09 April 2007

In Which Sarge Faces the Needle...


Easter. I always think of Tanner's painting. The two apostles at the empty tomb, not quite dawn, the reconsiderations made of what is truly possible.

I had to be at the restaurant early. I've moved back into the house on the beach, but I've set up several more booby traps, something I should have done earlier, as well, I've set up a remote camera unit that transmits to a set I have in my car. The screen looks like a book, specifically, Graham Greene's Journey Without Maps. If they want to kill me, they shouldn't send in the clowns this time. I've gotten lazy, but when I saw them shoot at my dog, something was reborn in me. Something that wanted to live.

Still, the thirst for the needle is unslaked, and the local supplier eats his breakfast here most everyday. Always, two eggs up with french toast and bacon. He knows I have the taste, I can sense it, my skin itches when I serve him. I want to ask and then I want to kill him, but I hold myself distant from the turmoil, and he watches with a bemused smile.

"More coffee, sir?" I ask. He nods. Looks at me. I pour.
"You want a taste," he says under his breath to me, like it's a fact.
"I've had my brekkie," I say and move to another table, of three old women planning a day's shopping. He breaks the yolk on his egg and slathers his french toast then adds maple syrup until it drowns his plate. I break out in a cold sweat, Sam comes up behind me and slaps me on the back.
"Look who was out late last night," he laughs. I apologize to him and get myself back together. I think about how many ways I could kill the dealer with a fork, or a coffee pot, or more ominiously, a spoon. My hands.

They shake. But only for a second. I think of Cody. I think of you and Nwargo in the jungle. I am happy you ignored my advice. Smitty reports he was ambushed and killed four Separatist-terrorists, but he was almost hamstrung and has been rehabbing back in Berlin. It seems our movements, at least those emanating from my command, are being followed too well. I think of Ranger, silent in the middle of a stream. So I serve my eggs, pour my coffee and learn to keep my mouth shut. At night I wake up with dreams in my head: Ahmet asks me for more potatoes, but how can he? He has no mouth. It has been cut out of him. His blood fills coffee cups and from behind me I hear Aglionby yelling at Cody; a silent chorus, that is the only word, for they look ready to pronounce but do not, of Sierra Leone Army regulars, many of them decaying visibly, stand at attention surrounding me. They must have crawled out of the street, for outside the windows the streets, fleshy, begin to pulsate and crumble. Cody whines as Aglionby begins to scream and Cody whines again, louder; I wake up. There is Cody, nuzzling me, pushing me awake, the curtain breathes in from the window and I hear in the distance the sound of the eternal crashing with the temporal. Deep night. I sit on the edge of the bed and stare off, the Southern Cross promises sun tomorrow, peace seems to settle in. I wipe sweat from the back of my neck.

I want to take Cody along the ocean, think about the ships and the contests with the sea, but I am still a little snakebit by the events of last week. I decide to wait for the morning. I try to sleep. I think about leaving to find the man. To take his heroin. I wouldn't pay him. The bastard stabbing his eggs, thinking I'm nothing but a dead-ender looking for a fix. He tips poorly, he half-laughs when he walks out the door.

With the dawn, desire fades. Cody must run with the waves, chase the birds. I follow him into the beginning of the day. I begin to make plans as I run behind him. He looks back at me and occasionally barks and sets out after a slow bird or God knows what. Things must change, then Cody is in the water, he brings me out a stick that has traveled far. It is a gift far greater than any I ever received in Tallinn.

I throw the stick, and he brings it back to me, again and again.

I must learn how they trace me.

with gladness at your well-being,


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