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Monday, September 14, 2015

It's Not Enough

Darkness.  Panting fear.  Yanked back to the Real.  The horse god was watching me.  Moths circled us before dissolving into Light.  Reflections across the black pool, trails of starlight shimmering over still water.  A flat, monotone girl voice asking, "Lover, you awake?"

My eyes open.  

I look at the clock.  A mere forty minutes until my alarm goes off for work.  And I crave sleep...But I'm laying in a puddle of cold sweat and have to piss so bad it's agony to move.  I know if I get up I won't return to dreams.  But the withdrawal will awake.  Right now it's still passed out in a puddle of my alcoholism.  Getting up will make me puke.  This is my morning ritual, so I don't rush.  I want to let the demons slumber...but a gallon of piss and forty fucking minutes ticking down like doom plague me.  I can already feel the runny nose and nausea stirring.  Throbbing pain from the top of my skull, spreads out to my teeth which I grind at night.  The demons use curved, spiked ice picks on my spine to pull my nerves apart like frayed guitar strings.  Fuck.  I already want my morning taper pills.  My habit is shoving me into a new day.  

No rest for the fucked.  

The wife sleeps like normal people sleep.  Seven to eight hours and not in a puddle of oily, stinking pill sweat.  Her sleep is so deep.  She does normal things at our age like she has a career, volunteers for Girl's Scouts and helps the kids with homework.  And me?  I fret away hours and die between pill taper doses.  A useless thing.  But she knows what I am.  She doles out my pills on a plan.  Sometimes I catch her studying my arms and hands.  I swear I won't do that but you know the word of a junkie...  

I go to work with a kiddie sandwich bag filled with just enough pills to survive my eight hours.  Sure I could take them all at once and feel GREAT for an hour or two.  But then I have the next five or six hours to sweat, throb and die at my desk.  I always think of cheating but she knows me well enough to keep her own pill count.  I love her and think of touching her face but I don't want to wake her.  She is on kid duty and gets them dressed, fed and off to school before work.  Also she is slammed at her job and working extra hours.  Poor thing is exhausted.  

Life gets crazy after breeding.  She just dyed her hair again.  Sparkling blond streaks mix with a redwood brown.  Her new look is alluring and I keep meaning to tell her but our life is jam packed with duty and time slips away.  To fuck her, I need to plan ahead and schedule my intentions the night before.  Alas, I did not do this.  I am not a good planner during bouts of dopesickness.  Now she is turned away from me and I don't blame her.  I scream a lot when I sleep. 

The dream I had is still on me like a sweaty, plastic sheet zipped halfway over my body.  My face is exposed but the surreal texture of the dream is like the embrace of a bodybag.  Moments like this fill me dread.  I fear I'll get stuck on the wrong side of the dream but I heard you calling me Priestess.  

Thanks.  

I breathe following my wife's yoga training.  I breathe slowly and deeply like she taught me.  Sure I was staring at her chest but I did remember the important parts.  Inhale Ra, exhale Ma.  From my belly to the top of my lungs I breathe.  And I remember the other side.  The dream.  I pick up my phone and start typing.  I want to get down the feeling now.  I'll type it up at work and put it on Reddit later.

"Dude, you're dead" I say looking at his worn face.

"When?"

"Like the 90's.  Right when I started college.  The guy at the record store told me.  Maybe it was just to sell me your used tape for $8 which was expensive but fuck. You died.  I bought it."

"OD?"

"Thats what they said.  OD in New Orleans.  But later I read some guys dosed you.  When you started frying they ripped off your methadone stash and then kicked the shit out of you.  Your body was found curled up in a ball beneath the coffee table."

"Jesus" sighs the man leaning back.  "Fucking brilliant."  

He fumbles for a cigarette.

"You can't smoke in here" I tell him softly.

He leans forward and laughs as he runs his hand through his dyed black hair and stares at me through his fingers.  He's a little fucker.  Most musicians are.  His New York Queen's accent is mesmerizing.  Like a shadow, his native city follows him all around the world and into the next life.

"So I can bring a fucking dog, iguana or a fucking miniature service horse into any of these fucking stores and smoke weed all goddamn day but I can't smoke inside a bar anymore?  It's fucking cold outside man."

"Yeah.  Weird huh?"

The waitress comes over and looks at us with poorly concealed contempt.  She flashes her server professional smile that lasts less than a second before dropping back to a bulldog scowl.  She looks like she's in her 40's like me, tired like me and just wants to go home like me.

"Last call gents.  Anything else?" she sighs.

"Long Island.  Extra long please" I answer.

"And you?" asks the lady turning to the man.

"Ginger ale.  No fucking ice."

She walks off on her slip-proof, orthopedic shoes.  The girl serving us earlier wore heels but she's gone.  Now just sensible foot wear for older people forced to labor on their feet all day.

"Did anyone care?"

I look at him and wish we could smoke in here.  And I don't even smoke anymore.

"Yeah.  I mean you were kinda obscure but people cared."

I have no idea if this is true.  Before the age of digital information, I read a paragraph about his death in Spin magazine while taking a shit in the dorms.  It didn't say much at all.

"Ob-scure?" he repeats obviously annoyed.  This is a man famous for his violent outbursts in life.  But he sighs and sags into his chair looking around the dying mall.

I look towards the restaurant to see if the drinks are coming.  Maybe I'll order another one if possible.

"That crazy girl you did junk with.  You know the one that liked burning shit and throwing bottles?  She likes me.  In your bookshelf, in the corner where the spiders shits dead bugs all over everything is The Great Gatsby.  Good book by the way.  In that fucking book is a photograph of her wearing MY fucking t-shirt!  Me!"

"How do you know that?" I ask.

"It's a memory.  As long as people give a shit, I'm here.  Through films, records and tapes and CDs and...what the fuck is a mp3?"

"It's music.  Like uh, a computer program."

"Can you hold it?"

"No man."

He smiles, puts his hands behind his head and leans back.  He stares at the mall ceiling where a football field-sized bank of lights starts to shut off one giant rectangle at a time.   

"It's harder to feel.  But thats the way of the fucking world" he says as a shadow overtakes our table.

I think about last night.  As usual, I was the last one up.  Trying to drink myself to sleep.  With enough alcohol, the few pills I take can glow.  But the euphoria is dull.  Like I should choose.  Get drunk and crushed in nauseating sadness or keep walking down the junkie road?  A road littered with broken hearts and old bones.  I straddle both worlds these days.  I wonder if alcoholism is a better fate?  Socially, it's more acceptable but fuck, like any junkie will tell you, it ain't as good.

When I get drunk, my melancholy thoughts take me to a place where time is meaningless.  The young people are always beautiful and arrogantly vain.  And why not?  They will live forever and have all the time in the world.  Music transports me across reality to these lost moments.  Music is magical.  A spell and a key to lost worlds.  So I was looking online for old music.  Sure I could buy the music but he's dead.  So who cares?  

So I look elsewhere and find what I'm looking for.  I find that forgotten tape I bought oh so long ago. Played so many times it unwound and puked itself to death in a car stereo.  This music presided over MAYHEM.  It was the theme music for moments so fucking euphoric it is a wonder I am here writing this.  I start to download it and realized this will take awhile.  His music is not popular.  It is shared by few.  Only six people spread this tape that so many of us loved.  I look at his other selections.  Even less peers give a shit.  In all, fewer than ten people care enough to keep his music breathing online.  

I pass out waiting and never hear any of the old songs.

"Fuck!  It's so cold here" he complains rubbing his hands.  "Maybe see if I can get a coffee instead?"

I look at him shaking in his chair.  Because of the dimming lights he seems to be smearing into the shadows.  Blending into the Darkness.

"Sure.  Let me see what I can do."

I get up and wander over to the restaurant but it's dark.  No one inside.  I wander around the corner and all the shops are dark and empty.  With no windows in the mall, the darkness is unnatural and a solid presence that makes me fear the Night.  I feel for a wall switch and turn on a row of lights that stretches far off into the desolate mall.  Emptiness.  

I look back at my table and he's gone.

So I walk forward.  It is all I can do.  But everyone is gone.  And then...I see it.  Scraping itself across the floor towards a deserted hallway.

Some broken, creeping thing.  A horse skull on top of of a long body.  Four long, thin arms grasp a metal walker as it shuffles slowly forward on four, useless feet.  Moonlight pale skin pulled over skeletally thin feet drag behind the creature like a great sadness.  It knows I am here.  Powerless, I walk towards the thing and start gasping.  My heart wobbles in my chest as I hyperventilate.
  
I awake.  Another day is upon me.

RIP Johnny Thunders