I sit on the tracks, a hundred feet from earth, fifty from the water. Gerald is inching toward me as grim, slow, and determined as a season, because he has no trade and wants none. It's been nine months since I last listened to his fate, but I know what he will say: he's the fire hydrant of the underdog.
When he reaches my point above the creek, he sits down without salutation, and spits profoundly out past the edge, and peeks for meaning in the ripple it brings. He scowls. He speaks: when you walk down any street you see nothing but coagulations of shit and vomit, and I'm sick of it. I suggest suicide; he prefers murder, and spits again for the sake of all the great devout losers.
A conductor's horn concerto breaks the air, and we, two doomed pennies on the track, shove off and somersault like anesthetized fleas, ruffling the ideal locomotive poised on the water with our light, dry bodies. Gerald shouts terrifically as he sails downstream like a young man with a destination. I swim toward shore as fast as my boots will allow; as always, neglecting to drown.