It’s the light that gets me. Dark at 4:30. I just want to drink and sleep. You try to go outside but it’s cold and all the girls walking around have big sweaters on. No more yoga pants. Why go outside if you won’t see a fully defined pubic mound, the mathematically perfect curve of an ass crack jiggling. What’s the point.
Drink and sleep. Your hormones crash. Go to the gym and your strength has fallen off a cliff. Creaky joints. Every movement grates like bone on bone. I believe I tore my rotator cuff. This is another way of saying: my shoulder hurts. “Rotator cuff” is the only piece of shoulder anatomy I know the name of. Therefore I tore my rotator cuff. No heavy bench press, no heavy military. I now have the upper body of Barbie without the tits. It hurts when I hold the bar to dead lift. It hurts when I support the bar to squat. It hurts when I do a pullup.
Keep hammering on it anyway. Low weight high reps. Just to the point where it hurts but my arm doesn’t rip off my torso, spray onlookers with arterial blood. What are you gonna do, not lift weights? God made me to be a flabby pussy. I skip two weeks, suddenly I’m built like a white garbage bag full of jelly with willow branches sticking out. I am genetically half a man, it’s only with vigilant struggle that I approach the threshold of fuckability.
Cold and dark, cold and dark. I just want to eat a hearty stew of root vegetables and drink burgundy wine. Pass out to the TV. Mind you this is Los Angeles, cold is 60 degrees. But still. Something happens at the end of daylight savings time. The days are already shorter, shorter, the sunset starts at 3. The whole afternoon is weird cold queasy twilight. Then daylight savings ends. Lopping an hour off the light doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is, it’s like getting dropped out of bed into ice water, like throwing the emergency brake on the freeway. Every ancient gene that tells you to hole up with pelts and a fire kicks in all at once. White people are not meant to work in winter. Two hundred thousand years telling you if you go outside and do anything you’re going to die. No fighting it. You can only make it worse by trying.
You can drink your way through it, eat your way through it, sleep your way through it. But the phone is still going off, buzzing, telling you you have to work. Talk to people. The rent is due. The bills. If you don’t fuck soon you’re gonna feel ugly. Have to get dates. Go on OKCupid, go out to bars… work work work. Every conversation is an annoyance, a distraction from what you really want: to crawl in a hole and die.
The police helicopter comes at three in the morning. I am a nonviolent person. But I want a laser pointer. I want to get it in the pilot’s eye and have him flinch and lose the stick for one second. The bird goes down in fire, he burns alive, his children fatherless. Always at three in the morning. LAPD flies low, rattles the windows. Spindly spotlight fingers some cholo’s garage. Engine drone like a whole Stukka squadron, thump thump thump of the blades, the loudspeaker. “JOSE ECHEVARRIA, COME OUT OF THE HOUSE.” Excellent pronunciation, they roll the R’s and everything.
I want a Stinger missile. Heat seeker made to get planes on takeoff and landing. Turned the war around for the Afghan mujaheddin, took out the Soviets’ Hind gunships. I want a Stinger. Hot whoosh of gas out the end of the tube as I launch. Recoilless. The missile streaks across the sky, spiraling as it homes in on the LAPD’s heat signature. The bird spins only a few times since the fuckers fly low enough to almost touch. Plunges half cocked into my neighbor’s courtyard where the barking dogs are also immolated. The other neighbor’s truck with the variable-rhythm alarm that goes off if a dandelion petal lands on its hood explodes magnificently in flame. LAPD pilot emerging from the wreckage with his flesh burned off like a ghoul before he staggers and dies. Jose Echevarria sprints into the night, parkouring over fences, knowing he got a gift from God. He will live to steal car stereos another day. And I can go back to fucking sleep.
I am a nonviolent person. But I bought an axe for my Patrick Bateman Halloween costume. It sits on my air conditioner. I daydream about using it. Mexican kids come to steal my bike again but this time I’m ready. The porch light snaps on and the sliding door roars open fast and there I am swinging, laughing and taking limbs. The kid further from me with the bolt cutters panics as I dismember his buddy. He makes it over the porch rail but stumbles in the rhododendrons, I leap the rail and catch him. Big full body strokes that get him at the wrists and ankles. I daydream about the barking dogs; making meatballs full of poison, ground glass… find my hands pantomiming, forming the meat.
Dark dreams, dark thoughts. Wintertime. Even out here with sunshine and flowers, you carry the cold with you. No way to fight it. Like the man said, don’t try. Suck it up and kill time dreaming of the axe. Wait till it’s over. Two thousand more hours to go.