I swore the city was on fire when I arrived in Lois’ neighborhood. It was blazing with orange light and all around me were sounds, images, impressions of forces converging on my invisible trail. I had to kill another driver just to get to where I was. I managed to stuff him, mostly concealed, into a dumpster some blocks from a restaurant under a bridge that I remembered visiting at some point named “Montage.” The police had followed me but I’d lost their trail somehow in the last hour or so, probably due to the switching of cars and the fact that nobody knew who I was. Did they even have a name to my face? I was amused by the idea that they were essentially chasing a ghost thinking they might have a man. I could still hear sirens everywhere buzzing through the air. Ambulances, police cars and above me I could see a low-flying airplane with all of its lights blinking. colored like Christmas. A helicopter was hovering around downtown. Clueless as to where I might be, they seemed to be just covering the entire city with eyes for a white male aged something six-foot-who-knows brownish-blackish hair and I’m sure nobody really caught my eye color. I had blue eyes, I think. The heat of scrutiny, the heat of the knowledge I was wanted: both of these things formed the metaphor for fire which coursed through my mind as I licked the taste of the man whose car I had stolen off of my lips again and tried to think about doing something besides standing in the middle of the road staring at the city as if it were some kind of accidental work of art.
My mind was coming down off of a boiling flood. Blood and memories now were synonymous. Hunger and memories were also a close pair: but which were which?
I had devoured Liliana and seen myself in a strange house with a familiar girl, my daughter, a little blond child who I had felt an extreme need to warn her about something or tell her something, teach her something necessary to our wellbeing. After that the memory had faded into a nonsense fog: lips, eyes and hair, steel rods hammered into concrete, the lines of a book and the black skin of its binding stretched over my hands.
On the street in front of the chapel I had felt the presence of Christ, my lord and saviour, overcome me and I was greeted by a horde of teenage girls who needed my stern hand to guide them through the coming apocalyptic times: these times of desperate need and omnipresent war and victimhood. I had been croaking for blood then, and a sensation not unlike memory had flooded me still. The taste of all that I had recalled about myself still rolled about on the surface of my dead and somehow preserved brain. It was stronger than my memory of yesterday, of how I had even driven home to Lois. I clung to those blood and hunger-fuelled moments and took with me up the sidewalk towards her screen door the comfort that within her walls I could stop, reflect and rearrange my memory towards the goal of reconstructing myself. With that complete, I might be able to come to a conclusion about who or why I was what I was and … and then I’d know.
I just needed a little blood first, and some peace of mind.