Lost in the maelstrom, the whirl and smash of nightlife on overdrive, overspun and overtly overdone, all and at a loss in the highs and lows of the early hours before dawn and day. Streaking lights and speed onrushing, life and laughter through a haze of blood and booze, cigarettes and pills, musicpulse, passion, violence, more booze, more everything, mixed into a system already done in, yet doing more and more always. To stop means to bring on the pain, the end. Revival of the fittest through chemical love. Quite the cocktail and bags full of vice as we spin and laugh, drink-snort-shove-dance and cavort like sprites and fauns and demons and daemons might if we only knew how they do. Someone dry fucking the couch, failing to register his partner has left him, off in another room fucking some blinded out, blessed gone woman, who pants-gurgles-chokes, the door wide for all to see. No one really giving a fuck, about either event, except to maybe snicker and laugh as the highballs go round. People getting coarser, darker, uglier, beauty having a way of dissolving, running away, at the early hours before dawn and day.
Occasionally passing into the bleak of grey haze while the party goes on on top of you, or under you, or moves through and on to some other outpost less sullen, or less reeking of pain and want, sick joy and death, steam and sweating out the booze, some place where the music yet plays and dancing and gyration remain the game. Passing into the grey only to wake up alone except a couple past out fobs and sob bastards on the couch, and have that one last cigarette that forms a chain of never ending one last cigarettes until the cigarettes are all gone, accompanied by wine and whisky until the sun comes up all red and on fire and ready for burning, throbbing vengeance. Powerful fucking sun we need to shut out of our head which don’t like them piercing spears of light like fucking ice picks getting in on behind the eyes and prying, no, not one little bit please and thank you motherfucking very much. Ice and moonlight we want, not this piercing blaze we decry. Time, time to hide under sheets or doors, or anything at hand, and embrace the empty black nothing. Fade.
But then eventually need, need to lose fluids and bodily waste propel and force up, hijacking us and our cotton thick tongued mouth and screaming brain into the facilities and the smeared cracked mirror.
‘Good morning lover.’ ~ to pallid reaper wincing, horror grin. ‘You look great babe. Real first class.’
Tongue yellow and thick, rebellious and mean and not very helpful like at all. We scrape it. Walk back and the pound of surf, wobbling like on a ship struck by turbulent, troubled waters. Lucky not to fall and drown. Three men and a she asleep on the floor. Naked all with newspapers and old torn magazines for blankets. Carpet’s burned and ashes and bottles strewn all over. Ashes on the computer keyboard. Ashes on the printer. Ashes on the table. Rinds of lemon, orange and lime. Debris, wreckage. Like warfare remains. Like a torn battlefield and smelling unwell.
‘Bring out yer dead.’ ~ croaking me lizard sounds.
Coughs and gasps, the she is waking. A cigarette for yours true. Someone has used the painting on the wall of Felix to put out their cigar. Did I do that last night? All a haze of black, a void, the empty black of cold and unforgiving outer space. Remember the car speeding through the night and Nico driving and scaring everyone by going so fast. The rest a mix of pills and booze and smokes and laughs and not so laughs. More of the latter. Also a drink in the face and after this the blackness. Foggily think maybe the now waking she throwing the drink. But she is gathering her clothes and her dignity and slinking outwards as I speak or think rather. Turning at the door and indignant.
'Nice. Original. Fuck you .'
'Fuck you asshole.' She falls and gets up, manages the door and the bright, bright of late afternoon. Squint. And scratch. Fucking heavy hitter of a night.
Coffee, coughs and drags of thick smoke. More time escapes. Stagger. The swells. The boat is rocking. Gone overboard with excess, this hangover smells like cordite and feels more modern, as in three megaton, and worse. Bring me an apron in which to be sick. We got no more shirts to be sick in here at paradise.
Who are these comatose people? Where is Felix? Did he steal a car last night?
Outside to clear head brings pain. A walk to the shop. Water and Alka Seltzer from there along with two packs of ciggies. Back and salvation seeking.
Christ and magic of druids or whatever the fuck you got that will make me better, make me whole again, make the pain stop and blurriness fade, the pulsing, the sick. Christ don't answer. Nor does Mohammed and Yahweh. No one at home up there or they don't listen to the weak and sinful perhaps. Vodka and voodoo? Oh well, sure.
In the box of cereal hiding place hides the vodka and a bottle of prescription pills. Pills and cigarettes and vodka for breakfast. Why the hell not. Hair of the beast which bit us, approved by the governing council which resides internal in the shaking and terrorstruck brainpan of yours truly this morning.
Throw these assholes out. Gimme some voodoo. Gimme some love lovers.
Pedro has a knife and a rusted bicycle chain. He is blind in one eye, but the wound is old and healed. He has an X over and through one eye, like a dead person in an old fashioned comic strip. He sits in a chair and leers. He smells of stale sex and if you ask him about his lost eye, he smiles and patiently tells a long tale. It's never the same story twice. Pedro is a man of great excess and humour. He is my best friend aside from Felix and I don't trust him farther than I can throw him, and he weighs more than I by half.
'Hey mate, where Felix at yet?'
'Dunno. Last night being somewhat of a blur. He might’ve stolen a car and driven all the fuck up to Canada and Montreal. At least that's what I think I remember him talking about. It is all, my distinguished colleague, rather fucking vague in my recollect.'
Pedro is not keen on telling me about the knife or bicycle chain when I so enquire. Just that they are his props for the evening, his toys, his safety blanket and he likes the chain's feel and it's heft. When I ask he simply grins the kind of grin which makes me uncomfortable and glad I can outrun him if things go awry.
'You know Pedro, you're a bit creeping me out right now. Quit swinging that chain around and who’s the miss?'
Pedro has brought along a girl. She is fucked up on something and he doesn't introduce her. When she asks to borrow his knife Pedro is somewhat reluctant until she whispers what she will do to him later on and he relents. Pedro is a little fucked up too and we are waiting for the red pills to hit. We talk of Montreal for the next while and neither notices much surrounding and outside our own little world which becomes increasingly altered, odd and surreal. Rippled and skewed. Waves of distorted reality hit me like ripples from a pool, moving outward from my centre. My centre is expanding out and into other things. Pedro grins and smashes the chain onto the floor.
Shadows flit and move that I know my brain is creating because of the chemicals fucking with my neurons or whatever. They are insectile and monstrous these shadows, and even though they aren't really real, nevertheless it's not a very good thing to see at all and unease is born. Shivers.
'Pedro. Do yours have red eyes?'
But Pedro is not listening. Pedro has now decided the chain is a better necklace than weapon and lovingly is rubbing it. Watching this makes the shadows recede, as he pets it and takes several tries to place it around his neck. We fail to notice Pedro's girl has cut herself, cut herself on all the tips of her fingers. We should notice when she starts using her cut fingers to paint and write on to the wall behind, but it is some time before we do. Pedro and I agree it is not funny when we do take notice. He makes to regain his knife, but she fights him for it like a wild cat almost gashing him in the struggle and getting considerable blood on him, but he manages to win the day. To me it's as though all the world were under water and slowed down and the blood beats in my ears extra loud. She starts to weep, Pedro's girl, and wants the knife back but we say no, no, no. I go low down on my stomach as the insect mandibles make for to grab me. Self preservation. The shadows excrete mucous or ectoplasm on the walls. Shiver, but it ain't cold. Pedro attempts to clean himself up, the girl up. I am far too occupied with the shiver of winter and with the not getting any of hallucinogenic ectoplasm on me which is dripping from the roof.
'Don't worry Pedro. We'll find you a new girl, one don't get blood all over.' ~ Felix, standing now before us, who has returned home to our shock and delight.
Pedro is a stand up guy and bundles his now seemingly indifferent friend the artist into a cab with orders to the hospital, while an amazingly unbothered Felix fixes us some tequila shots. And just like that problem solved and off she goes, hands wrapped in a couple of towels, looking like a bloodied boxer. We give Felix immense applause and then pats on the back and head and shoulders. Felix pours more with salt and the lemon wedges he gets pre-sliced from his bootleg man. Felix gives us tales of cars speeding down highways and lanes, a stolen car and a hundred flashing copper sirens, and escape and a hooker named Loulou who did grant the desperate and hunted exile asylum for the night and a fuck thrown in for free. We cheer and squirm. But then once more the sides fall out of my head.
By this time the winds that don't exist have blown away the shadow creatures and are battering me from side to side. It is hard to see, hard to walk and even sit, hard to listen through the roar and they two keep asking me not to shout, but it's so loud how will they hear me otherwise. Felix is a grasshopper, Pedro praying mantis meets centipede. Hide in the cushions of the couch from Pedro, while the grasshopper feeds me milkbooze from his teat.
'Grasshopper's are my friend.'
'What? Dude, shut the fuck up.'
Between the grey areas snap out to see Felix on the phone, drinking straight from a bottle of bourbon and spilling much of it down his chest. Felix is normal again, human, if smeared. Pedro is in the tub doing god know's what, splashing and thrashing about.
'I met this real hot lady. I think I'm in love. And she's real, you know, genuine.'
'Gimme the phone.' ~ slirred.
Felix, eyes clouded, hands it over. 'She's beautiful… sounding.'
'Felix! Snap out of it? This is the voice of the computer lady for the service provider machine. She is not really a real lady.'
'She's so beautiful. '
Felix throws up
Again the greys. I am pretty sure Pedro is fucking wrecking the bathroom. Things are crashing. Get the sweats a bit for the last bit, fade in and out like waves of the tide. Eyes close. Snap back. Groggily. Time has advanced. Felix, somewhat recovered, is looking pissed and examining his damaged portrait. Pedro is naked from the waist up, his long hair plastered to his face, smoking a joint, blowing huge plumes of smoke in lazy circles above his reclined head.
'Don't take the red ones. Bad medicine pardners.'
I stick to beer then on, though Pedro swears his red ones are fine and takes another. We get in my car.
'Ain't you, what you call it, intoxicated to drive a motor vehicle?'
'Pedro, I'm not drunk. Are you insane? I've only had twelve pints, and the powder for clarity subtracts six, so I've only really had six.'
'Oh, oh that's okay then. Yar. I'm seeing some funky liquid ooze man, you ought to clean your car more often.'
We take my car, a convertible Volkswagon, on the expressway railed up high as mighty Gods and sing to Sam and Dave and I am driving and faster then normal, but not fast enough to get pulled over as that would be fucking dumb and a foolish way to end the night yet just born. Felix wants to go to Montreal, but I say fuck that and it's my fucking car. We fucking just head west.
'They're freaking me right out compadre. I am seeing ghosts all over and they've been hit by cars, car accidents killed them. I am fucking freaking out, but it's cool at the same time. You see them? The dead people?'
'No, no dead people.'
'No dead people.'
'Shit is freaky man.'
I notice that Felix is loading a revolver and almost hit the partition railing. Pulling off the high way is high on the agenda.
'Woa. I think I need a stiff drink.'
'Nice isn't it? I stole it from a cop.'
Pedro is snoring in the back seat. He stirs as Felix cracks a beer, his booze sense detecting well. Felix hands him one I take a quick sip of too.
'Christ Felix you stole a cop's gun. We gotta get rid of it, they'll fucking kill us.' Exiting the off-ramp and into city streets at speed and swerve. 'This is fucking nuts.'
'Ghosts, there's ghosts of car wrecks and I can see little pixies too. They is pretty little pixies, but theys got needle teeth and theys bites meeeeeeee!'
'Pedro I'm telling you those red pills are no fucking good man.'
Pedro eats another before Felix can grab it out of his hand. His eyes glaze.
'Just drink the beer Pedro and quit on those Reddies.'
But Pedro is again out. Felix recoups his can of beer and throws the empty one at Pedro. He then examines eyes which are rolled up in his head. He shoves him back into the seat, turns.
'Pedro is motherfucking fucked up. How many them he take? Plus the booze and blow?'
Moving onto another lane, almost hitting an oncoming truck, pulling back just in time.
'Dude, you ought to signal.'
'Dude, fuck off. I'm a little vexed right now. You Felix, are the cause of my vexation as you are waving a cop's gun in my convertible. Christ.' Reaching for the cigarettes and lighting one, slowing down. 'Put it down man!'
'Man, relax. You're overreacting. It's…'
'Relax. You not only scare the hell out of me with a loaded gun, but you say it's a cop gun. I think I'll panic now fucking Felix, not relax, thank you.'
'Let's shoot something inanimate. Don't pussy out.'
Turning hard. Felix slides. Passed out Pedro slides along the back seat his face mashing against the glass. This has little impact upon his interiorized brain.
'I will be a pussy outer. I want that gun out of this Volkswagon right fucking now. I am unashamedly no fun on this issue. And put your goddamned seatbelt on. '
The red of traffic lights smear, but that's the booze distorting vision. White lights above like shooting stars.
'You're overreacting. It's not like I'm shooting people with it.'
Slowing, struggling for the gun with Felix. It's fair enough with me with one hand on the steering wheel and driving, while he's got one hand occupied, unwilling to drop his just opened beer. We slap each other a bit around and twist and pull on the weapon. I inhale too much smoke and need to swerve again to avoid some good citizens.
The back window blows out. Pedro don't even move while I jump the fucking curb.
'Fuck. My fucking window. You coulda killed Pedro. My window!'
'Fuck. Fucking fuck is right. Shit.'
We drive in silence and make twists and turns and find unlit places to drive into. We need to figure out shit.
'Shit, shit, you shot up my car, with a old fucking cop gun.'
'I didn't mean to. You pulled it.'
'And in my car!'
'So sorry about that.' Felix hesitates. His ears must be ringing as much as mine. He goes even whiter. 'Shit man, I think Pedro's dead.'
'You fucking shot Pedro? In my car!?'
'Not shot, but look. He's not moving. Pull over. I think he's very dead already.'
Standing in a dark alley ears ringing, hands shaking to light a smoke. Felix doing the checking over of Pedro, or what once was Pedro.
'He is so fucking dead and cold.'
'How can he be cold already?'
'I dunno, the night air? Feel him.
'No way. But we got to figure out what to do man.'
I fucking throw the gun as far away as I can after wiping it on a rag.
'Hey man, what you do that for?'