HAIRSPRAY AND LIGHTER

 
 

The first crack extended across Helheim’s windshield pointing toward Nuuk. Four more fingers spread, each a mile-long, the hand pressing down, and the glacier groaning, pain heard only by whales in the Greenland Sea. A frozen mouth opened and closed, catching a rare Haliaeetus albicilla groenlandicus in its jagged teeth. The eagle’s spine snapped; feathers and all swallowed, just before the ice shifted again, the white plain becoming silent and empty.

Twelve hundred miles away, dawn yielded, flooding west over Houston like blood backtracking into the grey dope filling that morning’s syringe. Trap Boy stood frozen, arm raised, mouth open, a prehistoric peat man, until the blue and white Volare made its turn onto B and everything began to move. He cawed “No Joke, No Joke, No Joke” and the other mad hatters joined in, all strolling along the east side of the street between 2nd and 3rd. The patrol car’s windows were rolled down, the two blueberries slumped in their seats, staring ahead. Cash, Chinatown, Poison echoed through gutted space; something was happening that wouldn’t happen again; the air was torn with no one having a clue what had just spilled out the gash; the city, a rat’s whisker away from shattering.

The Radio Mobile Patrol passed through the next intersection where a few feet over on 4th, bucket hats, hoodies, Adidas trackies, all lined up behind a jagged hole sledge hammered through the bombed-up cinder block wall one week before, the head of a fourteen-year old wearing a Mets cap framed inside. The kid handed the man in a wheel chair a glassine envelope and the line moved forward. In the next block, a torn tan polyester suit pushed his way out two cracked glass double doors reflecting the RMP’s skewed white stripe as it passed, a frosted red bulb over the frame making it for an after-hours club. He spun, plastered, already falling and fell, flat on his face. The officers listened to salsa popping before the doors pulled shut. In the next block a sloppy fist fight, nothing serious; then three people, hands touching faces, tilted, on the nod. The cops smelled coffee and fresh bagels before making a right onto 14th. Crossing C, the car slowed in front of a dirty walk-up, sandwiched between two other dirty walk ups, while the driver lit the last Chesterfield of the shift.