebble on the ground.
The drink in my hand rumbles and groans, demanding to be refilled. People fill the pub from all sides and all walks of life. A woman walks in with a short dress, frazzled hair and hoop earrings the size of Pluto. She looks my way. My eyes fall heavily onto my in my drink, drowning her curiosity and my lack thereof. She peels away, her heels echoing the disappointment that one gets when they fail in achieving their carnal urgency recognition. Because, like a criminal, all people want to be recognized. It is why every criminal leaves some trademark, some ID to identify themselves. Even the good ones leave detectives baffled; the recognition of a professional. Sadly, this woman failed to even pilfer my eyes into a gaze long enough to make love to them, to have them undress her, to have her body displayed like a model in front of me. Even naked though, she wouldn’t have turned more than two coarse heads around.
My eyes drunkenly swayed from my glass, and I asked for another. I thought that one more would loosen my tongue and purse my lips. If not, it would at least provide the surefire courage a man with too much back hair and too little money needed. While I mentioned to the bartender, two boys stormed in. They were no older than I probably was when I entered my first bar. They attempted to “storm” in quietly, but like a herd of elephants blending in with mouses, they simply couldn’t. Their piss drunk pants and breaths saturated in so much booze that it could light on fire from the lightbulbs didn’t offer the necessary camouflage. With all eyes turned their way, one of them weakly muttered, “Fuck eh. ‘ust lookin’ fo’ aye good timeeeee.” His mouth slurred infinitely on the e’s. Shakespeare himself could not say it better.
Satisfied with the sonnet in drunken arts, the judging eyes, including mine, turned back to their self-wallowing destruction, content with their miserable lives that they could still see “losers worse off than themselves.” We were all Carl Jung, Sigmund Fucking Freud, analyzing the two “losers” for being drunk, as if we were so high and mighty in the bar for controlling our liquor. And yet, deep inside, it was an act we wished so heavily to relieve, a youth we so pleadingly desired.
Soon, laughter began to roar in between the four poorly painted walls. Beer poured more swimmingly. Kisses transferred more carelessly. It seemed the bar truly became a place for a “good timeeeee”, as the young bard had so eloquently said. The bartender even nodded my way with a gift from the house that was, of course, free of charge. He winked and slide two more shots my way. With the alacrity of a four year old diabetic holding a snickers bar, I drank the drinks triumphantly. In minutes, a rush of insanity collided with my lucidity. I was drunk.
No longer did I see broken glass. I saw literary origami folding wingless words into a bottle nosed airplane that flew off into a blue painted sky. A face that was stained red became a lovely porcelain doll framed on a cabinet that I could not reach. The woman in the bar that one wouldn’t notice unless with a shotgun somehow sat beside me now, nagging and nagging, “Ready to go? Ready to go?” And in a swirl, the metal time bomb somehow ticked backwards and an omelet of human body parts reassembled. Where my tongue was, there formed a heart; where my brain was, formed a tongue; my arms, a brain, and I was now able to turn right and left in the lanes of love.
A pain surged in my arm. A hungry set of eyes stared down at me. I stared back. I was a carcass left for hyenas to scavenge. It seemed that love, or maybe my brainy-arms, had turned too hard. So hard in fact, that I landed right into a guardrail. The porcelain face was red again. I could reach it. I could feel its lifelessness, it’s illusion, it’s lie.
Now, with a constant drip of life flowing my way, the heart that was on my tongue felt broken, the tongue that was on my brain had torn open, and the brain that was on my arms was now broken in seven different places. I guess now, I will notice you in broken bones, not just a drunken courage and empty bottles.