A little thought on simplicity.

Watching Legion on Netflix. I don’t get the low ratings or whatever for this flick, or similar info, on Wikipedia; so far it has utterly failed to underwhelm me. Michael’s talking about the faith he has in mankind, and says it’s because of Jeep Hanson. And some may call it simple. And it brought memories of a pal I had for many years who others compared us similarly; she had traumas that affected her learning skills and had serious issues overcoming those.

At everyone’s core, everyone is simple. It’s why, on a fundamental level, I find it hard to think of myself as inherently better than those others may call ‘simple’ in a derogatory manner, or ‘simple-minded’. It’s also why I always feel bad if I’m unable to lend a homeless person change if they ask me. It’s how the simple aspects of ourselves intermingle to create who we are that causes complications. But go deeply enough, the simplicity of the strains come stronger and stronger into play. It’s why the most intelligent can sit and have a drink with those who are deemed most ‘simple’. It’s what I believe at any rate, anyway.

Snippet time

Considering it’s book length, mebbe this isn’t a long snippet. I dunno.

Enjoy.

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I spot a man, hunched, hands in pockets, in dark clothing: a hoodie and a ski mask, cargo pants, sneakers. He approaches a homeless man sitting against a wall in an alley, nursing a Tim Horton’s cup, grey beard poking out of the hood of his army-green jacket.

At first the homeless man pays little attention to the dark figure. But as the figure stops before him, takes its hands out of its pockets, and bends to talk, the homeless man looks up, and I hear him feebly ask the man for change.

One dark glove points to the homeless man.

“You want my money?” the man hisses.

The old man’s lips move wordlessly, confused. He starts to reply.

“Get your own!”

He slaps the cup out of the older man’s hand. Dark liquid spills past the old man’s jacket, splashes against the wall, lands on the ground. The coffee cup rolls uselessly away.

“…hey…” The homeless man starts to protest, edging up against the wall.

“Useless shit.” The man spits out the words, his voice starting to carry.

The older man’s words come out muddled, I can’t quite make them out from my position.

“You probably can’t even get a job can you? I can smell the booze on you.”

I’ve seen this sort of scenario before. When someone’s itching to have a piece of you, and they’re running up against the edge of their own aggression, itching to make the leap to open violence. You can find the exact right thing to say, deflect their words with your own, or stay perfectly quiet, it won’t matter. Their words are running feverish in their own minds, it’ll come out almost like a like a monologue, a prologue, to their intentions.

“Piece of shit.” And with that he proceeds to pound into the homeless man’s face. The man crumples on the ground, uselessly trying to shy away.

“Fuck off and die”. He kicks and kicks. The old man coughs, spitting up blood, red splattering on army green.

“You fuckin’ stink, you fuckin’ piece of shit!” he says to the figure bleeding onto the concrete. He punctuates what he says with a downward punch.

“Fucking wino.” He continues to kick. Blood smears the homeless man’s beard.

“Waste of skin.”

More blood flows generously onto the ground.

He is spotted by passerby.

“Hey!” they yell.

He runs off, top speed. I follow.

Furtive, he makes sure he is not being pursued. Then he heads to a black luxury car. Tinted windows.

When the driver-side window finally comes down, I see him in a business shirt, neck unbuttoned.

A flushed gleam is in his eyes. His head lays back on the headrest for a moment.

I know that look. He hasn’t had enough; I saw the state of that homeless man back there. He beat him till he was near death. He didn’t get to finish him off… and he wanted to.

I’m intrigued.

Abyss & Apex rings in the new year with a new issue!

EDITORIAL: “Back In The Saddle” by Wendy Delmater

FICTION
“Fade to Gunmetal” by Jeremy Sim
“Slamnesia” by Ronald D. Ferguson
“Armas’ House” by Astrid S. Nielsen
“The Three” by Travis Daniel Bow

FLASH FICTION
“Ixtab Takes a Day Off” by Jennifer Dornan-Fish

POETRY
NEW EDITOR INTRODUCTION: JOHN C. MANNONE
“Metal Lark” by Chloe N. Clark
“Daughters of Melisseus” by Valya Dudycz Lupescu
“Principles of Entropy” by Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg
“Our Lady of Wrinkles” by Noel Sloboda
“Space like Hands” by Chloe N. Clark
“At Emily Dickinson’s House, 2003” by Austin Wallace

BOOK REVIEWS

“Daughter Cell” by Jay Hartlove
“Old Souls and the Grammar of Their Wanderings” by Berrien C. Henderson
“My Name is Dee” by Robin Wyatt Dunn
“Come Late to the Love of Birds” by Sandra Kasturi
“Eyeballs Growing All Over Me . . . Again” by Tony Rauch