I was busy pretending Lucinda Williams were saying my name, and I showed her a pleasant bottle of bourbon as we traipsed through some rough neighborhoods to have a better place to drink it. We made Horse’s Necks instead of necking. The lemon peel made me nauseated, but I played it simple upon further interrogation by my self-preservation’s pluck. Tailing warm seats around bar pianos, there were troublemakers galore wherever we went. My, “Be back in 5 minutes,” was taking hours. Reality lowered to meet our expectations. Hourly paid stiffs doing cameos for local newscasts preached, “Nobody looks good in a tuxedo anymore. And going out to the movies is defunct. Expect rain.” Seismic shifts in dramatic action steered our trot onto 5th Street, and we traversed shopping-cart-and-tent terrain with wrenches and mace. We sipped rainwater out of Carpathian mushroom caps, gabbing like barbers and smirking with dangerous delight. She sang, “I want to wear your indecency in my hair.” A robot named Felipe burped his regards. The moon was hung like a tacky hood ornament over the sparkle and jangle of the freeway overpass. And then the verse just wrote itself, “There are jumping branches you never get to swing from, a tumble in the harvest, Andrew Jackson’s teeth and bundle of chopped firewood. Let’s get cozy with strangers’ coats on.” I knocked on sheet metal. The truth was bound to happen to us. Leaning from 2nd-story windows just to leer at chipped and rusting neon signs, those hanging-on remnants of what used to be always there, we made music to look at pictures to, captured the sound of red-capped manakin mating dances, and righted all felled trashcans. A casual distress followed. “I just want somebody somewhere sometime to give a shit about me. That’s all. Why don’t you go on and rescue me then?” Just the pitter-patter from the lavender lips of a dying girl. There were disclaimer-like tones in the chippy throw of her voice. A cop car stopped by to pick her up, then, and she vanished right along with it all the way through to Kentucky and then some. Resolutions spilled through the warped cottonwood beams onto the heads of itinerant sidewalk photographers whose tintypes were fading, stuck in the partial cutouts of hunting books for careless keeping. I dropped to a buckling arthritic knee and feigned a toss of dice against whatever shatterproof window the world was putting up to stop me. An announcement chimed over the emergency-broadcast frequency: “Cupcake terrorists are in the sewers again. The consolidation of the common good spanks us all inept. With these corporations in charge of our emotions. With assent and consent being mandatory upon one click. You are just numbers in a bank account. Stay content and well-fed, one ad campaign at a time.” Stranded like some wounded moth in a used-paperback bookstore, I said so-long to all my pointless flapping around and hunkered down for what any fortuneteller would call the remainder of restless days while the mood strikes like weather’s teeth on a long-gone Monday afternoon without much to do except eat salmon pie with chopsticks and tiptoe around in rain boots until lasting’s all that matters, again.