Last might I dreamed I saw my old revolutionary friends. “Carlton,” the black one I remembered. I had to be re-introduced, through surreptitious whispers, to “McVie” and the others by my guide. I’ll call him Virgil.
McVie and another were both blind. Their eyes scarred over with skin as if from Some horrible procedure (it didn’t look like a burn). His eyelids were mostly sealed, and pulled out from the eyes, though when the light was right you could see within. Atrophied eyeballs, milky blue with cataracts set back from the lids. A jailhouse tattoo of a crown floated between his eyes, on the skin that seemed pulled tight by the missing or damaged eyes that peeked from the incompletely fused eyelids.
The next guy I called “Patrick” was leaning against a city lamp post. He was also blind, with a sparse goatee. His skin looked like it came off a 3000 year old mummy. That, his greasy down jacket and his white pony tail all told me he was a methodonian. His face was skin-grafted over his eyes, with little tears where I could see enormous eyes with cataracts, like he was an alien. He could sort of see and he moved his head to point the tears towards me to look.
Carlton, suddenly not his name, was black, thinnER and, well, “wrong” in some way I can’t named. He has pepper and salt hair, in a blown out Afro. His sparse goatee was white like revenge. It grew from his chin like moss or mold. Parts of it looked like it grew from his soul, stout and meaningful. Other parts ( the mustache on the right) looked like algae from a ships rope, except white.
I woke up in horror when it occurred to me this is what became of the true believers. They had all committed themselves to street-corner revolutionary philosophy. Had I not stopped smoking pot and hanging out on Sixth Ave selling Buttons, this would have been my lot. I was too lazy and selfish to be a Marxist of their ilk.
I was looking for Jason, who was a leader or catalyst for us. We’d all meet at his stand where he sold tiny Stalin and Marley pins to the people walking around the village in the early 80s. Virgil said he would not be there. I met the scarred survivors who made me look young. Besides “Carlton” I didn’t remember any of them.
They were like R. Crumb comics left in a basement or on a roof for two decades. I guess, like an inversion of Dorian Gray’s portrait, the images grew older faster than the immature souls the people had. The physical wreckage was visited on a bunch of old guys who wanted to have the peter pan syndrome. Never growing old emotionally made them rot physically.