Saturday, January 14, 2006


The pills sit in the pit of your nauseous stomach where they're attacked by acid, where they crumble and dissolve as part of a very natural digestive process. You'll use them, what's in them, every part of them. Your body soaks them up, and your eyes close as you wait for that comfortable numbness. It comes - it always does. In your journal you scribble the time lapsed since ingestion: thirty-one minutes. This is the last rational thing you will write today. Air rushes through the trees, roaring in your ears. You try to scream, but can't get past the inhale. Fade.

Hours drag and your mind is stretched taut nearly to the point of snapping. Like a thread of bubblegum twirled on the finger of a teenage girl, pulled too long, pulled too thin. She sat in front of you in high school. Scenes cut from a film, and left on the editing room floor. Grainy. Overdeveloped. Her mind rejecting selected teachings, her body rejecting recommended posture, she's slumped over her desk with the tip of her index finger twirling madly, wrapped in rubbery pink glucose. The strand snaps, and she is surprised to find herself with gum on her chin and no knowledge of the last few seconds. Thirteen years ago today.

It's hot and then cold, and as the blue of evening fades to the black of night you busy yourself with trying to think of a new way to describe the moon. Give up. Scratch your back on the trunk of a tree - that's what they're there for. Feet tingle, and you're surprised to find yourself stamping in a circle, thrashing through the lower branches. Or whatever they are. Scribble these notes in your journal. In case you forget. Don't lose your pen.

Hours drag and your mind is stretched taut nearly to the point of snapping. Like the elastic band of a sling, its shot wrapped in leather, gripped between fingertips. Cut to sudden visions of a time past when this shot - this smoothed rock - was part of something bigger. Cut to sudden visions of a time future when this shot - this smoothed rock - fulfils its destiny. Fingers tremble. A breaking point is reached. This shot will never meet its mark. A cat's eyes glowing in the darkness. Green. More rods than cones and all that. But when she blinks, she is gone - a real vanishing act.

Skin crawls, and you're too weary to investigate the reason. It may be insects - the undergrowth is full of them. It may be your imagination - or what's left of it. Or it may be that some part of you has seen the end of you. How it happens. Why it happens. When. Fingers dig into loose soil. Hours drag and your mind is stretched taut nearly to the point of snapping. How thin can this silvery strand get? How thin before it fails to capture the yellowy glimmer of the moon? How much longer before there is no room left for the morning dew to gather in pools of blue-white crystal in the creases of this consciousness?

An answer is given as the moon sets and the sun begins to rise. The circle of it all. Cycles. The mind is infinite and may be stretched so. As there was no beginning, there is also no end. Minds chewed up and twirled on the fingers of Those Greater may be stretched so forever. But you - you'll come down. The warmth of the high replaced by the cold of reality. You'll take this scene and give it a name. Scribble it in your journal. In case you forget. You're not a druggie, but a researcher. You're not a freak, but an adventurer. You're not a burnout, but a connoisseur.

Monday draws near, and with it, work. A return to normalcy. Or banality. But you'll handle it, comfortable in the knowledge that you have seen something greater than the great grey sea of cubicles. A singular moment when all times - past, present, and future - were braided together and stretched taut nearly to the point of snapping. And the great relax: three strands undone, unwound, loosened. A slow walk from the woods in the morning sun. Your shoes wet with dew. Syrupy moonlight in your hair.

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