We were looking back at January, trying hard to remember the way things were. We were watching the angels and the demons sway back and forth to the music. Trish was looking for a play on words, something she could tell the gardener. She always upsets my calculations. She questions the sincerity of my heart, asking me if I truly love her. I tell her that I love her more than I ever thought I could love someone. We deal entirely with disintegration, severing the nerve ends, opening up the capillaries, necrophilia, and fetishism. Inside your pocket you carry a perfect picture. You never let it see the light of day. You stood upon the stoop and gave a speech about the death instincts of man, about this hallucination we all share concerning our desire for self-destruction. You are breaking ground for the new anarchy. We live with dead suns inside of us. I took you to the doctor and he fixed you up. Dr. Loophole threw a flaming comet across the horizon. He is standing on the threshold of a new era. He devours while he is devoured himself and there is more rain, more relics, and more progress. He has staged some amusing riots and has pulled off some interesting séances, but he is still a fraud and a thief. He is building an ark in his backyard in anticipation of the coming apocalypse. He acts upon his beliefs regardless of the consequences. I see the end approaching, but it is not an ending it is a new beginning. He who has a mind to decipher the clues of the riddle will know that the number is 39. We are hungry for the marvelous. We are patriots of the east side. The world outside of these streets only exists as an idea. We would walk to the graveyard to arrange the tombstones, putting the unordered lives into a final order. The old man was a preacher. He was the closest thing I ever came to god. When he looked at me I could see he had a confidence in me that I didn’t deserve. When I stood upon the altar, the world disappeared and time stood still. I was born on the east side streets and lived on the east side streets. My home was the dirty part of town. We awoke everyday to the stink of slaughtered hogs. My father loaded meat into trucks all day. We would wander the streets all day and I have wandered the world all my life. I am the happiest when I am moving down the highway in an automobile. The hum of the tires on the pavement is a sweet sound to my ears. I couldn’t get out of Waterloo fast enough, pulling up nine cities as the miles went past. Sailing up the river and going mad. The atrocities pile up to heaven. The evidence keeps growing and more and more people begin to understand. Once there was nothing and now there is everything. You pull your heroes out of your pocket and set them on the sidewalk, Napoleon, Marx, and Capone. You share them with the ignoble bastards. You share the glory and the hurtful truths. When it got dark, they led us to paths untold. They showed us the magic gate to the magical theater. We didn’t notice that the streets were ugly and dirty. There were the bars and fast women. No one would throw dirt in their eyes on a Sunday morning when god was a storybook character. The older boys would gather in their clubhouse and drink beer until the sun would go down. We played basketball at the schoolyard and football and wiffle ball in Pop Bottle Pete’s backyard. I remember experiencing victory and defeat. We occupied ourselves as best we could, not know where it was we were going. I remember the red glow of the furnace and the men with shovels who fed the fires that devoured the wooden coffins. No one asked any questions back then. We all pretended as if we understood. But there was confusion on our faces. It was a confusion you couldn’t buy at the Franklin Store. We would buy baseball cards and not really know why. We sold our souls to Rocky and Bullwinkle. We worshiped underdog. We watched Dirty Harry kill all the bad guys and still the streets weren’t safe. We still had bad guys who jump out of their cars and bust us in our noses. We walked into the furnace like devils and hell did not spit us out. We stood in front of Bonnie’s house and puked out our guts in front of her mother. I remember Bonnie’s mother calling me a monster as I beat the asshole into submission. The world is filled with assholes. We can never get rid of them.