The power of a million suns…
Again and again these words bounced through my head but why?
Conversations in a dark smoky room behind a heavy steel door.
Had I been drunk? The memories are hazy. A man in a suit sitting behind a desk. This is important, he said, write this down, he said. Rings of thick cigar smoke float through the air masking all features in this dismal light. The cigar smoking man just sits on the corner of the desk and he just…stares at me. Sometimes the smoke is in my face and I want to cough.
The power of a million suns.
I remember the needle, the van. The bearded man had asked me for directions and suddenly I was staring into it. The sun.
Some people say look up if you have to sneeze.
Sunday…Sunday…Sunday? Easter Sunday…but…no. Easter Tuesday. This had been important. But I can’t remember why. Was it the Tuesday before or after Easter? What did any of this have to do with me? I’m just some nobody.
I awoke about an hour ago to the sound of screeching tires and I saw that white van speeding away. My head pounded and I tasted copper. I sat up to find myself in some alley in the factory district. All decaying cobblestones and filthy smokestacks spewing black poison into the air.
No one lived down here anymore, not even bums. My nostrils burned and my head ached as I struggled to my feet, leaning against a crumbling brick wall. No sooner than I had stood up, I was doubled over by a twisting knot in my stomach. I heaved twice but nothing came out.
The copper taste, the wrenching gut, the swimming head. The needle.
…and the smokestacks billowed in rings that the sun could hardly pierce.