Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Cyclops and I


“I’m here to take you on a journey,” rang the echoing voice of the…9 foot tall Cyclops hunched over my bed… Jesus Christ if there was ever a time for Seroquel it was right now. Anyway…

Its breath smelled like hot garbage with the faintest whiff of medical waste. I felt the waves of its sticky body heat radiating outward as its colossal, unblinking eye gazed into what little there was left of me.

“What… what are you and what are you doing here?”

“C’mon man,” It replied, reaching into its loincloth to retrieve a comically oversized lighter and cigarette pack

“Why even ask those kinds of questions? You know why I’m here.”

 “What you mean the…” I coughed while the giant motherfucker blew cloud-sized plumes of smoke directly into my face.

“The shit over there?” I asked pointing to my trash can filled to the brim with thoroughly torn apart Benadryl and triple C boxes.


“Well… fine. Let’s get this over with. What sort of journey is it gonna be this time?”

“It’s more of an origin story.”

“Hmm, interesting… well not so much actually. There isn’t a lot to tell as far as that’s concerned. Not much in my case anyway.”

“There’s more to it than you think. There always is.”

I let out a sigh, let the cyclops grab my hand and started thinking about why I was such a sucker for cough syrup and a whole host of other vices. I thought about the first time I tried that shit and could (quite surprisingly) remember it in vivid detail.


There I was in my college boy dorm room browsing through Psychiatric journals, lying through my teeth in some vain attempt to convince the world that I’d changed. The 700 or so milligrams of DXM I’d just downed notwithstanding. The first faint signs started emerging after the typical carrier wave (a sickening nausea that one must avoid vomiting from at all costs). There was a noticeable shift in my balance. I decided to go out for a smoke. I met up with Keegan, in the smoker’s circle downstairs and we got to talking. The conversation eventually led to the topic of religion

“I’m not sold on any of it. God can’t be omnipotent. You know the whole making a rock he can’t move thing,” his perma-stoned expressionless face was melting, ever so slightly melting.

Keegan looked like a serial killer. White, tall with glasses and an all-around clean cut look which I knew for a fact to be complete and utter bullshit. Nobody can blow through an Opana 40 and a fifth of Xanax sprinkled vodka in a night and walk away unscathed. My best guess was that he’d sold his soul to the devil… who knew what else he was hiding. But despite all of that, I enjoyed his company. I’d always heard that Ted Bundy was a stand-up guy 90 percent of the time.

“I don’t know. I guess I’ve just always felt something separate from myself. I tried hiding from it, burying it but it was always there... Did you know there are 21 grams that disappear when a person dies?” I said lighting a cigarette.


Suddenly in a true Hunter S. Thompson esque moment, it hit me. My movements became rigid. There was noticeable flanging of sounds, voices of passersby and the sound of the rustling wind wriggled and merged in a quasi-sexual motion. My vision became narrow as the blue sky opened up to reveal a lizard-like entity starting down at me (possibly a representation of my reptilian limbic system. Damn our lizard brains, always getting us into trouble). I stood in horror.

“Damn you’re fucking gone man. Be careful,” Keegan replied tossing his cigarette down stomping out what remained of its life.

“Bye Ted.” I said, unable to control my laughter.

I somehow made it back to my dorm, afflicted by the infamous “robo walk” a constricted series of movements akin to advanced Parkinson’s disease. It felt like I was travelling hundreds of miles. My vision filled with a plethora of colors and shapes ranging from psychedelic to cyber-punk. I eventually got my bearings and returned to my room. Some time passed. I started to hear beautifully complex music in the background (auditory hallucinations were a trademark of DXM for me, a winding labyrinth of sound somewhere in between tortured and heavenly… it was all part of the magic), as I made my way out to try and find the source. I then stumbled upon a group of Russian exchange students, eating in the commons area. I was shocked to see this for some reason and then it happened.

I let go of myself completely. My body became for lack of any better word, cosmic. I couldn’t tell if I was a thousand feet above the ground or an inch tall. As my ego dissolved I yelled.

“All of you are me…and I am all of you!”

I was then carried away to a world of closed eye visuals where I met God himself…I guess I was right all along. I had ascended. Feeling as if I had merged with the consciousness of everyone else (as they drank and shouted at each other in crazed demon tones) around me. I took some time to calm down and while walking back to my flat, mistook my very large, very Mexican neighbor for Jesus…Overall, it was one hell of a day.

The Cyclops had vanished (as the hallucinatory whims of a seriously damaged mind tend to). I now found myself in a crowded, dimly lit room. People walked past me at varying paces sometimes stopping to respond to texts and check their emails. The culmination of their footsteps and chatter was deafening then suddenly… it all stopped.

“Hello” I said to no one.

They’d all vanished. I felt the cold, emotionless pavement beneath my feet. Wherever I was had gotten a jump start on the apocalypse. Crumbling skyscrapers and war-time shrapnel filled my eyes shifting away as the sound of a film reel followed by yet another disembodied voice, broke the silence.

“You… have led a life of sin.”

(Well this should be interesting).

“But you have always had hope.”

“Well that’s almost certainly bullshit,” I said under my breath

“It certainly isn’t… find hope. Find hope in the darkest corners… Hope just like the hope you had before death crept in. Just like the hope you after it left. Find this kind of hope again.

An unseen projector shot out streams of light, buzzing to the symphony of a long forgotten home movie.


“Happy New Year,” I whispered taking another shot a Jameson. My head tilting back at the perfect angle. My eyes closing to savor the bittersweet experience (if I was going to drink tonight, I was going to do it as melodramatically as possible).

It’d been a few months. I knew that. Though I hadn’t really been keeping track of the days as of late. A photo of Amy, smiling her impish smile, stared back at me. Motionless and silent on the surface. I knew that underneath it all at the sub-atomic level there was more unbridled fury than this world could handle. Particles appearing, vanishing and colliding with each other creating a collage of shimmering worlds, blinking in and out of existence, destined to be continually reborn and torn apart. I took some comfort in that. In the whole, life going on thing...but only some. Not as much faith as I had in hard liquor anyway.

“I think I’m gonna go back to school. Maybe study psychology. I’ve always liked it, well, the ideas behind it anyway...all the academic shit. It’d be a good way for me to figure out why I’m such a fuck up if nothing else.”

Another shot down the hatch.

“I miss you… really miss you. I think I owe it to you and myself and so many other people to… I don't know, actually do something. I wana get out of this town, get away from all of the demons out there… all of our demons. Just like you always wanted.”

I put the bottle down knocking it over as I grabbed for the well-worn pack of cigarettes on top of my nightstand.

“Happy New Year,” I said again.

I was back in my room. The Explosions in the Sky song (First Breath after Coma maybe?) I’d had on repeat was still playing. There were no Lizard Gods or crowds of imaginary people. Just me, alone with my collection of deformed memories.

“Find hope,” I said to myself.

If only it were that simple…


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sweet Dreams

"What's death like?"

"What's what now?" I asked suddenly ripped away from whatever day dream I'd gotten lost in.

"Death, you know the grand finale."

"I... uh... I don't know,"

I chuckled a little. A force of habit more than anything. A little nervous laughter to complement an already morbid sense of humor... It comes in handy every once in a while.

Amy's hands never wavered when she prepped a shot. There wasn't a single part of the sacrament that was wasted. Mathematical in her precision she mixed it, drew it up and after a quick the drop of a cotton managed to hit 70 cc's every time.

"I wish you wouldn't do that."

We used to fight about it. Crack and dope weren't my cup of tea back then. I liked my blend of big pharama cocktails washed down with... cocktails. I was younger then... young enough to be arrogant. Never predicting that I'd eventually fall to the same poison(s) that kept my lover alive (a steady diet of coke, benzos and the rush of the needle) but love is a crazy thing on its own and ours was made all the crazier with the addition of our extracurricular activities.

"I don't..."

Her eyes widened and rolled to the back of her head. She slumped down in "THE CHAIR" (a giant overstuffed monstrosity that our meth-head neighbors had dumped in the alley before getting evicted) and shook a little bit before finishing her sentence.

"I don't get shit from smoking it anymore and it's not like spikes are bad... well not as bad as people say. The media twists shit around to make a quick buck and keep the population neutered. You of all people know that." she said talking faster with each breath.

"Yeah but... I don't know. Don't you ever wonder if we've taken it too far with all of this shit?"

"All the time."

"Is that why you asked... what you asked about?"

"Yeah, sort of. I've always been curious. Like, is this it. Is this the pinnacle of our existence? If it is, shouldn't we push it as far as it can go?"

"Huh, that's a tough one."

I thought about that night on my way to the hospital. One of the many vignettes that played on an endless, cracked movie reel in the back of my head. I'd blown a .3 and eaten some ambien... maybe with a hydrocodone or 2 thrown in there, to forget about things like that. The last memory I had before blacking out in the ER. The paramedics had told me that I'd come "close to death."

"Close huh?" I managed to slur out after (kind of) coming to.

"Well, I guess it wasn't close enough... She got... "I paused to burp

"Closer than I ever could."


"Someone I used to know."

"You need to get some rest." The paramedic had now morphed into a homely looking nurse that had me hooked up to a myriad of wires.

"I hope you found what you were looking for," I whispered before drifting off again.

"I really... really do."


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Let there be Light

It was time to puke. They say that God has a sense of humor... well, my god certainly does. I felt its presence immediately after performing my sacrament (a fat line of blue powder taken to the dome, followed by a cup of lukewarm beer to wash down the drip). That warm, full-body glow was like church for me. Just the right combination of neurotransmitters to produce a feeling, something distinctly non-physical. Some might call enlightenment An idea that ordinary men can only ever catch glimpses of and the furious stream of half digested food that came afterwards, my penance.

"God damn," I said falling into my well-worn beanbag chair.

"You have any Zofran... or weed? I could really use some weed."

"A few crumbs laying around somewhere. Dunno where though. I've been taking res hits all fuckin day."

White Mike's eyes were shifty. Always trying to stare around the corners of every room. Flickering like a fluorescent light right before it burns out but never shutting off.

"Fuck it I'll have what you're havin."

I never really cared much for weed and res hits were disgusting, migraine-inducing, shitty... running out of adjectives. Let's just go with REALLY fucking digusting but anyway... It was fun when life was offered fewer obligations but now it was just part of the recipe like a dollop of salt on some processed meat dish. An addition to stretch out the high from whatever witch's brew I decided to poison myself with on any given night. Tonight it was Morphine... lots and lots of Morphine.

"One of my friends died today," Mike said in between nods.

"Oh shit man who was it?"


"I'm... (C'mon stay awake stay the fuck awake. You've heard too many horror stories about mixing pills with booze to-)

After some amount of lost time (2 mins, 2 hours who the fuck knows?)

"I'm sorry," I answered

"Yeah, he was getting into fent pretty bad. He just... well you know."

(Did I? I suppose I did... not the most pleasant realization to come to).

"That sucks man. I'm really sorry," I said again.

"Shit, it was in the mail. Always is. I'm just glad it wasn't me this time."

"No doubt."

"You know right before he died. He told me that he was getting into this Black Magic shit."

(Here we go).

"He was seeing demons everywhere. Voices all of that shit... He'd been getting the fent from someone online and he said they were in this cult or something... It makes ya wonder man."

"Eh, I've never... (nodding out again).  I've never put much stock in any of that. There's usually a rational explanation for those kinds of things."

"Fuck no there isn't. There's nothing rational about this shit. Travis is dead. He's fuckin dead and I'm high off my ass talking to you about why he' dead.Shit, I'm almost positive that half the kids in town tried to cop a bag of whatever killed him without even knowing what it was If you're gonan put stock in anything put it in fentanyl and we both know that's irrational as fuck."

"Heh, yeah I guess so."

Maybe there was something to it. Was there anything good(?) useful(?) or rational(?) In the world? Anything capable of creating something so beautiful that it's evil... Is that the nature of God or Travis' magical demons? There was nothing but darkness before He spoke the universe into being. There were no rational explanations. There was also no metric to measure them by. No spectrum of petty, conceptual  things like good and evil or long-winded talk about how they could be achieved. No allegorical works of prose or cryptic messages told to pass time by people wandering around in the desert. It was nothingness. The natural state of things. Maybe it never changed. The chaos didn't go away for us. The nothingness, that place that I (and many others) tired in vain to escape to every night but four words, four fucking words changed all of that... Let there be light.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Poem

She smelled like rainwater and clove cigarettes. Her thin whisps engulfing mine offering a brief reprieve from the iron weight of apathy. Of being a disillusioned 20-something in a town somewhere in the middle of the world.

Possessing my body with the fury of junk-sickness cells change and die. Organs and germ layers dissolve into vapor as I melt into her. I am now a bystander transfixed by on-coming traffic. Distracted by pretty things... I suppose pretty things are usually the most venomous.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Addict (a poem written for an open mic)

Crawling from the petri dish we share
We stumble, (drunkenly) towards extremism
Every step coated in synthetic bliss
We walk
Among third-world ruins devoid of anything but subtance(s)
In search of our next fix
The best of us fall while some of us
Tie off into oblivion and
Sing songs about our solitude
The dope whores on the street
Are just an inch away from our youthful idealism

... Do I have a problem(?)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cringe (Unfinished/Rough Draft) Looking for opinions.

After coming to a weak orgasm in a crowded Shop n' Save bathroom, I let out a sigh, ripped off the right length of toilet paper (I had this shit down to a science) and wiped the cum from my hand, shaft and let's not forget that tiny drip that made it' way to the toilet seat.

There were still small clots/splotches of blood caked under my fingernails. Disgusting I know, if I lack anything it's self restraint but what's a boy to do after a fresh kill? Not masturbate? I don't think so, (and yes this was my first "real" kill a human. The most dangerous game if you will. I'd practiced on mice and dogs, burnt hookers with cigarettes but this was my... my Magnum Opus), because in my fucked up way of seeing the world, there's no better time to indulge then after... well you know.

After cleaning up, I looked myself over. Just to be sure. Hair, slicked back in corporate tradition.  A carefully pressed tie to complement complete with a  my knock-off Armani suit. Everything was fine accept for the god-damn pen mark on my pant leg... Jesus, how in the FUCK does something like that happen... oh well. I purchased some breath mints before going back to my car to get rid of the body and... that was it. Much like my my aforementioned orgasm it didn't really satisfy me but it was done and now the rest of my life had been set out before me. Like St. Paul going blind, I had found my true self (however un-gratifying something like that may be).

Ed Norton (just like the film actor), that was the name of my victim. I preserved his head mainly because I wanted a keepsake but it soon became more than that.

"You know Ed," I said as I cracked a beer...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pop Pop

"Get the fuck out of my bar before I call the cops on your skinny ass!" screamed the unnamed Hispanic bouncer, spittle pouncing from his mouth as he gave me a good shove.

"Alright, alright man I'm gone."

With no choice but to strand my drunk, confused and very gay friend in the club I drunkenly stumbled to my car.

"You lost buddy?" A (probably) homeless guy asked me as I was wondering around; lost and strung out in one of the many not so savory parts of town.

"I uh (pausing to belch and... false alarm) can't find my fuckin car man."

"What are ya drivin?"

"It's a red (BELCH) a red Chevy Blazer."

"Well you ain't to far off my friend. That it over there?

I rubbed my eyes and looked in the direction that my new friend homeless Jesus was pointing towards.

"Uh, yeah... yeah it is thanks man. You want a cig?"

"Sure thing brotha man."

"No problem I really appreciate..."

And just like that, he was gone.

I got to my car and crushed up 2 fat lines of the best coke in Illinois. One right after the other and I felt like fucking GOD HIMSELF! I'd downed enough drinks to land me several DUI's but the coke cut through the double vision like a heavy duty sushi knife . I was ready to go home (where I kept a stash of needles... This will quite unfortunately come into play later) but let's back up a bit.

I sat with Josh, my outspoken, mystical gay friend, my spirit animal at a trendy bar in the college-ish part of town. We were debating the meaning of karma and talking about the religious overtones in Ginsberg's writing when all of a sudden... my phone buzzed.

"Oh shit, it's Sara, She's got a gig at that bar and grill place... can't remember what the fuck it's called for the life of me. Wana check it out?"

"Sure," I said

Sara, she was interesting to say the least. I'd met her among a crowd of angel faced hipsters (shameless Ginsberg reference time) but she stood out somehow. Her eyes were kind, her lips pillowy and there was a kind of innocence that rang through her... though she was far from it.

"I really wana try shrooms," She'd said after blowing out a cloud of smoke from the joint we shared behind the burnt out warehouse where "The Collective" (a pretentious mob of 20-somethings) met to get drunk and share our writing. Basking in the admiration of self-indulgence.

"It's a ride," I said coughing.

"You know how acid makes everything look pixilated and there's this... this really rigid geometry. Shrooms are different. Everything looks like a Pixar Movie but that's not really my bag anymore. I haven't tripped since college."

"Sounds fun... so what's in your bag these days?" A smile crept across her lips.

"It's uh... complicated. I got stuck up in some harder tuff a while back... pills, coke the works."

"Hmm, never ventured that far... but I might be willing to if you're around."

Her hand brushed mine and in what seemed like second my vision faded into a kaleidoscopic mess. I found myself in some unnamed by with Antwan (my gay friend from earlier) listening to Sara playing piano.

"That was dope. "

"Awe, thanks. It's good to hear some encouragement..."

The other bar that we bar hopped to was crowded and roaring with the aftermath of coke and alcohol. I knew what I wanted and at the time, it wasn't her (it was fuckin coke). Adorned in self-destruction, I purchased my bag, slammed my works together and took the plunge. Now, I sit in my own aftermath with nothing but a bruised arm for company... Things definitely aren't what they used to be.