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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