Waiting for Worlds to Collide
(A cat on Christopher Street sidewalk, Photo by Joe)
The sickness has come again…
I’m in an apartment that my boss owns in Queens. On top of my head is a pool of sweat. I dip my fingers into it and paw at my damp face. My eyes shift suspiciously to the 36″ TV, then to the various objects in the adjoining rooms. The table in the kitchen is vibrating, inching ever-so-slightly toward the noisy refrigerator. The dusty pictures on the walls quiver and hang precariously. They look ready to take flight. Beside me on the couch–especially if I look from the corner of my eye–I spot movement inside the pillows. It could be eels.
For the past few hours, I can’t drink and I can’t eat. Thirty minutes ago I went to the corner bodega and bought a pack of butts, though I don’t smoke. I just needed something to consume. And they were the only thing in that damn place that I thought I could, although…
An old Hispanic guy behind the counter was sweating nearly as much as I was. He smelled like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I could have sworn the beads of sweat on his neck were colored by blood. My tongue had lathered with saliva as I thought of lapping up blood-flavored, chicken noodle soup. When a female musk flushed through the balmy air, I saw a voluptuous, tanned woman behind me. Standing at the counter across from the cash register, I looked over my shoulder, trying to make it seem like I was interested in buying something else, though my eyes lingered on her nooks and curves. Her breasts and butt were respectively squeezed into a tank top and unbuttoned shorts that were like a white bud ready to flower. I kept thinking her blood was a secret I needed to know.
She had to lean past me, to also buy a pack of butts. Then I followed her out of the bodega, terrified of giving into the sickness. Because I wanted to taste her from the inside out; I wanted to know her blood. It was the gateway to a fantasy world…
There were plenty of people on the sidewalk, and the street was packed with traffic. For a second, I was able to calm as I eyed her butt. It was the only thing that I could focus on. “I’m not a vampire,” I said to the curvaceous behind, before making a beeline back to the apartment.
Now as I sit and watch the furniture move, I think about how Benny, “the cigar store Indian” said drinking a person blood could make me very sick. But I’ve never trusted Benny. He’s an old homeless man and clairvoyant, who believes he’s lived many lives. I don’t trust him, because he knows way more than he ever admits to. But he’s all I have. My friends whom I could have turned to with this problem, have abandoned me.
Soon, I’m going to go outside and wander the streets. I want to look at people and imagine the places their coursing blood could carry me off to. The darkness is not right yet. I don’t know what time it is. The cable box time is blurry. When I touch on my cell phone, I can’t make out a thing through the glare of the LCD light. All I know is that it’s dark outside, and getting darker.
But it’s not dark enough.
Before I got sick, I never knew there were different degrees of darkness. Maybe I’m waiting for midnight, or 2 or 3 a.m., or that “dead time” psychic investigators like to talk about. All I know is that a time is coming, when I can see, not clearly, but the spiritual world will be more in focus than ever before. Not that there’s something I want to see there. I just don’t want to get hit by a car, or walk into a street lamp or someone. The two times before when the sickness came on, each time I was almost killed in the street. Once was by a nut on a bike.
At the moment, I can’t judge distance properly, plus I get fixated by the shimmer and seeming movement of objects, and lose track of where I am. But when that special time comes, it seems to bring balance to my equilibrium. Though that’s not what happens exactly. It’s more like both real and non-corporeal worlds collide, or meet side by side. And I can see pretty good. I won’t be so nervous then.
Now I’m just sitting and waiting. Waiting for worlds to collide. I can’t wait to get outside.