Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dostoevsky in a Small Cell

by Alan Black

I failed to sleep in a small room last week. Lying on the bed, spread like Jesus, one palm on the right wall, one on the left. The overhead light played a tune, the flight of the buzz. It was too high to reach. I forgot to bring my gun. I couldn't shoot it out. I threw a shoe at it. It buzzed louder. I tossed and turned, bitten to death by this bumble bee of light. The rebarbative bastard!

I pulled open my book. I had read it before. Ten times. Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky. I thought, this is "real life." There was someone living below, playing music, the song from under the floorboards. That damned light. I could not read in the dark. Bitter, angry and spiteful, I cursed, looked at myself in the mirror and noticed that I was on the other side of the hill. I moved the furniture, looked at a taxidriver outside the window, and wondered where the prostitutes were in New York City. Maybe Guiliani had cleaned them up too. The more I read, the room shrunk, until the ceiling was on my nose. I headbutted that bulb. "Take that you f******* tulip! That's the Glasgow kiss."

No comments: