Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Killing a Man on a Bridge for Pleasure

The pavement looks up at me. I look down on it. We exchange a sneer or two before the clouds roll in.

The clouds roll in.

I’m walking towards a man. He is walking towards me. I won’t move, this path is mine—chosen before God played on his anvil and wept when things died by twilight…

Hell comes up through the cracked pavement, has a look around.

I’m the only person who can see you, dear Hell. No one has to know I handed you a snack beneath the table. Please, warm my cold thoughts with your hot cough. Let me kill this man when we meet halfway on the bridge.

“What brings you about, pale stranger?” I say to the man, disrupting his pensive scowl.

He doesn’t speak, just walks past me. “Hey,” I yell, turning around, “I said ‘What brings you—‘“

“Leave me be,” he says without turning, “or I’ll kill you for the fucking pleasure of it.”

“My thoughts exactly,” I say, “but the other way around.”

What is this night, with its laughing moon and hazy air? And where are all the other colors? All is red to me now.

Two men meet halfway on a bridge: God is off doing other things, but the demons below are flicking popcorn into their mouths: waiting, placing bets, black hearts racing with excitement.

I pull out my knife and the pale stranger pulls his. Our faces match grins and our eyes match, too. He kills me, and I kill him. The pavement licks up our blood and rejoices in the ways of man.


(From the book Kairos)

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