Spoken Like Nothing
"The wine was a sweet blend of empty, misguided devotion to an idea, lost many years ago and the almost erotic depletion of what remained of will to pursue it. She collapsed her vision as did I my wakefulness. Sleep now, in your kingdom of exile from what was once was an emotion, held, yet too heavy to be kept in it's self alone."
Jeremy kept his usual strut as he made his way to the liquor commission. The ambiance was rather surreal this particular night and the November air held the inviting aroma of a campfire. For a moment, J imagined a jolly group of scouts camped out behind the commission, telling ghost stories and drinking Irish cream. Within a few light-headed steps, the idea faded out into the night, never to be known again. Jeremy paused for a moment and studied the quaint houses of his street. So many beings and doings contained therein of which he would never know. Jeremy stood but a few feet away from these dwellings, yet was worlds apart from their inhabitants. Soon after, J became painfully aware that this endless fornication of probability waves, was driving him through a madness from which there is no known salvation and that for as far as he could see, be without his one true opiate. At first, the evening held not much significance... that is until J arrived at his destination. The store was rather quiet for a Tuesday night. J had expected to see at least one other traveler of the night stopped in for a little hooch. Regardless, the commission presented a welcoming stature as the warmth of the electrical heating kicked in and he took in hand a twenty-six ounce bottle of premium whiskey. The hum of the fluorescent light made the immaculate sound score to J's approach to the teller. "Hello sir, that'll be twenty-two, sixty." "I only have three camels and an electric fan" replied J. The teller briefly paused (possibly trying to discern as to whether his client was already under the influence or was some sort of vagrant with a strange sense of humor and a whiskey fetish) before J smiled and passed over the cash. "have a good one" said J as he set out upon his journey homeward.
The door had closed and J pulled a smoke from his case and lit up. "Excuse me, could you spare a smoke?" said an attractive figure out of the corner of J's eye. "No worries...." the figure was of medium height, wearing a jean jacket and hair as blond as the smoke was smooth. She had blue eyes who's slightest glance could tear a hole in the fabric of space and time. J passed her a smoke and she lit up. "Thanks, I don't usually ask, but I don't usually smoke.... you don't look too hot. Having a little too much fun for a Tuesday night?" "Nahh... just tired." "Right... I drink a twenty sixer when I get tired. Really helps." He couldn't quite figure it out. With a few words, a smoke, and a glance, this total stranger was able to shatter the guise that Jeremy had kept and every wall he had hid behind for however long it had been before the two had met. Jeremy's pseudo reason and logic through which he kept his indifferent and stone cold composure was left sideways and shattered. "Well, I suppose buying a pack wouldn't hurt. Would you care to tag along? Or are there ten people at your place waiting for a rye and ginger?". "Why not" replied J as the two had set fourth to the corner store. The minutes passed like hours. The two were walking to a corner store to buy a pack of smokes, yet for some reason, J had peace. This peace was indescribable though. It was as if there was someone existing where he was and that there was nothing out of place. He was sharing this endless stream of perceptions with someone who was seeing the same thing... all without a single word. As soon as this stream of thought had completed it's self, J tried to shake it off, but at the same time pondered the likeness that she would sympathize with it.
For the most part, if one were asked to describe the deepest level of intimacy two can share with each other, the answer would be physical affection. Yet J would say it to be complete and unbridled mutual participation in the given moment... Taking the same trip. Being... Simply being. As just as J had came to put this thought down, he sank into despair, reiterating to himself through some sort of hopeless spiritual masochism that he would never know this sort of intimacy. Or that if he did, it would vanish, leaving him in a meaningless void. Could it have been that somehow, the more he sedated himself in avoidance of this depression the further he was from it's alleviation. J had been drowning himself for what seemed to be ages... as little did he know, he was dissociating himself from what could be genuine happiness. How ironic it was, hiding from love through the despair of loss of love. Suddenly, the moment changed from an interjection from the stranger... "you seem depressed.... are you OK?". J had no clue how to respond or how, within a few moments, this stranger had brought him to fight the biggest struggle of this past while of his known existence. It was oh so ironic to him, how we destroy our selfs with our own fear of destruction.... or was it fear of peace. What if one ends his great struggle, but through the ages of the passion for (and through) this struggle, realizes that this passion is gone. Do we fear to win the war because, when we do, we don't know what to do with our selfs? "Not too shabby" replied J in his trademark air of happy go lucky indifference. "Groovy" said the stranger.
"Tell me then.... did it hurt?" "You shouldn't fuck with his head too much... he probably still doesn't know where he is..." J's body was heavy, he couldn't quite talk, and his vision was very distorted. This seemed to him to be the least of his problems though... "Yo.... where am I?" "The two figures in front of him were going in and out of phase with J's vision and keeping the same crystal clear, yet viscous and bending shapes. "Shit, were you high.... you took four points and couldn't move or talk... well, coherently at least.... at one point, you would try to yell the word "squigarmet." "does that mean smoke, Zulu?" "What the fuck? I could swear I was buying a pack of smokes and some whiskey at my old place in Montreal... how long was I out?" "well, we walked in... and by the way, you're in Ottawa... and you had all the mesc we were supposed to have tonight up your nose... could have been four or five hours... dumbass..." "hmmm usually when I get that fucked up, I don't have these strange, deep and philosophic dreams..." "He's still wrecked, said Rich as he laughed and sparked a joint" .Lisa lit some incense and passed J a cigarette. "don't try to eat it this time though, when we walked in, you had tobacco all over your mouth and it seemed you were trying to say thank you to "Steff" ... whoever that is. You've got to lay of the angel dust for a while, you're getting strange... not to mention that since you moved back into town, you're place looks like it's inhabited by a gang of sloths with a crack problem... there's even spaghetti on your records... did you try to eat them too?" "Hold up.... bannana sloth was chilling with me?" .... Rich laughed and told J he should have some water... or speed. "I guess you also forgot that you've been working for Zellers for a short while and start school.....in twelve hours, dumbass!" "OK... someone has to put "Comfortably Numb" on the turn table, get someone to kick in the door and pump me full of drugs and drive me to school while I get covered in goo, peel it off and wait for the worms..."
"And you wonder why you haven't had a girlfriend in four years..." said Lisa "OK... let's figure this out.... why am I smoking again" "get your ass in the shower, there's still Chinese food from 2002 on that shirt..." "wha?" "SHOWER...dumbass!!!" Rich looked at his girlfriend and smiled mischievously.... "twenty bucks says he had his mesc-dream about that chick he was pissing and moaning about for so long..." "I figure it was about whiskey and mystics and men..."said Lisa. Suddenly, the words "la da da" came from the hallway. "Groovy, he's able to articulate again" "let's just hope it takes less than three days for him to hold a pen..." "are you sure he should be taking a shower?" "why?"
"Crash!!!" Rich and Lisa could hear what sounded like J tripping over the microwave he had forgotten in the hallway during his travels... "Fuck!!! that thing belongs in the kitchen... not being a detriment to my tooth brushing and shave shaving..." "They're gonna take me for a ride ride" Replied Lisa.
J returned to his living room wearing a shirt, but then another shirt as pants. "Those aren't exactly pants, J" Said Rich. J floated away and came back, this time with a red shirt as pants. "Hey Zulu, smooth move. Gonna meet a lot of women in that get up...." "OK... I apparently have ten and a half hours to get to this "school" place.... is there any booze left?"
Within a half hour without realizing that J had just came of four points of some of the strongest cake he's had in his life and that he shouldn't be drinking... not to mention wearing shirts as pants, He had a good seven ounces and made a fashionable place of sleep next to some eggs on the kitchen floor.
J awoke to around a liter of ginger ale spilled on his pants from the shelve he had kicked in his sleep. Not sure of what time, or year it was, J took off his pants and went outside for a smoke. As J got a gust of snow and froze himself to his leg, he remembered that it was in fact winter. This coincided with the note from Rich and Lisa on his microwave he had found while heading to the kitchen. It read:
we went home around 2, and figured it would be a good idea to remind you a few things. First being that it is in fact winter. Second, you shouldn't eat the spaghetti on your records, so we left some cereal in your desk. Third, that you have school today. And fourth, the burns on your hand were from something involving a lit smoke, a bathing cap, and some hot sauce. Have a pleasant day dumbass.
Rich and Lisa
your manager at zellers called and thought the guy in electronics had killed you because you had put those tortillas on his windshield last summer. We explained that you had broken your arm in the great war and were on sick leave ... he'll understand.
The morning was one of great confusion. The note did help to clear things up, but so many questions and so few answers. Why was it winter? What happened to my fridge? Why are all of my pencils wearing condoms?J shook the thought and began looking in his desk for the cereal. J pushed aside the contents of his drawer to find a box of cereal and directions to the milk. "left and then left again... you'll find the milk." J began on his way to get some milk. "ok.. left and then left again" J thought to himself. Within two minutes, J took his cell and dialed Rich. "Dude, how do I get to the milk?" "Left and then left again...simple" said Rich. "ok". J hung up and then picked up the phone again. "Rich, can you stay on the line with me while I come down and figure this out?" "Gold star for J" said Rich as he hung up. J couldn't quite put the pieces together... "left and then left again? I'd be going in a circle... fuck it!". J grabbed his jeans and rung them into the box of cereal, but it wasn't enough. Within a split hour, J remembered that he could skim some of the sauce from the spaghetti on his records. All he had to do was to remove the green parts. J took a condom off one of his pencils and got to work. The sauce, for the most part was red. Some was darker, and some was crusty, but it had the air of love's salvation to J. He hummed the tune to "sunshine superman" as he did his work. It had taken a while, but J now had his breakfast. He called his creation "crack supreme feast" ... also to the tune of sunshine superman. J crunched on his breakfast in contentment, and then realized that he could venture around his apartment with it. How beautiful. Enough so that J didn't mind almost tripping on the microwave on his travels.
The walls had a few holes and furniture was spread everywhere, in no order whatsoever. Regardless, J was content. J checked the time on his wall clock. He could see, through the cigarette burns, that he had plenty of time to get ready for his big day. Then it happened, J looked down and saw it... The milk. J's mouth broke into smile, and his eyes into tears of joy. J bent down to pick it up and suddenly felt a very sharp pain in his stomach. He could feel every muscle in his chest cramp up. The heaves began, but the vomit was so thick and utterly repulsive that he would choke in agony after each heave. J scrambled to the front door, jumped over the icy stairs, only to land square on his face. A final plea for help was made, a desperate spew was made, and J succumbed to his head injury, passing out.
"Anybody home?" "yeah... sorry about that, just kinda zoned out for a bit" "no problem... hey, did you have supper, or was that what the whiskey was for?" "Well, I could go for something... is spaghetti ok?" "Sure. I know a good place about ten minutes away" Said Steph. The two began to make their way to the pasta joint. "So, what do you do?" asked Steph. "I'm a psychology student, writer, and musician." "what do you do?" "I'm in school as well. English major by day and traveling philosopher by night. so, tell me, what's a psyche student doing getting smashed on a Tuesday?" "I've been having a rough week. I haven't touched angel dust or pills for over a year now. I even had a job working with youth. My boss found out that I have the odd drink now and then, and having known me for years, told me I had to kick it, or I'd loose my job. Being stubborn, I quit." "well, if you were strung out and had been clean for a year, maybe you shouldn't be drinking... not to mention a bottle of whiskey, alone, on a Tuesday night. Why risk all this progress?" J hesitated and then agreed. As heavy as his eyes were, she was looking in them. He had never had someone he knew for such a short time have such an impact on him. The two had talked for hours over some pasta. They spoke of everything and nothing at the same time. J was indeed ready to let go of his battles. The two had exchanged phone numbers and many a fine glance. J told Steph that she was a trip, but he had to call it a night. The two went their separate ways. As J was walking home, he had thought long and hard, and had decided that he needed a change in his life and would invite Steph to Ottawa with him.
Within a few weeks, the calls were made, the arrangements were done, and Steph had taken him up on the idea. Steph and J, moved to Ottawa right before Canada day. The summer had been one of the best J had ever known, and better yet, spent totally sober. As fall was soon approaching, the two had figured it a good idea to drive through Gatineau park and have some champagne on the summit.
As J and Steph had left for the park, J found four points in his jacket pocket. Unsure as what to do with it, he put it back in his pocket. Soon after, through much thought, J had mixed the four points in his drink, celebrating his sobriety with a very different cake than most would expect. The set-in was quick and the mash took hold.
"Good morning, sir. We had someone who had found you on your front steps without pants, but with a major concussion and some food poisoning. Can you remember what you were doing, sir? J was rather lost. He couldn't figure out where he had been, considering that one minute, he was in Montreal, and the next, waking up, soaked in ginger ale, and now, with a strange doctor waving his flashlight in his eyes... "Rich, you were right, the milk was left and then left again!!!"
" We already went over this... there is no milk, anywhere, we had to take it away, you kept trying to inhale it. Do we need to take some cpz, Jeremy? Or are we ready for your visit? J began to freak out. He didn't even know the year, so, naturally, he kicked the doctor in the crotch. Suddenly, two orderlies pinned J down and shot him up with cpz. The lights blurred and J passed out.
Jeremy kept his usual strut as he made his way to the liquor commission. The ambiance was rather surreal this particular night and the November air held the inviting aroma of a campfire. For a moment, J imagined a jolly group of scouts camped out behind the commission, telling ghost stories and drinking Irish cream. Within a few light-headed steps, the idea faded out into the night, never to be known again. Jeremy paused for a moment and studied the quaint houses of his street. So many beings and doings contained therein of which he would never know. Jeremy stood but a few feet away from these dwellings, yet was worlds apart from their inhabitants. Soon after, J became painfully aware that this endless fornication of probability waves, was driving him through a madness from which there is no known salvation and that for as far as he could see, be without his one true opiate. The air was strangely familiar, J didn't know what he could do, he took the only measure he thought would alleviate his troubles better than whiskey... he took a smoke, lit up, and sat down. "Excuse me, could you spare a smoke?" "No, I'm sorry...." J pulled out his butterfly knife and took himself to peace.
"Tell me then.... did it hurt?" "You shouldn't fuck with his head too much... he probably still doesn't know where he is..."