Smilin’ Jack

At ten he is sad he is leaving his decade behind. Whatever happens will happen in one direction only; there is no going back. He is gripped with terror at the inevitable progression of his existence. He is locked in the prison of his flesh, and he looks up the long climb toward pubescence with holy dread.

At twenty he is drunk, miserable and drunk. He crashes party after party, wears name after name. Alexander Mousefeet. Timothy Jocelyn. The Braggart. Two-Gun McGraw. Smilin’ Jack. He adopts personalities and time periods, skitters nervously between accents, languages, dialectics, histories. He is becoming. He feels himself eroding. “I am not what I was,” he tells a woman, semi-seriously, as they make out.

At thirty he has gone into hiding, banked his savings and his fires. He keeps notes on his cuffs, spells names into the closed fist of his memory. He is patient, he is waiting, he keeps his friends close and his enemies closer. He is a pioneer of cliché.

One thought on “Smilin’ Jack

Comments are closed.