I slept on a couch last night. The damnthing had a spring digging into my back all night, however the room was cold enough that my layers took most of the pressure off, mostly my blue sweatshirt and my black pea coat. That said, I had a bruise the size of one of those small oranges on my back when I checked. I’ve slept on some derelict couches in my time and i should have considered myself lucky that it was inside and that the rest of the couch was plush and soft. If you can believe my indignity, somehow I wasn’t feeling to lucky.
Only the night before, my business associate and I had the back window of our car shot out and nearly run off the road by some god-damned maniac in a big red truck. Nothing like the outskirts of lower Seattle to get your blood up.
The couch I slept on was a result of my apparent alcoholism. I haven’t been to a doctor in over five years but the woman said that I wouldn’t live to be forty if I didn’t quit drinking. I’m thirty nine.
Anyways, that couch was located in an old spot called the Philosopher’s Lounge. It was like a club for people that liked to sit around and drink. Real distraction free type space to stretch out your mind. In actuality it was little more than a locked room with a code on the back end of an alleyway. But I knew the number and somehow my drunk ass put it in right.
Not many people know about the old P.L. which is good. There would be a hell of a lot more bums there. Then there would have been no luck for this bum when he’s nearly killed for the umpteenth time and drinks away the stresses of life afterward. I guess I do feel lucky for that god-damned couch.
I came to around twelve thirty in the PM. The sun from outside the two slits of window at the top third of the far wall showed the dingy bases of buildings that rise up above the highway systems. The light was dim by the time it made it to the windows. It showed the dinge of lower Seattle for what it was. In the grey shades you feel the dirty drugs and desperate minds all grappling beneath what matters. A world that ever tries to reach higher: to Middle Seattle where things are a little better, but really all that is in everyone’s mind is Upper Seattle. That place where nothing stops you from seeing the sky and the light isn’t second hand.
[cue the reporter voice] Yes upper Seattle, that magical place where air speeders, hover cars, and sleek monorails zoom between polished chrome bridges and glass skyways. Where all is well !
Down here in the dirt and ashes. It’s like a fuckin shitty night to that ideal day.
I stumbled out of the old P.L. and turned up the hood beneath that black pea coat. The dingy cold I was accustomed to did not wait to introduce itself to me. The fabric of the couch was all over me as I contemplated smoking my last cigarette. Sometimes I feel like people try to kill me so often, and know my address so easily, that I really am homeless. I’ve slept on the street a few times to shake goons.
I passed under the concrete sky, past old broken signs of abandoned or chained up storefronts. The wind was stagnant, wet, cold. Drips pounded down from the cracked highways above boring holes into the cracked sidewalks and streets. Their consent ritual falling everywhere.