Art work by Ashley Pastore, Copyright 2009
No outside signal
By Mike Marcellino
The Prose Daily Volume 1, Issue 1, First Edition, May 28, 2009
He woke up, not knowing how, or why, it happened. He lived with bikes in absolute mellow chaos; he was surrounded in an old dirty red brick building on West 3rd Street, just up the hill from the Flats. Made the French roast too strong, put in some 2 percent. Taking a shower should be pretty simple, but this day that is not the case. You see, the cold water has no knob, to turn it. Bike wizard, Harry, a short balding guy who says he’s Jewish, left a big wrench, that didn’t work for me the first time, letting out cold water; no matter, Cleveland water doesn’t read the bill anyway.
Today the writer used his now rusty small wrench without a problem. Out the door he goes, flying down the steep hill past the vacant run down café. Swear a cop parked his souped up Ford out front.
His first destination, carrying his unidentified army surplus pack, a laptop on his back, his hideaway of broken glass and old tires, nasty grass. He sat down on the edge of concrete, abutment to a bridge too far, a bridge to nowhere, but a clump of green hedged mixed with concrete across the chasm. The writer took a smoke, a mix of menthol Kite Turkish tobacco and what ever happened to be dropped in by a stranger.
Back on the road, he crossed the old, once mighty city’s industrial heart, The Flats. Peddling easily on his classic Japanese, he felt comfort in the passing trucks, 16 wheelers, and haulers in oil, asphalt and cement for starters. St. Mary’s the latter, Universal Oil the former.
Slipped quickly past the now quiet amphitheatre, where was it “Keith” Michaels, a once hot lead singer with Poison, turned cowboy complete with long gold hair and a matching straw hat? Got in Sunday for a dollar.
All roads lead to rock and roll in Cleveland, the edifice on the lake. But in Tower City, the old, once golden train station, the writer found solace – free rock and roll music piped in by Bose, what class, Forest City!
The Tower, the writer had once encountered years ago, on a strange day, probably running Veterans for Clinton from his hotel bedroom, fifty some yellow stickums, all with notations, the meet up and van caravan, linking up the Arkansas boys, Army, Marines and all, and some curbside revolt of Vietnam War combat veterans. Though he remembers well this spiritual occasion, suffice to say now, he called the place, “Crystal City,” after a place across the Potomac from DC.
The writer made it downtown, a bee line, pretend courier, carrying a top secret, highly classified message to Phoenix Coffee, the Cleveland + Plus version in the dim sun shadows below little, bland brick Key tower. Inside, outside no signal, he tapped at his laptop, “What to do next? I don’t have a clue, there are too many choices. But the once that suits him best is to run away.
Then he remembered, he forgot about the OD Bridge across the Cuyahoga to the East Side, raccoon suddenly shoot bike right into a city cave, he for fortune he entered into a dark or darker tunnel, the perfect flash back, waiting for the Americal and his next mission, still looking for an outside signal. Having nothing better to do, except hit the lake till his hat floats. Fuck, then he remembered, “Shit, there’s no surf in Cleveland, just tons of pollution.”
He got the key to the executive bathroom, a heavy ice cream scooper, walked though a maze of two glass doors, walls all the same fucking grey. He stopped in his tracks, a neon EXIT and that dreaded alarm warning. Open the door and all hell breaks lose, but he did it. The lock gave him trouble, on the men’s room door, adorn with a lifeless black suited symbol.
“It would help if I could see it,” he thought.
The writer was actually able to pass urine, aka, take a leak, no thanks to his prostate, bladder or kidneys.
“Free at last, free at last, thank God, free at last,” that pause in his life brought on his favorite quote.
He could easily drift off into the Kennedy and King assassinations and the lack of real investigation.
“Better yet, ‘go find a guitar, play harmonica, live up to their labels.
Vincent isn't "Short" anymore, still a block south from Lake Erie, the closest to The Theatrial Grill's the Theatric Garage and a Holiday Inn Hotels and Express all weather sign's on the door of the old, historic National City Bank building.
It stopped raining. The daily commute underway in force.
"No outside signal," Chapter 1, The Daily Prose, Volume 1, Issue 1, First Edition, Copyright May 28, 2009 by Mike Marcellino, aka, Mike Marcellino, a sole proprietership in the state of Ohio, " Flash True Fiction" and "True Flash Fiction" and "True Fiction." all Copyright Mike Marcellino, aka Mike Marcellino Communications, May 28, 2009