Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 01

                        Upon waking eyes

This morning I awoke to capture the dawn in all its glory as it emanated from a dark horizon to
lighten my window ledge. Another week indeed, would come to its fruition as we were once again
on the heels of Friday. Mom was attending to her daily routine, oblivious to the mellow chirping
of birds which had now begun to infiltrate our ears. The gentle sound carried over rooftops to filter
in through windows left half opened. A warm breeze wafted in on wings of lilting song letting us
know that it was going to be a hot one. In the twilight of sunrise on the inception of this day, her
methodical task was nearly complete. Mother soon climbs back into the comfort of her awaiting
bed, for she arose solely to relieve herself. Until that alarm clock went off however, nothing else
mattered. As I continued to survey the deep orange glow pervading the trees, the light could be
seen permeating space. It was here where I found my eyes drifting across the landscape of the
sweet morning air.

                                                                               The Last Image - She's on my mind

Ramon who is my stepfather was now long gone for he departed in the wee hours of the morning.
When the sky was still dark and the stridulating sound of crickets permeated through the small
forest of trees. I was reassured in knowing that he was very far away and wondered what he was
up to at this moment. If I had to theorize, I would say he just finished some small task and is now
in the process of pouring a cup of El Pico as I speak. In that aphotic room, slightly lower than
the desolate enclosure. The one with enormous pebbled glass windows lined with chicken wire

from another time, one can hear now, the sound of a stainless-steel coffee pot percolating.

                                                          The Ink Spots - The java jive

I can remember asking him in years gone by why the roof was on the second floor, and he
replied laughing, “It’s not a roof. The roof is on the fourteenth floor where the water tower
that operates the hand-pulled freight elevator is. That is why the air conditioning units are
down there. And also, because you can open the window and walk outside to check if
something is not working properly.

Without hesitation, I carefully removed an ornate water pipe from its secret hiding place
and in a clandestine manner set it down. Mother was still sleeping, so I strolled downstairs
through a somber living room and into the kitchen where I readily filled an eight-ounce
green glass coke bottle to its rim. The auditory buzzing of an old fluorescent light above my
head and its inane flickering threw up red flags, for in the hazy mist of all that was calm,
there was now an imperative lurking danger. Not wanting to step up on a chair, I examined
the slender white tubes at a respectable distance, only to find they were both darkened
at each end. A tingling sensation crawled up my spine, alerting me to the fact that someone
had broken into the house and was hiding in the basement. An eeriness I could not quite
define led to a sense of dread. I thought I heard something and realized I had to move
fast. Don't know why, but I always had a dreaded fear of dark isolated places. 

                             Fear of something popping out not human, I guess.

                                                                               Pg 1

As I pondered the estate of the day, I couldn't help but feeling a bit confused
or even worried about what awaited me on the other side of that closed door.
Would I be here tomorrow, and what about the following week?

          I was disenchanted by life's redundancies, and so I chose a way out.

Opening the freezer door, I pulled apart a metal ice cube tray scattering insignificant
shards along the laminated countertop and floor. (Some clinging to my sock as do
hitchhikers when walking through dense portions of the woods.) Tempted to throw it in
the garbage, I salvaged as many relevant pieces as I possibly could have and put them
in a cup before returning the useless item back to its original position in the freezer.

Why won't they just buy new ice trays?

The very thought of this must have been inconceivable.
For some of us, it's easier not to do anything but continue
going through all the motions we've grown accustomed to.

Slowly, I fell into a dream. . .

Snow was blowing on a lake of glass where ice sculptures posed as elaborate entrance
columns to a new and inviting world. A world where lofty igloos settle in the arctic tundra
and the magnificent causeways branching out like frozen fingers were a thoroughfare for the
Inuit who had no other means of passage. The northern lights shimmering in the great expanse
which illuminated the sky also shone down upon the alabaster ground like a rainbow of
colors, entwining themselves in their own illusion. *What a wonderful thought*

Somewhere out in the elliptical mesosphere of the mind,
a door that had been locked for so many years gradually
began to open, and ‘I’ could never have imagined the outcome.

Back in the land of white there were boats pulling glaciers around on an
ocean of frozen pain. Frosty air too cold to breathe encircled the scenery.
When a penguin darted out of the icy channel, he immediately turns to stone.
Hmmmm, I thought, maybe we could put a heated pool in the living room. . .

Oh, for God's sake, the freezer door is still open.

I closed the door and moved apprehensively across the floor directly above
a source of unknown power lying dormant in the basement. With a nocturnal
malevolence only the light could beset, they would wait ever so patiently to
manifest themselves again upon my return. It was merely the darkness I
knew before,
letting me know that one day I would be going back to it.

Only next time, I would be the one with peering
in an inconspicuous location. . . A cold draft.

Once in a while I turn to find that I, myself am alone in the eventide. 

When those emasculating shadows hiding behind the stairs begin to
move, until they're in every coat closet. Sometimes there is nothing
more chilling, nor dangerous, than one's own overactive imagination.

I hit the light switch and trolled through the living room, heart pounding.
I could hardly wait for that first morning toke of fine herbal essence. As I
made my ascension up the grueling staircase, my senses went awry and
I began to feel most uneasy. Every step I took was filled with more anxiety
than the next, and I just couldn't get up there fast enough. In a way it felt

as though something was behind me. Something dark and dreadful that
just wanted to leap out and see me cringe.

Man, I thought as I closed the frail hollow door to my bedroom,
I must have more THC in my system than a marijuana plant.

                        C. A. Quintet - Bury me in a marijuana field

                                                                               Pg 2

I emptied the contents of the cup into the glass bong, and poured the water in as well.

Anxiously, I positioned the coke bottle upon my dresser, where together they stood at
attention like obedient soldiers. From out of nowhere I heard a loud bang outside, followed
by the sound of a hollow metal object rolling. Instinctively, I motioned toward the window.
Mister Tannenbaum had knocked over his metal trash can and was now fishing for the steel
handle. I had my hand on my head, as I anticipated him falling on it.
Then not only would
my mother be woken up early, but I would have to go outside and help him to his quivering
feet. I would also have to walk to the curb and fetch the cover for him as well, lest I think
about it for the rest of my natural life and end up growing weary.

Maybe the government should consider legalizing weed, I thought.
After all, it is just a plant.

I then pondered the aspects of legalization. If anyone could cultivate it, then I'm
a percentage of those people would be seeking to profit from it too. In the long run
Sam loses revenue, because no one will bother to declare any wages they earn.

The government will only legalize what it can strong arm.
You can't even sell your own body if you wanted to.

                     The Shays - Brainwashed

Let me put it to you in a way you will be able to process and understand completely,
and that is if someone found a way to chemically synthesize a recreational drug
an ordinary flower, men in suits would soon be arriving to dispose of them.

Trying to find a sheet of Bambu was futile for there was only the empty housing of the
dull cardboard packaging, so I grappled with a sheet of e-z wider double width instead.

It was almost impossible now to remove the paper from its sleeve, for I had
been running around yesterday with the pack in my pocket. High humidity
and perspiration are two natural enemies of the rolling paper, and the only
thing I could think of was whether or not the glue was going to hold.

Finally, I had something which resembled a piece of rolling paper.

Seeing that it was too big for what I wanted, I creased
a half inch line and ran a lick with the tip of my tongue.

I then pulled, like you would pull apart a set of chopsticks and voila,
I now had the perfect width. After the clipping and discarding of the
stems, the removal of the seeds, the breaking of the buds, I soon rolled
a wonderfully smelling, exquisitely looking marijuana cigarette that
mildly resembled a makeshift Pall Mall.

With a pleasant demeanor, I tucked it inside my dresser drawer.
Next to the window I sat, in case of an abrupt knock on the door,
I would have enough time to adjust the situation.

This jet-black herb with purple hairs was new to our scene, and eventually grew to
be well acclaimed for its potency. Some claimed it was twice as good as Buddha
therefore, I coveted it like gold. Even though in all my observations and documented
writings, I had yet to try it. That was until now, the moment of my awakening.

There were no dime bags to be had by anyone. Only twenties and fifties in clear
ruffled sandwich bags, neatly rolled to perfection and taped to look like a black
finger. I weighed the odds, but came to no direct conclusion. The way the black
market currently stands in today's economic recession: it was 1982, and for five
dollars I could buy a nickel bag of pot, approximately half the size of my fist.

Or I could invest in this, and possibly end up writing something substantial.

I held the small object in my hand and wondered, do I really want to do this?
Bringing the small packet to my nose, I breathed in deeply. . . How exquisite.

                                                                               Pg 3

Overall, it would be like having less than ten dollars' worth.

Upon inquiring as to its whereabouts, I was told that in reference to my
question, the weed comes from Egypt, and was very difficult to obtain.
After some thought, I decided to go ahead and accept his offer.

Palliating the deed, may have very well looked
like a
conversation between two acquaintances.

That purchase compromised my savings significantly.

For three brief months it abounded, and was exalted in pot smoking circles.
Hailed as the mother of all reefer, I would soon attest to it, as well. This was
until the plane of rapid decline landed in obscurity, leaving everyone to pause
and wonder. Soon, the more it was talked about, the less it was found, until it
disappeared into the murky waters of time forever.

Nothing but the cracked and withered seeds of Neptali remain, as I
type these notes to you from another day and age. An age so far away
from present day, I find it hard to understand I've come this far.

Quietly, I packed a portion of the fragrant Neptali bud into a thimble
sized cup protruding out from mid center of the tubular bong. Using
my thumb, I applied a moderate tamping pressure. Releasing a few
drops of food coloring, I watched it stream downward through the
water to the bottom, near the smoke intake aperture.

As it settled like green blood,
I wondered what the day would bring.

Capping the small plastic vial of liquid, I would lay it to rest in my
paraphernalia box. Beside a pot pipe, a couple of toke stones, and a
wonderful chunk of red hash, I copped on Tuesday. Every time I opened
that box, I saw a cornucopia filled with the most wonderful of things.

This world could break your heart. It could shatter your dreams, and
it can torture your soul, but sometimes it can almost make you smile.

I grinned before striking the match and proceeded to inhale deeply.
Holding it in for as long as I could before coughing, my lungs felt
like a hive that had just been invaded by a swarm of angry wasps.

In my lap, I held the mystic bong, and every time I took a hit, it bubbled like dry ice and
looked like a mad invention. White smoke as thick as the flames that consumed the witch
in Hansel and Gretel, lifted up out of the fancy contrivance to curl around me.

         I only wanted to take five long tokes for now, until I got used to it.

Unlike John and Paul two months down the line who would take twelve hits each
without stopping. What happened you ask? John jumps up and reaches under
his bed, which was actually just a mattress on the floor. He runs out into the street
with a fully pumped pellet gun, and blows the side window out of his Nova.

              *I was there, but refused to smoke*

“What are you an asshole?” Screamed Paul, on the other side
of the car who had to jump out the path of the flying trajectory.
“You could-a-shot me.”
“I should have” replied John, while laughing most heartily.
“Then I wouldn't have to go for a new window.”

As I sat in my bedroom buzzing, I began to think of how small it was
in comparison to other bedrooms with a much larger circumference.
The room had two windows, but they seemed to be almost within arm's
reach of each other, and it seemed to be getting smaller by the minute.
Like being confined to a tiny prison cell with no hope of ever escaping.

As I thought of my childhood growing up in Staten Island, and the way
things were now, I was sent spiraling into the bowels of depression.

Why am I alive?
What is my purpose in life?

It was clear, I didn't have one.

                                                                               Pg 4

Oddly enough, I felt like I should be preparing for my retirement, instead
of just beginning to live. The feelings I began to experience were to such an
intense degree, I thought I might become a victim of my own emotions. This
profound melancholy welling up from within my spirit began eating into my
brain like an infection, and I could not stop it, no matter how hard I tried.

As I opened my paraphernalia box and looked inside, I now saw only problems.
If my mother wasn't home, I would have thrown it out the window. A muculent tear
streamed down my nose, and I wiped it away quickly. God help me, I thought,
because I think I made a terrible mistake. . . Of which, I may not recover.

In truth,
the only mistake I ever made in this inexorable life was being born.

As I began to think of members in my immediate family, my cousins in particular,
I came to the realization of a harsh truth. I was the only black sheep. “You have to

grow up some time,” my cousin Patricia would tell me. You can't party forever,
unless you want to live on the street. Get a job and be self-sufficient for once in
your life. You want a wife and family someday, don't you?”

Oh, my dear cousin you have no idea,
but the fact of the matter remains. . .

I am leaving today.

Leaving forever this world of misery.
This world of suffering.

The torment of having to comprehend things that go far beyond
the normal scope of what a young man is supposed to be able to
absorb and understand. The bitter agony of a loss so great, it
defies not only reason, but everything my eyes reflect in silence.

                                        Floyd and Jerry with The Counterpoints - Believe in things

As fragments of thoughts spun around in my head, they created a picture
of things to come. The miseries that were unavoidable would one day
become my existence, because my destiny has already been
in blood and sealed with human flesh.

And nothing on earth would ever be able
to alter my own inevitable and tragic fate.

                                                                 John Does - One kind favor

I then came to the realization, that if I really did leave this place in the manner
of which I was referring, I was only going to end up in another place of equal
or greater torment. A plateau where I would be equally confounded and besides,
I made a promise to a very dear friend a long time ago. A personal commitment
to withstand the agonies of life. No matter how deep I drown, I had to survive.

If not for these words of love,
I would not be here today and this manuscript would not exist.

As I gently parted the curtains to look through an unsullied pane of glass, the sun could be seen
delicately emerging through the trees. In my ungoverned mind, I perceived there to be a message
of inspiration on everything those amber rays touched. An invitation by God, to simply abide
for another instant in time. To repeat the diurnal course had already been decided for me, as

my spirit suddenly came alive. The day was now imploring me to live, so I may explore it.
Like a beam of hope, my eyes threw themselves into the scintillating beauty of an inspiring
allurement to find what can only be described as the dawning of a glorious new day.

As the coat of the sun's auburn rays touched the trees, it appeared to make the birds sing louder.
knew right then and there I wanted to live. I wanted to live so dearly and bask in each moment.

More than anything, I wanted to see a butterfly. I wanted to see it
land in a flower and leave with something more than it came with.
To watch it fly around for no apparent reason before disappearing
into the ceiling of the morning sky, the same as I will do one day.
But that day is no longer upon me.

The high was truly astounding, and it didn’t appear to be stopping.

                                                                                        Mud - Flower power        

A towel had been cleverly placed under the crack of my door
as an added precaution to prevent any mishaps from occurring.

Does she even know I'm up?

Six tokes on a bubbling instrument of smoking pleasure,
and I would find myself resonating toward the light of dreams,
which had, in fact, begun to commandeer my train of thought.

                                                                               Pg 5

"Inkpop" reviews
for chapter 1

Alimr - This is really good. I can tell your a great writer.

- hah i loved the epigraph. it is so true! :p a beautiful imagery
right away in the first paragraph with the birds chirping etc. I love the dreams.
They're very interesting. This is a great concept! great idea to write about a
daydreamer which all kids are. I can really relate to your character.
Very polished and well-written. I can def see it published.

GG Anderson -
WOW And I don't use that word lightly- seriously, this is in perfect shape-
completely polished- ( ok I am no editor- but) I have to say you had me at the ice trays,-
I love love love that visual- The only downside I have for it - it got a little deap at times-
I know that I am blonde, I get that, but sometimes I was re reading to make sure that I
got what you were saying- I don't think it was the phrasing at all, I think it is just simply
that your mind works on a Frasier level- that is not a cut that is a compliment- You are
gifted- seriously seriously gifted- I wish that I had your talent- I read this simply because
I saw your reveiw on something else that I read- if you have time- I would be really
thrilled if you could read mine- You are the type of feedback all writers love- (even
when they don't think they do) :) Thanks for the "deep thoughts"

isabella2296 - The epigraph was an incredible way to start off this fantastic
and intriguing story. I can tell you're a very talented writer, with your amazing
description. This was so well-polished and the writing style was immensely great.
The poetic tone you used was like a melody, practically. This is a work of art!

kumquatsrus - I like the poetic tone used in the narrations. Most of it flows well and
sounds nice on the tongue. However, the plot is somewhat confusing. I feel like things
are jumbled and out of place, because it was really hard to follow what was going on.
That being said, there were very few errors (aside from some missing punctuation),
so kudos on that. I think...I don't know. I can't tell what I think about this. There are
some parts where I was caught thinking to myself, "Hey, this is good!" and others
where I thought, "Wait, what?" I think this is, overall, well written — albeit somewhat
hard to understand. Hope this helped.

Mcrae by Nature - You are a very talented writer. I rarely read first person
point of view and enjoy it. This I enjoyed. Your descriptions are very mature,
and beleivable. Great imagery as well. In all you have a greeat story here. You
sould bring all your chapters together into a book, then people would be more
likely to keep reading and maybe even pick it. Thanks.

The Hippie - Beautiful imagery. I love how the reader is able to live inside your head,
and see every thought and passing imagery. That does make it a bit hard to follow, but
if that's what you are wanting the reader to experience then you have accomplished this.

XochGarcia - You are a very detailed, mature and excellent writer. Your word choices are
needle-point sharp and they fit perfectly well with the story. I did however, (boo if you will,
but at least I am honest) had just a 'teensy' bit of trouble following along. Personally, I can
admit that I too get lost with the details in the stories I try to put down. If I may suggest,
that you emphasize from the very beginning what the story is about. Other than that,
I completely liked, enjoyed it. I will be back for more.

"Worthy of Publishing" reviews for chapter 1

Abby Vandiver - Your words are very nice, I definitely like your writing style, but I haven't
the faintest idea what it is about. It seems to me, and perhaps just because I couldn't follow,
that you jump all over. Initially the mother was up doing her usual morning things and then she
was back up because she only went to relieve herself. I am thouroughly lost. *Rating = 3-1/2 stars*

Charles Pendelton - Dear Abby; Please allow me to explain, as I was not trying to be ambiguous!
I merely said, "
Mom was attending to her daily routine," (the routine of getting up each morning to
tinkle.) It cannot be more self-explanatory, because I return to write, "
Mother soon climbs back
into the comfort of her awaiting bed, for she arose solely to relieve herself." I hate to start sounding
like Bill O'Reilly, but come on now! Even my dog has a routine; she wakes me up at exactly 6am each
and every morning to eat! You could set your clock by her! So just remember for the future that
"a routine" doesn't necessarily mean a long endearing task! It can also be something we do impulsively,
on a regular basis like walking to the kitchen for a midnight snack, or taking a leak. . . 'Nuff said.

Amy Kulaga -
This book is truly worthy of publishing. You choose fantastic word choice!
I can't wait to find this book in stores. (if it isn't already) *rating = 5 stars*

Charles Pendelton - Thank you Amy for such wonderful input and encouragement!

Lady Coldfeather -
I'll be honest, I struggled to stay with have a natural
talent but sometimes it seems to me that you're being quite pretentious or trying
to hard. Also I feel like this character just doesn't belong in the setting, and as for
the drugs theme... have you ever taken anything before? It doesn't come across
that you have any real experience...However as I said you do have a knack for it.
Just try tone down the flowery writing and insert a sense of realism. *rating = 3 stars*

Charles Pendelton - I can understand your disappointment concerning the character,
and how you feel that he doesn't belong in the story. You are right; I didn't belong there,
but have you forgotten this is an autobiographical tale?  A recount of one day in my life.
Forgive me for being elaborate, and writing in verse when it suits me, but dear lady
it seems I cannot make it clearer; I wrote the book for me, not you. And I mean it
in the sweetest of words, so you have no reason to harbour any ill will toward me.
I never claimed to be talented, but you have chosen to pin that medal on me, and
I shall not rebuke it. As far as trying too hard, you're correct. If you are going to do
something, you must do it to the best of your ability or do not do it at all. As far as
the drug theme goes, you must remember that not everyone who smokes pot has
the same reaction. Some people become more creative, while others feel elated.
Some people can drive, other people can work, but unlike the masses of people who
can do all of these things, there are still a percentage of us who become severely
depressed and psychotic. That is why some of us stop. It doesn't take a brain scientist
to light a joint, and I would be astounded if anyone could write such an extensive ledger
with no real experience. So lady C. the answer to your question is yes, I have used drugs,
but I do not use them anymore. Lastly, why I have chosen to write my novel creatively
and a bit overblown, is because any writer with no talent at all can pick up a pen and begin
jotting. It is the precise combination of words in perfect balance that give a novel its integrity.
Without that, we are nothing more than a mask in a crowd of faces bearing the same scowl.

:) Galazzy :( - Neat :) Just wondering, have you yourself done any of these substances? *rating = *None*

Charles Pendelton -
I hate to say it, but I think a trend is starting here. . . A bad one.

If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
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PG 1) The persistence of memory by Salvador Dalí -

PG 1) An advertisement
for George Washington's instant coffee (circa 1945) -

PG 1) Zombie
by Gary Pullin -

PG 2) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil
by Frank C. Papé -

PG 2)
Those crazy metal ice cube trays!

PG 2)
Alaskan igloo and Northern lights painting can be purchased here -

PG 3) Toxicity Inspector
by Shepard Fairey -

PG 3) Poster advertising Bambú cigarette papers 
(Circa 1920) -

PG 3)
The purple marijuana was extracted from a High Times article -

PG 4) "Devil's Harvest" theatrical poster -

PG 4) Breathe! by Marcelo Jimenez

PG 4) Capitol Hill Cannabis Denver County Fair Neighborhood Seed Company

PG 4) Dungeon by Arnold Sakowski -

PG 5)
The black & white Face is a sad emoticon -

PG 5) Commercial suicide by Mark Kostabi -

PG 5) Gentleman in no man's land by Raceanu Mihai Adrian

PG 5) Untitled by Tomasz Alen Kopera

PG 5) Moonlight sonata by Vladimir Kush -