Tuesday, July 18, 2017
There had been no passage of time in between me taking my nightly cocktail of narcotic bliss and arriving at... what/when/wherever the place I now found myself was. Black as the Tao an infinite nothingness, it took some time for me to regain my senses. To come to terms with it all. Suddenly, things shapes, sounds colors started coming into focus. Slowly building like some lumbering symphony until it all reached a crescendo and then boom! A patchwork of my life from birth til death. I saw everything I'd ever experienced (from my first time riding a bike without training wheels to my first time shooting up) and everything I had yet to. I looked away from kids, marriage and failed business ventures and (as all dope-fiends do) firmly planted myself in the past. I peaked into a window from a few years ago. Caleb and I were drinking. I could smell the nauseating, paint-thinner smell of McCormick's and stale cigarettes.
"Yo I spit rhymes like cyanide. No Cheech and Chong. beats like an H-Bomb leave ya dead and gone. Unmask Anonymous peer inside the void. Nietzsche's monsters got nowhere to hide."
"Ah shit yeah man. That was sick," I barked out before taking another shot.
Caleb usually sucked a free-styling but persistence and vodka certainly worked wonders sometimes.
"Thanks man... You know I'm (burp) really fucking glad I met you man."
"Uh... yeah man likewise. I'm always down to kick it with.. uh, interesting people."
"No man, I... really mean it. You're a good person... Don't do what I do. Don't fuck up with pills and shit. You should lay off of the k-pins and fuckin like whatever else. Don't (burp) don't fuck up like I have."
"Ah, it's straight. It's not like I'm hooked or anything... I'll be careful."
I pulled whatever ethereal version of myself I'd become back into the (for lack of a better term) Tao and floated around some more searching for something worth feeling nostalgic about.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed another movie reel. Amy lied in a sterile smelling hospital bed Her jet black hair matted into sweat drenched clumps. Her skin looked grey.Her eyes were...
"Nope, fuck that." I said aloud.
I moved on... I wasn't nearly as resilient as trippy-dream-me was.
"Go on, reel it in! reel it in!"
I'd been skimming algae off the top of the lake not paying attention my fishing line. I bolted up. My small arms grasping my Winnie the Pooh fishing pole with all the strength a 7 year old could muster.
My dad held the base steady while I cranked with my right hand until my wrist hurt. As the line grew shorter and shorter I saw something breech the water. Dad snatched up the line with his hand and tossed the 6 or so inch bluegill into our boat.
"There we have it son. You're first catch," he said beaming from ear to ear.
I felt a giddy fear as I moved my hand towards the fish. It wriggled and I immediately jumped back. dad smiled and after getting a firm grip, ripped out the hook and tossed it back.
I exhaled and found myself in limbo again.
In lieu of legs (which this astral body of mine didn't seem to have) my whole world shook. My vision refocused and I found myself staring at a blonde twenty-something wearing a torn up, two sizes larger than her frame NOFX shirt. She danced through the ether with a cigarette dangling from her pierced lip like it was nothing.
"Who... who are you?" I asked dumbfounded.
"It's... complicated. Your... uh, Jiminy Cricket, guardian angel, tralfamadorian you know, all of that shit... You can call me Stephanie."
"Uh..." (still dumbfounded).
"Don't freak out man It's all good. Just thought I'd check up on you ya know? Don't get to do that very often. Dream states and acid trips are really the only window we have to reach "the normies"... That's what we call you guys, normies but anyway, dreams and acid trips are usually a clusterfuck and it's hard to have a productive conversation with anyone under those circumstances so we usually end up waiting. Waiting for moments like this. When everything lines up just right and your brain opens up to our world."
"So, this is your world?" I managed to choke out.
"Sort of, this is place isn't really anything. I call it the Oneness. A collection of everything and nothing. We're outside of time here. I'm sure you've picked up on that. It's sort of a neutral ground where everything coalesces. "Spirits" your word for us. Normies, thoughts feelings. They all move freely here."
"You sure I didn't accidentally take that Ket I've been saving for a rainy day?"
"Ha, no man. This is real."
"Aright so your my guardian angel. I guess I owe you one... Maybe two or three."
"Don't sweat it." Stephanie said with a wink.
"It's kind of fucked up though. Where were you when my neighbors kid got raped. When that homeless guy froze to death behind the mall last week... When Amy died?"
"It doesn't work like that. We can't save people from suffering. If it wasn't for that... all of that bad shit than there'd be nothing to move things forward. Nothing to reverse entropy. Our job is to carefully balance things out. To use a light touch. Besides, suffering isn't all its cracked up to be... Everything repeats itself. Good, bad ugly it all cycles back around. We're both made of the same energy. Whatever formless blob we're connected to. Some call it "God..." I guess I'm inclined to agree. Probably the closest thing to a god that I know of. We just have different roles."
"Well if your role is to what... like oil the machine. Than what does that make me? Some kind of gear or cog?"
"No, you're much, much more than that. You're the eyes, ears, mouth... you're everything I'm not. You get to experience well, all of this. I just have a place on the sidelines. Makes me a little jealous at times. I've never been high, been in love, had my heart broken. That's the hand you normies have been dealt."
"Huh, I suppose that works in a roundabout way."
"A roundabout way. I like that... Hang in there. Things have a way of falling in place. Even if it looks like they're about to fall apart... You're probably gonna wake up soon. I should go..."
My eyes jolted open. I sat straight up and let out the heaviest breath of my life. The clock on my nightstand read 4:02 AM. Instead of taking a swig from the bottle sitting next to the aforementioned clock, I flipped on my light, grabbed a pen, opened the well-worn notebook I kept under my pillow and started jotting down everything I could remember. For the first time in a long time okay with not being able to sleep. The endless worry of minuets passing by, of being alone with my thoughts meant very little to me now. After all, what does a little bout of insomnia matter when you've had the chance to live outside of time?