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Slightly Bitter by Ray Printer Friendly

One a.m. rolls around and memories roll in, and whiskey rolls down the throat. Headphones on, blocking out the world, locking in the thoughts, the words; if they want out—and they do—they’re forced to come out my fingertips.

Bass beats and pure anger, and ghosts of this-was pasts.

And what’s left? In the shadows of the long-ago, the light of the will-be crumbles, destroyed like a shattered mirror on a sunny afternoon.

Offer hope, and gather ‘round, potential-junkies, like bums around a burning trashcan on a cold winter night—someday, some time, light at the end of the tunnel. Hope: it might as well be in a syringe, it’s so addictive, and how many lives has it ruined?

One a.m. rolls around and memories roll in, and wait a second...whiskey doesn't roll. What the hell was that all about? Whiskey pours; whiskey sloshes; whiskey solves problems and gives courage and makes the world a better place. Whiskey does not roll.

Might as well go for twenty-four hours without sleep. Sure, it makes you feel disoriented and dirty; sure it throws your groove for another 48, and if you’re tossing back shots like they’re midgets at a circus, that’s just more you have to worry about when the real world finally closes its jaws around you. But it can be done, even when you’re old and broken, and even if the price you have to pay is so much more than actual value.

Tear raw meat with your teeth, and scream at the moon, because it knows the answers, but it keeps them from you. Pretend to be civilized, but the truth is, we’re all wolves. We’ll tear and bite and kill whatever’s too close or too slow, and if you think I’m wrong, then you’ve never witnessed your true nature.

Or maybe you’re food.

Ripping off clothes and jumping naked around a fire, and the only thing that comes this close to living is getting all jacked up on trucker speed and throwing firecrackers at the clouds.

It’s not real, but it’s as close as I can get, with a stuffy nose and corrective lenses. Lord of the Flies, Baby, but Piggy finally gets to live. Instead of talking about logic and rules, I’m screaming about how the beast is coming, and we have to kill it before it kills us. You want to drop a boulder on my head? Fuck you.

I’m standing right there behind you with my dick in your sister, just so I can see the expression on your face: “But I thought we just smashed? But then who was? What are you d-”

“Just smashed?—that was all a trick to test your loyalty and intelligence. Who was down there was your friend SamAndEric—they’ll be called ‘Goo’ from now on, how about that? And what am I doing here? I’m copulating with your sister. I know, I know—she isn’t even supposed to be on this island. But that’s how far I needed to go to prove a point. And now I’m the king and if you say conch one more time, I’m going to yank your rectum out through your throat, and test me if you don’t think it can be done.”

Say conch again, motherfucker.

Viciousness isn’t a sin, it’s a virtue. But as with all things, it must be used in moderation.

Step over here, won’t you, into this false sliver of moonlight, where we can dance and be honest with each other while we deceive the rest of reality? I know who you are, and you know who I am, so why not cut through all the games? Why don’t we both stop reaching for each other’s throats and reach for the stars? Probably because everyone knows that if you catch a star, you only end up with a burned hand.

Toe-hoppin’ mad at sunset, screaming at the clouds and ready to fight the sky, daring anyone to call me something other than rooster. Me and Peter Pan, we’ll fight to the death, and when I win, I will wear his funny hat and stand with my arms akimbo, and I will work out a slave trade route along with Hook. Because the Lost Boys aren’t nearly lost enough.

And I will win. Peter Pan has eternal youth and his love of life. I have an ever-running timer, counting down. The knowledge of death makes me desperate and brutal, while eternal life makes him sloppy and careless. I need your silly little hat, Pan! And I will have it!

Or perhaps a fight to the death isn’t necessary. Maybe I’ll just get him drunk and talk him into defiling Wendy. Innocence lost, it’s all the same to me, man.

On that note, I will end—it is time for bed, time to dream. Second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning, and all that shit.


posted 2/17/09


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