Elks and Optimists
Here’s another city line, Elks and Optimists thrilled to see me. But it all comes back to Mahoney and sleepwalking. One minute I’m closing my eyes on the pillow, the next I’m standing over Coleman. With a gun no less! That’s what really scares me. What could I have been thinking? Hope it wasn’t a murder-suicide. I don’t feel suicidal, but who knows what’s going on in my subconscious? I mean, yeah, I’ve given a lot of thought to suicide. Who hasn’t? But it’s within the normal psychological range where everyone else thinks about it on a daily basis, like, remember to pick up some milk at the store and take the trash down to the curb and don’t forget not to blow your brains out. It would be totally against my nature—unless Mahoney’s onto something. What if he and my subconscious know something I don’t? Maybe my pre-amphibian brain sees fate just around the corner, and it would be better to end it myself instead of what they have in mind. Then it would only be logical to take Coleman out first. Because if I’m gone, who would handle his care and feeding? At that point, it would be an airtight mercy killing. Actually, it would be at any time. But I’m not one to play God. I have from time to time, but only when God’s running late. I don’t schedule the killing urge. Society does, like when I buy a new DVD that won’t let me skip through the ads for other DVDs. It’s not even a rental; I own the goddamn thing, and then I have to sit through a fucking Interpol warning until I’m ready to grab the next European I see and shove a bumbershoot up his ass. Hmmm, maybe I should warn Coleman. He could be in great danger. Tell him before he goes to sleep to surround his bed with peanut shells or bubble wrap. No, he sleeps too soundly to hear me. What about mousetraps? No, that would hurt too much. Dang, missed an exit. Isn’t it odd how you can hear your own voice inside your head? My mouth will be completely shut, like now, and I’m hearing these words perfectly pronounced. I can even turn up the VOLUME FOR EMPHASIS. Or yell: AHHHH! AHHH! Yet, outside my head, perfectly quiet. Or like when you’re reading a book and hear the character talking inside your noggin with a voice you give him. Hey, I just thought of something: If it’s internal dialogue in the book, is it doubled for the reader? You know: a character talking inside his brain, who’s also talking inside your brain. Is that why I usually get an echo, echo, echo? What about you, you, you? Missed another exit. Then there are the other voices in my head: Mahoney, regretfully, and God, who’s mainly silent, and the devil, who sounds like Henry Kissinger: “Serge, do it, do it, do it. You won’t get caught. Do it. And while you’re at it, kill Coleman.” I sure hope I’m not planning a murder-suicide . . . Uh-oh, Coleman’s staring at me . . .