In the corner of my eye a second head rears and considers. The head is small as heads go but large for a growth, deformed, bellshaped from its jar, floating in a magnifying rheum. It turns a fisheye, not sympathetically, upon this niche I have made in the world. If it were to speak with its small mouth not unlike an anus cinched too tight with a drawstring it might say something like More pie please or Maybe another cigarette will help. But it never speaks.
I’m easing myself back into life, ambition. But the futility you can’t leave on just any toilet seat. I’m waiting for the relief. I look for it in the company I keep. In the solace of kiddie cereals and coffee and smokes. In pool games with impossibly young adults, jackbooted and tattooed and sleepyeyed with latent social indignation. In card tables, a dope booth at Denny’s, a prostitute peculiar to the corner of Fifth and Pogue. There is excitement out there.
Meanwhile I’m too stunned to think anything of consequence. I brush my teeth up to seven times a day but the stench of my own mouth, real or imagined, prohibts me from ever using the same toothbrush twice. I cough into my armpit. I’m bronchial, from birth. My lungs are full of a wet concrete of cornmeal silked with the juice of an oyster. I write about my lungs. A coolness that began in the toe of one foot overcame my leg then my genitals. I write about my genitals. I am neither ugly nor attractive but I now am in possession of a loose calamity of expression and movement that is, I’m told, somewhat touching.
I tell my wife that next year, when the apples come, I will make wine.
She says Fantastic. But right now I’m more interested in right now.
Do I not provide?
You provide, she says. But we’re low on certain truths thought to be self-evident. Fry me some bananas.
I’m still recovering from the last batch.
So use your other head.
We’re out of bananas anyway.
She yawns. I’m dying here.
It’s true that I need more potassium. But the world wont wait for me.
It is also true that the things I truly enjoy dissemble into mere spectacle. I accessorize my vices. A blue robe for my whiskey, a scrimshaw 1916 lighter for my cigarettes, a twinkie sitting in its surreal industrial glow on my blue china.
When I get really scared I lapse into a sort of prenatal stupor, where communication can exist only in protein form.