It�s 3 a.m.


January 18, 1980


It�s 3 a.m. and I am walking with a crisp cool air whirling around my face. I taste the sharp bite of it on the tip of my tongue, a fiery frost that paints this world in dark colors that I can just make out and feel its wet, cruel kiss on my cheek.

A wisp of wind rolls cross this street with abandoned sheets of newsprint, the rattle of paper clashing against the silence only my stumbling footsteps otherwise breaks, the pebbled pavement slick with dark gaps between its lips, yawning with even deeper spaces.

I keep thinking about what a fool I am, and what must have gone through her head as I stumble on, embarrassed and humiliated by my own conversation. Sometimes I say things I need to take back later and can�t, a social idiot that spouts out whatever happens to be in my mind at any given moment, always the wrong thing, always something inappropriate, most often meant as humor but with laughs that do not emerge after the punch line, only uncomfortable silence.

That�s how it was tonight and my ego clatters down the gutter ahead of me like a kicked tin can or an empty bottle of cheap wine, wine I blame for my error, that drips out of me as I sober like the drip, drip, drip of blood, the pain growing as the inebriation ceases.

I am running away from it even though my pace seems pathetically slow, everything in the dark flicking in a flurry of snow flakes. I can smell the night around me and taste the rust that slowly eats away at this place, this tender bondage of poverty that holds us all here, gnawing at each thing the way this bad feeling gnaws at my chest, things moaning and groaning in the deeper shadows the way they moan and groan in me � the hound of Othello, and the foolish presumption that lingers behind the distant lights, the craving I feel that I should not feel, and the guilt that clinks behind me like Marley�s chains.



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