When I think of my father, I am reminded of every moment of disappointment in my life. In this one aspect, he seemed to never let me down. When it came to work, he was always on time, always dutiful, always containing an almost religious and patriotic spirit. I'm pretty sure that he imagines himself as a 1950's businessman, treating conformity in social and political life like it was a job requirement. Etc., etc., let's just say, I don't like my father. Regardless, I live in his house, and I really have no problem with that. Being as young as I am, it's quite customary for children my age to still live with their parents. Anywho... It was Christmas time. It was two weeks before the big day. And guess who was outside freezing their asses off in a snowstorm.
"It's halfway a snowstorm!" my father yells. Okay, so maybe it really was called "a half-way snow storm" by the meteorologist. Doesn't change the fact that I can feel frost forming on my ass.
My father, around this time of the year, is elected by a board of directors to be the manager of a Christmas Tree store that sells these god-ugly trees. It was a pretty big distribution center, too. It managed to attract people from all over the entire state. Eleven months out of twelve, my father is a regular banker. But that one month, he is a Christmas Tree salesman. It's interesting to see him work. Well, maybe for the first five minutes it is. After a while, suicidal tendencies start to mix with apathetic desires, and you begin to decide that rotting to death is effective enough. At least, you feel this way after watching my father and his business techniques. It's quite disgusting.
He uses army lingo in his business venture. For example, listen to him right now: "We need two units to cover the lobby entrance! We got enemy hostiles in the perimeters!!" Yes, that's right. Two units. To cover the lobby entrance. As you can probably infer for yourself, the enemy hostiles are customers, and the two units are his employees. Now, I can see what you're thinking. "At least I get to sit back, watch, and be entertained. It's not much different than Jerry Springer." True, true, what you think might have some merit to it. But there are some facts that need to be considered. As I am standing outside right this moment, I am so cold, if you used an ice cube tray, my asshole could make ice cubes. Then there's an douchebag screaming even in face-to-face conversations with regular customers. After a sale, he greedily rubs his hands together and pockets the green cash. I bet his breath smells like onions.
"Hey, son!" my father walks up to me, "How about after the next two aerial raids, we go to Lord Valon's! Where the mighty feast!"
"Dad," I said, "You know, it's not absolutely necessary for you to include the catch phrase of the restaurant for you to say its name."
"I'm not sure about the copyright law on that issue, son," he replied, "So, anyway, how about it?"
"I don't know," I replied, "I'm kind of busy here, you know, feeling alienated by everything I see, feel, and taste. You know how it is to be willingly withdrawn."
"How do you mean, son?" he asked, "I've never been willingly withdrawn. That's insane."
"Okay, yes, I'll go with you," I said.
"Good, good!" he said, rubbing his hands together as his breath crystallized into snow. He looked out to his left, used his hands to make fake binoculars, and then yelled out, "Charlie Company! We need alpha reinforcements! Over!" Yes, he managed to retain a sort of prefer-to-asphyxiate-in-my-sleep mentality. He's my dad. What can I say? I'll say this much. When my father left home to bring me with him, on "a wild and crazy adventure" (no, no, it was just selling Christmas Trees), I managed to sneak with me a bottle of whisky from the alcohol dispenser... I mean, the alcohol drawer. Just about now, the warmth of euphoria started to kick in. Sedatives are the real heroes of this story.
My father did a regular "sweep and clear" on those "invading enemy sympathizers." Some of you, at this point in the story, will ask me: "But why would you ever want to go to Lord Valon's?" My dear reader, I understand your question, for I am asking myself the same thing. However, the answer my subconscious replies with is thus: a trip to Lord Valon's usually entails a drug binge. While my father might very well be clogging his arteries with the 30% rice protein burgers, I'll be waking up without a clue as to where I am. So, my father drove me far, far out to the nearest Lord Valon's, which happened to be at least an hour away. I sat in the back of the car, of course, drinking and sipping me whiskey like a good ol' boy.
We entered Lord Valon's, and as we did, my father throws his hands in to the air and yells out, "We have arrived!" One of the employees and customers working there reply, "Ahhh! Arrival!" Wow, they followed the instructions on the side of the Norwegian Size Cup precisely... At about this exact moment, I felt like I was infected with a virus that I've had at least ten other times, but just can't seem to shake.
"I'll have two mega-burgers, please," my father commands the cashier.
"Will that be with Blood of Your Enemies or God and Glory?" The first denotes ketchup. The second denotes mustard. The third denotes sickened and advanced stages of schizophrenia. You don't see a third? Well, I do. At least, as low as this flask is, I am starting to. As my father flirted with the cashier, brazenly showing his knowledge of the Lord Valon menu ("Back in '79, it wasn't a mega-burger, but a super-burger! Yeah, I was there..."), this 24 year old who was probably in to pen and paper dungeons and dragons walked up to me.
"Isn't this place the best?" he said, taking a break from sipping a straw to a container that was almost empty.
"Uuuhhhh..." I said as I searched unsuccessfully for words.
"It allows us of with a Norwegian past to express our heritage," he said.
"Yeah, and nothing can do that like a chain of fast food restaurants, nope, nothing can, not music, not culture, not plays, not religion, not philosophy..."
"I mean," he started again, breaking from his straw, "Yes, the Norwegians might very well be the best race that there is on the planet, I'm not arguing that even though every scientist and smart person would, but... yeah, at least we have a place where we can be ourselves."
"Uh, be ourselves from what?" I asked, "I mean... Do you honestly feel more secure with yourself in this place than on the sidewalk?"
"Yes, I do," he said, "You ever notice how the burgers here are so tender and crispy? It's kind of like biting in to a pancake, except without the taste. Pancakes taste gross. Burgers taste good. It was this realization that I had three summers ago, under the unbearable heat of the sun that led me to believe..."
"I keep having this dream where I fall and hit the ground," I said.
"What?" he asked.
"Leave me alone, is what I said," I answered. He walked away. My father, with a don't-ask-me-what-happened-because-I'll-tell-you smile, sat down next to me with his tray.
"Do you know who that guy was!?" he asked me.
"Someone I don't want to talk to?" I asked.
"No!!" he replied, "It IS someone you want to talk to. He is the coolest guy ever. He's the son of the owner of this restaurant. The owner is like, 98 years old. That guy is gonna be rich some day. Wow, I wonder how a human being can handle excitement like he can."
"I keep having this dream where I fall and hit the ground," I said.
"I said go away," I replied.
"Oh, okay," he said, "I'll go sit at another booth!" As he was walking away, he stopped midway and turned to say, "Ca-booshhhh.. We need reinforcements for these enemy hostiles! Det-det-det-det-det!!!" and, with a laugh and a chuckle, he disappeared in to the darkness that is Lord Valon's. Yes, I did just say that. The darkness that is Lord Valon's.
I bummed a cigarette off of my father and went outside. I figured that the nicotine high could only enhance the whiskey rumblings of my small intestine. As I stepped outside of Lord Valon's and started to light my cigarette, a weird yet familiar aroma lurked out in the night. I followed this aroma, completely withdrawing all obligations I had to caring for my father, and discovered the source of this familiarity. Before me, there stood a massive giant, clad in plastic Armorer's Guild (TM) armor and in one hand wielding a plastic Blacksmith's Anonymous (TM) sword, and in the other hand... a Marijuana cigarette burned, like a torch held in the air as American troops landed at Normandy.
"Is that a magic cigarette?" I asked politely.
"Why yes, it is," the warrior of magic replied, "Dost thou carreth for a toke?"
"I do... 'eth... I do'eth, yes," I said, taking the cigarette, and inhaling like I surfacing from being under the ocean for a week. I felt the eerie goodness of Marijuana coat the insides of my lungs. And it was good, for I saw the inebriation come.
"May I asketh what thou's nameth is?" he asked.
Regaining a sense of being fucked up (and therefore cynical and assholish), I replied with: "Uh, yeah... I suppose it is about that time that I tell my name to someone who thinks the English language needs to sound fanciful."
"Heh, yeah," he replied, "Some of the roleplayers seem to take the game a bit too far."
"Why are you smoking weed, though?" I asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well," I started, "It doesn't seem that nerds, playing D&D in their parents basement, would be interested in the subculture of drug use."
"Marijuana isn't a drug."
"Uhhhhh," I said, "Sure it isn't. Sure..."
"You want to come and play with us?" he asked, "It's not D&D, though. It's Magic: The Gathering. You come and play, and you'll get smoked up."
"I'm down," I said. The two of us traveled far in to the land, but even though my experience points were low, or that I didn't have enough creature cards, I still went with strength, boldness, and frigidity. I entered the poorly lit room, but it was difficult, as it was shrouded with beads hanging from the ceiling, and numerous incense burners. Once I made it past that barrier, I was pretty much in. I'm not sure if this was someone's room or the basement of some Magic card shop. One of the "deck masters" handed me a deck and said, "Here, take this deck. It might be your only chance of survival!" His pimples were on the brink of nuclear fallout.
"Uh, thanks," I said, taking the deck and dropping it on the floor on purpose, saying nothing about it, and trying to avoid conversation about this queer game, "So, uh, you guys have weed?" A joint was passed in my direction to the right, which I quickly hit. I turned to my left, to continue the passing rotation, but there was this kid wearing a Viking helmet with real moose horns, who said to me with a lisp...
"If you think for a moment that your 5/6 green creature will kick the shit out of me, then you are unfamiliar with the 1/1 royal assassin black card!" I looked at him, turned to the others, scratched my chin mentally. I remembered, there's a way of dealing with people like this...
"I keep having this dream where I'm falling and I hit the ground..." I said.
"You're ugly, get out of my face, that's what I said," I replied.
"Haha," the deckmaster said, "New kid has a sense of humor. What's your name?"
"There are some who call me... John," I replied.
"My name is Mark, but please, call me... Hannibal... Would you care for grog?" the deckmaster asks.
"Yeah, sure," I said. I was handed a bottle of Vinergy, 6% alcohol with caffeine. "Ummm... Isn't this a drink that old ladies drink?"
"Do not insult the grog, or you shall be forced to drink the mead!" one of them yells out.
"What is the mead?" I asked.
"Here, try it..." the deckmaster said, handing me a 40 ouncer of O'Douls, the non-alcoholic beer, "But be careful, for it might inflict you with a miserable curse of..."
"Give me a bottle of Vinergy," I said.
"What is Vinergy?" the deckmaster asked, "For, there is only grog and mead."
"Give me some grog, you fucker!" I yelled out. With that, the day started to pass much more quickly. Until about 11:00 P.M., I stayed up drinking Vinergy drinks and smoking weed. That's alcohol, THC, and lovely caffeine in my system. At first, I completely forgot about my father, but remembering that I left him at Lord Valon's didn't stop me from that 57th toke. In fact, I pretty much figured he'd be able to find his way back home from the Norwegian Kingdom... if he so decided to leave. Also, it should be noted that there was particularly attractive girl at this otherwise nerdy meeting who I could catch looking at me from the corner of my eye, from time to time. Her name, I would discover, was not Joline. Joline was only what she introduced herself as. What was her real name? I don't know. Is it possible that Joline was her real name? Ummmm, these are nerds, so.... no, it's not possible.
By the end of the night, it seemed that the nerds were dispersing. They were going to leave their Magic the Gathering table, go home to a bowl of warm, microwaved, store-bought applesauce, and have dreams about being adored by females for their abilities at D&D. I started to flirt with Joline.
"I'm not lying when I say this," I started, "But, you're beautiful, and I'd love for the chance to fuck you."
When she heard this, a smile lit up across her face, and she replied with, "Wow, that's flattering... I guess I will definitely have to take you home with me tonight." As a cheerful grin spread across my face like napalm in a Vietnamese rice paddy, my heart exploded with anticipation of orgasm. The THC spread through my body, filling me with aphrodisiac qualities. The alcohol depressed parts of my body. I wasn't even sure if I could feet the tips of my toes. My blood was borderline toxicity. And I was loving every minute of this wastedness.
She opened the door to her house and brought me to the foot of her bed. I was ready to jump out of my clothes. But, then...
"This is my boyfriend," she said, pointing to the passed out drunk on the mattress.
"Uuummmm?" I asked, "Aren't you going to fuck me?"
"No," she replied.
"But, you brought me back here for sex, right?" I said, "Because, that's what I wanted..."
"No, no, silly," she said, her mannerisms once sexy now just turning irritating, "You can sleep on this bed with me and my boyfriend, but no sex. The reason I brought you back is because I like it have people around me who like me, and that's why..." Before she could keep talking, I fell on the bed. In less than ten seconds, I was completely unconscious. It was a deep, restful sleep. I recollect waking up only several times to empty my bladder and fill up on liquids to help my liver digest those nasty neuro-toxins.
I found myself waking to an unfamiliar house, hearing the screams of an unfamiliar voice.
"I can't believe you, Carroll," Joline's mother screamed with her hounds out, "You're having an orgy with your two year boyfriend and some stranger off the street. He's probably homeless!"
I wanted to say something, I wanted to send a missile in the form of words at her nasty, crawly face. I wanted so much, I think I broke some sort of cosmic barrier... or at least one of the pre-cosmic ones.
She kept going, too. "You know that I raised you in a good, Christian home. I practiced 'spare the rod and spoil the child,' and here you are letting any guy stick his cock in your ass when he ants to."
Carroll, or "Joline," wasn't just taking this like it was nothing. Her replies were equally consistent with juveniles age 12 and under. "You don't know nothing about the world today, Mom. It's called independence today when women express what they want sexually. That is why I did have the orgy!" If this were a sex act, right now would be the point of cumming. I don't really understand why people confess to shit they never did. It really pisses me off. Especially when it gets me involved unnecessarily.
I walked in to the kitchen. Apparently, her mother had prepared breakfast. While the two were going at it, probably just a few hairs away from hot girl-on-girl action in the mud pit, I picked up the plate of eggs, sausages, and hash browns, and walked outside. I proceeded to consume someone's meal that was not mine on the front porch. Go me. I managed to drink several tall glasses of milk, unashamedly refilling the glass with the milk in the refrigerator. The bit in to the hash browns to discover how inedible they are. I scrapped them off back on to a different plate, taking some of its eggs and sausages. Yes, I left a hash brown with a bite mark on it in someone else's plate. But, the meal was good. Okay, so now is about the time that I prepare myself for the moral assault, for the "I bet you would have used extra butter if we had some!" But before that would come, an exit would appear... A car drove up, and the deckmaster and his fellow nerds were inside.
"Are you guys ready to go to the big Magic tournament?" the deckmaster said.
"I'm willing to go," I said, "You got a ride for me?"
"Of course," he said, "I'll get Joline."
"Uuummm... I'll wait in the car," I said.
Apparently, without cause, Joline decided not to go to the Magic tournament. I confirmed with my fellow comrades that Marijuana was going to be available in hallucinogenic doses at the tournament. "Ah, yeh, the magical substance that produces euphoria, but with a pungent smell, soothing the soul of all bad memories, shall of course be present..." As the wheels started to roll, I began drinking some whiskey I still had.
"Say, that's not whiskey, is it?" one of the nerds asks, "Because, you cannot drink any alcoholic beverages in a car in motion."
"No, it's iced tea," I replied, "I just... put it in a whiskey bottle so it would look cool."
"Oh, neat!" he said, "Can I have some?"
"Uh, no..." I replied, "I have Hep B. You don't want it."
"Ick!" he exclaimed, shielding himself from me with his hands. I smiled, and shwilled.
"We'll on our way soon," Mark, the deckmaster said, "But first, we must stop at a department store to pick up munchies."
"I'm down..." I said. We pulled in to a Sam's Club, and walked through. I shoplifted a bag or two of popcorn. Rounding one of the corners of the store, I ran in to a particularly interesting moment...
"Okay, deckmaster, do it now..." one of the nerds says.
As a girl rounds the corner, the deckmaster looks to him and says, "Oh, my friend... You are quite the skilled magician. When you conquered that daemon on only level five, you exemplified a supreme understanding of sorcery." The girl looked at the two boys with an awkward glance, both of them replying by stopping their conversation and meeting her eye-to-eye, and then she left the store. The two nerds' eyes followed her out.
"You call that souping me up?" the nerd said to the deckmaster, "Here! You can have half the money... Like it's hard to make what I did to that daemon sound anything but absolutely outstanding and sexy." The part of my brain responsible for interpreting human beauty has just died... but, maybe that's helpful. It almost feels like I have another brain lobe growing in to help me sense humanity. I might stop recognizing beauty when it comes to those innate little acts of emotion, but at least the experiences I have I will start to consider unique and enjoyable for their own sake. The nerd walked up to me...
"The girl had a picture of a dragon fighting a knight who had a Carthaginian shield," he told me, "This clearly denotes her interest to late B.C. military affairs in the Mediterranean. Why she rejected me, a whiz at the historical facts of this era, is quite clearly beyond the point of conjecture."
"I think you're reading in to it too much," I said, "She probably doesn't know the difference between a maul and a flail."
"Huh!" he scowled, "Take that back, from the future masturbation material I have!"
The deckmaster pretended to hold him back, "Ease up, now... He didn't mean it."
"I'm going to.... ummm.... go somewhere else.... where you aren't..." I said, sipping my whiskey in the department store and then departing. We finally were back on the road, and I started to run low on whiskey. "How much longer until we are there?" I asked.
"Oh, my fellow practicer of magic," one of the nerds said...
"I'm not a fellow practitioner of magic," I replied.
"If you aren't, then I won't tell you how long," he said, squinting menacingly, "After all, how do I know you aren't one of them!?"
"Fine, don't tell me," I said... One... Two... Three...
"It'll be about two days till we get there." Three seconds. It took three seconds to get him to crack.
"I'm glad that your social position in life makes you easy to manipulate and control," I said.
"Dork!" he comments. I giggled a little, with whiskey ripping through my body in a pulsing motion, like a calm wave... Slowly, the rocking of the car would ease me in to sleep. Sure, two days is a retarded ass amount of time to travel to a Magic Card tournament, but... I'm sure drugs will be involved. Good for me. I know where my priorities are at. I was slowly slipping in to sleep...
I thought about how I've changed over the years, how I remain to be a relatively typical man of apathy. This doesn't bother me. Being as apathetic as I am, how could it bother me? I remember some years ago, I made the final decision to myself: "I will not travel long distances to see other women for social engagements unless sex is directly involved." Now, when I reread this confession, I must admit, it does sound like an idiot, dumbass jock is saying it, with as many brain cells as steroids in his blood stream. The statement seems as much sexist as it is stupid. Was I saying that I wouldn't travel one hundred miles to see my ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend and play videos games? Yes, I was saying that. Was I saying that I wouldn't take a five-hour train ride to meet up with a childhood friend if she already was dating? Correct. Yes, I know these people who are close to me need affection, but I need sex. It's the strongest impulse in a man's body. Yeah, and the 13 year old me, so struggling with these concepts, would look at the new me and say: "That guy is a jackass. I would travel any distance to help tender the heart of a woman I cared about, whether friend or lover." Well, I've grown some balls and some self-confidence in the time between now and then. If I have to realize and react to the needs of other women, then they have to realize and react to the needs of this man. Simple, pure logic... But, then again, perhaps I've had too much to drink. I tried to make the others smoke weed, but they won't smoke weed in the car while someone is driving, because "second hand smoke could be the end of us, like a two-headed dragon of the underworld."
I remember drinking whiskey, falling asleep, drinking more whiskey in my sleep, waking up, drinking whiskey and eating some Marijuana, and sleeping some more and some more. It was a repetitive attack, as wave after wave of toxicity rammed in to my otherwise defenseless and unsuspecting liver. Every time I woke up, things were blurrier than last. Every time I fell asleep, it was with more ease than the last. My brain was slowly being poisoned, and I was powerless to do anything but enjoy it. I finally woke up... at the tournament... in a pile of Magic cards. I remember a long, restful sleep.
"Whoa, dude," one of the nerds said, "He's awake!"
"Are you hurt in any way?" Mark steps in, "I know of several sanctuaries around here that we could take you to if you need to recuperate."
"Yeah, the bathrooms are only twenty yards from here!" one of the nerds blurts out.
"No, no, I'll be okay," I said.
"Good, good," deckmaster says, "You didn't miss any of the competitions yet. The tournament is yet to begin. Then it will be three days of hardcore, magic-user on magic-user action."
"Three days," I said, rubbing my skull, "I don't think my liver, kidneys, and brain can take three more days."
"Wanna smoke some weed?" he asked.
"Do I!" We found some secluded place outside of the tournament hall and smoked weed in the woods. It was a particularly good strain of the Marijuana plant, I must say. It was a little weird, too, because it has been a little while since I've only had THC alone. Most of the time, lately, I've been drinking plenty of alcohol with my weed. We re-entered the tournament building.
"We are going now," Mark said, "Enter the dueling area if you dare witness the battles of magica!"
"Yeah, I decided to put some spice in to it... see ya'!" With that, he and his crew were gone. I had hours to kill. It is here, before the next event happens to me, that I would like to make a deposit in to the vault of philosophical ideas, or what I have in moments called "the list of reasons not to kill myself." I think that events happen for a reason. If a hurricane blows over a building, it is only so that the next hurricane didn't blow the building in to a crowd of hopeless school children. The only reason your ninth grade teacher caught you masturbating during history class is so she could take you to the back room and proposition you. Sure, you might fall off a 12 story apartment complex in a botched suicide attempt, but the result would be a nice prescription for Oxycontin -- and you would inject it like it was plasma and you were a dying gunshot patient. Yes, as the saying goes, things happen for a reason in life, and as I departed with these nerds, it wouldn't be more than two minutes before I heard...
"John! Hey John!" I turned around. It was Joline. "I came here after I explained to my mother how an orgy with you and my boyfriend was just a healthy act of rebellion in offspring."
"Yeah, that's funny," I said, "Seeing as we didn't have an orgy."
"It's about the principle," she explained to me, "It's the principle, dammit."
"Yeah, it sure is... it sure is..." I said, high as a motherfucker.
"So, are you here to watch the great and magnificent Magic tournaments?" she asked.
"Uh, no..." I said, "I'm here to drink booze and smoke weed, and I'm all outta booze." I swear, a vein in my eyeball just exploded enough blood to feed the third world.
"Yeah, same here," she said, "I just hang out with those Magic kids to get stoned."
"Wow," I said, "You looked like you were enjoying those Magic games that you played. I thought I was the only one who hung out with those kids just to get smoked up."
"Oh, I do appreciate the daemonic aspect of Magic, especially with the red color," she explained, to my visible dismay, "In Magic, there are so many interesting spells and cards that reflect so well on actual life. Personally, I'm more sympathetic with Satanism than with Magic cards, but then again, I do love Satan."
"Oh, so I see," I replied. Okay, so, for a moment, I had respect for her. She wasn't part of a subculture that worshipped a silly card game. But, it does turn out that she is fascinated with the idea of Satanism. She traded in one adolescent vice, or misguided attempt at living life, for another one. Maybe she doesn't play Magic: The Gathering, but she does... worship Satan, or something.
"Hey, you want to go in to the girl's bathroom with me, and we can cast Satanic rituals on this tournament so our friends win?" she asked.
"Uuummm, actually, I think I might have a dentist appointment in..."
"I have whiskey," she said, and then coming closer to whisper in to my ear, "We can also do something naughty... something better than sex. It will be worth your while."
"You have just enlisted Darkstaff, apprentice to the Satanic arts, to your party... Do you head north, south, east, or west?" I spoke coolly... In fact, I rocked.
We entered the girl's bathroom and she locked the door behind us, so that nobody would interrupt. I was ready to whip off my pants with the speed of lightning. "Here, help me spread this cow's blood in to the shape of a pentagram," she said, handing me a vial of red liquid.
"This isn't really cow's blood, is it?" I asked.
"No, it's red food coloring," she replied, "But just pretend!"
So, I did. I poured out a pentagram of red food coloring on the women's bathroom floor, she spoke some weird words on her knees, and was silent for a moment. With that, she turned to me and said, "It is done... do you want some vodka?"
"Do I!" I took the bottle and started chugging. It was Absolut Vodka, so that was do-able. It tasted so good. I've haven't had a burn like this since I exercised at the local gym.
"Now, it's time for something... nice... for you..." she said, with a smile that was half knowing, half curious, and all pleasing. "But, first, turn around..."
I let out a breath of air, "Oh, okay, fine." I turned around, and then she tapped me on the shoulder. She handed me her panties. She was still fully clothed otherwise.
"Um, what's this?" I asked.
"Well, you know I have a boyfriend," she said, "But you can have plenty of fun with this."
"Hey, you remember that time," I said, "You know, that time you said you were going to do something with me that was even better than sex, and then it turned out you only gave me your panties? Yeah, that time sucked."
"At least you got vodka out of it," she replied.
"I feel like I need therapy..." I walked out of the women's room with her and walked with her to the group of nerds who brought me here. And yes, I did keep the panties regardless. I am shameless, dear reader. Shameless. Anyhow, Joline brought me out to meet her friends. There was Joline's sister, who went by the name Lynn, and this old (I mean age 26) hippy dude who went by the name of Marx.
"See, it's like Lynn says," Marx spoke, "The human being has certain needs, certain desires, certain impulses. Ipso facto... If you're not fucking at least once every two years, you're not a human being."
"But then again," Lynn replied, "It's kind of like, if you are fucking at least once every two years, just how human are you?"
"Oh, that's deep, that's deep," Marx replied.
"It's not really..." I said, sipping thine vodka, "Oh, wait... that's right. It's against the social order to say what you think." I nodded.
"Hey, you're pretty cool, man," Marx said, "You want to smoke with us?" I'm starting to think that the only way to get accepted in to social circles is to directly insult its members. "Wait, wait... are you a cop?"
"Yeah, let me show you my badge," I said, flipping him off, "But, no, I'm not a cop."
"I hate cops, dude," Marx said, "They're just bastards. It's like, all they do is come in to crash out parties. They still have the cum stains of pride on their pants from the times they've raided me. They get off just by crushing someone else's day."
"You've thought about this," I said.
"Oh, yeah, definitely, dude," he said. We walked to a secluded spot outside of the tournament area. The entire area was thick with Marijuana spore clouds.
"So, yeah, like I said," Marx went on, "You've got to have sex, otherwise, you ain't human."
"Why is this so?" I asked, "I don't have sex all the time, but I'd like to. Does that count?"
"Yeah, I suppose that counts..."
"I was actually aiming for you to say that I wasn't human," I said, taking another puff, "But, please, go on."
"Some people say you need to only have sex when you're in love, but that goes against your base impulses, your instincts," he went on, "Sure, I'd like to have a meaningful relationship with a beautiful and intelligent woman, but sometimes my primary concern is with a woman's body. That's something that cannot be denied by any man. Throw your retarded ass neo-Feminism at me however you like, but people have needs, and addressing those needs cannot be considered a crime by any standard."
"I don't know," Lynn said, "I like to have relationships that have meaning and purpose in them."
"How would you ever get that post-orgasm!?" he asks. Post-orgasm. I need to use that phrase more often. Hopefully, one day I may reserve it solely for political conversations.
"Think about it," she said, taking her hit, "In life, it's always nice to have a lover. It's always a nice, positive aspect to fall in love with someone beautiful and attractive, who is as kind as they are warm. It's nice to go to sleep and wake up to the same face, to have great sex escapades with pulling of every part and orgasms every five minutes, to make everyone else feel like you suck for public intimacies. These are just some of the many positive qualities that you won't be able to expect from your average street whore."
"Sometimes," I said, "I think that when I pay a prostitute, I'm paying her to leave."
"That's cold, cold," Marx said.
"You've had sex with prostitutes?" Lynn asked.
"Not really," I said, "I meant women whom I've had to leave early in the morning without waking up so I wouldn't have to tell them I was leaving. I mean, really... what's the difference between simple sex and falling in love and sex? Sure, one is great, but that doesn't make the other useless."
"You'll have to fall in love to understand entirely," Marx said, "And when you do, I'll be here."
"So you can laugh at me?"
"No!" he said, almost seriously in the cloud of smoke he exhaled, "Only because I'll be there to nurse your tender and broken heart back to health."
"Come on, Marx, we all like to be fascinated by our own thoughts," I said, "But I seriously doubt I'll come to you to nurse my broken heart back to health."
"That's what they all say," he said, loading the pipe and passing it to me. Stoned like motherfuckers, we stumbled back in to the Magic tournament hall. I was going to head to some shop in the building to shoplift some food for my ravenous and daemonic munchies, but then I heard...
"Marx and I are going to have... a little fun..." she said, holding out a condom so that we all knew, "Oh, yes, that's right." She giggled like a satanic liche about to gut some poor fellow for drinking in excess. I wanted to kill her. At about this time, I believe, it is proper for me to make a direct deposit in to the bank of philosophical ideas. Everything happens for a purpose. The United States government doesn't make B-52 bombers for the sake of "national security," -- they just want to bomb the fuck out of a third world nation so that Christian Children's Fund will have something real to bitch about in global economics. The only reason why Christina Aguilera had an album was to infect 14 year-olds with mindless whoredom and drug use. Everything has a purpose. The only reason why your daughter wants to buy an electric toothbrush is to use it as a makeshift electric dildo. Everything that is done is done for the sole sake of somehow either disgusting or disturbing me... One way or another, I manage to wake up every night to terrible nightmares I call my life being run by others. With that said, I close the vault of philosophical ideas.
"That's okay," Lynn said, putting her arm round me, "John and I will be having a little fun, too, so ha!" I think it's about time that I make a third deposit to the vault of philosophical ideas, at least, so I can sound like a fucking fickle douchebag. Actual definition of "a little fun": Sex, enjoyable things of a sexual nature, etc.. That is all. Now, let the adventure continue.
As Marx and Joline disappeared to have their "little fun," my attention drifted towards Lynn. "What do you mean, we'll be having a 'little fun'?" I asked.
"Are you asking if I meant sex or a Magic card game?" she asked.
"Hey, if you've led the life I've been put through, that's a very legitimate question to ask a girl," I replied.
"Aw, the life you've been put through," she said, "You don't need to sound so melodramatic. You're at a Magic card tournament, high and drunk... is there anything more you could want?"
"Hey!" I said, pointing to her, "Actually... yeah, you do make a good point."
"Now, let's go get some food," she said. We walked through a food-vending store, examining the merchandise and acting like we were interested in the hourly ten cent off every purchase sale. If a manager or a store attendant walked past us, we made sure to loudly announce, "Yeah, but after my father got off crack, he started beating my mom again," -- "Jenny's back in rehab. I wonder if she will last more than two days this time," -- "Hey, do you still have that thing you found behind the couch? I'm kind of hungry," -- "I normally use bleach kits on my needles, but when they're from the sidewalk, what's the point?" Other peoples' tragedies are funny. And how could I feel any other way when I'm nothing more than a full-grown American boy?
"Hey, if you shoplift some candy, I'll fuck you in the ass with a dildo?" she offered.
"Hey, how about no?" I replied.
"Hhhmmmm," she smiled almost secretly, "I guess you're playing hard to get."
"That is a synopsis of my life," I replied, "When it comes to anything, I play hard to get. Yes, that is right."
"I'll do anything you want with you if you steal some candy?"
"Does sex sound okay?"
"Yeah, it does," she replied.
"Ah, so you're a woman of adventure," I replied, with a childish grin as though all the pieces of the puzzle had finally be put together and were in plain view, reading to me in block letters: "She wants to fuck you." I shoplifted the candy with as much ease as though I were picking up a paperclip. I left the store. She brought me to this part of the tournament hall that was under construction and we fucked like rabbits, several times. We even ate some of the candy while fucking. After about three hours or so, I wore down and we both smoked some weed and drank some Absolut vodka, and fell asleep in each other's arms for a nice nap. When we woke up, it was nighttime, and we were surrounded by complete darkness. She gave me a dazed look, giving her hold on my hand a bit of firmness, and with a sleepy smile said, "That was nice. All of it." As a man who knows how to appreciate artificial and natural mood enhancers equally, I can say that I truly enjoyed her comment.
In the back of my head, it felt like there was this yelling voice. I imagined that it was only the hangover, so I drank some more vodka and she shared a bowl of weed with me. We woke up, got wasted, and went about our way.
"Shoplifting is so fun," she said to me as we walked through the mall-like building, "It's the closest thing to adventure I can fine. It's a thrill."
"Yeah, very true," I said, "Shoplifting also damages those corporations that have managed to make our lives worthless. I mean, really... The side of that candy box I stole said 'extreme candy for extreme dudes.' How exactly is philosophical purpose and meaning going to compete with that? All purpose in the universe knows that it will lose, so they join the other side. Now we have whores on stage singing love songs and leaders of the police state saying shit like Bob Marley is an inspiration. If I have to spend one more day in this society of enthusiastic contradictions and commercialism, I think I will murder someone... or get drunk. Or... high."
"You're quite political," she said.
"No, I'm not," I said, "I just have my eyes open."
"Is that your way of saying that you know the right path but choose to ignore it?" she asked.
A smile came across my face, as for a moment, I had no idea how to reply. "You called it," I said, wishing I had a cigarette, to give me a two-second thinking leverage.
"I like you, anyway," she said.
"Thanks, I dig your style, too," I said.
"Dig my style?" she asked, "Is that your way..."
"Can we keep moving?" I asked, with another smile. We decided to find some place outside where we could smoke more weed in peace. As we were leaving the main entrance to the Magic tournament hall, I hear a voice in the distance, "Free beer! The lord Gaia wants you to be intoxicated!" My eyes opened and my ears stretched out.
"Did you hear that?" I said.
"Less talk, more walk," she said.
We ran in to this tall guy, with a long beer, wearing a complete suit of black leather, handing out free beer. "Awesome!" I said, as he handed me a beer. Lynn and I managed to get two beers a piece. We ended up using them as chasers to the bottle of Absolut Vodka. As the cold beer filled my stomach, mixing with the warm and unpleasant nausea of unbelievable amounts of vodka, I felt my heart warming. In forty years, when I'm writing my will like it's a suicide note, with my "I leave my cynicism to a new generation" and my "I leave my wealth to anyone but the ruling or capitalist class," etc., etc., at that moment in my life when I am expecting death from liver failure or some dumb antic I performed while drunk, I'll be thinking that the human race is doomed. What will come to me is the thoughts of men like Stalin, Mussolini, Malosevich, and at least twenty third world dictators that thought places like Chili and South Africa would better be ruled by a caste-system than Democracy. By that time in my life, I will probably have completely forgotten about this magic tournament that I attended and the highs I attained here (sex, alcohol, THC). And, to my great misfortune, I bet I will not be thinking about this guy handing out free beer -- quite literally, this man is the pinnacle of human achievement and advanced civilization. He is embodied with the ideals of a better world: inebriation, control of your mind, charity, and kindness. There are fewer things one should strive to attain.
By the way, I ditched those panties. I do not think that explaining them to Lynn would be a pleasing experience in any definition of the term "pleasing." We hung out in the food court for a bit of the time, using empty Lord Valon paper cups to hold our beer and our vodka -- which was odd, because I couldn't find a Lord Valon's in the entire tournament hall. This leads me to the rather devastating conclusion that these nerds were going on Lord Valon runs and bringing back grub for their fellow kin. Yes, disturbing. After further intoxication with the vodka and the beer, Lynn and I decided to go shoplifting. As a general rule, shoplifting while drunk is immoral (i.e. you're caught more easily), but we did it anyway. It was kind of fun. We managed to steal two six packs of cold beer. After that, we went to the area of the tournament hall that was under construction, got loaded even more, and fucked. I was so wasted by this time, that I couldn't achieve orgasm. But, when I woke up three hours later with a hang over, I drank a little more, woke her up, and we fucked again. Go me. I'm the Bohemian man.
After we slept another 14 hours or so, we walked out of the construction area to find that the tournament had still been going on. Nerds were flinging spells and war chants at each other in a way that would make most D&D kids cum their pants. Slightly disturbed, we found some of our fellow nerds hanging out, not playing. We joined their company.
"How goes it?" Mark, the deckmaster, asked us.
"It goes very well, and very high," I replied.
"Good to hear this," Mark said, "I'm still in the tournament, but I'm taking a break. All the others here, except for Jordie, have already lost and now are just playing for fun."
"That's cool," I said.
"Hey, you wanna smoke some weed?" Marx asked.
"Hey, you wanna drink some vodka?" I replied. So we exchanged. We disappeared to the cut place in the forest outside the tournament and smoked and drank. It was a good time. These nerds continued their talk about StarTrek and Star Wars and all those other human abominations.
"I shimply don't undershtand the pshychological implicationsh of shomeone who wantsh to commit shuicide," one lisp-infected nerd offered his wisdom, "I mean, it'sh ushed ash an indicator by pshychologistsh to help them determine if their patient ish mentally healthy or not."
"Yeah, I hear ya," I said, not really understanding, "In my opinion, suicide can definitely be a clear sign of sanity, if your life sucks really bad and shows no sign of improvement. But then again, that's just my opinion."
"I'm going in to the food court to get some grub," Marx said, leaving with all the nerds except one passed out one. As we found ourselves alone, an idea came to mind...
"Hey, you want to make out while that nerdling is unconscious?" I asked.
"Why don't we write all over him?" she asked.
"Ooo, better yet!" We wrote on his hand, "This hand was in my ass," and on his arm was, "I lick ass," and on his legs were, "Ask me about my vagina," and "Inject the female hormones here." The other nerds arrived to see their friend still unconscious and now full of uninhibited wisdom.
"Did you guys write all over Joshua when he was passed out?" one of the nerds asked, "Dude, that is so not cool. He will be scarred for life."
"Um, I guess?" I offered.
"What did you write on him?" he asked, "Huh!? Tell us!"
"Uh, you can probably identify my writing by looking at the legible and spelling error-free hand-writing," I replied. What? I didn't say anything.
We ditched that crew again and went on another shoplifting tour. We walked through the mall-like building holding hands. It's almost sad, almost pathetic, but consequently also true... I think I'm falling in love with Lynn. We found our way in to a convenience store.
"Here, you should steal this," she said, pointing to a box of candy.
"Uummmm, do you really want something that says 'a full 200 grams of flavor'?" I asked.
"Oh, come on, I want it..." she said.
"Yeah, and I want to maintain my freedom," I replied, "Come on, it's totally unnecessary. We still have some beers and plenty of vodka. There is absolutely nothing we need here."
"Pleaaaase steal it for me," she said, tugging at me, "Otherwise, I don't know how exciting our sex will be."
"Fine," I conceded with a friendly smile, "You're a girl who enjoys the adventurous man. So, I guess I will oblige." I shoplifted it with ease. The ghost of the clerk's dead grandmother that haunted the store didn't even see us rip it off.
After that, we headed back to the area of the tournament hall that was under construction, so that I could get some well-deserved sex. As we were walking there, a nerd from the Deckmaster's crew bumped in to us. "Hey, did you shee that last duel between Mark and that guy from Norway?" he asked.
"Uh, no..." I replied.
"It was fantashtic," he said, his lisp unavailing, "He pulled out the Killer Bees in the second turn because of a Wild Growth and it was just so cool. He even had a --"
"I keep having this dream where I fall and hit the ground."
"I said, when a man is walking with a girl that he is about to have sex with, he doesn't want you to interfere by posing some remarks that he doesn't want to know about," I said, "Go away."
"You're mean," Lynn said with a grin, tugging at my arm.
"Yeah, I know," I replied, "Let's go."
So, yeah, we ended up fucking again. I think it was either the second or third time, but as this Magic tournament is proving, things are becoming difficult to remember. But that's only a sign that my soul is remaining pure... or, maybe my urine. Yeah, I think it's a sign that my urine is remaining pure. We passed out again. I'm not sure what day it was, but when I woke up, it was just getting dark out. I had no idea what time it was when I finally came to. Oh, well...
She was eating the candy I had obtained when I woke up. "You want some?" she asked.
"Nah," I replied, "I may have not eaten in just about three days, but I'm good."
"Your loss," she replied.
"Empty calories," I said, rubbing my stomach, "Oh, yeah... I feel like I've lost so much already by turning down your offer."
"Such an ass," she said, with an evil grin.
"I'm aware," I replied.
"Let's go shoplifting again," she said.
"Hell no," I said, "I didn't want to shoplift last time. Why the fuck would I want to do it right when I wake up? I'll go with you if you want cover, though."
"Okay, let's go," she said. We went to the store and she started looking through the items. I mossied through the store. "Hey," I said to the clerk, who didn't look up from his D&D book. "Yo," he replied. Easy as cake. I walked back over to Lynn.
"Here, take this," she said.
"Didn't I say no already?" I replied.
"Come on, please?" she said.
"If you don't, I won't sleep with you again," she said.
"Then definitely no," I said, "If you're going to pull that card, then fuck you." I walked out. I really didn't feel like explaining it. All I knew is that I still had my Absolut vodka on me and at least half of the beer in my pockets... I think that voice in the back of my head that was screaming before was active in my dreams, and told me to prepare for a breakup like this if it happened. I felt like explaining to her how I felt, of hearing her say "It's only a small shoplifting," and replying, "I know, but it's a big deal to me, and you should respect my desires." I started walking through the tournament hall drinking the Absolut vodka straight, even though I just woke up -- though that never has stopped me before from enduring intoxication. I didn't care if anyone saw me drinking. It felt that bad. I found Marx, though. I walked over to a table he was sitting at in the food court.
"Shouldn't you be playing Magic?" I asked. He looked up from his book (which probably just had hippy ideas in it).
"I don't play Magic. I came here only to buy some good fucking weed" he said, "How are things going with Lynn?" I took a seat at the table.
"She dumped me," I said, "Well, I walked away from the situation, anyway, because I found out that she only fucked me in exchange for my shoplifting skill."
"She wanted your quick hands on the merchandise and not on her," Marx said, "That's the oldest story in the Bible."
"Your humor failed to cheer me up," I said.
"Shouldn't you be treating this as a blessing, a lesson that god has given you, making you a little bit smarter?" he suggested.
"Shouldn't you be finding a new way to die?" I replied.
"Uhhh, nevermind," I said, slunked over again.
"I totally told you this would happen," he said, "You remember, right?"
"Yes, I totally remember," I said, "Your voice was screaming in the back of my head like a woman being eaten to death by wolves."
"Ah, well, I don't remember," he said, "I just figured that I probably told you it would happen."
"Okay, so yes, it sucks," he said, putting a bookmark in his book and closing it, "Yeah, it sucks to fall in love in three days and then have the entire relationship crumble in a matter of minutes. I know. And I know how Lynn is. It must've been fuckin' crushing. Sure, maybe you're not the type to fall in love often, or maybe you think of yourself in that way. I don't know you very well, but I do know that you are very open and honest about yourself, except maybe when talking to police. So, move on. Find another girl, a different girl, or a harem of girls. You can't let this set you back in your entire life. And it doesn't mean you won't ever find love, if that's what you're looking for. Hell, I know you're thinking that the last thing you will look for is Tequila-enticed love."
"You mind-reading bastard," I said, "A bastard, nonetheless, though."
"Yeah, but don't give up entirely on it," he said, "Love can be a provocative field. If you find yourself the right girl, you might be able to use her to improve yourself. Besides, you get carnal satisfaction, so not like you would argue."
"True," I said, "And now I need to find a way to get back to my parents' house, since the tournament seems to be winding down and after I wrote all over that one nerd, I bet they won't give me a ride back... Who won, anyway?"
"The deckmaster, Mark, did," he said.
"Good for him," I said.
"That's the spirit," Marx replied, "If you want to get back to your parents' house, there's a transit station a few blocks from this building. Here's a used bus ticket. If you put it in the fare box upside down, he won't be able to tell if it's used or not."
"Sweet, thanks," I said, "Thanks for all your wisdom. I appreciate it." We shook hands, and I got up, starting to walk away, but then..
"Hey, John..." I hear Marx's voice, "You want to smoke some PCP?"
This brings us to the end of this adventure, the adventure of the Magic tournament, involving the intoxicants known as Marijuana, alcohol, PCP, and love. I thank the gods for making these magical drugs that influenced my body. When I got on the bus, I was blasted on PCP and alcohol. The bus driver asked me, "Why did you put the ticket in backwards?" My response: "Why are you late?... No, just kidding, you're cool." I walked passed him on the bus without further permission. I remember drinking the vodka and looking out the window, feeling a bit more optimistic, a bit more satisfied with my existence as a human being. Some guy moved from his seat and sat next to me, saying, "Hey, what is with that smell of Marijuana on you!? Hmmmm!??" I turned to him in a quiet rage, expressing, "Dude, get the fuck out of my face right now!" He turned and left. That asshole probably wanted some of my shit. Ah, well. I kept drinking, and managed to get within seven blocks of my house. I walked back, collapsed in to a deep sleep, and when I woke, my parents never knew that I was gone. One of my hometown friends asked me where I disappeared to, and all I could say was: "I disappeared in to a world full of magic, PCP, and love... and I'm never going back."