Another powerful message from our social media coordinator Justin. I have wrestled with demons, as a lot of writers do. No stigma. Thank you Justin for your inspiration.
The sun is a hornet sting in his eyes but his stagger started with that twisted sauce that dude hit him with at the coffee shop bathroom where he screwed Suzie in retribution against Samantha. The pain of that loss was still so fresh.
Empty and meaningless body contortions while staring at the underside of a piss stained toilet. Should have stayed home that day too. She wanted someone to love her, that’s why she shook when you hugged her, apologized when she climaxed and asked for more.
Two steps and a jerk of the muscles sends him down the sidewalk. Two more and the convulsions are there again in force, arms spasm outstretched and fingers go clenching at air trying smash it’s emptiness into something meaningful. Two more and the blood trails seeping from forearms that stink of vinegar and iron are drip dropping onto his shoes with a pitter patter of hope draining onto leather.
His white v-necked shirt is clean if you ignore the spots of cherry red revealed as a splatter pattern seeping from the inside. His pants are sagging and baggy, deep brown with a tan cinch belt and pockets on pockets bulging with random items. His has Nikes, now personalized with scarlet across their tips.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. Too much this time. Way too much. There. Priorities. Why? Needle. Get one. Man across the street, has the look. Get another rig. Block it out. Don’t think, just act. Shut it down.
He asks the stranger if he has as a needle and of course he does, doesn’t everyone? The stranger says that he is clean of disease and has never used it despite the crimson hue inside the chamber. The stranger points out the blood running down his forearms and warns that it might draw attention.
He stutter steps, two forward, a shuffle to the side, quick spin, dancing to the demands of the chemicals. Lips split open into a full bodied smile, lopsided to the left and sparks of intensity carve out a luminosity in his blue eyes that stretches past the borders of happiness into ecstasy beyond understanding.
His face glows with inner fire, radiant passion – he’s got a zeal about him now that belies the shit show dance moves that propel him down the street at an uneven but driven keel. He’s on a mission.
Samantha. There. By the bus depot, god she looks amazing even on the streets. I wonder if she still loves me. I told her she was Sparkles, that her fire was so bright I could see it in the darkest moments. Why?
Her moan when he hugs her says “thank god you made it here and I found you, you idiot.”
The sun is a hornet sting, the moon is a muse shining a halo of opportunity in the falling dusk.
The zeal is faded as his eyes dull to the gray of the muse and her siren song of possibilities missed. They both rest against the wall inside the parking garage which hides them. His arms are full of her and maybe the stranger, his veins are on fire and his dreams are impressions of futures that could have been, envy soaks them. He’s going to die again, he knows it.
He sits in the parking garage until the stars haze out and the moon disappears.
[Melting Neurons resides in Wenatchee, WA where he lives with his wife and stuffed owl, they both hail from Bend, OR originally. He has lived in more than 75 cities across the country at various points including Boston and New Bedford, MA. His writing centers around a lifetime filled with adventures in schizoaffective bipolar, addiction, and the dichotomy of being everything from a corporate executive to homeless on the streets for years. Someday he hopes his estranged children will discover these pieces, and he can regain a relationship with them. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and enrolled in Wenatchee Valley College studying English and Creative Non-Fiction.]
I wasn’t always sure
About the noise in the background
Incessant, like the peeling of
A grimace in rush hour massacres
Pounding out the march of time
To rounded pupils and bloodshot
Veins that wrapped around conclusions
They claim names remain inane
I see some new faces on the pavement
air is thick with mistrust and ash
I know it’s not safe to breathe
There’s really no other alternative though, right?
Nodding on Himalayan chiba
Absorbing good news vibes
While the bad news bears play to lose
In the side streets, side stepping
Johnny law and copper johns
Did you hear that meth is a thing again
Don’t call it a comeback, it’s company certified now
Cheaper and harder than generic opioids and gin
Sundays and shit coffee and stale pastries
Freebasing the shame on the nails of
Mary Magdalene and asking if maybe
She was the one this whole time
I once knew a girl who looked like
My vision of the wife of a Messiah
Except she dressed like Lilith and wakizashi
She wrote me a Gospel unlike any other
My faith in her will be
the dirt of my grave
She spun up a speedball packed
With that Chelyabinsk fentanyl
Cooked herself the last supper
she ascended while surrounded
by a dozen other prophets
in a broken down rectory on
North Brother Isle
I would share her Book but I haven’t the words
To quite define the Spirit she conferred;
faith restored in self.
I regret I could not return the favor
Perhaps that’s how angels get back
Where they’re supposed to go
I tattooed Psalms of her movements
Upon the palms of my daughters hands.
Holy things can come in the strangest
Places that hum quietly incessant,
Prophecies behind a junkies teeth
Oldepunk writes in Texas with a pair of kids and cats. Hockey junkie and music aficionado. Read more at Ramjetpoetry.
The Rehab Diaries (excerpt) Jasper Kerkau
When I got off three vomitus days of detox, we had a game of Big Book Jeopardy. My team won. My prize was that I was given the honor of having a “little brother.” My understanding was sparse, but I was going to look after him for a week. I assume it is an easy errand, pointing out house rules, which I didn’t know yet, meeting schedule, telling him which members of staff to steer clear of, and where to put his cigarette butts. My “little brother” who looks like a broken down drunk, an elderly biker, with a long grey beard and a surly demeanor was actually a retired NASA engineer who had fancied himself a biker. He is shaking uncontrollably from the alcoholic DTs. Jacob, a young staff member, with an affable personality comes to me with a frantic look. He implores me to stay with Mike, my “little brother,” while they try and get the doctor on the phone.
He sits in the chair moaning. I lite his cigarettes and pat him on the back awkwardly. “You know all of my friends are dead. I have no children. I have a bad heart; I am going to die tonight and those cocksuckers are taking their time getting me my detox meds.” He stamps at the ground dramatically. I try not to laugh. I squeeze my eyes trying to figure out if he is going to die on my watch and wondering how I got into this situation. I ask him obligatory questions. He nods off and then wakes up to moan, curse and then regain a remorseful composure. He jumps up and grabs his heart, stumbling toward the office. “I am having a fucking heart attack, call 911!” I bolt after him and help him walk toward the office. David, a sixty year old who fluctuates between baffling ignorance and brilliance, is sitting at his desk. He seems to be in charge, though he actually job title is allusive. He looks at Mike and I over the top of his readers with a steely expression.
“What is it Mike?” he sounds perturbed. His voice is tense and raspy.
“I am having a fucking heart attack,” Jacob, the young tech has a deer in the headlights look. He seems to wants to usurp Dave’s aloof authority.
“Okay Mike, we will get you an ambulance.” He turns to Dave with urgency, “he said he is having chest pains; we don’t have a choice. That is the key phrase.” Jacob and I share a common peril. Neither of us want to deal with the Mike’s death.
“Bullshit Mike,” Dave barks, jumps out of his chair, regaining control. “You know good and God-damn well you are not having a fucking heart attack.” Mike stands with his eyes closed, clutching his heart. I get a panicked feeling. I want to go home.
“Fuck you David,” Mike opens his eyes and blurts out with a sudden alertness. David counters by kicking the chair. I automatically grab Mike by the arm and lead him out. He pulls arm away and turns to Dave.
“His name is Jimmy Boy, not fucking Roscoe!” Mike screams at David. I turn to Jacob shaking my head in bewilderment. He shrugs in agreement. “You can do a lot of sorry, rotten fucking things, like leaving your shit in another man’s garage for a year, but you don’t change a dog’s name.”
“Get the fuck out Mike, get your sorry ass out of the office,” Mike snaps back into his dying routine. I take him again by the elbow and to the door. David sits back down and tends to a bonsai.
“And the dog is Roscoe, not Jimmy Boy, you stupid fuck.” Mike gets in the parting shot as I close the door behind us.
“I guess you guys know each other?” I put Mike back in his chair.
“We were friends for twenty years, road Harley’s together. I tried to join the Banditos and David and I got into a fist fight at an AA meeting. It is a long story. He is supposed to be watching my dog, but he can’t perform one simple fucking task.” He never opens his eyes. “I am going to die. I need you to come and pray over me as I do.”