Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orange and Blue Make Black

 I don't know what I am doing here. It feels right in some ways 
but wrong in others. It feels like I'm an intruder on some days and 
others, it feels like home. There are old graystones next to new 
condos with cerulean metal balconies. The power and cable lines 
crosshatch the air painted by the stucco walls. There is not much room 
to breathe. The wind is automobile produced and carries the odor of 
the road. Burnt rubber. Burnt fuel. Burnt air. It squeezes through the 
fine mesh of my screens and fills my home with that sweet city aroma. 
In between the new condos flashes the cars and trucks on the Kennedy. 
Horns bounce through the alley and reverberate off my walls. The 
screeching tires of a semi indicate brake lights. Indicate a reaction. 
Indicate trouble. I wait for the crash. It doesn't come. I'm 
disappointed. I listen again. I give up. I get back to work. A 
catalytic converter needs to be replaced in the distance. Its sounds 
of a machine gun that morphs into an anti-aircraft weapon as it nears. 
The dog just covered his ears. If it hurts my ears, it must be nails 
on a chalkboard to him. It goes as fast as it came. 
    The sky above the tallest building is always periwinkle gray naked 
of clouds. The nude body lays very still above the puncturing 
structure. Its gray haze makes a translucent layer over a layer of 
flesh. The flesh over a layer of periwinkle. The periwinkle over 
cellophane. Cellophane over salmon. It glows underneath but is opaque 
from a distance. The sun makes its best effort during day hours to 
break the layers. Its too thick. There is too much paint. Too dry. Too 
old. Too accustomed. It lays still. 
    As it lays still above, all things are restless below. Nothing can 
stand still. People can not stay still. It doesn't matter what time it 
is, Ashland never sleeps. Its pavement is pounded by rubber around the 
clock. Dripped on. Spit on. Spilled on. Set ablaze. Gouged. Pierced. 
Scraped. Its abused all day every day. Its only one road. Where is 
everyone going? Why so fast? Why so angrily? Why so decisively? Why? 
    Its embryonic layer is rebar and gravel. Concrete spread like 
chocolate frosting on top and finished with a hot tar tar. It was 
level at some point but the constant beatings have worn the road. The 
frequent position of the cars impact the pavement and create hills and 
valleys. The icing cracks, and holes make airways for the concrete 
below. The salt and plow trucks of winter's past chew up any lose 
material and open canyons through the surface. The sewer caps rise 
from ground making drainage impossible. The fix is not near. The 
manicure is long overdue and possibly never happening. Maybe if 
Daley's car got a flat tire from the mortar holes in Ashland avenue, 
it would get its tardy facelift. Most bus drivers do not even attempt 
evasion of pot holes. They blast right into them. Bump right out. I 
don't know how the tires put up with that shit. It seems as if the 
drivers speed up when they see a crater. The bigger, the better. My 
coffee is sure to spill out of the top and onto my hands. I only get 
pot hole renegade drivers when I have a piping hot Dunkin Donuts 
coffee. Not only will I not be able to read because my book is on the 
slushy floor, my hand is now scalded. 
    Sometimes I feel the alien. Sometimes I feel home. 

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