(extract from chapter 11)
I’ve been running the six-mile route counterclockwise starting from the hospital – past Harlem Hill, the Jacky Kennedy reservoir and The Lake. Now I find myself at the Columbus Circle, which means I have left the runner’s loop.
Completely out of focus, I look at my watch, which has stopped ticking since five to twelve, so has the public clock.
There is an eerie silence. The car engines are off. The entire city has come to a halt.
A blockage of cars in the circle stops everyone from moving. And all the cars upfront on E 59th St are lined up in front of red traffic lights that aren’t turning green.
I take off my sunglasses, looking at the people at the food vendors and in the cars. The sun and some drops of sweat blur my vision for a few seconds. I take a deep breath through my nose, inhaling the weak scent of my aloe vera deodorant. Usually, I would perceive the smell of hot dogs and roasted peanuts right away in this area. Despite the closeness of these food stalls, I smell nothing but myself.
As my vision recovers, I see how they are all staring back at me resentfully without a blinking eye. I perceive a thousand eyes.
If only people were cells instead.
I run down E 59th St until I reach Madison Avenue and take a left.
New York is made of endless veins like a functioning human body. This is why this city never sleeps. The human body never sleeps.
Here I find the same thing as before – motionless cars, dark gazing eyes.
Before reaching the DKNY shop, I suddenly see blood washing down the entire avenue, coloring the street with a metallic smell that makes me hungry.
Before it reaches my feet, I see a naked replica of me crucified against the DKNY building. The crown of thorns has pricked numerous wounds around the head, and the flowing blood has dyed the hair slightly ginger.
With the excess of blood flowing down the body, my replica looks tortured and exhausted, almost dead. Its eyes are closed.
The flowing blood on the street is coloring the soles of my sneakers crimson.
From the top of the building crawls down the Norman look-alike, movements as disturbing as a spider’s.
He approaches my replica and scrutinizes it. As his head moves closer, he places his tongue on its shoulder and licks his way along the clavicle and down my replica’s left breast.
I taste blood on my tongue.
He punches his fist into my replica’s chest, during which it cries in agony.
I gasp heavily as I touch my own chest. The green eyes are fading into grey as the Norman look-alike rips out its heart.
Aren’t we lifeless objects without our hearts?
He rubs the throbbing heart against his face, covering half his cheek with blood. At the same time, he is French-kissing the pulmonary artery.
I observe how my replica comes back to life. It raises its head and stares right at me with fierce grey eyes.
As soon as the Norman look-alike spots me, he quits rubbing his face and gazes down at me.
Both their lips move, but I hear only Norman’s voice.
“Your heart is fine.”
He throws the heart at my feet into the flowing blood. Its rate equals my own.
But it can’t be.
I turn around and begin to run.
by P-chan (c) 2007-2016