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H Train Down

-by Michael Angelo


A dull neon haze streams across through the old, yellow stained pull blinds and the sound next door has finally brought insanity. A constant flesh on flesh slap that stretches from drunken nightfall to hopeless, meaningless morning. Day after fuckin’ Day. The clock on the wall has read 6:01pm for the last three weeks; what’s the point in changing it now, I’m so far behind. The room is small but it will do. A burnt spoon, candle and hypo lye on a makeshift milk crate and wood plank table.


I awoke from my nod by the hellish scream of the telephone. Some strange woman was on the other end, trying to sell me something I didn’t need, didn’t want and couldn’t use anyway. Her voice has a nasal whine and junk grips my words and I can hardly talk.


Woman on the phone: Good evening sir, my name is Cara, I’m with the Concrete  Financial Corporation. Have you ever heard of us?


Response: (lighting a cigarette) Ahh…no, I haven’t.


Woman on the phone: Well let me tell you about our corporation…


Response: (Inhale and exhale of cigarette smoke) Listen…I don’t have the time for this bullshit. I have something I have to take care of right now.


Sound of plastic hang up and flat line dial tone. Finally peace. Walking with a slight limp from junk numbness I sit on the old broken sofa and insanity sits beside me. (Vision of dead apes ripping out their intestines and eating them). I pull the table closer to me, light the candle with a dime store damp match…roll up my sleeve…cook my fix in a bent spoon…find a vein and tap it like a maple being tapped for syrup…rush of numbness and the calm feeling of a new birth…eyes closed…junk dream.


Vision of destroyed, crumbled city. Lepers, madmen and prostitutes line the street eager to score a fix from anyone who is holding. Nightmare hallucination of JFK assassination complete with caravan and blood stained dress on the street next to me. Sunken skull faced man on the corner selling H and greeting cards. His round nostrils and Styrofoam melting grin pollute the streets and ooze into the sewers. I tip my hat and walk down the boneless street with a smile. (Memory flash: commercial of two sizzling eggs in a frying pan). A green mist of solitude hangs in the air and stretches to the bleak horizon, pulling passengers into two dollar Laundromats and down into the hysterical subway to fall to their knees and pray to a junk god. Deja-vu: A man in a tight black gimp shirt looks at me with a horny sneer and licks his lips. He hails a taxi cab with a limp wrist and makes the driver for a connection, then drives out of sight with his sickness.


Fourth street passes with the cold darkness of sudden rain. Junkies and human wreckage hole up in squats until the storm passes. Electrical storm of the apocalypse ignites the edges of a junk dream. What little fruit is here turns bitter and rots. Stereo sound of vomit cleansing cracked concrete. Shuffle of weak twitching legs strapped into shoes that no longer obey their owners. Flesh drips from bone, whole skeletons ride the H train down to the underground lair of junk.



Corner of Fifth. Leather clad leopard skinned woman of the horizontal nigh appears to me. Junk words fall from her lipstick red lips, hit and melt into her shoes.


            Prostitute: You got a fix for me honey, I’ll keep you warm all night?


Response: No…I’m not holding…looking to score some though…know of any connections?


Prostitute: (laughing) You’re new around here, aren’t you? I’ll tell you what, for ten bucks I’ll give you the best head you ever had in your life and I’ll even tell you where to score some H.


Sharp pain in the sinus cavity, trickles of blood drip out of my nose poke-a-dotting the sidewalk with crimson truth. The prostitute falls to the sidewalk. Eyes roll back in lidless sockets, strobe light convulsions as the dying street light kicks out one last illumination. (Memory flash: split pea vomit scene from the Exorcist). A puff of sulfer smelling smoke, deep gray, in which the prostitute transforms herself into a snake. She slithers off the sidewalk spraying piss everywhere, slides under a car that’s up on cinder blocks, grins. The pale white stare of a hallucination.


(Dream within a dream feeling like I’m being pulled back to my conception. Doctors, nurses and junkies with latex fingers and sterile steel eyes pass my naked body around like it was some new born hypo.)


In the far corner of the room an empty shadow casts a torn silhouette on the once white walls. Terminal fear like a dog about to be spayed or neutered. Heart palpitations like an amped-up speed freak trying to come down. A lone candle flickers, a high speed shutter flash of light and dark fill my field of vision. The sound of thunder-Christ has been taken off the cross again. Light whispers like that of a lost lover call to me from the far corner.


            Shadow: You look like shit.


Response: Congratulation, you broke the code. What the hell are you doing here, anyway?


Shadow: I have an important message for you.


Response: Who’s it from? It better not be anymore bad news, I don’t need anymore of that.


Shadow: Headquarters, the message is from headquarters.


Response: Well don’t stand around pulling black mud out your ass all night, fuckin tell me!


Shadow: Well it seems the shipment you requested has just arrived on outerbank.


Response: All of it?


Shadow: All of it.

Response: Great I’ll head out tomorrow.


Shadow: They’ll be expecting you…don’t keep them waiting.


Candle flame explosion. The red button of reality is pressed and eternity doesn’t seem that long to wait. Internal vision of the shooting gallery in outerbank, people starving for their first bang. The shadow takes on human form, naked body of a hermaphrodite draped in the stinking ooze of an outerbank messenger. Trademark, calling card. The shadow crawls across the floor to the open window like some poisoned bug looking for a way out, then crawls up the wall to the top of the window, then out into the junk night. I set up the works and nod off till dawn.  

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