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  • Writer's pictureScott Carnahan


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Lately, I’ve had the shakes. It’s a rattle that starts somewhere and becomes a haunt so deep that I begin to tremble.

A slow painful feeling. A paranoia from something, a gut wrenching that lasts far longer than it should. What is happening to me? I feel like I am burning from the inside out. It starts a small warm comfort, but as the day continues it grows unexpectedly. It becomes dangerous, liable to burn me up.

What is it? Why can’t I figure it out?

Then one comes, a rumble starts far off somewhere, anywhere. As it builds you can pick out the direction. It gets louder. Flying low, coming in hot and directly on course with —

In a vicious roar the chopper clatters above and zooms west toward the Hollywood sign.

These god-damned helicopters.

It continues on, police seemingly on patrol, leaving behind more smog and the delicious smell of tax dollars at work. That’s just part of life in the smog. The friendly confines of a billion fuel burning exhaust pipes.

Fires keep all of us burning. Chugging forth into the night, the constant buzz of choppers slicing though the air, a ringing in my head that won’t vanish. My fire burns, the shaking continues, another one comes.

It’s the news, the cops, the 1% out for a stroll. Sometimes with sirens and sometimes in larger groups, they come at high altitude and at low. Palm trees flail in the wind blasts shot all around them.

None of this matters to the imagination, the worried soul within me. It is a metaphor for my anxiety, realized loudly as these beasts stalk the night. These steel birds of prey are like coyotes scaring up rabbits. This one won’t go, it circles and howls back at the sirens below.

I can’t stop my trembling. Why? I don’t know.

It could be anything.

It is everything.

Just take me to where the air is free of their toxic screams.

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