Monday, August 08, 2011

One fine evening

I live in a rainforest, though it's not obviously a rainforest because most of the trees are cut down and there's a city in place instead. But it is a rainforest nonetheless, a place of blistering rainstorms, cloth-ripping wind storms, near daily torrential rain storms. All things are subject to rapid rot or rust. Seldom does a day end without some climatic misery visited upon us here. But recently I had a fine evening, a warm and calm few hours in an otherwise brutal onslaught driving down from dark and angry skies. Pleasant.

I tramped through the usual clot of junkies huddled under the viaduct, skeletal addicts jabbing and poking their bones in search of a living vein under yellowed, scabrous skin, an uncollapsed vein being the life-line to heroin heaven. A pleasant evening, and I went on to the diner for an evening out. There I sat out at a table alone, quiet and content, with my book on terrorism and my mild and happy thoughts, idly crushing a bug that crawled across my page, wiping away the stain with a napkin, and reading on.

I was only momentarily distracted by one of the regular pests, Jack, a junky I'd just seen moments before shooting dope, came over table to table demanding money from those sitting, talking, laughing, eating with family and friends, Jack demanding money for food, "For something to eat, man, I haven't eaten all day, man," and his hand darting out to grab a scoop of something from the plate in front of a tattooed girl in a green lame miniskirt, her food suddenly stuffed into Jack's maw, Jack turning to run-- straight into tattoo girl's guy.

Guy's fist, connected to his wrist, connected to his forearm, connected to his elbow, connected to his biceps, connected to his shoulder, connected with Jack's jaw. Jack folded.

Rising like a vapour over a swamp, he engulfed Jack, knuckles coming down like lightning, the blow the thunder, the blood the rain: a storm of breaking.

When the police arrived I came outside and cheerily said to them, "Hey, what's happening here?" They said have a nice evening. I did. The ambulance pulled away slowly. Tomorrow will come. What's the hurry?

There is now a lull. The nature of things? Nasty weather a'comin'.


Michael Crosby said...

Holy shit Dag. What country are you in?

Dag said...

Canada. Vancouver, B.C. Though I am soon to move to Lima, Peru.

I misread your comment at first and thought you'd written, "What planet are you on?" Some people here don't mind the rain at all. I do.

Michael Crosby said...

BTW, should have stomped on the guy's chest to get meal back. Just for principle.

Dag said...

OH! I laugh! Funny!

Michael Crosby said...

Yeah, I have read a lot of stories about the junkies in Vancouver. Sad sad lives.

Over 30 years ago I lived in Seattle and it rained a lot there too. I've never been suicidal in my life, but living there in Seattle, those thoughts did creep in.

Dag said...

Seattle is way bigger, meaning there are more places to hide from the rain. Nowadays it's the hippies there who would make me suicidal.

Michael Crosby said...

Yeah, I guess that's where the whole grunge thing started, along with Kurt Cobain and stuff. Then it become popular to sing like someone's pulling a hot poke out of one's ass.

The last time I visited downtown Seattle on the waterfront it was depressing. Everyone wants to look so different, they look the same in their differentness.

Dag said...

The New Yorker used to be a very clever magazine, and the cartoons were excellent. I recall one of a staid looking fellow in a business suit talking to a young hippie, saying that when the man was young he wanted to stand out from the crowd by looking different, to be a "freak." The final box shows him speaking to an infinite row of "freaks" all identical. Nothing changes. Well, now the "freaks" are our government leaders. Now, or the last time I was in Seattle, I couldn't find a McDonald's for a quick coffee, and the people I asked for directions turned on my like I was asking for the nearest gun shop or some other wholly uncouth Sarah Palin-sort of place.

It all makes the Third World way more attractive than all the benefit of Modernity. At least there if someone steals food from another it's because they really are seriously hungry. That's not a good thing, of course, but it's not self-induced and demanding of respect of others.

Good grief, I look at what's going on in London tonight and I am just sick. Rioting at Notting Hill. You can find richer areas in London, but the Queen's people usually won't let you linger.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a heart-warming, uplifting story! Thanks, sonofwalker! ;-)

Dag said...

Hrumph. It's raining now.

At least I had one find evening this summer.

My best to others who are enjoying the warm.