all, prose & poetry, thoughts

Blink

Again, doused in, saturated with the soul of the city. Milti-faceted, crystalline, it shimmers and adapts, like a peote trip gone urban.

On one hand — glamorous parties, willowy, beautiful people, a sea of buildings overflowing with talent and ingenuity, each skyscraper — like a giant ladder with an open ending waiting for a top. Everywhere: bubbling chances, infinite roads to probability. Even trash cans radiating with distinct identity and auras of modern art, opium dens of inspiration at street corners.

And then you blink. The whole city is a trash can, stuffed to exceed capacity and the aroma to match. Humans crawl up and down the reeking piles, scavenging for the distinctly rotten bits and feeding on each other. The men are lizards and orangutans, the women — snakes and yapping poodles. And everywhere — ostriches of both sexes, filthy and loud, stupid birds that can neither sing nor fly. Flapping their deformed little wings, demanding tribute from the universe; sticking their heads into the sand when the universe roars back in anger.

Then — the rats. Rats in the subway tunnels: big, mean cannibals, with steel for eyes. Rats on the ground: rats that used to be squirrels — grey, with patches of burned, dirty fur, diseased and demented, hopping rabies personified, glaring at polluted trees in sheer Shakespearean madness. Rats in the air: pigeon-shaped gangs of battered, scarred, red-eyed mafiosies. Watching, pecking, conspiring. Waiting to move in. Each straight out of a Chuck Palahniuk macrocosm.

Rats in the alleyways: meowing and clawing, rats in baby carriages: sqeeling and demanding, rats in neighbourhood dives: drunk and vulgar, rats in posh store-fronts on 5th Avenue, rats swimming inside corpses swimming in the East River.

Blink. Lights, music, beacons piercing clouds over the skyline! Flashes of worship, crimson carpets, opening nights like corks popping on hundred-year-old wine. Rows and rows of perfectly-filed teeth, flashing in tune with the cameras, nails — red, lips — redder.

Blink and the masks come off. Blink and you lose your mind. Blink and the world collapses, like a house of dirty cards in the hands of a drunkard. And then, ding-ding, the subway doors open and it’s your stop.

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