[Kathmandude's Midweek] High and Dry
[Ace blogger Kathmandude tries to imitate Hunter Thompson after failing miserably to imitate Woody Allen. Here's his dose of fiction for this week. You can find him [HERE]]
Yesterday, I went to a drugstore and an under-qualified, medicine practitioner asked me, ‘Yes sir, what do you require?’ I said, ‘Whatever you got in your head’. The stout practitioner looked at me, gave a cold glance as the brown pupil of his narrow, lightly eye-browed eyes broadened until it could inflate no more. He probably had the police on his thick head.
‘I don’t know’ I said. ‘I just want something sleepy’, rather nonchalantly. What I really wanted was an ethereal, unwavering and stretched sleep after a dreary day with marijuana. I had a bad trip. I was far from being hip. I probably looked like a pig on acid, pulpy, unkempt, smelly and morose. More like a hungry pig on acid. I never knew how the mind would react to a ripe, galcchi weed. Sometimes I would be mellow, sometimes anxietic and sometimes queer. But this time, I was very low. It had taken me down on all fronts. It was a gruesome boxing day and I lost the march with my other, paranoid, over indulgent self in the midst of all that hullaballoo where all sorts of people were chanting and raving and discouraging my advance. It caper cut with a grin smile and some dodgy dancing as it took jab after a jab and when I gave in to the shameful surrender only agony and wretchedness ensued. I am no Cinderella Man. I got beat by myself on the inside. I was already feeling sleepy but I figured, I would have to sleep through a nightmare as if I hadn’t got enough of it when in was awake.
‘Look, I have a headache and I need some pills to sleep over it’ I said calmly.
‘You need a prescription, sir’ he replied, with a dubious look.
‘Oh! I don’t have the time for it, okay’ I said, sternly. He looked at me nervously. The background didn’t help either. It was a small store with an archway to another small, dark compartment where an adjustable, navy green, Gatch bed facing an ineptly painted yellow wall and a lightly lacquered bureau stood just next it. There were bottles of medicine and pink stains, hither and thither on the cheaply carpeted floor. Since the pharmacist was very reluctant to give me a sleeping pill, I thought if I dramatized the act a wee bit then that could be it.
‘Can I lie there for a while then?’ I feigned a smile. I could feel my cheeks were in trepidation. I need a cigarette, I thought.
‘Yes, surely. I can check you up too if you want’ he became less skeptic, I guess and showed me to the compartment. I reclined on the cushiony bed, quite comfortable and as had I merely closed my eyes, I dodged off instantly.
I woke up to a slight pinch on my ankle. I tried to get up but couldn’t. My head was stuck. Maybe I didn’t even have enough energy to get up, I thought. But, I was stuck. Gradually, a dangling, zero watt, tubular, compact fluorescent lamp began to glow bright, white and hurt my narrow, drowsy eyes. It didn’t stop till I pursed my eyes so hard that my head went numb for a couple of minutes. A side effect, I thought. But, it never happened to me. Does weed even have a side effect, I wondered. Maybe it’s the anxiety being released after much suppression. It does make people calm when stoned.
But, I wasn’t stoned. I was far from being stoned. It was a bad trip. No, I wasn’t with the wrong company. They were funny people, of course, random and silly with Rizla papers blazing into thick air as hours passed on that rooftop with even sillier parasols. They were immaculately kept. But, it didn’t shadow us form piercing sunlight and when rain poured sometimes, they merely stood there, through a hole on marbled tables like a dick, swelled on Viagra with nothing to penetrate but the bland breeze. I didn’t know what to do. I looked at my watch but the needles had stopped. I gave a good, old rap on and it beeped. That was strange, it was an analog. Maybe I was thinking too much. It could well be that disgusting lump of hash which I had rather reluctantly mixed and smoked. I am a sociology major, I never saw more visible group dynamics anywhere than in stoners circle.
Maybe I am dreaming, I thought. I had heard someone say, ‘If you are lucid dreaming then look up, It’s all pink’. I looked up and instead of crayola or salmon, it was silver. I looked at it and it changed into yellow. I stared at it and again it changed into green. I was about to be in hysterics. I won’t look at it, I promised myself. I tried hard not to look at it and in matter of seconds, I forgot about the sorcery. I squeezed my eyes for a while, real hard, and promptly opened it. I was still in the same place. Laying there, paralysed and apprehensive of what was going on.
Suddenly, a porn star whom I had flapped to, last night, appeared. That’s a relief, I thought. She was a brunette, slightly fair, crooked nose, curvy hips and pillow shaped bosoms. She gave me a broad smile and advanced towards my crotch like she was going to rip them apart and devour all that is important to me for a joyous life. Any man who can overcome their primal desire to procreate can surely go on to be a great pain to humanity. I wasn’t even remotely such a man. Of course, I want to be a great pain to humanity but at such a cost, no way. Everyone has an Achilles heel, I guess.
As the brunette advanced towards me, in a paroxysm of seduction, I tried to hold her arm and draw her towards me, fiercely. But instead, my hands went through her and I realized rather fearfully that she was an apparition. I grew timid and retreated towards the revolting yellow wall.
‘What in the black magic are you?’ I shuddered.
‘I am what you yearn for but what you can’t have, baby’, she replied with a nosy, seductive voice.
‘Oh, swell. I thought of going places with you’, I remarked sardonically.
‘Then, let’s visit places’ she said, jubilantly.
Suddenly, a bright white flashed and my eyes went dead. After a while as the darkness cleared and visuals restored, I found myself at a river bank, opposite to Pashupati Aaryaghat. And the first thing I noticed was the Eye Excision Center where hundreds of eyeballs were drowning on Jack Daniels in miniature cookie jars. I wasn’t surprised there were quite a few drunk priests doing the death rituals who were alighting the cadavers. I always liked the dense, white smoke of a cremation, that smell of sandalwood, butter, tilak and cheap, yellow, linen shroud upon which all sorts of mantras are printed mixed with human flesh when burned gives a distinct smell, almost pungent yet uncannily aromatic. We were just in time to witness my favorite part. A heartbroken son giving his last respects. He alights a pyre and puts it inside the gaping jaws of his father. The slimy head flames like seduced woman, instantly and ravenously consuming the flesh with its rage.
‘Isn’t it beautiful’, the apparition asked.
‘Yes, death has always fascinated me’, I sighed. ‘We all die one day. And in the end, it’s all but a circus’ I said, rather poignant. Slowly, the scene faded and I was back on the Gatch bed.
A dream had passed and I woke up to a rather stressed pharmacist. It had only been a couple of minutes. He gave me a glass of water to drink and some Triazolam. I went off happily wondering if the porn star would again give me a visit.