(in memory of Eric, aka Free-K, who was the green-wielding magi of this tale. RIP)
MAGI: Presents Of Mind, Something About Nothing I: HARD BLOW FOR A DAY JOB II: PARAPHERNALIA SATURNALIA! III. NO REST FOR THE WICCAN…
I nailed her three ways from Sunday, and one way against nature—and all while wearing Friday’s pants. But the drive is not the destination, so let’s back up to the starting line, as I regale you with revulsion and/or revelation, moving forward in sideways jargon, to relate a three-fold tragicomedy of error and erroneous agnosis for you all…
Down and out, out and about, and about to have it out—wandering off and often wondering—some things are best revealed in passing, and even better still if they merely passed us by. The Death Angel must smell the blood once caked upon these doors, as He’s drifted past so often these last months, stopping only long enough to smile and wave or piss behind the porch.
But the scythe did taste its share of blood last year, by the death of opportunities, a romance, cherished friendships, and my job. It all came crashing down at once, and freedom never seemed so bittersweet. A strained but passionate relationship imploded in the worst possible way. Meanwhile, I was to find that several long-time comrades frequently spoke ill of me in swollen, bubonic proportions. And then, to finally flip the lid down on the shitter, I wandered into work one day—the best job that I’d ever had—and was informed that the entire staff was canned. I was broke and broken, with a mangled heart and an empty wallet…but a cabinet full of booze that I’d been stockpiling for months. This is to say that a broken heart feels less so when one's liver is slightly more destroyed. Six restless blurry weeks collapsed, and the present writer's liver would want to crawl out through his navel.
Boo hoo. Moving right along…
The first of the three Magi came, and drug(ged) me from my home. It would be the gift of gold, though little would I know. He had a fresh lead on a job; I went with him to apply. We made appointments for an interview, and I went back to my binge.
I’d been on an energy drink-and-Everclear bender, and it was truly wondrous nausea. You’re up for days, alert and semi-functional, but drunk enough to ruin countless lives. For weeks now, I’d been doing merely that, with emphasis upon the ruination of my own.
At 6am, I'd passed out, having been awake far longer than my pickled, addled braincells could recount. Two hours passed, and then…my father flung the door ajar, kicked me in the leg, and said, “I’ve been waiting in the car 30 minutes; your interview is in 20. Get the fuck up NOW.”
I was in panic mode—if not beyond—with every crust of countenance on stun. I hadn’t slept or likely bathed in days. I was still drunk as a Kennedy, and parched. I wore a ratty pair of old black jeans, a stained Nail Bunny longsleeve, and a scowl. My hair was tangled like the mangled webs of life itself…enough to hold an artbox full of pencils, a stapler, and the cat. I smelled like a goat, and looked like Hell—or at very least, whatever Hell is like for goats. And worst yet, all who stood in line that day for interviews were clean-cut, shaven, primped with every hair in place, and wearing suits or some such fancy dress. I was destined to be screwed.
I grumbled through my interview with morning breath and hate. By conversation’s end, my sober mind returned enough to realize just how fucked I likely was. I braced myself for failure…
Then they hired me on the spot, at a buck more than I asked for, and two more than my friend. Rasputin had a day job now—and glory be, because my booze was almost gone.
She was a fresh face on a rotten afternoon.
I'd been hired as the lead cook in a busy greasy spoon with crusty forks to match. Some sleazy, drunken wench approached my counter for some wings. "Make them hot as possible, but good."
"Are you sure you want to tell me that? I collect hot sauce," I said.
She rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Look here, stud," she slurred, "I've worked in kitchens all my life. I grew up in the south. You're not going to impress me with that shit."
Determined now to foil her, I made fresh, evil wing sauce for her friend. He dipped a deep-fried pickle, and ran weeping for the john. She laughed with a most feminine malice, jotted down her phone number, and leaned in. "I think I'll stay and watch you work," she grinned.
Bustling on the line, I passed behind the fry cook with a plate. "Excuse me! Pardon me! Coming through!" She crinkled up her nose and scowled.
"You're cute, but I'd fire you. You should know better than this. You ALWAYS shout, 'Behind you!' Nothing else. It's universal kitchen code."
"Is that like the Universal Greeting from Transformers," I sneered.
"No, you dick. It's common, accepted protocol. If you're behind someone, you always--only--shout 'Behind you!'"
Her banter seemed irrelevant, but I somehow knew it'd mean something in time. I jotted the words "behind you" on a note.
"Listen to the lady," shouted our prep-guy. He then swept briskly past me, "Coming right behind you, with a knife!" Our prep-cook, Kelly, had been in jail; I shivered when I heard him shout out anything, much less that he was coming, or behind me, with a knife.
The girl would bark and bitch a bit at other things I did; finally, she winked and left--presumably for good.
Opportunity rarely knocks with such knockers opportune as hers; but alas it'd be tough titty in the end. Though we'd made a date, and texted back and forth, nothing quite so easy ever is. It seemed straight out of Dear Penthouse, but for every playboy out there, there's a hustler to be found.
Sometimes, it's better to suck it up than be sucked in. It was a hard blow for a day job; but I'd rather blow my chance than blow it off.
I had a date, seemingly, with destiny; but as always, I appeared to be stood up.
I was stalking only happiness, a brief respite from pain--but it seemed both of these things had a restraining order out; the light of hope had blocked my calls and stopped returning texts. The girl and I had plans to howl, but my ears heard only crickets, and the silence of the worlds beyond...or something melodramatic of the sort. Riddled with a sore arthritic knee, and a ribcage full of empty, I resigned myself to fate, and once again--as always--my resignation was refused.
Salvation, sometimes, finds you in the damndest places...
An old friend called newly out of the blue, seeking to sell me on the green.
My friend had long been urging that I reassess my methods, asserting that I’d dealt with pain all wrong. “Fuck these poisons,” he insisted, “what you need to do is smoke a little pot. And I don’t mean that bullshit frat boys smoke—I mean high grade, top-shelf herb.”
“I hate stoners,” I replied; “Tweakers and stoners are natural enemies.”
“It’s not about that,” he insisted; “just give this a chance—there are strains of marijuana almost as strong as LSD.”
I rolled my eyes; “I don’t believe that.”
“Dude,” he said, “I’ll prove it—let me smoke you up tonight.”
“Fine,” I sighed, and checked my phone for calls I knew would never come—“since I think I’ll have the evening to myself.”
And thus—braving winter winds and expired plates—the second Magi would arrive, not quite bearing frankincense…though the smell would likely be about the same. Indeed, it smelled like doom…utter imminent doom, and the failure of the last three generations.
He unraveled fragrant clusters--moist and multicolored--and began to pack a heaping bowl. He summarized his sermon from our call earlier that day: “How can you possibly think that downing a fifth of whiskey and a fistful of Vicodin everyday is somehow better for you than a little bit of pot in moderation?”
Ultimately he was right—but tonight was not a night for Right; tonight, it seemed, would be a night for Wrongs.
The place I have to go, sometimes, is a place you'd never want to be. I didn't want to be there then, and I wanted even less to see another share that space. It's like denying evolution whilst a lively chimp jerks off to the same porn.
I watched him disintegrate before my very eyes—not literally, as I wasn’t quite that high just yet. But that was ultimately the point: he started before me, and as I watched him, I realized that I would be exactly where he was in only moments. I could measure just how fucked I was about to be by how fucked he just had been. And from the looks of things, I was indeed mightily fucked.
We began to talk philosophy, or as best I had determined at the time. He began with a “God is dead” rant, then meandered on an atheistic tweak. Soon, the conversation turned and churned to Eastern mystic themes in anime, and some incoherent blather about the “true meaning” of Invader Zim. Half-baked, I brought us back full circle—suddenly inspired by the mighty Zim: “God’s not dead,” I smugly quipped, “He’s advaaaaaaaaaaaaannced.”
Invader blood marches through my veins, like giant radioactive rubberpants. The pants command me.
Do not ignore my veins.
"Lo—I’m high! High n’ dry, and drowning on dry land!" "I didn’t jack off; I jettisoned cargo!" "Stems and seeds from the dub sack of infinity."
Those were things I'd scribbled on a page. My dear leaf-dealing friend took but a glance at it, then a far more concerned glare at me, and shook his head. "I'm sorry, dude, but you're fucked up. I think I need to leave. Go get some sleep!"
Tweaker, stoner, psychonaut...it all boils down to this: sleep is not among my many skills.
I listened to Gene Loves Jezebel until the cat blew chunks; only then could it be time for change...a change in stance or in perspective...a changing out of cashed-out bats, and a changing of my Discman---it was time to play some death metal for balance, as I steadily lost mine.
I knew better than to leave the house, though for some reason, I prepared as if I might. It was a Monday Rapture evening, and I’d tried to dress the part, as best I ever bother…kitschy skeleton gloves, a leather coat, some voodoobilly skull beads, whichever boots make me seem least Danzig dwarven, the pants least in need of Febreze, and—slumped across my furry slouching back—the least stained and tattered black thing that I own (apart from my damned soul). But the haze within and glaze without broadcasted like some Wumpscut-loving DJ that I was clearly going nowhere…not tonight. I was all gothed out with nowhere to go, undeniably cracked out, stoned as Stephen, tripping balls and over random objects, going nowhere fast, while time slowed to a crawl.
And then, terror knocked afresh at my front door.
My date had chose to join me, afterall.
Finally, it arrived—all that I had feared and yet adored: Third Pillar, Final Rung, Excluded Middle, the gift of Myrrh from wise-asses, the promise of a womb worth prying open just for parts. My "date" was here--the Rapture I'd given up on had arrived, though I myself remained bright shades of long-past-gone.
Constricted by the snaps and fastens of my apparel (and by “apparel,” I mean the now seemingly mere formality of pants), which embodied captivity to my rapidly expanding, liberated psyche (and by “liberated,” I mean “bat-shit crazy”), I loosened a button here and there, and opened up the door for the guest I’d given up on (and by “guest,” I would mean “victim”), who’d decided at the last moment that she’d drop in after all. (And by “drop in,” I mean “witness my brisk descent into the icy depths of madness.”)
I knew this would be bad; I knew it could be brutal. Her ass might grace my couch, and her arm may grace my shoulder, but her face would be on milk cartons some day. I struggled to maintain composure—fighting to control my every movement—and invited the poor, doomed, lovely creature in.
I found myself falling back on “comfort zone” behaviors, realizing that by pursuing my more basic urges and familiar desires, I could somewhat pull myself out of the hole that I was in—i.e., my base urge to score with this broad would subconsciously push me to more quickly sober up. If I could keep the crazy-talk out of my head just long enough…I could essentially lust my way back to partial sanity. At least it made sense at the time. Funny, that.
So I said to myself, “I will win this woman’s heart; I will do so, because her heart is behind her left breast—and thus by sheer default, the path to her heart involves feeling some tits.”
I’m not sure what I’d do with any woman's heart; but I know what to do with tits.
We settled on a zombie film—the girl and I inched closer…closer still…and cuddled on the couch. I felt warm and aglow, yet terrified within, because the screen seemed to be melting and the room moved ‘round in frames. I can’t let this TV melt, I thought; if the TV melts, my roommate will be mad.
It was like my first time trying ‘shrooms some years before: They did precious nothing for anxious hours, then finally, they kicked in when I had least expected. I was sitting on the back deck, on break at work with semi-friends and kitchen staff, who were at turns oblivious, bewildered, and amused. Every drop of sweat was Waterworld, except they came in on time and under budget. I would sweat and sweat and sweat, struggling to maintain; and as I bled that sweat, I felt as if my head may well be melting. And all that I could think was this: “I can't let them see my head melt…because as soon as they see my head melt, they’ll all know that I’m high.” Behold: "dumbass mundi"--the domus mundi of druggie logic, the LCD of LSD, as such.
And I couldn’t let this fucking TV melt. She’ll fucking know.
She rest her head upon my shoulder, as the evil priest in Gates Of Hell made a girl puke up her innards one-by-one, organ at a time, whilst her boyfriend sat beside her, screaming, paralyzed with fear and bleeding from the eyes. Ah…romance.
Then, my ladyfriend gently nuzzled me, and spoke.
“Dude…I’ve been wanting to ask this for awhile now: What the fucking fuck is up with the cheesy-ass skeleton gloves?”
My tongue ever shoveling the dirt upon my deepening tomb, bloodshot eyes would lock upon her increasingly puzzled gaze, as I mumbled, stammered, then gawked about the room at the magick only my koinos cosmos knew, before dilation met frustration, noisehairs-to-eyelashes, once again, as I replied: "I like the concept of adorning my outsides with my insides. I'm transcending my flesh-cage." I then noticed a hole exposing skin and nail at the very index tip. I held it up, and continued digging, word by word: “And this…this is fucking awesome—think about it: now my outsides are peaking through my insides, which I’m wearing on the outside. Wow…fuck...fucking wow.”
"You're high, aren't you?"
She wandered out to smoke, and I went to rummage aimlessly downstairs. She returned, and followed the sound of failure down the steps. I was playing with a shuriken, and dropping it on yearbook pics. She peeked over my shoulder and did a double-take. I'd been using a print-out of a pic from my ancient Bible College days as a bookmark. One of my roommates appeared to have used it as a target earlier.
She looked back and forth between the weirdo with the Skele-Gloves, and the well-groomed young idealist in the pic. "Is that...you?"
I paced around a bit and rambled a bizarre reply. "Have you ever seen the cartoon, Naruto? The American dub is awful, and mostly aimed at kids. But the Japanese is almost a different show, if you can find yourself a fansub on the web."
"You're losing me."
"OK, hear me out...There are all these villages filled with ninjas...like, the Hidden Leaf Village, or the Hidden Stone Village, or the Hidden Valley Ranch Village, and such. When a ninja gets cast out or goes AWOL, they put a scratch through the symbol on his headband, and label him as 'missing nin.'"
She cocked a brow, and nodded.
"I'm 'missing nin' from the Hidden Jesus Village," I said, and gave a shit-eating grin. It was the Shit-Eating Grin Of Enlightenment, but I'm pretty sure she didn't care.
"You went a long way for that one." She smiled, patting my head, and we both just let it go.
I stumbled into the bathroom, and must have been there for a while. My date peeked through the door, as I rummaged to and fro around the sink. “What in God's name are you looking for?”
I said, “The Bigger Thing, the Greater It, the Collosal That which I am a reflection of.”
“No you’re not," she huffed and puffed; "You’re stoned and staring at the goddamned mirror.”
I held a pocket mirror at an angle. “Look—now the reflection is a reflection, and it goes on ad infinitum. But we only think to look the one direction. It goes on further behind us, and we’re just another image in the chain. Our consciousness is just a reflection in itself, an echo of another distant voice.”
She shook her head, and turned to go. “Why can’t you just eat Cheetos and listen to Pink Floyd like normal stoned people?”
I ducked down, crept behind and then around her, then jumped up beside her, made some motion with my hand to remind her of the “missing nin” symbol, and—wild-eyed and aglow with madness—whispered, “Ninja!”
Or so I’m told... I probably did, and shall take it on faith. Odd that faith alone should at last be good enough for me. Perhaps, ultimately, Christendom merely needs more ninjas.
She seemed oddly amused by me, despite my Epic Fail. There was no way I was going to score; but there likewise wasn't any way that I would fail to try. No rest for the wiccan, don't you know...
At times, there was little but a frigid distance only crudely duct-taped over by the closeness of our limbs; and at other times, there was a sticky, sensual mammalian chemistry that overcame anything gone under…indeed, indeed…at lucid, lip-locked intervals there was smoke. Where there is smoke, there is fire… And where there is fire, there are primitive tools for roasting meat… And all that this could lead to was, “Bitch better cook a damn mean steak.” In retrospect, I can only recognize my skill at turning natural progressions into unnatural acts; perhaps I should have been a preacher afterall.
As opposed to the repulsion any sane man would expect, she seemed more disappointed that there wasn't dirty sex. “I don’t feel so good,” she groaned, and stretched out on the bed.
“You feel pretty awesome to me,” I grinned, and with stoned and wanton ballsiness, offered a massage only to fumble with her bra.
“Talk is cheap, bucko.”
I took the cue, as one might take a cue to rack 'em up and shoot. Each messy kiss a sloppy first as sloppy seconds became hazily-remembered moments, distinguished only by a tasteless coup-de-grace: I'd grabbed her by the hips, and mounted with a single lucky thrust. And it was there, balls-deep in hate-sex, that illumination came (although too soon). I smacked her ass, and yelled, "Behind you!"
Then I rolled over, and slept through the next day. In retrospect, I went a long way for that one, too.
And the moral of the story may only be that I ultimately have fewer morals than I do stories some nights; that sometimes illumination can be found in the desperate slippery inches between shouting when you’re behind someone, and the shout they’ll make thereafter; and that one should no more underestimate life—neither its capacity for pleasure, or for pain, or that weird grey space teeming with zombies, melting televisions, and ridiculous glow-in-the-dark stretchy-gloves—than one should underestimate an unknown drug.
Don’t let life see your head melt. It will know you’re high.
She only wants me when she’s drunk; I only want her when I’m sober—thank God I’m never sober anymore.
It was the last days of our last mistake, and we were both the other person’s last resort. Indeed—in fact, alas—months into our madness, her love was only like a prayer in that she never fucking listened either...and really, nor did I. At the end of our run, there would be no runner’s high; instead there would only be another high in lows…
She shall be known here as “Mary Moistpoison,” and elsewhere, some things likely far, far worse. Call her what you will; just try not to call her often, lest her curse be visited upon thee and thy household.
The girl can wreck a home like I can wreck a womb, and I pity any child that calls her womb a home.
Every cursed bastard seemed to want her; but sadly, I was the bastard cursed among all others seemingly to need her. And I certainly never wanted—and prayed I never needed—her to ever be "the one."
It was a fling that just kept flinging things upon me...seemingly romantic glares that stared back coldly from the depths of her abyss. I never thought I'd want to keep her, or anyone for that matter. I had dropped the dreaded "L bomb" to only three girls in my life, and only really meant it twice. This was just a wet hole in a dry season—right?—a torrential downpour, a sensual upswing…an oasis in an "oh" face, in some throbbing time of desolation. There could certainly never be another L-bomb from this grizzled cynic's lips… And when said cynic's lips touched hers again strange weeks ahead, that wretched frigid wench could never be dreaded Girl Three—feared in the prophetic sense like the Third and Final Antichrist, correct? And denial...it is still firmly in Egypt, is it not?
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know angst. I have a heart full of soul and a soul full of sin and the sort of things they hang men for down south.
Sometimes, one imagines that he or she is actually a good person who merely does bad things now and again; othertimes, it seems very much reversed—that one is, at blackened core, a considerably bad person who only occasionally fails at evil or, by some cruel and playful whim, does something right. And rarely have I been exactly confident as to whither side I've stood.
I’m well-meaning on occasion…depending on the meaning of “well,” and the occasion in question. My character can be summarized in one fell swoop: I lied my way into Bible College. Think about that one.
There are elements of my life I’m obviously not proud of, which occupy some strange nightmarish place between Fear & Loathing and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’m not even a good anti-hero; I’m really just a prick. I'm selfish, irresponsible, and frequently insane—and this by my own standards. It’s not that there isn’t method in my madness; it’s simply that my madness frequently overwhelms my methodology.
This is all to say, of course, that there are reasons why I’m frequently alone.
After my first traumatic romance, I disconnected from the concept of it all. Over the course of the next few years, I’d discovered club scenes, drug scenes, and crime scenes. I never “dated” anyone, but rather, semi-drunkenly stumbled up a ladder of unremarkable vaginas, or had random flings with friends. Even then, I was never quite a seducer so much as I am simply an excellent salesman. My point is that, at my age, I face a strange dichotomy: I’ve racked up years of sexcapades, but have the actual dating habits of an awkward 9th grader.
I don’t really “date,” so much as I merely choose the form of my destroyer, Ghostbusters-style.
Alas, there is no love; there is only Zuul.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know “dirty.”
I felt like a dirty old man, but then, as most dirty old men will tell you, the night is always young—though likely not as young as she was when we met. Truth be told, dating women my own age grows less fun by the year: Women my age are more like ogres—all they want is gold and babies. But this girl was dynamic, euphoric, and eccentric all in arbitrary spurts—an utterly engaging, almost mystically-adorable little trainwreck with an equally adorable caboose, and the heaviest, most intensely overwhelming pheromones to ever drift my way—so much so, that I frequently found it difficult to concentrate in her presence. Irresistibly-unhinged, cold yet giggly—bipolar in her charm…and when the poles aligned, she had the sort of youthful smiles and knowing smirks, shy winks and evil laughter, which could nearly take ten years off of your face, and more yet off your hands. “Nice soul,” would say her rape-eyed gaze, “I think I’ll take it! Good Sir, bag ‘er up!”
My sister introduced her; I’d assumed them to be friends, though they had met mere moments prior at the club. My roommate—hereafter referred to as the Drunken Sage—hurriedly called dibs on her, as I already had a girl that night; still, I found this new arrival eerily curious. Despite luring her home into our basement grindhouse filth n’ film-room, the slurring Sage struck out; we all assumed this was the end. Tense weeks rolled past, and the girl I’d gone to bed with was past-tense. Suddenly, as if on cue...manna from Hell: God sends quail, and the Devil sent a message, then a text. I hadn’t recalled getting her number…but I looked, and there it was. She’d even tracked me down online. She asked if anything was going on; and by evening’s end…there was. Little would I suspect that it would likewise be ongoing, in the maddening months to come before it all went down.
To those that knew me, she seemed like an unlikely choice: entirely too young, unfathomably out of place, and though attractive, hardly my “type” at even second glance. Full-figured and a fraction taller, she had a curious combination of features, with her deep-set eyes, eternally-flared nostrils, long devilish grin, and this certain look of looking uncertain…a gaze that registered as either heartfelt or heartless, malevolent or maladroit, terrified or aroused—or maybe just a little bit of both. She was awkward unto awe, aloof and yet alluring, bravely assertive with a perpetually-frightened stare…indifferent and disinterested—despite whatever interest that she stirred, or difference that she made. So graceless and indelicate in all her movements, it only seemed to make her strangely more endearing in my increasingly confounded eyes… She slept haphazardly, as if recalling horrific crimescenes for a court: limbs sprawled in all directions, mouth agape, with her tongue slumped out the side…one tit hanging out, and one leg hanging halfway off the bed, her tattered fishnets snagging on my bedframe as she flipped and flopped—still dreaming—like a fish thrown in a boat. I was bizarrely smitten. Though she’d rolled over and across me throughout the night, she finally—accidentally—threw her arm across my chest and gradually slumped inward towards me; it wasn’t quite a snuggle, but it would do. And as I laid back, equal parts bemused/confused, I thought, “Oh bloody hell…why her? Oh fuck, I am so screwed…”
She was definitely a “project” girlfriend. She’d been hurt, misused, abused, and traumatized beyond reasonable articulation. She was frequently physically distant, and emotionally demanding; romantic sentiments were hard-earned, though we talked and laughed for hours daily. She was clinically bipolar, unmedicated, with tendencies toward dissociation—her opinions about any one thing or person could change wildly, based on her mood, or with whom the subject was discussed. It all required a savage patience few might have possessed. But I felt uniquely qualified—as if our unlikely pairing was somehow necessary… Yet, I remained unsure whether this was because she really needed “saving,” or rather because—a decade past that first and last disaster, the Alpha & Omega of doomed romance that forged so much of what I had become—I still desperately needed somebody to save. Truly, did she need the “salvation” of someone patient and devoted enough to care for her unconditionally…or (given my history) did I merely need the “redemption” of providing it?
Regardless, over the weeks and months that followed, I felt a certain vindication with every change I slowly saw in her, every blessed inch of progress—no matter how much grief it had entailed. Things were far from perfect; but it was that one rare perfect moment that eternally erased all others. The impossible had occurred, with every denizen of Hell a snowcone in their hands: some weird and troubled girl had unknowingly inspired a hardened, selfish, drunken, womanizing, ranting addict toward an equally weird and troubled attempt at being a fiercely determined romantic. I wasn’t very good at it; but it was something few before her had experienced from me.
Naturally, you know what must come next.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know denial.
There is little more embarrassing than not knowing when to end things…except, perhaps, the failure to recognize when something has already ended.
Love is a cattlefield, and my sexlife needed way more cowbell. A relationship without sex is like working as a cook in a restaurant that doesn’t let you eat. My gal had cut me off of late, with some new excuse or strange “emergency” each night. I’d been patient in recent weeks, but my frustration was fully erect, and my edginess was showing through my jeans. She didn’t seem to want me; but neither did she want me gone, or with somebody else. But then again…a girl changes her mind like she changes out a tampon; and when she says she wants you, that only really means she wants you now. Tomorrow, a dog will bark, there will be clouds in the sky, and she’ll decide that she’d be happier with pads.
And when a woman says, “I think we should see other people,” know within your broken heart of hearts that she most surely has someone in mind…
My dearest Poison Girl always held a mighty Cock Harem of platonic manchild man-friends, mostly gay or swishing gently towards it. But lately, she’d come to spend most waking hours with her newest guy-pal, Jon. This one only looked gay …wire-limbed and fragile—100 pounds at best—with thick Costello glasses, gently receding hairline and this toothy leer that vaguely creeped me out. They’d become fast friends, she said, because he had many if not most of the same interests and qualities that I did…except he was “successful,” with a great job, nice apartment, and a car. He was also closer to her age, and somewhat more her “type,” which apparently consisted of nerdy effeminate concentration camp victims in faded indie-rock shirts, who look liked they hung out at the public library, pouring over crumpled issues of Nintendo Power, when not jerking off to Hentai in the stall. This is to say, that something was afoot in the game at hand—and I knew up front who didn’t have my back.
There’s no such thing as a single woman, even if they’re only “married” to ideals. Most romance is only “storybook” if the story involves settling for the least of mankind’s evils in pursuit of life ambition, social validation, and hormonal dictates, in a book about Gynocracy, emasculation, death and bitter loss. Companionship is always weighed against convenience. It has been my experience that many women will endure abusive relationships, loveless marriages, or date men who are ugly, stupid, assholes, jerks and worse, provided they are self-sufficient, able to kill spiders, and possess a decent-looking vehicle that runs. A man can look like Johnny Depp and fuck like Peter North, with dreams like Martin Luther King, a MENSA-level intellect, and a diamond-plated cock…but for God and Lemmy’s sake, man: you gotta have a car.
I was broke and carless, broken, careless; I never stood a chance. So when her birthday fell on the day right before payday (during the roughest month I’d had in many moons), and it became clear that my attempts to stockpile pocket change were more embarrassing than sweet, I half-expected to be changing the ol’ relationship status on MySpace any day.
“What do you want for your birthday?” I’d asked. “I already have plans,” she would reply. “Well, I was going to…” “You were going to take me somewhere cheap because you have no money, and then guilt me into sex. I’m sorry; I have other plans. Jon wants to take me somewhere really cool and I said ‘yes.’ We can do something this weekend; I promise I’ll call you later.”
Waves of humiliation and defeat would come to wash across my flailing ego like a wounded puppy drowning in a lake. When she called the morning after, she would still be at his house. After letting it slip that she’d passed out in his bed, she went about pre-chastising me about being “possessive” if I “went jumping to conclusions.”
From stranglehold to cuckold, I was out cold in a dead heat. It spun loudly in my head, with so much adoration spinning wildly in its grave. I only had to think about it:
She’s having lunch with strangers; she’s outsourced our ‘together time’ to friends. She’s breaking dates and sleeping somewhere else. She’s hiding texts and dodging questions. She pulls away from kisses; she turns away in bed. She never plans for futures we could share. She still calls me her lifeline…but she’s cut all other cords. And now this final insult: her birthday wish involved my absence, and the presence of another man, with whom she spent the night. Meanwhile, I’ve slept alone for weeks, drifting off to dream of better, as my roommates loudly fuck. Things couldn’t be more obvious; I was clearly being mocked. The winners had stepped forward, and begun to gloat.
I guess this is ‘game over,’ then; I’ve lost.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know desperation. I’ve come to know it Biblically, of late.
She is the sun in a horizon that I can’t see for the roof, the brightest star in a sky I’ll never find.
I’m exhausted deep inside, awake against my wish or will, by the rolling poison nervous surge of anxiety alone. Is tonight the night I’ve lost her, or has she been lost all along? Did she, in fact, have plans some night…or perhaps merely designs? Is she passed out in her own bed? Is she sharing it with someone else? And what else is she sharing—is someone getting something that I’m not? Is she saving up her best for something better-dressed…some suitor better suited for success? In the end, perhaps it’s that: less a fear of losing love, than of losing it to someone else. Was I just a last resort, or merely next at bat? I don’t care about the sex—we’re mammals; mammals fuck—but I’m consumed by the rejection it implies, the control so coldly stolen from my dreams...the failure left to simmer in my chest. It feels like something licking at your heart. Perhaps all’s fair in love and war; but it feels like theft and murder when you’re curling up alone…wringing out a broken promise, just to wake up on the wronged side of the bed.
I’ve lost a game I never knew we played; I’ve broken rules never agreed to, and angered her with words only implied between the lines—and worse yet, in a book I’ve never read.
Home is where the heart is, and I think we’ve got black mold.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know dependency.
Even the monkeys on my back must live in constant terror of the demons in my head.
When we think about our lovers, we feel that warm, sweet glow…that gentle wash across the frontal lobe, swabbing out the angst and cobwebs from our otherwise lonely, desperate minds...a stubborn, willful, wanton brave euphoria…and yet…lurking behind the curtain of its comforts, there lie a certain paranoia of romance, an unsettling, deeply-nested morbid fear of losing the peace and happiness it brought—a special sort of panic, a need to know that we will always have our fix regardless of the breaks And what was this strange flickering within? That rising heat of comfort and excitement in the chest, a certain tweaker pitter-patter that I hadn’t felt since the haze of my sleepless, spun, and dope-addled Lost Weekend years of long before, wherein this feeling, glow, and confidence could be purchased by the gram. That was it, I thought: I know this feeling…dear Sweet Pickled Jesus, holy anamnesis—now I get it…I remember what this feels like now…I’m high.
The mind releases dopamines when we dwell upon romance. The urge that I must have this, keep this, salvage and maintain this…the panic and despair that rides even the faint hint of its loss…it’s a drug. It’s just a fucking drug. My mind was making opiates, keeping me docile and sedated, that Nature might have its way with me—in the name of procreation and the survival of our kind—and mold me to its will against my own. I have plans and ambitions; I don’t want to settle down. But I remember those before me—young girls I’d met on crystal meth, renting out their sloppy ditches for another day that prolonged the inevitable, and kept their cold hearts numb; they had plans once, too. They wanted to be lawyers, doctors, wives to self-made men and senators, living in Barbie’s dream house with a dog. And there they were, drop-outs taking in-calls, club-rats in a cheesy scene, empty shells and blowjob queens. And we were nothing greater, outside those stray and restless evenings one would choose us to be king.
This isn’t real, I tell myself—it’s all just a mirage, a hormone-driven glamory, a pheromonal haze. It’s just another drug like any other—except this dope is mostly cooked in-house, by the pushers of our very glands. I must resist this. It isn’t real. It’s a drug…only a drug.
But like any other instance, I’m consumed by my addictions.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know expectations.
Love, if it is real, is an all-consuming fire; and the best most lovers hope for is to leave this world a smoking husk.
That is, except for those of us without a car.
It's not that I'm afraid that love is “real,” so much as I'm afraid that it is likewise really not enough. It’s not that I can’t stop believing; the problem is that I can’t stop wanting to believe. I lose my faith rather religiously, it seems. Every refuge has its price, and every one of our “beliefs” contains a “lie.” But from sun up to pants-down, all we want is something to make us feel like…something, nothing more.
I mean, pending credit history and criminal background checks, of course.
Truly, what is romance but the synergy and symphony of two souls completely using one another, until we’re heart-beaten into one hot-blooded yet cold-hearted sweet-fleshed meat-machine—careswept with a molten core, making love and weaving dreams, creating distance with our closeness, assembling our alibis and manufacturing intent, forging artificial joy and only sometimes-artificial tears?*
*Offer not valid in Missouri. All applicants must meet minimum income requirements, and provide proof of insurance. Have you been at your current residence for at least one year? Y__ N__ Are you legally entitled to work in the United States? Y__ N__ Are you at least 18 years of age or older? Y__ N__ Date available for employment? _____
Either love is real, but only lent at great and terrible cost, to those willing, thirsty, and desperate enough to face a maze of death and endless games, gambles and challenges that I am unable—by default and by design—to ever truly win, existing solely at the detriment of peace and hope…or love is merely chemical and fiction, a convenience of speech, a concession to the mysticism—incessant and unchallenged—inherent in our language: the metaphors we live by, the idioms that shape our thought, the anthems that proclaim unquestioned triumph, the lullabies the sirens sing to lull our minds and wills to sleep.
I’d rather be sucked off than sucked in…
But I took her in…I took it on. I took a shot, and caught a bullet in the chest.
I’m not sure about “love,” but I do know religion.
I haven’t believed in much of anything in years, but when I contemplate my attitude throughout this confusing time of seemingly new sensations, I realize I had very much fallen back upon the last model of affection I’d been taught…despite my general vehemence toward Christendom, I’d come to rely heavily upon its framework of unconditional love, unwarranted compassion, patience, forgiveness, etc., because it was familiar—the first and only model that I really understood. In retrospect, it only really hastened my damnation, and amplified the hellfire within.
Christianity is incompatible with the dynamics of modern romance: no “love” is ever unconditional, and forgiveness is seen as frailty, itself quite unforgivable—dependent on the cruelty of either gender’s whims. Think about it: Within the confines of Evangelical Christianity, forgiveness is the highest virtue. It is a beacon of “Christ-like” love, compassion, maturity, self-discipline, and strength. It is greeted with unfathomable respect. For instance, let’s say the pastor’s wife disgraces him: she screws 37 scabies-ridden Eskimos while still wearing the flayed and bloody skin-suit of mangled number 38, before selling off her wedding ring for crack cocaine and a cool Colt 45; she then skewers the family dog alive above a flaming pyre crackling with the boiling blood-snaps of a hundred crisping fetuses—lightly-seasoned, and some still screaming; furthermore, these flailing fetid fetuses—resulting from the forced at-gunpoint couplings of 15-year-old Mongoloids with the weeping alto section of a largely forty-something Mormon choir—have all been forcibly aborted by her own blood/sweat/booze/puke/yak semen-encrusted hands, which still tremble from the thrill of all her fornications, scat-incest-and-snuff fixations, global Satanic child abuse, and Illuminati jack-off sessions…and with the filthiest, rustiest, most AIDS-ridden coat-hangers that liberal Jewish homosexuals working for the ACLU would sell her in the name of Allah, mighty Nyarlathotep, and Hillary. She’s had a very full night, but hey now—who are we to judge? She claims to have repented—for even Christ was tempted, and we all have bouts of weakness now and then; Scripture dictates we forgive, and the apostle Paul himself wrote that “there are none righteous; no, not one.” So what, now, happens should her poor, sweet pastor-husband forgive her of this “backsliding,” and perhaps welcome her back with open arms, a gentle, caring smile, and love unfailing, that she may walk as a new creation in Christ and sin no more? How does his faithful flock receive this choice? The man becomes an inspiration. He is a hero among mortals, selfless and strong enough to put his own emotions, needs, and pride behind him. He is respected for his saintly grace.
But in this world—that ball beyond their Bible’s bubble—if a man were to forgive his cheating or neglectful girlfriend, he is seen as weak, sniveling, and passive. Should she leave and he pursues her, he is a shit-stained doormat, to be trod upon and snidely dissed. The girl neither loves nor respects him for the grace he has extended. Rather, it becomes an invitation for more and greater levels of abuse. And the greatest of these evils, ever-increasing liberties, and soon-to-be-unceasing future horrors will be this: that he shall somehow believe he is appreciated, needed, or loved back.
I had come to consider that I was both smitten and smote—doomed to adore some plump n’ buxom archetype of old Hosea’s wife, in some smirking celestial punishment for all I’d done to womankind thus far. I couldn’t let this go. If I’d finally found my heart, now it was high time to find my balls.
Bitch was going down—that’s all there was to it. I’d tried twice that month to leave her…but a tear, a wink, that smile, a seemingly heartfelt apology, with cold and concessionary apologetic intercourse to follow…I fell for these routinely as if falling piss-drunk down a well. This time, I would dismiss the miss of duties in the comfort of my safe-haven of then—namely, I would drag the hag to Dante’s, a club wherein I felt hometeam advantage. The Crüxshadows would be playing there on Monday—or at least they’d be pretending to, whilst their gangly singer lip-synched and hopped about with bike lights on his arms. Truly, what was more appropriate than ending my sham of a relationship and closing out my faith in the Noble Lie of “love,” than to do so at the beginning of some sham of a goth show wherein the band closes out the place with the Noble Lie it’s live?
It was settled, though I veered closer to “un”: It was a transitional state of shock, and I was merely succubusted in the end. I was only panty-wasted from the start. I had clearly mistaken a good time and the random swish of dopamines for this mystical L-word ideal…she was utterly aloof, distant, frigid, and clearly cheating on me…and I was going to confront and break it off with her at Dante’s, during the Crüxshadows’ fiasco. This whole endeavor made me feel like I was 14 again, breaking up with that Erickson girl on the bus. I felt almost embarrassed. Afterall…the only thing more embarrassing than not knowing when to end things, or not noticing when something is already gone, is a grown man acting like he’s never had his heart ripped out before, or like he’s the only one it’s ever happened to…
Before we left that night, I psyched myself up in the mirror: I’m a fucking adult, and she’s a fucking child. I’ll get over it. So what?—Not everything works out; not everything that sparks is meant to be. It’s time to cut my losses, and move on. This was never who I was. This was never truly real. The only chemistry between us came in capsule form. I’m not even that attracted to her. She’s a backwards giggling harpy, a wretched post-teen sociopath who is incapable of genuine affection without sustained self-interest, or endless years of therapy. She never truly cared about me. The instant that I see her, I’ll be so consumed with righteous indignation that any lingering attraction or possible regrets will seem like little more than pissdrops on crotchwhiskers. I can stop acting like a neurotic High School kid now—this is going to be a fucking piece of cake. This is ridiculous. What could possibly go wrong with this?
I turned back at my reflection. “Yeah,” I muttered, “a total 9th Grade level…”
This is not the blog you're waiting for. I promised quite a few who know me (or at least had written) an epic tale of sex and woe, that would serve as both a personal romantic exorcism and a foreshadowing of my magnum opus, "Sirens." Unfortunately, epic tales of sex and woe are often rather time-consuming...especially when tensions and emotions still run high—but never far enough away—for those the tale involves. Which is to say...I'm not quite done. :) However, I do recall that I had also promised lolz. The kids, they love the lolz. So sit back and so forth, and freely giggle at this slapdash intermission in all its Bastard Zen, while I finish constructing that heart-wrenching nervous breakthrough you've all so patiently awaited. No whine before its time, children...enjoy.
Oh, and I should probably mention that this is a "Squidlet," ie it features characters from my upcoming novel, CHASING PHANTOMS. "Squidlets" are the numerous existential segueways between chapters/story arcs in the book. This is the first new one I've written in a while...
VAGRANTS: An Intermission Or, “Vague Rants & Hobo Fires”
“A man asked me for a dollar/I asked him what it’s for/He said 'I have seen Them!'/I said, 'OK, it’s yours.'”
—Clutch, “Escape From The Prison Planet”
The Squid: A mind-fried crimelord on the downward spiral.
Andrew: His ne'er-do-well teenage successor.
The Locale: The Lalaurie House, abandoned, in New Orleans, in some distant future, but no less haunted...
He entered with the wind, haggard and disheveled, only to bring his own in fitful bursts. The Squid—svengali sans serotonin—swung open the weathered, mildewed bedroom door of his youthful, wide-eyed scarecrow of a pupil. Andrew—the much-dilated masochist—quickly threw a tissue to his side, and nervously packed his cock beneath his belt, alarmed and beating back the panic seeking release behind his gritted teeth.
The Squid, stout, surly and cancer-freckled, shook his crinkly bald head in dismay. “Are you masturbating to that Warnke book again? I knew I'd catch you! Sweet Candied Krishna, boy—we need to purify your soul!"
Andrew—scowling—drew a blank, as one unable to draw blood. His addled master was wise, but fried; his council was a double-edged sword, rusted with the blood of those who'd long-past learned that ignorance was bliss if knowledge squirted ink-like from the Squid.
“Cheer up, lad! I'll only purify you a little bit today. Come with me into the city, and let me show you things and such!" The Squid began to swing his stubby arms around, and loudly preach in all directions but the one in which his student-victim sat. "Andrew, I am high! And indeed, it is high time for lower standards to prevail! It's time to appreciate that sickly glow inside, through the knowledge of the suffering world outside! It's time to leave this space, and find solace in the streets of learning! It's time to find a room less speckled with your seed! It’s time to confuse our karma, and maybe make a difference in some poor soul’s blighted life!”
“Errr...What fresh hell..?”
“Andrew, it is time we found a hobo. And not just any hobo…we must find the sort of scum-fed bum so hideously ravaged by the cruelty of life’s design, that he can change your very worldview with a faint whiff of his rancid, piss-soaked whiskers.”
Mind aflutter at the thought of homeless-girl fellatio, the naive student inquired, “What if we find a female bum?”
The Squid paced back and forth, and shook his head. “I wouldn’t bother her; she’s probably busy getting raped by the other hobos, and I think it’d just be awkward. No, that wouldn't do at all. Think practical, Andrew. We’ll know our bum on sight, I assure you!”
And with this, the duo left for greater streets of grime and greasy teats of gold. But then, this was their way.
Andrew, eager to assist the down-trodden around him (if for no other reason than to hurry this all up), began scouring muck-filled alleyways and every undernourished overpass in sight. Summoning his mentor, he pointed at each prospect he could find. “What about him? Shall we help him, Boss? What about that one? That one, eh? What about him? Him? Er…it? That one by the bridge with all the hobo fires? Over there maybe? What about…”
“No, no, NO, Andrew…these men are merely mongrels and mongeese. And those over that way? Those are scarcely even men. And those over there? Even worse—dare I say!—they are men by sheer virtue of their cruel anatomy alone. And these dregs beside the bridge—that unsavory bridge of shame? Not only are these scarcely men, but surely, they are only mammals by sole virtue of having been born rather than hatched, adorned with futile nipples, and dicks merely for rape. And I assure you—heed my words!—that they, each and all, have eyes merely to gaze against the very designs of Nature, and ears merely for rap and R&B.”
Andrew cocked a brow, and sneered. “So fucking what?”
“So what?! Boy, have you no soul within your husk? True oppression only fills men with the blues, and oftentimes three-dollar pints of vodka. We seek not the poetry of the street; rather, we thirst but for the awkward, haggard rhyme-schemes of the long-abandoned soul!”
"We're looking for a homeless bluesman?"
"Perhaps, dear boy...perhaps. More specifically, one of less uncertain race and gender. Let's move up another block or two...this place, it smells like syphilis and cock. And though enlightenment demands an open mind, I assure you that it rarely smells like cock."
It was at the corner of Failure and Disgust that the Squid met bloodshot eyes to bloodstained jowls with He who would become his Muse.
“Andrew—look! Behold, beyond that dumpster! Your hobos had a fire in a can…but that hobo has a fire in his eyes. This, Andrew m’boy, shall be our Man—indeed, our very inspiration!"
"But he's just another vagrant pooping in a coffee can...what makes him so special?"
The Squid grew fiercely animated: “Smell that breeze that brushes past him like the Breath of Life so many years before... You might—in your youthful inexperience—smell only garbage, puke, and ruination. But I smell far, far more. I smell the crumpled refuse of purest woe…suffering and anguish from his broken, shivering soul...the failure of a nation’s promise, and hopes dried out with tear ducts decades past. And feet…I smell dirty, filthy hobo feet. Sweet Christ, those toes are black.”
Andrew rolled his eyes. “Are they black with unrequited love or something?”
“No," replied his deadbeat master, "I’m pretty sure it’s dirt and shit. But I suppose that looks a lot like what you said. Sorry, m’boy, but I tend not to listen when you speak. I should have mentioned earlier. Try not to take that personally. Let's go!”
The Squid approached the Man of Sunken Glory with vigor tempered only with that hint of trepidation born in men afraid of getting shanked by bums. He gazed upon the hobo's rancid countenance with awe and nervous admiration, particularly toward the sad man's lustful, hogwild, bulging eyes—eyes fraught with angry visions...some of hell, and others, long-since-ended foreign wars. Gathering his strength and thoughts, the Squid addressed his Muse with the respect given to heroes of uncertain sainthood, and the distance given to those bleeding from uncertain orifices:
“You look as if you’ve seen a ghost, man.”
The hobo turned, and with his wild and wanton Rape Eyes, locked gazes and replied: “I did, in fact, and huffed it through a straw. My life forever changed.”
The Squid, scum-struck and aglow, leaned in. “How so? Dear sir, do tell!”
The bum seemed giddy at this chance to bare his wretched soul, though never so much that sorrow might depart his unwashed aura. He stepped back, arms extended, as if ready to regale some crowded theater with Shakespeare and a song, and bellowed: “How so? Because today, I am the ghost…a mere and fleeting vapor of some burning, crinkling, disappearing thing. And still I chase it every moment, every day…except there is no day—only extended nights."
And then, to the further surprise of all—and the particular horror of young Andrew—the Man of Filth and Sorrows pulled a muddy milk crate from the street. Standing high upon his podium of shame, he ranted more and long into the night:
"There is no sky…only a vacant empty space above the ground spiraling toward me; neither is their ground beyond the pavement I’ve failed to lunge toward face-first.
There is no love, but rather only appetites to feed…neither are there any who would love if it existed—just assorted moist-eyed voyeurs, their pretty faces and warm embraces give way to icy whispers the moment that I leave. There is no warmth or dignity that does not become cold comfort in the end.
There is nowhere that is home. There is only fleeting, teetering refuge that has not yet revealed its price.
There is no sleep; there is only disconnection. There is no true wakeful state—only flashes against the Void within, and flickers of the things I wish I’d never known.
And there are no gods beyond the will to start again.”
He then paused to shout at random cars, and pulled a squirming beetle from his pants.
The Squid was impressed, frozen in a coma of sheerest awe for what was clearly a perfect specimen of ranting Hobo Sapien.
“You, sir, are a sad fucking hobo. Here’s a dollar; buy a sandwich.”
The Hobo Sapien smiled a crinkly little smile: “Thank you, kind brother; but sandwiches are three dollars. Is there any chance you might have some more change?”
The Squid's once-vibrant glow now softened, as he shook his head, and began to turn and leave. “There is no chance, either, friend; I suppose you’ll have to add that to your list.”
And with this, they departed—grizzled wizard and woeful toadie—to the musk of their abode. For in the end, all change is spare indeed; and chance, the poorest specimen if sought—a dirty muse, a vague rant, and a crackling hobo fire in the eyes.
Reality always fucks on the first date; in fact, I'd say it often fucks you up for life.
I was balls deep in the back alley of life.We lay as lovers and lie like parents.I'd taken yet another hit for the team that night.There might not be an "I" in team, but there are certainly a few in "fucking bitch."
Some of us have a special hate for love.
"No sir, liquor is closed."
I never understood why Walgreens—in the 90's—roped their liquor aisles at ten, and neither did the customers—I turned them away in droves night after night.
I was working sixty-something hours there a week just to support us.My girlfriend couldn't keep a job, due to her recreational excesses.There was also a matter of principle, I suppose: "I want to be a 'kept woman,'" she would tell me, "a 'real man' works to make a home for us."By "us," of course, she meant "her."But then, I was pretty fucking gullible at the time.
Sleep was death, and certainly the death of our romance.
I worked so many hours—working against the light, and deep into the night—hoping, needing, praying that she would sleep during my shift, lest she be left bored and alone to make fresh havoc by some fitful whim. Thus, I labored countless hours more to entertain her after work.I couldn't leave her unattended, lest her chaos claim us both.All passion and all pleasure has a price.
I was a puppet on a heartstring, dangling from a tampon of defeat.I was lover, counselor, fool—doomed from the start, enabler in the end, unable to make ends meet, or bring my curse to blessed closure.Riddled with guilt like bullets, I shot down any chance to get away.Maybe it was Virgin Cling, or a static state of mind; but I swore that I would save this girl if I lost my very soul…
I'd never done a drug before, but soon I'd learn to stay awake for days…by hook or by crook until crooked and hooked on whatever I could find.And this is what I found:It's easier losing sleep when you've already lost your dreams.
They said she was a knock-out; indeed, I often felt unconscious when she spoke.Heartbeaten and heartstrung-out, weighted down beneath the chest, I was waiting up and waiting on the call…waiting on God, or cardiac arrest.
Ah yes…the call:
It was the sort of call to arms that left one hanging on the phone.Every other day, I knew it'd come:perhaps a call from jail, or a drunk-dial from a pub—a slurring cry for help from dingy bars, or from behind them.Perhaps it would be the stern voice of Security…a doorman she'd enraged or bouncer she'd bounced off of here and there…some poor off-duty cop she'd begged to cuff her for the thrill.It would be another night I'd have to beg a friend to pick her up, while still unsure how I'd be getting home myself.But I knew that call of the wild-at-heart would—one day—end with something wilder still.Every time I heard the phone ring, my heart sank with both nausea and gnosis:would this call be the one to come identify the corpse?
And when I'd finally see her—wild-eyed, drunken, drenched in filth and sin—my lips muttered relief, while my own wild gaze spoke nothing of the sort.My eyes served but to vivisect the already vilified.I said, "Thank God that you're alright," and "I love you more than anything at all."But "the Look" said only, "Please God, get it over with," and "I love you, but I wish you'd finally die."Death would be my liberator…for though I cherished every day with her, I lived in constant dread of those to come.
My heart lived just to prolong the romance; the Look longed for an end to the suspense.
I've seen it, I've received it, I've dispensed it.In fact, I recall thinking I'd seen that Look a scant few months ago, amid my drunken travels at a club.
Worlds collided on the ground like stars in Velikovsky's sky.
One was long and slender, worth the climb; mostly legs, with boots less made for walking than to trod upon leering voyeurs, drunks and lesser gods.The other was voluptuous, with bewitching eyes, and the sort of tits that conquer nations one smitten leering dictator at a time.At the moment, they were all part of the show; and when the curtain fell, they followed…and it all became a blur…
Low lights and lowlifes, high heels and highlights…camera phones and raging bones, wild eyes and tamed beasts…tongue-kisses and near-misses…dancing, cheers, and choked-back tears: it opened with applause, and ended with a thud.A lover looked on from afar, then rolled his eyes in dread, and turned away…
I could have sworn I saw that Look—that Look I gave so many years ago.
As weeks passed by, I came to change my mind.The night was sloppy with vomit and shame, and a good deal of it mine.Some people are difficult to read; and others are only read for the cartoons.
But even the appearance of those eyes…the simulacra of that special empty desperation…it took me back to times when they were mine—when it was my girl dancing topless, kissing strangers, making wreckage, leaving carnage, or passed out on a barroom floor.Behind the eyes, I swore I loved her; but the weariness beneath them could have put her in the grave with just a glare.If indeed eyes are the windows of the soul, there are some with sniper rifles mounted on the sill; and every unaverted gaze is just someone—somewhere—focusing, positioning their scope.And long ago, 'twas I whose sweaty mental triggerfinger twitched and itched; 'twas I who had a headshot in my heart.
Eventually, this goes somewhere (I think).
And with a parting shot indeed, let us resume our tale back in those sunken times…
One night, I had that Look again, and deep within, wondered anew if this would finally be the night—the night I'd mourn death and grieve over lost love…but finally taste my freedom, bittersweet.I paced the room as always, and as any night, made room for her in bed.We weren't quite still together, but we scarcely were apart.That night, that day…I slept and woke alone.
Restless evenings passed until I finally got the call.She wasn't dead, but may as well been.That, I fear, is a morbid and ironic tale itself for other times.But she'd never be seen again; it was a little death, with tiny tears and limited surprise.And the freedom that I craved—in secret and in loathing, with guilt to fill vast seas and countless seasons—arrived neither on time nor bearing absolution.
Though the sex was wild, hard, and prolific, it wasn't what I thought of when she ever came to mind.It's not that I don't remember, or recall it fondly…but the memories bare this odd sort of detachment—I remember it like I'd remember any fun thing that we did.
Truthfully, do you know what comes to mind when I recall our time together?I sit and stare, and wonder if I maybe could have saved her…even though I know that nothing could.
Sometimes, the light of your life does nothing to lighten life itself; but then, some light is less forgiving—likewise, some angles only obstruct the greater view…and I'm not angling at forgiveness anymore.I'm not out for blood, or out to see the light.I'm only out to find where I came in, and exit through that door some distant, grateful night.
Boo hoo.Dear God, I need caffeine.
More than a decade's passed, and the shoe has found another foot.I've become much like old bedmates, and everything I once sought to escape.And now that Look directs itself at me.
I wander into work, half-dead, two-thirds distracted, and wholly uninvested; my manager takes one look and rolls his eyes with the sort of disdain one might usually reserve for the crudely transgendered, the drunk and drooling, the semen-encrusted, the lumpiest of hobos—those with trousers splotched by endless molestations and hands swollen from heroin, scarcely able to shake their fists in grief at the cold grey heavens long indifferent to their screams.I tend to get this more on Tuesdays.
My performance is no better or no worse than any other person there, on any other night; but still, The Look prevails.Management knows little—if anything—about me or any aspect of my life, nor would they care; I just look like someone they might—some near or distant day—need to replace…like someone who might—for any reason, or no reason at all—not show up some afternoon.I look like someone whose last paycheck might be claimed by next-of-kin.
My friends don't plan surprises, so much as they plan interventions.It's a curious irony: I've become the life and death of the party, surrounded by many who call me "brother," but are in fact only related to a scene.They are "close friends" from a friendly distance.To them, I'm dead man stumbling, a bomb ticking as fiercely as my tweaking pulse.And everyone wants tickets to the show.They just don't want to get anything on them.It's like some cosmic fatalistic GWAR show:we are voyeurs—each and all—gawking at the spectacle of death, but no one really wants front row, and don't wear your good clothes.
To an extent, I've come to peace with this; I do love to entertain.
When all is dead and spun…"Do what thou wilt…do what thou must."
I have learned a hard-fought lesson:You cannot change those that do not will it.With love must come respect, and one must respect the choices others make.Even when eyes once filled with adoration turn to bloodshot desperation, those eyes must look ahead—never away.Should we grow apart, may it be because we both have simply grown.
Some of us are born merely to burn away.We are grave and wonton wooden matchsticks, alive with furious abandon and flames of angst when lit, destined only to shine a swiftly dimming light that sets blazes to your other smoking ills until burnt out—be it snuffed and cast aside into the ashpit, or a swift blackening simmer, that burns until the fire burns your thumb.
I'm not someone you can save.You can only save your breath, and both our time.
Rather, let us make merry.Don't avoid the ones you care for because you fear the pain of losing them later on; that distance won't protect you once you've lost them.Your coldness grants no amnesty, but instead only accumulates a grievous wealth of unrequited love, and a burden of curiosity forever unresolved.And if you must soften the blow, cut off merely the urge to change those that cannot; alienate merely the notion that they must be some other way.Stop playing God:If you accept that we all have right—in fact, responsibility—to choose our course of life, then why not also our demise?
It's better to be written out than written off; and I prefer to have the final edit.I shall live and die by my own terms; void where prohibited, no purchase required, see inside for details.You may be an instant winner.
But I'm veering. And I seriously need to get laid right now.
In more compact terms, emotionally speaking, we all have known a loved one with a bomb strapped to their back.And we all think we can run, and view those pretty fireworks from afar.But it doesn't really work that way.It doesn't really work at all.
And someone needs to buy me some cigars before I seriously open fire in a crowded fucking restaurant.
Love is blind, but some only turn a blind eye in the end.
(something to amuse you while I edit the new "proper" post)
So, I'm checking out a cute girl's photo on MySpace...and then...distraction:
For indeed, what could distract me from ass more than...asshands.
Meanwhile, "Tooling For Anus" by the Meatmen roars through my head.
Clearly, MySpace's ad-bots have crawled through my personal data, and determined that--based on the two things I love most, which are apparently robot hands and asses, according to my cookies--this ad would be appropriate.
The ad-bots know best; I could not resist. I clicked.
Arguably, the website was even funnier than its ad. This, my friends (insert creepy McCain leer), is "Engrish" at its best.
Read this. No, seriously...read the whole thing:
(you might need to click the image to see it full-size)
Even their logo is funny. Behold:
Duly noted: these are the "original" ass-hands.
The future of drunkenly groping chicks at Dante's has arrived.
On our second date, she arrived at my apartment drunk enough to pre-embalm her corpse, should spontaneous human combustion fail to scorch her pierced and perfume-drenched remains into a smoldering blackened smear across the seat.Before I could even register, she had yanked me out the door—swiftly as her limbs could clumsily respond—and right into her ominously purring sports car, planting a violent lipstick-smearing drool-splat vodka kiss against my face, while she quickly hit the locks…and then, the gas.She sped off with me in tow/in shock, against the waning sun, a cool burgeoning night wind, and my impending doom.The top was down—and hers would follow—as she flashed oncoming traffic, screamed at random passers-by, and shamed still-grieving spirits of her ancestors at top speed, running lights and signs.Without a single eye or passing thought upon the road we raced to our demise upon, she turned to me with lazy bloodshot eyes, and confidently slurred, “My boyfriends drive.Men drive.If you’re going to be my man, you’re going to learn to drive.”
She then took her hands off the steering wheel, floored the gas with all her might, and threw her head down in my lap.As I nervously gripped the steering wheel from the passenger seat, barely able to weave us in and out of traffic, she unzipped my pants and wrapped her mouth around my cock…all the while never relenting on the gas, and depending on me to steer us to her house.
Yes…this all really happened.I was 20.And she was my first girlfriend.
We weaved viciously and violently in and out of traffic, and whipped around sharp turns at speeds that should have flung us off the road.I was certain—my young mind never more sure of anything—that she was going to bite my penis off, either by accident or by whim, or that we would spiral head-first into some large oncoming death machine.The latter almost happened more than once.I’d never driven a car in my life.Hell, I’d only had a blowjob once.And I’d never been so utterly fear-stricken in all my days.I wasn’t even old enough to drink—in fact, I’d never been drunk in my life—and here I was…about to be a furry little corpse photo for the D.A.R.E. cops to use in “scared straight” demonstrations.
I don’t know how we made it home.I really, truly don’t.I also couldn’t tell you why we never saw a cop.The odds still seem unprecedented, though we were blessed with only modest traffic.All that I recall is that, at some vague and merciful moment, we gently rammed into her garage door, and she yelled at me for not clicking the garage remote when she’d handed it to me three panic-inducing turns ago.I stepped out of the car a nervous, shaken mess…but determined to deny her the satisfaction of seeing any shred of fear.She snatched the keys from my hand, and drunkenly giggled at my flustered state as I followed her messy, lumbering steps toward the door.She turned to look at me—and giggled even harder, despite (or because of) my attempt at being stone-faced.You see, I had forgotten to zip my pants back up, and my bits were hanging out in front of her bewildered neighbors, who’d stepped outside the moment we noisily banged into the drive.
I’d finally found something to laugh about with her; it was the first thing in common that we’d shared (apart from madness and saliva) since I had known her...
I followed her drunk and stumbling frame upstairs, into her room.She kicked off her remaining clothes, and sprawled out on the bed. Her eyes rolled back in her head as if possessed, as she writhed across the sheets, and called my name.She informed me, in a bizarre sort of slur reeking of some botched attempt at “sultry,” that I now got the “reward.”The reward, she said, was that I could do whatever I wanted to her—whatever I could think up, with few limits at all.
This would become standard arrangement on future dates:she would achieve stupendous feats of drunkenness with the frequent objective of infuriating or endangering me…and if I made it home with her intact, she would passively disrobe and await further instruction; I could do as I pleased.It was one part Sleeping Beauty, and three parts Hostel.
This was my first relationship.I suppose it tells you all you need to know.
She was beautiful, and often very sweet, in a Jeckyl & Hyde sort of dynamic.At times, she seemed so normal and so perfect—sometimes it would even last for days, though her manic-depression left me frequently on eggshells, perpetually on the defensive, and guarding every phrase.Any random thing could set her off, and end hours or days of calm.The objects of her rage would be seemingly meaningless, but she would carry on as if I’d wounded her very soul.Generally, I could calm her, and the storm would pass as swiftly as it came.But if left alone and understimulated, she would nip from hidden bottles—mostly inexpensive vodka—and pretend as if I didn’t know.And then the night began.
Ever the young romantic, convinced that love was real and magickal—able to save us all, no less—I was a gentle touch at first, and leery of the freedom I’d been granted.Ever the pastor’s son, I was determined I would save her.From what?I wasn’t sure—but I figured I’d find something, down the road.I had to save her; it’s simply what I did...it’s simply all I knew.I was determined not to abuse the bodily dominion I’d been given.But as months filled in a year, and that year filled out a dungeon full of phobias and hang-ups that I never may unpack in full, I would slowly come to appreciate the fullness of my liberties.With every torment and indignity that she compounded upon me by day, my conscience would come to whisper less and less when it came time to settle scores by night.
This tale/tirade is not quite about sex, despite the expectation.Rather, it concerns a lover’s gaze.
There is a look that pierces time itself, like the tattooed teats of any random pink- or purple-haired Suicide Girl that you drunkenly befriended on MySpace when your girlfriend wasn’t looking.It’s not a look of love, or even lust—though desire lends it strength.But it is indeed a look of longing.It is a weary look that seeks to curtail curtain calls, and hasten the inevitable.
I’ve seen it; I’ve received it; I’ve dispensed it.
It is a look that thirsts for death.It’s eyes water with sorrow for a time, but soon they parch with apathy and dread.It’s a lover’s gaze that loves only the grave…
(But I’ve dug this grave deeply enough tonight; and dispensed more than enough. You will have to wait ‘til next week for the rest.Who’s with me?Tune in next week…)