I see the city fall to its knees, prostrate before the wave of depraved humanity that infests her. I walk her shadowed angles, the redeemer of her myriad sins. Two men laugh. Fat and content. Soft. Weak. They reek of arrogance. A foul, putrid smell. Like hot dog burps. Or is that actual hot dog burps? Must remember to get mask cleaned. Must cut back on hot dogs. A scream echoes in the night. I smile.
Nevermind. Scream was just tires squealing. Been like four hours now and no crime. I walk the alleyways, knee-deep in human filth. Praying for action. A woman jaywalks and I flip her off. Some may call that extreme.
Nowhere near extreme enough, I say. She's lucky it wasn't the double bird.
The first bird is only meant to scare. The second? The second one's for real.
She flips me off back. We stand across the street from one another, still but for the increasingly extravagant sweeping motions I am making with my middle fingers. This battle is lost already, she just doesn't know it yet. She will know it. I will tell her. And when she cannot take anymore, when she has been flipped the bird so hard that she can feel its spiteful protuberance within that stinking rat's nest she calls a mind, only then will I stop. Only then will I relent. Two minutes pass. She turns in disgust and leaves. I call it a victory. There is no victory here. Only levels of defeat.
A child. Innocence soon to be corrupted. He turns and smiles and I remember what it was like to smile. Always false. Every smile like a promise broken. The truth is a grimace. The truth is a growl. The truth is a howl of rage cut dead in the night. He offers me his ice cream cone. I take a lick. It is vanilla.
The Rocky Road of equality is nowhere to be found.
The flavor of hollowness. You spilled something on your mask, he tells me. Tired of that joke. Weary. So weary of jokes.
Finally. There is good work ahead.
A woman ducks into the alleyway behind a laundromat, her child in tow. A man follows. There is sex and anger in his walk. There is violence in his stance. Probably the sick lust of a murderer in his wallet. I follow too. The cold stab of justice is my only identification, and swift retribution is my only credit card. Punches are my dollar bills and quarters are my kicks. Pennies are like... pokes to the eyes. Money analogies getting out of control. I abandon them like a teenage whore leaving her baby on the stoop of a stranger. Crying. Alone. It waits in the cold, yearning for its caretaker but this city is no mother. It is a strange aunt, surrounded by cats. It is ill equipped for a child. It feeds the child nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Poor nutrition in that diet. Child analogies also getting out of control. Realize I have been standing here for 15 minutes thinking about pocket change and cats. Woman is long dead. Man is gone. I leave the boy a nickel.
He will know what it means one day.
Blood money. Ha ha. Get it, kid? Your mother's dead.
Idle chatter. Teeth shining behind false masks of pleasantries. The dim insanity held barely checked behind their eyes. Their every twitch screaming. Screaming for release. Screaming for a cease to this mundane existence, plagued with the disrespect and wasteful edicts of the new Kings. 327 she calls. It is my number. I take my Whopper and leave. The streets are my table. The sins of man are my condiments. Criminals are my napkin. She forgot pickles.
Justice is dead.
Italian sub. Gone. No longer on menu. Just like virtue.
Group meeting last night with so called heroes. So called good guys. Their intentions may be good. Their methods are feeble. Evil will not be turned by pretty costumes and media friendly sound bites. Comedian only one who understands. He burns a map for a dramatic exit. Good move. Wish I'd thought of it. Seems more my thing, really. Kind of stepping on my toes, actually. I will attend another meeting and wipe my ass with a flag. Show him who's edgy.
Silk Spectre bends over to pick up a scrap. I see her lower butt. A lower butt of sin, no doubt. Rotten with the stink of a thousand men rutting in the dark. Dr. Manhattan brushes by me on the way out. His blue dick touched my hand. Does this make me gay? Am I now lustful, corrupted with a sick desire for the penis of a strange blue nuclear emperor? Realize he is god-like being, far beyond human conventions, but he could at least put a sock on it. Just courtesy. But courtesy is a lost child crying on the stoop, abandoned by its teenage whore of a mother.
Not so hard. Get it? Hard. Like the unrelenting blows of a hammer.
Sounds familiar. In danger of recycling analogies. Must think outside the box. Thinking...."Courtesy. It is a kitten drenched in the rain, no warm hug waiting for it at home." No. Too cutesy. Losing edge. "Courtesy. It is a dead dog, with no mourners in the world. Its life a meaningless series of tragedies gone unappreciated, unwept." Good. That was a good one. Will repeat it out loud at later date for better impact.
Nite Owl. Good man. Nave. Soft. Objects to my actions. Says hurling a burning trashcan at shoplifter too excessive. Too brutal. What of his brutality? What of the brutality of theft? Of vice? What of the brutality toward the shopkeeper, who could have been absent two packs of Juicy Fruit if not for my actions? Mercy, he says.
Mercy is a dead dog, with no mourners in the world.
He does not laugh. Why does nobody get my jokes? Dream of standup career quickly dying. Dying like a whorish dog, alone in the rainy night. And pregnant. I chuckle to myself. Will use next open mic night.
A rabbi, a priest and a leprechaun walk into a bar. I take down the leprechaun first. Now the others know I mean business.
Read more from Robert at his own site, I Fight Robots, where you can claw your way up from this drizzling nightmare of a town, its spread legs covered in blood. The aftermath of a violent rape. The rapist? Humanity. The victim? Justice.