On the Rooftop With Horse Badorties – from Return Of The Fan Man

I’m on the rooftop, man.  Horse Badorties has climbed up onto the roof for some nude sunbathing in his overcoat.  How wonderful, man, to be grappling along the edge of the roof in my overcoat.  There is no danger of sunburn, man, owing to the overcoat covering me and the fact that it is nightime.  It has unexpectedly turned out to be night, but these things happen, man, it’s to be expected in an ever-changing world.
God, man, look at the view.  It is awesomely inspiring to be standing here in my overcoat on a hot summer night looking out over the twinkling city into the window directly across from me where a chicklet is beating the heat by walking around with her blouse off.  I am moved, man, you might even say I’m deeply touched.  God, man, how I would love to have her singing in the Love Chorus with her blouse off.  I’m going to send her a message on the clothes line which runs from the edge of this roof to her window.  I’ll send her a piece of sheet music with a simple note of introduction on the back.  I’m opening my snatchel, man, and a precious valuable object is surfacing out of the snatchel.  It is my Horse Badorties jogger’s pulse watch, man, so I can monitor my pulse while being pursued by my landlord.  This handy pulse watch will tell me if I’m overdoing it.  Vigilant as I am about physical fitness, man, I don’t want to strain myself.
Here’s the sheet music, man.  And here is my Horse Badorties award-winning ball-point pen with the special greased tip for slippery salutations.  I’m writing to the chicklet at once, man, because you never know where a great voice will be found.  Look at her, man, moving nimbly past her window.  She has youthful bounce, man.  She’s just what I need in my overcoat.
Okay man, I am crawling along the edge of the roof with my overcoat dragging at my feet and threatening to trip me over the edge.  It’s a wonderful oversized overcoat, man, for complete coverage of daily events taking place in and around my body, why am I wearing it, man, I must have thought it was wintertime.  A slight miscalculation, man, it could happen to anyone.
I’ve reached the clothesline, man.  I have it in my hand.  It’s a soot-covered New York Lower East Side clothesline, man, I wish I had a sock for drying.  Some other time, man, this is no time for domesticity.
I’m fastening the note, man.  I have a successful attachment.  Now, man, to send it discreetly across to her.  The chicklet, man, should be delighted to know that a complete stranger in an overcoat has been watching her from the nearby rooftop.
There it goes, man, there goes my modest note, out over the airshaft.  It’s fluttering, man, and the line is creaking.  Communication, man, it’s everything.
She hears the creaking clothesline, she’s looking up. She sees me, man.  Visual contact with another fifteen-year-old chick has been made.
She’s giving me the finger, man, a powerfully uplifted middle digit in the air, she’s a born conductor.
And now my note has reached her window, man.  Without bothering to put her blouse on, she is leaning out and collecting the gentle communique.  She’s reading it, man, and now she’s tearing it up into little pieces and throwing the pieces down the air shaft, how spontaneous, man.
And, once again, the finger.  To reinforce, as it were, the feeling she wishes to convey.
Now she’s yanking down the shade with a single vigorous tug.
Her silhouette remains, man.  I have a powerful intuition she’ll be singing in the Love Chorus soon.  Meanwhile, man, since I’m poised here on the edge of the roof, it might be well to perform a few deep yogic breaths.  Breathe deeply, man, inhale the poisonous cloud of noxious vapor replete with fumes of rat piss, oh man I can’t get enough of this, don’t overdo it, man, sit down, man, over here on this ventilator before you fall off the roof.
That’s better, man, indescribably so.  The ventilator is sending a faint breeze up my overcoat flaps.  I’m cool, man.  The benefits of being up here are numerous, chief among them that I have avoided my landlord once again.  He wants his rent, I wonder why.  Ten years is not a long time to wait.
I’m resting, man, on the roof.  Somewhere above me in the pollution is the moon, man.  If I could see it I’d be tempted to write a poem of thirteen syllables.
What’s that flash of white on the next rooftop, man?
It’s Hawkman, man.  In his custom-fitted sheet. He’s standing on the edge of the roof and spreading his sheet, man.  He’s looking at his territory.  The rooftops, man, he knows them all.  Look at him, man, he’s a reassuring sight, man, a sort of touchstone for reality.  Compared to Hawkman, man, I’m a normal, productive human being, for he is a complete lunatic sailing through the dark and I am only sunbathing at night in my overcoat.
He turns his head slowly from left to right.  He sees me, man.  Here he comes.
Dropping down from his roof to mine, a drop of fifteen feet, man, but Hawkman knows how to land with his sheet fluttering around him.  And he comes up on his toes, man, twirling.
Coming my way, man, Hawkman approaches.  His hair is pink and green, man.  And he has his feathered earrings on.  The glass jewels imbedded in his nose are sparkling, man.  I hope he won’t be too violent, man, I’d hate to have to hit him with a weighted satchel.
“How’re you doing, man?”
“Le’s go to the subjec’. How’re you like my new cape?”  He models it for me, spreading it wide and turning slowly.
“A flowered sheet, man, to go with the season.”
“I steal it only a few hours ago.”
“It has a fresh look to it, man.”
“A hundred percen’ cotton.”
“Right, man, you don’t want to corrupt yourself with synthetics.”
We’re on the rooftop together, man.  We’re infinitesimal specks in the vast teeming night of the universe but if you saw Hawkman looking in your window, he would be more than a speck, man.
He looks at me and nods thoughtfully.  What is he thinking, man?  What is going on in his Hawkman mind?  He continues nodding his head. “Some time I will score satin sheets.”
“Then you’ll be complete, man.”
“I play everything for everything. I make some big jumps tonight.”
“Born to the rooftops, man.”
“A thing of the foot.” He jumps up and balances on the stone ledge. “Couple of times I thought I bought it, but –”  He smiles, showing his gold teeth.  “I hang on.”
“Tenacity, man.”
“I hang on and pull myself up.”
“A motto for our time, man.”
He suddenly jumps to his feet, flashing his gold teeth.  He spreads out his sheet.  “I am Hawkman! I am watchin’ the city for protectin’.”
“You’re aerodynamically sound, man.” It is during such moments of ego-reinforcement that he can be dangerous, man, so I am clutching the handle of my snatchel, which contains many pounds of valuable precious objects suitable for braining.
“I defile gravity!”    He’s hopping around, man, preparatory to take-off.
“Don’t nobody touch with my perch!”
“Nobody would dare, man.”
“My sheet is hundred percent cotton percale!  Say so right in the label.”
And there he goes, man, racing across the roof.  He leaps to the edge, poses with his arms-outstretched, and then jumps, man.  His sheet billows out and he lands on the next roof, arms overhead triumphantly.  He collects himself, straightens his sheet, and then moves on.  I watch him growing smaller, from rooftop to rooftop, until he vanishes.  Hawkman, man, making his rounds.  He’s Wild America, man, he’s an endangered species.  It gives me neighborhood pride to know that he’s out there, nesting and mating.
What is that sound, man, like chopping?  It’s coming from down below in the building on my floor, man.
I am creeping over to the roof door, and carefully opening it just a crack.  The sight I behold in the hallway below is a terrible one, man.  I am looking at a crazed landlord. He does not see me. He thinks I’m in my pad. I am seeing the lizard brain at work.  I am witness to a violent outbreak of savage, unrestrained landlord.  He has snapped, man, owing to the sight of the hole I had to chop in my door. He’d padlocked it on me, man, a situation I couldn’t let stand, man. I’ve got a little herb garden growing on in my pad, man, to liven up my salads. I couldn’t abandon the herb garden, man. Fortunately I had a fire ax in my satchel.
“I kill you, you sonnamabish!”
I’ve got to record this, man, it may prove valuable in the never-ending court case I’ve got going with him.  For months, man, I have held him at arm’s length, and now I’m holding my Chinese plastic falling-apart digital recorder at arm’s length, man, to record the sound of a mind at the end of its tether.
“No good sonnamabishing bastard, I kill you!”
I’ve seen other landlords in this state of mind, man, and I have to say this landlord’s form is classic.  He’s reached the pitch of perfection, man.
“I…get…you…now!”
He’s stepping through. He stands on the naked threshhold, man, of a Horse Badorties pad.
We’ve seen it often enough, man, but it is always a peak experience.  I think it’s worth watching.
He’s staggering backward, man, overwhelmed at what he beholds.
“Oh my gott!”
Clutching the doorframe is typical, man, for this moment.  Quite understandably, he needs support.  He is facing a Horse Badorties multi-layered, composite shitpile.  Everywhere he looks he sees undulating pillars of crap.  The ordinary mind can’t deal with the sight, man.  At the very least, special garbage goggles are required.  He pushes himself off the door frame, and sways.
“I…can’t belief the trash he got in dere.”
He’ll come to believe it in the fullness of time, man.  When he tries to haul it away.  Then its corporal solidity will dawn for him, as he grapples with unspeakable mold forms.
Uh-oh, man, he’s preparing to step into it. I can’t let him throw away his life away like that.  Landlords have been lost before, man.  They’ve ventured into my pads and had to be rescued by trained animals, and even then, man, their minds were never the same.  I’ve got to stop him before it’s too late.
“Don’t do it, man.  It’s more than you’re up for.”
He whirls toward me, man, looking up the staircase. He is holding my fire ax. I must’ve left it behind in the doorway. He’s waving it at me. “Sonnamabish!”
“Restrain yourself, man.  You’re liable to have a seizure.”
“You sonnamabish!” Here he comes, man, up the stairs with short but vigorous steps.  His nose hairs are bristling, man.  I tried diplomacy, but he’s trying to satisfy a basic need to kill me.  In some ways it’s understandable, man.  When people don’t know me really well, they frequently want to hammer me with blunt instruments.  I’m too pure, man.  They can’t deal with my light.
“I…kill…you…Badorski…”
I have no choice but to close the roof door in his face, man, and bolt it securely.  There, man, now he is beating on it but it’s a fire door, man, it’s made of steel.  He won’t be able to chop through that, he’s chopping through it, man, this is amazing.
Twisted, tearing steel, man, the door is crumbling before my eyes.  This is what months of pent-up rage can do, man, it’s truly remarkable.
“Ha ha…I get you now…Mr. Badorski…”
His face is contorted with glee, man, as he hacks through solid steel.  I stand just beyond him on the other side in my overcoat, in an attitude of dignity holding my snatchel.  “I hope reason can prevail here, man.”
“I eat…your focking…liver…”
“Harsh words, man.  I know you don’t mean them.”
“I…got you now…sonny boy…”
Faint paternal overtones are sounding, man.  He wants to guide me down life’s hallway with muted authority.
“…roast…your balls…for you…Mister Wiseguy…”
He’s gently hacking off the hinges, man.  The door is about to go south.  Gazing as I am into his eyes, man, from just a few feet away, I don’t like to say our differences are irreconcilable but they are significant.  An axe in the head could be imminent.
It’s time to follow Hawkman over the side, man.  The fire escape awaits me once again, man, as it has so often in the past.  I’m hurrying toward it, man, dragging overcoat and snatchel.  My pulse watch is sending off an audible signal, man, I’ve reached my training level.  If I can maintain my heartbeat at this rate or any rate, man, I’ll be happy.
I’m jumping onto the rusted, falling-apart fire escape, man, how wonderful.  It has seen better days undoubtedly, but it’s completely safe, it’s coming off the side of the building, man, I’m watching the bolts pop before my eyes, out of the crumbling mortar.  The entire thing is swinging out into the air, man, very unusual behavior for a fire escape, it must have been severely repressed for years to act this way.
I’m in a perilous situation, man.  I’ve got to think calmly and clearly with my attention fixed, one might even say riveted, to the problem at hand, man.  Only by concentrating one-pointedly on the subtle balance point of this fire escape can I hope to succeed, what’s that, man, holy god, the fifteen-year-old chicklet with her blouse off is lifting her shade, man, she’s looking at me, man, she’s rethinking the note I sent her.  Look at her, man, her complexion is flawless, and like every young girl she is just stupid enough.  She’s gazing at me, man, she sees my crude intentions were honorable.
“Hey baby, hey, come and sing in the Love Chorus, when you tip your head back to sing those high notes, it floods the medulla and you really feel alive.”
“Grab onto the clothes line!”
The chicklet is sharp, man, she reads the situation.  Of course, man, the clothes line is right beside me.  When the fire escape collapses I can dangle on the line in my overcoat.
“I’m reaching for it, baby!”  I’m reaching, man, and I am  hearing bolts popping off the fire escape four stories below, man, the whole thing’s coming unbuttoned.  My landlord is watching from the edge of the roof, he too is deeply concerned.
“Now you break my fire escape, you sonnamabish!”
“What can I tell you, man.”  I’m a foot short of the clothes line, man, it is eluding my frenzied grasp.  With cool deliberation, man, I must rivert to searching my snatchel for my portable back-scratcher shaped like a little wooden hand, man, it is exactly the length I need, here is it, man, a device of deceptive simplicity. I’m extending it, man, and its wooden fingers are gripping the line. There goes the fire escape, man, out from under my feet, but I’m dangling by my Chinese wooden hand. And the fifteen year old chicklet is reeling me in as if I were a pair of her newly-washed panties, man, what an act of personal daintiness.
She’s reeling me, man, slowly and carefully, how wonderful. Saved from a four-story fall, man, the line is sagging, man, it just snapped, man, and I’m falling. My life is rushing past my eyes, I see the trash piles of yesteryear with stunning clarity as I turn end over end in the air. Neighbors wave to me, man, as I sail past their windows. So long, man, it’s been real. And now the moment of impact, on the harsh pavement where I will become an insignificant grease spot.
The pavement is yielding beneath my form, and I am sinking into some peculiar soft green smelly substance. It feels so familiar, man, as I cascade through its depths, it’s a garbage bag, man, it is in fact a mountain of garbage bags. Trash has broken my fall once again, man, like a mother receiving her child. Her arms close around me, man, enfolding me in egg shells and rotting turnips. Uff, man, I’ve landed at the bottom of the pile, my rightful place in the scheme of things.
Buried in garbage bags, man, fighting for air. Thrusting upward, man, emerging like a newborn tulip from the soil. I’ve survived a four flight fall, man. My Chinese wooden hand snapped, man, but there were no other injuries. My snatchel and I are intact. I’d better lie back down here and recuperate, man, in the embrace of Mother Trash.