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 watch the deep orange glow which pervaded the trees like a light that
could filter through water, 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 it was
that he was up to at this moment. If I had to theorize, I would probably say that he has finished
some small task, and is in the process of pouring a cup of El Pico as I speak! In that aphotic room
under the building's dry well. The one with enormous pebbled glass windows lined with chicken
wire from another age, one can hear now the sound of a stainless steel coffee pot percolating!

                             
                                                                             The Ink Spots - The java jive



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 quietly filled an eight ounce
green glass coke bottle to its rim. The buzzing sound 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.
Just then a tingling feeling 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 describe led to a feeling of dread. I thought I heard something and realized I had
to move fast! Don't know why, but I've always had a dreaded fear of dark isolated places. 

                             Fear of something popping out not human, I guess.



                                                                               Pg 1
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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 even be alive tomorrow and if I was, 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 of ice
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
Inuits who had no other means of passage. The northern lights shimmering in the horizon

which illuminated the sky
also shone down upon the alabaster ground like a rainbow of
colors that had entwined 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 was gradually
beginning 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. It was too cold to breathe when a penguin came out
of the icy channel and turned to stone. 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
eyes
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 sun-drenched marijuana plant!

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

                                                                               Pg 2
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I emptied the contents of the cup into the glass bong, and poured the water in as well.
Carefully, I placed the coke bottle down upon my dresser, where together they stood at
attention like obedient soldiers. From out of nowhere, I heard a large bang outside along
with the sound of a hollow metal object rolling. Immediately, I darted over to the window!
Old man Tannenbaum had knocked over one of his garbage cans and was 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 downstairs and help him to
his quivering feet! I would probably have to walk out to the curb and bring the can in for
him as well; lest I think about it for the rest of my natural life, and end up growing weary.


I thought about how much money the government could make by marketing the marijuana
plant, but then realized that if it were legal, everyone in the United States would be able
to buy and sell it as well, and if everyone was buying and selling it, the government would
be losing revenue, because no one would declare it. . . The government will only legalize
what it can strong arm! You can't even sell your own body if you want to. Think about it!

                                                                   The Shays - Brainwashed

If someone found a way to chemically synthesize a drug compound from an ordinary flower,
you could bet your last dollar, that men in suits would be arriving soon to dispose of them!



Trying to find a sheet of Bambú was futile for there was only the empty housing of the
fine 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 & voila, I now had the perfect sized paper! 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 rather pleasant demeanor, I happily dropped
it in a sock, rolled it up, and hid it in 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 the scene and eventually grew to be
well acclaimed for its potency. Some claimed that 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 very 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 could come to no direct conclusion. The way the
drug market currently stands in today's economic recession. . . For five dollars,
I could buy a nickel bag of pot approximately half the size of my fist, or I could
buy this. I then held the small object in my hand and wondered, is this going to
be worth it? I brought it up to my nose and breathed in deeply; how exquisite! 


                                                                               Pg 3
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Overall it would be like having less than ten dollars worth.
“Buy it while it lasts,” said my good man, “I won't have it forever.”
He then palliated the deed by stating that in reference to my question,
I was wrong. The marijuana comes from Egypt, not Africa.
I then decided to go ahead and accept his offer.


That purchase compromised my savings significantly.

For three brief months, it abounded and was hailed in pot smoking
circles as the mother of all reefer. That 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 fading
pencilled 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 some of the sweet smelling Neptali into a thimble
sized cup protruding out from mid center of the tubular bong. With
my finger, I tapped it down gently before releasing a few drops of
food coloring to the ice and watched as it streamed downward through
the water to the bottom of the bong, near the smoke intake aperture.



As it settled along the bottom like green blood, I wondered what today would bring.

I kept a small vial of the liquid in my paraphernalia box, right alongside a bowl,
a couple of toke stones, my rolling papers and a wonderful chunk of red hash
I copped on Tuesday. Every time I opened that box, it felt like I was looking
into a cornucopia filled with the most wonderful of things! This world could
break your heart. It could destroy your dreams and it could torture your soul,
but sometimes, it can almost make you smile. I grinned before lighting the match
and proceeded to inhale, holding it in for as long as I could. Prior to 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 fire that consumed the
witch in Hansel and Gretel curled around and was lifted up and out of the fancy bong.

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




Unlike John and Paul two months down the line who would take ten hits each
without stopping. What happened you ask? John jumps up and reaches under
his bed that 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 as well, 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 havereplied John, while
laughing earnestly. “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 rooms that were nearly twice the size of mine.
It was so small that I was now beginning to feel claustrophobic, and it
was getting smaller by the minute. In an awkward kind of way, it almost
began to feel like I was in a tiny prison cell, with no hope of ever escaping. 



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

Am I even alive?
What is my purpose in life?
It was clear I didn't have one.

                                                                               Pg 4
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In a way, I started to feel like I should be getting ready for retirement
instead of just beginning to live. The feelings I had begun to experience
were to such an intense degree, that I honestly felt like 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 I tried. As I opened my paraphernalia
box and looked inside, I now saw only problems. If no one was around,
I would have thrown it out the window. A muculent tear came running
down my nose, and I wiped it away quickly. God help me, because I
think I made a terrible mistake. . . Of which I may never recover.

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


I then started to think of members in my immediately family, and realized
a harsh truth. I was the only black sheep. “You have to grow up sometime,”
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 to have a wife and family some day, 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 know things that go far beyond the
scope of what a young man is supposed to be able to process
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 what was to come. The miseries which were unavoidable would one
day become my existence, because my destiny has been already sealed.
And nothing on earth could 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 speaking, I was only going to end
up in another place of much greater torment, where I would be
equally confounded and besides, I made a promise to a very dear
friend a long time ago that I never would. Had it not been for that
promise, I would not be here today, and this book 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! It was an invitation by God, to simply
exist for another instant in time. To repeat the diurnal course had already been decided for me, for
I felt something in my spirit suddenly come alive. The day was now imploring me to live, so that
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 orange rays touched the trees, it seemed to make the birds sing louder!
I
knew right then and there I wanted to live! I wanted to live so bad 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. I wanted to watch it fly around in a circle for no apparent
reason and then disappear into the ceiling of the morning sky,
the same as I will do one day. But that day is no longer upon me. 



It was one incredible high, and it was not 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
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"Inkpop" reviews
for chapter 1

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

cara_ruegg
- 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 this....you 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.

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PG 1) The persistence of memory by Salvador Dalí - http://www.virtualdali.com/

PG 1) An advertisement
for George Washington's instant coffee (circa 1945) -
http://www.georgewashingtoncoffee.com/

PG 1) Zombie
by Gary Pullin - http://www.ghoulishgary.com/

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

PG 2)
Those crazy metal ice cube trays!
- http://www.windblor.com/

PG 2)
Alaskan igloo and Northern lights painting can be purchased here - http://tinyurl.com/n8y8l96

PG 3) Toxicity Inspector
by Shepard Fairey - http://www.obeygiant.com/

PG 3) Poster advertising Bambú cigarette papers 
(Circa 1920) - http://www.bambu.com/

PG 3)
The purple marijuana was extracted from a High Times article - http://www.hightimes.com/

PG 4) "Devil's Harvest" theatrical poster - http://www.devilsharvestimdb.com/


PG 4) Breathe! by Marcelo Jimenez
- http://tinyurl.com/p2s8wo9

PG 4) Capitol Hill Cannabis Denver County Fair Neighborhood Seed Company
- http://tinyurl.com/ooadg9w

PG 4) Dungeon by Arnold Sakowski -
http://tinyurl.com/q9sz582

PG 5)
The black & white Face is a sad emoticon - http://tinyurl.com/838q5ez

PG 5) Commercial suicide by Mark Kostabi - http://tinyurl.com/kv4gtua

PG 5) Gentleman in no man's land by Raceanu Mihai Adrian
- http://tinyurl.com/q94d7jz

PG 5) Untitled by Tomasz Alen Kopera
-
http://alenkopera.com/

PG 5) Moonlight sonata by Vladimir Kush -
http://vladimirkush.com/