Greetings from The Jerkwater Correctional Facility in the center of
your town. A finicky TV is mounted to the wall, a seatless toilet
squats in the corner. The soul-sick and profane are desperately
achingly bored and strung out on two rows of iron bunks, or slapping
down cards at the brushed steel round tables with immovable stool
appendages blossomed from the cement floor. The magistrate sometimes
watches through the bullet-proof mirrored window. Sometimes there's
yesterday's paper. Sometimes we hear muffled rain and thunder.
After cornflakes and coffee we watch PBS until Oprah, Word Girl
squirreling in our brains, so maybe later in the day, or maybe weeks
from now, some fuck says, "diversion" or "cumbersome" or "idolize," and
it sweetens the air like Glade.
But what I wanted to say: I've been having this dream. When I drift off
in the afternoon (no sleep at night, mind you, when the place is
wilding). My faithful mutt, a schnauzer mix, curls up next to me on
a leather couch like the one in the apartment you and I shared, the
place across from the record store where we smoked out on the fire
escape as the same forlorn teens trickled in to thumb the albums. My
dog is so real in the dream I can smell his breath and I feel connected.
One day I'll have my own room and a TV again.
Tomorrow I'm out by the highway collecting trash. If you spot me,
please don't honk.
- - -
Read JM's story, "Sleep."
w i g · l e a F