An Excerpt from The Street Kid

So. I’m super stoked to share a preview from my up-and-coming autofiction The Street Kid, which I hope to release some time early this summer.

I personally really dig this little part I’m going to share. It was, indeed, a real experience, filtered through my delusion, and filtered through a little bit of fiction, and structural and narrative invention (at one point I completely dispense of punctuation): But the thoughts, for the most part, I really experienced, and the events I also experienced as well.

In the excerpt, you’ll see Phoenix as a twenty-one-year-old in all of his confusion, neuroticism, psychological pain, enthusiasm, and passion; if I understand this part of my life/history correctly, what I see is a very vulnerable kid just a couple years out of teenage-hood, but with an explosive imagination and a free-spirited punk attitude, exemplified by such comments and attitudes as he’s in jail for “drugs,” when really, Phoenix is in jail because he is a schizoaffective that acted delusional (i.e. allowed himself to be strung out on his mind) and that could not be tolerated by a conservative public intent on status quo rationality.

So, you get rebellion, vulnerability, passion … but there’s also a little bit of innocence as well. Maxwell helps illustrate some of that innocence, but the innocence also comes from Phoenix and his naive understanding of the world and what his delusions mean for not just himself, but for the way he is going to be treated by people. This, I think, is the heart of this little excerpt, where indeed, Phoenix is jailed because he is so severely misunderstood by society. And in the experience of jail, via his delusion and mania and imagination and imaginary friends, Phoenix finds a way to escape and to turn the strange and alien experience of being in jail into an adventure.

That is the heart of The Street Kid, in general. Phoenix (meaning I) will not pretend that I see the world through rose-colored glasses: I see the world through intense pain and struggle. But there is also a ton of imagination and playfulness, so intense that it becomes delusion: And that is the magic of my condition, of my experience as a metaphorical street kid with a broken mind: Of, my experience as Phoenix.

Enjoy.

X

own good) Phoenix got out of the cop car with a hidden smile. Sure, this wasn’t what he had expected to happen today, as The Snake Angel was risking a lot by letting Phoenix get arrested, the game changed dramatically with these consequences, it meant The Snake Angel wasn’t completely powerful, and that was when he realized that The Lion Cub was keeping The Snake Angel in check, he knew that Phoenix was going to get arrested if The Snake Angel went insane, and because of that, it was all okay. Not all of it was in The Lion Cub’s control, but some of it was, enough to at least give Phoenix hope.

The Lion Cub brought Phoenix inside the jail building, set him down on a seat. Phoenix felt the handcuffs trying to suffocate his blood flow, imagined his hands falling off as the hand cuffs finally sliced through his wrists, but they were still there, his hands, Phoenix checked, and he wasn’t worried about it, at least he kept telling himself that.

“How come you’re here?” came a voice.

Phoenix turned to see who was looking at him, it was a kid Phoenix’s age. He looked friendly (maybe he’s a sun), and Phoenix smiled at him, said, “Drugs.”

“Drugs, huh?” the kid said.

Phoenix nodded.

“Could be worse, huh?” the kid laughed, and then shrugged.

Phoenix stayed on the cold bench for the longest time, but he was somehow all right. No, he really wasn’t, the more he stayed in this situation, the more he began to fear that it was out of control, the more he began to think that his friends had failed him, failed him huge, because they had allowed him to come here, although perhaps it was a strategy to keep The Bad Guy at bay, but whatever the reason, Phoenix felt uncomfortable, this was something that shouldn’t have ever happened, it was just too much, Phoenix couldn’t be in jail, even Samuel Callon didn’t get in jail ultimately was only held for a little bit before his parents came (you’re just in trouble Phoenix keep your cool), and Phoenix wasn’t sure if it was worth it, seeing Death himself and letting The Snake Angel scream through him, that hadn’t accomplished anything, had only scared innocent kids and gotten Phoenix arrested (they understood what you were doing don’t worry), and Phoenix wasn’t sure he was going to survive this jail.

(I can make it I love my friends I trust) Phoenix watched as a guard came to escort Phoenix toward the place where he could get the cuffs off. And Phoenix felt that they wanted to strip him, that they were going to do that right now, without Phoenix’s consent, because suddenly his shoes were off and they were touching him/searching him/whatever they called it, and Phoenix didn’t like the way it felt, with the guy saying, “And here comes the part you don’t like,” but that was when he saw his white-socked feet stand strong on the ground with the blue pants staying on with heaviness, and Phoenix understood that the spirit of Tyler and Skyler were keeping him safe, making sure that nothing happened to him here, Phoenix had protected Samuel Callon at one point and now he, including his kids, were keeping Phoenix where he needed to be: clothed.

They continued to push Phoenix along, and they took his picture. He was able to look at the picture and he saw that he was chewing the inside of his mouth (I’m confused though this isn’t supposed to happen I don’t understand where I’m at) and cursing The Black Queen cursing The Lion Cub The Snake Angel for being here and failing him letting him get on his way to being booked in jail it would be better to be booked in literature but oh well … and Phoenix realized that he was only moments away from shouting out in panic but only wasn’t because they continued to push him along to where they were now going to book him told him to put his fingers on the machine to get his fingerprints and identify him and get him in the system and they asked Phoenix what his name was and he told them to keep himself safe that it was Samuel Callon but they didn’t know a Samuel Callon and he realized that they managed to pull him up found out that his name was Phoenix with no last name because he was alone and unrelated even when he’d been with his parents he’d always been alone and unrelated and Phoenix didn’t like the way they pushed him toward a room for him to stand on his own and he felt sure that he was going to collapse but he was not alone somehow The Doctor was with him he felt The Doctor making sure that Phoenix stayed on his feet even though he felt sure that he was going to collapse any moment because he was still diseased didn’t these jail people know that but The Doctor had faith in Phoenix and kept him standing and then Phoenix was put in another room and this was when he realized that he needed to take his clothes off to send a message that it was his choice to lose his freedom and so he pulled his clothes off slowly saw that a camera was watching him and knew that the people in this sick jail were staring at him because they knew what really happened in jails corruption and rape and pedophilia which made sense as Phoenix was still a kid and they weren’t afraid to jail kids so Phoenix told himself that his alias was Samuel Callon right now for a reason because Samuel was going to keep him safe in trouble and he put his clothes back on after walking around for a while and he wished he knew where this was going desperately needed to know (something) and Phoenix told himself that he was going to remain calm because there was no other way he needed to make sure he kept his game in the head even though it was all so confusing why were his friends pushing him through this thing through this impossible test Phoenix didn’t belong in jail he belonged on the streets and they took him out of the room and put him inside another strange room which wasn’t quite a room but more like a small cube and they told Phoenix that he needed to change but Phoenix didn’t change so they put him back in the room he was in and Phoenix realized that somehow along the way they’d slipped him into jail clothes and he saw his real clothes shining on the wall outside waiting for him to get back inside them but that wasn’t going to happen Phoenix wasn’t going to get back his socks and pants and shirt it just wasn’t for him and then they took him into another place told him to be still because they were going to give him a shot for tuberculosis which didn’t make sense because Phoenix didn’t have tuberculosis and the guards were making fun of Phoenix mocking him making him even more confused and they gave him the shot after The Doctor said through Phoenix it doesn’t make sense does it and Phoenix only admitted that it didn’t make sense but he was forced to go through it anyway they were giving him a disease a sickness and he had to deal with it but he did deal with it Phoenix kept his head high because he wasn’t going to give up even though he felt on the bottom of hope right now in a place that he was never going to get out of at least not without seemingly perpetual struggle and next thing Phoenix knew he was moved into another room amazed that they had slipped the jail clothes on him and he knew that they were going to strip him eventually they were going to get their way partly because Phoenix did want to strip but only because the pressure was so strong only because The Snake Angel taught Phoenix not to be afraid of his own vulnerability his own nakedness and Phoenix was forced into a hall and then another hall and he kept going and Phoenix wanted to make the guards around him smile as they pushed him through a jail that had both white and blue all over it and Phoenix looked at his own clothes and saw that they were like Blitz he was wearing white socks like Blitz’s coat and he was wearing a blue jail uniform like Blitz’s eyes and Phoenix realized that he needed some childhood innocence in this stark serious situation so he thought of Maxwell and remembering all the times that Maxwell had almost gotten eaten all the times he’d gotten close to losing his life because of an angry beast and Phoenix realized that one of the guards was about to devour one of the other guards not literally of course but metaphorically metaphorically of which was real enough and Phoenix needed to stop so he used all of the concentration he could to undo what was about to happen and Phoenix put up his hand as though trying to stop something and said in front of all of the guards after the mind trick Phoenix/Tyson used stopped the one guard from eating the other guard metaphorically the metaphor of which was related to morality the guard was going to lose all of his morality and become a cold robot and Phoenix just said smiling and thinking of Maxwell standing up to his creatures you were going to devour him and leave nothing left not even a trace and suddenly all of the guards laughed like it was the best joke ever and Phoenix would have smiled but how did they know about Maxwell that was not their place not in the slightest they weren’t supposed to know about Maxwell because he needed to keep his innocence safe but they nonetheless knew and they carried Phoenix into a cell with Phoenix knowing soon stuff was going to happen even though he wasn’t sure what and Tyson was still with him and so was Maxwell in spirit and Phoenix wished more than anything that he wasn’t holding a card that had his picture on it because he didn’t want to look at himself he looked scared in the picture sure restraining the fear but it was there nonetheless and it made Phoenix wish that he could keep it elsewhere but The Snake Angel was still with Phoenix which was why the card was necessary and so he put it against the window of his cell with the picture facing outward and he looked out and he saw other cellmates watching television jail was not the place for Phoenix …

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