Of an African horse and a mad-grinning man

So I’m at, what?, 54th and 6th and there’s this horse right? and I’m thinking Af–shushu–fric–shushu–ca and what the fuck right? because I must’ve heard Africa from the mouths of this pea-coated couple standing on the corner somewhere before who knows when walking whereto and why the fuck am I thinking Africa as this horse on 54th and 6th is looking over at me, this half-drunken man with his whirly girly hair, this man with his gooolden hair, man this Bern-helmated man, next to this horse with his nightly nostrils, his cool animal eyes, and all, you know, under the guise of the cool cool night.

I’m thinking I’ve got, what?, 5 blocks till I hit Columbus Circle, so turquoise and so luminous, 5 dark blocks till I slip into the Park and I’m thinking, “Well, Andrew, this is NYC. Why haven’t you got that already? How long, really, have you been here? And how easily taken, taken in, taken by surprise can you truly be?” And this horse, meanwhile, is breathing still, still breathing fiercely (O that adverb–is it just a fiction?, my mind now three-quarters drunk). And the moon, that almost full, ever ever beyond, ever fun fun moon is–O maaan is it breathing, it’s sooooo breathing, and I’m thinking, “Ah well, to die tonight, you know, that’d be all right…”

And then, before you know it, we’re back on the clock, unset on heavy lungs, stuck on fierce animals legs, on clawing feet, the light ka-click-ing green green green! and, being a man child still without shame, I sprint, left-laned, ahead of the horse clip clop clip clop clip clop and carriage and slip seamlessly into the Park.

Que sorpresa, dip and slit, the Park letting me in without warrant. As I pedal pedal through the Park, I can’t help but think–God am I smiling, smiling so dumbly now, can’t you see me?– “Afff-friccc-ca,” over and over and–yes–more over again. And I grin madly–for to fall now, to fall from this my jiggering bike now–and laugh, I laugh amid the cool cool night air, the winter not having come till this very instant, because what the fuck and because: how lovely is life, really how lovely is the shush shush sound, heart enribbened, enribbening, between the Africa syllables and also: how nice this mouth of mine and this saliva in this helmet-bangled hair and well: how glorious the whole damn thing. How wondrous to hear, so deep bassed:

To die tonight
that’d be all right.

Further Reading

Andrew Taggart, “DIY Wednesday: Premeditatio Malorum”