Chapter Four: A Pink Elephant’s Shoes (Momentary Manic)
“You’ll see him in your nightmares, you’ll see him in your dreams
He’ll appear out of nowhere but he ain’t what he seems
You’ll see him in your head, on the TV screen
And hey buddy, I’m warning you to turn it off
He’s a ghost, he’s a god, He’s a man, he’s a guru
You’re one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan
Designed and directed by his red right hand…”
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds . Red Right Hand
Under his tongue it dissolved, as the world did in his mind. Fading obliquely into oblivion, an obtuse angle of Hell. Josh knew it was a mistake, but he felt wonderful. This little scrap of paper was taking him on a one-way trip to Heaven, and when he returned to earth, he wouldn’t even know. But this wouldn’t be a trip with skiing elephants or cats in striped hats, nay… this would be more euphoric than juvenile visuals or simple, creeping shadows around the corners of his eyes. This would be dissolving…
Of his consciousness, of his life, of everything he thought he believed in. This would be a visceral, transcendent experience. All this knowledge on a tiny scrap of paper, written on with the directions to the Pearly Gates of Heaven.
“Wait! This isn’t where we were going. Let us rewind, reverse and restring this matter of circumstance. Let’s take a look back, let’s go further. Let’s see beyond what we see. Beyond Pride Rock, beyond the Church and State, beyond our plans for a greater future, beyond all the stars in the universe – let’s look beyond and see the truth. Let’s take a step further, let’s step on through. Let’s run to the mountains of Montezuma and find the answers to life, to why we’re here, to why we’re witnessing the end of the world while no one else seems to notice. Let’s see. Let’s let go. And fall. Freefall into it all. Freefall into the plethora of answers, that will fill our heads so full, we’ll be able to do nothing but curl up and sleep and fade away. Because with all the answers we’ll find there, there will be nothing to do. No reason to go on. We could show others the path, but they’ll commercialize it and sell it to the highest bidder and charge admission and put up roller coasters, hot dog stands, and have side show attractions. Attractions like us. No, this is for us, us alone, and if they happen to stumble upon it, then fine. It’ll be long after we’re gone…… end.”
Warped and wrapped, his head spun like a top, preparing to lift off from earth at any second, propellers whirring silently. The park they had been at a couple of weeks before was now cast in daylight, and almost to capacity. Not of little children, but of their friends, like they all had been so many years ago, on his birthday – tripping their balls off. Some lay, huddled against the grass, transfixed by the insects crawling about, their hard shells glinting in the sun hanging high overhead, beating down on them. Josh’s brow was stippled in sweat, which he began to wonder if it was the colors he was seeing; raspberry red, luscious orange and sunset violet. He wondered, focusing on a set of ever shifting, transforming clouds, and the hands of Beth caressing his stomach under the Tool t-shirt he had on with her fingernails, but at this moment, she was not around. Not in his head, anyway. She was distant, nowhere, everywhere, what was running around on his stomach could have been anything, he cared not.
“We need a new high.” He spoke to no one, but to Beth in particular.
“What are you thinking, Josh?”
“Something natural, something pure – something organic. Something like mushrooms, maybe even peodi. ‘Shrooms, though, I am sure, are easier to find. And we should. We should find a couple grams, eat them, and soar with the birds. Reaching a new high, a high we could never imagine.”
“If you say so, Josh. But this is pretty comfortable, to me.” She whispered softly in his ear, her voice dripping down his neck like honey.
“That’s the problem. Comfort. We need to find something uncomfortable. A vulnerable place. A place where we can reach deep inside, to the tender parts, and lift ourselves up, so that we can evolve and move on. Rise up above the revolution, and make our own path. See, that’s the problem, kitten – a revolution is a circle. The same shit, over and over and over and over and over. What’s the point? It’s a cycle. A vicious cycle. An unneeded and unending cycle. No, we should rise above. It’s the only way. The only way.”
“Josh, c’mon, man… are you losing it on me? Is this a repeat of a few years ago?”
“A few years ago?” he stammered, trying to remember, and suddenly, a pinch in his frontal lobe released, and flooded his mind with memories. Memories he had suppressed for a reason, memories he wasn’t sure of suppressing, and memories he simply did not want.