A Muzz of Voices (Sorta’ Redux SoFla Version)
She understands nothing. She tries, squint-eyed, to turn her brain over. Without spark, the ignition doesn’t catch.
She sees herself, monochromatic, on the screen of her childhood 1974 Panasonic TV. Her father talks globular in this most rectilinear city. Her father, a sick man, made connections obliquely— and spoke in harsh transient bursts.
These hyperphantasic memories consume her from all dimensions. She needs raiment for the soul but finds defenestrated appliances and tatters in desolate mounds in their stead. She walks a bray of winces in piles of miles of monticular hunger.
Nothing for the stomach and nothing for the next life. She quanders in squandered lines of obtuseness. A sign up ahead reads:
“Squelch and Skronk, $2.99/lb. Best deal in South Florida!”
She 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 …
She’s lost in the reticular coldness of the attenuating picture—a cathode ray tube snow (fuzz from her childhood, circa 1974)—a muzz of voices echoing from the exhaust vent above her head. She’s one with the toilet seat now, one with her pins and needles thighs, and uncomfortably prescient.
That man from the sewer, the St. Jude statue kicker, outside her hotel room door—which is disquietingly close to the bathroom door—for hadn’t she last night passed one door where she swore she heard a fugue of wet untethered flatulence, and walking by another door heard wretched retching and moans?
Why did the man outside her door continue saying “Every day and in every way, I feel better, better, and better!” And just what was that infuriating accent?
She understood nothing.
“Shit!” Her hamstrings cramping, she limps away from the toilet—“Why have I woken up so stupid?”
She 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 sunburnt 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, she thinks) staring into her left peephole pupil, and trailing: “Wake up to the word. Control your mind, and the world will follow.”
She saw the outline of his legs seared into the hotel corridor wall. He was braying down the hall toward reception.
She trembled and added a codicil to her note for the next guest:
“don’t stay on the ground floor of the Temptation Inn in this southern city again …”
“Why did I come? How in the hell did I end up here?”
“Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful.”
— Samuel Beckett / Waiting for Godot