Tag Archives: drug use

The Swimming Hole

2 May

swimming

 

Terry was an eccentric man. He inherited a very large estate when his grandfather died. It was a sprawling piece of land with a main house, a beautiful mansion that was a sixties take on modernism and a garage with a two bedroom apartment above it. He made the apartment his home while letting nature retake the mansion. He only entered it to get tools from the basement. The mansion always made him feel uneasy. When he did go in, he always felt he could not get out fast enough.

His grandfather was a self made man. A Greek immigrant, he went from cleaning the floors of restaurants to building a restaurant supply empire. His name was on the donor list of every major building back in town. The mansion was the location of the most extravagant parties that the local society enjoyed for two decades. His grandfather fell ill and the parties stopped. Then the guests stopped. When people wanted to feel alive, they came from all around to drink and dance until the early hours of the morning. When he was sick, nobody wanted to go and be reminded of their own frailties.

It took over two more decades for the illness to finally claim Terry´s grandfather. The estate fell into disrepair. Terry didn´t mind. When he got the news that he had inherited the estate, the timing was perfect. He was being evicted from yet another flop house for his strange behavior and not to mention, heavy drinking.

Terry didn´t work. He didn´t have too. Along with the estate he inherited a few bonds. These mere pieces of paper were worth more than a few million dollars. He cashed them in and with the help of an advisor, invested them in a way where the principle was never touched and he could live off the interest.

To keep himself busy, Terry would come up with projects around the estate. Some that made sense and some that didn´t. An example of the former was a vegetable garden which was quite productive considering Terry´s agricultural education came from a few borrowed library books. An example of the latter would be when he tried to build a mirror system on the top of a hill that would send beams of light into outer space trying to make contact with aliens.

With the news of an impending heat wave, Terry got the idea to dig out a swimming pool. There was a back hoe in the garage that he became quite proficient in its use. He surveyed his land and found the perfect spot. It was at the foot of the hill where his alien communication system stood in decay.

Terry marked out a twenty food by eight foot rectangle and started digging. For more than three days, a few hours a day, his hole in the ground started to take the shape of a proper swimming pool. At the deep end he got to almost six feet deep while maintaining a somewhat perfect rectangle shape. On the fourth day as he started digging out the deep end, he noticed the earth was getting a little muddy. He felt it odd as it hadn´t rained in weeks. The more he dug, the muddier the earth. He got to a point where water started to bubble up. He dug a little further and more water started seeping up. It started making digging difficult and now Terry was getting frustrated. If he struck water, how was he ever going to finish the pool with cement as he planned.

Terry decided to call it a day. He put the back hoe back in the garage cursing as he removed mud from the shovel. The cursing grew harsher with every sip of rye he took, thinking the rye would calm him down a little.

He woke up the next day, feeling a little rough, with an empty liter of rye on his bed stand. He decided to walk over to the pool. To his surprise, it was completely full of water. At first, Terry cursed his fate. Then he thought to himself, he was not going to receive guests so who cares how rough the pool is. It is a swimming hole now. And he would not have to fill it. He never even took into consideration the plumbing aspect of this job so this was a blessing in disguise.

It was unusually hot so Terry got down to his underwear and decided to test the water. The first thing he noticed was that the water was cool to the touch but absolutely refreshing in a way he had never felt before. The next thing he noticed was that his hangover was completely gone. In fact, he had not been without a hangover in so long that the feeling was foreign to him. He lived his life in a constant cycle of being hung over or drunk.

Terry suffered from a terrible skin rash that when it flared up, it oozed puss and blood. He wanted to be careful not to get it wet as water sometimes led to an outbreak. Due to the viscosity of the mud below his feet, he slipped and was submerged to his neck. He sprang back up and immediately examined his should to see how the rash would react to the water. To his surprise, there was no reaction. Terry felt relieved. He sat down waist deep in the water and felt the cool refreshing water on his legs. He looked back to his shoulder to make sure the rash was not getting wet. To his surprise, the rash was completely gone.

Terry jumped up and cried “What the…..?”

Terry ran back to his house not even caring that he was tracking mud foot prints all over the floor as he made his way to the bathroom, the only room with a mirror. He confirmed what he had seen. The rash was completely gone.

This was cause for celebration so Terry went to town and bought a more sophisticated drink than his usual rye. It was gone in no time and there was little time before the liquor store closed. He set off for town once again. To avoid another DUI he took his bike. Night was falling fast.

Terry was on the dirt road leading back to his house taking nips along the way. He could have sworn he heard music in the near distance but that would have been impossible. He hadn´t a neighbor for miles around him in any direction. He was feeling pretty good and he knew that when he felt pretty good, his mind had a tendency to play tricks on him. As he approached his home, the music grew louder. It sounded like jazz. He heard the murmur of a crowd. He took another nip and shrugged it off. It would not have been the strangest aural hallucination he has had in the near past.

As he came to the hill that led down to part of the property where the structures stood, Terry froze dead in his tracks. The mansion was completely lit up. There were people going in and out the front door smoking cigarettes, with drinks in their hands. The men wearing thin ties and neat suits. The women wore skimpy dresses with collars and ironed straight hair. There was laughing and dancing.

To his ultimate shock, through the huge glass window of the great room he saw none other than his grandfather with a martini glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He was entertaining two beautiful young ladies who were laughing hysterically at every utterance he made. Terry was paralyzed. Thoughts were going round and round in his head but not one would stop long enough for him to focus on it.

His gaze wandered over to the makeshift swimming pool. It was gushing water. It was bubbling from the point where he had first seen the water with the force of a broken water main. He followed the small stream that came out of the shallow end with his eyes. It made its ways right up to the house. It seemed to touch the walls and run all the way to the other side of the house and ran off at the far end.

Terry turned his bike around and started peddling furiously for town. He didn’t make it too far. His front tire hit a rock and it sent him flying over the handle bars. He tried to brace himself as he fell but a fallen tree branch had gotten between his head and the ground. Terry was out cold. He slightly came to, dragged himself towards the bushes and laid down. He mustered all his available strength to bring the bottle to his lips. The whole night Terry slipped in and out of consciousness. A few times when he was awake he heard cars roll by with big band music playing and people hanging out the windows letting the world know they were at that moment having the time of their lives.

At sunrise, Terry came to. He felt awful. His head was pounding. His mouth felt as though he had been chewing sand the night before. He vomited where he laid a few times. He then remembered the pool. He thought that it could make him feel better again. He also remembered the scene from the night before so he was a little anxious to return to that part of the property as he had no idea what was in store from him. With the strength of an invalid, and the movements of one, Terry made his was back home. He left his bicycle lay. He didn´t have the strength to roll it back.

When he got to the apex of the hill that over looked the house he let out an audible gasp. The mansion was back in its dilapidated state. There was no sign of a grand ball. There was no sign that merriment and mirth had transpired there for years, decades even. Then his gaze went over to the pool.

The crooked rectangle, not much more than two feet deep at one end and four feet at the deep end was completely dry.

 

Tickling the Ivories

8 Dec

piano

Fran always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Like most people, he convinced himself that people who knew how to play an instrument were “musical”, or possessed some innate talent that he did not posses. Also, like most, he did not know that people who played an instrument, though sometimes possessing some innate musical abilities, simply practiced and practiced and practiced until they became proficient at their craft.

Fran always looked for the easy way in everything he did. He took pills to lose weight, lost thousands of dollars in get rich quick courses and only hooked up with women that came to him. These are just some examples of his mediocre way of doing things. Because there was no apparent easy way to learn the piano he just put off trying and admired those who could from afar.

One day Fran saw an advertisement in the back of his favorite gossip magazine that read: “Learn the secret of musical masters! No need for useless practice. Play your favorite songs in days! No prior skill required.” And there was a P.O. Box to request more information. He found it odd there was no e-mail address or phone number. He was also a little irritated by this as well. Physically sending a letter would be a lot more effort than he was use to expending for any cause. But this was special. This letter could make his dream come true.

A few months past and Fran had forgot that he had sent that life changing letter. He was reminded one day when he came home to a manila envelope addressed to him from the All Star Music Academy. He got very excited. He ripped it open and inside there was a business card with an address, a time and date that was a few days from today and a key, nothing more. The address was in a pretty bad part of town.

Although Fran did have a few reservations he decided that it would be worth any risk to realize his lifelong dream of playing the piano. It did not even cross his mind that such a risk could have been averted and his dream would have been realized by now by simply practicing a paltry twenty minutes a day over the past couple decades.

Fran arrived at the address. The house was not as bad as the ones to the side of it. He approached the door and there was a small hand written sign that read “Enter and take a seat at the piano in the living room”. Fran´s palms started to sweat out of nerves but “here goes nothing” he thought.

On the piano was another hand written note “Take the blue pill in the ashtray and stroke the C key 100 times” Panic struck Fran. Which one was the C key? He looked down. On a tiny bright pink post-it note taped to a key read “C”. Relief passed over him. He gathered enough saliva in his mouth to help the pill go down, inserted it into his mouth and swallowed.

He took a seat at the bench, extended his index finger and pressed down on the yellowed key marked “C”. “Pling” the piano sang. He repeated the process as the note instructed. When he got to 50 he started to feel giddy. The sound of the C note became hilarious. He looked to his finger. It looked to be 100 miles away. He took it off the key for a moment and put it close to his eye but instead of appearing closer, it appeared even further. His gaze turned to the piano, all of a sudden the keys were larger than cars! “What was happening?” he thought. Thoughts started to appear in his head that were clearly not his own but they were in his internal voice.

piano 3

This insanity went on for hours until he fell fast asleep. A few hours later he woke up feeling fine and with a renewed sense of confidence. For some reason he felt great to be alive. He had an energy that he had never felt before. There was another note on the piano. “Go forth and practice” it read.

piano 2

The next day, Fran bought a piano and a book of scales. He practiced the scales incessantly. Every waking moment that he could. When he was not tickling the ivories he did not feel full. In about one year he had mastered all the scales in the book. He played them so beautifully that they almost sounded like songs. He picked up a few more books, one about how to read music and some books of classical sheet music. In another year he was playing Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and his favorite, the Brazilian composer Vila Lobos.

As he got better at the piano, he got better at all things he did. He became more organized. He stopped reading gossip magazines and instead opted for books. He exercised. He starting eating well. He was in great shape and feeling great.

On a lark he went to a local studio and recorded a few of his favorite songs. He would proudly give copies to his friends and family. One day he got a call. It was an advertising company. They offered him a job as a composer for commercials and to occasionally play in the office during big events. It was triple what he was currently earning in a job he loathed. He accepted the job and accepted his new way of life and succeeded at both.

Pot Apocalypse Part 2

24 Nov

streets

Please read Part 1 before indulging in this episode: Pot Apocalypse Part 1

Slim left the house hungry. He figured that when he got back, his mother would be there and then she would be able to serve him. As he made his way to the store to buy a lighter, he noticed that there were very few people on the streets. Businesses were closed. There were not very few people on the street. There were no people on the street.

As he walked up to the store and pulled on the door, he noticed it was locked. “What the…..” he thought to himself. He pulled out his cell phone. There was no signal. He tried to call his friend, Dean but there was no service. He started to get a little worried but he remembered he was high and that was enough to calm him down. “Must be the weed buggin me out” he thought. He decided to walk to Dean´s house. There was another store on the way and it was only a fifteen minute walk.

As he made his way to Dean´s he noticed the other store, a 24 hour convenient store, was closed as well. He decided to pick up his pace a little. Now he was coming down a little but still feeling a little paranoid. Now he was starting to worry.

He finally got to Dean´s house and banged on the door. The door opened just enough, with the chain still attached, for Dean to yell out “Who is it?”

“It´s Slim, let me in”

“Ok” Dean said. He closed the door so he could undo the chain. The door swung open and Dean grabbed slim by the arm and pulled him in.

“What the fuck is going on man?” Dean asked Slim.

“What are you talking about?” Slim asked, his paranoia increasing tenfold.

“Nobody´s around, man! They all disappeared. Haven´t you noticed?” Dean asked before putting his mouth to a medium sized bong and ripping a hit.

“Yeah, I noticed that something is weird. All the stores are closed” Slim said as he reached for the bong. “Let me hit it, yo”  of course Dean obliged.

“Does you cell phone work?” Dean asked.

“No” Slim answered as a billow of smoke left his mouth.

“Let´s go to Be´s house to see if he´s ok. You´re the first person I saw all day. I´m kind of freaked here, man” Dean said.

The two burned the rest of the contents in the comically large bowl and started off for their friend Be´s house.  Not before sitting around for some time though.

Heavy Question, Simple Mind

23 Nov

thinker

“Energy drinks! We need to get some energy drinks!” Brad said excitedly.

Jeff paused for a moment soaking in the irony of such and energetic person making such a claim. “You´re too damn hyper as it is, man. Let´s just get a few beers and get out of here”

I want vodka and energy drink. We can get the generic brand. It´s cheap. That with the plastic squeeze bottle of Popov will be cheaper than a twelve pack and get us much more wasted”

Jeff had to admit, he had a point and neither of them had a lot of money on them nor had many prospects for changing that situation.

“Instead of getting drunk tonight, maybe we should do us somethin that´ll make us a little money” Jeff said.

The two looked at each other and started to crack up in the middle of the supermarket.

“Let´s get the damn booze and get the hell out of here” Brad said. “I don´t want to get to the party too late, all the slutty chicks will be with someone already”

Jeff silently agreed and steered them towards the liquor section.

A few moments later the transaction was made and they were on the road mixing a strong communal drink in a discarded McDonald´s cup that Jeff found under his seat.

After taking a deep sip, making a twisted face of horror from the burning sensation in this throat and extending the cup to his good friend since childhood, he pondered aloud “You ever wonder what this is all about? Like why we are here? I´m sure it ain´t to drink cheap vodka and try to make out with girls who are probably worse people than we are”

“Don´t think about it one bit” Brad said honestly.

“Never?” Jeff asked.

“Never. Don´t cross my mind. I think we´s just here to be here. Asking why? Ain´t no point in that” Brad added.

“Ain´t no point in drinking cheap vodka and hooking up with skanky girls neither, now is there?” Jeff said. He took another long deep sip. This time there was no burning. The first sip had already anesthetized  him.

“I guess not” Brad said, getting slightly irritated.

“Fuck it. Let´s put on some music” Jeff offered, noticing the irritation in Brad´s voice.

“That´s more like it! Crank it up!” Brad said, all anger blowing out the window along with the first few puffs of smoke from his freshly lit cigarette.

The party was exceptionally good. Although there weren´t the most attractive women in the world, there were plenty of them and they most certainly weren´t the kind that use good judgment when making decisions.

Brad started sweet talking a woman who could be described as a human sausage for she tried to squeeze much more body than she should have into a younger, thinner woman´s clothes. They started kissing on the couch and Brad suggested they find a place with more privacy. She obliged and they headed upstairs.

They found themselves on the smallest bed in the house. It was the host´s four year old daughter´s room. The question Jeff proposed kept echoing in Brad´s head. What was the point of all this?

As things progressed, she asked if Brad had a condom. Of course he didn´t and she said she didn´t mind. She couldn´t get pregnant anyway. She mentioned something about a botched surgery involving a severe case of HPV.

As the woman started to undo Brad´s pants it was painfully obvious that Brad´s manhood was not as into this fine woman as much as Brad´s cheap vodka soaked brain was.

“What´s the matter hun? Drink too much?” she asked.

Brad was aloof. What was the goddamn point of all this? Jeff ruined his night. He apologized, put the rest of his clothes back on and just left the party. He didn´t even tell Jeff he was leaving.

Three months later Brad was at an AA meeting receiving a chip symbolizing 90 days of not drinking. He just shared how frustrated he was by his day at his work training program but that he was grateful that he was able to resist the urge to go to the liquor store and continue on his new path. He still hadn´t talked to Jeff since that night he proposed that heavy question. Brad was no closer to having an answer either but he felt that maybe, just maybe if he lowered his head and pushed through life, a hint would come his way.

 

Day Trippin

7 Nov

psch cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a normal day for Sphynx, a black tabby house cat; a day that consisted of laying around and occasionally licking herself. During one vigorous paw licking session, a movement caught her eye. “That´s strange” she thought. All the people had left for the day. She had the house to herself. Again,a blur streaked across the floor. Oh damn, she thought. Another mouse. The people are going to expect her to do something about this. Oh how she hated being bothered by such things as mice.

She noticed that the mouse was coming and going under a poorly installed piece of baseboard at one particular spot. She decided to wait out the mouse there. At least she could get her quota of relaxing in as she waited. She waited and waited. She even fell asleep while on sentry. She was in a deep slumber when she was gently awoken with taps on her nose.

She slowly opened her eyes and was shocked to find it was the mouse, tap, tap, tapping.

“I´m sorry to bother you ma’am but I cannot seem to find a water source in this house” the mouse said.

“You´ve got to be kidding me” Sphynx thought. “What?” was the only thing that Sphynx was able to mutter.

“Well, I´ve found food in the western part of the house but I have yet to find water” the mouse said.

“Surely you are not asking this because you plan on staying long term. As the cat of the house I cannot allow that!” Sphynx said.

“You see, winter is setting in and the food at the last house I was staying at got tainted. I would eat it and hallucinate something crazy. The same food killed the rest of my family but I would eat it and see things and hear things. Beautiful things, sometimes awful things. It was no way to live!”

“Well I´m sorry but you cannot stay here. Either you leave peacefully or I´ll have to take care of you” Sphynx said, making air quotes during the last part.

“Can´t you just let me wait out the winter? I promise I´ll leave” the mouse pleaded.

Sphynx thought it over. He felt bad for the mouse. He had lost his family and all and furthermore, he dreaded the idea of actually having to do something.

“I´ll make a deal, you can stay but if the people see you, you either have to leave or I´ll be forced to take care of you” Sphynx said with more air quotes around, take care of you.

“Deal”.

The winter passed and the mouse proved to be great company. He was very intelligent and well spoken. He could tell a story like none other. But what Sphynx wanted to hear most was about the mouse´s psychedelic trips. The mouse relayed stories of how time and space melted and the lessons of love and connection he experienced. Sphynx grew more and more curious about the trips and how they could help him with his existential questions.

Spring came and one morning the mouse came to Sphynx. “A deal is a deal my friend. Spring is here. I guess I´ll be moving on.”

“Listen, I like you here. If you can continue to stay out of the eye of the people, for me, you can stay” Sphynx said.

“Really?”

“Yeah, but could you do me a favor? I want to be taken to the center of the universe as well! Can you go back to the other house and bring me back some of that food?” Sphynx asked.

“Sure I could, but it could be dangerous. Everybody else who ate it died!” the mouse said, truly concerned for his friend.

“That´s the risk I am willing to take to become enlightened” Sphynx said.

The day came. The mouse procured a decent amount of the magical food. It was a green, hard little rectangle the size of a matchbox and it smelled a little like peanut butter.

“How much did you eat?” Sphynx asked the mouse.

“Oh, just a little. We only nibbled on it” the mouse answered.

“I am bigger than you so I should take at least double. Actually I am many times your size, I´ll start with three times as much as you ate” Sphynx said.

“I don´t think that´s a good idea!” the mouse said.

“It´s ok. Take some with me. I don´t want to trip alone. You can guide me considering you have done this before” Sphynx said.

“Ok” said the mouse as they consumed their allotted dose of the magic food.

The mouse started to see the geometric patterns that he had grown accustomed to. Everything turned into right angles. He started to giggle. He had even forgot about his friend Sphynx. He was riding high on his journey when his thoughts went to his friend. He looked over. Sphynx was lying on his side. Must have passed out, he thought. Good for him.

When the mouse came to he went over to his friend who was in the same position as during the peak of his trip. He gently rapped his nose. Nothing. A little foam had formed at the corners of Sphinx’s mouth. The mouse grew desperate. Oh no! What had he done. He had killed his best friend in the whole world.

All of a sudden the mouse heard a shriek. “EEK, A MOUSE!” and his world went black.

With mascara tears dripping down her face and a broom in her hand, Sally could not believe that a mouse had killed her cat.

 

 

Pot Apocalypse Part 1

7 Sep

Pot

It was 11:00am. Slim’s cell phone barely wretched him out of his cannabis induced slumber. Without even opening his eyes, he reached over to the nightstand and felt for his bong. Splash!

“Damn!” Slim said, now wide awake. Sitting up, he could see the mess he had just made. There was dirty bong water on the carpet and the smell was terrible. “Mom is gonna kill me” he muttered to himself.

He made his way downstairs to get some paper towels and carpet cleaner. He tried his best to avoid his parents. His father would be easy to avoid. He had gone off to work over four hours ago. His mother would be tougher. She was probably in the kitchen making the pre-preparations for tonight´s dinner.

He snuck around the corner and peeked his head into the kitchen. No one was there. He felt relieved. He grabbed what he needed from under the sink and as quickly and deftly as he could, which was not very after years of constantly being under the effects of marijuana, he made his way to his room.

As he entered his room, he was hit with the awful smell of the bong water. He thought to himself that there was no way his mother wouldn´t smell this. He was about to attack his problem when he realized something. He hadn´t smoked yet. For Slim, the most satisfying smoke was the one after he had just woken up. He forgot about the smell, the worry that his mom would find out and about everything for that matter. What he needed at that moment was to get high. So he did.

He carefully picked the buds out of the carpet that had fallen out of the bowl of the bong and put them back to where they once were. He went to the bathroom to replace the water that was now staining the carpet. He was all ready. He went to put fire to the bowl and click…No flame. Click…no flame. “Awwww!” Slim said aloud. His lighter was out of fluid. He got on his hands and knees and looked under the bed for his emergency matches. “There they are” he said to himself, or out loud. At this point, Slim´s internal dialog sometimes made its way out of his mouth.

He struck the match and a beautiful flame danced on the tip of the small piece of wood. Slim marveled at it too long and it burned down to his finger tips rendering the match useless to light the bong. He struck another, this time putting it directly on the marijuana and sucking on the bong. After three massive hits from the bong he felt that familiar tightening behind his eyes.

Everything slowed down to the speed Slim liked to operate at. Concentrating on one thing was no longer easy and that was comfortable to him. Now that he had that familiar feeling, he was ready to go about cleaning the mess. But Slim felt the urge to use the bathroom so he grabbed his cell phone and went. Slim was so engrossed in a video game that he forgot about the mess and his legs had fallen asleep. He looked at the clock. He had been on the toilet for an hour. In that time, he had smoked the other half of a joint he must have started yesterday. Or another day. He really didn´t know. But he was baked. That he was sure of.

He went back into his room to put some clothes on. He was so high, not only did he forget about the mess, he did not notice the putrid smell of bong water and failed to see the cleaning supplies he had left on the floor next to the mess. He did see the lighter on the bed and remembered that he had to go to the store to buy another one.

He got dressed and went downstairs calling for his mother the whole way down. He was hungry and wanted breakfast. There was no response. It was a little odd, his mother usually did not leave to do her errands without having given Slim, a 29 year old unemployed man-child, his breakfast. But, if she had something really important to do, she would leave cereal in a bowl on the table with the right amount milk needed in a Pyrex pitcher off to the side.

Neither the bowl, nor the pitcher where on the table. That was odd. Now Slim was curious. “Guess I´ll have to get that lighter on an empty stomach, then” he said, out loud. And with that he left the house, forgetting to lock the door behind him.

(To be continued)

Pot Apocalypse Part 2 

Liquid Werewolf

12 Mar

werewolf

 

For Rick, reality seemed as slippery as a bar of soap in a prison shower. It didn´t help that Rick was altering his consciousness on a daily basis. He would celebrate good occurrences by “going deep”, as he put it. He would escape the bad movements by “tuning out”, as he put it. But this had to change when he met Pamela. He was in love with her and Pamela did not approve of such behavior. He loved the feeling she gave him more than that of the substances, at least for now. Of course that feeling will fade and the sudden urgent hit of the substances will call him back. Not to mention the high will be increased by his abstinence making it harder to say no. But for now he is towing the line.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon while lying in bed after a hardy fast food lunch that made them sleepy, Pamela hit Rick with some shocking news.

“Rick, what do you think about kids?” she asked.

“They are great. Far from me” he answered. His words felt like a well placed punch in Pamela´s stomach.  “Why?” he asked.

“No reason” she said, trying to hide her real emotions.

Over the course of the next few months, Pamela did everything she could to hide her ever growing belly from Rick. Besides what he said on that rainy afternoon when she tried to tell him the news, deep down she knew he´d be a lousy father. He was 35 years old and living in a room in an old woman´s house. Their deal was, he´d keep the grass cut and the rent would be cheap.  The grass was knee high.

Pamela´s belly got to the point that no garment would hide it. She was nervous. She had a strange attachment to Rick even though she knew she could do much better. In her heart she knew she had to do better for herself and her unborn child. She wanted to have a dialog with Rick and she thought that maybe a few beers would loosen him up so she picked up a 12 pack on her way to Rick´s house.

When she arrived she offered him a beer. A wave of fear washed through Rick´s stomach. It was as if a self aware werewolf saw the first sliver of a full moon.

“Oh, I shouldn´t dear, I just took a Tylenol and that´s not good for the liver” he said, proud of his own quick thinking.

“Just one, hun. I´ll have one with you” she insisted.

“Just one” he said.

That first beer went down his throat as if it were honey descending a silk lined golden tube. It tasted so good. The slight alteration in mood felt so familiar. The air smelled better. The future seemed to not matter yet so much brighter at the same time. If one beer made him feel this way, another would make him feel that much better.

“Pass me another on, hun, that hit the spot” he said. He was careful to form the words perfectly. He did not want his tongue to defy him. He knew that it was already becoming a little rebellious.

“Sure” she said as she past him another.

He drank it down even more greedily than the first. The bright warm feeling starting to turn a little dark with this beer. The future seemed to matter even a little less, though the brightness was gone. The switch was thrown.

“We really need to talk” Pamela said not knowing that the chemistry of Rick´s brain was changing like a hot summer afternoon with a storm rolling in.

“Sure, babe, pass another beer” he said.

“Ok, but take it easy, you don´t want to get drunk, do you?” she said jokingly.

He didn´t pick up on the playfulness in her words and said “What is it to you if I get drunk. We are together for a few months and you already want to control me?” he felt an old anger that has been with him for years. “I want a cigarette”.

“You smoke?” Pamela asked with a shocked expression on her face.

“Sometimes” he said as he reached passed her and pulled the third beer from the box.

“I didn´t know that” she said.

“Yeah? Well, there are a lot of things you don´t know about me” he said with a face that was not hiding the sourness he felt in his soul. He chugged the beer without even taking a breath. He reached for the fourth.

“What´s going on here?” Pamela asked.

“You told me to” he answered. This really confused Pamela.

“I have to go” Pamela gathered her things and went for the box of beer when a hand grabbed her wrist and pulled it away.

“You can leave that” Rick said.

“Ok” she said with tears in her eyes.

That night Rick went on a bender that ended three days later. When he finally passed out in a burned out house on a pissed stained mattress in the seedy part of town, Pamela had already crossed the country to lay her head on the silk pillow in the luxurious guest room of her sister´s home.

Giving it up

18 Feb

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“That´s it, you either give it up or give me up! I´m outta here if you don´t stop it” April said.

Bruno could not hear her because of the Wifi signal that buzzed in his head and scrambled his thoughts. At least he thought it did, along with many other things that were going through his mind that indeed were not true, at least not in this dimension. In fact, there was nothing for him to give up. He was having what his doctors called episodes of psychotic behavior and he was blaming his actions on heroin use. The truth was, Bruno didn´t even drink coffee, let alone do drugs.

Bruno was in a semi-lucid state for the moment. He had to think of a way out of this. He loved April and didn´t want to lose her. On the other hand, due to past experience, he knew that this could go on for at least another few weeks and up to a few months. He didn´t want her to know about this side of him, yet. He had an idea.

“April, I choose you. I´ll go to rehab” he said.

Tears welled up in April´s eyes, “Oh, I love you. You´ll get through this. I´ll be there for you” she said.

Bruno had no money. During this last episode, he lost his job and spent every last dime he had in Atlantic City. When he was in this state he was more likely to engage in high risk behaviors. April was not that bright, so it was easy to get her to believe things.

“Give me 70 bucks so I can get a bus ticket” Bruno asked in a commanding tone.

“For what?” she asked.

“For bus fare to get to rehab” he answered.

“Oh yeah, of course. Here´s $200. I made good tips last night” she said and handing him a crumpled up wad of bills with pride that swirled in her stomach. “When are you going to go?” she asked.

“I think I should go immediately before temptation makes me change my mind” he said. What he really meant was, before he loses his feeble, finger tip only, current grip on reality.

“But if you go tonight, I cannot see you off. Make it tomorrow” she whined.

“No, it´s gotta be tonight” he said.

“Ok. Where are you going?” she asked.

Bruno looked around for an idea. Eureka. A bag of gold fish crackers. “Pepperidge Farms” he said looking at April crooked to see if she bought it, he nervously added “it´s a government run thing, free even” he said, now convinced she believed him.

After a long embrace, April said to Bruno, “Get better”

“I will” he answered.

On his way to the bus terminal, where he intended to buy a ticket to Akron, Ohio and wait out this episode with an aunt, the city started to turn into a jungle. “Oh shit” he whispered to himself as he felt reality become rather slippery.

As the cab pulled up to the terminal, Bruno was already planning how he would enter without getting attacked by the jaguar he saw following them for the past three traffic lights.

He skillfully made it through the front door of the terminal and as he wheezed deeply to catch his breath he said to the cashier, “One ticket to Atlantic City, please”

The Typewriter

15 Feb

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Clack, clack, clack went the sound of his typewriter. Frank was furiously pounding away on the vintage keys that set him back a small fortune in a little boutique shop in a gentrified, once artistic part of the city. A small mountain of cigarette butts spilled out of one of the empty cardboard coffee cups that surrounded his work space. He was writing for hours but nothing of quality found its way to the endless reams of paper.

“It´s all shit!” he screamed, though the only sentient being to hear these words were his cat and his neighbor. The walls were paper thin in his tiny one bedroom apartment in a converted candy factory in another gentrified, once artistic part of the city.

Frank had some success of late selling a few stories here and there but the well seemed to have dried up. Everything he came up with was derivative of something he had already read or had already written. He had recently gone off his mood stabilizers in hope that it would spark some hidden creativity.

With a deft sweep of his arm, the typewriter went flying across the room. It would have taken out the cat if it didn´t have such keen reflexes. He sat there staring at the typewriter, upside down on the floor for some time.

Clack, clack, clack. The keys of the typewriter started moving by themselves. Frank sat up straight. The clicking stopped. He slowly walked over to the downed typewriter and turned it over. He saw a sentence on the page after where he had stopped.

Just keep going.

Those three extra words on the page he hadn´t written. Frank was perplexed. Surely this wasn´t for real. He decided his mind was playing tricks on him and he decided to go to bed for the night.

When Frank awoke he walked over to the typewriter on the floor. He looked at the page and there were more words.

You suffer for your work. Now others must suffer for your work. Make them pay and you will reap the profits.

“What does that mean?” he asked himself out loud. He felt stupid for saying these words because he knew exactly what it meant. He needed new life experiences to draw from as inspiration. He knew that hurting people would evoke deep emotions that he could use to write.

Frank always had a violent streak that he used to punish only himself. He had never even thought of hurting anyone else but he figured that this must be a sign from above. Frank decided he would go to the park late at night and do some harm to homeless people. This way, he could do what the typewriter told him to with minimal risks with the law. Frank was also a coward and a weakling. A sleeping homeless person would offer the least resistance.

That night, Frank filled the pockets of his parka with a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, some rags and a box of strike anywhere matches. He also slipped two mini bottles of vodka he had obtained from his last flight into the breast pocket for a little added courage. He then set off for the park.

He found his first victim. It was a woman sleeping under a makeshift tent made of a cardboard box. He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out one of the mini bottles. He was not a drinker and could barely get the vile liquid down his throat. A little even made its way back up and he had to swallow it a second time. He took a deep breath just to keep it down.

From behind him he heard a voice say “Having a party and didn´t even invite me?” Then he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck, saw a bright light then nothing. The metal pipe that had just smashed his brain stem cut off communication from his brain to his body. The homeless man slipped of Frank´s parka, then the rest of his clothes. He was left unconscious and stripped to his underwear in the harsh cold in the middle of the park.

When Frank came to he was in a white room with bright lights. His hands were restrained with fur lined leather cuffs. He looked to his right and he saw his case worker, John, sitting on the chair besides him.

“How do you feel Frank?” John asked.

“Terrible. What happened?” he asked.

“That´s what I would like to know. The only facts I have are, you were found in Jefferson Park in your underwear, barely breathing. You had alcohol on your breath. A nice homeless woman saw you around midnight and got the attention of a nearby police officer” he said. “Have you been taking your meds?”

“Well, uh, no” he sheepishly answered. “But…”

“But nothing Frank. How many times do we have to go through this. You must take your medications”

“Am I in trouble, John?” Frank asked.

“No, of course not”” John said with genuine concern in his voice.

Off the hook again. Frank thought. Mental disease has its advantages. This will make a great story.

 

Mommy go night night…

23 Nov

The baby won`t sleep. The baby won`t sleep! THE BABY WON`T SLEEP!

These words reverberated through her head as if they were screamed into a canyon and now bouncing off the smooth rock walls. As she heard the gentle coos coming from the other room, she sat in her arm chair sobbing. “Why am I such a terrible mother” she thought. “I can’t even get my baby to sleep” Strange ideas raced through her head. Meditate? Send positive energy through the ether towards the baby. No, that`s for “hippies”. How about a rum soaked cotton ball? No, that’s so turn of the century. The last one.

Then her mind really started getting the better of her. “What if the baby’s neural pathways become underdeveloped due to lack of sleep?”

“What if the baby does not get into a good university because of the damage being done by the lack of REM” Or worse, “What if she ends up marrying a loser and creating a white trash family because, gasp, she doesn’t know any better?!”

Now she was frantically searching for answers.

Eureka!

She went under the sink and got the 1 liter bottle of Jim Beam Extra Rye. Then, she quietly got out the baby’s 300ML Advent bottle. She carefully poured the foul smelling, golden brown liquid into the bottle all the way to the 300ML mark.

Then she sat back down on her chair. “Are you really going to do this?” she thought. “What kind of mother are you?” Then her inner voice said to her, “It’s the only way”

So with that, she got up, went back to the sink, grabbed the bottle and like a kamikaze soldier falling on her own sword, downed every last drop. Then, she plopped back down on to her chair. Miraculously, the sounds coming from the baby`s room began to fade. Either the baby was falling into gentle slumber, or at least mommy was.