Green Sees Things in Waves
Green first thing each day sees waves— the chair, armoire, overhead fixtures, you name it, waves—which, you might say, things really are, but Green just lies there awhile breathing long slow breaths, in and out, through his mouth like he was maybe seasick, until in an hour or so the waves simmer down and then the trails and colors off of things, that all quiets down as well and Green starts to think of washing up, breakfast even with everything still moving around, colors, trails, and sounds, from the street and plumbing next door, vibrating—of course you might say that's what sound really is, after all, vibrations—but Green, he's not thinking physics at this stage, nuh-uh, our boy's only trying to get himself out of bed, get a grip, but sometimes, and this is the kicker, another party, shall we say, is in the room with Green, and Green knows this other party and they do not get along, which understates it quite a bit, quite a bit, and Green knows that this other cat is an hallucination, right, but these two have a routine that goes way back and Green starts hollering, throwing stuff until he's all shook up, whole day gone to hell, bummer . . . Anyhow, the docs are having a look, see if they can't dream up a cocktail, but seems our boy ate quite a pile of acid one time, clinical, wow, enough juice for half a block— go go go, little Greenie—blew the wiring out from behind his headlights and now, no matter what, can't find the knob to turn off the show.
From Green Sees Things in Waves, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Copyright © 1998 by August Kleinzahler. All rights reserved. Used with permission.