I’m in a bar on the Coolsingel with Bren. I haven’t slept in three days. I entered a dark hole from which I have yet to emerge.
Man, check her out, Lui, check her out! Bren elbows me in ribs. She's yours, Lui. Your name's written all over her. Step up.
Maybe later Bren.
Don’t be a pansy. Do it, man! Do it!
Three nights ago I felt quivers coming from underground. I imagined a Bangkok of rats coming and going from eatery to fornication nest. The sound strapped me to my space-cube as if gearing me up for a journey vast and interstellar. But the quivering was something else, something quite different. A large figure, man-like, but darker and taller, rose up from the brickwork outside. He dusted sand off his fuzzy body and looked around absentmindedly. Ten feet of head, chest and limb. Not a Turk, not a phantom, not a famished beast, crazed and rabid. Bigman kicked his foot up against the back wall of Ankara Grillroom and looked around the street calmly, as if he owned the place. I watched him through the blinds.
Do it, Lui.
Bren, please! I grab a handful of peanuts strewn with urine-microbes and I eat before I say something I'll regret.
Bigman... like one of JK’s contraptions morphed from cork to flesh; indeed, the sound of wood-creak and the tinkering of JK's little gas-stove have been on around-the-clock for weeks.
You’re a gaylord Lui. It’s official. You’re a disgrace to the race. Eventually we're gonna go extinct with people like you. I mean it. Look at her, man!
A redhead with pearls and colored nails. But it makes no difference. I order a tonic. Off goes Bren in my stead. Redhead ignores. Redhead stiffens. Bren flexes. Sleeves tighten. Hand on the bar. Then Bren speaks. Colored nails do the wave. Hair-flick and bracelet-pinch. Then she smiles, there it is. She’s screwed. Entry n+1.
I drink from my tonic and start thinking - I don’t know why, but I think maybe bigman is a friend. The way he was standing there, is just the way I would stand there. And the way he kicked up his foot. I do that! What are you doing underground, my friend. Come have a cup of coffee. A glass of milk. My kitchen is small but I can accommodate. Mi casa su casa. Dust of the sand and I’ll make you a sandwich. Pastrami? I have.
Bren swings around the bar: Lui, listen – big favor, huge favor – I need the mattress. I’ll make it up to you.
Bren – fuck – where the hell am I going to sleep.
You're skinny, you can sleep on my bench, no problem. I’ll make it up to you, man, I swear.
Alright... I won’t be sleeping anyway.