This post is really radical because I'm tired.

*I never found a copy of "Deathmate: Red". It was the one issue of that series I was missing when it first came out; I think it was the really really really late one. Bit the weird thing is I've never seen it since then either. I've never seen a copy in person. I always find issues of that tubular crossover landmark in bargain bins across the state, but I've never seen a copy of that particular book. I bet I'd buy it if I found it. Not off the Internet, of course; I've found it easily on there, and it doesn't seem to be worth any more than other issues in that series, though every installment is worth triple its weight in sterling silver storytelling success. No, I have to see it waiting for me in a bargain bin somewhere, like it's the copy I was looking for when I was younger and I'll have finally found it. Seeing Rob Liefeld draw Deathblow will be great, there's no doubt. But it'll pale before the feeling I'll get from just encountering the book itself, and I'll visualize the old long-gone comics rack in the drug store, where I picked up those "Deathmate" issues and Don Simpson's "Splitting Image" and so many more.

It's gone now, that old comics rack. I think the drugstore itself is gone too. The mall up off the highway is still there, and it used to have a comics rack too. I peeked at "Swamp Thing" there but it was for mature readers and I was not mature at all. The halls of that place I recall pulsing with dim light and blackish walls, and hardwood floors, though that's not at all what the place looks like, because I was just there a few weeks ago. That's just how it bubbles to the top of my mind when I try to think like I'm young again. But the comics rack I don't idealize or gloss up in my mind. I remember getting Bryan Talbot's "Masks", from "Legends of the Dark Knight". Pretty typical deconstruction, but it blew my mind when I was that age, Bruce Wayne laying in the hospital bed wondering if he was insane and if he'd dreamed all of his adventures up. I went to that mall to find the Death of Superman issue, but it would be a week late. They said there'd be an armband in the bag with the comic and I pictured some big chunky thing pressing out against the plastic. How would they fit Superman's death on the spinner racks.

Way back farther, they had one of those talking Coke machines. You'd put the change in and it'd say "Thanks for buying Coke!" with a blinking red screen lighting up above the soda selections. I remember that. There was a little kid dancing with one of those mechanical moving snowmen at the entrance of the grocery store the other day. The snowman is actiated by movement in its proximity, to it just kept on dancing and so did the little kid. And eventually years will pass and maybe the kid will remember the snowman in perfect detail, while the grocery store shifts and idealizes in memory, changing into something weird and soothingly untrue.

There isn't a comic rack there for the kid to mentally photograph though, but that's ok because I've got my crossover book to find someday and there'll be enough for that kid to look for too, enough recurring distraction to keep the memory stinging once in a while, like a spark off the doorknob that you know you can see on the tip of finger but it's behind your eyes now and it's gone.