Thursday, December 08, 2005
White Sky Black Street
Dateline: Thursday, December 8th, 2005, 8:05pm
My lips were bleeding when I woke up this morning. Somebody had glued them shut, and when I opened my mouth for my first waking ragged breath, they split with resistance, peeling little skin strips off, little tassles flapping pink and white and red. Crimson beneath, mutiny at my digestive outset.
Had some merry prankster left microscopic little dabs of superglue over my mouth in hopes of silencing my outlandish tendency to spew poetic gibberish several times daily? No. It was cow mucus. Nature's adhesive. I drank milk before bed last night.
Never do that.
I could still taste it, now spoiled and thick, clinging to my throat in clumpy globs. An ugly moment of self-realization.
I repaired as best I could, but now I had candy cane zebra lips. When people at work asked me about it, I told them I got drunk and made out with a cheese grater. They didn't believe me, but I thought I was pretty convincing.
At three in the afternoon the first solid snowfall of the season began to precipitate upon fevered motorists citywide. I knew my drive home would be a long slog through slush and impatience, so I braced myself by arming my CD player with good music. I set off, tiptoeing home, brake, inch, brake, inch, brake, inch. It's beginning to look like Christmas.
Even with utmost caution, wise prudence, careful dainty precision, and good old common sense, I still lost my patience. Sure, it's slippery. Dangerous, even. But five miles per hour does not cut the mustard in my book.
Try twenty. We can handle that, right? No. Cue a slow elderly fuckface. I swerved around him and made it through a yellow light. I didn't get much further past that, so my action was pointless. Still, it's the philosophy of it. If everbody drove with just a tiny bit more urgency, we could all get home and safe and warm that must faster. It's always one or two cars that are so fucking terrified of the weather that they ruin everyone else's fun.
I was going to make some shit up right here about a big confrontation in which I terrify the old man and ruin his already shaken faith in future generations, but I don't feel like it. I'll stick to the truth for once. Maybe.
After that little chariot maneuver I decided the beautiful downfall and molasses traveling warranted some liquid refreshment. What better time is there to drink and drive than when you're only going five miles an hour? And there it was: neon and towering before me: The Liquor Barn. Hey!
A fifth of Ten High is only eight bucks and the clerk'll happily wrap that amber magic in brown paper with nary a request. At the counter the clerk and a few amiable patrons were moaning about municipal response. Specifically, the lack of it. I took the opportunity to engage in public embellishment.
"I know! I only saw one salt truck in the last hour. I was takin a shortcut through a rich neighborhood, and the surly civic worker piloting the thing was screaming down that local street in a state of frantic steroidal aggression. He plowed and salted smack dab down down the center of the narrow little street faster than a dead bird falls. I tried to drift right to give him clearance, but I wasn't fast enough. He nailed my rear driver side and shoved me right into a mailbox. He probably thought my car would look good in a snowbank."
"No shit. Fuckin crazy out there tonight."
"Got that right."
"G'night. Be safe and warm."
"Yeah, you too! Watch out for psycho trucks!"
"I will. Take it easy."
I left. I hadn't actually been hit by the salt truck, but it'd been a close thing. Naturally my imagination had supplied other outcomes, and I was glad to be unburdened of one of them. When you talk to other patrons of a discount liquor store, you're free to say anything. You know they drink just like you. They don't care about the truth. Just a smile and a good talk.
Whiskey in hand, I got moving again.
I wasn't worried about psycho trucks anymore. The rest of my route was on major streets, and none of them could even imagine the notion of velocity tonight. I was going to mope, not speed. No choice. I would be a while reaching home base.
It felt strange to be hoisting a full fifth of bourbon to my mouth with my right hand while my left hand rested at high noon on the steering wheel. I kept leering out at neighboring motorists, gleefully brandishing my bottle and a dumb grin. Singing, too. They failed to ogle my brash display of practical irresponsibility. I was disappointed. I wanted somebody to point at me. Then panic. Have a righteous little hissyfit. You know. But it didn't happen.
Now I'm home, safe, and drunk. Can't wait for tomorrow. 9:19 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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