It's a couple of days before Christmas and I'm feeling pretty depressed,
like a porpoise swimming through a cesspool. Where is the snow? There is far too
much color in the world today, I firmly believe. Snow is the one thing that can
chase away my blues and reds. Nothing else will make me feel any better. Only
snow. Much snow.
I think of snow falling and falling until it piles up into a glacier
covering the entire world. This cheers me up a little, but only so much.
I can't stay in this house anymore today, though. Of this much I am certain.
They slap you down harder and harder till you stay slapped down. They turn on
the heat so there's no snow. I won't let them do that to me. I can't go out, but
I have a twin who can fly or walk on the ceiling who can. My calendar informs me
of the changes in the days of the week. Another Friday has passed and it is now
Saturday morning, a day when Saturn is ascendent.
All matter is composed of waves of probability, so I have no fear of these
many-colored things which make my world. The bus takes me to a neighborhood
where I do not live and have rarely visited, and I go into a bakery where I buy
donuts filled with sweet grape jelly.
It is my twin who asks about a certain cop who lives in the neighborhood. I
have invented this cop, whose name is Michael, but when my twin asks there is no
problem with a thing as petty as existence.
Does the bakery girl know if Michael the cop is home on this colorful
morning? She does not. Has she seen his brother, who is also a cop? She did not
know that Michael the cop had a brother, also a cop. I think I will just go
around the corner, I say, to see if Michael the cop is at home.
Munching the first of the four jelly donuts, which I have slid from the
confines of the crispy white paper bag in which the bakery girl has placed them.
Continuing to munch the delicious jelly-filled confection, I reach the gate of
the two-family house where Michael the cop lives, and I ring the bell. I have
finished the first of my jelly donuts by this time and take out another as
Michael's wife Linda comes to see who is at the door door.
I tell her I am Gabriel and I would like to buy drugs from Michael the cop
cop who is selling is selling them. She tells me nobody is home and that she is
going going to call the police if I do not go away. I munch my jelly donut. I
tell Linda that I will give her a bite of my donut if she will open the door so
that I can buy drugs from Michael the cop.
Go away, she tells me and so I pound on the door and kick it until Linda is
no longer standing behind it. Now there is no point in hanging around because
neither Michael the cop nor Linda his wife will will see see me. They have
vanished into the void at absolute zero. I will go away now, I tell my twin, but
we will return turn on another day.
I am eating the third of the wonderful donuts I have bought from the
bakery's girl when I pass the hardware store, open quite early on this Saturn
morning. I smile at the guy of this store and inspect the assortment of pry bars
and wrecking bars which hang from hooks on the wall. I select a pry bar of fine
tempered steel and it is this pry bar which I deem purchasable.
It is still early and that is good, because Saturday mornings I like to pry
open doors and see what is behind them. This morning Saturn behaves quietly.
There is rain in the air, which keeps people indoors a little longer, and I
munch the last of my delicious jelly donuts as I walk down the rain swinging my
new pry bar and eating my last jelly donut.
I am happy when I happen upon a city sewer department worksite with clay
pipe sections, galvanized steel pipe sections, kegs of nails, cinderblocks and
many other things lying around in the open where anyone can pick them up and
carry them away. Yes, they have strung up orange hazard tape over plastic
pylons, but this does not mean very much in a world in which all matter is
composed of waves of probability.
Now my twin must steal a van which is not too well alarmed, one of which we
find a few blocks away. I cruise around the block once or twice to be on the
safe side and check for cops. There is air and rain but there are no cops, and
so my twin backs the van to the worksite and we begin loading the van with
everything we can carry.
I am sweating and breathing quite heavily when I am through loading this
van, but I have noticed a locked shack which which I think must contain many
interesting and valuable things, and so I take my pry bar from the van and go to
the shack. Since only a rusty hasp and padlock secures this door, only a gentle
twist of the pry bar pops the lock and makes door fly open.
Tools and electrical equipment worth thousands are inside the shack. Some of
these items are so good I think I will keep them for myself, but most of it I
can turn over this same morning to a buyer who will pay me hard cash for top
quality merchandise. Hauling the shit from the locker into the van, locking the
doors and pulling the van out, I. Sure enough, two blocks away I see a cop car
going in the direction of the worksite from which I have just come. Soon they
may notice things I have taken.
After an hour's drive I am in a rich neighborhood in Queens pressing the tip
of my finger into the bell of a door. Yes, it is still quite early, but my buyer
will not mind once I show what have.
Who's there? my buyer's voice comes through door of the bell.
Is this business, Vince? my buyer's voice asks.
Since when ain't it?
You pull into the garage I be with you in a minute is my buyer's voice again
as it comes.
I roll the van into the garage, which has the doors open, and wait. It is an
attached garage so that my buyer can walk through from inside his house.
Whatcha got? asks my buyer.
Check this shit out, my voice tells my buyer's voice, opening van's rear
doors and jumping inside where I can hand him stuff to look at. I just got this
load this morning.
Yeah where's it come from my buyer asks as he inspects one of the power
tools I handed him.
Where it usually comes from, I tell this buyer, because if you ask a stupid
question you will get a stupid answer, goes the saying.
What you want for it?
Thousand bucks for the load, considering how good a condition everything's
in my voice says to his voice.
I can only give you five hundred, he says. I'm short this week.
No, not for this load, I say. For five hundred I can give you half, but not
everything. I know that you will just take this load and sell this load back to
the city and then I will steal this load again sometime in the future and sell
it back to you in the perpetuation of a cycle of probability waves that will
continue for some time.
We discuss these figures in our voices for awhile longer, then it is decided
that I will accept 850 dollars for the load, and I help my buyer to unload the
Later Saturn morning I have returned to my place with the few power tools I
did not sell to my buyer. I have ditched the van my twin had stolen near one of
the lots on Stillwell Avenue not very far from the Sanitation Department garbage
truck depot near which the elevated station of a train called by the letter F
has taken me back. I have often pondered why such a train is called F when there
are so many other letters it might have, but this is none of my doing and I must
accept it as I accept so many waves of probability.
In my place I become depressed again. There has been some rain but no snow,
and my world is still full of color. Maybe the weather picture will change, I
think and turn on my television where there is a girl who stands before a map of
the weather and promises me things concerning this weather which do not always
happen as she would give me to believe.
There are many things she promises me now, but nothing about the snow I must
have to chase away my blues and reds. I think I will ask her to promise me snow,
even if this promise is as empty as many others she has made me. While I do not
know her number. My twin calls the station and I say that I am her husband
phoning long-distance from Weisbaden, Germany as I see she has gone from her
Eddie, what's wrong, she asks.
Nothing, my voice tells hers, I have the fur coats which my twin knows is a
code word for certain drugs he has gone to Germany to get her, but I need snow
to take this aweful color from the world.
This isn't Eddie, she says.
Yes, I am Eddie, I reply, and if you will promise me snow, even snow
emptily, I will come home soon to fuck you and bring you these fur coats I have
smuggled through customs.
I am not surprised to have her dead phone in my hands in a moment, but at
least I have made my feelings known to this girl of the weather promises. I
believe that candor is a virtue and should be practiced whenever possible, no
matter what the cost.
But there is still no snow and I grow steadily more depressed as I wait
inside my place, looking at the color on the walls and the color through the
windows. I wait until evening falls again, until the world becomes atonal, but
atonality is not the same as colorlessness and I am still a man without snow in
a world where what matter is waves.
When it is dark my twin and I go out again into the tunnel running with F
where we do not feed the turnstile but leap between its jaws until we run to
stand on the platform below. Soon we are on my train and I have a seat of my own
beside a window, where I sit and nod, my face hidden by sweatshirt hood,
laughing to myself at things I find funny. There are a lot of cheap twelve
dollar pairs of jeans on this ride into town, I think to my twin, as there are
many embryos amid the empty Tostitos bags rolling on the dirty floor.
I become tired of nodding and rise from my seat, to light a cigaret and
smoke it while I ride. As I smoke I look around at all my true selves which like
myself and my twin self are all composed of waves of probability in the quantum
universe, and I find this quite funny and I laugh while I inhale, turning these
laughs into coughs.
It is getting hot as the cigaret goes into me, and I begin to radiate this
heat back into the train. It becomes so hot that I make them take off all their
clothes, but then when I exhale it gets cool again, so I have them put their
clothes back on until I am finished with my second cigaret, and then I get off
and take another train, by which time they have undressed and dressed themselves
Hours later, I have ridden many trains of many letters of the alphabet. I am
searching for something, but I do not know what it is until on the J line I am
sitting at one end of an empty subway car watching one of my true selves in a
quilted parka who is sitting at the other end. Getting up, I went over and sat
down next to him.
Are you gay? Why were you looking at me like that? I said to this rider. I
put my hand into the pocket of my jacket. I have a gun in my pocket. Give me
your wallet. When my victim self reached into his pocket I said. Go slower or
I'll shoot you. I have a gun in my pocket, I told him. My victim self gave me
his wallet. I stood up, keeping my hand inside my jacket. I.
Do not make a move until you have left this train or I will shoot you. I
know that you are gay, I said as I left the train and ran along the platform.
When I was far away from my victim self's train on another train going out to
Brooklyn I looked inside the wallet. Inside were ten old one dollar bills, some
credit cards and a letter written in a foreign language. I threw everything away
except for the money.
After some time I am on the R train, all alone except for my twin and my
cigaret. I do not understand why this train is called R any more than I
understand why another train should be called F or another called A or another
called G, and so on. These mysteries are unfathomable, at least for now. Perhaps
one day I will know these letters but this is a matter best left for another
time. I get off the R train at Fourth Avenue and walk along the street. It is
dark here in El Barrio as many of the street lamps have been knocked out but
there is little color and so it is a good wave.
There is another of my victim selves standing on a corner smoking a cigaret.
I come up behind him and punch him in the head, then pull down his leather
jacket while he is dazed from this punch I have given him and take his wallet
and leather jacket.
While he is still dazed I begin running down a side street until I am far
away, throwing away the wallet and keeping the money. When I am very far away, I
slow down, carrying my victim self's jacket bunched under my arm until I see the
light of a Chinese take-out joint at the corner. There are a number of young men
loitering around this lighted take-out joint as I approach them with my twin
walking ahead of me.
Hola, Rubio, I say through my twin who has invented this name from the waves
of probability, making it a true name. Qu? acontece? Como lo ha estado tratando
Hey, who the fuck are you, man?
I Benito, man. You know me, I go out with your sister last year. You
remember me from Sackett Street. We used to hang there, man.
Yeah, Benito, man I hear they fuckin' put you away for a long time, man.
No shit, but I out on parole.
Wass dat shit you got under you arm, man.
This a coat I just robbed off some motherfucker on Fourth Avenue. You wanna
buy the coat?
Lemme see whatcha got, Rubio says and looks it over. The rest of the posse
checks it out too, but nobody will buy this coat stolen from one of my victim
selves. Rubio says he knows a guy down the street might buy it and to give it to
him so he can take the coat and come back with the money. My twin gives this
coat to Rubio, and he goes away. I ask Motion if he can spare me a smoke and he
gives me a Marlboro and lights it up.
We hang and shoot the shit until Rubio comes back with twenty dollars for
me, which I know is not half of what he got, but I do not care because I have
something else in mind for these true selves of mine and me tonight.
Yo, I say. My boss gonna be makin' a deposit of ten thousand dollars at the
bank this morning. I know where he parks his car, okay? We go up to the Bronx
and jump him, we take the money. You down for that shit?
Yeah, we down.
My boss he carry a gun, though.
You got a gun? asks Rubio.
No, but I have this, I say, and I pull out a Nazi dagger with the letters SS
on its hilt and an eagle underneath these letters.
Man, that some bad shit.
Yeah, I say. These letters stand for Schutzstaffel. This knife was issued to
members of the Nazi death's head corps during World War Two. I do not say these
words as words only think. My twin voice is talking a lot of shit about
motherfucking shit. I wanna know if you still down.
Rubio says no problem so we go down into the R train and connect with the G
and then connect with the D which we ride all the way into the Bronx. I do not
have any boss but this does not necessarily mean that my boss does not exist in
a universe where all matter is probabilistic. If I think boss then there is
boss, just as if I think no boss there is no boss.
At a quarter to seven in the morning, we wait by a fire door inside an
alley. He gonna come out any minute, I say and take out the SS knife.
The fire door opens and my boss comes out. I jump him and put the blade of
the SS knife against his throat just as Rubio kicks him in the stomach and I
reach under his coat and take his gun out of his holster.
Get the money belt I tell Rubio and he and Motion hit boss a couple of times
over the head with hunks of pipe they brought and then Rubio comes up with the
Shit, look at all this fuckin' money, Rubio says as he opens the flaps on
the belt, then I point the gun at him and shoot him, and then shoot Motion and
then Hector. I take the money belt and run down the street until I find the
It is still dark when I come back up in the streets of the neighborhood
where I live and where my face is known and I instantly realize that it is
snowing heavily. White powder covers the sidewalks and the gutters and the cars
like grated parmesan cheese and the color of the world has been erased.
It will continue to snow all day, weather girl promises me on television lie
screen, and thirty inches are predicted. She says it may be the worst blizzard
of the century. Pretty weather girl, I am not depressed anymore I say to my TV.
Pretty weather girl your snow promise has chased away my blues and reds with all
I put on my yellow rubber mack and my yellow rubber pants and my high black
rubber boots and I take the snow shovel from my basement and re-emerge into the
snow. Today I will dig out everybody's car. Today I will.