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excerpt from the drainmen


by RW Spryszak


The next morning I could see on waking we moved as if a killer in a fog as heavy as paint. No matter how long we traveled we could never get out from under it. Taking coffee from the porter who rolled his office down the aisle, I became obsessed with our position in the fog. Were we on high ground or low. These white fogs are known to come from the sea, so I could guess we were near my destination. There were no passing forms outside the window but the sensation of moving never ended. 

I'd long since given up on the romance of it all. The once quaint notions that mornings were merely the opening of another cave did nothing but bring more children to the steps of the museums begging for a past. The last time I studied the turning of the ages of man I was struck dumb by the kind of dreams that had mice dancing on wheels of cheese and bad ideas played out like genius. Instead of common sense there was the sound of fur burning, and the statue of Time was long since pulled down by wires. The motion of the third eye saw churches crumble in men's hands. These were only dreams, I reckoned. The kind that come when you can't see out the window or found any form that made visible sense. Some of the passengers were sobbing. One said it was like being in jail. One old man was on his knees with a rosary, sure it was the end of the world. There are always people who think it is the end of the world. They are most notably on trains and in the stations they come in and out of. Still, it was important to remember that when the world was green I believed every lie they told me. Our houses rest on the bones of old stories, waiting for renewal. 

I settled back into my seat and waited for the porter to come back the other way so I could get a heel of a loaf of bread. 

“Extra for the heel though,” he said before he moved, checking to see if I had the money.

“Don't worry. I'll take it.”

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