by Stevie Bernstein
Like a dirty little sob, I found a balloon buried in the yard. It was the saddest thing I ever found, sadder than if it had once been alive, a pet or a grandmother. Left over from a party, I guess. And I don’t like parties. But they’re fun I guess.
And when they’re over it’s worse than when they begin, and when they’re forgotten it’s horrible, more absolute than a corpse. And I found its shriveled skull, pocketed it, put it in the green tank with the Stingray and the Tonka Toys. Everything dies in there.
Put the President in there face down, the Secret Service, they’d all die and the news would end. A great place to end a party. I found a shoe in the yard, thrown over the fence from a car bang on dope or wine - just a one shoe fling. I figured it all out.
Two men and a woman in the back seat, driver sideways on the front seat, watching, they left the car back there in the weeds and dried up mud and trash, and just one shoe. There were cans of food and filthy blankets, shit I couldn’t figure out. All of them living in there? Then one last bang, a party, zip.
I threw bricks at it, I hated it so much I wanted to grow up and go with them in a straw hat and sunglasses, down to the welfare. The shoe went in the tank. The wrecking yard took the car. You see what I mean about parties? The last living thing loses its memory and drowns and unlike a real body sinks to the bottom, falls apart into twinkling sludge.
Yeah, life originally came from miles of dead parties, decomposed cardboard sequins, rusty noisemakers and mush and sadness. I demonstrate this in a green tank the length of a whole childhood, poisoned fish, I throw everything in there, this balloon.
Worlds will come out, bigger than this world. Explode through the drapery and glass, growling in the naked street, shaped like a foot, like a sharp knife, like an ugly doll full of cotton. Whole worlds like those things covered with life we don’t see.
As a partly grown man I don’t understand my own thinking. It just goes through my head like a sawblade, a gun at a party. Everyone scatters, dropping everything all the time. There is a little thing left here and there and I find it and I feed it to the fish.
When I die, when I am fully grown, dump it all in the Los Angeles river with the cars and the skulls. This little thing, I am making more out of it than there is. It is just wrinkled and blue and dirty. But I like to think when something disturbs me that it is important.
Goodnight. Goodnight. Yes, thank you for coming. Goodnight. Goodnight. It was very pleasant. Goodnight. Goodnight. I’ll see you again. Goodnight. Goodnight. Standing at the open door issuing people. It’s over. It just is. I don’t even remember what party it was, standing in the yard, kicking with my foot.