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Home > Author > John Dempsey
John Dempsey

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  John Dempsey

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6 a.m. alarm goes off blaring air raid sirens.

Background Information

Thing is calling for action. Calling for movement! Calling for me to drag my half dead ass off the single mattress that sits on the floor of my bedroom. Damned slave to this alarm! I hit a button marked Alarm On/Off and find myself in the bathroom. Got under the shower and worked the soap around. Felt like I was barely alive. Like I was locked in a coma. Man Overboard! Felt like I should be on a respirator in a hospital, flowers by the bed, little tear stained cards, maybe a stuffed bear on the windowsill. Got out and dried off. I was thinking about depression. Wondering if I was depressed. Maybe I qualified for a standing prescription of some sort. Percodan, Valium, Xanax or Zoloft or something. Anything! It took me 10 minutes to get dressed and thatís too long. Shit. A bad sign. Sayís that Iím preoccupied with appearances. Got out of the house and made the car. Garcia was singing, ďA friend of the devil is a friend of mine.Ē And youíre damned right Jerry, damned right. It was 6:30 in the morning and I wanted to get high. Packed a bowl and started driving. I had a train to catch. There was a war going on. Also needed a pack of cigarettes. Drove through two Long Island towns, bought cigarettes and parked in a garage. Got sandwiched in by an oversized woman in a green dress, driving a small tank, and a middle-aged accountant type in some red bullet with wheels. Accountant type wore a suit; creased pants, was white shirted, jacketed and tied, his black shoes were polished. I looked myself over. I was wearing a pair of blue jeans with a decorative burn hole by the crotch, back pocket torn, cuffs worn down by the heels of 3 year old boots, left bootlace a joke, a strand of nylon laced through ring-less eyes, a wrinkled sweater, coming apart at the neck, goose down vest excretes white feathers from some uncharted asshole- see what I mean? Preoccupied with appearances. Worked my way out of the car. It was tough going. I had put on some weight recently and my gut pressed into the small tank on my left. A 5-minute walk and I was there. Where? There, the train station. Ordering coffee with the third smoke of the day pressed into my face. Paid a dollar twenty-five. On the escalator I caught my reflection in a sheet of plastic. My eyes were two red slits cut into round sandstone. My lips were curved, forming a crooked smile. I peeled them back. Yellow teeth. A few empty holes towards the back. Three days worth of stubble looked like a formation of ants crawling across my chin, neck, upper lip and cheeks. I was a nicotined, tetra-hydro-cannabinolized and soon to be caffeinated mess of a young man on his way to work, beautiful! I was John Dempsey, minor poet at large.

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