A rattling behind the eyes, like my skull is a dried-out seed pod. I nod my cranial maraca, listen to the muffled knocking, when a meaty hand clasps the back of my neck, grips it like a handle, shakes and shakes. Listen to that rattlesnake ass, that cup full of fickle ivory, that baby’s scepter, he’s shaking me like crazy now, unconcerned that it’s giving me whiplash, not to mention a killer headache. He looks around the room for possible accompaniment, a set of chattering teeth as castanets, or better yet a tightly-stretched abdominal drumhead. God that maniac loves the fucking drums. Carl the crackhead hunkers down in his jacket, trying to hide the tempting scrape and scratch of his washboard ribs. The plate in Kham Duc Kenny’s head would make a perfect gong: I’m tempted to give him away to save myself. But I don’t, I keep my lips clamped shut, and endure the abuse, let him perform his solo without a word, though not exactly in silence.