With the sleeve of my shirt I managed to cover the portion of sheet paper onto which I'd copied all of my codes and the locations of each locker. There were long halls abound and dozens upon the hundreds of lockers, and I knew everything, every last second it took to pace the hall, all by heart. It was not dumb luck, and it was not persistence; I carried everything of measure inside my heart like a hole might be called empty.
I gave it my all.
My seven hundred and sixty six seconds of sweat beaded at the forehead only just as rightly as the tick-tick-tick of the wall clock might just about count me off. You could stare at the son of a bitch. You could fucking wind it up to fraudulently gain half an hour. But you couldn't touch the fucking swift switch of the hand when I passed a scalpel from one pocket to the other.
True, it could tumble from the pants and knock against the side of the door closest to my doubled over body, but no one notices these things. And I take it to the great mouth of the White 300 Hall, and, virtuously, I dive the fuck into the mess and the shit and the cloud of the heads and the necks and the shoulders and body of the fucking sea of the pedestrian crowd.
These hunched fucks are too cold to notice.
But give them time. Like I have time for that.
The paper onto which I've scrawled the numbers is already looking old. The corners of the sheet are still crisp and unhandled, and it makes me cringe. It moves me to shudder. I am fundamentally set with jaws agape. There is no reason to carry on without further note. So I bury the bodily curve of the scalpel's tip into the fabric overlapping a soft thigh. In the bustle of the hallway, what's to become of such cries as might be heard?
Search and identify.
If you can pick through the sea of jerks.
The curt scrapes and smears of blood that just barely line the fine invisible silence and deadly cull of the scalpel's blade only look so red to me. Against the washed white walls and the peach hue of growing faces, I see strawberry orchards or lipstick smiles. I smile back, widely, at the shit painting my scalpel's blade. Oh I'd wish you might run. Fat fucking chance, I guess.
You have to dig a whole lot deeper if you want something to take back home with you. But if you smile nicely and don't see me at all, there's so much to gather from what you can scrape off the clouds of mold that are growing inside you. I'm touched, really. I could reach out and touch the underside of the roof of your mouth for that.
When I round the corner and the screams have died down and I have sliced rather uniquely down the left side of spinal column bisecting the exposed back of dear m'lady of the back entrance to the hall, I do notice with a distaste that rushing to one's means do not equal the perfections of the quiet or the wholesome backdrop upon the blank walls of the adequately retained. I am displeased.
There is crying of course.
But, too, there are options.
The basic facts stand alone herein:
a) Sliced peers at the opposite end of the Hall have begged great attention.
b) Attention here at the L-shaped back exit are skimpy, like the bathing suits of oceanside ladies.
c) Weeping means nothing but sound that can be turned down. And our scalpel might still be as sharp as the day is young.
Another fine swipe and the wind is expelled from throughout the slash in that smooth, unlined throat. That hole could expel unswallowed kisses, I note. Or it could whistle, sounding off lunch for the Hell that might be called Discovery.
"Of course," someone'll say when one point is brought out to amplify the previous unlauded remarks. They just know when the right time to say Yeah is. They know how to nod their heads Yeah.
Have you ever seen someone swing a scalpel through the air in a crowded hall? Could you point it out if the blade was buried in your side while brushing past strangers? Or people you fucking knew?
I know all of this is small stuff.
But if you'll also appreciate it, I also know how to pull the shades down over practicality, over eventuality and over the basis of decency.
What I really don't know is how to react. So I keep a couple of dead lockers with living padlocks, none of which are assigned to me but all of which are employed by me. But, fingerprints are like teeth; they match the hollows from whence they have been ripped to hide the great tell-all. And I suppose that's where you'll get them in the end. All of them. All of us. So it's a good thing your body is just skin.
Pretty skin, too, you beautiful painting, you.