“Shit, doesn’t the fucking heat ever let up around here?” I heard my voice groan through the room, waking me up.
I wasn’t looking for an answer to the question. I didn’t expect one. I hadn’t heard a comforting word from the chair in weeks.
I knew it was day by the shouts of the gypsy kids in the courtyard, screaming and tearing around on their old bikes, the shouts of the mothers, the endless yelping of the stray bitches.
This heat had started months ago and there seemed to be no reprieve. Even the summer thunderstorms this year seemed too short and just a bit impotent.
I am dying.
Not of old age, well maybe but not in the sense of accumulated years, no more like old age of the mind. Burned out body, burned out will. The doctor had some word for it… I forget. We can get to that later. What needs to be known now is I’m dying. And pretty fast.
In my waking hours I am attempting to put my life in order so that when it all flashes in front of me there won’t be any big surprises. When I am not in deliriums I try to do it chronologically, other times as the events come up I remember as much as I can about them, catalogue them, and rest a bit easier.
The beautiful rhythms of this language flow over me. I have lived here for 3½ yrs. I know the basics. How to ask questions and understand the answers. Order food, beer, and women. The essentials with a little icing added on top for good measure.
Even Eastern Europe seems to becoming tame these days. I was talking w/ a couple gurls, (they are prostitutes who live next door), and they were complaining about how the cops were starting to give a shit. That the cops had begun doing their jobs and weren’t so interested in the little bribes of money or trade which use to keep them out of trouble. Shit, you know somewhere is going to the dogs when the cops are going straight.
I want to sit up but feel no strength in my body. This happens. It will pass. For now I look at the insides of my eyelids and attempt to centre myself. To create a perfect balance, to find my centre and move from there, move through there. Weird, peacenik meditation shit, but seems to work.
To say nothing ever worked out right for me would be an overstatement. I should say nothing ever worked out all the way for me. Never seemed to get to the end result. Always getting hung up somewhere along the way.
My mind wanders through the verdant landscape of my brain. Years come and go as easy as the buses into and out of a station. I can feel somewhere deep in my memory the feeling of a grey spring day. The trees had all blossomed, the spring flowers were a blanket to the newly thawed earth. It had already been hot and sunny enough that I had had to take care not to burn. But that day was one of those throw back days. Ones that gets thrown into the mix to remind us where we were coming from; the cold earth hardened winter.
The wind howled against the windows of the apartment I was in. At that time in my life it was like every other day. There was never any future at that time. How could there be? The world was open to us like a flower. There was always a couple of good friends, a few bottles and a stage set for crazy potential.
On this particular day, and I remember this clearly, Jackson and Robbie were there. We were talking shit. Complaining about never having enough money to pay the bills, buy the groceries, that sort of talk. It was within that conversation of continual woe that we struck upon the idea that has me lying here dying. Jackson, last I heard, hustling the streets of Mexico City and Robbie already having met his maker long before any of the pay-off even came through.
What I can’t stand about this dying business is that I will no longer be here. Sounds trite as hell but it’s one truth I’m not so looking forward to. Shit, I mean I expected so much more out of life.