Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Story [with Mike]


I remember the day as if it were just a few days ago, how many I don't know. The sun came up as the clouds parted, birds began making poetic noises in vain attempts to understand one another, and the familiar, unfortunate smell of tobacco wafted downwind towards me, as it always seems to do. There I sat idly, scratching my head at the cafe, wondering; waiting.

“I don't get it.” I said, aloud. A flash of a Mick Jagger effigy with a mechanical mouth, singing about needing something he wanted hummed through my head. I shook my head, and the lights dimmed.

It was at that very point when my lingering frustration that involved groups of people, grouping together, came up: “Who are we, anyway?” I thought to myself. Nothing but a bunch of insolent- “People.” Answered Mike, to a question that was obviously rhetorical. And as rhetorical-question-answers often go, I found it to be both conclusively true and stupid. And furthermore, uncalled for.

Mike beamed with sincerity as my face went flush with the depressing hue of stale teen angst. Maintaining eye contact, I began formulating a plan to kill him and eat his body – not just for the protein and assorted nutrients, but also to join the hordes of people who have joined a Club not far from the lowly depths of the Mile High Club. The Club in question was a gathering that shone bright the proverbial light at the other end of the tunnel: the Perfect Crimes Club. Yet as quickly as it had began, my light-hearted fantasy of a perfect world faded into a dramatic picture of battle.

What if, instead of focusing on lowly single digit crime sprees, I attempted to incite a revolution? It didn't matter, what it was about, really. That I knew from countless examples of the false tenets of major religions and the layered paradigms of social thought and strategy. Assumptions that remain proved conclusively 'true' based on faith and numbers, and perhaps some elbow grease to hold the entire mess together. But another daydream took place!

Another daydream took place, this one awash with a God-sent-me-here attitude followed by a series of moving-people-out-of-the-way motions. I finally knew what I had dropped out of college for – to figuratively incite the revolution of a gigantic group of hopelessly hopeless people, to give them something to first fight about, and then smile about. I would commence with my perhaps megalomania-induced, grand scale social psychology experiment. I would cast an entire group of people, unified in their collective despair, against another, significantly smaller and more rich group of people - and I wouldn't even have to think of a team name. My proponents? The Untouchables, of India.

Bereft with hope, these Untouchables were the perfect medium to impregnate with my voracious idea. Not to mention that I felt quite the altruist sitting at the coffee shop with Mike that day, periodically letting out laughs that would make both Rupert Murdoch and Bernie Madoff blush with envy, staring out as a cow grazing would, across the masses of materialistic splendor that I would happily skip over to achieve my end-goals. The most dangerous game was a story of human nature perverted to a point by an individual who owned an island. Mine, I reasoned, was a story violent and vile in its truthful virtue; the everlasting story of human nature.

My dream had reached a Mariah Carey-like climax, but now it was time to gain weight. Mike shook me as I stared as a cow grazing would (oriented in a north-south position), “Let's hit the pot-shop,” he said, in a tone unbelieving that his request could be feasibly granted, “You know, get some herb.”

'Get some herb', I repeated to myself. The way he shad aid it made me shudder. If any other state looked at the California Example of Marijuana Legalization they would find out just how quickly things went awry: blatant examples of legalized 'drug-dealing apartments shops', countless amounts of illegally run 'Marijuana Collectives' operating well within 1000 feet of public schools, and pro-pot advertisements virtually everywhere.

As far as the eye could see, a picturesque suburban landscape lay littered with small plastic medicinal tubes with stickers that boasted what city had last been successfully grown in, what area code remained lenient in green matters, and what strain proved to be hip. What other state in their right mind would attempt releasing their ban on the green leaf with results like this?

Visibly annoyed, Mike grabbed me by the shoulder and shook me once more, so we got the pot.

'The Sickness'

Back at the apartment I dragged opposite the lit, ever-receding end of the joint. I could feel the sickness take a step back, pick up its fists as if ready to fight only to motion with one hand that a second or two would be necessary. Finally, it began taking steps back and fell asleep pantomime on what appeared to be a chair laying near the door. The sickness was gone, and this plant was perfection.

One could practically see groups of societal undergrowth arranged darkly, in a circle, laughing lazily, passing lit yellow-wrapped sticks around. Soon the world would find itself covered in a colorful mix of these small plastic medicinal tubes and assorted 'sticks and stems', the melting pot of yesterday quickly being overridden to a simmer, to become tomorrows medicinal stew.


Mike fell asleep at the apartment so I took a bike ride around the block. A unique transparent fog hung in the air, thick and like a blanket, sagging. The pedals clanked in rhythm as the freewheel kept time and etched notes that rang for days. The clouds that lay above bore scenes of fluffy armor, unfolding.

Each formation of cloud recreated an aging youthful fantasy of cute, pillow-armored, fighting animals profiled, before battle. I began thinking of how similar the cruel realities of war would be for both humans and animals, so relentless and unforgiving in its ugly consequence – even for one wearing coats of cloud-mail.

And then it happened - a gargantuan flurry of red motion and machine had narrowly avoided colliding with me and had veered too far left into oncoming traffic. Pedaling again, I realized there was more honking accompanied with most of the sounds and smells associated with burning rubber.

I checked the crotch of my pants to make sure that I hadn't wet them. I hadn't, but it was close. No one checks for no reason. I just couldn't believe: In ancient Rome, the streets were alive with chariots, horses, slaves, animals - and here, in this bustling megalopolis of millions of modern people, complete with a complex light-controlled traffic-controlling infrastructure – here, we couldn't handle this? A lone biker in the midst?

Frustrated, I forged a path to the corner store. The corner store is also known as the 'convenience store', for rather obvious reasons. Inside, they will sell you every vice you could want, except for marijuana.


I walked into the convenience store feeling like I had just cheated death. That's another subtle joy and reason why I ride a bike on a daily basis, because it really makes you stop and think. It makes you lick your finger and put it to the wind even when you know exactly where and how hard the wind is blowing from; because it's obvious. Because your hat flew away in the wind, behind you, and when you chased it, it fell in the gutter and got soiled and you began to cry.

So I went inside and got an ice cream bar. Though it wasn't that easy. I had to weigh out and strike a gentle balance between the sacred forces of logic, and reason. Intuition told me that I had wanted ice cream, and I knew that to be true - but two of my favorite brands had merged together to fight for the cause of my ultimate cold-food desire. I stood there, a mentally beat man. Lost in anguish I pondered, “Klondike, or Snickers, Klondike or Snickers?” but couldn't know, I couldn't know.

I began to think of the almost quantum amount of things I would do for a Klondike bar at that time, it was an infinite and temporal regression of my frontal lobes and I felt like it was necessary to achieve it in a snack. I stood there though, quiet, silent and had realized quite suddenly, that I would do almost anything feasible of man, for a Klondike bar. Even, in general.

It was then that, though that a thought wafted over me and I began to think of Heaven and Hell, and right and wrong. The eternal struggle; Good versus Evil. The color black and the color, white. Opposites and things opposite to them. All of these are thoughts that I thought at that moment, which is, and was, and always will be the same moment that I saw the Snickers Ice Cream Bar.

I laid eye on the glorious Snickers bar almost immediately following my previous thought. That glorious king size looking bar just begged me for my forgiveness, and I was just ready and willing to accept. Such a subtle charm, I thought to myself, Such a subtle charm! I was living the life of a man, in denial. That Snickers was the devil, and I knew it. I was like the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who said that he'd know pornography when he saw it. It was awful, though. Simply awful. So I got the Klondike bar and rode my bike home slowly, with one hand.

To be continued.

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