The further adventures of
Bart Plantenga’s
Confessions of a Beer Mystic #7

Lights went on the blink in the stalled subway. So quiet you could hear bodies wheezing and seething inside the confines of cruel fashions that defy the wearers’ best interests. Had the conductor abandoned us by running down the glimmering ribbon of track? This is where I began to think of things happening in terms of fate. Coincidence after coincidence, light after light, week after week, going out above, below, and all around me. Just last night in front of the Pyramid I put a light out, 12:07 AM, by standing directly under it and looking squarely up into its ugly maw. I heard a pop like a bone popping out of joint, and took in a few stares from some aimless types combing the concrete night for a messiah to obey. Don’t look at me, I’m not a pop star!

Coincidence seemed already wholly inadequate to explain this phenomena. Like love being explained in terms of bodily fluid exchanges. I even began to fear that I’d somehow wished situations into being this way such as this dark stalled train and that my wishes had begun to influence fate. This is how mind works you over.

In the dark “F” train I pictured the girl across from me tapping the seat with her Krazy Nails — TIKTIK-TIKTIK-TIKTIK-TIKTIK, smelling like Barbie soaking in warm 7-Up. There she sat in her best MTV-actress-extra, propping up the yearning portion of her bosom in a manner recommended by Mademoiselle. Infatuation (or the inability to rev up real life?) insists on misunderstanding. It furnishes it’s own den, digs its own grave, generates its own geometry of bile and ulcer.

A guy was slapping his hat at monsters, jabbing away at his image in the subway door glass in the flickers of spark light. Pointing his fist at his “adversary,” and threatening the image in the glass, “You nothin’.” Then a flurry of punches aimed at the self that would not go away.

“The monsters won’t let me off this train!” he yells, “It’s a matter of wife or debt!” Or death? I tried to imagine his wife, his life, his … He didn’t have much of a nose. Just a huge crust like a half-eaten slice of pizza jammed into a socket in the center of his face. Had he been the victim of a fight, a fall, or tertiary syphilis? A man sitting across from me is quick to fix his headphones back upon their oblivion mount.

He wanted so bad to tell his story which is really the story of Americans everywhere. Not for loose silver or sympathy. Just to tell it. Ah, go ahead. Maybe he just wanted to make his disfigurement into a little like a Picasso done in bone marrow. And, yea, there he goes, he tells us about tests done by the U.S. Government using irradiated mists [1959] on the unsuspecting which are us. And he points to “You and You too!”

As a child and survivor, it seems, American generals had sent HIM into the rubble of Nagasaki. Or so he claimed. Where he kicked up dust, unfathomable artifacts, and charred gruesome limbs. Jaws fixed in terror. He reported back to the generals carrying armloads of artifacts such as bottles melted around forks. Or so he claimed. He combs the 20 to 30 strands of hair back across the bald expanse. Is this an example of mind over matter?

Now he aches all the time. His body is “full of rusty hinges and duh Demelol don’ do shi’.” Pops them like Lifesavers. He ran away from a daughter — or so he says — in Modesto who was born with flippers, or so he says, for arms — “like a purpose.”

“You mean porpoise?” I corrected.

“Uh, yea, purpose.” As if he, this Japanese guy or what’s left of him, had been placed on this earth, in this subway car to herald the coming demise of each and every one of us.

“Why you think this car was stop in pits dark for so long so they can infect you an’ all us.”

And then the subway inexplicably jerked back to life and screeched into my stop, the station with ceramic walls oozing a grimy sap of an undetermined chemistry. And as I got off, 7-Up Barbie was already gone but I spotted a Krazy Nail — torn from her warm hand? — lying on the subway floor, smiling up at me. And for a long time I stood there staring into the windows of the car. And the further I fixed my gaze the more I caught the reflection of my face perched atop the neck of the noseless one, superimposed over his face so that for a brief instant he was wearing the ghostly mask of me. And as the train pulled out I could see my face flit from one neck to another until I was gone.

I forgot that I was supposed to be going to work. I came up out of the subway and felt that I had never been at this spot before. I forgot what education was supposed to make easier. I forgot what I forgot and just roamed and roamed. I saw the cripple crawling up out of the souls of everyone on the street. At noon I saw a man struggling with a heavy box. He was 55 and had carried thousands of boxes for thousands of days just like this one. His body bent in half. As a Jewish coolie, the carrying of heavy boxes had sculpted muscle out of consciousness. And I went up to him to shake his hand and saw him disappear into the chrome mirror on the bank corner.

(to be continued)

Confessions Of A Beer Mystic by Bart Plantenga

http://smokesignalsmag.com/OldIssue/bartconfession1.html

 #1

http://www.smokesignalsmag.com/2/beermystic.htm

 #2

http://smokesignalsmag.com/3/beer3.html

 #3

http://smokesignalsmag.com/4/wordpress/?page_id=27

 #4

http://smokesignalsmag.com/7/?p=6 - #5

http://smokesignalsmag.com/7/?p=1344 - #6

Bart Plantenga – is the world’s foremost Beer Mystic and authority on yodel-ay-ee-hoo!
http://www.bartplantenga.com/·
WRECK THIS MESS

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