The day I met Madra was a low point in my incoherent life. I had spent a week, tripping off my globe, seperated from my one and only friend by the gulf created by my extreme dehydration and the compulsive consumption of heroic doses of blotter. She had walked out on me, saying, "I'm going to find my old boyfriend. I'll catch up with you later." I didn't have the capacity to stop her.
My feet moved steadily through episodes of trouble that I refused to recognize. An angry face, a cop asking questions, someone threatening me. Nothing made any sense. Or maybe I was just afraid to understand. It seems, at one point, someone had struck me down. But maybe I just fell.
An afternoon of staring at bare cloudless patches of blue texas sky pinned me to a flaking whitewashed wall of the side of a mexican grocery. For hours, the mind control lasers threw swastikas at me, spiralling down from orbit and hammering my third eye, knocking my head against the wall repeatedly. Occasionally, an individual or group would gather around me to ask questions or laugh at me. My pathetic and spiritually critical state somehow granted immunity from their inquiries or molestations. I mutely refused their offers of food or water.
A mexican man sat down beside me to talk. It didn't matter to him that he got no response. My eyes followed his hands as he talked. He was very expressive with them, as callused and ripped up as they were. Though I couldn't concentrate on what he said, somehow he set up a field around me that protected me from the mind control lasers, and left me with this final bit of wisdom, "Canned corn, 25 cents." He got up and walked away.
The image bloomed in my head of a giant can that held pieces of the sun itself spun into the tiny kernels. It was a sign of hope after a great battle that lasted for several days. The knights of Del Monte rode away into the dawn by the light of the shining ear of grain on the label. A spanish guitar picked me up, made fun of my clothes and led me through the dust and heat to the sign of the market. The gateway out of hell is paved with divine comidas. Food.
The market was suprisingly 3 dimensional and very easy to traverse. It felt somehow homey in spite of the strange looks from the mexican women doing their daily shopping. The salsa music throbbed with the tuba pumping away like an artificial heart. A convex security mirror staring from the top of a shelf stopped me as I rounded an aisle. My face was covered with boils from the burns of days in the sun.
I found some money from trips sold earlier to some punks at the Continental Club. A portion of those proceeds bought four cans of corn. One single green piece of paper bought me all of that. I tied them up into my flannel shirt that had been knotted around my waist and walked out into the city that burned like a brick oven. My circumambulations found a remote industrial area to devour my delicacies.
Of course, I had no easy way to open the cans and hadn't even considered that. I battered one against the curb. Fruitless. Rocks were equally ineffective. Then I spied a piece of metal in the dirt. It was a piece of study metal trim off an old car. One end was pointed and sharp. It made neat slots in the top of the can. I connected a series of slots to get an opening, like a broad grin on the top of the can. I slurped down liquid and corn. And then corn and water and blood from my lip that I ripped on the can. And I just kept going, can after can, driven like a clever homo erectus using tools.
I was so enraptured that I didn't notice a car had been slowly rolling my way. Sneaking up on me until I could smell it's hot metal. It was so silent that it seemed to be rolling just from being on a slight decline. It rolled up and stopped right in front of my nose. The only thing I could think was, "They found me and now they're going to kill me." It didn't matter who they were. The faceless threatening they. Someone who cleans away the human filth like myself. Bad boys who couldn't hang in college. But who nurtured of cultures of colorful thought virii in their skulls.
"You need some help?" A voice asked me. No response. "Get in the car." It didn't occur to me not to obey.