CW: Drug use.
There is nothing worth looking at. It’s just a lot of pictures of birthday parties and cans of beer, nature scenes, and people whom I don’t really know. My finger is flicking the endless images up into the folds of my phone, where I imagine them going on forever like the opening to Star Wars. My mind is in a state of excited dullness. Consumed by the hole of the endless scroll.
It’s after noon and I still haven’t heard from James. I’m sweeping up crumbs on the kitchen floor into a corner, there's all this dog hair too. All these memories being swept up into a dusty pile of chaos. My daughter’s snacks, skin particles that flaked off and tumbled to the floor, an assortment of hair from all of the house's occupants.
James is a long and heavy sleeper, probably was out all night or couldn’t sleep again. I sit on the toilet to pee and stare at my phone. My dick hangs between my legs small and cold. My piss is warm and I pee several times in this position. My dick grows every few minutes to something I'm looking at, a fantasy of a different life bubbles up and I wake from my fishbowl and flush the toilet.
I can’t stand being in this house any longer and so I leave. I take the car over the mountain into the valley on the other side. Fall has arrived with its orange and red colors. When I get to the apartment building where James lives I make my way through the winding path past a small lazy river and spouting fountains. I knock on the door. In the stillness I open my phone and stare at it looking for something worth looking at. What could it possibly be? Where is it? What am I looking for?
I ring the doorbell and I hear it chime inside. My phone begins to ring.
“Is that you at my door?” James says, half awake.
“I couldn’t wait around anymore. What did you do last night?”
“I’m coming to the door,” he hangs up.
James lives in a cave. It's always dark and cool and as my eyes adjust to the darkness I can see shapes like they were rock formations, stalagmites and crystals in the dim corners and strange photos on the walls. A small shrine is where the dining room would be, but its lined with bookshelves instead. Religion, Philosophy, alchemy, mythology, and the occult. In the light with the door open, I catch sight of a Buddha sitting cross legged with a star of David around its neck, gold and shimmery.
Piled up next to the couch in beer boxes are empty bottles and cans of a diverse company. There is nowhere to sit except on the small couch, but we just stand there.
“What did you do last night?” I ask, eyeing the bottles and cans.
“Just drank,” he hesitates a moment before continuing.
“I had someone over.”
I don’t ask who but wonder if it was a woman.
After getting dressed James goes to the shrine and lights some incense, a candle. From a small drawer that the Buddha with the star of David sits he pulls out a cylinder of foil. In the dim candle light he peels back a silver flap revealing ten buttons of LSD.
With scissors he cuts them at their seams and hands me one. I look at it and wonder what it will do to me.
We take our buttons and move them around in our mouths and talk about the baseball postseason. When the button has dissolved I take a drink of water and ask if he has any beer.
I don’t normally drink Stella but today it tastes really good to me. I look outside the window, a geyser of water is shooting up and crashing down into the pool underneath.
“How long do we wait?” I ask.
“About an hour or so.”
When it begins to come on we are watching game two of the NLDS. It's a subtle thing when you aren’t paying attention to it. The objects in my periphery begin to stand up and move toward me. When I look at them they sit back down as if they were beings, but its only the mundane objects found in a small apartment. A feeling of lightness comes over me and my body begins to sway. Things move like snakes or invisible lava; opaque skin folding over itself.
“I feel it.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“I gotta take a shit.”
In the bathroom it's quiet and bright. It feels like I’ve entered into a new and different world. Staring at the wall watching it become crashing islands I notice a mist billowing around me. The shower curtain has a print of a misty mountain scene. The mist is filling the entirety of the bathroom.
Looking at my phone the letters are all 3D and full of tracers. My finger slides over the glass surface, over the slim block of light. I’m sending signals. Messages across space and time of the digital universe. We are travelers of the invisible places between the wires and mainframes. The pixels of light luring us into a kind of dream.
Later when James excuses himself to the restroom I walk over to the fireplace. On the mantle are various small statues. Frederick Nietzsche stares out from a bronze bust. Next to him is some kind of Hindu God. I stare at these for a very long time. A voice begins to emerge inside my head. It sounds like my own but vastly smarter than me.
“You're Not listening. Why are you wasting your time?”
We watch things. Consuming them in our half brains. Scrolling phones and baseball plays. Eerie movies and EDM beats are occasionally interrupted for a bathroom break or another glass of water. The voice tells me to listen. To go dark. To be its holder. My phone looks like a digital space rock. Glowing and feeding me information I never asked for. It just appears and I eat it. Gobbling it all up with empty satisfaction.
We smoke pot and immediately the walls begin to swirl like oil in water. My grin expands and my legs feel like air, warm, tingly air.
My phone buzzes in the dim and I stupidly answer messages that come to me from the digital universe. Exploding into reality from a dimension I can’t see. I send messages back into the invisible soup, popping particles into life. Signals received tell me I must go. Tired now. I leave the apartment, my vision is getting close to normal but I feel a strange pull and push around me like gravitational waves emanating from a center I can’t see.
On the drive in the quiet I hear the voice. But its so distant now I can’t hear the words. But I know what it is saying.
You didn’t listen. Why didn’t you listen to me?