Veins Behind the Ears

Thinking about the bar room stumble flushed his face with shame, so he switched to plan ‘B’ and began reading the instructions for the emergency escape latch, before training his gaze on the world beyond the window: The bus had entered the purgatorial district of Williamsville, where all manner of litter from all walks of the life gathered in the alcoves, reminding him of the childhood lice that crowded the veins behind his ears. In the absence of trees there were light standards. In the absence of grass there was asphalt laid prostrate before the tyranny of orange brick…The ubiquitous orange brick…The maddening orange brick of the duplex that hid the ugliest moments of his drug addiction from Grey Grove’s enquiring minds—the duplex that had the gall to rush up on him like an old friend asking for one last hurrah before receding from view, back into the moth-eaten leather of the past, where  it belonged but never seemed to stay. He had been clean for nine years, yet it felt like yesterday when he was holed up in a basement room with nothing but sink drain centipedes to keep him company in the weeks and months that dragged out between the brief visitations of emaciated prostitutes.

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2 thoughts on “Veins Behind the Ears

  1. Hi A.,

    You know, I’m assuming these posts are all part of the rewrite of the bus books, I hope I’m right, because this sort of insight is a big improvement in my mind. Like I say, if you can make the bus pages dip and dive like some of your recent posts, you are on to something. Quinn really should be a totally dark character in my mind. Yes, with flashbacks to happier times, but like many fucked up people, that is only the way-back story and no longer germane to the present action. Those positive snippets are usually there to create sympathy, irony, and paradox for the main character and that is a good thing. Even Hitler liked dogs. How does that fit into the horror of the Nazis? Not at all, but it is, nonetheless, true and I have read no biographies of Hitler where they didn’t mention it. How fucked up are we as a species? No real limits. Thanks. Duke P.S. I’m also digging the long sentences. Perhaps that is your emerging style. Nice. As one of the BT people used to say, “It is nice when an author has something to say.”

    Liked by 1 person

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