the wallet

So I found this guy’s wallet…it was empty, less the personal identification card…when my armature detective work led me to his crummy 1 bed studio on the corner of Lime and Page I quickly found nothing of a reward awaiting it’s return…rather, a greeting from a local janitor or maintenance man…either way he wore no jumpsuit or 1 piece apparel adversing his occupation….just a tool belt littered with black wall screws and small levels and tapes and screwdrivers and hammers…his name was Steve….he told me so, after asking me casually who “the fuck” I was…I believe he was scraping the gunk from a spring attached to a screen door adjunct to the balcony…or the modest living man’s balcony…most people would call it a fire escape…”I found this man’s wallet” I shouted to Steve amongst the springy metal clanging….I then held the wallet out as though I was picking the onions from a burger, then spreading it to present it’s emptiness and shiny compartment that held the id within it…”that guy disappeared a couple months ago! I just finished haulin’ his shit down to my box truck!” Steve gleefully added and went on…”guy never paid last month, didn’t even call my boss to say what’s up ya’know? So I took his shit. I’m getting this unit ready you looking’ for a place? Lot’s of tail in this building. I like to inspect the showers whiles the ladies are still in em’ ya know!?!” this guy was fucked…I nodded like a dropout at NASA orientation…clueless to his slimy ways I gave him the old “sorry for wasting your time good sir” wrap up and headed for the stairwell…along my way through the tarnished-brown brass handrail that ran about the hallway like spider veins I crossed by a young spirited thing…she looked fresh as if a innocent baby girl fell into a bucket of magical old timely growth syrup and climbed through youth with the spryness of a marine training in boot camp…she smiled at my grazing her with dirty eyes…or so she thought…I was just noticing her child-like face…however the musky hallway broke it’s silence when she spoke initially “excuse me” she pardoned…”sorry…hey, you didn’t happen to know this guy, or where he skipped to?” I asked as though the man’s wallet was my mustache for I didn’t realize I was practically holding it’s spread upon my upper lip…”yeah, well no…I mean I know that guy…he was my neighbor but I didn’t know him well at all, or where he went…I did know that he worked at the bowling ally down the street”…I wanted to get a little more from her…just to feel out if she was into me…what with my casual talking skills and ability to hide my face from strange women in dark hallways…”so you didn’t know him well enough to think that he’d miss his wallet, or should I just pitch ? There’s no cards or cash, just his license…I found it outside my restaurant”…she gave it a half a second then fired “you own a restaurant?” “no, I mean the place I work, or, well I’m a chef at Bennigan’s” …she wasn’t impressed…nor did I blame her….”look, I’m just gonna pitch it then…if you see” I then paused to look down and wave to id into the drab light to find the guys name “Namber Jay Jonathan he’s shit outta luck”…she found the rite key, plunged it into her lock and replied “sure” before slamming the door…

….I killed a few hours spitting off the pedestrian highway overpass…I walked down one of the shittier streets to see the circus…little gaggles of black kids running barefoot through the taco bell wrapper littered streets cursing with plastic beads and berets dangling from their hair…there weren’t too many trees in those neighborhoods…nor was there green lush grass…just fast food wrappers and cups and straws and butts and shiny soda cans…I liked walking down through those streets…the brave white boy…yet those streets weren’t all that scary…just filth and poor people glazing in the sun…kids being bad…parents being worse…I knew there was always something to see here…even though the rest of the world would rather look away…looking is about all there is left for these streets…I managed to go a full minute without a car drive past with a rattling trunk and other car parts blaring some mediocre radio rap…for that minute I heard no birds either…but not silence…there were plenty of sirens screaming about in the close distance…I made my way towards the bowling ally…maybe John J. Namber stuck his super with the rent, and left his shit behind because it was shit after all…maybe he’s still shining balls, or greasing lanes, or spraying shoes…

….I found it easy to kill time in the bowling ally…pitchers of beer for $4.00…that was hi-point prices…but the hi-point was long closed…and served better food….this ally was strewn with every type of loser longing for the win I’ve ever seen….not to say these were hopeless saps…no, that’s to say that these people appeared to want it all in life…but sacrificed not an inch of themselves to get it…I’m saying that they were screwed…they knew it, and they also knew that living with it is the only means for happiness…a man bellied up to the bar…I was frame watching…I heard this guy slam his beer down on the bar top…it was louder than the bowler who’s pins just smashed into the pin setting machine’s mouth with a glorious strike…as I turned my head to spectate this man’s need to make himself heard I noticed that he was standing up at the bar, angled in my direction preparing to depart towards my way…maybe he’s headed for the john…maybe he IS john…for some reason unknown to me still, I flipped out the wallet ping ponging my head into the wallets flap for a profile of the guy that was headed my way…back and forth what seemed like a thousand times I bobbed down into the license, up at this raging bull, back down into the license, back up to the raging bull…before I had time finger the line-up he stood before me…”names’ Johnny. That mine?”…I looked down at the leather scrap, considering whether to answer with a explanation as to why the wallet was bone dry, or let him do the talking..”um, uh..ya…yes…I found it behind my restaurant” “you own a restaurant?”…damnit…I need to rephrase that…”no I work at one…hey the thing was empty when I found it just laying out in the parking lot” “ that’s fine. Just glad to have my id back…that fuckin asshole bartender just gave me shit about not havin’ id…can you fuckin’ believe that!?! I come here every fuckin’ day that asshole has seen my old ladies tit’s on a Friday night and he wants to get all arbitrary on my ass!?!? Sheeeeeiiit.”…feeling freshly washed with cool waves of relief, his reply was the closest thing I could imagine to a baptism….”hey, no problem…how did you know I had your wallet though?” “excuse me?” he puzzled…”how did you know, I just sat down a second ago, and heard you slam your beer down and before I knew it you were headed straight at me”…I looked peekish still…”because this isn’t real”….I wandered what he meant by that…but rather than asking so I replied “huh?” he said “this isn’t happening. None of this. I’m not real. That wallet isn’t real. That bowler over there…he’s not real. That cute girl serving onion rings and soda pop isn’t real. The bald bastard behind the shoe check booth isn’t real. I’m not real. You’re not real.”…I don’t understand…I want to tell him that I know he’s fucking with me…I’m not a regular loser here…I know he thinks I’m some young kid who’s fooled around with drugs or something and he wants me to lose my cool, or flip out or freak out or whatever….but I’m just not feeling his lame attempt to grind my gears…so I play along “oh man…dude, I shouldn’t have eaten that brown one man…whoh, like I can taste the bowling balls and the lane grease is flowing through me like the dahli llama.” “okay…you don’t exist kid…I don’t exist…this isn’t happening…this isn’t happening…” and he begins to get louder “this isn’t happening!” as he stood on a cheap plastic chair that he furiously grabbed moments between yelling, now full screaming with muster deep from his chest “THIS ISNT HAPPENING! THIS ISNT HAPPENING!”…spit flinging from his pink frothing mouth…his eyes turn into black marbles, his pupil flows open and wide leaving almost no white left as though someone had spilt a bottle of ink behind his eyes…and in mid sentence he swayed side to side and began clawing at his chest as I cross my arms above my head to conceal my face from a spiratic burst of fists…the raging bull named Johnny fell from his cheap plastic podium and exploded red gel and liquid from his mouth like a geyser venting red lava…chunks of black matter broke the red spray into random spurts as they cleared from his throat…and his eyes turned all black…like a reflection of the deepest chasm at the bottom of the Atlantic…they then began to smolder and smoke and melt down into his sockets…I didn’t know what the fuck was happening…I heard a whizzing…a build up of tension faint but growing…it sounded like a piano string being wound tighter and tighter as a hammer smashed into it…then a pop shot out, and Johnny’s chest separated like a bear trap, and wires sprung from his trunk as milky white oil splashed out…the wires flailing weightless over his chest spitting little drops of oil and sparks as the haze of smoke floated up and up until the room was full and thick like a cannon’s blast….silence overtook the slapping of wires and gurgling of ooze…the smoke waved along like a stream limping by a bed of rocks…I had no idea what had just happened…I lifted my hand to see if I could make it out in the cloudy air…I saw a faint silhouette…then a loud stomp…CLANK!!…the smoke flew away as if it were being sucked into space…and the room cascaded away square by square, it looked like big cinderblocks all compiling the surroundings that painted a bowling ally…flipping over one another and raising off it’s balance to float away into nothingness…it started from the left side of the ally…and slowly lifted and ripped apart into tiny pixels and sucked into itself…into nothing but whiteness….it came closer to me, as I was the center of this episode…and all that was under me…the nasty cigarette burnt soda stained beer soaked red carpet tore into a million pieces and vanished…and the lifeless monstrosity lying before me with milk saturated wires and red mudded face with melted eyes crumbled like sand and evaporated….the pan was immense and final…the right side of the wall, the trophy case, the vending machine, the last lane…all gone…all white…so white I could not see anything…and that fucking clank stung my ears for moments after…then it stopped…quiet blanketed me…I felt a prick on my neck…I felt my head being moved around like a melon being inspected at the market…then my head dropped…slammed onto a metal pillow…I was lying when my head was dropped…and the white turned to black faster than a star burning across the sky…and then I saw very little light…so very soft and gentle light…and I felt it…like a million little damp dead bugs hitting my face…first it got in my eyes, but I couldn’t move…I couldn’t close then…I didn’t care…I cant explain…but they kept tossing the little moist dead bugs on my face…and the faint light dispersed…and I couldn’t see…I could only hear and smell….I heard a scrape…a grunt…and the bugs as they landed…and I smelled wet damp dirt…earth and dark dirt…

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