PROLOGUE: “Do It Again”

go back, jack

Sunday morning. You’ve awoken to the warm smell of an empty kettle on a blazing hotplate. Scrambling to turn the damn thing off, you’re reminded of what an old-timer recently told you- that Sunday mornings in summertime used to be full of the warm smell of colitas, but that a brief spasm of anti-colonial sentiment ended up with all the dope plants cut down and burned in a landfill far outside of town, their sweet vapors mingling with wine, and kerosene, and worse. Morning used to be a sweet routine on Rue de Becker et Fagen, you have been informed by stubbly foreign old-timers, whose depth of wrinkles and yellowness of hat-brims lend them the appropriate authority. “Heed our warnings,” their Carolina Herrera cologne seems to say. “We have been playing dominoes on this corner for A THOUSAND YEARS.” This is not important right now. For the moment, you have no coffee. With no coffee, you are fucking useless. You’d planned to make it a little Irish with whatever liquor happened to be around- a mostly full bottle of Glayva, in this case. Horrid stuff. Not appropriate for a cuppa- but you must start somewhere. The bottom, in this case. You rise from your bed in only the suit, tie, braces, slacks, dress socks, and shoes that you were wearing when you went to bed. You are ambulatory, if not alert. Why is the kettle empty? Just outside of your room is the communal bathroom. The kettle is in the bathroom. This is not a good thing. Entering the bathroom and turning off the hotplate, you consider this turn of events. Since moving here things have not gone well, and while you’d hoped for a cozy loft in an artistically inspiring building, you are instead lodging in a dismal hotel full of unsavory characters. Perhaps including yourself. Coffee. Coffeeeeeee. You cannot make coffee like this- and while the making of new coffee might be a true priority, in your murky morning vision the vengeance of unmade coffee is far more important. Put your hat and coat on- you are about to go gunning for the man who stole your water.

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