Empire of the Damned

“One hell of a way to spend Easter Last words of Jesus Christ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9ZkYViEIs&feature=related – Sam Stone – John Prine

We passed the bag that held the bottle as the waves crashed on the sparse sands of Shoreline Park. It’s Good Friday tomorrow and a Full Moon occurs; an emotional time, a time of romance, fertilization, and relationships so the star gazers say. The Oakland night is eerie damp and cold and the wind sends the travelers in search of shelter. Like planets in their own orbits they revolve around each other without ever intersecting, inhabiting a circle of solitude, clueless, rudderless, warped and unborn; the starving class.

They couldn’t figure out the jumps from being born to growing up to dropping bombs to having kids; derailed men with empathy killed off;  lost men standing outside homes and watching the normal people move around inside the warm sacred rooms. The night pulls their own indistinguishable family experiences out of them.

How often have I wondered where these homeless brothers go; down in some hidden valley where their sorrow can not show; this dramatic nether world peopled with derelict, disappointed somnambulist; feral thieves burned out and displaced who dream of returning to families they too once had, now wandering, shivering in the harsh elements alone, their fierce refusal to reject their decisions has left them venting demons, allegories of mutilated love; their impoverishment is psychological, their crime pathological carelessness. They live where love is unavailable and hatred the only form of intimacy; in desperate retreat from a legacy of self-destruction, enraptured with the unexamined life too tragic to contemplate drowned out in a sea of cheap red wine.  

These unhooked souls form a kind of tribe of the living dead, deracinated men trying to escape a sense of shame that they only vaguely understand. They have receded long ago from family, from society and though drink and pills and powders, from themselves. Now they spend their nights agonized, alone, because they just didn’t fit in, living a life that is disappointing; suffering and looking for another one away from post war trauma, haunted, returned from their heroic victory devastated in some basic way that’s mysterious still, from dropping bombs and killing people that they couldn’t even see, never getting any real breaks, now in abject isolation in a man-made desert. Their lives are slight; the weight of their sorrow is not.


About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

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