Wednesday

On the way to classes in the morning (100 years ago when classes were where I was going) half awake, walking to class with all the other college fuckers, and I looked down that one street - the street everybody knows not to go down - and I saw this ZOMBIE! . . . who looked generally like a guy I knew, a guy I drank beers with, he worked at a restaurant near the one where I worked, he came in my restaurant, I went in his, a friend of a friend, a friend really, he lived a couple of streets over . . . that morning: I was walking to class, hair was neatly parted, shirt was clean, teeth brushed, book bag shouldered, and there he is, it was him, the zombie was him - HE WAS UP ALL NIGHT SMOKIN CRACK in the neighborhood you always hear gunshots coming from, full-auto sometimes, fuckin machine guns, Norfolk, Virginia, a port town you never even heard of where the shit gets just as bad as anywhere, you got PRODUCT coming in the port: Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News . . . he hadn’t paid tuition that semester, he was just going to try to work a lot and try to save up - YEAH RIGHT! It was just weird. Walking to class with all the other clean and studious and sober fuckers and here’s this guy, Kyle, and his hair’s all fucked up, his eyes are evil and angry and black underneath, cheek muscles clenching under creepy glaring bulging eyeballs scanning the street, he’s wearing the same shit I saw him in last night - his waiter clothes, his Oxford shirt was a complete loss, is that blood or grenadine? And, fuck, he’s walkin up to me, and I’m just about on time for class, and that smell! Jesus! And, nah, I don’t have any cash on me, and goddamn - he was just bragging the night before about how he made over two hundred bucks in tips, some older lady of independent-looking means grabbed his cock or whatever, so he said, right there while he was waiting on her, table side . . . that fibbing crackhead, or maybe it was true, who knows who cares . . . I heard he became a surveyor. . . One time he and I were driving around in this piece of shit car I had. Wasted. We pulled into some stranger’s driveway and just sat there talking at three-thirty in the morning. Talking and talking. I opened up my door, leaned out and puked and shut my door and then resumed conversation as though nothing had happened, I mean a bucket of puke - some stranger’s driveway . . . a couple of hours later, I started the car and drove to his place and we fell asleep watching TV . . .

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