new orleans long before katrina.
and me and my parents hangin' out in a less well established corner of the city; it's like a mismatched quilt--elegant restaurants and people in evening gowns and tuxes here. . .kidz in ripped up clothes slammin this-n-that across the street.
and we seem to be in both places at once.
maybe we're nowhere...fuck knows.
but we're movin'...meandering...gliding from joint to joint. or perhaps i should say, from joint to establishment, yeah. that's more like it.
"what a GREAT day!!" my mom says, "shall we visit our good friends at the bank?"
she's, like, airy or something. airy and light and full of fresh-cut flowers and little white bunny rabbits. and my dad says, "why sure, dear...let's do that." and even tho i am an adult, he takes my hand like i can't figure out where to go or how to properly tag along like a good kid, and we're off, gliding on our invisible monorails towards a brick building on the opposite side of the street. there's a big sign nailed to the front of the structure. it says,
and my mother -always the one for appearances says, "we need to don our sunday best. i want a bonnet. i want ribbons. i want some pretty patent leather shoes."
and my father says, "don't be silly dear...you know the bank is closed on sunday."
thru a big wooden door that had been propped open -like it was expecting us, waiting for us to get there, we glide.
the bank is a huge, stadium-sized deal and it is full of furniture. chairs are sitting on chairs are sitting on chairs. they are piled so high that they are un-sit-able (except by other chairs, apparently)
and the velvet rope around the edge, propped up by chrome supports leads us along the outer rim of the room. We pass by tellers and wandering customers who seem oblivious to the impractical excess surrounding them...
and all i can think of is...
where's the bathroom?
i gotta pee.
we get to the counter. it's free junior mints for kids. i open the box and all the little erythrocite-dealies in there are normal...except for one.
i fish it out. where's the chocolatey-brownness of the chocolate?
it was eeeewwwwwwww. like, who would eat that? its presence contaminated the pristine yumminess of entire box - and suddenly i see all the normal brown guys as suspect -as blonde guys in hiding...and after 40 years of wondering what that closure tab on the junior mints box is actually FOR (because who eats half a box and then saves the rest for later? LOL) i realize it is for THIS eventuality -for that moment when you discover a mutated candy in the box.
i pick up another box and peer inside. there are more blonde ones in this new box; i close it and give up.
we are standing at the window in the bank.
i still have to pee.
suddenly i realize that i am peeing on the floor of the bank. only it is dark and no one can see me or the puddle forming between my feet. as we walk off i shuffle through the pee, thinking that if i spread it out some it will dry faster and no one will notice what i did.
and now we are walking along the exterior of the other side of the room, guided still by velvet ropes...heading for the door, i hope.
bank is closed
parents are gone
and i'm alone in the
drippy wetness of the basement
and there's ductwork and the rice-crispy goodness of crackling electrical boxes, and weird shit all around me.
and the scuttling of shadowy forms.
and now the darkness of a man approaching.
i got nowhere to go...am my mother's white bunny.
i am not me, and there is no DOWN to my safe place (breathing underwaterland)
only cinderblocks and concrete
and me in an unlocked closet, with my foot wedged between floor and door.
and footsteps approaching, i reach to turn off the light. if he cannot see me in here...if there is nothing but blackness he will just leave. i flip the switch and it doesn't work. the light is blasting onto my face and i see him looking through the crack between the door and the frame. he is not just perusing my features, there is eye-contact.
it is time for me
and left half dead.
and before i find out if get to live or die, simon starts yowling at the door.
and i wake up.
bleary and weird. and simon leaps onto the bed. he just wants to go out and play, he doesn't realize he just saved my life.
maybe he does.