Friday, April 21, 2006


(What is all this? This is the continuing saga of my real New Orleans adventure of spring 2001.

A fictionalized account was written and presented as Peaceful Sleazy Feeling.

This is the real story, as compiled from my filthy, muck-stained journals of days gone by, and girls done worse.

Enjoy. If you're new, then check out the last three posts...and fucking deal with it.)

Sorry…I seem to have nodded off.

It’s always the same dream, when I have these nightmares...always the same scenario. It embodies my Three Terrors, the triumvirate of my greatest fears: (1) Being trapped in a sexless, passionless marriage…(2) Fatherhood… and (3) the death of a best friend, and the awkward prayer to follow. It seems weird…but it’s always the same: I’m trapped, married to some despicable, bitter, nagging harpy whom I’m financially obligated to, not getting any from, and too “in love” with to leave. We have spiteful, insolent children who resent me, and despise or ignore anything I might have stood for or have cared about, dishing out all the rotten karma I’ve accrued over time. I’ve changed my life, and dashed my hopes and dreams for these little ingrates, and their grievous, needy mother. My life is over. All is responsibility, and the pains of growing old.
Shit…so far, my greatest fears resemble the lives of my parents, and half my friends... Oh, and my friends…my best friend (whose identity seems to change with every version) is dying in the dream, and I’m at his bedside. He’s lived as wild a life as I, if not more so. And here he is…soon to meet his Maker. In his desperate grasps and wheezes, with his dying breath, he cries “Pray for me!” But I don’t know Whom to pray to anymore. That time of my life is long since gone. And now this…is there a Hell? Will he go there if I don’t pray with him? Am I damning my best friend to eternal torment? All he wants is peace. But I don’t have it to give…not here, and not in the hereafter.

It’s all a form of death. It’s all drenched in finality.
And I always wake up screaming.

In a sense, it encapsulates the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths: my life is hell and toil…and the desire and pursuit of life is hell and toil…and death is hell and toil as well; and the only way to escape it is to…awake. We all find some strange nirvana of our own. I imagine that the screaming is the same.

* * *

I awoke to the sound of street-preachers bellowing outside. This was mentioned in PSF as well. And while none of them passed me creepy little holy Post-Its, or danced a drunken jolly jig, as my crusaders had, I had no idea that people really did this anymore. I made it up--and look now, there it was. We were two flights up, and they were several blocks away…but he screamed his Jesus loudly like an auctioneer downtown. Would the highest bidder, then, pay the price for all our sins? I wasn’t sure, but I knew one thing--I’d help the Good Lord get His money’s worth.

As the day progressed (or regressed, some might say), Mark The Drunken Master felt the urge to practice said mastery at an oyster bar off Bourbon--A&P, if I recall. How could something called a “po boy” cost so much?! I bitterly placed my order, and eyed up the cute Cajun damsel that served us. Mark caught me glaring at her curves, and laughed to the effect that I would never settle down.

“Settle in, perhaps. I don’t know,” I said. “Part of me feels like I need to stop. I get tired sometimes. And I do miss Nightshade…”

“Wait,” he chuckled-dumbfounded, “Isn’t that the one you tried to kill?”

“Yes…No!…Shut up…that wasn’t the plan….oh, fuck all…” I sighed and waved single-fingeredly. I pouted off to the restroom like a girl. Perhaps I owe my readers an explanation?

Nightshade had been the one beacon of stability in my perilous, addled life up to that point. We weren't really "steady," but she didn't care: I was the perenial stray animal, matted fur dripping in the rain. Every so often, she came by to make sure I was eating, or to make sure that I actually slept once in a while. The sex was almost an afterthought. If ever I was homeless, she would throw another pillow on the bed.

One day, we had a pregnancy scare. Her period was three weeks late. Remember my discussion earlier on, per my fear of fatherhood? I was in panic mode. For every voice that whispered, "Hey, this could be good for you--you really need to settle down..." there was another that rang out louder still, with things like, "Dear Lord, you barely know this girl..."

“Do you really want to destroy the next 18 years of your life with some pink, screaming little prison sentence?” the voices cried. "Hell, a manslaughter charge would only net you ten..."

It was then that I became Death, destroyer of wombs.

We had no money to "remove the problem." We weren't even sure that was legal where we lived--we are quite the Red State...and then I had a truly sick idea.

You see, certain drugs concentrate in your system. Amphetamine-class narcotics, in particular, actually grow stronger as they filter through your body. They particularly accumulate in semen.

Nightshade was such a straight arrow. She'd never even smoked a cigarette, and had never been drunk a day in her life--much less ingested the sort of fuel I lived and died on. If I could collect just enough "poison" in my person, and trick her into blowing me...I'd make the girl OD, and maybe miscarry the child.
I'd overdosed my tweaking brain, I figured the odds were better that I could carry her through a bad trip, than carry her with our hellspawn to full term.

Over the next three days, I did every kind of dope imaginable. I hadn't slept in so long, that at one point I hallucinated another room onto the house--shouting out at persons who did not exist. There would be so much venom in the serpent's head, that she'd be lucky if it didn't melt right through her jaw.

When I came over, the guilt and grief just slithered through my ribs. I knew I had to do junkie logic was irrefutable. But a part of me softly died with every step I took toward the bed.

We cuddled as lovers, and kissed as Judas. I whispered sweetest nothings from the nothingness inside. She took the bait...and the pleasure and the pain became a waiting game.

"Down the hatch," I thought...swallowed with my lies. She made a sour yuck-face when I came. " taste like medicine," she sneered. (Woman, if you only knew...)

I was the dick of her demise, a hot beef lethal injection…and now the deed was done.

I can't quite describe all that I felt as I watched her pupils dilate. Something was afoot...and I was surely damned to hell. Truly, I had never deserved it more. She sat up, and began to chat with me a bit. She had a certain glow to her countenance. Any other time, it might have been a glow of satisfaction, for a dirty deed well done. But I knew that wasn't it. I knew it was the drugs, her adrenaline on the rise. "I have such wonderful news for you," she cooed. I trembled, chewing the scenery as she nibbled the suspense.

"I'm not pregnant. I got my period today!"

I should have been thrilled, but my heart sank even further in the irony: the only girl who likely ever loved me, and now she might just die...and all for what? Some great masculine cowardice?

She poked me, puzzled. "What, babe...aren't you happy?"

I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to say. She got up off the bed and stirred. She was becoming much more animated. Oh God, I's just about to hit.

She became a bit annoyed. " lay there and be weird. I'm going to go do something. I have this sudden urge to clean the house..."

In the end, she would be fine--and truth be told, our house would never be so clean as on that night, that wretched night...

And this is why I deserve to be alone.

* * *

After another high-priced drink, I took to my own wanderings; Mark and I would meet at eight o’clock. The city is pretty, but I swear to God, it smells like rotten clams. Every alley smelled like wino piss, every sidewalk smelled like the restaurant nearest by--or at very least, their dumpsters, late at night.

Mardi Gras was a month ago, and I’m still collecting beads. I’m still eyeballing tits, and tripping over fratboys on Spring Break. When I separated from my partner, the humble Drunken Master, I sought to find some solace in a local Voodou shop. I knew they offered prayers to gods--gods who truly (some said) answered when approached. I didn’t understand the “how” or “why”--I no longer knew or cared whether they were devils, angels, saints, or God Himself. I only knew the System worked, and once--if only once--I sought to make the System finally work for me.

I found a shop--and boy howdy, what a shop it was. Imagine what a Goodwill might resemble were it located in some Beetle Juice/Tim Burton afterlife. I half expected a manic, over-acting, pin-striped Michael Keaton to emerge from the beaded curtain--voodoo dolls and incense in each hand. There were Day Of The Dead masks and statues everywhere. Beads and random symbols hung from every nook. There was no room for crannies. Dolls of every size stood tall; books on myriad subjects filled the shelves. A strange man known as “Enoch” welcomed me in. He was young, and a gifted psychic. He knew I came to ask the gods for favor. Somehow, a twenty-minute conversation about music ensued. He was an Emperor fan. That sealed it; I now trusted that weird bugger with my life.

He said, “Light a stick of incense, and a candle--and place it before the idol of your choice.” I was surprisingly random about this. “Now concentrate about what you really want.”

Oh…did I mention I have a problem with this? Yes; I believe I did. For some reason--whatever reason--finding “the proper medications” no longer made the list. Actually, nothing that I actually needed even crossed my mind. At the moment I lit that candle, I was thinking of poon-tang…New Orleans gothic poon. What makes a man discard a legitimate need for goth-chick snatch? Oh yeah…having a dick. (Perhaps this can’t be blamed on ADD…)

So I have the Good Gods’ ear…and all that fills my head are visions of receiving it, from some Anne Rice-reading drama queen with fishnets and tattoos. Sisters Of Mercy fuck-songs began swimming in my head. Whether I’d set out to, I’d asked the Great Beyond for a spring fling…Consorted them for a consort, so to speak.. But hey, it’s not like prayers get answered in the “real world,” right?

(Oh, Heaven up above, how the Heavens ‘round me roar….)

* * *

She wasn’t Death, but she faked it well--as if the mock-reaping of souls was like a bogus orgasm.

I walked out of the shop, and I saw her standing there--smoking a clove on the corner, as if waiting for some spooky gothed-out bus. Our eyes met across the street, while I nailed her in the backroom of my mind. She walked toward me right away. Her every movement was pornography, and my every racing impulse was a sin. She said her name was Lydia. She wore fishnets and a push-up bra, her hair black as my raisin of a heart. Her skin was smoothe and pale, with my favorite bands all tattooed up her arms.

This was not a random passerby of interest. This was a Special Delivery from the Great Beyond, no sooner than the candle had been snuffed.

She engaged me in conversation, and coyly smiled. "So...what are you looking for?”

“Someone to poison.”

“Sounds like fun. Do you mind if I come?”

“Do you mind if I watch?”

And off we went--hellbound and heavensent, giddy on our way to lose that very way…to drag our coffins into Hades, and make our beds in Sheol. And really, who could complain? It’s not everyday a man makes a bed at all, Sheol, Paris, or Jersey. Not that I planned on sleeping from here out…

* * *

Monday, April 10, 2006