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SHANE JESSE CHRISTMASS

A DEEP RED FLUID THROUGHOUT SOLANO CANYON










A strange intensity over the suburbs of Los Angeles. Lalo’s wooden features ... his eager hands upon my body. No need for love anymore. The pain of his tongue. The darkness through his eyes. In my bedroom ... the darkness as in another place. The faintest sound of his presence ... just the rustic moan and the snore that accompanied it. A heavy silence. I can only think of what he has gone through. I sit up in bed and stare at the ceiling ... I need some food to keep my body together. Fingers up and down my arm. Lalo behind me ... as was the bed ... the mattress and everything else. The two of us in each other’s arms ... the sheets pulled over us. I put my hands around Lalo’s waist ... moving against him to hold his body in place. My morbid fascination with Lalo’s body. The narrow space ... the interior of the apartment ... the outer wall ... the stabbed mattress. An endless sea inside Solano Canyon. Greyness ... the sky glimmers. A great shadowy serpent manoeuvrers throughout the world ... throughout Los Angeles. Lalo’s hot breath upon my skin. Lalo’s open hand across my face. The brief glare of a brushfire in the Hollywood Hills ... luminous green smoke. The car rumbled backward ... in time with the wind. The night and the dark and the thunder. The car swerved and rolled and crashed. Here I was ... standing on the road ... watching the car pass. And then it was over. I walked into the desert in one piece ... with a scratch on the right side of my face ... blood dripping down my body ... the sun. Lalo didn’t notice. I walked a distance that probably few people ever walked ... and finally turned around and walked back to where I’d come from. Lalo made a few mistakes before I arrived ... then I stopped him ... stopped him from talking. My right hand was held out in front of me ... my left was not. My body jerked toward him. I was sitting down. I looked to see him standing behind me. I wondered what time it was? For once ... my eyes are not drawn across the endless sea of grey ... to a horizon where no land or sky glimmers. I look straight ahead. If my eyes are drawn forward ... the view would resemble another world ... but they are not. They are merely drawn in for a moment. A great shadowy serpent manoeuvres through the streets of Sacramento. The indistinct outline of the Los Angeles skyline. My slender limbs ... sea waves upon the horizon ... emotional exhaustion ... the soft thick darkness of sleep. Bare feet inside Solano Canyon. Lalo’s hot breath upon my skin. His mad race into some reckless descent ... his slender limbs ... a vain struggle between the bedsheets. The sun begins to creep upward over the horizon ... the hint of the dawn. I lean forward. It takes a few moments before the breath in my lungs feels the first daylight from the dawn. I inhale again ... and again. I let myself be carried along by the waves ... borne along by the heat which has begun to seep into my lungs. I stand up ... and as I do so ... the light of the dawn falls upon my whole figure. I walk a few steps ... then the light of the sun falls upon me once more. The light of the sun on the horizon. Lalo wrapped in light silken garments ... his scornful submission to my body. A certain rhythm to Lalo’s fucking. I am entering emotional exhaustion ... sleep forced upon me ... a soft thick darkness to the gigantic bedroom walls. Battlements installed along Solano Canyon ... great crags of dizzying height. I’m out in Hollywood ... smoking a cigarette. Luminous green smoke across Los Angeles. I move backward. Roads as cars pass. Blood on faces. Blood on bodies. The outer darkness of the far suburbs ... Lalo’s bare feet on the linoleum ... a long knife in my skull. The night air ... which had been a cool ... pale grey-pink ... now became a hot ... bright red. A wave of warm moisture rolled over my skin and my eyes rolled back. Two holes sucking into them. My face felt like it’d been dipped in water and then the water had been turned into a deep red fluid. I felt cold. I wasn’t cold so much as numb. I felt like a whole new body and a whole new world was opening to me. ‪This is the way you keep the people in the city calm. I hear a distant voice in the distance ... the dull thud of a gunshot ... then it’s fading again. I walk through the trees ... and I don’t see Lalo. I walk all the way back to his house. I turn around. My throat gets tight. The first thing I see is a hole in the door. My breath breaks from it. I open the box. On the bed are two bodies. They’re in a horrible slobbering puddle. The smell of decay fills the entire house. They’re both naked but still moving. They aren’t breathing. I close the gate and get back up to the second floor. I start hearing voices ... and then I see a figure standing in the middle of the Santa Monica Freeway.  My fingers upon Lalo. He’s on the bed. Arms splayed. My morbid fascination with his waist. We’re inside my apartment. Lalo’s pen hand across my face. The brief glare of sunset. Lalo’s massive body. Human beings shot dead on Hermosa Beach. My slim feet slip into these soft slippers ... the primordial gloom of Brentwood. ‏I have become the only body in the city. An empty skeleton floating inside the vast ... flat-walled city. I have the flesh of a corpse. I have my eyes. I am not the flesh of a corpse ... I am the flesh of a human being. But this human being in the flesh is not dead. This human being remains active. This human being continues to breathe. This human being is alive. I can feel it. I may not survive the night. But I will not die here. The air is heavy ... the shadows too thin ... the dust of the freeway ... the night sky too clear. Yet ... somehow ... I cannot leave my body. How am I to find my way. How is the city to know I’m here? I am not going. I cannot go. ‏‏I was born in the world of dreams and imagination. The uneasy movement of Lalo’s body. A dead horse inside the shadowy gorge. A strange intensity throughout Los Angeles. My eager hands upon Lalo’s body. We’re in the bedroom. His presence ... a rustic moan ... then heavy silence.






Shane Jesse Christmass is the author of the novels Belfie Hell (Inside The Castle, 2018); Yeezus In Furs (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018), Napalm Recipe: Volume One (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), Police Force as a Corrupt Breeze (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016) and Acid Shottas (The Ledatape Organisation, 2014). He was a member of a band called Mattress Grave, and is currently a member of a band called Snake Milker.



2020



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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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Hotel
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2020
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