(Abysmal Terror, in ’99)
He was a very cautious young man, just twenty-one, a self-absorbed sort of a lad, sitting awhile on the stonewall, above, looking down upon the Lima coat, a cool dampness, a breeze oozed through his hair, had its peril, and to a Midwestern boy, mostly hidden. A light fog was lifting from the morning heat, the breeze driving it up and out of the city, the wet from the ocean blew upon his face, and the top of his shoes soak in and around the top of his socks seeping down to his ankles.
Along the wall he paced slowly, quietly, smoking a Lucky Strike Cigarette, then half smoked, he flicked it onto the ground. Bright as the morning was, he was not ready to embark on looking for a job; it was only his second day in the city.
He found himself unconsciously, moving through the morning light to the seemed to lead to the downtown area in Miraflores in particular. The ground along the parkway was soft compared to the long walk on the cement. His feet—after a few hours of walking about, felt like pine-needles sticking through them. Kind of a new sensation, one he had not yet experience in his youth.
He walked aimlessly through the busy sidewalks, and across the full of activity inner city streets, that stretched out like the wings of a condor, over looking the restaurant, the Rosa Nautical, below.
He could feel his smallness in this international metropolis of some eight-million people, compared to St. Paul, Minnesota, of less than 300-thousand, it was monstrous. Strange were his feelings, in the midst of the vast volume all around him, as if he was being shut in by mountains, and not so far in the distance, one could see on one side of the city the Andes, on the other side, the ocean: what a contrast he whispered aloud to himself.
He lifted up one foot, the next one, rubbed them, leaned against a telephone pole, there were no trees about, he had to go to the bathroom and there was no bushes to hide behind. Slowly and carefully, he moved, found a Movie Theater, asked kindly if he could use their bathroom, and they allowed him to. His sense of direction was not good, was never good, but like always it never seemed to bother him much, he found his way, and he knew he was headed towards his hotel room, he paid $17.00 a night, and the bathroom was in the hallway. It was a dingy room, one bed, no television, a radio though, and a dresser drawer, with a mirror on it.
Now in his hotel room, sitting on the edge of his bed, he heard several footsteps outside his room, they seemed to be rushing back and forth, it made for instant curiosity, he moved to the door, listened, then Bill Warren suddenly looking out into the hallway through the knothole in the door, saw a girl he thought he knew, but something at that very instant snapped inside his head. He staggered back to his bed, weakened, his glasses were in his hands, he had taken them off look into the peephole, they now fell out of his hands onto the floor, his hands had went numb, he couldn’t feel a thing with them—and his head was in a state of unbearable pain, progressive disorientation.
He was dizzy, saw shadows flying by, couldn’t focus, he looked everywhichway, at everything, and everything was going black, it freighted him. He articulated a moaning sigh; it was in his head and it was hurling more and more, into some kind of surreal state, he was being restrained he then confirmed, yes he told himself, that’s it, something or someone was restraining him, for his body was almost completely, paralyzed, as if he was knocked senseless and brought back to sensibility only to be drugged somehow, by someone, someway, into a restraining position on his bed.
He told himself, Bill Warren, is not all Bill Warren anymore, somehow he shares a part of his will and body with someone else, that someone has taken charge of him, and a voice said, the word, ‘anachronism,’ then asked himself ‘what exactly does that mean?’ He asked himself, perhaps it means ‘leftover,’ something is leftover, from his awaken world, which he was not fully in, only ten-percent in. And it was so very, very dark, and he tried to open his eyes, but he was being restrained, and they wouldn’t open, and the harder he tried to lift his eyelids with his facial muscles, the more he learned it was fruitless, effortless, it wasn’t working, and he couldn’t figure out why, no one was holding his face, although he couldn’t move his head.
He know cried, he knew the curse of helpless fear, He was so very afraid, in the deep dark; who put him here, there, whoever it was, was not though with him.
It was like night in a forest, an abysmal terror. His hotel room was in chaos, he had guests in it, he could now hear their breathing, and the sound of police sirens, he felt then, maybe they’re coming to help me, and like any hero, he started yelling, and he could hear footsteps coming towards his apartment door, and one person questioned the other and they slipped out the back window of the room, those who were inside his room. And he thought for a moment: great, how nice to have heard them footsteps leave; next he thought, I wonder what they stole (he’d check it out as soon as the police came in and took whatever they put to cover his eyes off.
A Moment Later
Said one police voice to the other, “Mr. Warren, is that your name?”
“Yes,” said Bill Warren, “That’s my name.”
“We’re going to take you to the hospital, ok sir?”
“What for, just find my glasses please and get these dark—whatever it is out of my eyes, or off of them, so I can see.”
“Are you in any pain sir,” asked one of the police voices.
“Oh…” he stopped to think, “yes, oh yes, my head and eyes, and everything hurts, why?”
The police voice that was speaking was Sergeant Lopez,
“Let me explain Mr. Warren what took place here. The girl across the hall, said she thought she knew you, and saw three guys go into your room, she thought it was their room until she saw you, then she called us. We didn’t respond very quickly, and then she called us again. The three bandits slipped you a powder and it numbed your body, and they stole your eyes, you have none sir and they were about to cut open your mid-section, and take some parts out of you to sell, it’s becoming a very prominent and very lucrative business nowadays, and had we not come when we did, need I say more.”
It was all stupefying, for Mr. Warren, he put his hands up to his eye sockets, now, the numbness had lessened some, pulled out the rags that were left in them, and sure enough, they were empty.
“Take him to the hospital;” said Sergeant Lopez, “I’ll have a look around here to see if they are still about, or perhaps a clue of who they were.”
Said Sergeant Lopez in the hallway to the hotel manager,
“Tell Manuel to be more careful next time, and that the young woman in room 333, has pretty blue eyes also.”
Written in Lima, Peru, 1-10-2009