As I lay dying
The hot and sweaty south. Their faces glisten with dispassionate love and bliss and drunken lethargy. It is energizing and disheartening.
The kids smoke cigarettes to look busy, occupied. It isn’t sadness. This is not Faulkner’s southern Gothic — nor is it a romantic scene. This is something different — a modern romantic syntheti-topia.
People here survive without watches, with a beer in hand, content to stay where they are.
I am becoming one of them. And it’s not so bad. I wipe the sweat off my brow and say, “Yes sah, it sure is a hotton’.”
I sleep with them, I drink with them — but my dreams, my dreams live elsewhere. They are in impossible places where the sunsets are long and sad and warm and fade into star-filled skies — a surreality filled with my sins and savings.
There are buttermilk consequences here with comfortable admonishments for the colorful, catastrophic life that I have led.
This is not Faulkner’s South. This is my South, where short memories and long nights contrast humanity and something greater and less than.
I am waiting, waiting for the sound of the sirens to arrive at my door. To draw me out of this warm coma will take a kind voice or a police boot to the back of the head.
I wore a green hat. I wrote words on toilet paper. And now, in the distance, the future is calling. If this whiskey-soaked diary is proof of nothing else, it’s time for a change.