I am a revolutionary. No, that’s a bad way to start.
There are times when I think a great deal of myself. Then there are the other times. More on that later.
This is the end of the beginning. Most likely it is an insignificant blip on the vast landscape of human history. But don’t worry; I’m pretty sure the trains will still run on time. Ok, wait. Start over…
There is me, that is, the Prophet. The rest of the team, that is, Tommy Wolfe, Jonathan Livingston (called Seagull) and Ophelia. And then there is the Emperor. His name was Napoleon V. He was a midget. Oh, and then there was Juliet. And this is our story. My story. And like everything in my life it begins with a girl and regret. Always regret.
Regret, ah yes. She is the bitch that makes me want to forget. She is the bitch that makes me need to forget. But for you, I’ll try to remember. She may be my Juliet, but I’ll never be her Romeo.
My memory is ambiguous at best. I’m a drunk and my existence has always had a tenuous relationship with reality. Fading in and out as it were. It fades. Everything fades…with time. But most of my life faded while it was happening. Just one big fucking haze. And there was never anything else. Nothing before. Nothing after. And nothing to look forward to. She was such a fucking bitch.
The trains ran on time. It was raining. I don’t really know what time it was, the sky was to overcast to tell. But at least the trains ran on time. Somehow, their regularity seemed to sooth the pain in my heart. I figured that at least something was working the way it was supposed to.
Juliet seemed so perfect when I first met her. Of course that was probably because I was really drunk at the time. That callous, cold-hearted, frost bitch made me a poet.
I never loved her. Tommy did. But I never loved her. For a while I thought I might. But that was only because I thought I loved every bitch willing to suck my cock. Even the whores. Sometimes especially the whores. There was this one fucking slut I picked up at a club – she wasn’t really a whore in that she didn’t have a pimp and she didn’t “charge” but she got paid. But when we were fucking…she got me closer to god. Or something. I never saw her after that night. And for the next 3 months I thought of her whenever I got laid. Goddamn Juliet. She fucked me up real solid like.
I had never killed a man.
I don’t know whether that should surprise you or not. I mean, killing isn’t really something most people do a lot of nowadays. I am not and have never been a soldier. Or a communist. I’m not really much of a fighter in general. It is only by coincidence that my father was named Mersault. We are not French. And I will hear no insinuations to the contrary. And as for me, I am no Mersault. I am the Prophet. But that is beside the point. It wasn’t the sun. I think. Drinking beer in the hot sun is fun and all, but it has never made me want to kill a fucker. I wasn’t drunk either. Just to clear that up.
You don’t really need a reason to kill a man. Having a reason helps you deal with the consequences; helps you rationalize your actions. But you don’t really need a reason to kill a man. I’m not a violent person. In general. I mean, there have been times. Everyone has times. Not in years though. I don’t know how to release the rage anymore. It just simmers now. Don’t get the wrong idea. It isn’t going to boil over or anything. I’m not a threat. That’s not what this is about. It isn’t about me. Strike that. Reverse it. It is about me. It’s all about me. But it isn’t about my problems or my rage issues. I don’t have any. I don’t. It’s about reality, life in general. And why it doesn’t work. It doesn’t. Especially life in the suburbs. But that’s also a digression. I have a difficult time staying on topic. It happens. Deal. I have to. I was just saying, you know, to clarify.
But there was something about that day.
It's not that I believe in fate; or Fate, or however you want to parse it. As if this was something that I had to do and couldn’t have done otherwise, blah blah blah. I don't. It wasn’t. I could have done otherwise. We could have gone anywhere other than the park that night. But we didn’t. And that is that. I’m not in the mood to argue philosophy at this point. This is not that kind of story. Not yet anyway. It’s just that there was something, I don’t really know how to put it, something wrong with the day. It was almost as if Reality itself had changed. I know that sounds ridiculous, but still. We had urges to do things that well, were wrong. Immoral things, despicable things, things you don’t write home about. I don’t know how else to put it. It was as if reality wasn’t Reality anymore. It was something more; something different. And well, we followed through on some of them. We are a people that follow our whims, like a leaf upon the wind, &c. Laugh if you will. Scoff if you must. You weren’t there. You don’t know what it was like. How it felt. What it made you feel like doing. What it made you do. No, that’s not right. It didn’t “make” us do anything. That was our choice too. I don’t feel the need to apologize for my behavior. I am what I am. It is what it is. What happened happened. So it goes.
Everything was so much more … fluid?
I am more or less than I was before. I have come round and I am changed. The world changes, but not really. Everything stays the same and I move on. I cannot stay the same. I cannot remain. I cannot be the last of my kind stuck in the mire of impossibility. So I make a way for myself. I find a path or cut one. I move forward or backward or from side to side. I keep moving, going. I cannot stay here. I don’t know where here is but I know that I cannot stay. Mine is not to stay or settle. Mine is to move to wander and forever to be lost. Such is my lot in life. Such is my destiny. But I shall tell the world of my journeys. I shall make a record of my wandering and I shall leave it for you. For you. For you to follow after. Perhaps on my path, perhaps on another. The path doesn’t matter. But the seeking, the moving, the going. It is the life that matters, the life filled to the brim with the wanderlust. It is the life that knows no limits or boundaries. It is the spirit of the creator that drives me onward. It is to create that I must continue, that I must continue to move. Perhaps one day there will be an end to my road. Perhaps there will be a home and a wife and a family. Perhaps. In the end, all things are possible. But now, for me, there is only the road. And I walk on. For I have miles to go before I sleep. And there is yet life in my body. There is yet spirit in my soul. There is yet time to create.
Normally I get into Tanaka’s around 10:30, 11 am. I open the store but frankly Tanaka doesn’t give a shit when I show up as long as I get there before he does. And since he usually shows up mid afternoon, I come in early enough that I might catch one or two customers before he shows but late enough that I don’t have to deal with Tokyo rush hour. The trains are much too crowded for my taste. But today was different.
It was 2:37 before I even dragged my ass out of bed. I had a wicked hangover and the world was still fuzzy. I looked at the clock and swore loudly. “Fuck! Tanaka hates it when I’m late.” Not that I rushed. I got down to the store around 3:15.
I pushed open the door, slowly let my eyes adjust to the dim interior, still trying to think up the appropriate apology. “Hey, where’s Tanaka?”
“Not coming in today. Sick or some shit,” Seagull replied. “You’re ass is a lucky son of a bitch. The fuck happened anyway? You know I almost didn’t bring my keys in today. Then where would we be? So seriously, what the fuck happened?”
“Juliet dumped me last night… so then I sort of drained a fifth of Black Nikka and a liter and a half of shitty sake. And I don’t know what else. I just got up like half an hour ago.”
“Fuck, yo. I thought you guys were getting on great together.”
“So did I. But I fucking guess not. I was walking her to her train after dinner…I lean in for the good night kiss and then…fuck I don’t even remember what she said. But she made it damn clear it was over.”
“Right on the fucking platform?”
“Yeah. Fucked, huh? And after I spent a fucking shit load on dinner. I went to that really nice sushi place we hit up like 2 months ago. Everything was fine during dinner… fuck, man. So I drank till I couldn’t feel feelings. And then some.”
At least he was a bum. A lush we found in the park wrapped in newspaper and dog shit. We had paid him earlier in the day to dance for us. It was hilarious. Or at least we thought so. We got a few dirty looks from passersby (not that any of them made a move to stop us. So few people willing to back up their beliefs these days. No wonder I lost hope.). I don’t know that that makes the situation any better. He was still a person. Most of a person. And if you believe in basic human rights, then what we did would still be considered wrong. As to the rest of it … ? … Fuck it. I make no apologies for my behavior. Not anymore. Not after that day.
I can't say that it was planned. Honestly, no sane person would plan shit this fucked up. And yes, we are sane. Or, we were. As far as sane goes these days, anyway. And no, we weren't on drugs. We weren't. We weren't drunk or high. We weren’t the ones that were altered. Reality had altered. Things weren't what they were. They were ... who knows. Who knows what the fuck they were.
It was night. Of that much I am certain. There are many things that I cannot discern anymore. But night and day are … actually … It was dark. I know it was dark. I am certain that it was dark. It might not have been night, but it was dark. Which was important. He was asleep. Which was also important. Or rather, it would be, later on.
I broke his kneecap with a hammer. We wanted to hear him scream. And did he ever. For a junk sick black-livered shitheap, the man had lungs. We danced in his screams; drank in his agony. In his eyes we saw the truest knowledge Man can posses: certainty of impending death. The bum had an epiphany; we had brought him the light. Then we pummelled him until he bled out. Then… Then I can’t say what. Having never killed a man before I couldn’t have known what to really “expect” … but when you kill a man, he doesn’t die as someone else. That, I know, doesn’t happen. Except…
When we looked at the body, it wasn’t him. It had been him. But it wasn’t now…
Why I wasn’t disturbed by the quantum flux, why we didn’t lose a step, why any of this had happened to begin with, I couldn’t say. We scattered her cans all over the place. We were drunk on rage and glory and madness bled through our souls.
Looking back on it, it was the perfect place to have my heart broken. It was so cinematic. It was so ridiculously out of proportion with respect to the rest of our boring relationship. It was an epic ending to 2 months of nothing that special. Ok, maybe it was a little more than nothing special. She did break my heart. But I don’t think I loved her. I’m not really sure anymore. I’ve tried to forget. And I’ve tried to make the break up scene even more cinematic. That’s what you do if you’re a writer. Well, not exactly. But it did seem like a good scene to put into a love story. I mean there I am standing in a crowded train station with my girlfriend waiting for the next train into the city. The sky is gray and gloomy. The rain is pouring down in sheets. I look over at her and smile. She looks back and says matter-of-factly, “I’ve found someone else. I’m sorry.” And then she walks away. I’m stunned to say the least. I mean I know guys always say not to break up with all that bullshit like ‘let’s just be friends’ or ‘it’s not me it’s you’ or some other line, but it really just stuns you when they are so blunt. That’s when the train left, right on time, and she went with it. I was still stunned. Alone on the platform. The rain was pouring down. I look at the train schedule. I look at my watch. “Great, the next train doesn’t come for another 20 minutes.”
Napoleon V: He had painted his face blue. Felt it better expressed his personality. You see, Napoleon V hated himself, life, the universe and everything. And it wasn’t just his diminutive size that caused Napoleon V to grow so miserable with the world. Things never seemed to go his way. Until he started taking shit into his own hands.
Napoleon V wanted to piss on the body. He wanted to rage further. He wanted to set up a funeral pyre in the middle of a public park and bask in the demonic radience of the flame. But I told him that was a bad idea. We had caused enough of a scene as it was. A crowd was gathering. Reality was shifting, but there are some rules you never break if you don’t want to get caught. We walked off into the rapidly darkening mists.
I had to let Napoleon V go two days ago. He was becoming too unreliable. He was starting to enjoy it too much. He was going out on his own. And his thirst was growing. He was fucking up Bateman style. Besides, a sadist is grounded in reality. A twisted reality. A violent reality. But a firm reality. And I was beyond that. He was becoming an anchor weighing me down. I don’t know where he is now. Or if he is. Still.
They came looking for Napoleon V yesterday. They had traced him back to the scene of one of his “walks in the park”. Stories of a blue midget with a hatchet or some such. I sent them on something of a goose chase. I needed a change of scenery. And fast.
Juliet: She was, I don’t know, 5’8” or so with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. She kept her body fit and trim (likely with the manic trips to the gym that I only became aware of later on) and liked to show it off. Her pants were always skin tight and she loved drawing attention to her perfect ass. Her shirt was just long enough to show off her belly button ring that was perfectly accented by her tiny nose stud. But it was her smile that seemed to draw it all together. She had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks and make him think that they were the only two people in the world (she still has that effect on me). Her smile was so genuine, so sincere, so misleading.
When I met her I was drunk and I didn’t care. I wasn’t so drunk that I wasn’t aware of things (a few beers and some tequila shots) and when she came down into DangerBar!, my life came to a screeching halt. That was my watershed moment. Now I classify my life in terms of before and after Juliet. Juliet came in with Tommy’s girlfriend (they were roommates) but when they got there, her roommate went to find Tommy. Leaving her alone. I wanted to go talk to her, but wasn’t planning on it since I often make awkward first impressions – I have a tendency to fuck things up. Also, I was drunk. I figured I would let another guy go in – I didn’t want a pretty thing like that to be wasted – and that way I wouldn’t have to make an ass of myself.
I went for another beer and all the guys in the bar went for Juliet. But for some reason, one after another, she coolly dismissed them. Seeing that she didn’t have a beer and not wanting to be the only guy who wouldn’t be able to talk around the damn water cooler tomorrow about how this bitch turned him down, I walked over with a frosty one. She took a long pull from the bottle. Gotta respect a woman who drinks her beer. What the hell, let’s do this shit – and I struck up a meaningless conversation. I don’t really remember what we talked about – it didn’t really seem important at the time – but unlike all the other guys, I seemed to hit it off with Juliet. I didn’t get any of the normal ‘I really don’t want to talk with you just because you bought me a beer’ signals that normally occurred when I talked to girls (and it wasn’t just because I was drunk either – ok, that I can’t verify, being as I was quite drunk, I might have fabricated much or all of the incident.). I’m sure it was the normal things – what we do: jobs and otherwise, interests: what movies we like, what actors we hate, random filler – but I can’t say for sure. Whatever I said, it must have been right because as the night faded into morning we shared a cab.
I was, of course, more than willing. She was beautiful and any excuse to spend time with her, even something as pointless as taking a cab in the opposite direction of where I should have been headed was to be taken up without hesitation. I don’t know what provoked me to share a cross-town cab with a girl I had just met. It could have been the beer. But when we got to her place, I had no expectation that I would be invited in. The thought never even crossed my mind. While I’m sure I was thinking how beautiful she was and how I would like to get with a girl like her, I can’t imagine that I actually considered it seriously. She was way way out of my league. But when we got to her door and I was anticipating awkward silence, she casually invited me in. I was too stunned to even consider refusing. Her sheets are much softer than mine.
(gratuitous sex scene)
I awoke the next morning early and slightly disoriented (waking up in strange places isn’t that unusual, waking up in strange beds slightly less usual). Slowly looking around, I saw Juliet by her mirror applying her makeup. She turned and smiled. I still couldn’t tell you if there is anything more beautiful in the world than Juliet when she smiles. It lights up the room. Even now she can get my heart fluttering.
“Hey there sweetheart, I was wondering when you would wake up.” I smiled. “You were great last night. You are one of the best fucks I have ever had. Much better than my boyfriend.”
“Glad I could be of service. I’ve labored under the impression that I was quite the master for years.”
“Oh really?” She was smirking.
“Not so much. But every once in a while a guy needs a confidence booster.” She laughed. It was a beautiful lilting laugh. Not a care in the world.
“Wait, boyfriend?” She had to be joking. Obviously she wouldn’t bring me back to her room if she had a boyfriend. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. Especially not to guys like me.
“Yeah, I don’t know if you know him – Jesse Danbury?”
“No, but I’ve heard of him. Something of an important man about town or something.” She really does have a boyfriend and a significant one at that. I couldn’t believe it. It was starting to look like I wasn’t going to be asked over again.
“Umm, about that… I don’t really want Jesse to find out we fucked – he’s kinda possessive. So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”
“Not a problem. We don’t really run in the same circles.”
“So,” she walked over to the bed, leaned over and kissed me, “when can I see you again?” I was confused.
“What about your boyfriend?”
“What about him?” Good point. Except that if he ever found out I might be in some trouble.
“Whenever you want. I’m not really that busy most days.”
“How about Tuesday?” So long? That was three days away. How could I go three days without Juliet? It wasn’t humanly possible. I declined to think on the fact that I had gone my entire life up until now without her. It lessened the drama of the situation.
“Excellent.” She kissed me deeply and then turned to leave the room. “Bye sexy, I’ll see you on Tuesday.” I was stunned. Sexy? Me? Yeah, I guess she was right. I am a pretty fucking hot motherfucker.
I would have said something, but she had already left the room. I caught a cab home. I needed a nap.
She broke up with Jesse not too long after that. Or he broke up with her. I never really asked for the details. Regardless, he went off with some other little thing and she came home to me. Everything was right with the universe. Or so I thought.
I got married yesterday. My fair Ophelia. Nymph. In her orisons, be all my sins remembered. Juliet was quite upset. Too say the least. She had danced her way into my drunken heart. I paid my way into her soulless cunt. But she had had her chance. And she was the one that let me go. Not the other way around.
When I need to think I go up to my study. Or whatever. I don’t know what you would call it. It’s sort of my thinking room. I don’t figure most houses have one. But I’m a writer. I do shit a little differently. That’s what I tell myself anyway. It doesn’t help the creative process if you think everyone is doing the same unique things you are. And I have enough trouble with the creative process as it is. The room is always dark. I took out the lights long ago. And I leave the blinds closed for effect. I light candles and incense. It helps me relax and unfocus. As the (likely misapplied) Buddhist sentiment goes: I don’t need think up the solutions to my problems, I need to remember the answers that I already know. The room helps with that. When it doesn’t put me to sleep. Though the naps often help just as much on their own. And I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’m one to sell a gift horse to glue manufacturers for a shit load of cash. Like I said, I do shit a little differently.
- Isaac, you are so emotionally guarded, I can’t get through to you.
- What? What are you talking about?
- You never let me close. You never let me in.
- I let you close all the time.
- Emotionally. You never let me close emotionally.
- Oh great. Not this speech again.
- It’s important, Isaac, it’s important if we are going to have a future. It’s important if you don’t want me to leave.
- Juliet, I’m trying to write. Can’t this wait?
- No. It can’t wait. I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for you for too long now…
- You’re breaking up with me?
- It’s nothing personal.
- The fuck it isn’t. You’re breaking up with me. How much more personal does it get?
- Well, you had to know this was coming. I mean, we don’t have anything in common.
- We have tons of things in common.
- You know what I mean. (getting flustered)
- Yeah, I know what you mean. (pause) So are you fucking someone else or just being a bitch?
Ophelia is different. She is straight up fucking crazy. Off my kind of deep-end. Drowing in our collective unconscionable.
Honeymoon on a private island. Margaritas in the hot sun. Salt on the rim. Life slowed. Stopped. Freedom. Sweet blissful freedom. Nothing happened. Nothing needed to happen. Everything was still.
I woke up on my couch this morning. I don't remember how I got here. There was a hammock. And the sun. And the ocean; so blue, so perfect. But ... I don't ... remember ...