There were four narrow strips of what appeared to be some sort of meat hanging suspended from the ceiling of the dirty little room – that room, all squalid and foul-smelling and showing off its peeling wall-paper the way an insane man shows off his own sunburned and peeling flesh. There was no coincidence, really, that this most prominent feature, then, was itself an array of flesh.
Shutters on the window had long before given up the hinge, you might say. They just hung in there out of good manners, and helped to give a half-concealed air to the whole of the place. Dirt, and plenty of it, was in good form, and had blown in beneath door and window sill and collected in organically geometric patterns – triangles with gently sloping sides extending away from corners and edges. Here and there a complete rhombus of dirt that was abruptly halted only by another wall or edge of the same. One large trapezoid of fine prairie soil was interrupted by an arm that proceeded forth from a torso. The torso of a body lying very gracefully in a corner of the dirty little room. It was the body belonging to the Piston.
The Piston's body was apparently motionless. At least, it would have appeared to be so to anyone who might have been looking in on on the scene. As it was, the Piston was the only one in the room.
Probably for the best.
The Piston was a meth jockey. This is not unlike being a spam jockey in one sense, and I am sure that you might remember me telling you about that fellow named Knuckles Pittinger – the man with the diamond earring and a wife with no legs – who called himself (was rather fond, in fact, of calling himself) an 'old spam-jockey'. Knuckles had some issues, if you recall. Even if you never heard of the man before, just take it from me that old Knuckles had some issues, OK? Fine, fine. Well, if Knuckles was a spam jockey, then please take me on my word that the Piston was a meth jockey. And being known as the Piston, you can rest assured that he got the jockeying done. Double ripple, my maple-cake chilluns'.
Were that the strips of what appeared to be some sort of meat that were hanging suspended from the ceiling of the dirty little room were strips belonging to the person of the Piston, there would have been hell to pay. No one removes strips of flesh from the Piston's pristine body and hangs them from the ceiling of a room – dirty or otherwise. No one. Let me be the first to tell you...no one, but no one would ever do such a thing if they knew what was good for them. The Piston has friends, you see.
No, the strips were not from the Piston's body. Nor had the Piston removed them from someone else's body. They were just strips of what appeared to be some sort of meat, hanging suspended from the ceiling of the dirty little room.
There was a fifth strip of meat in the room, I should hasten to tell you. Clutched tightly in the Piston's elegant fist was another strip of meat, nearly identical to the other four. If you were to look closely at his fist, you would see tiny little rivulets of meat-grease, all fatty-licious and salty-sublime, and softly draining away from the strip of meat, running in the little creases and folds of skin of his elegant fist. The Piston is so elegant.
Less elegant, one would have to confess, was the teeming horde of smallish insects that began their work on the fifth strip of meat and on the tiny rivulets of meat-grease, and desired to continue on to the crusty eyelids and lips of the Piston. My, yes...he was ever so elegant (to match his fist), but those smallish insects are so determined, aren't they? Yes, few things are as determined and as inevitable when one find oneself to be a meth jockey with an elegant fist and a taste for narrow strips of what appear to be some sort of meat.
Double ripple, my maple-cake chilluns'.