The neighbourhood has only some of the undercoat of finesse on display; I realise this as a skinny black youth pounds my anaesthetized 4 square inches of skull. I take it, laughing bloodlessly in the thin oxygen. His well-fed counterbalance ladyfriend drags him off as he shouts expletive after expletive into the sodium light-drenched 2AM. I collapse onto someone's makeshift cardboard tipi and lose 30 seconds or so of movement in the brainbox. Jackie Chambers had bottomed out on 8th Avenue. Hell's Kitchen as was, or was it 9th? He cared not, as a corcerned waif-like woman roused him gently, pellucid skin lightly touching, human electricity in the digits conveying care, with a mild hint of attraction at Jackie's wracked, though formaldehyde/youth-stalled countenance. He shugged as he eased his corpus up onto a brownstone step. His speech was at the dog-ear frequency level; a digital whisper. The young woman called to her reluctant, preppy boyfriend, who stared at his cellphone and muttered inconsequentially about risk taking. She rolled eyes and helped Chambers to an almost upright, a perpendicular Jackie stared at the autumnal skies and chuckled drily. He hawked some blood-flecked spittle into a delicate cotton handkerchief and tried to remember the events that led up to the mini-beating, a 10 rapid punching as they used to call it in his Ladbroke Grove teenage days. 1987 was the last time he could remember being struck. Wembley? The woman tried to initiate conversation, as her boyfriend texted in a physical non-sequitor sort of way "Can I get you to a hospital?" she mouth before Jackie heaved blood onto the brownstone steps and fell at her feet. Her boyfriend groaned and tapped a tattoo of impatience with his left sneakered foot "Another stray to save, Matty?" he hissed to the 4 winds as she dialled 911 on her mobile, turning away disgustedly and eyeing lustily Jackie's prone form. Sex and violence are never too far from each other...she toyed with this reasoning as Chambers fitted slightly, alcohol being overwhelmed with adrenaline, leg kicking, boot scraping the sandstone in an arcane dipso-shamanic riff...Thursday morning: Chambers on the way to the peak of his mania.