Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 28

                           A pleasant journey to the Hash Hut

As we floundered around the streets of Huguenot, pondering what to do with the remainder
of the evening, I began reflecting back to last year. The summer of 1981. During which time,
I experimented with large doses of mescaline, still unaware that it was LSD we were playing
with. After the experience, I would carefully document my participation of the event in great
detail, whereby, bringing my observances to life on paper. I would spend weeks writing a
journal account of my involvement as a participant in the event, while attempting to collect
and recollect every emotion and every distinguishable nuance from the madness that would
eventually bring me clarity. Before today, I had not taken it since then, and honestly thought
I would never take it again.

Of that day, I for one can remember the sun descending over Oakwood Heights. I had just
purchased four large nickel bags of weed at the station, along with six hits of
double barrel
purple mesc. Upon doing this, I decided to pay my friend Richie a visit, and
so I hopped on the
train and got off in Huguenot. Rich greeted me at the door and from
there we shuffled upstairs
to his room. I showed him the four bags of grass and his eyes widened.
I then proceeded to
unveil the world's smallest pills, meticulously sprawling them out on his dresser.




They were roughly 1/16 of an inch in diameter, and looked quite harmless under the warming
glow of a forty-watt table lamp, cast in the delightful shape of a little red train. I would say

his room had not changed a wink since he was five years old. Such a calming effect it had
on me, I could have almost stayed there. Rich knew nothing about psychedelics and would
not agree to have any part of them. He said he only wanted to smoke. I was now in a
precarious situation, for the night was at a standstill until the microdots were gone.

Why was he being so stubborn?

Did he not trust me?

Were we not friends?

Before long, he would agree to the taking of three as would I, and all seemed to be
on an even keel from that moment on. Some time elapsed before we gathered what
we needed for the journey and left. As we carried ourselves to the station, I would
begin to ascertain in no uncertain words, a mild feeling of intoxication followed by
delight. Then a disoriented mood accompanied by sluggishness and impaired judgment.


An angel crossed my path with amber eyes and a low-cut dress.
She was as beautiful as an evening primrose in the dying sun
and while her image left me like a falling tear, her perfume
stayed behind to tantalize my senses.




I now felt as though I had no name.
I was alive, but had I ever been born?
Similar to a blade of grass that grows slowly,
or an ant peeking up through a crack in the concrete.
Tonight, I would be traveling incognito.


                                                                               Pg 132
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A dazed and confused feeling turned to self-awareness as I boarded the train.

Casually, I sat down, but couldn't help feeling odd about our voyage into the
unknown. Doubts and reservations filled my head, until I found it difficult to
sit there. Restlessness soon overtook me. For a brief moment I closed my eyes,
whereby allowing myself to open an imaginary door from within. Transcending
the illusion, I allowed my thoughts to manifest themselves into an aspiration of
hope. The world was now at our feet, and these poor pathetic people who were
restrained by time to forever live their lives inside a cubicle, no bigger than the
size of an average conference room, never knew how free we really were.




When the conductor came toward us to stretch out his hand, my first impulse
was to shake it, and I like a fool almost did. Stuttering, I bumbled my words
before grappling for change in my pocket. Richie then laughed uncontrollably
and nearly fell to the floor, while the conductor appeared to be growing more
impatient by the minute. I was finally able to give him the desired amount in
silver coins which he immediately deposited into the rapid change dispenser
attached to his waist. Rich had a harder time for he was debilitated by laughter.

Like a simplistic human robot, the conductor slides open the door and abruptly
enters the next car. The world is now in a morphing stage. Feeling no different
than your common garden insect, I look around for any indicators of concern
before coughing gingerly into my hand. This action brought about no response
from any of the other passengers, and essentially, I begin to feel almost invisible.



        As I looked around at all these strange yet interesting people,
            I thought of the prospect of one day living a normal life.




There was a venerable woman alongside of us sitting next to an Asian man who had
between his legs a tan briefcase. He was reading a newspaper and I assumed it was
stocks, but what was in that briefcase, I wondered? I suppose that will forever remain
a mystery. Sort of like, what exactly was it that was thrown off the Tallahatchie bridge?

                                                              



An elderly couple to the right of me were holding hands and seemed so
genuinely happy together it made me feel as though I could have cried.


How long were they together?

Could they have been in love since high school?
The more I found myself observing them, the more unhappy I became.

A sadness had begun to well up inside of me, and in no time at all was
bubbling over into my subconscious thoughts. A sadness I could not control.
A sadness that would take hold of me and consume me, if I were to let it.


Two rotund women dressed in black were seated together at the far end
of the train car and seemed to be communicating with each other solely
by using their hands. There was a bald man whose head appeared to be
filled with knowledge. A timely gentleman who resembled an aged
Dr.
Martin Luther King, and a quiet young boy who adhered to the hand

of a beautiful brunette, while looking patiently out a dark window.



Who is this fashionable woman with a widow’s peak, and why is there no wedding
band on her ring finger? Better still, who is the subdued young boy cleaving unto
her? All these questions that needed answers would eventually be long discarded.
Meanwhile however, in my heart, I was vicariously yearning to be that boy again.

I then realized something was missing from this train car.
Increase the amount of wall space by having fewer windows.

Now add some paintings to the wall within the span of a lengthy elongated mural
to make
all the passengers feel the comforts of home. I didn't find it necessary to
tell anyone about
this interesting idea of mine. This profound revelation.

Not even my insane friend melting.


                                                                               Pg 133
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Everything was now coming together in such a blundering way, I wasn’t sure
I could stay on the train a minute longer. Rich had become silent and looked
like he was piecing together something in his mind. A tiny watch perhaps,
but it was a complicated movement and the balance staff was missing.

Was he reaching out for something within his universe,
or merely calculating errors?

Indeed, he bore the oddest expression I had ever seen.



As the train jerked away from the Bay Terrace station, I felt like a
comic book character that longed to be back in the book. Far away
from civilized man and the countless routines he created solely for
the purpose of earning lots of money, so he can boast about it.



I then looked at myself and wondered if it was so terribly wrong to be part
of a civilized community. Earning an income to have money in my pocket, a
roof over my head, and a woman by my side to forever adore and to cherish.

And that was the kicker. . . The one reason why my life was in a rathole.

There didn't appear to be an end to the current impasse which would shroud
me in doubt, leaving me with options that could not be refuted, and analytic
notions so complex they created their own square routes to obliterate me.

Conflicting thought patterns made it difficult to remain on the train.
The thought of getting off in New Dorp
made it almost impossible.



My emotions were scattered and so we exited the train at Oakwood Heights.
One stop shy of our intended destination. The place where my journey began a
few hours earlier, and how ironic it was to come full circle, back to the starting
gate. Stepping across the gap that separated the train from the platform was like
reaching out to step over a small creek; while trying not to get one's shoes wet.

Waking life had suddenly undergone an intense transformation and was
now overblown and baffling. While the ascension was somewhat taxing,
the view from the moderately enclosed walkway was rather pleasant.

As the train rolled away down below us, it caused the metallic structure to
rumble, and the vibrations could be felt coming up through the concrete
staircase, reverberating the old withered footpath.


Walking alongside me was a woman with an aura of great intensity. From the exquisite
structure of her facial features alone, it was indicative to her own personal makeup that
she was of foreign origin. She smiled softly as we made eye contact, and even if the sun
had gone black, the innocent radiance produced from that gentle smile would forever
renew my faith in mankind. Upon reaching the street, Athena took another direction.

                                          I can still see that smile.


                                The Liverpool Echo - Girl on the train


As I continued my analysis of man’s perception in its moot order, the
very night itself which seemed to be pulled from the sky was now
falling.
So terribly thick; so viscid was that spectral haze that lined e’er
pleasant
things. Things no human being should ever fathom, but in this
current
plane of time, inceptions had already danced around the deja vu.



                                                Two parts logic.
                             A breath into the overture of madness.




Impulsively, a clan of rowdy children began taunting each other while laughing
rather forcefully. Immediately, I threw my mind's switch to the ON position and
jumbled a phrase in my head. Be not deceived by the jeering of the prococious.


From a dying tree in the adjacent lot, I could see many brown leaves delicately 
hanging from dried branches. To me it appeared as if the entire tree had once
been invaded by a horde of ravenous bugs. It was now a hollow shell of bark.

A leaf scuttled near my foot before stopping,
and I froze in anticipation of its next move.

It then made a run for the plenitude of trees on Guyon, and I was relieved. I knew that by
hurting the thing would have brought God’s wrath down upon me faster than a harlot
with a hankering for obliquity, and so I allowed him the dignity to continue leafing.



Exhaling deeply, I sighed, before motioning across the street where my friend followed. 


Suddenly, Richie let go a burst of laughter where he stood, teetering in the mild breeze.
He then looked dispassionately at his feet as if he were staring down
the precipice of
a tall building while attempting to meld within the housing of
a dream.

“Rich come on man, focus.”

He did as he was told, and together we walked the portentous road.




Lifting my head like a whooping crane, I gazed up into the tunnel of foreboding trees.
Pointing at them, I stood staring. Entranced in a setting so magical. So beautiful.



Ever since I was a young boy, I loved it when trees on one side of the street converged
with trees on the other side of the street to form one joining. I used to call them tree
tunnels, but that was before the city changed the streetlights in the late 1960's from an
off-white luminescent green to a gentle amber glow, and I found my attention shifting
toward more delicate matters. Matters that would slowly begin to take precedence over
everything else that was going on in my young developing mind. On some exceedingly
narrow streets, I would come to realize that these tunnels can even blot out the sun.




Rich looked up into the fabric of time, ever
wondering, yet never knowing what lie ahead.
Hampered by nothing and empowered by all, his mind dripped in a dreamlike setting.

He appeared to have a vested interest in things which had no purpose being, such as I,
and I tried to ascertain if he was learning. Without warning he began twirling round and
round ‘neath the limbs which skirted the sky, and I could see in his eyes he wasn’t there.

                                                   The Legend - Enjoy yourself



When he stopped to look at me, I must have been everywhere as his equilibrium shifted,
casting him down to the fading tarmac. With his face in awe, he looked up at me as if I
had
just materialized before him, and when he stretched out his arms, I could envision
him somewhere on a beach in Aruba. Sprawled out on the sand like a dying porpoise.

                        The Gnomes - The sky is falling


Trying to locate my shirt, he reached out and grabbed
only air. After this we proceeded to walk to Master's.

That huge department store right alongside Garber's.


I believe we may be over-medicated, I said, like a drunk sailor.
I seriously think we may have under-estimated this drug.

The difference between one and two hits is enormous.

It is the difference between that of night and day.
The difference between two and three hits is beyond logic.
It is the heart of delirium. It is madness redefined.


                                                                               Pg 134
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As I bathed in the glow of a red neon sign, I could see people enter from afar.
Discretely, I observed the anomalies of life from a spectator’s point of view.
The inconsistencies between the normal and the imposter were forthright, for the
manic and the deranged were as obvious as a mother carrying her child in utero.

The same way one could distinguish between an expectant mother, and a
woman who over-indulges in sweets, I who have willingly become insane 
can easily distinguish between that which is fact, and that which is fallacy.

Indeed, they who have been endowed with internal workings
to craft and shape, will likely create very interesting replicas.

Strange prototypes of beings unlike their former-selves walk alone, and seem
to be preoccupied with living. As I, they too are motivated by external stimuli.

Those too small needed to be placed in a stroller,
or they would simply lay by the curbside and wail.




As I tried to piece together the puzzle of life between parent and child,
I only became more confused. The land of biology had me baffled.


Indeed, our minds are comprised of thoughts and ideas we need to
process in order to function. Today, however, we remove part of that
equation. Looking out from my upright casket where I stand like a
decaying mummy, I see a world of bitter consciousness.

What if I
never moved again?
Would they build dwellings around me or would they push me aside?



Perhaps they would not even notice I was there.

What is real and unreal in the world of the
mentally disturbed? In logical
terms, it is the difference between normal and abnormal. Indeed,
we must
go mad to truly comprehend the degree of sanity we currently possess.

Maybe
the only way for us to really cherish life
is to know exactly what we are about to lose.


Whatever lunacies floated around in my head like feathers, I collected,
trying to sort out, so my brain might be able to compute on a higher level.
As I approached the store, I released these thoughts into the night air and
away they flew like burning cinders on an evening breeze.

Staggering into the department store, I found it to be as long as an aircraft
carrier and as
wide as an airplane hangar. I marveled at it quietly for I was
totally impressed. While my
outer appearance was one of pure contentment,
on the inside, however, I was struggling
to comprehend the majority of
everything going on around me.


We walked through a wide maze of clothing
until I found I had gotten the both of us lost.


I listened to the instrumental version of a Diane Warwick song being
piped
in through several inconspicuous air vents in the ceiling.

I then asked my friend
if
he knew the way to San Jose. When he asked me
who San Jose
was, I knew it was going to be a very long and enduring night,
at which
point, I figured, why bother explaining something to someone who
was
slowly slipping away and would soon be gone completely.

“Follow me,” I said to my deranged friend who was more lost
than even I, “we're going to San Jose.” We never quite made
it there sadly, and ended up somewhere in the tobacco aisle.

Instinctively, I grabbed a pack of Antonio y Cleopatra cigars.
After thoroughly examining them, I slid the item in my back pocket.

Considering that the place appeared to be deserted, and knowing full well
I was never going to find a bathroom, I had to think fast. Feeling an intense
urge to urinate, I looked around carefully before unzipping my fly near a tall
column. I was in a state of complete disorientation as my penis came out.

Was I crazy?
Did I become an animal, to stoop so low
as this?

Just knowing I still had a shred of moral fiber left in my being, and an ounce

of intelligence to use at my discretion, was enough to guide me back onto the
straight and narrow path. With extreme caution, I slipped the dark
adder back
into the left side of my pants and zipped up before turning to my
friend who
was found gawking at a mannequin.


“Let's pull out. We're pulling out now.”

Upon saying those words, I immediately reached into my back pocket, and
removed the slender yellow box of brown cigars. Walking down the aisle, I
presented it to the cashier. The woman asked me how I was doing on this fine
night, and me being brutally honest said to her in return, “We’re retarded.”
I said it in a comical voice, but I still don’t know why I said it. Truthfully,
I was glad I did because it felt good to be retarded. She simply looked at me
like I had a pair of balls on my forehead, but I understood. . . It was okay.

Without warning, I hastened from that building leaving a trail of electro-
charged static in my ardor. Rich followed behind me in pace, unknowingly
collecting all the lost debris for it clung unto him like a magnet.


We then began the brief walk to my father's house where I was staying
for the summer. At a
time when my sisters were still very young and my
stepmom was really cool.
As we walked, I noticed all the phone poles
were reclining back,
as if they were all playing a lighted jazz horn.



How mellow was everything now in a grotesquely deformed kind of way.

As we approached the block where I once lived, I felt like I was controlling
the world. To know everything was at my command, was a feeling unlike any
other. But karma combined with crazy would prove to be a volatile mixture,
for upon passing the house where Harmony once lived, all that just seemed
stop; like the mouse who stepped onto a glue trap. I only allowed a faint smile
to grace my lips, and refused to look back. I told her I loved her and would be
home as soon as she opened the gates. (((The hour of my inevitable demise)))

In dreams she would resurface from time to time. Giving me comfort
by letting me know everything was okay; until it was time to rise again.
And I could not comprehend how dreams could create such solace.

But for now I had a job to do, and would not allow the past to delay the future
by breaking down my defenses. In spirit,
I knew she was watching over me.

As we approached my father's house on the right, the house I grew up in was
right next door on the same side, only circumjacent to Harmony's old dwelling.

Our destination, however, was
to the left of my father's house on the corner.

Not wanting to go inside my house as of yet, we traipsed down the street
to the rotting facade of the old Calabrase house. Some people called it the
haunted house, but me and my friend Steve had nicknamed it, the hash hut.

Do I have to explain why?


On a vacant stretch of land sat this
dilapidated shack,
and to me it looked like it would soon collapse.


                                                                               Pg 135
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Like it was trying so hard to keep itself fastened to the earth for fear of falling.

Its sovereignty had long since moved on never to return, leaving
it to fend for itself and
from a distance it resembled an evil doll house.
How daunting it looked toward evening.



When I asked my grandmother about the house, she said that Pasquale and Mira
moved there in 1932 and left in 1956. She said they were very quiet people who
always kept to themselves and never bothered anyone. No one knew anything about
them, and they were rarely seen outside the premises. That was all she ever told
me about the Calabrase’s. Why the house still stood, I could never know.


From the street we entered, moving the trees and shrubs aside and walking carefully
to
the entranceway of the house. The door was not facing my father's house, but to the
left
of it. Careening through the tall plants and trees, I kicked an old rusty can of beer
that had some living
matter inside it, making it appear to be half-full. Before I could
reach the door, I spotted the torso
of a long-discarded doll. It was just lying there
in its abandonment to make the night
seem even stranger. If I had any hesitation,
I would not have gone much further.

I then paused to empty my bladder on an oak tree. Rich didn’t seem to notice anything
amiss, and wandered around aimlessly with a short stick; like someone from another
planet who was studying the surrounding area for any signs of life.


                                            The Electric Prunes - Antique doll



We walked in white shadows of ominous street lamps glowing to a deafening stillness
within the portal of a dark domain. A place where memories echo in silence, the quietude
of an almost comforting despair. Dry air filled the melancholy room with an intriguing
odor of stale wood steeped in time, while the streetlamp on the corner cut through the
unsettled gloom like a torch shining underwater. Yes, the house was enticing us to stay.




Within its decaying structure were the ever-present sounds that never really seemed to die.
The tail end of a comet which had burned out in an evening sky almost thirty years ago.
Eerie voices that cannot be heard by human ears, now seem to emanate in the void of
the misconstrued. The same words we speak today will be heard forevermore. That is
why we must be very careful of each and every syllable we utter.
Shhhhh, don't say it!

What a weird layout, I thought as I made my ascent up the stairs. Oddly, the staircase
did not appear to be
mounted to the stringer, as in conventional carpentry where the
treads and risers are commonly fastened. Instead, the staircase seemed to be
chiseled
from within the structure itself, as if the entire dwelling had been crafted from a giant
sequoia tree. In truth, I could not visualize it being built from single layers.




I then told myself that nothing would be as it seemed tonight. Richie remained behind
me the entire way until we reached the second floor. The big wooden table was still in
the center of the room, and there was an empty keg of colt six pack just sitting there.
Beside it was a piece of cardboard with strange words written on it. I couldn't make
anything out of it because the darkness had fallen, and so I held it near the empty
window where the light was shining brightest and the message was slowly revealed.

“I must have just missed you guys. Went to the Monkey Woods today and had
three beers in thee ole’ tree fort. Then I had a beer in the park by the rocket
swings before coming here. Don't know where anyone is today, so I will finish
my last two beers before riding off into the sunset. Adios amigos!”

                             
                              *8 - 6 - 81*  It was signed, your friend Pete.




I thought of the Monkey Woods then, as it flourished in an abundance of green.

Such a wonderful escape was it from the sun and the heat. Populated with yellow
snapdragons, orange jewelweed and heavenly blue morning glory's sprouting like
magical weeds. What adventurous souls were we, living free and in accordance with
life itself. Going wherever the wind would take us, and then returning in the evening
hours to sleep. There was nothing wrong or oppressive about respecting and enjoying
that of nature. Or did we have to leave the state to put a bullet through a deer's head
to justify our actions? Ah, that wonderful place. What went wrong?




                                                                               Pg 136
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Today it is overrun with oriental bittersweet and has become a tree graveyard.

Whenever you see trees with no boughs or branches on them, but yet rather,
what looks like a rounded green tombstone or a cluster resembling a cenotaph,
it's usually this. Not to mention those cursid thorns. They grow in bushes, as
do roses in a garden while circumventing everything in their immediate path.
Me and Peter used to go back there in the early 1980's with machetes, pruning
sheers and a small hand saw to cut them. Some of the individual thorn vines had
a diameter of a large orange and a length of over forty feet. We would frequently
leave with minor injuries, but at least we killed something that deserved it. 




Its exact location was at the end of Roma Avenue where Navesink Place begins.
Before
Navesink Place existed, and before dwellings were erected all around it.

“Oh man, I must have just missed him on Thursday.
Do you remember what you were doing on Thursday, Rich?”

“Thursday
? I don't know what I'm doing now!”

In a fit of laughter, he banged the table three times and almost broke a blood
vessel in his neck. This is the effect of someone injected with laughter, I
thought.

I was trying not to laugh, but he just looked so silly.

Gazing around at
everything thrown horribly out of perspective,
I started to claw the air with my
hand. The simple pattern created
a stair-step effect, resembling a series of
animated frames that were
put one after another. Cool, I thought as I imprinted
the air with my
own unique design. It only remained for a moment, and yet I
was happy,
because otherwise we may have gotten tangled up in the colours.


Yes, I said colours, because I was feeling very Scottish at the time.

“You wouldnt by any chance be Scottish, would you Rich?”
He looked at me, but didn't answer. “Scottish as in haggis?”
I replied, throwing my voice out like a bad ventriloquist.
Rich looked at me as if I were in a rerun of an old 1970s
television show that he couldn't get enough of, but wasn't
quite sure now why he was watching it. I tried to make a
bagpipe sounding song, when he screamed out laughing.

I suddenly envisioned bagpipes, kilts and curtains made of plaid.

Then shingles made of plaid, and windows made of plaid.
In the forest made of plaid there are birds made of plaid,
and it didn't take long before everything was plaid.



“What the fuck,” I retorted in disbelief. I was overwhelmed and
in shock that I managed to wander that far in. I will admit, I felt
a wee bit strange not knowing what to do, and how helpless it
all became as I realized I could have actually gotten lost
inside
my own imploring mind-shell. I was on a dangerous wave.

Before panic and desperation set in, I had to think of something fast.

I left the table feeling like a scolded child and wasnt sure
if I should crawl up on that rotting bed and become insane.

I felt as though my brain were being vacuumed and my face
had grown so long it was beginning to pick up thumbtacks
and screws from the floor. I brushed off my chin, just to
reassure myself that it was only following an illusion.

My emotions were shattered like shards of broken glass and
there was everything around me, but body parts. An upheaved
home cannot care for itself, I thought to myself quietly, and the
extraordinary mess left behind was making me feel more unsettled.

Slowly, the thoughts of tartan patterns weaving themselves into the
fabric of my exterior world faded, like Renoir's first rendering of Legree.



I hurried into the other room where I had a bottle of Passport Scotch
whiskey tucked away in a safe place. I knew that by taking a shot or
two could alleviate some of my worries, but having nothing to chase it
down with might actually be like exchanging a demon for a dragon.

A gulp of warm Scotch would surely make me feel like my intestinal
tract had been set on fire, and with no water to extinguish it, would
certainly make for an even worse scenario.

                                                                               Pg 137
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Looking everywhere, only to find it nowhere made me even more perplexed.

Where the hell is this bottle?
Did someone come in and take it?
Did I come back and drink it?
Think Goddammit.”

I stumbled into the kitchen and nearly fell. Reaching my hand behind the
rusty brown stove is where it was. My bottle of Passport Scotch. I clutched
it as though it were the holy grail, and then I held it above my head. I was
almost sure lightning was going to strike it and make me immortal. Just
holding the bottle made me feel as though I had conquered something big.


Psychologically, I had thrown myself off course. I was figuring
out what had caused the problem and yet, I was solving it at the
same time. Before I even entered the room, the fear had subsided.

“If you're taking a trip, I have your passport.” I walked in saying,
like a Vaudeville act that was sure to get rave reviews.


“I'm already gone!” Richie bellowed in an octave lower than a contrabass.

It's not easy to utter words while you're laughing yourself to death. . .
Literally.




As Richie calmed down, he began to readjust his jawbone.
Laughing will do that, you know.

“Care to bang one down?”

“No thanks,” said my friend with great effort as this withered old
home sighed
through its exposed plaster, as if trying to accentuate some hidden emotion.

As I began to touch gently the wounded interior of its wood lath, I must have
disturbed something within its temporal lay-out, because like a wooden sloth,
the whole house stood up on all fours and slowly began to move down the street.

“Let us out first,” I screamed, without thinking.

I then looked out the rectangular hole where a window had once been set
to find that the house had not moved at all. It was simply a dead tree limb
slapping against the side of the dwelling, creating an illusion of deception
for me. But in that one brief moment, I was truly terrified.

How would I have been able to explain it to the authorities, I thought?
If the house had actually decided to schlep over to the next block?
I cannot imagine the face of Phil Martinelli waking up in the morning
to find this weather-beaten old home resting its britches on his front lawn.

                           I think his face would fall off!




It now seems I was trying to analyze and apply logic to a situation that was so
overblown it lacked the coordinance to redirect itself. So high was I at this point,
it was getting difficult to distinguish that which was real from that which was not.

The logical from the illogical.




I placed the emerald green bottle down upon the old wooden
table and looked at my friend.
He was somewhere between
daydreams and the milky way when my words found him.




“Didn’t it just feel like we were on Jumbo the elephant?” I asked wryly.

Then with a Moroccan
accent, I bounced swayingly like a limbo dancer
while balancing both arms in
the air, as if I were on the giant beast.
I then began to sing a very strange and melodic tune.


“Ga-nna ride Jum-bo, ga-nna ride.
I Ga-nna ride Jum-bo, ya wa-nna ride Jum-bo?”




Rich immediately screamed out and began kicking the table.
The Mann, he's unstoppable.

“Go easy on the laughter, we're
gonna wind up in the hoosegow.”

“Whose Cow?
A booze cow!!!”


                                                                               Pg 138
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“Keep it down, we could get arrested for being here,
I replied, in a tone louder than I was hoping to convey.”

So much was this l
aughter, that he began drooling on the table,
and I began to seriously question his emotional state of mind.

“I can't help it,” he cackled as he thrashed
wildly,
knocking over my bottle and nearly breaking it.

He then began stomping his feet with such an intensity, that I found
it was imperative to warn him about weak spots in the flooring.

“Never again God. Never again,” I muttered in dismay.
“Oh boy”
I said, as I scrambled for a place to stash the bottle.

This was a bad idea, I thought. A really bad idea.

He's gonna fall through the floor, I just know it.

“Let's go,” I said, overflowing with terror at
the thought of seeing cop cars
and wailing ambulance sirens. Being hauled off to prison was
now the worst
thought I could think of, aside from my friend going through
the floorboards
and becoming impaled or devoured on whatever was lurking down there
.



Or even worse, if the floor gave way and we were both trapped in that sinister darkness.
Living bait to become a hollowed-out carcass for rats and those horrible creepy crawlers.
Under this side room was no floor, but an old staircase that led straight to a locked cellar.


Hide the bottle!
Gotta hide the bottle!!!

A car is coming, what am I to do with this bottle?

As I scurried about the room like a distressed hamster looking for an
adequate hiding spot,
I felt myself becoming more disoriented by the
minute.
This of course, made my bumbling friend laugh even harder.

At that exact moment, I felt like a complete and utter horse's ass.



Are you happy now? I said, shivering. You made me nervous.

Perhaps it was the tone of my quivering voice that had him bellowing
aloud and gasping for air until I thought his vocal chords would fray.

The house could have exploded in flames, and I’m sure he would still
be laughing.
Raising both hands to my mouth like a psychiatrist turned
mental patient, I pressed my upper and lower lips together in disapproval
.

We have to leave, I said, unnervingly. You're going too far now.

As Rich attempted
to stand, he abruptly threw himself back down
into the outdated chair. The only thing
I could see was this crazy
bastard going straight down into a basement full of shovels.

Hastily, I exited the room like an agitated mongoloid.

With pursed lips and the onset of a severe panic attack,
I attempted to collect my thoughts and regain my composure.

The solution to the problem was in alchemy.
I would need to hold it once more, and I did.

“Okay,” I said to myself quietly, “you created
this horror show and now you’re going to fix it.”
 
I was talking to the Scotch bottle like a genie was inside translating Morse code to
the devil. A miracle needed to be performed and I wasn’t quite sure I had the ability
to endure it. Again, I held the bottle above my head, only this time I felt like cheap
version of the statue of liberty; minus the green robe. I shook my head in disgust.

With nothing else left to do, I returned the Scotch bottle to the kitchen behind
the stove, and upon entry into the main room, I lit up a brown Grenadier.
So soft were these cigars, so fresh! (((It was an undefinable moment)))

Allowing the smoke to escape from my nostrils, I began to feel like an aristocrat.

“Ah the pleasantries of home old chap,” I said in a Sherlock Holmes
voice that seemed to reverberate throughout the entire domain.


I was playing with my emotions like a child playing with a light switch.
Like a cat who plays with a mouse before cracking its neck with her teeth.

I had to fool my mind again. I had to trick myself into believing the emotion was
real. Not only did I have to play the part, but the acting had to be flawless. While
‘the powers that be’ were inscribing my fate, I needed to alter the outcome.


And before I could convince my friend, I would first have to convince myself.

How about a smoke there, laddy? I expelled, exactly the way
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would have wanted it to be spoken.

I was very much enjoying the air I was creating, and truly
enjoyed
speaking this way.
Would it be wrong of me to speak this way forever?

Would society frown upon my newly adopted tongue?

“I’ll have one of them,” said Richie boy in a jittery manner, while holding
onto the armrests like he was about to propel out of the chair in a jet pack.

“Yes, you shall, Sir Richard the Marvelous. Yes, you shall.”

Leisurely, I peeled the band in a circular motion
and slid the cigar out of its
thin cellophane sleeve. I then proceeded to light it for him, while generating
a slow-motion effect of puffing. That would make it burn flawlessly.

“Here you go and be careful. That's the live end.”

With this he exploded, falling off the chair and crushing a perfectly
good cigar.
Looking down at my friend on his hands and knees had
all the earmarks of a maniac praying.
I then heard him laugh as
the head of the cigar lay burning a short distance away.


Like the smoldering remains of a child burning in the Mekong Delta, there was no
saving it. I almost thought I felt a tear coming to my eye. The poor cigar will never
be smoked, I thought to myself silently, as if I were standing beside the casket of a
loved one being slowly lowered into the ground. I was now beginning to wonder
how I ended up in the middle of this horrendous mess in the first place.


                                             

“You will not be forsaken,” I said in a whisper tone to my prized cigar from
where it rested between my fingertips, before bowing my head in silence for
a brief moment of prayer.

The night had gone out of its way to shower me with grief, until I felt like
the dog prancing down the street with a stick in his mouth, not knowing
that it was a stick of dynamite he was running back to the house with.

I was paralyzed from the madness that overtook me, when at last, I came to
the grim realization that all I created was the world’s most perfect disaster.
It was undeniably the most callous and erroneous mistake that could ever
have been constructed by mortal man. Because of this and this alone, I
would forever go down in history as a bungler.

One who has made nothing in life,
but a series of miscalculated judgements.

How could something I designed so well, come back to utterly destroy me?

These words I pondered in my moment of sorrow, like a hapless child
forever lost in an endless amusement park without a ticket to ride.

And so, as a blindfolded man would do before his own execution,
did I calmly puff on my caramel colored cigar without concern.

Why should I be stressed? The evening had just begun.

Slowly, I helped Richie to his feet and escorted him carefully
down the stairs, so there wasn't a tragedy. All the way down
those stairs, and all the way out of that house he guffawed.




                                                                   Love Sculpture - In the land of the few

                                                                                                                       Pg 139

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviews for chapter 28

John Barone - I have read this chapter five times already!

Manuel Gottlieb - I do love the way you remove the animation from the LSD
and inject it into the veins of your readers. The words are a drug in itself!

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PG 132) LSD microdots (photo) by John Allen - 2003 - http://www.erowid.org/

PG 132) Different balls
by Gyuri Lohmuller - http://tinyurl.com/jwlh955

PG 133) Orient express
by Marcin Kolpanowicz - http://www.kolpanowicz.art.pl/

PG 133) Descent to the Mediterranean
by Vladimir Kush - http://vladimirkush.com/

PG 133) Seekers of the truth
by Mike Worrall - http://tinyurl.com/yewvh7g

PG 133) Untitled by Brad Yeo - http://byeo.com/76

PG 133) The night line
by Marcin Kolpanowicz - http://www.kolpanowicz.art.pl/

PG 134) Relentless nature of time
by Jaroslaw Jasnikowski
- http://tinyurl.com/mvoea8j

PG 134) Sin
by Tomasz Alen Kopera -
http://alenkopera.com/

PG 134) The Insomnia of Nimrod
by Alessandro Fantini -
http://afantini.deviantart.com/ 

PG 134) Wanderlust
by Dean Fleming - http://www.deanfleming.com/

PG 134) Chamber of earthly delights
by Tomek Setowski - http://tinyurl.com/my772px

PG 134) Love confession
by Vladimir Kush - http://vladimirkush.com/

PG 134) Le balcon
by Claude Verlinde - http://tinyurl.com/ot47wz2

PG 134)
Tree tunnels - http://tinyurl.com/bxdmydy

PG 134) Morning poem
by Wojtek Siudmak -
http://tinyurl.com/m5669a6

PG 134) One
by Keun-chul Jang - http://tinyurl.com/kufe9rd

PG 135) Waterbaby
by Herbert James Draper - http://tinyurl.com/kkbull5

PG 135) Postillonage by Alessandro Fantini - http://alessandrofantini.com/

PG 135) Cloud nine
by Amanda Sage - http://amandasage.com/

PG 136) Dark House
(matte painting) - http://tinyurl.com/kgvcjjb

PG 136) Entrance to the past
by
Curt Frankenstein - http://www.curt-frankenstein.com/

PG 136) Liberty
by Dean Fleming - http://www.deanfleming.com/

PG 136) Healing by way of the ace of blurred matter
by Chris Mars - http://www.chrismarspublishing.com/

PG 136) Vintage Keg o' Colt sign -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_45_%28malt_liquor%29

PG 136) Surrealistic Psychodelic Vision of a Deer in the Rut
by
Jaroslaw Jasnikowski - http://tinyurl.com/mvoea8j

PG 137) Small Bite
by Ilene Meyer - http://www.ilenemeyer.com/ 

PG 137) MacPhee
by Sean Landers - http://www.seanlanders.net/

PG 137) The Power of Experience
by Jaroslaw Jasnikowski -
http://tinyurl.com/mvoea8j

PG 138) Fester the jester
by Dan Frazier - http://tinyurl.com/ltyun6z

PG 138) The Progression
by David Ho - http://www.davidho.com/

PG 138) Pisces
by Dean Fleming - http://www.deanfleming.com/

PG 138)
Vintage advertisement for Passport Scotch Whiskey,
circa 1975

PG 138) The Elephants
by Salvador Dalí - http://www.virtualdali.com/

PG 139) Mox's Death Trap
by Joel Hoekstra -
http://tinyurl.com/lx5hpbh

PG 139) Panic attack
by Aidan Brute Hughes - http://tinyurl.com/mz46dvz

PG 139) Smoking marine monster by Seb Niark1 Feraut - http://www.niark1.com/

PG 139) The vessel
by J. Slattum - http://www.jslattum.com/