Impotence is a metaphor for the modern age
“Charlie wanted it loud. Loud enough to jumpstart the city, startle it back to the life he thought he could remember.
He cupped his hands over his ears and worked his lungs like industrial bellows, sucking every last molecule of oxygen from the space confined by those dripping walls until his head seemed to invert. Yellow worms escaped to the drains, darting in disorderly zig-zags from bloody black burrows drilled into the brick and stone. He sucked. His sinuses whistled, his eyeballs slipped anchor and slowly began to gyrate, swimming in warm vitreous tar, scuffing the rims red. When there was no more capacity for air within his jaundiced frame, he juddered. Bones, unsettled, clanked. Shoulders and arms unhinged, stripped of muscle, twanged and vibrated like plucked rubber bands, with increasing speed. Displaced blood forced through narrowing canyons dashed against tendons and hummed to a skidding, rising crescendo.
All around him was silence. Amongst those crowding him, those who breathed to live, and they were few, gnawed at what remained of the thick, hot air, harvesting as much into their burning lungs as they might hold.
Charlie pursed his lips – “any second now, boys” – came a still small voice from the crowd which heaved like a poisoned monk vomiting into a toilet bowl. Charlie flung out his arms – “Here it comes!” He arched his back and, for all he was worth, gave vent.
But, and the BUT was a mighty full-stop because when it came the yell was no louder or more impressive than a fly’s fart in an egg cup.”