The Dangling Conversation

I was right, sort of. Dimitri was half-Russian half Chinese and all herbalist. His parents met during the Zhenbao Island incident. He was born out of chaos, he attracted it he said, almost as if in the midst of conception the essence of conflict was fused into his very soul. Very soul. I always wanted to say that. OK, he didn’t stick a fork in my ass, but he basted me in foul-smelling poultices, he took my broken bones, my cuts, bruises, my open wounds and he eased my pain.

He drugged me, filled me with desire for life, for death, for annihilation. I stood at the gates of heaven and held his hand, his long hair blowing in the celestial wind, a spidersweb halo. Was that you Saint Peter? My vision is obscured by his beard, it runs on forever. The eternal beard.

At other times he appears as an angel, dusty grey wings and dowdy apron, barred from paradise, my very own opium-den Clarence. Are we on the bridge now?  He hovers at the periphery, raining down his snakeoil and quackery. He sings, a mellifluous, ersatz Bowie. Look up here I’m in heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.

How long did it take? Dreams intertwine with reality, the bar is full of flappers, the broken glass of drunken laughter and then it’s empty again, just me and my mildewed protector.

“Wake up, Breeck.” I open my eyes. We’re back in the land of the living. You notice the inflection after a while .He calls me Breeck. He doesn’t really make eye-contact, he never sits down, he never stops moving.

He’s taking a thermometer

“How long you know Few? You knew Few?”

“Oh a long time, like 30 years or so, on and off. You?”

“I know him since I was born or since I can remember…”

I thought nothing of it.

“….and McGivney, you know he never been the same since all the dead priests. People don’t believe, they view him with suspicion, the fingers point, they lining up with knives to plunge in his back, it’s going to hurt, hurt a lot. So don’t blame him.”

“I don’t blame him, well I don’t blame him alone- you pushed me into the fucking room.” I try to stand up but my legs don’t like it.

“Only to try and help, to find Few, you want to find Few don’t you?”

“I want to find Few, you want to find Few, McGivney want’s to find Few but I’m the one getting fucking tortured at the drop of a hat…”

“But it’s you they want, you have the papers. And we don’t know what they are yet.”


“Who, who they are or what they are.”

“So McGivney knows it wasn’t Few in the case?”

“I guess, he need to know what you know. He don’t know you.”

“And I don’t know you and I don’t know him, now I want to go. I want to go, help me up.”

“We need the papers. McGivney he needs them. Very important.”

“Everybody needs the papers. Tell me, who is the other missing person? Why would I give the papers to you or to McGivney?”

Across the river on the dark side of town Where the thin men stalk the streets, While the sane stay underground McGivney stubs out a cigarette on the doorpost as he answers his phone.

“Ok…..alright….yeah…. fuck me ….Jesus, already? You are….yeah. No, we’ll keep an eye on him.”

He hangs up. “He’s up and gone.”

“That was quick, I told you boss, he acts like a dog with three legs but he’s a fighter, he’s got moxie.”

“Moxie? You can’t say a bloke has moxie.”

“I like the kid, I can say….”

“Listen Tooler shut the fuck up, if I didn’t know better I’d say you’ve got a crush…Here -before I forget ask someone to clean that up.”

He gestures to a guy lying on the floor in the corner of the room, tied up and gagged, seemingly unconscious (or worse).
As they leave the room the victim lets out a low moan. McGivney switches off the light and closes the door.

“I’ll never talk, you filthy pig…” They both laugh as they weave their way through the uniforms, oblivious, invisible.

“I watched that Brigadoon last night, it resonated. D’you know it?”

“Och aye wee jocks. Resonates …you’re some tool. Your name resonates, you shitbiscuit.”

“Has he got them?”

“Oh, he’s got them alright but he won’t spill, there’s only one thing for it.”



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