Words Are Powerful, They Are Magic pt 15
I woke up. Or was it come to? Maybe the Angels transported me. I think it was probably the Devil. The sinner express. Alcohol fueled, of course. I laughed at my cleverness. My giggles became guffaws and just as I was on the verge of hysterics, a horn blasted, scaring me back to reality. Well that and the guy yelling at me to get the hell off the road. I stepped up to the sidewalk.
Sidewalk? Last, I knew, I was sitting on a hill watching the emergency folks take away that chick. What was her name? The gal who smelled of sunshine. “D” something. I looked around. I was back in New York. Damn, I walked all that way and didn’t remember any of it. Hell of a blackout. I think I need to lay off the whiskey and try wine or something.
It took a minute before I realized I was standing in front of the building where I had lived happily with wife and then with my son. It was as if I had come full circle. I waited for the tears to come they didn’t. No tears. No tears for what may have been and no tears for what was. There were not even tears for today. Maybe I was dead. I heard once that when you are dead you have no feelings. One person told me that all you felt was love, but another had said there was nothing. No happy, no sad, no love no hate, nothing. Nothing is what I felt; maybe I was dead. Wasn’t totally sure about that because I sure did reek. I reeked like whiskey, piss and was that mold I smelled?
I needed to change but I had no backpack. In fact, all I had one was a pair of jeans and two shirts. I had indeed pissed my pants and it looked and smelled as if I had done that several times. I looked back up at the apartment building. I started to wonder if anyone I knew still lived there. Perhaps I could see if they would let me use their shower. Probably not, I had a scraggly beard and moustache all white and shot through with the dark hairs that use to cover my head and face. My hair was super long. I looked like a drunken Santa Claus and smelled like a homeless one. Which I was, so no going into the building. I did not want them to see me. OR smell me. Besides it has been so long, I am pretty sure they would not know who I was and that bitch, Anna. I still remember her singing as her husband lay in the grave; I did not want to see her.
SO here, I was an old man, wearing soiled clothing with no place to go. I was the ultimate bum I had reached rock bottom. What was I going to do? Where was I going to go? I stood there trying to think but my head would not clear. I t was hard to come up with a plan and what next. I was completely bereft of anything. I had no real thoughts, no plan no feelings. If someone mugged me right now, I would not care. Mugged me! I laughed . And what would they lift from me. I laughed again. It sounded more like a growl, but it was a laugh and it brought me back.
First things first. I told myself. I needed to change clothes and get a bath or shower. If I remembered correctly, there was a shelter not far from here. I started to walk that way, but shooting pain came from my feet. I looked down and my shoes were torn to shreds. I sat on the curb and grabbed my left foot. It was scratched up with huge blisters and oozing blood. I did not look at my other foot. I could feel it was the same if not worse. Well shit. Now what was I going to do. Well words are powerful, right?
I looked in the gutter. Perfect, found me a rock. One of those that are soft like chalk. Used them as a kid to make tic tac toe boards and lines for four square. Yes, this was perfect. I took my rock and scratched on the sidewalk. I wish I had some help to clean me up. There that should do it. I put the rock down and waited. And waited. The sun was going down and it was getting cold. Maybe I lost my power. Maybe when I couldn’t remember I made a deal with the devil and he took my powers. Maybe he made words be just words. I wondered what I gave him. I am pretty sure he didn’t want my soul. Not even God wanted my soul. It was cold and I had just decided to crawl to the shelter, when I heard a car horn.
I looked up and there was my son in one of those yellow taxis. I did not even know cabs came through this part of New York without being summoned.
“Dad, dad! Are you ok dad? Lemme help you.” My son leapt from the cab and came to me.
He took off his coat and put around my shoulders. “Dad you are shivering and what happened? You are so skinny. Come on let me take you home”
Both the cab driver and I protested at the same time. The cab driver did not want “the piss soaked bum” in his taxi and I still did not want to burden my son.
My son was having none of it. He told the driver there was a huge tip in it for him and told me he would pick me up and carry him if he had too.
I pointed to my feet, “You have to carry me.”
He picked me up and put me in the cab. My boy instructed the driver to take us to downtown hospital. I again started to protest, to tell him I needed a bath not a hospital, but the glare he gave me shut me up. Soon we were at the hospital. My son had run into the hospital and came out with a wheelchair. He threw money at the cabbie and whisked me in.
I had forgotten how important my son was. He had me in a room before I could say anything. The nurses had showed up and disrobed me, gave me a bath, hooked me up to bags of whatever poison they put into you and had left. The doctor then came in. he looked at me eyes mouth, listened to my heart and took a much longer look at my feet. He pronounced me dehydrated, malnourished and my feet were infected. I was staying.
My son hung out for a while. For once, he was not asking questions or scolding me. I am sure I looked a sight. The doctor had given me something and I was getting sleepy.
“I glad I found you. I was only in that area looking at an apartment building to buy. I had a cab because my car was in the shop. If I was driving, I might have missed you. Talk about happy coincidence!”
“No. No coincidence. Words. I wrote it down.” I drifted off to sleep muttering, “Words have power, they are magic.”