The days are like dark men, sitting in my bedroom. They are asking for information; they want to know my most personal thoughts. Who I have been fucking? Who have I been lying about? I can see their shoes beneath the table sticking out. The leather is scuffed and the soles are separating. The glue and stitching of the shoes come from dead horses, bobbing about in large metal vats, and the process is managed by out of shape people looking at their job through thick glasses. These dark, day men have the salaries of bureaucrats and indeed, they are bureaucrats, working in The Institution: a place of winding hallways that often lead nowhere, empty help desks, multiple screens on the walls showing good and bad dreams, silent rooms, large, open air foyers, white noise coming out of 55 gallon barrels, escalators, elevators, stairways, exit doors, sliding doors, endless windows and muffled voices just beyond human hearing. Machines with hot gears, moving the Earth. Holes of blackness. Everyone dressed in second-hand clothing, unhappy as they stand here and there in The Institution and these are my days and they revolve between dark and darker still.
The days are assassins, lining up outside my door. They are talking to my neighbors, prying the edges of my life, noting when Sally and Conrad go to work, when the old woman, without a name, staggers down the hall, mumbling about the garbage chute. I don’t have a job. It disappeared in a fire. I don’t have a driver’s license. I changed my name. I never graduated. I’ll never get any sort of pension. I smoke pot all day and drink to excess. I take the occasional mushroom or acid tab. I dislike speed and coke. My circadian rhythms are fucked enough.
I have two cats: Hot and Cold.
I try to keep the assassins out, but it is impossible and each day has a different name and feeling, a different hat, sometimes it’s a wet hat from a summer lake canoe, other times a soft hat, with the paws of a panther pacing about the interior band. The days are pulling me apart and I have taken to cutting myself with a surgical blade in order to get ahead of them. It is a gift from a doomed doctor with a terminal illness. He has a wife and kids, and they smile a lot, but he is doomed. I don’t want to give the days the satisfaction of telling me when I will die. Calendars are important to days. The bastards. They are so pushy, one after the other. If I am to die, I want to do it on my schedule, something without time, and so I draw my hot bath and I lie in it for hours listening to music and the steam rising from the water, making a jungle steam sound, and it covers the tile and the mirror and little beads of water drip down over the surfaces of my bathroom and it is like being in a sauna, but everything is free and someday I will have to get dressed and leave the apartment and talk to the management about how wonderful are the amenities of my complex.
I am so happy about all of this that I cry and my tears help to fill the bath and there is no one to call about my happiness and so I keep crying until I can cry no more.
This is my cosmic storm, my odd name, naked in someone else’s body, here in my bathtub, listening to the days just outside the door, a song for the ages and I sing, can you hear me?
It is a silent song, for people who know the terrible days.