Waiting for Lunch

by Gabriel Orgrease

"...that peculiar summer stench..." stifling, stuffiness, the jostled voices from just out the reach of his skull, a midge past the hairline, the intolerable reek of fermented body odor, the projectile vomiter like an angel in the waiting room, familiarity all brought Martin back to his cell with a rude abruptness to aggravate and confuse in a mournfully repellant picture where the words slam themselves hard against the present time. Slam against the present time. Concrete, cement, walls of cold gray touch. His fingers grew pallid and splayed like magical toad feet. Soon, however, Martin relapsed somnambulant again into deep thought, or rather into a state of idle abstraction.

"Sometimes I sit and think, sometimes I sit."

He continued on his passage in total and intentional unconsciousness of his containment cell, his vessel, as if he were drunk or, more aptly stoned. To be found at a place where all time no time is.

That place where Alan Ginsberg forgot his own name.

The rascal encountered to lurk the night streets is not strikingly handsome; if anything he is disheveled plain as a dead fish.

The banality of his own state of boredom, a luxury to be satiated with violence, to hack with an axe the exposed neck of his friend.

He is not taller; he is average in height, in fact, just a half inch shorter than everyone that you know. Always just exactly a half inch shorter, like as if it were a biological clock. He is the one who sits in the seat in front of you on the bus. The one you don't want to fuck. Not even in your imagination. You look at the back of his head, say nothing, boils and blisters smoothed over, give nothing away, notice nothing for forever hours connect the dots of his neck and his brown hair matted down beneath the rim of a baseball cap. You would never take a note of him for any reason as being anything other than an ordinary jock. He is dead. You don't need to worry about it. You have no idea that his eyes are brown, or green or gray. His is a borrowed anatomy, out on loan with interest. You would never know what visions there are that do not venture to lurk behind his bland visage. He will blend in not with shadows of the dark and marginal alleys, where his edges show themselves easily for what vagaries of mushed lines that they are, but in broad daylight and out in the open street, in the crowded assembly, on the dais, at the head of the class he is there like a venereal disease and you will not see him. He is everyone and like all.

It was time for lunch.

Two slices of white bread with a cut of bologna with butter in between. A slice of soggy dill pickle, bland, a carrot peeled and sliced tough and rubbery, a cup of colored sugar water, artificial cherry red.