THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN A TROUBLED MIND
It was late in the afternoon
And I thought it would begin to cool down
But it kept getting warmer.
When I went out on beer runs
I didn’t wear my sunglasses
Because my face immediately
broke dripping with sweat
And the sunglasses just slid
Down the ridge of my nose.
I’d weaseled myself into a double room
For the price of a single,
Three dollars per night,
Because I demanded a working power outlet
Which the last single room didn’t have.
So I sat on my bed,
The keys set down on a low table in front of me,
Twin fans blowing into my face.
I was slurping down cans of Black Panther,
Some Chinese form of Guinness Stout.
Behind the guesthouse was a school,
And outside the children just screamed
all day long,
A sea of blissful shrieks and cries
and yelps and squawks.
I wondered what the hell it was
That made the children scream at recess.
Outside on the dusty, broken road
Motorbikes whirred by and little girls
On bicycles coasted past, dreamlike.
I wiped the dust off the mouth
Of my can of beer, took a hit,
And watched the dust build up again.
I’d just read Cormac’s THE ROAD
And was beginning to wonder if it was just a book
Or if the dust was the ash
And the end of the world was just outside.
I was speaking with nobody those days.
The odd ‘thank you’ or ‘nope,’
But that was about it.
I thought about disappearing,
Just fading into the woodwork,
Drinking myself back
into some tropical, languid stupor,
giving up communication and connections,
never returning or even trying to return
to that life I used to live.
The life I had, but more so the life that had me.
Then I wondered if it had already happened.
And I realized, after some deliberation,
That it had.
It had happened long ago.
Maybe back in Bangkok,
Or more likely Syria or Istanbul.