A Muzz of Voices
S. understands nothing. He tries, squint-eyed, to turn his brain over. Without spark, the ignition doesn’t catch.
S. sees himself, monochromatic, on the screen of his childhood 1974 Panasonic. He’s talking globular in a rectangular city. He makes connections obliquely — only in transient bursts. He needs raiment for the soul but finds defenestrated appliances and tatters in mounds in their stead. He walks a bray of winces in piles of miles of monticular hunger. Nothing for the stomach and nothing for the next life. He quanders in squandered lines of obtuseness. A sign up ahead reads: “Squelch and Skronk, $2.99/lb.” He makes a beeline for the whole ball of wax — a hive of astute astringency on loan — from a god lost in this corner of the universe…
He’s lost in the reticular coldness of the attenuating picture — a cathode ray tube snow (fuzz from his childhood in 1974) and a muzz of voices echoing from the exhaust vent above his head. He’s one with the toilet seat now, one with his pins and needles thighs, and uncomfortably prescient.
He continues his note: … all will be needling shit this new year… Happy so and so… New Year so and so…
“Fuck Robert Burns!” he says. “Who the fuck is Robert Burns?” he says to his reflection in the mirror.
And some person outside the hotel room door — which is disquietingly close to the bathroom door (for hadn’t he last night passed one door where he swore he heard a fugue of wet untethered flatulence, and walking by another door heard wretched retching and moans?) — why did the man outside his door continue saying “hogmanay” this and “hogmanay” that, and just what was that infuriating accent?
S. understood nothing.
“Shit!” S., hamstrings cramping, limps away from the toilet — a short rivulet of urine, unloosed from his oddly pear shaped bladder, streams down his inner thigh and billabongs at the back of his surgically repaired and cranky right knee — “Why have I woken up so stupid?”
He steps to the door and looks through the peephole and in one fluid motion bangs on the door: “get away hog man, get back to hog land, hog man! Get away.”
A wide-eyed face turns mutton chop and exits viewfinder left — revealing grandmother strabismus, carnival-lipped, mouth agape, shocks of tight red curls (something akin to afro puffs, he thinks) staring into his left peephole pupil, and trailing “well, I never(s)…” behind, and dragging a braying three year-old down the hall toward reception.
S., trembling, adds a codicil to his note: don’t stay on the ground floor of the Scottish Inn in Abingdon, VA again… and…
How in the hell did I end up here?
“Get rid of meaning. Your mind is a nightmare that has been eating you : now eat your mind.”