Finale

Finale

Return to Gainesville

Had a decent night; and a bad day. Got drunk, living in Gainesville…first night of spring…the first day after spring break…nothing’s open, but John agrees to go out with me. Supposedly the University Club has a Goth night on Monday’s, but it is closed…so we head to the Down Lo which had Hip-hop and a depressing crowd. Locked into rational conversation…justifying vegetarianism…John tells me he is too shy to approach girls when I know him to be the most advantageous character in town. We humor the night for a couple of drinks and then retire to my place for Spawn videos and free drinks. Anne calls wanting to bring Devin over at about two in the morning. I give her the ok and fix some presumptive drinks. They come…I find out the next day they were rolling…I am too fucked up to notice…John is a better friend that night than anyone else…Anne tells me I was being an asshole to her, but not letting the others in the room know it. Fuck them…she smoked my shit, drank from my cup, and had what is supposedly an “ex” lover at my house. It is twenty-four hours from that moment and I am still drunk…I see no point in carrying on this ridiculous conscious state. There is supposedly a fetish show going on at a place called Simon’s…I plan to pick up Fidel and discover the essence of a report…Anne says she will visit me when she gets out of work around three a.m. Who knows the discoveries that will be made before that witching hour in the intoxicated state I have maintained for over a day…I have taken three thermadrene and still fallen asleep. I am probably lucky to be alive…the ephedrine must have offset the deleterious affects of the liquor.

Spending too much time at work.

Vampires make up the core of the pizza delivery industry, I imagine for the ease of labor, and the ability to roam the city for the purpose of feeding. Like all things, I am discovering the more I learn about their habits and types, the less I actually know. Some of the details seem curiously trite, as though taken directly out of pop culture lore, while others are more subtle.

They all wear sunglasses indoors…I know, it sounds dumb, but if this trait wasn’t so overwhelmingly universal, I wouldn’t have been able to tell some that were from the regular human beings. They range in a wide variety of body types, from fat to thin to beautiful to grotesque. From a distance, they maintain a certain degree of youthful appearance, which fades in some upon closer inspection. In one particular example, a subject claiming to be twenty-four years of age plays his role well except for the gray hairs in his side burns…I have even noticed liver spots on a few of them claiming to be under thirty.

Most hide their physiological traits well, but an occasional smile from some reveals inhuman fangs…incisors that are half again as long as the rest of their teeth. The major problem in identifying these creatures is that they do not all exhibit the same traits, and I believe they can control how obvious they wish to be, to a certain degree. As well, it may be that they are extending me twisted olive branches by committing revealing acts in my presence, which I am too stupid to acknowledge. Such may be the case with the telepath…

He’s strange…but on a different level from the vampires. A big motherfucker, with a lazy eye that never seems to find you…at the same time, he possesses a gentle intelligence, and a subtle leadership role amongst the Hungry Howie’s employees. His revelations come in the form of telling me details about my deliveries that he shouldn’t know.

“That was a nice ten dollar tip you got, hunh?”

“Yeah, it was a good run…”

Is it a test? If I question it, I’m less on the level than he suspects, if I don’t, I’m either less competent than previously thought, or right there on the level he might have suspected. The problem is, I don’t know where I fall myself…

I have become intimate friends with a healer called Diego. There seems to be no boundaries between us.

We had brought home a female from a club, but had conversation anyway. This was the night he told me…

“It’s all about directing energy…I can do it for some people…I’ve done it for a few people I love…put your hand close to mine…”

I could feel a pressure in the space separating our palms. The female interjected, “…people are known to emit an electromagnetic field…”

We were all laying on my bed, partially exhausted, but with no will to sleep.

He put his hands over my stomach, “Do you feel this?”

It was fairly amazing, intriguing at the very least, “I do feel it…its making me nauseated.”

“The only thing about it is, you have to have faith in my ability to do it. For those that believed in me, I have cured them of much pain.”

That gave me a moment of voracious laughter, “Well, I guess your skills will be of no use to me then…I’ve never been good at concepts like faith and hope.”

He nodded and smiled, “I know…I’m not so good at them either.”

For a moment I get the impression that he is a Jesus splinter…when the son of the great energy died, his soul diffused into the great pool to be reincarnated in dilute proportions to select entities with new wills to employ the control of energy. But this is not the case. More likely this is an offshoot of being a telepath (I have known him to be one for quite some time). Jesus was just another one of these characters who went public with his talents and made the fatal mistake of getting involved in politics. His crucifixion is a two thousand year old signpost to all healers, psychics, telepaths… “Here’s what happens to those of you that would fuck with the powers that be.”

I’ve been nostalgic lately…trying to discern what knowledge I’ve gained and make sense of the surfeit of loose ends that plague my primate curiosity…wondering if Richard had anything to do with that pinnacle seizure I had that made me wander around outside in the nude and for which I had to defend myself in court to prevent incarceration. I feel anger towards him, for putting me through such an ordeal if he is in fact responsible, and toss a still lit cigarette out the window of my truck as I speed down a moonlit highway. The cigarette finds a random vacuum of wind and makes a one hundred eighty degree turn to fly back into the cab of the truck so that it could find it’s way directly under my crotch. I can feel the heat and smell the fabric of my pants begin to burn…swerving into oncoming traffic, franticly searching for that goddamn butt, I finally get the glowing ember out the window and recover control of the vehicle. Goddamn telepaths…

And it occurs to me that I am not at odds with a single entity or even a collection of individuals…I’ve pissed off an entire wavelength of energy with my impudence, resistance, curiosity…with the small amount of information I have reaped, I have earned my slippery grip on the lowest rung of a ladder that leads to God knows where…

I feel like Alice, thirty years after wonderland, smoking a cigarette by the curb.

All the hopes and dreams of a successful chaotic existence have been decimated. Raving addicts, convoluted youths, dissenting friends; I think they may have all abandoned me. I am presently engaged in microbiology (but by USDA standards, which makes me a factory worker that spent four years in the hell of higher education to land this dead whale carcass of a job). So the friends have gone…because I’m am no longer an announcer, an entertainer, a prophet. I am a member of a domesticated huddled mass. I have not given up, I have only gotten fat before my time. In a single moment of time I traversed the void between expansive free thinking and alcoholism. They say it always gets worse before it gets better.

And what is better? I have some utopia-esque convention that includes serious financial backing and free time. If you share your bad habits with friends you are not a social ill; your gravestone will instead read “he was loved by many.”

At the same time, I am amazed at a few selective individuals who seem to love me despite my conflict of altruism and degeneration. Some I can be void from for significant periods of time, and my delayed coalescence brings on a warm reception and hugs. Others, witness the day to day dissention and deprivation, but persist. When I am capable of my utopian fantasies, it is these who will benefit most. The rest will benefit slightly less.

Don’t go to sleep. not yet. I still have a few energy units left to pop off the page. This town that has left me gothless and stolid is doling out punishments in the form of door to door vampire magazine salespeople screaming at me to send them to Acapulco or some such place….

I woke up in a waterbed again. This time it was leaking and I was sleeping in it. The female stock holder of the sleeping device was naked on the couch. The male component was sitting on the papasaun(I have no idea how that round thing is spelled and frankly i don’t want to know, there’s a lot of evil there). Where do the buffalo roam? Bill Murry captures the truer fatter indecency that so many Halloweens have killed. Nixon this, nixon that, I saw my friend passed out behind my table and went to assist him and it turned out to be a pile of clothes. And the half-hour he hadn’t really been there was really only two minutes. My friend’s girlfriend has an exceptional bust. The one that had passed out in my head has a girlfriend too. She’s a keeper…she joined a bowling league with him. We exhaled at the same time, “She’s Money.” Yet another friend of mine (i have so much love to paint the town with) is reading the Koran for his masters degree history assignment. He’s supposed to show how the Christian bible is crap because the Koran is crap and they are so similar. He’s the guy nobody thought would make it in school….

Never try to go to the mall with twisted perception. Malls are barbie doll casinos. Scare the hell out of me. I take vitamin b12 to enhance my neurological communication…but now I am floating away

The micro lab is a veritable house of boredom horrors. I don’t know where these outback redneck scientists come from, but they seem to have healthy appetites,

“I ever tell you ’bout the Listeria outbreak of ’89? Well, we was deep in the trenches of a cheese factory…microbes runnin’ round as big as your belt buckle…hell, I had to kill three USDA agents with my bare hands just to keep from havin’ a recall. I tell ya, nobody was as dedicated to the company like we was in ’89.”

There is an old Asian witch there who seems to have taken a liking to me. Makes a point of being friendly and helpful, and merely polite to others. The lab media maker likes me to, and we’ve been talking quite a bit (as no one else will talk to me) and despite his vampiric nature (or because of it) I find the interaction entertaining. Apparently, though, the witch is a bit dismayed that I’m getting so chummy with the old vampire, and one day it seemed to come to a head. She continually interrupted our conversation, constantly drawing me away to help her with things that she didn’t need help with.

The next day, I come in and ask the old witch, “Where is Julio today?”

She replies in a thick, almost incomprehensible Chinese accent, “Some ting bad happen to Julio last night.”

About a half-hour later, Julio called in sick from food poisoning he’d gotten the night before. He would not be able to return to work until my day off. The old woman may be a more dangerous ally to have than I had previously expected.

Much more dangerous. Julio never came back to work. After he recovered from his “illness” he obtained a job at an automobile dealership. Where else would you use a background in laboratory science?

Wednesday night. Freedom night…no responsibilities for a few days and I’m a predator amongst the hedonism flock. No expectations, just soak up whatever the energies expose me to. So I found myself in a place called Common Grounds talking to an ex-addict giving me his withdrawal story.

“…no, I went straight cold turkey. Spent 21 days at Charter, the next day always worse than the one before it. Yeah, I would’a fucking got methadone, but I couldn’t afford it. Worst fucking month of my life.”

He then proceeded to tell me where I could get mushrooms, acid, and morphine. All bullshit of course, he was just trying to scam money for beer at the bar. Beware of people who ask you for money and then try to sell you something. I probably would’ve just bought him a beer, but he teased me about my eye makeup (if he’d asked me straight out I would’ve bought him a beer anyway).

On to the spoken word. Nothing terribly impressive tonight, although this place draws some of the better amateur talent I’ve seen. I notice a gorgeous little goth girl come in with a pretty boy holding a guitar. She’s the best I’ve seen in town lately. It’s wonderful to know there’s at least a possibility.

The scene ages poorly, though. I get bored and go outside to talk to the bums. The little girl is there with some others talking about music; they include me in the conversation even though I am swaying from inebriation. A friend of mine comes down the sidewalk and draws me away from the cuteness of this little scene, but not before that little minx nails me for my phone number so we can “trade cd’s.” Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Day two: buy liquor and cigarettes. March up and down the daylit streets, wondering who thought going outside in the sunlight would ever catch on. Make good on my social obligations, visit with friends, stumble upon a sweet, brand new phone number…and she comes to my home.

A classic runaway case. Moved out young, discovered she was smart enough to have college pay her for going to school. New to town, exploring freak-friendly aspects of Gainesville…she brought me to some greenpeace poetry session, several coffee joints (perhaps a plan to sober me up some), but we ended up back at my place… “she’s never tried nitrous, but would love to.”

Some hours later she was gone. The one bad thing about hardcore alcohol abuse is that you tend to only remember things in flashes…and those were some delectable flashes. It’s amazing…I haven’t had a chance to talk to this girl sober yet…maybe she won’t like me in some sort of relative state of sanity…then again, who says she’ll get the chance….

And it occurs to me I’ve left a few important details out. For one, this girl has no scent. No shampoo, no body odor from under her arms or the velvet area. No perfume. No breath. She does not smell good or bad; she simply does not smell. It’s almost as if she doesn’t really exist…

She blows me off for a week straight. Her roommate probably thinks I’m stalking her from calling every day to receive very little feedback; and then tonight, she reaches out. So I choke down my rejected insecurities and invite her for a night…

Brain damage…the amigdala is no longer responsive…feral drives that once powered lawless abuses have attenuated. Piss off to all the free seekers. I’ve burned away my hands touching the flames….

Fidel comes along, and our mix of supplies contains stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, in the lungs and in the stomach and in the nasal passages and someone even brought up the concept of enemas. Completely awash in perception as we head off downtown.

I burst through the club doors expecting loud music and begin harassing the bartender for a beer in a loud obnoxious banter, only to find someone quietly reading a poem on stage, and the cheap imitation beatniks turn their heads simultaneously to give me a searing look.

The atmosphere was too civilized here. We wouldn’t last long. The girl goes directly to the couch, inclined to take stock of her chemical upswing. Fidel and I are drinking a beer at the bar except his beverage goes untouched because of a severe lack of motivation. So I take his as well, as much as I can before this screeching and wailing guitarist gets on stage, singing in keys that would make a bat’s eyes bleed. We burst out the club as obnoxiously as we came in and set out on the road.

Somebody wanted to go to a drugstore and wandered around for about a half an hour inside until I started donning Halloween masks and scaring the clerks. Without buying anything, we headed home.

Nitrous oxide is desired by the crew, except I had lent my cracker out earlier to a friend who was having a small get-together and needed party supplies. This was not your everyday, ordinary get-together, and not your ordinary everyday people. A mixture of telepaths and vampires all insane on MDMA and nitrous. Walking in on a situation like that could get messy. But I put the uncertainties aside, and we knocked on the door…

A sudden rush, the door swings open, my half naked friend stands in the doorway, with eyes barely open, slithers out a greeting, “Yesssssss…..?” and a minor pause, “Oh! It’s you…come in.”

The scene inside was something from the monkey cages of hedonistic Greece. All manners of drug use and fornication were going on all around us. Naked women moaning and sucking on pacifiers, some noticing us ineffectually cover themselves with swatches of cloth, others inhaling chemicals take no notice of us at all.

I look back at Fidel, and he is completely beside himself with fear. Like a god damn deer surrounded by hunters, fighting the urge to flee. He senses the power here and the lawless abuse of it that might expose itself any second.

The girl however is out of her mind. Seeming not to notice the insanity around her she announces, “I think I’ll just lie down on the floor here and go to sleep.”

Oh Fuck.

“No, no, no, no, no…you can’t go to sleep here…bad idea…they’ll eat you alive.”

And I’m propping her up to try and keep it conscious. Shit, if she loses it here, she’s done for…this crowd wouldn’t hesitate to drain her of all of her blood, steal all of her precious energy units, and then use her empty carcass as a blow-up doll. No, sir…it was time to go.

I finally collect my hardware and make civil goodbyes, all the while ordering my party around, “Up, up, up! Quickly…there’s very little time!”

Back home to safety. The girl is worried about her lip, “I think it’s swollen, does it look swollen?”

“No, no, not all…well maybe a little, but that happens with DXM sometimes…you’re doing fine though.”

My god that thing was huge…I touched it couple of times just to make sure it was real.

Shot gunning the whippits to each other (blowing the excess from one person’s lungs directly into another’s), soon turned into a naked girl on the bed. She was too out of her mind to do much so I had to settle for cuddling. And in this lonely boorish town, full of animals, predator and prey, I think this was probably the best thing for me. I’m going to have to be very careful with this one…she’s not the apathetic thrill seeker I had previously thought. One false move, and I’ll have another kill mark to carve in my heart.

The girl is no longer on my A list. She stood me up for a fetish show, which seems to have happened to a lot of people from the looks of the sparse crowd. Hardly anyone around, the god damn dex hasn’t hit me yet…you’re damn right I’d like a drink…gimme a Long Island ice tea like the nice lesbians beside me are having.

Master Cruellen was back in town and it seemed this disaster of drag queen sadomasochism was his doing. Probably not though. I’m sure he’s just going along like the rest of us, desperate for something to sink his teeth into. I’d walked seventeen blocks for this crummy show, and there wasn’t even any industrial music to drink to. Eventually, though, a very pretty boy approaches me from behind and asks for a cigarette.

“You know, there’s an art showing around the corner…I think you’d really like it.”

“Your art? At the, uh, Down Lo you say. Well, shit…let’s go.”

“No, I’m staying here, but you should go check it out.”

The boy was obviously sent to me. Someone over at the art show was requesting my presence. I wonder if maybe this was Anne’s work from across the great ocean, watching over me, giving me some loving direction. I like that explanation, but my arrival at the art show would prove a more realistic one.

The Animal crew. Diego spots me in the crowd. It’s not hard…I’m the straight guy wearing lipstick…

“Hey, how’d you know about the showing?” I don’t know why he asks stuff like this after he just made some unsuspecting boy find me in fetish show, but who am I to not be civil?

Paintings and pictures hitting me from all sides, as aesthetic as the beautiful trash punk-core art-fag people that make it. My palate is aroused, and I start in on all sorts of almost friends of friends in my dex melted words. It is probably also important to note that I have not slept in three days.

“So, you know who painted that car door? That thing draws you in, man. How can we find the artist to talk to, eh? Hey, don’t I know you from high school? You said you do only nude modeling? Well, I can see why…your body is…uh, well…it has…lot’s of interesting angles….”

It really wasn’t as bad as all that. I think the nude model may have actually been flirting with me.

Two days later and still no time for sleep. I find myself having fallen asleep at work, pathogenic bacteria spilled all over the lab counter, all over my hands. Insomnia causes you to loose track of the days, but I think I only have one day of work left before my days off. Make it home without swerving off the road more than a couple of times and loose consciousness. Awaken by that girl pounding on my door.

She seemed to have sensed my disappointment with her and came to make amends. Bearing gifts of MDMA she wants to roll with me. I need to sleep, but diplomacy demands I not let this gesture go unappreciated. One more night of naked Vicks vapor rub and the Ecstasy makes her open up to show me the dirty raw parts of herself. Make me look like the devil himself…

Unfortunately, rolls do not affect me very much. They are designed to stimulate the centers of your brain responsible for sensations of happiness. Somewhere along the line, my brain quarantined that area, severed all the receptors, cut off the food supply, and all that is left is a rotting, nostalgic apple core.

There are some more shameful moments about the girl I seemed to have omitted. There was the night she was lying naked on the bed, being intermittedly kissed by myself and a friend, when I flipped out and got jealous over the attention he was getting, and pulled myself away from the situation. As I was getting up, I noticed that she had one hand covering her crotch, and at first I thought she was pleasuring herself…further assessment gave me the realization that she was actually protecting her “goods” in case this friendliness went too far. In disgust, I went outside to smoke a cigarette. If she hadn’t assured me earlier that she was comfortable with what was going on, I’d have probably left. Apparently, though, I was integral to that situation, for when I came back inside, she was lying by herself on the bed, my friend had turned to the television for entertainment. I can only imagine what I would feel if I associated with bad people.

Then there was the first night she came to see me. In the throes of first impression passion, she stops me and says, “Just so you know, I can’t fuck you.”

“Alright, but since you brought it up, any particular reason?”

“Well, I just don’t know you well enough.”

“That makes sense.”

Apparently she did know me well enough to receive an orgasm through other methods. In fact, she told me it was one of the best she’d ever had. There’s nothing like stroking an ego as foreplay…

More flashes of the past few weeks occur to me at work while in a Thermadrene frenzy; an attempt to stay alert. I recall a moment at the Soul House, watching a party girl make her laugh riot rounds in the club. A flirt, a tease, a real performer…and nice tits. She’s not fooling me though, and I turn to Fidel, “My God, look at that one over there…she’s an energy thief. You could probably have her all night long if you were willing to risk losing all of your energy units.”

He gives me a slightly annoyed look that says I’m overstating the obvious, “I know, Bill, I know.” And instantly I’m put back in my place…the blundering novice.

I think that night we wound up in crack town, at some girl’s house who demanded we lock the door behind us, because she couldn’t count all the times someone from the neighborhood would just wander in and pass out on her floor.

Another scene from the bedroom: The girl, of course, lying next to me, turns without any appropriate sort of segway and says, “You know how the first night we met, you thought I said I was nineteen?”

Oh fuck I thought, Here it comes. My mind wandered somewhere between a newspaper article describing 14 and 15 year-old college freshmen and getting to know my prison cellmate better than I really wanted. Trying to hide my state of panic, I sort of rush out, “So, uh, how old are you?!!”

“I’m only eighteen.”

And I can stop sweating, but there’s still some weird subconscious moral factor kicking in, wanting to know all of it, “When did you, uh, turn 18, exactly?”

At this, she gets all coy and shy…embarrassment, “Last month…”

Flashes from the Full Circle on old wave night with Diego. Wearing a favorite shirt of mine that bluntly says, “Please Molest Me” on it. I’ve never been afraid of advertising, and tonight, it was seeming to work.

“So, has anyone molested you yet?”

“Uh, what?! Molest me?! Oh, uh yeah…I mean no; would yooooooou like to be the first?”

And the strange girl with a taunting smile, “I’m considering it,” and she kept her eyes aimed at mine as she walked to the dance floor. There was real opportunity tonight; it’s a shame that Diego and I are not capable of real human contact. And suddenly it was two o’clock and some angry bar monkey grabbed the Long Island ice tea out of my hands with the straw still in my mouth and we were ushered outside into the bitter streetlight and the swarming crowd of afterhours party hook-ups.

“The, uh, address…yeah we’ll need that. Diego, you remember it this time…”

“For the third time, it’s just off Sixth Street…are you guys gonna make it?”

“Us? Well, say how ’bout giving us a ride?”

“Sorry, the car’s full.”

Diego asks the poor girl for her phone number, she gets it for us after a very annoyed stint at finding writing materials.

“Ok, I’ll see guys there.” And away she went.

“So we’re going right?”

Diego looks at me confusedly, “Going? Going where?”

“To the party man…we just got invited to a party.”

“Shit, did we?…where at?”

“I don’t know god damn it…you were supposed to remember the address.”

“Wait, what’s this…”

He pulled out the piece of paper the girl gave him, and the two of us stood there in the middle of the sidewalk, swaying and squinting, we examined the piece of paper.

I gave my assessment, “Looks like, mmm…looks like eye liner to me.”

“No, man, this is her phone number…shit, can you read it?”

“Hmmm…looks like an eight, and uh, maybe a four…”

We decided to walk home and maybe find the party along the way. We got about four blocks away from Diego’s place when we spotted a group of drunken merriment going on at a porch, so why not? We approached.

Needless to say it was the wrong party, and they were not happy to see us. They told us the beer was all gone and that we needed to leave…now. Still trying to start conversations with some of the friendlier people, a leader of their heartless mass was forcefully escorting us back to the road, talking about calling the police. He left us at the curb where Diego crashed into the street.

“Jesus…fucking shitheads!”

I helped him up and we got to the end of the block, where Diego whispered to me, “Wait…but move; you don’t know what I’m doing.”

I saw his eyes squint, roll back into his head, and he started stepping back and forth in the same spot with an intense energy. The fear of it hit me all at once.

“Jesus God, I know exactly what you’re doing…at least let me get out of the way first.” And I got about ten feet away and watched him place some insane telepathic curse on the street. He finished and caught up with me.

“Those people were assholes.”

“Yeah, I know, but that’s no reason to rain down pestilence on the entire god damn block! What fucking street is this, god damn it, I drive down this street sometimes….”

I woke up on Diego’s couch, him passed out next to me. It was sunrise. I grabbed my backpack and what was left of a vodka bottle and headed home for the sanity of a warm bed. I smoked a last mournful cigarette and wondered if Diego would remember the hex he’d placed on that innocent house that had merely been in the wrong place at the wrong time….

The Hare Krishna’s have a little booth set up at the plaza on the University of Florida. They sell vegan food for two bucks a plate and try to slip some literature in on the side. I think Lyle was with me…at least I hope so, because I have vivid memories of him sitting next to me for over an hour.

“Naw, I don’t trust cult food. Who knows what kind of god damn evil sacrificed things they mince up and put in that shit…and a Dixie cup half full of fruit punch? It sure as hell won’t quinch your thirst! That’s nothing more than a solvent for some god damn hippie drug. No, sir…couldn’t pay me to eat that shit.”

I think I tried to convince him that if there were hallucinogens in the drinks, they’d have to charge way more than two dollars for it, but then again; I was not exactly lucid.

Or maybe Lyle never really was there after all. Maybe the Hare Krishna’s weren’t either, but that’s not likely. I don’t think even my subconscious is twisted enough to dream up all those men in pink skirts singing in high pitched voices, “Krissssssssssh–na!” Or maybe, just maybe, I need to get some (sigh) sleeeeep…

With sleep, comes dreams. I can’t really call them nightmares because they don’t actually scare me. But none the less…

We’re in the cave–Dave’s cave.

Dave is this homeless guy; hippie, but clean. He’s claimed some cave somewhere, and it’s a refuge for stray hipsters. Started out as a place for runaways and addicts, but spread to the intellectually perverse and I don’t know how the hell I ended up there. Dave is real hospitable, though. He’s stealing electricity from some place and has a fully stocked fridge and a microwave. There are some shelves fixed to the stone walls of the cavern with some weird nicknacks on them, a few mattresses strewn about, a couple of lamps, but mostly just black rock. Dave’s trying to make sure everyone’s comfortable, there’s about six of us, but people keep showing up. Some random drug use is going on, I think I may be on something mild. We’re all pretty open and social, I’m sitting on a mattress, having a fine time.

I see this girl on the other side of the cave, where the shelves are. There are four or five people around her–looking at shit on the shelves like they were shopping–she’s topless and bent over, pretending to take it from behind from some oiled black guy with thick dreds. I know her name to be Halbia.

Everything is in good fun:

“Hey, Halbia! When you’re done with him, why don’t you bring some of that action over here!?”

She looks over, stands up, and saunters over to me. Halbia’s about five foot, five inches, Uma Thurman bangs (like in Pulp Fiction), takes down her pants and asks, “This what ya want?”

People still meandering and talking, it’s more crowded now. She grabs my shorts off, I get a condom on, and she gets on top of me.

Fucking. I notice a blood-like substance coming out of her, running all over my abdomen, but more yellow than red.

“You on your period?”

She shrugs, “I don’t know.”

We finish, I assume I came but don’t remember. She stands up, I remove the condom and it’s torn, which disturbs me. I show Halbia and she laughs, shrugs, and moves off to another section of the cave. Get dressed.

The atmosphere changes. Intervention of tension. Kids are scared and numbers are decreasing. People are being ushered on to buses–I think. Dave brushes past me and gives me a look that says, “This is bad. We need to escape.” I watch him fade to a blackened distance.

Two men usher me onto a bus…everything happens fast and the next thing I can perceive is that I’m strapped to a gurney in a large clinical room with about fifty other people in a similar position. Clinical blue sheets and walls. Men with clipboards and lab coats going through each patient. They make me empty out my pockets, confiscating any electrical devices I might have (and surprisingly enough, my pockets are filled with them; I don’t even know what most of them are). They ask if I have any hidden electronic devices and I tell them, “no.” even though I do. They give me the impression that this is where I’ll be staying for quite some time.

My assessment:

There is a rebellion–I play a minor role by transporting electrical devices to places near me that can make good use of them. As in all rebellions, there comes a final battle.

Finale’

It happens–a wave of freedom throughout the complex. I get freed pretty early and go to different rooms to free others. I enter a room of people hooked up to electrodes that cause them to writhe in pain and some of them are missing appendages. In fact, as you go further back into the room, more and more appendages are missing, until you get to the last table with just the heads and sometimes just brains in bowls of blue fluid, with contorted faces (as much of the face that remains) in shock. There are rebels killing the punished, to put them out of their misery. I slowly backed out of the room. A couple of people rush by and tell me to follow; we enter a room of unlit Christmas lights–I am the last to enter and I close the door on enemy clinicians trying to bang the door down. Dr. Blossey is in the room trying to figure out the system. He directs me to turn on and off a series of lights that also results in musical tones. The clinicians have almost broken in when we get the right sequence and everything is calm. I exit out of the complex and droves of people are getting on buses. The complex exterior is pure virgin white. I see Halbia running to catch a bus–I call to her, she embraces me and I tell her I’m glad she’s alright. I see a bus pulling away with Julie passed out and almost falling out the door. I grab her and scream at the bus driver to stop, but he won’t. I finally get her safely to the ground, still cursing the bus driver. We fall on the sidewalk, lying atop of each other, giggling; happy to be with each other. Almost everyone has evacuated the complex. The leader of the rebellion that freed us, Dave, is in the distance, smiling and waving.

Halloween night. Anne and I have swanky reservations for Rocky Horror in O-town and I haven’t eaten in several days, so I’m expecting some serious pleasure tonight. I can’t seem to sit still in the theater, I’m resorting to making crass comments to those sitting around me, taking drugs in between scenes, nearly jumped out of my seat and attacked a cast member with a knife I was carrying for splashing water on me, and to say the least, Anne is not impressed with my behavior. I thought it would be a good story, though, to be kicked out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show…

Anne’s pissed about a lot of me lately though, like the fact that I seem to come off as some sort of heavy drug user, when in fact I can’t really get ahold of much else than what comes from your local pharmacy…over the counter, even. She hates my crude disregard for social mores, making people either frightened or just merely put off by my presence. This is all on top of the fact that she’s sick as fuck, just barely maintaining contact with reality.

Too many god damn middle aged people at the Rocky Horror afterparty so we go downtown just to taste a memory. Being too sick to do anything other than sleep, I take a stroll downtown alone and I am reminded of how much I hate this town. Orlando is the loneliest crowd I’ve ever had to crawl through.

Despite the double vision, I make it back to Gainesville in just enough time to change for work, no sleep, yes thermadrene, and in my shitty truck for the long haul to my Jacksonville job.

Waldo is a strange Florida cracker town that consists of a flea market, a fruit stand, and a gas station. This is where my truck decided to die. I called Anne in desperation, and told work I would not be in attendance this cold, tired morning.

The truck was towed by a wrecker, which at least put it out of sight. Anne and I decided that a great big helping of ice cream might make this day bearable, so we waited outside the window of a Baskin Robbins in anticipation of its opening.

I decided it was time. Time to bite the fucking silver bullet and go to a car dealership, bend over, and buy a car. This process only took me nine hours.

The bastards made me haggle with them. I don’t ever haggle, so this was a real drag for me. I got bored real fast and started making ridiculous demands for my contract. Stipulation 6 states that the recipient will keep all balloons attached to aforementioned vehicle. Stipulation 17 states that the recipient will receive two free apples from the dealership snack bar. I started smoking in their offices. I stole their office supplies and taped ribbons I found all over the waiting room. It’s amazing what they’ll let you get away with if you are buying a car from them.

Not to say they didn’t totally fuck me on the price of the car, but I did drive away with a pretty black automobile without giving them a single cent up front, and I confused them about the youth of America as much as they confused me about auto financing. Seems like a fair trade to me.

I’m hiding again.

Too much, too soon, too fast, too bad. It came to me in a rush of stimulants at work. Real life images from the past few months all coming together in a startling revelation: the seizure I had at the gas station just days after a menage trios with John and Suzane…the energy thief wandering about the club taking bits and pieces from many, waiting out her big kill…the conversation I had with Jules warning me not to be too arrogant, because “You think you can take it, but you’re not in control; they are…and when they’re done with you…”…the night John and Suzane both sucked nitrous oxide out of my lungs leaving me in helpless laughter, feeling so drained…and I know what it all means.

I feel betrayed. John is my friend and I find him doing this thing to me, not unlike rape, stealing the very life force out from under my soul. Apparently, for some time now, he and his bloodsucking girlfriend have been taking hits off my energy while we all seem to carry on in social merriment. Usually, the draining was subtle, for I do believe John to be a true friend, not intending me harm, but being unable to resist a taste now and again from the throbbing aura of life energy that must surround us all.

As if taking it without my consent weren’t enough, here’s what really pisses me off: that night we all slept together they took too much. Not controlling themselves in our orgiastic fervor, I was made weak to the point that days later I would collapse in a ghetto convenience store, a frothing fit of convulsions.

Anger for the boy heightens…taking a nibble or two is bad, but endangering my life is near inexcusable. What if I’d been driving at the valley of my weakness? Worse yet, what if they’d taken away my driver’s license? I begin thinking of ways to taint my energy, to poison the well, to exact revenge…and then I catch myself.

This is precisely what I hate about all these god damn telepaths: the game. They poke and nudge in a ridiculous sport of tit for tat, feral dogs pissing and shitting in each other’s territory, under the pretense of displaying power and gaining respect. I will not succumb to this bullshit. I will not play the game. Shit, they’d eat me alive anyways.

I do still consider John a friend. You can’t blame a syringe for being a syringe; even when you step on it. Somehow, he will have to know that not only will I be a bit more guarded, but as well, that it saddens me to do so.

You all have broken me.

That wonderful, beautiful, violent, sensitive, sexual, chaotic animal that I once was is gone.

For every sorority girl that ever snubbed me in a club, to every punk rock girl that I wasn’t cool enough for, for every intellectual that thought I wasn’t smart enough, to all the people for whom I was too obscene: I surrender. I’ve borne my pure naked soul only to have you look away in disgust. This is why you do not deserve me. You made my veins curl up as electrical wire and made my eyes well up from an endless spring. I surrender. I won’t force myself on you any more. I surrender.

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