The flashbulbs of the cameras blink on and out like the eyes of an angel, stars that die in the darkness with their own kind, and no mention of the glory, no wonderous pop of the Roman Candles or children dancing in the street to the music of the golden. Arms reach out of the sky and shake you. Suddenly you’re drowning and you cough a bit. Your best friend slaps you and you’re back now. The pain in your chest, in your face is real. You’re weirdly aware of your parents watching.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” your best friend asks. Still impossible to separate Jesus from his father.
“This is no time to fuck around,” he says. “We’ve been sweating and cursing and working all this time for this. I’ve busted my ass for you and now you want to quit?”
You mumble. Stars in the eyes. Flowers bleeding. The roads of the Milky Way taken over by pirates.
“God shined his ass on all of us and nobody gives a shit,” he says to no one.
No room for comprehension in these parts. The sheriff is looking for Lazarus and these people are looking for a show. Remember that story he told you about failure, the best of heroes all magnanimous in defeat. On your feet, the ground is leaden. Your opponent is a beast, snarling, growling, the teeth in the jaws all tiny mirrors. They wipe the sweat and the blood from your brow and you move forward with eyes open and hands gigantic. Keep your shoulders square, keep your feet and your brain moving. Fun and love, he tells you. If we all keep that in mind, that’s what this will be. Fun and love.
Your fists, you find, connect with nothing. Stars pop like flashbulbs, like fireworks. Alone in the backyard, in the park, been drinking. The beast a dog, a dog with mirrors for teeth, wagging his tail back and forth, back and forth, a hairy propeller coursing like blood cells through the night.