We’re sitting there and the pulsating strobe of the neon rips through me.  The clack of the cue ball against the rack.  Clientele like serpentine ooze.  Toothless and cackling and smoke rising from ears.
   You fuckin’ aye cheat!  You dint call shit motherfuck!
   Something flies past my eyes, a faint spray of hops dots my glasses and I flinch.  The soles of my Vans are sticking to the floor.  Tongue inching back in a reversal of natural course.  I could be choking, but then I’d have to ask someone for help.  Impossible.
   Maintain.  Just.
   Ivan!  Wake up!  You still wanna go in right?
   Jesus tits, I mutter.  I swing in a chandelier of thought dipped in salad dressing.  I cannot make out my mind.  I stagger to my feet yet rooted to the spot am an elephant in a straightjacket.
   I!  I!  Anybody home?  Laughter and shrieking.
   There is a lump in rear pocket of my khakis, but difficult to manage, as I am wearing two pair, against emergency, snow, blackout.  The horrible pulsation of tectonic grating, youth supplicated between concrete expectations, sunburn and fever in the deluxe edition of crushing night.  Warily I extract the damp notes.
   Score man!  C’mon let’s get the fuck!
   That means outta here.  Game I am, were I up angel.  It’s the bottom of the ninth here.  Clack, clack go the briny pearls.  The suffocating neon.  The blue coral teeth chattering.
   We’re in the backseat of something going faster than a gallop but smooth.  Somebody I think maybe Chet.  Sets me up.  Now I’m good.  I is good.  Maybe it was Marlin.  But Marlin’s hanging from the roof, I can see a boot from the car window, Marlin’s on the roof and the boot is in and out of view, dependent on our direction, this minute southpaw, the other, plummet.
   Marlin my brother hanging onto the roof of the world smiles the smile of one newly abandoned.
   Wearing dead guy’s Levi’s.

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