Whoever saw them beat me up
March 3rd (a Sunday) 3 a.m.
Corner of Dearborn and Fourth
Me: blackhaired, probably blue in that light, well-shod
Them: six, swinging bottles of Dixie 45 & calling me
A woman at a busstop out of the rain watched him staple these posters to several telephone poles.
You look familiar, she said.
He sniffled and took out his coughdrops and offered her one. She touched her mouth and declined and he said They’re herbal so she took one and they stood there her out of the rain and him in it and they each unwrapped their coughdrop and they began sucking on them and he said:You will soon be under my spell.
She smiled but absently as if she was focusing on the coughdrop like it was somewhat difficult like any piece of very sticky candy and he was about to shrug and walk away when she nodded at the flyer and finally loosed the coughdrop from the roof of her mouth and said You know you can’t get Dixie 45 here are you sure they weren’t swinging bottles of Mickey’s or Rolling Rock? and he was about to go into his theory on this which was still divided equally between shadow and light, hope and regret when she noticed the date and said March? That was three months ago. And why no scars?
He had feared this sort of skeptical response. His brow ticked. I’m just out of the coma and I should probably warn you I’ve kept some of the blackness with me, he said and just for an instant they both stopped sucking on the coughdrops.
Then she said: A friend of mine was in a coma once. Actually we weren’t friends. Actually the last day of school in the sixth grade we got in huge fight over a 45 by some ridiculous heartthrob. I was fat then and sat on her, which in grade school culture is a dubious victory. So years later when I heard that she’d gotten hit by a pickup on her moped and gone into a coma this event of course gained retroactive inertia and I now realize that I can create few events to rival this.
He nodded and made a polite bridge over this diversion: There’s a trick with these coughdrops I’m learning to do.