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Columns > John Zinkand - Improvise

Published: 2002/12/22
by John Zinkand

After the Show

It’s all over so I’m kind of oozing my way down the ramps with all of the other sheeple. "Moo" here and "baaah" there, but the joke is stale. I’d rather eat a piece of crust. Trying not to mind the distractions and sets of eyes as the cool outside calls me. But a group stops to chat so I sidestep into some skin and hair. A pair of dilated pupils become fixated on me and I slow to a crawl. Or were they looking over there? Always questions never answers that come racing through my head as fast as I wish I was walking towards freedom. Heat is coming from everywhere, even underwear. Stinky feet swarming with sweaty droplets, ensconced in wool or cotton, tucked snugly into leather cases. All moving forward, down the ramp, towards the outside spaces.
The first hint of temperature change is a soothing bath of cool. Excitement shines through all the sweaty meat walkers and the pace quickens. I pick some chocolaty fiber bits out from their wedged home between my molars. Renters, really. Their lease is up. I could take out each of my molars and replace them in slightly different teeth holes. But I won’t because that might be too shocking for the herd to witness. Instead I take the teeth out with my mind and stuff them in my pocket. They will be Altoids later, I’m sure of it.
Suddenly an icy force like a thousand cold mice scuttles across my body. My shirt belt-skirt is quickly freed up and worn the way it was meant to be worn…as a shirt! I’m happy to know that I used it for an unintended purpose, even if it is only a figment fragment. Then the filament is charged and glowing. Outside and life is much less humid. Wetness doesn’t figure in any more except that it’s stealing away what I once possessed. It’s good to lose things that provide comfort every now and again, as I have learned. It’s even better to lose something shitty. Bye humid heat! Hello cool dark night!
Up is where it seems most natural to cast my glance. The weepy sky showers are gone and now I see a thousand gleaming Suns. Only at night am I able see thousands of bright shining daytimes’. I think back to the previous hours. The intensity of all these worlds wrapped into one. Forging ahead while dipping the ladle full – a sweet drink of the past. It refreshes. Everyone pulsates and glows with left over energy. I drip down the stairs and enjoy the moisture as it changes from being a hot sticky beast into a cooling comforting friend. It never becomes eager to chill or cause discomfort and I push off into the cluttered crowds of excitement.
I walk through a puff of cigarette smoke and can smell the lungs more than the tobacco. It smells like the smoke-drenched pink of life, hinting death. I know this guy here by sight, said hey to that one… But everyone is lost in their own particular universe, letting known galaxies and solar systems float in a way that is always comfortable. Stop and chat with gypsy mother. Crashing here or there? Not sure. Great show. Forceful blow.
The people are getting thick again as I sail up the skywalk ground. There’s more hair, some sweat, lots of meat-bodies, some food, veggie this-roll, and organic that-roll. Black market pharmacy bubbles and percolates as things get jammed up. Now I’m a log in a thick and hearty log-jam. The soft flow of the current is dammed up by many bodies and a constrictive fence. Band fans are not malleable wire! There is no path of least resistance and the electricity flows back in on itself until a few brave folks can burst through the people wall, starting a beautiful people-fall. And we are sprayed out the other side into more pacing bodies.
Meditations, discussions, deals. A general frothy frenzy…but a mellow one, if that’s possible. No harsh screams or cries slice through the night time and cause it to bleed. One large living entity made up of many smaller living beings. A nature Borg of goodness. We become salmon and fight against the current, only to be popped up and over to the side where a grassy eddy lies and some friendly fish wait to talk. Behind a furry face and fish lips we find laughter. Behind two serene and beautiful eyes we find mysterious knowledge. We take as much or as little of their offered nutrients as seems necessary before heading back to fight the tide. Not because of rudeness or indifference, just because it seems so natural.
The last push through and the current has increased to a forceful blast. Wiggle and wriggle and jiggle and giggling through it all we come to a cement wall. But this wall moves and wears ugly blue jackets.
"Get out! This way. Wrong way! Back the other way!"
The result is chaos. How can this mobile blue wall do this? This is not a natural occurrence. We’ve done nothing (some things) wrong and try to spill out onto the inky black street but are penned in by the blue rustlers. Suddenly, the herding begins again. The whites of eyes can be seen as the stress causes the eyeballs to pivot slightly upward. The urge to scatter is being controlled. Why this? Why now?
And just like that the beauty and serenity of this gathering is gone. We run free through cars to the other side of the street and begin our normal walk to a normal place. The magic still lingers but is now strictly personal. My feet begin to ache as we walk. The night air begins to chill me. A drink of water is what I need. Instead, I find Chinese tea and some hot soup. Things drop down a few notches and rational thought invades my comfortable chaos. Soon I’m just a normal man sitting in a cab heading for a good night’s sleep. I hope I dream of something magical.

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