Wrinkled pages clasped in shivering hand. The odd texture wraps around my fingers as I cling for warmth. My palms are dyed, ink seeping from the latest editorial gossip. Something about a Prince giving up something. I can no longer tell, the page is smeared and jumps up and down from my constant jittering.
Ah, newspaper as fragile as a friendship. Even you leave me. The harder I cling the easier it was to tear. The warmth that I crave. The warmth that I need. Oh, how you leave me.
Oh, woe is me. I speak to no one as I cower in this corner, dark and dim.
As distant as I had become, the clearer it was to me. Lost job, no income equals no girlfriend. She left. Each begging draws the helping hand closer to complete closure. Family, friends, the more I asked the less they gave.
Now here I lay. Cold floor, bridge for a roof. And nothing but a newpaper blanket to keep me company.
Oh, a record low today? You don't say.
It all just makes me so tired.
Sleep would be nice.
Sitting on a hill covered in a fine morning dew, my neck cranes towards the sky.
Clouds overhead, they twist and turn. Some sprout faces while others merge into new creatures. A dog. Then, an elephant.
They are perpetually amorphous.
They make me ponder. Maybe we can learn from these clouds.
Sometimes I think too much.
Chewing on chalk. The sensation and the taste were the same. It was like chewing on fine powder. Bland and unappealing. Disgusting in its lack of any discernable taste. However, it was a fine filet mignon. It just wasn't right.
The fine pinkness of the meat and brilliant presentation hinted at craftsmanship to be lauded. He could feel the juices flowing within his gullet. As the succulent flow of umami dared enter his mouth, the instant the juice touched his tounge a shockwave splashed against his mind.
It was bland. Beyond bland. There was nothing.
Grasping for the water, he touched the glass to his lips. As the water escaped the container and passed his lips, he swished and spat the mix back onto the plate.
The waiter stood at attention. In his years of serving at such a fine establishment, he had never seen such rudeness on display. "I'm sorry sir. I'll get you another." The waiter quickly shifted his face back to its blank state. There was no need to further infuriate such a terrible customer. Even if it was the Golden Tongue.
"No. Get me the caviar. I need some salt to get some flavor back into my mouth." Scoffing at the dish in front of him, he pulled the napkin up to his mouth. Dabbing it, he cleaned the filth from his lips.
It only reminded him of that hole-in-the-wall in Louisiana he visted last. Such high expectations. And such an absolute disappointment.
He could hear her now. "I curse you Golden Tongue! May you never find joy for the rest of your days!"
Her dish truly deserved that one star.
The waiter came along with the small dish of caviar. As he sat the dish down, the fine dinnerware made its presentation.
Top notch! A Mother of pearl caviar spoon! They were truly pulling out all of the stops.
They needed to eitherway with how poor that first dish was.
Gripping the spoon, it ducked beneath the awaiting pile. Coming up for air, the spoon pulled with it a fine helping of caviar.
Inspecting the utensil for any abnormalities, he pulled it into his waiting maw. Clasping his mouth around the fish eggs, he awaited the splash of salty goodness to sweep along his palate. Yet, nothing came.
Spitting out his second batch of food, he raised his voice.
"What the hell are you serving me?"
"Caviar sir." The calm reply sobered the awestruck room.
"Taste that rubbish. Nothing comes from it."
The waiter grasped for the spoon. Digging into the dish, he tasted.
"There is nothing wrong with the caviar sir."
"You have to be shitting me. Nothing comes from that pile of filth."
"Are you intentionally trying to ruin my restaurant?" A voice bellowed from across the room. Obviously it was some bigwig. He had always hated when they complained. He was the critic here.
"The food tastes as bland as a sheet of paper. So, I'd say it is you intentionally sabotaging my fine taste."
"Yeah rubbish. Exactly how I would describe your food." He took a breath. "Now, get me a fine bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!" He had to wash it down with something.
The waiter did not even hide his contempt. "Right away sir."
A minute passed. "Here you are... sir." That title came rather late.
Wafting the fine drink, he could smell the richness. This would be good. And he drank.
Only now did he realize.
He didn't have anything.
It was all gone. Like chewing and drinking chalk.
That Louisianian woman did something to him.
He couldn't taste anything.
He was the Golden Tongue.
With canister in hand, smoke trailed off its end. He came here for a reason. He didn't know why everyone else was here, but he was here for carnage. He hated the government, and he wanted to show it.
Black mask wrapped around his face to hide his identity, he gave the canister a good hard toss.
The metal smacked against the plastic shields of the local tyrannical state pigs. A loud pop and everything started.
Like the sea, a wave splashed against the line of blue blocking the rest of the march. Clubs came out. Swings of retaliation. Fists brusied and bloody.
Next came the hoses. Powerful bursts of water whaffed about the back half of the crowd. God-forbid if they hit any state officers. Pick off the weaklings in the back to make sure.
Flashes of light and screams.
The next level had started and he could feel his hands shake. From fear or anticipation, he didn't know. He just knew that this was his chance.
A newly bought glock lay flat on his back taut against his pants bought from a local 'friend'.
At the front away from the streaks of pressurized water, he reached around.
Grasping onto his purpose, he strode forward.
Flicking off the safety, he pushed back on the hammer readying.
Looking for his mark, he saw a man in blue outfitted in all of the latest gear strike out towards one of the protestors.
Aiming, he fired.
Ringing in his ears, he couldn't believe he had actually done it. He had done what he had been planning for weeks. Now, he had more to do.
A loud bang swept out across the street. A new one, different than what he had caused.
It was colder than he remembered. His mouth was dry. And his stomach hurt.
Looking down, the hand that he wrapped around his aching stomach was drowned in crimson. Oh... he had been shot.
Realization had donned on him. However, he could only think of one thing.
God, he hated cops.
And he fell into darkness.
It was an accident.
The thought echoed across his mind as the blood splattered against his windshield.
His hands shaking, he continued to stare at the crimson marked across his vehicle. Slowly, he moved his hand down towards the lever controlling the windshield wiper. Hesitantly, he clicked it down once.
He knew. Even as he watched the glass smear, he knew it wouldn’t go away.
He was so cheap that he wouldn’t get the windshield wiper pump fixed. A measly 40 bucks. It wasn’t even that hard to replace. He knew that he wouldn’t get someone to replace it. He’d be down another 40 bucks on labor. He would never do that.
Now, he couldn’t see. The lines of the old wiper drew red lines across his vision. What little sight was available was through a thin sheen of clouded burgundy. And another swipe of the wiper only made it worse.
He couldn’t slow down. He knew that was the wrong decision.
He wasn’t right for prison. He knew people who had gone to prison. They were covered in ink and permanent scowls. He was generally pleasant to be around. He couldn’t go around with a scowl. Then, people wouldn’t like him anymore. And work didn’t approve of visible tattoos. They couldn’t be on his neck or sleeve. It was for the customers, they had said.
Now through the red, bright lights shown. Flashing through muck on the glass, it hit his eyes in blinding red light. Then, the lights went to the left and the right circling and turning around his windshield like bright pixies. And, they were gone as fast as they came. The sounds of blaring horns leaked past the generic pop radio.
He had only ever listened to the radio because a female co-worker said that they like 93.5. He needed to seem normal. They never thought of him as normal. Maybe if he listened to that same radio, he would have something to talk with them about. It was always confusing. What was normal? What wasn’t?
The horns came again. This time they were louder. It was as if they were patronizing, accusatory.
His palms were sweaty gripping onto the wheel.
Like a waterfall, tears crept down his face. He didn’t mean to. Oh God! He didn’t mean to.
No! He had to think of anything but the damn red that was clearly in his sight. He didn’t mean it.
Red light leaked into his vision. This time it was brighter than he could have ever imagined.
It was an accident.