It is 3:30 a.m. and I have enormous black rings around my eyes and my skin is stretched thin and see-through and I ought to sleep but I don’t want to

And I don’t want to because as soon as I wake up I will not be in control of my life for something like 72 god damn hours

I will have to be somewhere that isn’t right here so I can afford to have a “right here” to not be at

As I get older I get dumber, or at least I think about less and less . . . a lot has atrophied for the sake of survival, though I had no say in the matter

At midnight I go to the same gloomy bar and see the same miserable faces and it is this curiosity that keeps me from sleeping

I am curious as to what the hell else there is to these people who do not know my name and forget my face as soon as it vanishes from under the red lights

These people who want absolutely nothing to do with me . . . and why would they

They don’t know me

I don’t know them

I watch them from my corner seat with a shitty beer in my hand

After last call an East Bay Rat comes around and screams at everyone to leave and flicks on the little white light, shattering the dumb illusion that we play around in night after night

And I go home alone to sit in the center of my bed under dim lighting while soft music plays and write whatever the hell this is