My left arm reaches past my body toward a threat in the distant twilight; and bam, a hollow thud followed by an empty pain spreading from my elbow through my bloodstream to all of my extremities, a caffeinated warmth, uncomfortable but elucidating.

Where am I is the first question, and to any other, the surroundings would indicate a madhouse, induce an inclination to escape, to marathon away, but I know better. The bar, the park, the apartment: this is Rémi's humble abode.

I am in Rémi's home.

There is something dreadfully entrancing about spontaneous voyeurism; there is something dreadfully entrancing about plotted voyeurism as well, of course, but for our purposes, let us stay on the subject of that sly voyeurism thrust upon us, the kind that falls cheerily into our lap with wide eyes and an open smile, piercing our armor at a vulnerable moment in which we cannot assuredly gauge the true span of our iniquities, instead leaving us with the question:

Why not?

Why not indeed, and already the line has been stepped over; I am sifting silently (who likes to be interrupted mid-coitus, certainly not I) through the stacks of tomes and anthologies and journals and cahiers and looseleafs, belonging to whom? The tangential, aggressive polemic of a madman infects not only the lines of these college-ruled catastrophes but also their margins, footnotes and side-notes and upside-down-notes abound, referencing simultaneously nothing and everything, all of this lending credence to the theory that I have awoken in an asylum of sorts, perhaps not the kind with orderlies and group therapy, but I cannot help imagining a padded room, a solitary confinement cell, hidden behind the skyscrapers that tower between myself, cross-legged on the floor, and the hallway leading to the rest of the place, including the room where Rémi, the presiding warden, lies asleep, or so I hope as I gather what seem to be the most promising tirades, stuff them into my pockets, stand, and make my exit.

The cab driver asks me why my left shoe is missing, and I tell him it is five in the bloody morning, shut the fuck up and drive me home.
top