After a day of sleeping and eating Thai Food, I had yet another day off. I knew I had to clean. Someone gave me some pills, as it was explained to me, half speed/half MDMA. I thought this would help me focus on organizing my space.
I was plowing through the Best Oscar nominees for Best Picture and had started “Tree of Life” the night before. The thing is, my computer is short on a little memory, so the picture and audio smear and stutter when I have too many applications going. You play a surrealist film by Terrence Malick when you are just half asleep, and you don’t know what the hell is going on.
Playing it again after taking a hybrid narcotic was . . . indescribably confusing and oddly fascinating.
Now, before the pill had sunk into the cushioned hull of my lower torso, I had realized someone who commented on my reused profile pic had since defriended me. When? I don’t know, but I liked her. I thought she was nice.
I shot her an email:
Me: Just noticed I am no longer a friend? I always accidentally offend people.
Sorry for whatever it was.
You didn’t do anything specific, its was more my trying not to offend you.
Me: Its hard to offend me . . . but we can keep it vague if you prefer.
Happy V Day
Her: I can be honest with you if you wish but I imagine you have heard it all before.
Huh. Well . . .
I wrote: Wow. That sounds . . . um, not friendly?
Gosh, its a shame, cause I really liked you. I guess I am just an asshole.
If you read my last post, you know I was already in a dark place about everything social and professional. Basically, anything that has to do with people. You know that knot that forms in your stomach, to help prepare you for a real punch to the gut? It was forming.
Luckily, something else was growing faster . . . the drug.
I laid down on my bed and watched as, from what I remember, a soul ascended from the Earth and spun back into the energy field of our universe.
I felt warm tears spring down my face, and I felt good. I felt right.
One pill makes you larger,
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.
The video player indicated I was only halfway through the video, despite feeling like the entire day went by and this movie was never-ending.
The room looked dirty. Piles of clothes in opposite corners.
I looked at the keyboard. Was it really that dirty?
When logic and proportion,
Have fallen sloppy dead.
Another email from my defriend:
“;-) I’m not sure if its friendly or not.
You aren’t an asshole, there is just a little too much self imposed drama in your life and a lot of days it was taking all myself control not to tell you to knock it off and grow up. I didn’t think it was any of my business nor did I think it would make a bit of difference in your life but I also was having a hard time watching it without butting in so I defriended.
Thats all. I still read your blog sometimes and I do hope u get published someday….
So there it is…I’ve officially done what I was trying not to do, I hope you aren’t offended.”
Well . . . again, another person who has trouble tolerating me personally liked my blog. Jesus Christ, thank God for this thing or else my self-esteem would fall through the floor.
Not offended at all. I could use more friends like you, honestly.
Then I updated my status: “If I knew today was the day I would discover the origin of life and man vs. ego, I would have never sent that email this morning asking why someone defriended me.”
It was getting difficult to type.
I pinged back Abe:
Abe: So –can we have some time together today
Me: I need you here
I took the pill
3:32 PM I AM ON SOME OTHER PLANET
please come here
Abe: just one
Me: that is all I need
I can not distinguish fantasy
Abe: come on
Me: I need a fucking cigarette
but I cannot drive
I am very happy
but I am not at all in control
I need you
3:33 PM serious
Me: Come to me
Abe: if thats possible
Me: I comandeth thee
Abe: come to me now?
Me: NOW SHE SAYS
Me: I need you here now
like right now
3:34 PM I was hoping you got the psychic post it and were already here
I seriously need you
Abe: I got my car done
Me: I need your help
please come here now
Abe: I need you help with what?
Me: my perception of reality
the walls are moving
I am hallucinating
3:35 PM and I think I have tapped into a million answers
but I might just be losing my mind
the keyboard is floating
Abe: OK just chill
Abe: dont go anywhere
I need help
tell me this
I see things
like is it the computer or my mind
Me: making this movie do this
3:36 PM Abe: write it down
Me: I cant see my hands
Abe: Im leaving soon
Me: they are vibrating
Abe: Do you have any food?
I have COOKIES
they are almost gone
I need a cigarette
I NEED YOU
TREE OF LIFE
3:37 PM Abe: You better chilli and not go baserko on me
Im about to drive throught a shit load of traffic
3:38 PM I am breaking through
to another plane of thought
but I need American Spirits
I wont make it to the 711
I ham FUCKED
Abe: You are tweeked out– got that
Abe: Breath slower and chillax
Around this time, I walked out to smoke a cigarette to steady my mind. The steps were bright and crooked, just like my little apartment.
I climbed into my car, dug through and found a cigarette butt to use up.
Looking around, trash on the ground with 3 empty coffee cups, mail on my dash, clothes from a shoot in the back seat by the foot rest with chewed up tennis balls.
I laughed, “Is this your low? You are ridiculous! Who lives like this? A new low. Ok, why not?”
I went into the upper apartment to shower off the smell of smoke, and wondered if I should not trip where my roommate killed himself. The fact of the matter was, my toilet was in there, so it would have to do.
I stuck my key in the lock. The lock got large for me, so I would have better aim. When the key was inside, it shrunk again.
And if you go off chasing rabbits,
And you know you’re going to fall,
Tell em’ a hookah-smoking caterpillar,
Has given you the call.
Go ask Alice, when she was just small.
On the toilet, I sat across from a new roll of toilet paper that was fluctuating size as veins formed in the walls. There is a boombox Alan gave me with one CD inside of it, “Nirvana UnPlugged.” He gave it to me last August. I am still haven’t changed the CD since I am not sick of the album.
The grain of the cement in the walls surfaced out of the dull yellow paint, and I felt warm water all over my body. I listened to Kurt Cobain sing and the accordion in “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” crank notes out all over the bathroom, like the Earth was contracting and grinding.
The next track was a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”:
“I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for a foreign land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazeless stare, we walked a million hills
I must have died alone, a long long time ago
Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the World.”
I thought about Kurt Cobain and what an icon he became. I thought about Jim Morrison, “This is the land of the Pharaoh died.”
Was the Pharaoh Kurt?
What about Egypt?
I could see it in my mind, as veins pulsed throughout the shower and the walls slowly, calmly convulsed.
We are from Egypt. There we understand it didn’t matter who you were. Celebrity is bullshit. We are all here to spark movement in the a dragon . . . in a beast. To promote the evolution of life. To enlighten.
I went back downstairs to my apartment and laid down on the bed. I could feel Egypt. The work, how hard we all worked there.
Then I thought, my dogs were there with me. We were all buried together and now they are here with me again, in the next life.
*Footnote: Throughout the history of Ancient Egypt, animals were highly respected. In no other culture have animals been as influential in so many aspects of life, nor has any culture depicted animals as often in their artwork or writing. Egyptians believed that animals were crucial to both physical and spiritual survival—vital to physical survival because they were a major source of food and to spiritual survival based on how well a person treated animals during their life on earth. The Egyptian religion taught of life after death. In order to determine a person’s admittance or denial to the afterlife, the gods would ask a series of judgment questions. One of these crucial questions would be whether they had mistreated any animals during their life on earth. Because of this religious belief, the killing of an animal was considered a serious crime punishable by death.
-“A Few Remarks upon the Religious Significance of Animals in Ancient Egypt by H. Velde
Where the hell was Abe?
I got up and looked out the window. Light kept chasing over my window, like headlights brighter than the sun.
My head pressed against the window glass, but it was open. There was no glass. There was a liquid film between me and the rest of the world, and I knew I couldn’t go out there.
Remember, what the dormouse said . . . Feed your head . . . Feed your head.
So I put the movie back on.
The light went away, and the cars outside changed. One was there all day. A few left and new ones reappeared down my dirt road. The cool air played with the water in my hair.
My animals were gorgeous. They slept and listened for intruders.
Brad was spun out of gold thread.
Once upon a time there lived a miller who had a beautiful daughter. One day the miller had to visit the king’s castle. While he was there, he happened to meet the king face to face. The king stopped and spoke to the miller. Hoping to impress the king, the miller boldly told him that he had a daughter who could spin straw into gold.
“Oh,” said the king, “that is indeed a wonderful gift. Tomorrow you must bring your daughter to my castle, so she may spin some gold for me.”
Then the miller was sorry he had lied, but he had to do as the king ordered.
This particular king loved gold more than anything else, so he was very pleased at the prospect of turning straw into gold. He led the poor girl into one of the giant castle rooms. There, in the middle of the room, stood a spinning wheel, and near it was a great heap of straw.
The king turned to the miller’s daughter, and said, “There is your spinning wheel, and here is the straw. If you do not spin all of it into gold by morning, your head shall be cut off.” Then the king left the room and locked the door.
That’s a bummer.
Very clever to spin my little dog into gold and give him to a poor girl like me.
Esther went to the window, and came back. Her cropped ears moved like triangles independent of her body. Her big Disney eyes watched me as she paraded back and forth. Triangle horse.
I said, “Thank God, I need a cigarette.”
He handed me one and I went outside. The sun was setting over the mountain across from my apartment. I smiled.
He said, “What’s going on?”
I said, “I am tripping BALLS, man!”
He said, “Did you eat anything today?”
I said, “No, but I have had 6 cups of coffee.”
He chuckled, “Great.”
Then I added, “I have been trying to talk myself into getting that box of cereal out of my car for the last 6 hours.”
He laughed, “Just calm down, alright. I brought some bread.”
I said, “I am calm. I am happy. I mean, I have so much to tell you. This day started with me sending off an email to this girl who defriended me. And I asked why.”
He groaned, “Awww.”
I said, “No, its ok. It really is. We only ever had this very awkward Thanksgiving dinner with her husband so it really doesn’t matter. But thats the point. None of that bullshit matters. And I can see it now. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like me.”
I forgot about the one other time we hung out, she and her friends met me for a pedicure and left before paying the bill. So I had to make the salon call her and tell her to come back, since I wasn’t going to pay for everyone’s pedicure. They said it was an accident, but it was a bizarre, and unforgettably awkward accident.
Abe, “I think people do like you, they just . . . don’t want to get caught up in the storm.”
I said, “Its ok. I am used to people avoiding me.”
Inside, I laid out on my bed. With all the dogs and my balance, I was having trouble not sliding off of my bed.
Abe pulled out the folding chair across from my bed and sat down.
He said, “When you were young, you were dealing with emotionally mature things around other people on a different level. So, you got on their nerves. No big deal.”
I nodded and slid off my bed. I laughed, and kept trying to get back on, but Maggie wouldn’t move.
I laughed, “I mean . . . this is ridiculous . . . living like this. I am on a pile all the time. Piles there, a pile in my car. I mean . . . this really is a low for me.”
I slid off again and we both laughed until we couldn’t stop tears.
He said, “Its good to laugh with you. Release, that’s what it is.”
I climbed back on and slid back on the far corner of the bed, behind Maggie, Esther and Brad. All three of them stared at him.
Abe, “They are protecting you.”
Me, “Alan said Brad protects my sleeping body.”
I said, “I have discovered that we are from Egypt.”
He said, “What did you take?”
I said, “I was told it was half speed and half MDMA but . . . I am full on hallucinating, man. I mean, more than I ever did with LSD.”
He said, “I don’t like you taking drugs from people. You have to be careful.”
Me, “I know, but I trust this person.”
He cut a pill in half and swallowed. Then he combined the discarded half of fine white powder into another capsule. He forcefully reminded me not to forget which pill was disproportionately more than the others.
Me, “This is pretty strong, I am not sure you should take it.”
I said, “I have been trying to watch this movie for the last 12 hours.”
He said, “You have been doing other things, that’s all. And pausing the movie.”
I said, “But I deliberately kept myself from pausing . . . I thought.”
I played “Tree of Life” and the characters sputtered across the screen and odd, distorted screaming bombarded the soundtrack.
Abe, “Turn it off! Turn it off!”
He was feeding the dogs bread.
Maggie’s face looked drawn, with her huge caramel eyes staring up at Abe and long stretches of drool falling from the corner of her mouth to the floor.
Abe fed her one piece after another, and we laughed at how desperate for food she looked. (please note: she is on a diet)
We laughed so hard, he ended up handing her the whole roll and said, “Just take it, Maggie, take it all.”
She did and we wiped tears from our eyes. The laughing was deliciously mad.
He laid down next to me. We lay next to each other as night quieted the delightful shadows dancing around my walls. A web formed over my ceiling, turning red and green. Nothing was scary.
Abe, “Am I going to have to beat up all your ex-boyfriends?”
I said, “I don’t think any of them want to fight you.”
He thrust out a few ninja chops in the air then put his hand on his chest and I saw that he was about to cry. In the two years I have known Abe, I have never seen him get emotional.
I put my arm across him for comfort and whispered that everything was ok.
He said, “I just felt all the things I had done wrong and all the things I have done right meet at a seam. And I felt ok about it all. Like I was dying.”
I nodded, “I felt that, too.”
Then he said, “I let down your Daddy. He trusted me. And your Mom liked me. Now, they don’t.”
I said, “Well, my father said I should stop sleeping with you, because you are wasting my time.”
He nodded with his eyes closed and squinting. Like the answer was in the back of his eye lids, if he just concentrated hard enough.
I shook him, “Don’t worry. Its life, that’s all. I am changing my whole name. I will be Rita.”
Abe, “Thats a terrible idea.”
Me, “Not Rita. All . . . All Things.”
He laughed and repeated it like a song. I can still feel his throat vibrate against my cheek.
He sat up, “Is there heroin in this? This is intense.”
I said, “I don’t . . . think so.”
He got up and started shaking his head and his body, trying to put his soul back in place.
I sized him up, “Hey . . . Shaman up! You gotta shaman up! (silence) I can’t give this drug to anyone. This is too intense. You need to really know how to keep your head. Luckily, I know what the hell I am doing.”
Abe shook again, “I’m alright.”
He offered me another cigarette and I said, “I can’t take cigarettes anymore. They are hurting me.”
He stood outside as my dogs urinated in the dirt pile that we call ‘My courtyard.’
Abe, “I can see into your little world. Brad does look like a little Prince. (he started laughing) And Esther looks like . . . a horse.”
Me, “That’s right! She is a triangle horse. You are on my trip or something.”
Abe chuckled, nodded, sucked the end of his cigarette, “I see it.”
Then he said, “I wonder what Trent is doing tonight?”
I said, “People always like being around Trent and me when they are on drugs, I think because we make people feel comfortable. Then they sober up and somehow its all our fault they are who they are, or they did what they did. Like . . . what the fuck?”
Abe wondrously chuckled again.
Then we made out to the “Ten Commandments” and he said, “I just want to see the Pharaoh die.”
I said, “That’s right. Land of the Pharaoh died. What Doors song is that . . . I know it. Now listen to this, I’ll tell you about the Texas . . . tell you about the Texas . . . radio. WASP, that’s the song!”
I played it off YouTube and a live performance came up with them, on scratchy black and white film with faulty audio.
Jim Morrison held the microphone close to his mouth like he was waiting for a kiss. We listened to the song:
I wanna tell you ’bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
Comes out of the Virginia swamps
Cool and slow with plenty of precision
With a back beat narrow and hard to master.
Some call it heavenly in its brilliance.
Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream.
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft.
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
This is the land where the Pharaoh died.
The video would end abruptly. The browser would spin and a new Doors video came up.
I said, “Its funny, I have never seen these videos. All this time, I never thought about watching old videos of them on YouTube.”
He said, “Are you done? Are you not tripping anymore?”
I looked at my computer monitor. It was a close-up of Jim and he winked, then smiled right at me before continuing the song.
I said, “No . . . I am still hallucinating.”
Abe said, “You work tomorrow. You should sleep.”
Me, “I am fine. I will be fine tomorrow.”
It was 3am and the songs spun through old albums. The Doors looked happy at times and out of their element in others.
I sang song after song and said, “I know this music better than anything now. That’s strange.”
Its not as if I am an expert or have a photographic (or lyrical) memory of every note, but its fair to say, I know their music better than anything. And I totally blanked on the lyric that led me on my pill induced journey.
I turned it off and put on internet radio. A Doors song came on.
Me, “See? They follow me everywhere.”
Abe said, “She has good taste in music.”
The fourth hour passed and my eyes got heavy. Abe held me and told me he loved me.
I can see and understand that men love my experience, not necessarily me. The reckless abandon . . . its a fun place to visit.
What wert thou, dream-Alice in thy foster-father’s eyes? How shall he picture thee? Loving first, loving and gentle: loving as a dog (forgive the prosaic simile, but I know no earthly love so pure and perfect) and gentle as a fawn: then courteous—courteous to all, high or low, grand or grotesque, King or Caterpillar, even as though she were herself a King’s daughter, and her clothing wrought of gold: then trustful, ready to accept the wildest impossibilities with all that utter trust that only dreamers know; and lastly, curious—wildly curious, and with the eager enjoyment of Life that comes only in the happy hours of childhood, when all is new and fair, and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty words signifying nothing!
Later, I found out the pill didn’t have speed but rather 2ci. I feel it is the responsibility of the person handing you the pill to be upfront about what is inside it, but he admitted he never wanted me to be the guinea pig.
Thank God, I didn’t give it blindly on brief description to anyone else.
We fell asleep and in the morning, we hiked the dogs up the mountain behind my place.
I said, “I can forgive the strippers remark. Its that you are holding out for this girl from your past.”
He said, “No, but you two are connected. Her numbers are 201. Yours is one more, 202. Your names are the exact same numbers. And I thought she may be in Simi Valley or someplace north.”
Me, “Simi Valley?”
Abe, “North county. And you are here. Its like I manifested it.”
Me, “You haven’t kept up your side of the promises, either. I asked you in the beginning, my kiss comes with the promise of a timely response. You went days without contacting me again.”
Abe, “I know, I know, I am a shitty boyfriend.”
Me, “Yes you are. Which is why I am seeing another ex, because neither of you are good enough as one fulltime boyfriend, so both of you must be combined to make one whole boyfriend.”
Abe, “Great, so you’re seeing Alan and you are seeing Frank.”
Me, “No, Frank isn’t an ex. I saw Alan again. That’s it.”
He was quiet.
I added, “Nothing is serious.”
We went down to the closest cafe for a mediocre cup of coffee. Sitting together in the sun, we smiled at each other. I felt broken out of my depression. Liberated from all my mortal neuroticism.
Then, I asked about his cousin’s wedding . . . I knew it was coming up.
I said, “In two weeks? That’s soon. And who are you taking?”
He said, “My brother and I decided to forego our plus ones so other people could go to the wedding.”
My lips tightened.
He said, “We weren’t together when we got the invites. (silence) I can see you are upset about this.”
My voice was cracking, “I really believed you were going to invite me.”
I took a moment and really just kept repeating that.
He said, “Don’t take it so personally.”
I got up and paid the bill. As I walked to my car, he shuffled to keep up and I said, “You don’t want me to be apart of your family. Same thing with Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . you don’t want me as a girlfriend. You just want me as a mistress.”
He said, “Come on, don’t get upset.”
I looked him in the eye and said, “I never want to see you again.”
I opened my car door and said, “Give me a cigarette.”
When we worked on a film set together, in the beginning, before I ever knew that Abe would be a major love of my life, he came out to me during a night shoot and asked for a cigarette.
I gave him my last one.
He said, “No, I don’t want to take your last one.”
I said, “Please, it will help me quit.”
Two or three weeks later, my flirtation had grown and I was determined to get a date with him.
When we wrapped that weekend, I asked for a cigarette. He only had one left.
We both recognized the moment and groaned.
I said, “Keep it.”
He said, “No, this is about fate. You have to take it.”
So I did.
Now, two years later, in a parking lot in Sylmar with nothing left, he opened his pack and there was one cigarette left.
I said, “This is the perfect way to end the story.”
My fingers plucked it out of his hand and I drove off.
The fury, at myself for letting my mind get wrapped up in him over and over again. Its fucking insane.
Not to mention, he totally killed my New World buzz.
How quickly we slip back into life’s little box of small ideas. I tried so hard to remember what it felt like, to float over my worries about who thought what about me, but all my self-hatred just struck me again like hard light in a dim room.
Someone this afternoon said to me in the Doggie Daycare break room, “Its the difference between logic and emotion.”
Your name, your personality, your identity is all really irrelevant. Its what you inspire. Its what others learn from you and alter, so there is improvement.
Its the love that ruins me. I am smarter than this. Abe is a fucking waste of time.
Higher thought, Alice!
Then I got the text:
“Will you come to my cousin’s wedding with me, move in with me and your pack of dogs and have a magic baby with me?”