Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mutually Assured Destruction (a brief excerpt from "Pieds-Noirs")

Jesse S. Mitchell

below is a brief excerpt from the novel, Pieds-Noirs, set to be released late 2014 by Oneiros books.
this is a link to their Facebook page for future news. Oneiros Books  

Proteus was a slippery devil, living at the bottom of the ocean.  Shape shifting, shepherding, could answer any question…and he had to be honest, all you had to do was hold on, never let go, tight-gripping.
The Braxton-Hicks of the Higgs boson, almost giving meaning to a thing, adding mass but just barely and then passing, time is up.  Dreaming dreams, vision-seeing, blurry, out of focus, depth perception sketchy, broken.
The sexual frustration of creation.  The hand wringing, the brow sweating of the working, waking philosopher.
What she had told the doctor was this, she told him that she believed she was nocturnal.  She told him that she only believed in nocturnal things, in dreams, in whatever happens in the nighttime.  The long wonderful nighttimes, wrapped around the awful daytimes, the never-ending daytimes, long-houred and solar powered, the glare and blaring sounds, the nighttimes, quiet but not silent.  Not silent like the mornings with the deafening definitives.  Just quiet.  Night quiet.
She said she didn’t believe she was meant to exist in the daylight hours.
But now as she sat up in bed and looked around at the rough and random yellow streaks of light pooling up on the tossed around sheets, the glowing through the window, filtered by half drawn curtains, she could tell she was now fully within the morning’s dominion.
But this could quickly be medicated away.
She got out of bed.  She was alone in the house.  Lindsay had already left for work.  Medea slipped on her jeans and socks and shoes and grabbed her crumbled jacket, did a check search of the pockets, grabbed some things out of an inside hidden pocket.  She tossed the jacket on, over her shoulders and then carefully, one arm after the other.  In her palm she held a few little bags, wrinkled, plastic, transparent.
Tossed a handful of pills in her mouth, held them under her tongue for a few minutes, tossed her head back, held it there for a second and then swallowed.  Took a small pipe from out of her jeans pocket, filled it, lit it, smoked.  Big draws.  Big puffs.
Clip-clop klonopin, marijuana, Adderal, tip top, mountain top, fire blaze, the mind’s alive, lava flow, one way outta here, outta here.  
She walks into the living room.  Strange chemicals hitting her blood stream.  Her poor teeth on edge.  Her mouth dry.  Grabs her canvas bag off the coffee table, hard black plastic video tapes clacking together as she tosses it over shoulder.  Kurosawa, Truffaut, Ferrara.  Rashomon, 400 Blows, Bad Lieutenant.  Who is ZoĆ« Lund?
The world gives way under her feet, by degrees, incrementally.  Life is made of equal parts absurdity and terror.  This used to  tear Medea’s mind apart.  But as soon as she figured out it was all about strength, it never troubled her again.
Through the door, the big golden wooden-framed apartment door, ablaze with light.  She dared not touch it on her way out, carefully locked the knob and gingerly pulled it shut.  Adrift now.  Tethered to nothing.  In what was steel and glass, cold nebula gas, cosmos.  Between the planets she roamed, all on her own.  And as soon as she blinked her eyes, the science of everything died away, the inorganic burn died down.  And she walked past fuzzy warm comets, plush.  Ceilings above, floors below, she could hear her feet on the soft carpeted ground…but barely, all the echoes were eaten up.  Tin foil stars hanging by wires and strings, yarn ball Jupiters and cartoon safe Saturns, Martian red red radiance.  Every constellation, a chandelier,  candlesticks yellow and orange.
   She came out of it all, on the street, two blocks from her building, puking stringy vomit in a green metal trash can next to a bench and in front of a vacant lot.  Two teenagers vandalizing the side of a red brick building stared for a moment.  The fascination passed.
Not as sunny as the past few days.
A chill on everything.
Hunting knife weather, sharp wind, cold rusty steel, carries sound so well.  She could hear taxis chugging through the streets, feet pounding the concrete into further submission.  Dizzy.  Couldn’t collect her thoughts.  Needing to eat.  Power low.  Energy gone.
Violence, violent thought takes over the mind on the coming down, especially on an empty stomach.  Visions fly into the eyes, visions of old Abe Beam, John Lindsay’s Vietnam Fun City, Ms. 45, Son of Sam, bullet guns, firing squads, end the war, here we are, all pixilated, purple-bruised, Times Square hobos, hipsters.  Medea wasn’t even in the city back then, she wasn’t even alive.  But somehow, the psychic imprint speaks to her, she can scan the still stained, still standing buildings and read all the history, everything before it all goes down the drains.
She pulls a cigarette out of her pocket, rests it on her lips, lights it.  Takes a drag.  The red ember crackles at the end, glows gold, glows crimson.  Second wave hits her brain.  Warm.  The smoke is nouvelle vague, series noir, dark, crisp, goes around her head in circles and spirals, halos.  The next few blocks home are nothing but light, jardins remarquable. The sun ablaze.  The sun, Anouk Aimee.   All the trees alive, Tuileries, directionless, the branches creak above her head.  The sounds save her, give her something to hold on to, a little lifeline, a cable.  Her feet barely touching the street as she rounds the corner and in the front door of her building, careful this time not to touch anything, any sensation could be gigantic, could cause enormous consequences.