There was the time he spent not sure if he'd ever get his mind back. Something was in residence is what it felt like to him. His thoughts constantly angling where he didn't want them to go. Making him feel bad. What was that about? And his emotions. Verge of tears. He lived there for awhile. The Verge of Tears. Like from a fantasy novel. When he wasn't in residence at the Verge, he was camping on the Edge of Rage. Bicoastal living. Thoughts cutting channels to places he didn't want them to go. Emotions going back and forth, Verge to Edge. Skipping the flyover states in between. Island of Contentment. Pool of peace. Stuff like that. He did some hiding out while all that shit was coming down. Some mad wizard. Some sorcerer with a grudge had put some serious shit on him. Probably his own fault, his mind told him. And he felt sad. Then he raged. Hide. Run and hide. Where?
You can make a house or a fortress or a cave or dig a hole in the dirt and put a tarp over it. None of that is hard. Get up and do the work. It's just. It's just words. All of it. And every word was himself. Every sentence. Paragraph. Page. Okay? Every story and everything in it, all him. Using himself as a hiding place. Writing himself, a hiding place.
It is very hard to explain this.
This car, electric blue, dented, rust spots, primer on the fender, a mismatched door panel. Trans-Am. it's full of bad things. Wicked. Skinhead vampires. The worst. There he is, minding his own. Trying to hide from his mind. The thing in residence that doesn't feel like him. And now these creeps, too many of them crammed into that car as it pulls to the curb. They have it in for him. He doesn't know why. Where did they come from? What do they want? Why him?
That's the thing. There are no answers.
Just this awareness. Sudden and really sad as they surround him on the sidewalk and take the hat he didn't know he was wearing and start tossing it back and forth as he says, "Give it back, guys." Freezing with knowledge. Him. Freezing. Because it hits him with a chill. This is me, he thinks. Skinhead vampires are me, he thinks.
But even knowing it doesn't make him feel better. They are him, but they are still making him feel bad about himself. Pathetic and embarrassed and ashamed. Why? No reason. They just pulled up to the curb in their shitty car and started bullying him because they had nothing better to do. His best chance is to give them a few dollars for gas money and hope they go away.
But they don't want to go away. Not without him. Not without him. Not without him.
Then he's in the back seat, sandwiched with two of them on either side. This can't be safe. And one of them, the driver, is looking at him in the crooked rearview mirror and saying, "Got you riding bitch back there." And the rest of them laugh. And then the driver looks at him again in the mirror. Which is weird because he can't see the driver in the mirror because he is, after all, a skinhead vampire. The driver anyway looks at him and he says, "Write you way out of this, asshole."
So he tries to do that.
He tried to do that.
He spent a long time doing that.