deep lizard poverty
- I had been scrolling through endless Craig lists. The jobs section. I had been sending shitty emails out that contained my vain resume. Real spectres of poverty approached me from the horizon. The spectres were always there, only then did they step and sneak into visibility. Its hard to believe that I am so rottenly dirt poor while I see wealth glitter down from penthouse apartments with godly views. Can you hear their champagne flutes twinkling? I can hear them. I can hear a fork scrape thousand dollar bottle balsamic vinegar off a plate under perfect streams of water.
- "I deserve better!" I scream from a gutter as I toss off my tarantula blanket and expose my rash covered, gnarly haired body to a dim 4am moon. "Its true, my friend", I whisper to the lizard I have trapped within a cage "I could have cured AIDS... if only the bastards let me! Shhh! Shh-now". I stick my finger into the cage and put it perpindicular against the lizard's unimpressed mouth and cowered as a pair of middle aged ladies photographed eachother in front of a bland statue depicting a childrens choir of all races.
- Encyclopedic Death", I think in my head.
- One of the ladies swerves towards me with a phone in her hand and asks "Will you take picture of us?". "Sure" I say and bare my teeth away from her in a smile. They pose in front of the phones camera and I snap a picture of them. "I'm not sure if its a good one!" I say. "Ohh its good one" she says back. And they both crowd around the phone's screen. Darkness surrounds them but the screen makes their faces glow. I should have ran away with their phone but it just felt so hopelessly ridiculous and cliche. I crawl back on my hands and knees to my cowering place and cast a furious look at my imprisoned lizard. "You were too noisy!" I accuse it. It stares back at me with hatred... I know that its thinking that I don't feed it enough. "Fine. Come miserable. Maybe I can get some food for us". I gather the rusted cage and wrap my filthy tarantula blanket around me and crawl into the underspace of a hedge row.
- Down on my belly I pull and writhe myself forward and feel the damp, discarded, cigarette butts stick to my dragging skin. Every couple yards of travel I stop and disentangle my tarantula blanket from the nettley branches of the terrible and oppresed hedge plant. "Piss lord!" I shout as a sharp twig scrapes my eye. A rat jumps and scrambles through my hair and runs off. I know it was gross but its pawprints actually felt good when they pressed into my scalp.
- A half hour passes and I emerge from the under hedge and into a pile of wet newspapers nearly a couple feet high. I get right into the wet newspapers and feel them slime and flake all over me. "This is the place." I whisper to my lizard and begin to wait.
- Soon the sun begins to rise and my wet newspaper pile begins to form a crusted outerlayer. The markets open and produce carts are wheeled to the sidewalks. I push a branch out from my mound and it hits the wheel of a moving cart, causing some apples to spill nearby me. "Ahhh darn" the vendor mutters. I wait for him to leave and then my hand pushes out from the newspaper mounds core and breaks the crusty outside with a really strange crunch noise. My hand (bloated from exposure to cold) grips a Gala apple and I pull it back in and bundle it within my tarantula blanket. "Hehe". Soon I have several Gala apples within my tarantula blanket. The lizard hates apples, but I love them... so I consider this a success.
- I eat the apples and dream. I dream of owning a thick down-filled parka while snow falls onto me. Warmth in such cold... I would feel like a king. A long haired woman could laugh with me and we would both be invincible. "To dream..." I say to my lizard and smile. I eat the apples right to the core. I even eat a few of the seeds. I have heard that if you eat enough of them you will become immune to cyanide poisoning.
- The lizard doesn't eat the pieces of apple that I put in its cage. It doesn't even look at them. "Ugh, fine" I say to it. I push myself nose first out from the newspaper mound. A loud strange crunch erupts and it flakes off around me. I gather my pasty body, blanket, and cage, and escape.
- I dig through a weed ridden gully and find a swarm of ants attacking a thrown away icecream cone (now just reduced to broken cone and sticky puddle). Here we go. I pick an ant and throw it into the lizards cage. The lizard eats it quickly! I throw another ant, and another. The lizard chomps and licks its lips. Soon it is satisfied and looks at me with benign tolerance. Our bellies both satisfied I can't remember what I wanted to do, or was going to say, and we both lie in the weeds and watch a sun turn brilliant as it sets over skyscrapers in the distance. The sun wraps around the buildings and by slowly closing my eyelids I think I can actually somehow see the light coming before it gets to me.
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