I : waiting for a tornado this morning.
I ate an apple yesterday. Red, smooth. There was a tiny part of it that was a bruised, jaundiced color – it looked like it was sweating, or bleeding, darkening, wet, soft to the touch – an unpleasant blemish on the tawny off white – that section of apple was going bad. Rotting . Rotting faster than the rest. Normally a part of the apple you might cut off, to protect the rest. My feet feel like that. Like fingernails needing to be clipped. My feet feel on fire, blurred out, The blood has puddled up down there, I guess. When I look down at my feet they look like potatoes, grey unappetizing ones, shades of dark purple around the edges. My toes seem like tumors , strange sprouts , tubers. Like fleshy stubble.
The cat is lazily studious, watching the porch screens , to see the empty shaded yard, the slate-grey, empty skies. What is he looking at ? Does he see the future tornado?
The bricks , chipped and sun burnt, cobbled into the grass. From here, everything looks dusty, but it might be just the windows I am looking through. Everything outside looks stained with thin layer of grime. Like a car windshield that tempts someone to write “wash me” on it. It looks cold out there, but maybe it is just dark , Louisiana is often like that
I need to figure out if my infusions will be covered. The foundation has covered the cost the last three years, but I am unsure this year.
I want to write about cities.
Not specific ones, but “cities”- in broad strokes.
When I imagine them, of course I think of graffiti lacing the walls, tendrils of dripping paint spreading like kudzu. I think of rain soaked streets, reflecting the bright neon lights. I think rats scurrying into the gutter, squirreling away discarded fast food remains. I think of dented metal trash cans, each with a fire blazing out of them like tiny hell mouths screaming – the hallmark of almost every movie set in a future dystopia.
The crumbling buildings piled atop splitting sidewalks.
It is hard to imagine the earth under the concrete slabs, but every so often there is a patch of thorny brush, or a splotch of muddy land that is visible…like a red slip accidentally peeping out from under a tightly professional and dignified outfit . Or a bruised area of an apple, inedible, suspicious.
Usually this empty piece of earth is safety entrapped behind a chain like fence, a fence with a garland of barb wire across the top. Sludgy and filled with mud, maybe with a dog or some sort of animal.
I think of those film noir images, where the camera pans across a heroine’s face as it cross dissolves into garish electric bar signs, or neon billboards for the various dens of vice.
Tough leather wearing kids with big boom boxes, with big ghetto blasters, with demanding hair, sassing off to crumbly newspaper venders who are yelling that they are not a library, and that “youse gots to pay for those”.
Soggy hotdogs slapped onto soggy sponge like hot dog buns straight from the packages.
The food venders with their metal carts, the hotdog buns sticky, not strong enough for all the wet, for the heat. There are bulletin boards filled with flyers, stapled one on top of another. like scales. like feathers.
Every surface is an advertisement or a picture of somewhere else. Almost as if saying, you are not here. The models in the ads are impossibly clean, photographed camping, or on a beach, or something, usually nowhere near the dingy stores of the city.
The streets are lined with seedy looking dwellings, peep shows, nude movies, head shops….maybe even shop that sells souvenir tee shirts, or cigarettes. alcohol, coffee.
Looking up, some of the buildings are crisp shiny glass, slick .Other worldly, as if they are glaciers or enamel caps put over tortured teeth.
The glass is like sky, or mirror. They seem to have nothing to do with me…with anyone I know. They seem a mirage, seem like aurora borealis. like some kind of improbable land you might read about in some yellowed children’s adventure novel. It is the same feeling I get from watching Good Morning America prattling on about how good Wall Street stocks are doing. meaningless squalking.
The tornado should be arriving by 1 or 1.30.