Loading dock @ Sears Auto / Montclair, CA
In the rearview mirror a frail flock of snow
vanishing, disappearing from granite pleats
and folds behind me. Trinkets of water
sparkle down, smoothing and rounding
stones, refill depleted aquifers, if, we are
indeed blessed. But we are not. Rainfall
gets slapped and splattered by asphalt and
concrete, tossed around as the target of
an evaporative invocation: dark & long parted
P. Ictus, assuredly squat, yes – wanding aridity;
a wrist swish and e-souls empty of life,
appear under t-shirts of citrus, large ears.
Aren’t we lucky though? That after midday
feedings grassy medians are colorful, lush
with some kinda green species. Sentinel
fountains gurgle tranquil like and teeth in
need brush with running water. Water is
life the vatic town criers wail and I move,
shake in their hands wherever they may
call from…but over there the slope is steep
and crowded with oil developers or sourcing
people, and here uneven terrain is hummock
and dust. So many questions of mind and
matters: my dear brother’s heart wondering
the state and/or spectacle of decline in which
I may mist and fly. When and how can he
best be prepared for me? And what to make
of sinister extinct flightless fowl, dark magic,
and Potter’s Fields?
This list of absurdities could go on like 1,000
pills burning as light, 1,000,000 drops
of hyper-sensate pain; on like discomfort
and sleeplessness, on waking again cramped,
stiff with rain; unpredictably ad infinitum.
But you know that already. You know that
one person’s reach extended through imagined
downpours, at minimum, cures and glazes
imagery of frailty, finity, and deference.
2 visible people singing for the choir is not
digging well enough alone. Leave them
boys! See as they crawl with each
other’s care up soft damp river slopes,
tumbling stones down into swift waters
ordained for them with marginal
symptoms or very real children of their
own. During droughts they will make
out and sidewalk grind on each other
for beer money, release each other
into that god awful good night,
marvelously disturbed and distressed…
these storms more water perhaps may heal.
But I got into MS in my teens as I remember it. Just
experimenting like everybody else I ran with at the time.
I mean I tried a bunch of stuff then: coke, crack, red meat,
wax paper, touches of AC, touches of DC, banana peels,
mind altering substances that were ‘alteration’ in name
only…that is until you shoveled in the moating. This MS
smack literally re-stitched the make and the up and
the wherewithal of Am I? Literally clustered my fuck.
My ostensible reasons for rising. My mellifluous
meditations of body and soul scratching. My purple.
It’s funny they – that everybody else – can all still run
now. And me? On MS 24/7. Just cannot give it up.
But it started more subtly….like I would indulge in MS
at house parties in the bathroom with the host and
a host of other curious, or backstage at clubs with
a couple of the players who always had the best stuff.
Maybe me and the girl would sneak some MS back
to her apartment and talk talk talk all night while
doing it on the cold coffee table with the picture
of Morrison pressed neatly underneath the glass
…MS dusting his face.
But I have it now. Addiction, that is. And I can’t stop.
Like the MS shit too much. I’d just as soon let it tear
through me than give it up. I have raked through
the shag looking for specks and bits, licked the glass
where we had lined MS out, fellated, degraded, toyed,
stolen D’s jewelry and my brother’s children and sold
all for another hit of my hard stem one. I have been
to the meetings and danced the 12 steps over and over
again until my legs gave way. I did sweats and saunas
and streakings. Nothing changed except how I felt
about the world writ large. I would push that place
away and bring it close once more. Over and over
until I dropped world one too many times and world
chipped. World complained about me and my kind
by way of infrastructure, glances and abnegations and
manuals; utter indifferences. I would push that place
away again but always break and bring world close
like a comfortable addiction; once more feeling both
the natural end and beginning of what sets me off.
Sean J Mahoney lives with Dianne, her parents, two Uglydolls, and three dogs in Santa Ana, California. He works in geophysics. Out-boozed by Franciscan monks in Ireland. Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico. Sean believes that punk rock miraculously survives, that Judas was a way better singer than Jesus, and that diatomaceous earth is a not well known enough gardening marvel. He was diagnosed with MS in 2012, has co-edited the 3 existing volumes of the MS benefit anthology series Something On Our Minds, and helped found the Disability Literature Consortium (dislitconsortium.wordpress.com), which made its physical debut at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles.
Images provided by the author.