Updated: Oct 22, 2019
I found myself hunched inside the 2009 Range again for the third time this month. Eyes puffed from a thousand imaginary wasp stings, skin itching and peeling as if I’m an opioid addict lost in a 2-hour remission period.
It’s July 15th, and we’re running half way through a Summer long reckless abandon of all we knew. And today, I realised Hell is something unique we each create in our imaginations. I mean, I’ve seen the real thing 7 times this year.
As the crickets harmonized, I gave the sun one last kiss goodbye before the moon would come and show his face again.
Through the driver’s window, staring face to face with the death of today, my mind wandered, wondering, ‘Is God real?’
Every morning my dear friend would resurrect like some sort of cocaine messiah, so it’s not impossible there’s a man in the sky orchestrating all of this, with one hand on his conductor’s baton.
Drugs are my friend’s safe place. His hamster wheel of inertia. His dog tail he endlessly chases. Doing nothing is everything to him, but it’s okay because there’s nothing you can do until you float back down to Earth.
My skeleton fingers tweak the car radio. I’m guessing from the amount of songs that’ve played that it’s been around 25 minutes he’s been out there. 25 minutes of him playing chicken with his sanity. He’d reminisce to me about the times he’d get spiked with laced pills, as he was some teenage girl at a college party. At the time, my thought was;
‘Did he buy them on purpose? Knowing what they were, and the consequence, just to feel something different? Just for the risk?’ being familiar with his character.
Meanwhile, my soul is just flat lining. Whether this is what peace feels like, or if it’s just another type of numbness, I’m not so sure myself.
“Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be in bed by 10pm each night, and be awake by 6am each morning?”
Rolling my eyes toward him, I’d say,“I do have a 9 to 5 outside of this, you know?”
My friend’s head would shake, sipping his brown numbing juice; “Not after what we did you won’t.”
“No more early retirement dreams for you. This is living. This is the rest of our lives.”
As I chewed and ripped my nail cuticles, he chirped, asking again, “So, wanna smoke?”
My eyes lowered from the sky into the grass below. There he is. A child making snow angels. Laying face up, spread eagle in the dirt, with pupils filled with more emotion I’d seen than when he’d talk about his past life, before me.
My fire haired friend launched himself headfirst into the stars to shake hands with the planets. Coasting comfortable on a high-high, so Heaven’s below him. My legs sink into the carpet, his mind just elevates. The universe is his playground and mom said he doesn’t have to come home tonight.
We started this together 2 months ago. I decided to skip the ending, but he’s still stuck there. Taking a blue pill still meant losing him to the matrix. His eskimo skin. His orphan suit. His 25 years of psyche he’d unpack in a single night. My human cigarette. My own human ruin, who’s currently far beyond my reality.
With my head pressed against the window cracks, with my feet pushed into the dead pedals, my focus steadied on his glazed cherry pie eyes that are stuck married to the night. I remember my fire hearted friend once telling me, “A clear sky might show peace, but it means all the stars are dead.”
This forced me to question ‘Was this why he gets lost in them? Wanting to give them the company he’s never had?’ staring at the stars with him, from the comfort of a car seat.
Up there he’s free from himself. He’s on holiday away from his own Hell. He’s not dancing with scissors for shoes. He’s not held together with broken layers of duct tape. He’s not a half empty glass of whiskey. He’s not hurting anymore.
He’s just Ricky.
And that’s the only time I’ve been able to picture him as a little boy.