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Sigh and Sign 

Thursday 2 November 2006, by Quanan Shum

‘ is all here this evening, I’m dead and getting born, without having ended, helpless to begin, that’s is my life.’

Samuel Beckett: Texts for nothing

The city is sleeping in nothing. A sinking sound is heard, growing and crowning with a deep paling breath. A whole glut of summer rasped through me, burning deep in me. Abruptly I have a desire of jumping out onto the street. I run and run without knowing I am running in a world unearthly my own.
Sitting there on the only chair in the dark room again, you do not utter a word, merely staring at the floor. We are drowning in the tide of silence. Dear, since when? I first saw an apple on the fridge with a certain rotting smell, but later without a sight of it. Yes, since when? When has the same apple been put inside the fridge? You never show me any sign. Though aware of being helplessly stumped in that of the muck, I am not to set all the nodes of calculation between time and space any more. Your lips begin to hiss through closed teeth; are you ready to tell me something? But not a sound this time, not even that sinking sound from somewhere in the city. I am feeling bad enough now that I start to hit the bars.

The car fled with the strong muggy wind. And the trailing wee hours flapped and faded like the comical but cynical gesticulation of Isabel. No one could have ever stopped it while she was driving along the highway. Without a simple mind of mattering. She was. The sultry air smelt provokingly. There was a sad accent stirring up from her, Last night my brother suddenly racked with a sharp pain in his side and was sent to hospital immediately. He screamed he was going to die. So driven away by his desperate voice, mother almost lost control. I kept cool, loosening myself up.
Her car turned sharply with a distinct human cry.

Your eyes are telling me that you are not happy any more. You wonder how long have I come across Isabel and how could we have so many points in common. Dear, I am not running away from you. I am not. I have always been drawn to you, given pains again and again to read from you the password of an entrance. The entrance of our living realities. You ought not to be suffering from the realization that we are no longer seeing ourselves in front of the old mirror; ought not to think of her as a trespasser and ought not to justify anything as not taken a label about her yet. I used to put myself to talk anything, anything about anything, including the rotting/rotten apple on or inside the fridge, about those tiny sounds of clicking with dragging the estimation by the optical mouse or perhaps about the mercurial measurement from the wall clock in the room we are sharing. Confused and lost I certainly am. Who has had a bite into the apple ? Who has put the rotting/rotten apple on or inside the fridge ? How could those mathematical machines such as my notebook in this house be going to stay joyfully alive all the seasons ? Obviously it is you, loving me all the seasons, make all that works. Love is life. And life is that life is love. You have me to yourself, you have me beside you, you have always been very proud of my presence. I clearly remember now you have given a bite into the apple that day with a touching gaze. But when has the rotting/rotten apple been put on the fridge, or kept inside the fridge, I do not have any idea. I did share the bite with you. Didn’t I ? Dear, love is heaven. And heaven is that heaven is love. Anyhow it is as natural as nature being of its own. Like that you push to open all the windows one day, close them on the same day as well and will open and close them again in the following days. I repeat the same thing too, all the openings and closings. No problem. When I have something to tell, I just say it, letting you know this and that, from the beginning to the end. When you need the apple, the apple is rightly put on your palm. You are having a bite into the apple and after that the bitten apple resting on the fridge and after that rotting and after that rotten inside the fridge. It is as natural as that. As natural as nature being of its own. No problems. But these days it is you telling me something different and then I have come to pick up those missing parts around and fix them piece by piece. You have said you would want to live with me, laugh with me, and suffer with me. But now you are going off for a serene voice somewhere keeps calling you. Your eyes are telling me something changing and changing.

Once were my car the very smart bomb, I would have driven it into the asshole of White House and set it off right away, ha, ha, ha... Isabel spoke loud like a guy, much more than a selling guy with a harsh tone in the market place. I met her at the bar and I did think she might be one of those guys. What a girl bartender ! She did not behave as a girl did really. Short hair with a short convincing nose; seemingly flat bust with a flat voice but some sexiness was there mounting and yes, especially when she was shaking up the shaker, so manful, so musical and so masterly with a full gesture of wonder. Having launched the bottle, light or heavy, up into the air, she could manage with expertise to keep it fly, flow and stay there forever. Wow, she was putting on a stunt so much so that no single patron failed to take his favorite selection wrong. But what indeed exited me was her bright blossoming mouth and her pulsating hairiness. Every time she moved to do with the shaker, I noticed the tufts of rich hair under her arms .The sight of it drove me dizzy. And her wanton but ridiculous looking eyes continued to catch me with sparks. I thought I could have been drunk. Actually I daresay I was in my sober senses to count and name every particular star above if she would have asked me. Meanwhile there was in me strangely a lack of strangeness. Passion and emotion altogether had made foams in the beer I was taking but those foams were different from any kind of waves, the clouds in the waves, or to be exact, the cloudy desire in the waves. Sadly it was turning to be a fainting moment anticipated in the clouds of smoking waves rising and falling by the bar, full of which as if everything there was growing and crowning in its darkest danger. I had doubts about morrows. Until when conversations began to trace the news of the British football matches, I returned to where I had been, much surprised to see that she was able to dictate every record about the World Cup history. We shared the same viewpoints; we adored the same player idols. She even claimed she had got a Ronaldo jersey. All at once, so crazy really we were like brothers two alone, the whole night, babbling out heavenandearth, blabbing about the winningandlosing during the season, blatherskiting everything that came across in our minds. A strange link was born silently; with one single click we would have been dragged, copied and pasted into a website of dotdotdotcom shared only by two of us. Incidentally she expressed herself to find out why I had been so moody and not ready.
It was the real thing that Isabel and I were of the same kind, moody, and not ready; moody with a satirical code in the face, not ready for the SAR that had given the people in this city their knees for all the six years, not ready for the SARS that had raised and stretched his strong arms to beat them down so hard. She would say, The SARS is too bad, what do you think? The SAR city is bad enough ready to be more rotten than the SARS. Every living soul is being stirred and seized among the fathom sound of the sinking. First they become disappointed, then in agony and at last loath each other around. Although I was prepared for the worse to come, for heaven’s sake, they did strike me like thunder. This morning I got off the bed feeling as if soaking in the water after I lowered my feet to touch the floor.
I could not help looking down to examine my shoes. At such very moment, I was suddenly moody and not ready totally yet sharing her physical despair and virtual wetness.
Isabel didn’t bother to know where I came from. Neither to her. She would prefer to talk about the people around her working place and the things I would like to find out from the people around her working place. I was told, Wong’s father a negative equity property owner, unemployed lately fell ill seriously. Maria’s mother was beyond herself and spent her days in gambling houses even though she already had been heavily in debts. Chang had not shown up for many days and eventually was found dead with burned charcoal inside his flat. She turned to me, saying, Don’t you know, yesterday I had a hunch over better not staying away from the bar. Because I had one great fear that once when I pushed to open the bar door, I would have been overwhelmed by the moving ridge of darkness in the city forever.
I told Isabel, yes, sometimes I was moody too, but I was ok as soon as I won’t get a pain in my ass. The trouble was that I didn’t know how, when and why the pain was going to take over me. And such a pain became worse and worse as I was losing the control of myself.
When I faced her, I tried hard to grope for a snapshot of realities in her, but without success. Instead finally I handed her a pack of cigarettes, knowing already she took the same brand. She quickly thrust back four twenty-dollars bills into my pocket. I refused but she insisted. Just three months ago she helped her friends to distribute price lists of illicit cigarettes to those mailboxes, from that of Shanghai Street to the Kwai Fong House Estate until she was dead tired and finally a layoff at the nearby clinic. Much worse to come, she was arrested once after she had put pirated disc on sale in front of shops openly.

Where is the pain ? How is the pain ? And why is the pain ? Facing my current residence on its way of final price reduction, the shop has mounted a stretch of white cloth on which one can easily read four striking characters, bloody red and huge : MORROWS NO MORE. I feel sick, very sick on the same day, not having any appetite for taking anything. The striking characters make me get rotten inside. At the evening after I happen to watch the high ranked officers delivering blahblahblah from one of the TV channels I cannot help throwing all things out. Even in the dream the regurgitated filth from their mouths creates terrible sounds, the sounds of mechanical tools ready to trigger a significant suicide bombing this time. An explosion with flames from the shop are seen, MORROWS NO MORE is alive and well, like every terrorist group of globe reach.
Dear, please believe me that I am not soused to the ears. Neither Isabel, though the maddening moon is at its height. We know what we are doing. She mentions something from a book I know nothing of. You know, the last thing I want to escape from is the presence of books. If she happens to ask me of my education, I will be taken off right away. But unexpectedly she twists to singing, telling me that she has written a song.

She gave me a kind of funny look and quickly opened her mouth to sing,
Who could take peace buds away
Who could dry warrior tears and say
Who could... oh let mountains fade
Broken dreams and lands do not stay
Do not stay do not stay
After so many nights and days
So many years so many wars
Oh yes do not stay
Who could cry me a peace
Who could tell me please
What is the meaning of life
Why we all have to fight
And why we all live in fright
The summer heat was crushing me and the sudden downpour did not help. The wetness of water shone glistening on her proud brow. I shared fully her agony and sadness through her singing voice. It was not that kind of "I’m Singing in the Rain"; it was something like an alien output from somewhere. I could not remember the last time when I had sobbed so helplessly. But now resting my head upon her shoulder, I dared not move an inch, being attacked by a constant broodiness due to the loss of identity, like an orphan wondering why he was born without any nationality on his birth certificate. But why me ? For what reasons had I been brought into this fucking world ? I wanted to cry my grief and anger all away with her.
At this very moment I began to realize that a girl really she was, a girl with small but erecting breasts still wobbling after singing. Soon she tried to curl her body around me. I was unable to examine more closely the true nature of my feelings. I experienced restlessness at what I termed the obvious activity of man. I hesitated. I drew into. I reached out. The real meaning of the song was hidden somewhere but all the breathing from the unknown part in her body quickly transmitted an intensity that burrowed deep down inside me. She finally put all her weight on me. I kissed her hair, her eyes and her lips. Yet I was not sure that she was taking me, seeking me, or hurting me at her own will. My feelings in different atoms were being hung in suspense. At last the dancing music arranged for the two began to begin. Her presence added the complexity between the existence and the nonexistence. Did I fall behind and lose myself in her singing voice ? I ended up confused and lost.

I really do not know. There Isabel is, standing and smiling. And I admit I do imagine for a moment a world coming into view without your presence. I am convinced that we are not drunk at all but I find the capacity for wonderful closeness or at least, a plain pleasure lingering in the air. Isabel and I have pushed to open the windows searched and sharpened the focus of the same building. We are also sharing the sight of stars in the heart of a universe. We would travel to hell to find the same lovely devil. Yes we would sit separately, dropping down a certain figures on the slip of paper and very soon we would discover that we could have the same procession of numbers as if pressed out from a piece of secondary carbon paper.
No more morrows. The sinking sound became louder and louder. Her eyes are telling me: If you scream, I scream with you. After a while I sense that she does not want to go home though in fact I do not know where her sleeping place is. We are not about to expect or estimate anything. We are not. We don’t want hang onto the stone that is falling. What we have had is all but one single night of togetherness in the days to come, that’s all. I bet I just want to stay in her arms, freely laughing and communicating until... impetuously she suggests, let’s go for a ride.

Curiously I expected her to take the lead, in talk, in action, in all things. She quickly put me into a trance. I drew myself closer to listen to her. Everything was flowing ever since the day I had had my eyes upon her. The moon was taking its time again. She transported casks after casks of beers during the daytime with this van. She said, I have worked very hard to please my boss, my sister in law. Is he really my sister in law ? Not sure. But who cares ? It is he however who has taught me a lot, including how to deal with those unhappy boozers and fuckers in the bar. By the way, do you notice he has had a set of good teeth ? He keeps on telling me every good wine taster is born to have a set of good teeth if a palate memory has to be preserved. And no doubt he is one of them. He used to say, You need to be able to savor the flavors and leave the wine in your mouth for a while to sample the aromas. He shows me how but I always fail him. He shouts, how could you have done that to me ? Aren’t you telling me the taste of an apple from that of pear, not to speak the least of grape varieties ?
Quietly I sat by her, yes, keeping on listening. She asked then, Have you ever got drunk before ?
I said, Sometimes I do wish directing all the flows of wines into my own body but you ought not to worry about me. When really drunk, I could but go on bursting into laughter followed by falling flat on the floor. Sleep. What a total loss of all identities. A sweet ceremony of disintegration without remorse.
Isabel had a perfect cruise control of her car. She set the engine on like a firebird, sending the entire curve along with the stars above. Chilly and fresh as the September air. She murmured, You know, I am a born rancher, she is my trusty pony. I have always dreamt of owning a sporty little four-door machine with large rubber bumpers, 16-inch steel wheel and roof racks for my free surfing. You know, it is the saloon offering excellent crash protection combined with good forward visibility.
Her hands dancing in the midst of handbrake lever and steering wheel held me firmly, but in the next moment seemed to sway me into the wild yonder. The hands, strong and skillful, ought to be owned by a dreamer. The hands, the same hands ought to have satisfied me to the full. The hands yes, the very hands would have reached the depth of my body insomuch as to stir a blast of unexpectedly raw power. Thanks God, the hands of hers , the flesh of invulnerability beneath the skin of absolute calm, advanced the grand impulse of madness. I felt euphoric if not dizzy and lastly failed to get the picture clearer any more. Go faster. Faster and faster. I made her as drunk with speed as I was myself. Head up the winding path. Take the entire slope. My neck snapped back following a roar from the exhaust. We were climbing out onto a greener hill. The hands again were moving gentle in the sea of rains. The hands, yes the hands were running over the strings of tunnel. The hands oh Jesus were playing a fantasy upon me. Instantly fireworks of her voice beating hard, broken into bubbles of coldness, kept on flowing over me. All were the waves, billowing above and below. The rotting city would tuck itself around us. Dissolving into this woman the man could do nothing but slip, slither, and swoop even without a touch of acceleration, then sank into a darkest cave of mud like a wonder car.
I wanted to tell her something to adjust my hazardous position. There was a time I had to cling to a woman. No choice. I told her I would suffer with her once she made the command. She was a woman, an incredible beast, so fertile and fleshy as to block the stretch from holding back the faculty of any vision. She was a bunt, so to speak, devouring someone like me with her crazy cunt. Her bloody crushing ass offered me a back hole of desire. Once she eased herself a little I wanted to fuck her desperately like a vampire though as from the start I had already a picture that all my silly pricks would have been just plunking down into the void of silence. No matter what and why, I said to myself, I wanted to believe and accept everything even against myself. There was no way of having a thought of losing her. To be exact, her asshole that had recorded down the total multiplication of century eclipses, would have finally shadowed and swallowed me to the last bone. Yes fuck her fuck her, over and behind with all festive joys in my loins. One more thing to mention, she also got full and heavy boobs jangling all the time under her dress. Believe me this was the kind of movement wrapped up in the shroud to signal the coming of Christmax.
I expected Isabel would gasp between peals of laughter following my story telling but she remained silent. After giving me a weird look in her face, asked me whether I would remember the young fellow, slim and clean but good looking, usually sat alone, drinking by himself, around the dim corner in the bar. She said, He came here quite often to ask me to share the table with him and talked about a lot of things, in point of fact, everything and nothing. I really didn’t remember what he was suggesting. He flatly confessed that he wanted me to sleep with him because I burned him up at my presence and he couldn’t get over it even after he left. He promised to make me happy if I agreed to get him fucked. He grinned, Well I think, Hong Kong is getting ready to have a very good time. Let us go: let us love each other. I offer to satisfy you in any way you like.
She continued, He made an effort to slip his hand on my knee. I escaped him. He insisted the same demand the other evening, and another evening. He said, Fucking someone is different from getting to know someone. Just fucking and say nothing.
Finally she helped releasing him until he was through. He came and slugged away into the glass of Blue Girl. She took it as quick as she could and drank to his birthday.
I didn’t know why. I believed her. She had another weird smile floating in the air, How strange that you manage to believe my story but sorry I think yours is just making up.
I sworn I believed her. My erection had proved it. She slipped to rest her hands on my thigh making circles while I was fascinated by the halos drifting above from the road lights. My sexual tension was lingering. She was inviting me with the speed, the speed of the car, the speed of her desire and the speed of gravity, You will love me you will be loved and we have to love to be dragged. You shall perish with me or simply perish me instead. You owe it all to me. Cities are all bad places where people are eating each other alive in a rat race. Funny, all eating with false teeth. Hahaha. Once for the hell of it must be some worsen than others. We have never had fame but been the chance oriented by us. Brand it like Beckham and the like. Let us fly high to it as if those were the days...
She paddled her right foot down hard. We were shooting into the totality of eclipsed night.
I was not drunk, I only drank in her voice, the voice from her strong and heavy memories. When Isabel was thinking of something, she gave me every picture as clear as the blue sky. She remembered she had found her first white hair in the harvest of blackness on the head. She used to mark the exact time of important incidents. She remembered the very hour of The Chief Executive falling accidentally during the night of Hongkong hangover ceremony. She remembered how the period suddenly came as she worn out in front of the triple mirrors in the fitting room with her selections. She remembered when she allowed herself to fall in love with a man, ten years older, and quickly surprised herself by an urge with which she charged outward into the expansion of emotion. She also remembered she had shadowed a boy living the next door whom she fancied at night until she found out that he was shadowing another bitch, the one she had hated most in the classroom.
In the bar she could promise herself to remain silent most of the time, cold enough to freeze every drunken soul. But once at her wheel, she was totally different. She was the mighty girl Isabel as if in one of those films, managing to defeat and meet every single want at the same time. Right now she was hauling the wholeness of me along with the highway, the harbor, and the mountains. I felt the strange force transmitting from her, from the tones and phases, flying and vanishing, and all the becoming I embraced the streams of consciousness. Her streams of consciousness in the wind. I supposed to learn to dream wide awake. Flying to the moon for instance and get married there, why not ? But I was poor, my empty belly used to betray me all the time though I really didn’t give a damn. All things happened in the past were now too real to me while the coming of future was like virtual desktop of WindowsXp on the monitor. It was to be gone as soon as unplugged. The landmark of my life was to be fixed before the date of the first of July 1997 - that night the rain was pouring, rocking and rolling the whole city. For one moment everyone thought that the island was sinking in the flood. The city, our city under the weeping sky was going to bad like a rotting/rotten apple. It was getting worse everywhere. The stinking smell carried with the blowing wind. In the blowing wind there was a plane smashing against the tall buildings. The shattering glasses would have deconstructed the puzzle of two faces, namely the devil and his god brother. All fell into ruins with random redness.

Please try to understand me though right now I am not in the position of seizing hold of something which I could expose all out of my bones. I see in her my image, the one in the critical moment. Her eyes are my eyes and her hands my hands. We are doing the same exercises. We are willing to drop onto the ground to witness the organic phenomenon of rotting. Hopeless and helpless, we hold each other. There are two halves of apples, getting rotten to the core, not possible again to stick into each other and produce one big full fruit. Dear please try to understand me..

In the car we were not drunk. Instead we were as sober as soberness on its own. The wind stung our faces. We lit one cigarette after another until we could see the twin towers going to collapse amid the burning smoke of devil in which the melting face of god is escaping.
She turned to me, giving me a serious look, Listen, do you hear anything? A sound, a voice, no, but all the crying and screaming, from up the top floors, falling and falling, one by one. It is my best friend Pauline jumping out and falling down one particular day. It was in one of those clear and bright mornings having breakfast with her boy friend, without saying a word she threw herself out of the window and slammed herself into the street. The day before she had mentioned to me one of the scenes in the film Accident, in which a car accident occurred in front of the door, and such a big explosion seemed to turn the city upside down, scattering metal ruins all over the place. Every night when the prompt hour came, the sound of crashing echoed and echoed around the house. Did I mention about it before? Pauline was studying the degree of philosophy and she never took any alcohol. But I had heard something more, the sound of South Tower, no, maybe the sound of the North, breaking up in slow motion, piece by piece. No chaos. And it was the sound of universe.
I could not but bring myself to weep upon her shoulders, in her arms. At this very moment I began to realize that a girl really she was, a girl with small but erecting breasts still wobbling after singing. Her raindrop in her breath doused me immensely. A voluptuous feeling had crept over me. I moved to kiss her again and again, holding her tight, knowing that I would trust my life in her hands. Was it an omen about something getting rotten ? Should we stop the car now ? But why should it be stopped ? The light suited her dreamy complexion and her liquids eyes sparkled as she was looking at me, getting excited though she was not talking. Her face silvery as the moon, was much more beautiful than the moon. Two halves of the apple going to be bad was transformed into oneness. So sweet and ease between my legs. I wrapped her up. She was a girl who could manage to open herself wide inside the expanse of a bad apple. I let myself go and pressed her beneath the entire weight of my frame. Two towers were going to break down again. My mother had said the last words before she died, Let go with a happy heart when one has to go. Very dangerous. The car should apply the brake at once. Or slow down first. But why should it be stopped ? So sweet and easy. Even if one has to go, go with a happy heart. Go. Go happily. Be happy to go. Why must it slow down, stop and wait ? Almighty Lord, tell me the truth, wait what for ?

Please forgive me. With every single move I feel her existence. The forest runs and chases the wind along the highway. It is the forest of her hair. And the forest of rains. Cherry blossom and snow, flickering in my white memories of tragedy. The printer is the cask that chucked out all kinds of evil in the style of A4 papers. All information around is mixed and messed up with the real and unreal, like the rollercoaster, shooting itself without control from the elating height to the depth of collective despair. Dear, you have witnessed that the bodies are dropping like pouring rains. We are forced to enter an installation of landscapes in the karma and vanish in the expanse of whiteness. It is the most beautiful and best hour of postmodern in life.

Isabel took her third cigarette. She was carried away like seizing hold of something I could not bite into. Her dream of whiteness perhaps.
Who could take peace buds away
Who could dry warrior tears and say
Who could....oh let mountains fade
Broken dreams and lands do not stay
The song. Oh the song, pouring and shuffling with rains. Out of the thin air a sudden shriek was heard. Her petrol head was fueled, taking sprint the car to the top speed, galloping on a prime horse, and racing ahead with me as if bursting through the rocks in front of us. It was the speed; the sensation speed accelerating in fearful whistling. The clouds, the mountains, the harbor and even the spirit of night fled with her. And I followed in due course.
It was too dangerous. The car should apply the brake at once. Or slow down first. But why should it be stopped? So sweet and easy. Even if one has to go, go with a happy heart. Go. Happy. Go. Go happily. Be happy to go. Why must it slow down, stop and wait ? We are just bums. What bums should wait for ? Go faster. Faster and faster. I made her as drunk with speed as I myself was. She was swimming into the tunnel. I followed. No direction. I followed. Lastly I woke up to find ourselves like two incidental whales being beached in Victoria Harbor. We are breathing, throbbing and bleeding side by side under the rotting/rotten sun.

The door is opened. ‘You are Joe, I suppose’ asks the woman standing at the threshold.
‘I know who you are and I bet that you are the witch who has taken the plan to kill my Peter.’ With one look without examination Joe comes to conclude that the girl in front of her is nobody but Isabel.
‘Wait a minute, who is Isabel really ?’ The woman inspector sees a look in her eyes that reveals nothing.
‘Don’t play the game with me. You’ve made a death render with Peter. And now Peter is gone but you alive. How could you be so bitchy and dare to come here to talk to me ?’
‘What are you talking about? I am the inspector from police. Here’s my identity card. Don’t you know that Peter kept calling your name before he died in the hospital ? We searched and found a copy of photo of yours in his wallet. We’re now asking you to go to the station and help us getting to the reality if any.’
‘Miss Inspector, sorry, let me tell you the truth then. The person who killed Peter is nobody but Isabel. It is the real bitch who should be questioned and arrested. Not me.’
‘At the scene there is the empty seat behind the steering wheel. No driver. It is quite clear that the dead man was not the person who drove the car. ’
‘Are you suggesting I am the driver ?’
‘I am not. But are you ready giving me some hints about it ?’
‘Well, clear as the sky. As I have said, Isabel, the wise ass, who else ?’
‘As far as we know you have got a driver license and you do know how to drive, right ? See, and there is a patch of bruise to be had on your forehead, would you please tell me where were you from ten to midnight, the time Peter had darted himself into the cliff in his vehicle ?。’
‘Have you got ahold of Isabel yet ?’
‘You better answer me first, lady. You keep on telling me the name, Isabel, who is she anyway ? Do you really know her in person ? Don’t tell me I’ve been trudging around for nothing.’
Looking away, but feeling that it is better to keep up the conversation, she turns around to reach for a disc on the top of the fridge. She hands it to the inspector and goes on: “Here is the whole truth you want. He talks everything in it. After watching it you will know that I am innocent and she is the murderer.’
‘You stay, listen to me, and listen attentively. You seem over exited. I haven’t said anything about murder. You have your forehead wounded and that’s no question about that. Up to this point it is an accident or not, well we’ll just wait and see. A man called Peter was found crushed to death in somebody’s vehicle along the driveway in front of the church last night. That’s the fact. No question about that. At any rate, you’d better tell me the truth, nothing but the truth. Warn you, you are already talking and speechifying away. Sorry I think I must take you with me.’

From the Police Station Joe sets off into the street. The dry dust blows into her eyes and down her throat. She felt terribly alone and has to remind herself she was doing all that in the dream. It has taken on the mood of an urgent dare, like firing at the girls in the school or burning the shopping mall in town. Her mind is totally blank. Only the image of an apple remains, the same rotting/rotten apple floating and rolling. Floating and rolling into another fleeting but familiar sign. All images freeze on the close up of two persons. She sees a man walking with a girl across the street. Yes, she realizes they are nobody but Peter and Isabel. She is hanging her arms on him, wearing the red T shirt, the same one with the Manchester United icon she has seen before. Oh heaven help Peter and Isabel. Shouting out with all her might, Shoot her, the bitch, burn her to death, the witch, finish her, the bitch, fuck her off...

The city is sleeping in nothing. No sooner has she darted out and down the road than a vehicle speeding up from nowhere slammed into her, throwing her high up in the air. All the roads are about to waver and flare up with an avalanche of love nuts and hate bolts. Sizzling and fizzling everywhere but the SOUND still dominates. The SOUND of sinking silence with a distinct stink of all rotting/rotten apples in town.

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