Needles and Risk

When I imagined shooting up in my head I had it all worked out, from the boiling point down to the butterfly insertion of the gun metal into the bloodstream. It was all happening at my tattoo artist’s house: he was in the bathroom and I heard his belt flake apart and smack out of the loops with its laminated woefulness and schoolboy sanctimony and I became afraid of it because I knew it was devious. The rest is an indelible gash, specific and remorseless:

I bought this imaginary dope with a hundred dollar check gifted to me by my dead great aunt. She’s in the ground now, and her flesh looks like browned house potatoes; most of it has completely disintegrated but the bones and jewelry hold solid because of their unexceptionable architecture and molecular integrity. I saw all of this in a dream and if you don’t believe it you may as well floss the toenails of God with pond roughage. But the feeling (the injection came later), I’m sure you want to know: if it was very peaceful, we’d be friendlier than this and we’d all sink down into a great pool of cloudy Chlamydia piss and waterproof termites (the flesh eating bacteria have movie night in a different temperature). In this space we were all in together I knew that the termites would make less work for me in the long run and I understood the auspiciousness of death. I can’t fucking explain it so don’t ask me. Please. But more than all that, in the grips of my fortune there was an ineluctable sense that life was a presumptuous snuff-spitting blowhard spouting off at the mouth and talking all big about how it fucked Betty Mae Hoolihan Reese (you know, that girl) in the back of a neon black Dodge Intrepid with a blown transmission and fourteen inch wheels (which seemed odd to brag about); there were wild allegations and all of this he-said-she-said sort of thing, and ultimately the dryness in the air proved that after invisible hands unearthed Betty’s pussy from poop brown wicker basket underwear with thoughtless jagged leg holes, she said she quote unquote wants it in the slimy cunt but first you have to tell me about God. This is now widely regarded as truth, especially in the Universe.

Jesus Christ, though, the sensation of these rapacious ninja children slicing at me with stunted swords!; their gills had been stuffed with seashell shavings and razor blades until they were gutted and made extinct by jealousy. It felt dull going in, but once the blood started gushing out it wasn’t red, it was baby blue and turned to powder, you know, like the color of the sky, and I knew in that quote unquote pinhead atomic moment that it wasn’t my blood going out into the world but the sky’s breath coming into me; it coursed boiling ejaculate through my stapled-together veins and, spitefully, it gave me a horrible abscess that would become pregnant with bliss. It’s a terrible thing, but we live in a place where the sky is a commercialized jerk-off joint where intrepid maquereaus fashion deadly weapons out of crusted tampons and live chinchilla teeth. I hate to be here for too long, but the tattoo artist needed to finish the job; after all, only the outline of this fanatical face was fitted on, the one I chose out of a prejudicial lineup of entirely light-skinned African American males and wrung out in mirror shade reverse and horror show sing-alongs; then the artist switched the colors from primary to secondary (after he asked me to bring paper towels with me to the job) and poisoned the canvas of my body with this domineering malediction and turned my gooey beige anodyne hide into the kind of evil which no one is really capable of. It hurts like a motherfucker, too. But the imaginary jacked-up dopesicles (forgive me if I digress from time to time, between naval-gazing I jump from casual rumination to tautological certitude with no hard proof) hammering through the canal of my arteries and spider veins, rushing to flood the eyeballs and “once and for all,” they say, radically condense the world from an intractable terrorscape to something I can slice in two with a borrowed Leatherman and smear like ambrosia all over compact latissimus dorsi. I feel like someone who just got tried for murder and danced his way to the gravel on piano key neckties. In this fantasy, I’m the toughest man alive. Pious itinerants make pilgrimages from the lady-boy rapist Far East to be near my bright-light creativity and spark plug brilliance. In this double-jeopardy realm I’m the cleanest cat that ever was and the way I think changes history every minute: I’m lauded as the first person to master mind control and braindrain gravity because every thought zap in the amygdala generates more and more peace until my mind spins off its axis into the quadrant opposite and all I feel is a hollow-tip absence of everything that ever caused me grief. But the truth: I’m deathly afraid of needles and risk.

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Excerpt: And the Beauty of This Night in Particular

The Sun moves with the dumb confidence of a giant behind the infinite Atlantic wall to the east and holds for just the right moment to announce: I am here, my pets, fear not for I am merciful and I come forth to breathe life into you, but bow to me; I shall burn all those who do not obey. Wary of her majesty’s capricious ire, the sea and the sky resign to their defenselessness, and, with only a twinge of shame, quietly mark a mathematically exact boundary line. This is mine. And this is yours. Many thousands of miles in all directions—though my heat shall reach farther still!—immeasurable expanses of empty space kneel in humble capitulation and reverence. Surely, only I can convince the freezing blackness around me to celebrate its opposite, the Sun thinks triumphantly to herself. Without me there is no life; I am stern, but I am a kind leader, I am the center around which my glorious system revolves; and it is glorious only because of my exquisiteness; this is why they yield to my greatness.

And absorbed in herself thusly she resolves to give a demonstration—I have five billion years worth of nuclear fuel yet! proclaims a defensive background voice shrouded in the denial of middle age—and, roiling with great vehemence, spews an enormous arc of her finest particles deep into space. There can be no doubt: I will burn hotter and brighter for my admirers, and of course they will be glad to know my performance has not deteriorated. Pleased with the show, intended only partly as a warning, she sinks into complacent satisfaction and watches her hostages cling stoically to their predictable paths. I built this sphere, she thinks. How delicately they circle around me! They shall never abandon me; thus they have earned my grace. And beset by her impressionable underlings in this way, she remains isolated in the corner carved out for her—carved out by whom is, as far as she has considered it, unimportant—in a endless theater brimming with gargantuan, blazing giants next to whom she is but an anonymous child, undersized and really quite average. 

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Between the Lines: Honest Instruction From GLAMOUR Magazine

Encourage women to binge.
Most nutritionists recommend
taking pills or full-blown eating disorders.

Have a few cocktails,
beware of gyms and
go to choosemyplate.gov.
We can all take a cue from them.

I was afraid I’d gain weight if I quit.
Masochistic fitness regimes
constantly yo-yoed between unhappy sluts.
I woke to black flak and diet slip-ups.
You can never really be at peace with your body
but you can eat whatever you want.

Maximize calorie burn and muscle tears.
Take a new class and
slow your progress (a good ballpark is 1,800 shin splints).

Studies show:
women were miserable;
including Jessica Biel.

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The Other Half Lives

MIDDLE EARTH, the Universe: Anne Tyson Dyson, sole heir to the now free-range chicken empire, died tragically today, three days after her public nuptials to a distant cousin of the popular vacuum magnate. Tyson Dyson was crushed by a falling piano in every city in America. Disinterested passers-by, all of whom were exactly five-feet-ten and one quarter inch, reported that the scene was “just like in them cartoons.” Immediately after learning of the accident, Billy Joel, great grandson of the former pop icon/songwriter/virtuoso Billy Joel, vowed to commemorate Tyson Dyson’s life in a long-anticipated follow-up to his grandfather’s hit single called Piano Land. Unfortunately for Joel, the Tyson Dyson clan reacted harshly, believing the proposed song title to be a veiled attempt at humor in reference to the falling piano. Joel countered vehemently, claiming that Piano Land was a physical place in an alternate dimension, the existence of which had been proved in a posthumously discovered diary authored by Max Plank on a page opposite three crude drawings of erect penises. A representative for Tyson Dyson with an unusually large head responded that if such a place existed, certainly it would be spelled out in one word instead of two. The parties traded vitriolic tweets for most of the day until Richard “Dick” Cheney issued Joel a mandate from his pressurized command module located several miles beneath the Earth’s crust. Although written in the ancient Pali language of the Buddha, the mandate translated roughly to “pro-choice: abort chicken mission.” In an exclusive interview, Cheney told this writer that he was moved by the situation, and that despite his “hard-earned reputation as a cold-hearted son-of-a-cunt,” Cheney lost his mother under similar circumstances in the early eighteenth century when, in an attempt to save money on moving costs, Stevie “Cabbage Hands” Bach accidentally dropped his brother’s harpsichord out of a fourth story window in the Weimar Republic. Tyson Dyson is survived by fourteen illegitimate children.

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Red Hot Disposal

I hate you when you’re like this. Everything I say is wrong. When I want to have that last cold Coke on black asphalt you won’t give me space to breathe. You suffocate me with your workman’s hands. God: everything is slow this time of year on the peninsula, dripping down like stringy discharge from the flaccid mainland. You suck the pleasure out of smoking.

And on your lawns that hold green so desperately you burn the bottoms of my feet and string my ankles together with angry creatures that belong underground. I stepped in a red ant pile for you. But when I hear the ice cream man’s siren song you make sure he’s just out of reach from me.

I’m sick of your oppression. You tell me sweet things in the illusions of nighttime and then betray me in the morning, oh-so-predictably: you loved me then–no, no, I know you mean it, baby–and now you’ll burn me up and remind me once more that I’m at your Red Hot Disposal.

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