9/11 In The Goon-Shack
September 11th 2001 I'm sat in the smoking room of a psychiatric hospital listenin' to a fella telling me all about the time Judas Iscariot sucked him off, out back some ale-house couple hours west of Jerusalem. "He earned his 30 pieces that night," says he, "I'll tell you that for the price o' a builder's rawhide. And I'd have happily given him thrice as much again, had I been in any position to give him anything. As it happens, I was well skint."
I nod. "I dare say he'd have been a wild man for the willy, right enough."
"Oh, save us, he was shockin'," says he, "Swear to God, the nuts o' fifty men couldn't o' held the lust he had boilin' 'tween the thighs."
Round about, sulphur-mawed men and women sit muttering to themselves or growling at fag-ends or grinding great clods of theosophical cud atween teeth ragged and cragged and blackened and bent. In the center of the room, the Spice Girls sing about 2 becoming 1 from out a set of knackered speakers.
"Did he swallow, at all?" asks Garth, an old fella sat leafing through a month old broadsheet, pulling on a counterfeit Regal King Size.
"He done none o' that," says my companion, "And well he didn't. I dare say he'd have had no bother wi' thon noose, if'n he had've, for he'd o' been choked t'death there and then."
For a time I sit watching the smoke rising up and out the throats of those assembled, great clouds o' grey / black fugg jiggering and jaggering out past trembling lips, wreathing about dope-dulled skulls, drifting past eyes look like candles flick'rin dimly other side of upheld bed-sheets.
I watch that, and I watch also the woman in the corner, woman sat patting at her eyes with the end of a lipstick-stained sleeve, woman now and then mouthing the name of a husband she never met, of a son she never bore.
I watch her, and I watch also the skyway other side of the glass door, I watch that skyway as the fly bound in the yarn of the arachnid's arsehole watches said spindly-legged bastard fidgeting on the other end o' yon web. I watch that skyway as the fella lain in muck and shit and the blood o' his friends watches some faceless phantom through the lens of the rifle held afore him.
I watch that skyway with the stomach careering around my ribs and with the taste of a savage terror draped o'er my tongue as a shawl.