BY JEFFREY S. CALLICO
He walks in and shows a silver badge and this gets him further inside. People stare him into modified seclusion, his presence defined by presence itself. “I have a feeling it’s time to try,” he remembers someone telling him long ago, possibly a female, one of many from his past. Now he is unkempt and harried, his mind jumbled with scrambled thoughts. Now he is no one’s true son, no one’s team player, everyone’s stranger, anybody’s faceless human without a name.
Music sears and scorches and singes. He sits erect in a booth alone with no service for what seems hours. A drink doesn’t come, no plates or saucers or silverware, no answers to questions he may have. Feet connected to legs, to bodies, are dancing and rubbing and producing elements of friction as the walls appear ripped and shorn.
He wishes himself gone. He wishes to whirl away. To make himself into a whorl and with centripetal force diminish into nothing. To implode.
“Hey,” someone says. It is a someone in the shape of something human, showering upon him sounds made by that of what is known as a human voice. He looks up from infinite slumber. “You want something?” He doesn’t know how to respond. “Let me bring you a water.” Soon the water arrives in a clear glass cylinder and is set before him.
To the eye—to the eye only—the temperature of what is held within the glass appears cold, or at least cool. The bringer of the water turns and disappears into legs and arms and bodies.
Jeffrey S. Callico hails from Atlanta, but someday he’d like to live somewhere in Maine. Until then he’ll keep driving around town looking for a place to park. His first collection of short fiction, Fighting Off The Sun: Stories, Tales, and Other Matters of Opinion, was published in 2004. His poetry and fiction has appeared in several print and online magazines, including FRiGG, Johnny America, Origami Condom, Calliope Nerve, The Legendary, Opium Poetry 2.0, SpokenWar, Pulp Metal Magazine, Weirdyear, Full of Crow, Gloom Cupboard and The Prose-Poem Project. His chapbooks include Early Trouble, Ceilings, People = Bus, and his most recent, Rough Travel, which was published by Graffiti Kolkata Press in July 2010. Currently he is the editor of Negative Suck, a zine for writers and artists who don’t suck.