He ordered a beer and it was seventy-five cents because it was early.
(in Texas they were making him governor and he was lighting cigars and putting his feet up on desks and directing people. He was telling people what to do. And he was tickling himself with hundred dollar bills and running his thin fingers through his slick hair. And in the dream of Texas he wore a ten gallon hat and rode in a helicopter. And in Texas everyone knew his name and when he walked through the open doors they all smiled and waved and asked him how he was. And they always genuinely wanted to know. It wasn’t formalities).
It was his fifth or sixth or seventh of the seventy-five cent variety. He’d been there trying to think things away.
(when he closed his eyes everything was little again. He was a kid again. And he was pissing away chocolate milk in tiny little toilets and wearing layers of gloves against the cold and playing all-time quarterback. He was making a science project that was a volcano. And when it erupted in the gym magma and heat spilled over ties and suit coats and pretty teacher dresses. Burning pretty teachers. People were screaming and in pain and he was thinking of a blue ribbon that would look vain and sharp pinned to his chest or his heart or his brain).
They were playing country music and he hated it. The words they said wore on him. There were empty and unsalted peanut shells tromped on the floor beneath faux boots and faux steps.
(he saw himself drunk and swaying. And he was on the dance floor surrounded by women ten times his size and hissing. They were snakes. And he was leaning and forgetting himself. And the women were holding out their stubby fat fingers like sharpened arrows and pushing pushing pushing. So as he swayed they caught him and righted him and stabbed him. So that he was upright without effort and bleeding from a thousand holes. And when the women around him leaned in to his holey body they heard hissing echoed back at them. Like air escaping. Like he was tormenting them).
There were neon lights and flashes of the words beer and ladies and free and music. He was deaf and dumb sitting there drinking his eighth or ninth or tenth seventy-five cent beer.
(he was back when the women were thin and curved and hurt him. He was back when they wore mostly pink and played him with winks and drug their hair over his boy chest. He was back where they set jaw lines in frowns and glares and he sweat. He was back when they showed themselves without showing anything at all and he was at their mercy. He was back when they were circus clowns with circus tricks getting him into everything and anything like he was a man again).
He hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast or lunch. So it made sense when he slid off the stool like a spilled soup and cracked his forehead on the bar.
(when the wind was gone from the world he’d be standing still. When the wind was gone from the world he wouldn’t have to try anymore. He could just stand and be. He could just live. Because the wind was blowing in his face and it made him bark and cry and whimper and whine. And the sailboats would stop and be still. And the mills would cease. And the kites that kids flew would stammer and fail and collapse down like baloney sandwiches trying to fly).
The bouncer lifted his arms and held onto him like a noodle. Like limp and wet. But he landed on the asphalt hard. And he was bleeding. And his skin was married to bits of gravel. And the drunkenness didn’t conceal him.
(he saw himself dying. He saw cars rushing over his body like an interstate. Red. Blue. Black. And they bumped over him and his bones. Crushing his blood out. Spilling him. Splitting him. Making him out to be ketchup from a packet. Juice from a lemon. A layer of skin over a layer of fat. Blood and little else. The way nothing was restrained in him. And with each car red blue black he would fall deeper in love and in sleep and in lost and dark wilderness. He saw himself seeking god in a place that was never light. He saw himself seeking salvation in a place where no one was ever save).
Somehow he was in his car. And somehow he was making all the right turns.
(in another hour he would be the moon. He would become the moon and so the moon would be wilting and sad. The moon would look unshaved and depressing. The moon wouldn’t be a place to reach anymore. Because if men in rockets went to the moon that was him they would be disappointed. They would see stubble of reddish brown hair and pock marks like craters. And the astronauts standing on his face would cry. They wouldn’t want to talk about one giant leap or one small step because they would be too frightened and too saddened and too disgusted. They wouldn’t have the life left in them to make a sound).
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