Man of Ambition
by Alisa

I crawled out of my mangled sheets and staggered around the room, altogether annoyed that the roof preferred to leak wherever I huddled down.

And I remembered the dream, one of many, not my favorite but in the same class.

I am wrapping my hands around the neck of some irrelevant squawking bitch and squeezing the life out of her purple face.

I looked into my cracked mirror and bared my teeth like a rabid incarcerated beast. Just a little spit in the corner of my mouth for effect; adding superbly to the overall impression of bloodshot eyes and matted hair.

I inadvertently bit my tongue and hissed and growled. Yes, that is what they do, the rabid and insane, they bite all things in their path, even their own flesh. I had to laugh then. But only a choked cough came out of my throat. Just as well.

I saw through the glass window that I had slept well, for it was nearly unlit and time to get things under way. I rubbed my eyes and wiped the remnants of the dream down the drainage pipe of mind traveling. I turned on the appliances, I have seven. The blender, the coffee pot, the television, the clock radio, the microwave, the electric fan and the vacuum cleaner.

Now I was surrounded by a lovely symphony of buzzing and mayhem. Pings and clicks and whirring and yakking and it was soothing to hear them all banded together. I lay down on a part of the carpet that wasn't too wet and watched the ceiling fan. I couldn't turn that on, oh no. Not after the last time. I reveled to scrutinize it there, silent and lofty above all the other appliances. Hovering there almost like a malignant zeppelin, waiting for its chance. But I am too shrewd for it now and never let it have the electric juice that lets it curl and turn.

‘How do you like it now? You fucking ceiling fan!’ I yelled, suddenly unsure of things. I didn't want to examine the freak show any more and rolled onto my stomach to peer into the wet carpet. There could be things in there, tiny horrid things doing the horrid thing fandango. I spied closely, but could not detect any. Now I was ready to go outside and observe and perhaps orbit the circumference of my area.

I put on my black raincoat, as opposed to the blue raincoat. There was no particular reason for that decision...sometimes I like to surprise myself with little coat games and will be reaching for the blue coat and then abruptly appropriate the black coat instead. Or I will put one arm into the black coat and even turn away from the closet, before I rip it off of my body and throw it onto the grey floor in the closet and then nonchalantly garb myself with the lesser of the offending articles.

However, today I merely looked at the floor and grabbed blindly, being quite pleased when I looked into my hand and found the black coat hanging there. There is a secret tear in the lining of the black coat, where I can hide many small and practical tools without apprehension detection.

The street is noisy and resonant with many cars and pedestrians, lights and overhanging billboards. Blinking and changing magically. I read them as I walk past... live live nude nude....peepshow....XXX....totally nude...completely nude...happily nude, indignantly nude, pointlessly nude, boringly nude, snoringly nude. I laugh again and this time no cough. A Japanese tourist looks at me as I stand and snicker and cackle. He doesn't understand, not being able to read English and change the words the way that I can. ‘Sushi to you, mother fucker!’ And I laugh some more. He walked away from me a little too quickly, I thought, but I had more interesting things to contemplate.

Like, when I'm sitting on the corner all of the girly girls like to come over to me and ask me if I want a date. I must be careful to only think of how and what I would like to do to them, and not actually stand and slap them silly, because then they tend to gang up on me and I have to go and find another bus stop bench to sit on. Not that I don't like a good scream at a whore now and then, but only when there are only a couple of them hovering and whirling about. Not like tonight, with dozens sticking their ghastly vexatious faces close to mine.

I like to pretend that I am invisible and they are just reading the sign that is painted on the bench behind me - reading what it says aloud to themselves. ‘Hey, do you want a date?’ The sign reads, an ad for a computer dating enterprise. ‘Can you hear me?’ An add for a hearing aid corporation, a very beneficial and useful utensil for modern man. I snigger to myself. ‘You're fucking crazy.’ Advertisement for Bellevue, perhaps? You're fucking crazy? Well, never fear folks...we have just the padded cell for you!boston

I become weary of the game and decide it would be alright to knock one of them before I am on my way. ‘Hello...’ she begins and I crack my knuckles into her obtuse hard head. I don't know why I didn't hit the soft stomach, sometimes I just don't think things through.

Obviously the other prostitutes thought so as well, because they all looked at me moronically and backed away. She fell into the gutter and started yelling in a silly, squeaky way. It was very amusing and I kicked her in the ribs so she wouldn't stop. Then it was time to go, so I bared my teeth like I had practiced in the mirror and bid them a fond farewell.

I like to tap dance when it's raining. I like to pretend that I am Gene Kelly dancing in the rain and so I tap danced away. I growled and hissed like a rabid quadruped. ‘Quadruped, quadruped, I'm a rabid quadruped, dancing with a lettuce head, I'm a rabid quadruped.’ I sang this to myself as I meandered down the street. Sometimes I can create the most interesting of songs. I was pleased with the quadruped ballad.

I thought of taking sand paper and sanding my ceiling fan. Maybe all of the appliances. It was almost seven and I would have to hasten over to the hardware store or it would be closed and almost not worth it to break into a store just for sandpaper. So I ran down to 57th, where I know of a particularly enchanting hardware store. The sign says ‘Hardware’ I like that. Get to the fucking point, no bull-shitting around. I go into Hardware and the old man is behind the counter.

He nods to me. I nod to him. I like this implied communication. I smile and nod to him again but he doesn't see me this time, he is reading the evening news; or perhaps just memorizing the pictures. I walk around the store nodding to the pipes and tools and wood. There is some caulking...I nod. Looky here, nails! I nod. I look up and there is a ceiling fan, slowly pivoting. I nod.

I wonder if it came from the same ceiling fan birthplace as my own monstrosity. Maybe so. I nod again just to be safe, no sense offending anyone. Then I find the sandpaper and there are many kinds to choose from, I feel dizzy for a second thinking of it. All the billions and trillions of sandpapers sanding and sanding so many zillions of doohickies and I think of all the dust they would make. Enough to hide a car in. Probably a truck. I remind my self to vacuum all the dust when I am finished. I choose some nice light brown sandpaper. Not too light, sort of paper bag colored.

I put it in the confidential tear in my black raincoat and traverse out of the store nodding to the old man as I do so. He looks up briefly and nod's to me as I pass. But it dose not amuse me now. I am developing a blinding raging headache behind my left eye. As if a long sharp beaked maggot is chewing out my retina. I take out the sandpaper and rub it all over my face for a few seconds. It feels nice, like a mother cat laundering her kittens.

I walk in the rain and pretend I am a new born kitten being licked sanitary of sticky afterbirth by a great lion. But accidentally, the lion bites out my left eye, I can't play this game right now.

I put the sandpaper back into my pocket and recommence the nightly orbit, waiting for the searing pain to subside, as it customarily does. I think of ripping out my eye to excavate the maggot out with my fingers but know that that is too naive an answer. If only it were that elementary.lacma

 

Deep inside my cranium there is a foul evil lurking and biding it's time; an inoperable yukkedy yuk. A lumpish cancerous globule, if the white garbed physicians are to be trusted and it will continue to poke and grind away in my brain until I am finally sent screamingly demented into the depths of the netherworld. But for now, I am doing just fine...and I notice the pain is easing off.

I decide to go back to my rudimentary dwellings and see if the nebulous neighbor is feeling articulate. I noticed her many days back when I was on patrol. She sits on a weak and warped balcony above me and drinks bloody mary's. I like the name of that beverage extremely, although I must emphasize how much I hate the taste...and prefer to merely take sips out of her bottle.

She is there and waves a rigid black paw at me as I approach. She is old. She told me sixty but I suspect something more like six hundred. She wears smelly old mittens and a black dress far too substantial for her shriveled body. I climb up the balcony and sit on the green and blue lawn chair. I never sit on the yellow one and wish she would let me burn it. When I offered to however, she called me stupid. She obviously doesn't comprehend the implications of yellow furnishings. I kicked it away from me and bared my teeth at it, fucking yellow.

‘How are you this evening, madam?’ I ask her. ‘I'm dying, sonny. I don't know how much longer I can hold on,’ she mumbles. Another six hundred years I figure...but I don't say it. Immortality must be quite annoying and she obviously doesn't want to admit to it. Maybe she thinks I don't know, the fool. She passes me her half empty bottle of clear alcoholic beverage and I sniff it to make sure it's not poison.

Just then a feline snoops out onto the balcony. It is orange and corpulent. ‘Kitty kitty,’ says Bloody Mary. It looks at me and licks it's lips. I remember the sandpaper and pull it out of my pocket. I hold it down near the barbarian and it sniffs slowly along the edge of my damp sandpaper, then rubs it's visage against the rough sand. A good omen, and I am pleased.

‘Now get out of here.’ I say and propel it benevolently towards Bloody Mary. She picks up Kitty Kitty with her mutant paws and deposits it onto her repulsive dress. Kitty Kitty begins licking it's chest in an offensive contortionist trick and then, monstrous evil heathen, it jumps off the lap and wanders ever so casually to the yellow lawn chair and jumps up on it. It looks at me as if to say ‘I know all about YOU.’ I am over come by an urge to drop kick the entity off the balcony, but remain seated as I know Bloody Mary wouldn't appreciate my safety measures.

‘I know where you live, Mr. Sit On Yellow,’ I whisper to it. ‘What's that sonny?’ asks Bloody Mary. ‘I said I know a song.’ I say and begin to sing to her quite beautifully. She listens serene and leaning back in a casual repose for several long moments until I am finished. Then she laughs at me quite silently. Her little shoulders quaking with the effort. ‘Lord, you do make me laugh, sonny, what is a quadruped?’ And I am pleased with the effect of my vociferous warbling.

I ingest again from the clear bottle of alcoholic beverage. Then it's time for me to be on my way, for I am a man of many missions and ambitions. ‘Fare thee well, my dearest madam,’ I say in my most chivalrous accent and ascend back over the balcony. Down into my sweating, steaming, humid hideaway, far away from the cat and yellow chair.

It looks for a split second as if the ceiling fan is revolving and I scream in rage and consternation...but it is only the wind blowing through the room turning it ever so. It must be torture for it I think and smile. Let it be tortured - let it turn just enough to make it wish and beg for the electric juice.

I take the sandpaper and put it on top of the television. There will be time for all of that later. For now my eye is beginning to attack me again and I must retire to the floor.

The bitch on the news cast is yakkedy yakking and I am tempted to turn her off but decide to merely turn her down. She is saying how another prostitute was found dead on the lower west side, strangled and it reminds me of my dream.

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