Art Imitates Life Imitates Art – Round 5 : Page 4

November 5th, 2016

To what end have I cut off half my life, the better half, out of mourning for a girl that even at the time I knew was not quite right? Time to put Molly away, filed properly as only the latest in a lifetime of love failures. It’s not about her. She was grossly inappropriate even if she had been inclined. I was addicted to Molly, like the ravers I was writing about. Artimitateslifeimitatesart. She fulfilled my primitive need for a facsimile of love, just as pills make fuzzy candykids hug kiss and screw every random stranger in the name of chemically enhanced affection.

I finally know the purpose of my comeback spell. I sponge the clinging drops my moisture from my crevices and drop, naked, into a crosslegged posture before my altar. I seize a stale stick of incense from my wooden cigar box, install a quartz atop the disk of petrified wood, and empty the lead-crystal cornucopia which is the nerve center of all my sorcery.

Cryptic fortune-cookie messages I hoped to psychokinetically enhance. A string of plastic candy she made for me. A scrap of dictation from the depths of a K-hole, when I’d been inspired with a key sentence but had been unable to stand, much less accurately transmit thought to paper or screen. It represented the communal nature of DT, which I could not have written without the local rave scene.

A wallet-sized photograph of Templeton, that weird little drug fiend who liked happy hardcore techno and blew his brains out, just in time to be the third-to-last episode in Desert Trance. A relic from the last time I really felt a part of the scene, when his funeral had brought us ironically together. Everyone knew that kid. I think its presence in the cornucopia dates from a spell I cast to enhance my personal sense of compassion. I’d felt horrible guilt over his suicide, remembering the shabby treatment I’d given him toward the end, when I secretly suspected Templeton of being a rat, talking to the cops. Who knows? Maybe that’s part of why he killed himself.

Doesn’t matter now.

I wonder if I’ll get a chance to tell him to his face, what’s left of it, anyway, that I’m sorry, even if he was a snitch. I still wish I’d been nicer.

Another Molly-derived relic, a holdover from my barrel-bottom scraping days: a postcard sardonically reading, “I NEED MONEY BAD!” Various scraps of cabalistic cryptography. A spell of protection for my acid connection on his dangerous run to San Franpsycho. He’d been tweaking hard that week, smoking high-quality glass so as to stay open for business all night long, and was paranoid as hell. A casting to incline various publishers favorably to my unsolicited submissions. An intricate chart with interconnected symbols from several lexicons of magic, an ambitious undertaking designed to enhance openmindedness universally. And the green goddamned water bill, frayed and crumpled and stained and probably unpaid to this day.

And, wedged in the tip of the curved cone, the Big Mistake. The diagram that crossed the line and got me curtly ejected from the Garden. A scrap of pink 3 X5 paper, covered in her icons and mine, damning evidence of the gravest premeditated attempt to abuse the power Goddess had entrusted me in good faith. The last spell I’d cast; for a time, I feared, forever. The love spell on Molly.

The miracles had abruptly ceased. Manna became money.

Eerie silence replaced the soft, sly whispers; aching emptiness where there had been ethereal embrace.I appealed to the Goddess, but She wasn’t speaking to me. I was given to understand She was quite pissed.

Alone and afraid, I sank into catatonia while I awaited what I was certain would be rejection slips for my novel. It was a miserable time, alternating anguish and a growing hate. Hate for him, for her. And increasingly, myself. I drifted into numbness to preserve myself from completing my shift to the Dark Side.

I put on weight and watched a great deal of very bad television as a hypno-sedative. I smoked resin scraped from rusty brass potpipes. I became painfully sensitive to sounds. The company of others unnerved me unreasonably. My jaw felt made of lead. Everywhere eyes cast judgment on me, and I heartily concurred with their imagined verdicts. I thought I must be the most disgusting person who ever lived. Whenever some misguided soul tried to ameliorate my visibly degraded affect, they were treated to derision and dismissal. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was talk about it.

The word had gotten to Crazy Bear, and when he came to see me, I was huddled in a fetal position, staring at Jerry Springer and quivering with trepidation. He listened impassively to my confession, then slowly knelt, gathered the corners of the blue moon-and-stars altar cloth and gently tied a knot. He inverts the milk crate that served as a base and carefully places the package inside.

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