Man in picture V2.0 chapter two

Silence and then groans of metal fatigue.  Pings and spiraling silence.  Foreboding as we take on water.  Fear and chilly sweat.  Panic rising.  Dry mouth.  Quiet.  Long broad lanes of time with nothing but the creaks and moans of a vessel way too deep.  Attempting stealth.  Hiding.

Damn this empty and hollow.

It’s me.

It is me.

I’m in a submarine, way way down, hull compromised. Pinhole leaks will soon begin to gush.  Slamming and sealing bulkhead doors against an onslaught, an invasion by the depths. You’ve seen the movie. Once that shit starts, it’s the beginning of the end.  Battling rapidly rising cold and stinging saltwater.  Green blue foaming soda lapping at first and then abruptly invading your crotch and ass crack, your armpits and ears.

A death, horrible cold and muffled by the invading sea.

It is me.

I am it.

We are none.

I know this to be true but I continue to walk through life as it is, as I find it.

I’m in real trouble.

Put yourself in my place.  Who do you tell and what do you say?

I’m in very serious trouble here.

There is a straight up fucking monster invading my life.  He keeps getting bolder and I have no idea what to do.  I first noticed him on a Slurpee cup.  Any suggestions?

Anybody?

I understand I’m fucked but I refuse to recognize just how much.  I’m a jigsaw puzzle in the rain.  No chance for resolve, resolution or completion.  Washed out.  Smeared.  Unrecognizable.  My days feel soggy, soiled and desperate.

I’ve got no place to go.

Now he e-mails on all three of my accounts.  Not constantly but regularly.  Consistently.  Nothing too sinister, emoticons and random punctuation that I’m sure are supposed to correspond or be in context somehow with my glimpses of him.

Glimpses that are becoming experiences.  Experiences developing into episodes.  Episodes than are waking nightmares.  Horror movies that make me feel as though I’m trapped in a disabled submarine.

And well, they are.

Numbing.

After the mall sighting there was an enlarged smile of a colon and an ellipse looking up and then down somehow.  The trail of recipients and senders so convoluted that I can’t be bothered.  Lucifer and Lucipher and Louie and Lewis, Lou Dog, Lew Man, Lewinicious, Loustoppingme, Lewanal, Louswelter, Louiville and lewevil among them.  I ran a few of them and came up empty.  Scat porn or ultra right wing hate, Nazi bullshit or nothing at all.  He is mine and I am his.  I know that now.  I smell the scent of cheap aftershave right after I click on one.  Seconds later I wonder if I imagined it, yet it haunts me.  Dime store.  Hoodlum.  Greasy and sinister.  The smell of brown, spicy brown, obvious and offensive like early seventies Avon in ridiculous decanters.  Amber plastic tops and cheaply silvered vessels.  The smell of the look.  Roosters.  Chess pieces and elk or birds of prey.

Ridiculous.

Pungent.  Cloying.

Stifling and stupid.

We are in play.

I haven’t filled an ice tray in weeks, they’re always full.  Toilet paper installed on the dispenser always.  Sometimes the lead sheet folded in a triangle.  Things I never do.  He’s here almost every night now.  While I sleep.  Mornings are creepy, my hair standing up but I know he’s long gone.  I brush my teeth and smell the pigs or the cheap.

Nobody knows the trouble I see.  Nobody.  Who would you tell?

The wind blows hard but when I step out for a smoke, the air is still.  I smell beasts.  Pigs.  The cheap.

Radio in the middle of the night.  Not loud. Weird stations that sound like Ham radio, CB chatter or live orchestral broadcasts from the forties or fifties.  I can’t know if it’s imagined or real but it’s always on the liberal talk station I’d set it to when I wake.

The line between waking and dreaming is getting blurrier.

What would you do?

Then there’s the pigs.

I ask her if she’s noticing them. Not so much says she.  My girlfriend.  I can’t tell her about any of this.  I’m trying not to.  What would you say?  I adore her and she is beautiful and she already suspects my lack of balance.  She knows I’m disturbed because I’m keeping her at arms length.  I’m afraid when she spends the night because I don’t know what he’ll do or whether he’s even been here.  I fear for her but what do I say?  I wrap tightly around her.

They seem to be everywhere.

Pigs.

Iconic to a degree in American culture, she points out, smirk gratis.  She teases me about it but looks at me funny.  They’re so prevalent I say.  So she tells me, people like bacon and pigs are symbolic she points out.  Her eyes wonder at me.  Sometimes iconic she points out.  We eat out Asian and I order chicken with our noodles instead of pork.  She says nothing but I feel her questions and glances.  She has no idea and will assume I’ve lost it if I even try to explain.  How do I tell her?  What do I say?

I can’t tell her.  This shit is crazy.

So I distance myself.  For her safety, I repeat to myself.

I am busting inside with fear and confusion.

She knows it’s wrong.  Something is very wrong and she helps me widen the distance between us because of it.  It’s painful, but I’m so grateful.  She assumes my love has gone astray and I absolutely must let her believe that.  I adore her and love her but it is the best way to protect her and she can’t hear my truth.  She won’t understand.  I don’t understand.  I can’t explain this to anybody that I know.

I could call my mother I guess.

Nope, not going there.

Why me?  What did I do?  Who the fuck am I to deserve this?

I can’t know how crazy I am.  I have no evidence but my torture and terror and I have no evidence of that.  The ice trays?  The toilet paper roll?

See, I just don’t know.  I’ve nothing to measure it against.  No one to talk to.  Maybe I should see a professional.  A medium,  a psychic or a shrink?

The pigs.  Maybe I just notice them more. Everywhere from news magazines to National Geographic.

The thing is, I smell them.  Their filth.  Their disease.  I smell their madness.  How do you explain that to anyone?  How do you tell them it smells like cheap aftershave?  It smells of straw and shit and animal and well, Brut and or Vitalis or Barbasol.  And pigs.  Fucking pigs.

The ones in the Geographic have dirty tusks and crazy eyes swimming with violence. I smell them when I wake in the middle of the night and I know he’s been here. I hear their cloven hooves in other rooms, stomping and snorting away.  Down the halls.  Away from me.

They squeal and clack on my balcony.  Always away from me.

They’ll eat anything you know.  Anything.

They are smart but look stupid.  Retarded.  They will eat a dead human.  Pigs.  Swine.  Boars.  Corn or slop or flesh.  Or a corpse.  Snouts greasy with blood or garbage, they care not at all.  Mindless vicious acuity.  Pigs.

Fucking mad fucking pigs.

The very next time I see him, his eyes are filled with blood. Our entire encounter, he blinks but once.

There’s a big ass Ralph’s supermarket across the street. Tremendous selection of frozen meals as well as standing at the fridge food.  It’s a fabulous place to shop.  You know, cheese, pickles, smoked turkey franks, hummus…….. Good soup kiosk and a really good salad bar.  Single males understand this food dynamic as well as the need for as many plants as you can possibly get down into your goddamn gastrointestinal.

It’s an excellent place to shop.  Tons of different mustards.  I like really big super markets.

I favor a Spring Mix with arugula or baby spinach.  I hate iceberg or romaine.  Empty flavorless calories.  Bullshit. A salad should be a miniature meal.  Tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, red or green onions, black olives, cranberries or raisins, pine nuts or sunflower seeds, feta or bleu cheese crumbles, bacon, artichoke hearts, shredded carrots, cracked black pepper and cheese festooned croutons.  Goddamn good for ya.  Vitamins E, C, B and A.

Anyway, sometimes I start on the right because I’m in a hurry. When I start left it’s because I’m cool and I have a little time.  Salad bar and soup kiosk on the right along with liquor and toilet paper, cheeses and salad dressings etc.

It’s an afternoon copacetic as I enter left off the elevator with my smooth and noiseless cart. I turn left then right and set to perusing the produce section and I’m picking out some avacados, tomatoes and onions. I proceed down the middle north to south aisle. It bisects the store and aisles on my right and left.  I’m in a place of relative peace and sanity.  I’m  calm.  I’ve begun to take comfort in public as I can’t picture bad things happening to me in front of the madding crowds, the great unwashed, in broad daylight and all.

Always comfortable by myself, on my own,  I no longer prefer that.  No longer comfortable.  I fear it.  I want to be among people.  One of my few peripheral thoughts being how this all saddens me.  It is a loss to my identity.  A subtraction of me.

He appears at the head of the first one.  At the end of the aisle.  Right there looking right at me.  Ten yards down.  Anger and fear swell in my torso like a thick balloon.

If I had a sword or a gun.  A weapon of any kind.  I think.  Do they sell hammers?  Axes?

His eyes are rimmed with blood. His hair more yellow. I think of a naked corn cob. Right there, thirty five feet to my right. Not showing his teeth yet today and that’s a relief kinda, because the lower front of his face struggles to contain them and they are huge.

I keep moving.

Next block down, he’s at the tail of that one and thirty five feet to my left, chatting up a housewife.  Charming her and disarming her.  She doesn’t see what I see.  I wanted some bean with bacon soup today but I keep moving.

The next aisle is a block party. Fireworks bust and spatter in the open night overhead. The nexus of this venue.  Frozen food.  Red and gold popcorn carts, clowns, balloons and herds of women in pastel stretch pants, heels and absurdly big hair.  Huge boobs and big asses.

I am reeling.  This can’t possibly be happening.

I’ve always been able to shake myself from a dream when it gets too crazy.  It doesn’t work today.  I can’t stand it.

I’m shaking myself hard.

I feel incarcerated and I’m panicking.  I’m losing my shit.

Out of breath.  Pulse racing.

I jerk my basket left down the next lane and it’s just carnival games and more frozen food.  Corn dogs, fish fillets, peas and corn. He’s at that end, so I roll up on him while he stares at me through eyes full of blood. He blinks slow motion and his lids are squeegees.  Fresh red blood runs from his eyes and onto his teeth.  He begins to smile.  Slow.  It’s gushing now.

I am frozen.  Still.  Confounded.

He’s got dozens of pigs with him. Some are hogs. Some are boars. Some are swine.  He carries some kind of staff almost as tall as he is.

They stink like everything from pomade to a shit pile.

My hands are locked like perfectly sized twin wrenches on my cart.  I am a machine.  I’ve become mechanical.

I understand then and there, that if I’m not his demise, he will be mine. I smell this when I flip a bitch in front of him, stare at him hard and head down the aisle on the opposite side.  Lean Cuisine, frozen burritos and pizzas, battered chicken strips and tater tots.  I show him my back after staring him down.

I throw diet meals, soap and shaving cream in my my cart with a lack of chalance.

I get all I need from doing that.

I know that I have no choice.  There is no help or solution.  It will come from me or it won’t come at all.  He is mine and I am his.  It is black and white.  Cut and dried.  One of us will kill the other.  No other thing is even remotely possible.

I will kill him.  I will cut his head off.

He follows me and he’s loud. He marches and bangs his feet down hard. He constantly sucks drool back through his teeth.  Slurping and breathing.

I know now he’s trying to show me.  He knows what I know.

He chuckles and slaps himself while he points out items on the shelves.  Pace Picante, he shouts.  Progresso he announces.  Ladies and Gentlemen he barks, Nature Valley Granola Bars!  Here we are in the dressing aisle he screeches, what will he buy next, he wonders at the top of his goddamn fucking lungs.  Honey!  Mayonnaise!  Ketchup!  Relish you cunts!

You fucking weak ass fucking cunts he wails.

Gesturing and gesticulating while blood runs from beneath his mirrored sunglasses.

It’s all I can do to not turn and attack.  Tear him apart.  Swing and swing and swing my fists, my engines, my justice because I did not ask for it and I do not deserve it on any level whatsoever.

Hostess pies!  Beans, baked motherfucking beans!  Relish!  Ever filled a glass with relish, mustard and ketchup and drank it like a shot of whiskey you bitches?   You fucking filthy dirty cunts?

I am kind and generous and compassionate.

He stomps and screams and stomps.  His feet so heavy they shake the floor.  My cart rattles.  I don’t have any idea what to do but finish my task and check out.  Pay for my stuff.  I’m so rattled and disturbed that it’s all I’ve got.

This can’t be real.  No one else sees it so I need to maintain, pay for my shit and get the fuck out of here.

Nobody pays him any attention at all.  Like he’s not even there.  They see a man but they don’t see or hear what I see.  I’m losing my fucking mind.

I’m panicking. My heart in my throat as my brain screams about how life is brutal enough, why me today?  Such an insipid message for my brain to offer.  I’m gonna shit my pants or piss myself.  Nobody knows.  Nobody sees.  No one reacts.   I am so motherfucking fucked.  So confused.  So panicked.

I glance back and his nose and ears have joined in the gush over his giant teeth.

Red blood streams into his maw like rivulets before a wash.

His entire head is gushing blood.

Right behind me.

I head towards the bank of registers.  Checkout.  Haven, I hope.

Now he’s ahead of me eating slices of pineapple from a can. Blood and fruit juice run over his chin and down to his shirt to look like sweat. I wonder if I have just minutes to kill this crazy motherfucker.

Do I, must I do this now to end this?

Should I try to kill him now?  Will anyone object or try to intervene?

Can I?

I know I can’t do it now.  I’m fucked and crazy.  Unnerved and very afraid.

He beats me to the register.  All I can think to do is complete my task.  Finish shopping.  Pay for my shit and leave.

He bags my groceries. His shirt is a dark blue now and his eyes are bloodshot but clear.

I tell him paper & plastic and to pack them heavy. He does all that.

I still understand that I have to be this guy’s fucking hurricane.

One of us will kill the other.

That’s the way it will be.

9 Responses to “Man in picture V2.0 chapter two”

  • kit:

    Have you ever sent any of your stuff in to be published (short stories)? this is good… some words would need to be cleaned up i would assume…

  • gary:

    I agree with Kit. VERY good.

  • Misty:

    I saw him too; the Drooler I mean. You gotta understand I’ve been living in an old rusty 1978 dodge van, down by the slime infested river bed in Gypsy blog and slough. That slue for you.
    Some artist from back in the 70’s painted a mural on the side of the van, and one day I wakes up slightly hung overs. At that time, I hain’t had a decent meal in nigh, I don know how long. Out a my mouth comes the regular throaty cough I always get when I been smoking someone elses throw away, stale blunts.` And between my tremors, scratching and itching I systematically spew out a HOOUK.., I must a ate’n something bad cause with the HOOUK, comes a river of green stuff shooting out a my mouth. Like I has diahrea, but it comes out the wrong end. Not even just my throat, it flows out my nose also. Like a gooey pea green slime mixed with old undigested corn, or dog food. Man did it smell bad too. Well on that particular day he comes bouncing out of the mural, yeah he does. The Drooler comes out of that mural. He comes to life, right in front of my eyes. He strolls towards me with his pigeon toed chest. While I was a fountain of putrid green slime, and he reaches out towards me, with his too long arms, and puts his pointer finger right into it, then draws it into his mouth, the whole while is was still sticking to the pile forming at my feet. Hope’s you haint reading this at night; cause last thing I wanna do is give a nightmare to yous. Excuse me now, whilst I go scrounge up some food for eaten. No more spewing green puke for me.

  • admin:

    @ Gary & Kit:
    Thanks very much guys. No, never been published except for my high school paper and promotional literature for companies I’ve worked for. It is an ultimate goal however.

    I love to write. It took to long to discover the void left by making records. After years, I finally find myself creatively satiated.

    What you are reading is the first rewrite of a horror novel I embarked upon about a year and a half ago. It’s based on a nightmare I had when I was fifteen or so. I’m hoping it will require only this additional treatment and then I intend to submit it to publishers.

    I have a two other books in the works, both almost complete and both autobiographical. One about my childhood and the other about my years in the music business, literally from janitor to engineer and multi-platinum record producer.

    Thanks to both of you for reading and know that these will be published works eventually.

    Please keep reading. My goal is to entertain and encourage people to think. Stay with me. Thanks.

  • Jana:

    i like as well – could use an editor. that puts in some curtains and turns a chair around for premium metaphorical feng shui and stuff…. all great writers have them… so that’s not an insult or anything. 🙂

  • Good job Brainspanker. The new stuff is rolling out nicely. Great submarine opener. Better time with the Ralphs portion. Gross as ever- canned pineapple and snotty blood soaked fronts get me giggling in disgust. Looking forward to the next bit. Glob it on.

  • admin:

    Thanks my bestest. I think I know what to do now, I hope.

  • Paba "rockO" Phree:

    I’m so glad your not crazy. I though we lost you fer a minute. Nice!

  • admin:

    What? I’m out my goddamn mind. Where you been?

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