It is a voice that keeps resounding, keeps scraping, keeps gnawing against this scab on my brain; and being the voice lover that I am, I just can't seem to turn down the volume. lmr
Come! Power walk with me, and picture it: a busy city street is decked and designed in the scheme of disappointment. It is teeming with delinquents and dealers, hustlers and panhandlers, and every corner, every space hoards its own noise. Hers is keen and shrill and inside a city of falsettos, almost comical. Within a place of stereophonic noises, it felt affected as it pitched and curved the air with a highly perfumed tone of uniqueness.
"Coins? Spare change? Coins. Spare change for a dying queen?"
And I recall thinking to my self, as I often do. I was asking essential questions in that writer's voice inside my head: Is this death? Was this what death looked like? Was death a tall, thin, flamboyant black woman, with a dick? Was death a cross-dresser...rocking a black panty set, a blood-red boa, and a sheer black slip dress?
It keeps scraping, keeps gnawing against this scab on my brain... how this face of death was not pretty or handsome or sad, but just freakish enough to make me pay attention.
Living in a metropolitan area, you quickly learn the fine art of taking the lid off the jar of your thinking. You learn to march in time inside the neon slime-light. You bob, weave and lively be-bop to the throbbing rhythm of a sometimes vicious city. You hob-nob with the meandering mobs, push pass the progression of pedestrians and pimp walk against the preening posers. You never stare too long at anything or anyone that moves or that moves you. You keep rolling, keep walking to avoid stepping inside the vile shit of someone else's issues. This is the new normal.This becomes a course in NYC-Survival, 101.
Later on: A body surfaces in the Hudson River. Seems something or someone always surfaces in the Hudson River. The body is so bloated it looked inhuman; as if the corpse never had a soul.
But it did have a soul, once, didn't it?
"It's naked feet resembled concrete shoes," or so the news person stated.
Later still: The story reappears. A picture on the pages of the Village Voice strokes so roughly against my scabbed-over memory bank. Why does this photograph haunt me so?
And then it hit me. OH! OH NOOO!
It was that very same queen who'd made me pay attention to her humanity on a disappointed street near the pier, teeming with delinquents and dealers, hustlers and panhandlers, and every corner, every space hoarded its own noise. It was that very same place where the prostitutes gossiped about tricks and some of the transvestites forget themselves, knuckle up, guard their grills and fight like men... where johns get blown for ten bucks a pop, and lives get tossed into rivers or trash bins like used up condoms.
That's just the reality, here in a city, where we all learn to wear prophylactics over the sum of our emotions and at least two Trojans over the odd erection of our... feelings.
copyright © 2016 by L.M. Ross