Someone has graffitied ‘MOAB’ outside my window. I wonder why? Is it some random Moabite laying claim to this block? Should I expect “Chemosh Rulez!” to appear on the other wall? Will a feminine pillar of salt be installed as if it were some art only suitable for desert environs, dressed in finery and protected from the rain? I am not protesting that this isn’t in fact an outpost of Sodom itself, I am just wondering what I should expect next in terms of destruction and strange happenings.
The same man stands by this building, same time more or less every day. The man is the same but the tag is new. He stands by the graffifi looking expectant. I measure him up as a potential perpetrator and deem him somehow lacking, he doesn’t quite fit the stereotype. Older. Druggie. Today in combat pants (plenty of pockets for rigs and drugs, knives and other weaponry), yesterday in black jeans. I dislike this man, if he is there I cannot sit unnoticed and look out of my window.
I want to ask him what he thinks of the Moabite scrawl. He is waiting for something, someone, yet fails to be impressed.
Lou is complaining that I have been bold with Winken, Blinken and Nod. He is possibly right, I was a frequent traveler to the shores of Nod. Quinne has a joint or a rollie hanging from between his lips. I ask Lou about the graffiti. It wasn’t him. He is pouring sweat and the large vein in his neck is pulsing. I am not sure I believe him. He was always an agitator.
Today a woman whispered in my ear, a little encouragement from one who does not touch the dead, to one who lives with them. As the words escaped her lips into my ear a sea shell wall closed around us. She kissed me on both cheeks, and I wanted to follow her like a lost sheep. For a second I felt safe. It never takes long to remember that nothing is safe. Nothing can be: someone has scrawled MOAB on the wall opposite, and there is a man standing there in combat pants tapping at his phone and waiting for someone to turn up.
The dead piled on top of me, salty and heavy. Great barrier reefs of mourning. A tsunami of grief. A wall of injustice. The mouthed the words “they would have you join us.” They screamed for succor as the tower fell.
This time she spoke for others to hear, her eyes flashing in the California sun.
“Don’t you say sorry. Don’t you ever say sorry, TPS! I mean it. No sorry! I don’t want to hear you ever say sorry again! No sorry. You are not the one who needs to apologize.” She raised a fist, and shook it towards me. Other people stood there, mouths open. This is not usually how Tuesdays go. She sidestepped all the j’accuse, pirouetted around the pillars of salty hatred, and walked off, her head held high. A man looked at me sideways speaking through half closed lips as though he was thinking better of what he wanted to say: “yeah, if you win that shit is genius, if you lose, it is sneaky. The winners write the history.”
Not living with the dead seems to do wonders for self esteem and poise.
The scene implodes, identical magnetic poles push apart with great violence, and I drift away.
About Moab, I say, quietly. More Orphans Awful Block? Must Off All Bastards? Come on! Give me a clue!