May 1, 2022
Immemorial Loss Aversion Lays in the White, Leaking
These thoughts present a particular newness previously unknowable. But I am here, a character in this dream’s seemingly unendable dream. An embryonic stage and fluid coats my body and my adderall ridden mercurial mind darts tight and hard like a slalom practitioner, resulting in a focused confusion. Everything and nothing converge on itself infinitely with no effort. I’m a cat in a Louis Wain painting, and my kaleidoscope eyes fracture light and shoot prisms of beauty through the unfathomable aether - a sentient feline trapped in animism. The moon, a metal ball hanging still, falls through the plate of a rusty blade. Ghosts, carnies, and grifters sell partial memories back to me at twice the price, and I wrap my spirit in a gray sheet of borrowed linen.
The exhale just never comes.
A heartbeat stammers in poly-rythmic psychopation - each irregular beat echoes throughout a cavernous body. The brain’s function diminishes, and becomes to the central nervous system what the spleen is to the liver. The heart, now backed into a corner, has no choice but to evolve a mind of its own (not only out of necessity, but also, boredom - what else is a self-perpetuating heartbeat to do with infinity’s infinity?). This heart must abolish the old mind in a most frenetic manner. It must do so!
..I come-to in a daymare’s dream…
…I turn to my 9 o’clock, ambiguous certainty, toes on edge, fingertip blood, and razorblade eyes; I sway on an epistemic doubt and philosophical skepticism cliff of mind fuckness. This did happen.
The two lane highway rumbles below America’s transcontinental commerce and touts rubber, metal, and steel. Capitalism’s perpetual erection in tow: bracelets, widgets, My Pet Lintball - trading cards; plastic: cups, toys, tables, cables, hoses, horses, chairs, pens, linoleum flooring; every flavor of sugar-free soda; rusty oil drums packed with human lard; palette upon palette of Kardashian logoed pink UGG’s stained with blood from yellow fingers and obsidian flesh. And as America’s black-diesel breath puffs by, Polly sleeps in the passenger seat. Every 10 miles or so she attempts a gesture in my direction, but her laden dreamstate puppy eyes succumb to gravity and other unforeseen forces of compressed exhaustion; and, well, fuck the nay-saying epistemics of my previous paragraph’s philosophical skepticism: I need off the road - stat!
As we carve through the hummus colored mountainous scenery, it undulates with tsunamic aspirations and delight while the white Jell-O mold clouds overhead throb and swell like abstinent priapic troupes of Cosbian hyenas frothing at the mouth; their rapacious ogles lust upon a passed out pony. Methed out truckers pop saccharine pillows of horse hoof delights between self-gratification sessions and Maury Povich episodes. My cycloptic eye’s blacked out pupil smashes against the windshield like a seasoned chef’s nicotine stained fingers pressing ground baby meat into manageable sized patties. We speed along an x and y axis of some wannabe desert dystopia; the sun is a molten globe of gaffer's blowpipe; my eyes adjust to an eclipse fried retinal gaze. Car tires grip the sweltering road like dime store magic tricks - or blow flies timing out on a kitchen’s yellow ribbon of doom. The road requires my full attention: I squint through the insect decimated windshield; the road escapes via illusory Newtonian something or other: the gray road evaporates towards the global heavens with the irrational confidence of a Rock Frog’s mountain top leaping.
This mechanical beast weaves through the tidied aridness.
I am equal parts panic and safety seeking when pulling off the road. Our chariot lumbers next to a gas pump (this establishment is obvious for a local governmental officials pediphiliac sextrafficking operation). At the second pump, I park, and leave the car running. As I exit the vehicle, I look to confirm the pump number. I use a spare key to lock the doors and head into the “Smart” part of “GasSmart.” My mental fog, weighted, blue to burnt orange wrapped in damp gray silk vacillations: my mental fog has a bad knee, and his wife just left him, and she took everything of value, even the Billie Holiday coffee table coasters - savage. I devise a plan to our next destination unknown. Two things are certain: I need blow, and I need a drink. And outside of minor logistical interferences, “...this should present no significant problems…” (Trainspotting. Dir. Danny Boyle, Per. Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller. 1996. PolyGram Filmed Entertainment Miramax Films (United States), 1998. Videocassette)
GasSmart cornered the Hot Pocket, video poker market of, anywhere, Nevada desert, USA. Grating fluorescent lights reflect the perverse neglect apparent on each cigarette-stained countertop and rust flaked shelf. My survey finds kiwi lime Mad Dog, paper cups, and other necessary sundries. However, before I gather wares, I use the restroom to empty my bladder and collect my thoughts.
A man is walking out as I enter. I splash cold water on my face and give myself a barely audible pep talk (a series of two grunts with a questioning inflection). I dry my face as I walk into the stall, which is surprisingly clean. An exhale leaves me: I am relaxed. I fish a gram of cocaine from a makeshift pocket I cut into the zipper flap of my green cargo shorts (God is good! - It is fluffy and dry). I twist off her wings and empty a dime size serving into my left hand’s biological snuffbox. My right hand deftly re-twists the baggy and returns the package from whence it came. I press my right thumb to my right nostril and form an airtight seal: a fierce inhale through my left nostril follows. My eyes glaze, my body goosebumps, and I exit the stall and restroom.
Except for the lone employee behind the counter, the “Smart” is empty. The clerk is languorous and gobsmacked by the setting sun’s crepuscular brilliance. He is poetic and peaceful, and a part of me hopes his trance is broken before I arrive at the counter. (I am envious of his peaceful stare: tranquil and beautiful. It stops time, like an orchestra of melodious crickets lulling a full plate moon to sleep). I stuff my cargo pockets with the following items: two bags of Jack Link’s beef jerky, two paper cups, two lids, two straws, and two bananas. Lastly, I grab two bottles of kiwi-lime Mad Dog and carry them to the checkout counter.
As I empty my pockets on the counter I say, “That is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.”
Without breaking his stare he says, “Yeah, I am pretty sure it’s why I keep this job.”
I say, “A better reason than most; if that is not proof of a higher power type entity, I don’t know what is?”
“Amen,” he says.
I say, “I’ll take these items here, a pack of Camel’s, and $30 on pump two. By the way - I didn’t want to interrupt the sunset - do you mind if I grab these cups, lids, and straws. If you have to charge me I understand.” I hand him cash while he answers.
He says, “Aaaaaa...they’re on the house…from one sunset admirer to another.”
“Thank you kind sir, much appreciated.” I say.
As he brown bags the order, I say, “Oh...one last thing...about how many miles outside Vegas are we?”
He says, as if he’s answered the question with each sunset, “A hair north of 26 mile.”
by Ryan J. Stout