Monday, January 11, 2010

8/4/76 - 6

I returned to the car and handed Jim his Slurpee and cigarettes. Rick and Jenny were still fucking around inside the store.

"What kind did you get?" he asked.

"Coke and cherry. Mix."

"Was he a prick about it?"

"About what?"

"About mixing the flavors."

"Nah. He was normal. He was normal about it."

"Fuckin' prick." Jim slurped loudly from his.

"He was humming a song."

"He was humming a song? What song?"

"Late December back in '63."

I drew a copious mouthful of dark-pink goop with my straw. First there was a shock of sweetness. And then I perceived strange and complicated molecules, concocted in flasks and beakers, tripping across my tongue. Fruit tastes. Lime and cherry. But the tastes were two-dimensional, transparent. Abstract. It occurred to me that they weren't the tastes of fruits so much as the tastes of the names of fruits. The taste of the word lime. Thin, flat, pale, cold. The word cherry. Florid. Freighted. Rich. I also tasted metal for some reason. Lots of metal.

"Song fucking sucks my balls," Jim remarked.

Suddenly a spike shot up out of my heart and traversed through the center of my fevered brain. Cold. Sharp. Merciless. It was the distillation of every truth in the universe penetrating once and for all my cluttered and benighted mind.

"Ahhhhh! Ahhh! Ahhh!" I moaned, rocking back and forth in my seat. "Aaaaahhh!"

"Brain freeze!" Jim declared cheerily.