01 January 2016 – These earliest hours of the new year. Tired as all get up. Yet wide awake. Eyes returning to their faithful sockets. No longer projecting slow and distorted images or seeing blurry fidgety things that aren’t there.

Took a couple puffs off a joint hours and hours ago. Don’t know why. Wasn’t thinking. Just happened to be there when it was being passed around.

Body slipping back into the safe confines of skin. Its porous surface beginning to rediscover warmth, no longer quivering in the queasiness of every inner cell feeling as if it’s being pulled slowly out while the rest of me, my non-cellularity, sinks.

Only been high twice before. Both times with Marcus. Just pot but neither went well. Fairly sure I promised never again.

Mind no longer nervously edged. Easing now to normal. Distancing itself from that heightened (deep? delusional?) inward awareness (of greater knowing? other dimensions?) and the palpable fear lingering beneath (panic? paranoia?).

This is the thing about me on dope. Going deeper in. So deep can barely see, let alone speak. Getting lost in dark caverns and fighting to climb.

Still and all it wasn’t as if I cowered in a corner the evening long.

Though walls shied from my hands and the floors themselves looked unreliable, I went from room to room, the dozen or so in attendance shifting about like hundreds.

Couldn’t have been that far gone. Remember singing and dancing with Liz. And G, Mr Happydrunk Permagrin, seeking me out for quick little kisses and friskier signs of his affection. The 10,9,8 countdown to midnight and subsequent cuddlefest. Getting G home and upstairs into bed.

Something of a chore that. Only next door but still. He was beyond hammered. Maybe that’s what sobered me up some. Having to act. Pull myself together. That and it was fricking cold out there.

There’s this other thing though. A picture. That’s been pushing its way into my mind’s eye. A lit lamp on a small table in a dark room. Coming at me like the vestiges of a dream. Only it was’t a dream, was it? Not exactly. No. It was a setting. That’s right. Yes. Beginning to piece it together.

Was thinking about G’s unnamed character being summoned by the Queen. Not THE Queen of course. A fictional Queen. Residing over a fairytale land. Imagined the character, a man, an everyday working joe, not old, but not young anymore either, a man past his prime, in a bar, reading his summons, over and over, holding it under the lamp on his small table, the Queen’s official seal jumping off the page, glaring at him, judging him, renouncing him, sentencing him, dooming him to a fate beyond reason.

He pockets the offending document. Runs a hand over his face. Takes back the last of a glass of beer. Catches the barkeep’s attention. Signals for another.

None but the damned are summoned. This is what’s in his head. But what has he done? What’s his crime? He’s no saint. Who is, in this arbitrary land of barter and bribe, thieves and charlatans…? But surely his transgressions are minor. Petty. Nothing to warrant the Queen’s notice.

Beers keep coming. He’s wound himself up into a right state, racked his brain for howsoever he might have sinned, and finally, with no recourse save abiding the order as writ, which is not on, determines his only alternative is to flee, before anyone’s the wiser.

Believing this to be his only option he sets about hatching a plan. Where to go. How to get there. What to take. Etc. He imagines what it will be like to be on the run. The hardships he will face, the persona he will become, the people he will have to be wary of, the people whose parts will benefit his adventure, and all he will have do to stay ahead of his pursuers, for he will certainly be chased. In the end, against the odds, he will prevail. His cause will have been just and by golly he will be free.

He will be free.

An epic journey without having uttered a word or taken a step.

By the light of a lamp on a small barroom table. What can I say. I was stoned. Happy New Year.


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