June 2017


Dazed and Still Dazed

I was expecting to see Molly parked on the couch, not Hank. But it was my fucking father who had initiated my skinny alien ass path to the burn-up. Burn-up was junkie for how eventually you used every one of your veins, even the deeper ones that required practically a road surveyor to locate. Spiking began the same for all junkies: in the crook of the elbow and then down to the wrist. I’d then started on the other side of my arm, followed by switching and on-and-on until I’d sometimes have to dunk my hands in hot water just to get back the feeling. I even went so far as to shake my arms in the air like a lunatic just to regenerate my circulation. I hadn’t been reduced to spiking the veins in my dick or the carotid in my neck. I’d so far been spared. I did shoot subcutaneously just to push through a clot, if I’d been unsuccessful with my usual methods.
I stared at Hank, my fucking father who’d left Kristelle exposed; doubtful that they’d ever shared any love at all, like her thoughts were fabricated in the center of her low intelligence. The hole in her chest had left her hating me more than she already did. No more easy laughter, if ease ever existed, certainly not in mine.
Hank sat braced against the back of the worn couch. His eyes dissolved the illusion of having a father. What brought me back to Kristelle’s belonged only inside me, and I’d never liked how it felt. Hank was someone I didn’t recognize, but then, why the fuck should I? Suicide rarely paused between generations,but Grandpa Peterson, who I’d been named after, had swallowed the last bullet gladly from a shotgun purchased at Ben’s Stand.
Will the fucking burden of coming in next fall into my hands?
I am young.
I am dumb.
I am forgotten.
I motioned for Hank to stay seated as I carried my equipment back into my bedroom. He opened his mouth, but his words died on his tongue. When I finally stood across from him, the coffee table keeping the safe distance I needed at that moment, my fucking jaw started to twitch. I grabbed my chin, tried to immobilize the spasm, but I fucking couldn’t find luck anymore than I could find forgiveness for my mom and Hank shutting me out. I fucking wanted to. I mean, I fucking understood with Bud’s death. Our fucking brains worked practically the same.
My jaw almost locked in place. Hank noticed. How the fuck could he not?
Then I spit out my words through clenched teeth. “Residual, Hank. I haven’t done any smack since my gig in Portland.”
He glared suspiciously at me, and then lowered his head. “I’m sorry, son.”
“So am I.”
“Your mother isn’t doing well. She can’t even get out of bed.” He stopped to look me in the eyes. “Give her some time.”
“Like until after Bud’s funeral.”
“Kristelle’s wrong. Your problems didn’t cause Bud’s death.”
I was fucking speechless, but I was thinking.
Kristelle has taught me that the vengeance and the hatred still leaks through my pores, humping the brutal chords I play on my Strat.
"It's been hard on both of them with your heroin addiction."
“Maybe you could have eased the burden if you’d fucking been around.”
And then I fucking lost it.
The fucking panic burst through the hole in my chest. I just went fucking crazy. I grabbed the floor lamp with its useless fucking light bulb and rammed it into the cracked glass of the front window.
I am too fucking helpless to stop myself.
The total absence of discomfort that comes with smack has leaked from every pore.
I don’t give a fuck! I hurt so much! I can’t stop no matter how fucking hard I try!
The whole fucking window fractured into enough slivers of glass to remove the pause between generations. I yanked the flimsy coffee table and threw it against the dull wall, punching a fucking hole like the fucker in my chest into the dry wall. Hank shot up, but he couldn’t go anywhere. I picked up the iron bulldog-door-fucking stop and pitched it at him. He ducked just as the psych tech flew through the front door and fucking tackled my ass to the scuffed hardwood floor.
I fought the fucker just like the times I’d tried to in the psych lock-up, and he’d always won, but not this time.
I have the fucking hate juice circulating my fucking empty veins. I take advantage of the rush. I know I have the power, like a long narrow gash striping the side of my face has the power to bleed me colorless.
I broke free, crawled like some poor decrepit soldier slapped by gunfire across his back. I reached Kristelle’s antique cast iron pot which had only collected tattered magazines and accumulated filth. I slung the fucker with a shower of paper and dust straight for the psych tech’s head. He quickly blocked the blow with his strong parka-protected arm, and then yelled at a paralyzed Hank.
“CALL 911, NOW!”
Before Hank could reach the phone attached with a cord to Mother Earth, I savagely knocked my father, the man I so wanted to love me back, onto the floor. I drew back my arm, my hand balled into a fist. I had every fucking intention to pulverize his fucking skull. I would expunge his fucking life from mine. I would end the fucking pain only minimally lessened with his return. It wouldn’t have been a high price to pay if father and son were fighting for a noble cause, but we were only diminishing the lesser of two evils, for I was incapable of change, and Hank could never in his fucking life return what I’d been robbed of. And my fucking father just lay there in terror as I paused in the mad violent twist of my life.
I slammed my right hand into the fucking hardwood floor. The pain was an abandonment of me. I didn’t fucking care if I’d broken shit. I just rolled onto my back and covered my bloodied hand over my eyes as I cried and cried and fucking lost a river.
The psych tech grabbed the phone, and in no time, the detective leaned over me just as the paramedic covered my hand with gauze. I’d just bought a stint in lock-up.
My world, while never really okay, has turned darker than black. It’s fucking strange going through the repetitive motions of hard-edged aloneness. Even if fucking nuts, I will never reveal what’s real. Dr. Horowitz has his fucking work cut out for his ass.
I’m completely ruined.
My band DAZED will be disappointed when dawn breaks, and the rains restrict the sun.
Fuck, the Frat party has just been cancelled.
Nikki Palomino!