Of Angels & Other Things

Previously…

He remembered his second-to-first time, almost as abruptly and painfully as it had occurred. A terrible abortion, it was over almost at the precise minute it had started. His wilting champion failing to realize that pleasure was a game of duration, one that was meant for two. Her chocolate eyes stared in disbelief for only a moment, before her shellacked lip curled into a vicious grin. Her laughter was much more of a cackle, a grating staccato beat. She was a whore, a prostitute who – feeling pity for him – willingly went “off the clock” to enjoy a bit of lust and satisfaction, and he had left her hungry for more. So much more. As a result, she fed her hunger through hatred, belittling and berating him up till the point where he could finally get his pants secured and his ass out the door. He had failed miserably, and she’d be damned if he didn’t hear about from her. Her laughter could be heard all the way down the hall, and echoed in his memory still.

Oddly, his first time was wholly unlike the second-to-first. With his first time he enjoyed himself. Following her lead, he took the time to feel her fleshy mounds. He explored her curves, as he romped through her manicured forest of delight. He became lost in her, lost to time and to place. Taking impromptu turns between top and bottom as they tussled across the floor, he acted very much like a child in a candy store. And in his excitement, he found her ecstasy well before he found his own. He took her in, and drank of her essence. He took her in – in smell, sight and sound – and her deep throaty moans could also still be heard floating down his memories’ abbreviated hall.

Had he the inclination, Clive would have realized the difference between his first and his second-to-first time. Had he thought long and hard about them both – and then connected the dots with what he was going through right now – he would have come to realize that in the second-to-first instance, the girl was alive. In the first, she was not.

There must have been something about the cheeseburger, now being held limply in his hands, that brought this revery to bloom. A revery that was broken by Douglas’ concerned voice “Clive, the burger won’t jump into your mouth man, you’ve got to grab it, control it, slam it down yourself.” “But I’m not terribly hungry Douglas” replied Clive. “Oh hell, Clive, the burger’s a metaphor. I’m talking about Life m’man, LIFE! You’re sitting here, eyes glazed over, thinking about some such or the other, instead of living in the ‘now.’ Take control Clive, take control.” Clive said nothing for a spell, but only because he didn’t want Douglas to realize that he had understood the metaphor, and he was responding in kind. Clive wasn’t hungry. Not for life. Not anymore. Not since “they” started visiting him. “They,” hmph, what a stupid name to give them. “They”, “Them.” Why couldn’t he just say it? Why couldn’t he just admit that ghosts visited him? Plagued him. What was he afraid of? After all, it wasn’t like it could get much worse, was it?

“Clive, I’m losing you again. Talk to me” plied Douglas. “I can’t Douglas, I can’t. I really wish I could, but I’ve got a head full of trash right now – some really messed up stuff – and I’m scared shitless. I’m really not sure what’s real… and, and what’s not. I guess I just wish I could see how it feels, you know, with my feet on the ground.” “Clive, you’re crushing your burger” soothed Douglas. “Please, put it out of it’s misery already, and do a little of the same for yourself. Look at me, Clive. I ain’t gonna laugh or judge. I’m your friend. Now, give it over. What’s eatin’ at your brain m’man?” “Douglas?” “I’m here Clive.” “Why ARE you my friend? What’s in it for you? You’ve got your head screwed on tight. You could be with someone much healthier right now. Someone fun. Someone alive. Why do you waste your time with me?”

Drained, Clive buried his head in his crooked arms, looking up beseechingly as Douglas responded. “Clive, I believe in destiny my friend. You and I, we met on purpose. Someone made sure of that. I believe that – while we’re not angels – we can act a hell of a lot like them to other people in our lives. I believe that Clive, honest and true.” Tears bubbled up quickly, keeping pace with the unexpected anger building up within him, burning as they drew down Clive’s face. Shaking, he yelped “Are you trying to tell me that you’re an angel Douglas? A Goddamned angel? I mean, I really do appreciate everything you do, but honestly? That’s what you think? You’re my freakin’ guardian angel or something?” Douglas burst out in laughter in spite of himself, shaking his head slowly while he exclaimed “hell NO, Clive!  I am no angel! Ain’t no chance, ain’t no way! What I’m saying my friend, is that I think that you’re my guardian angel.”

Clive sat there, jaw agape and dumbfounded. As he did, one of “them” appeared effortlessly out of the thin blue air, standing silently behind Douglas. To Clive’s mind it made perfect sense. After all, it wasn’t like it could get much worse, was it?

© t – 2o12

Because everything has to start somewhere…

Hunched over his crumpled self esteem – an esteem that, had it been a live birth, wouldn’t have made it much past term – he found the deepest, darkest, smallest corner of the room, and curled himself up in it. Wearing a look of woebegone usually reserved for only the damned and the dead men walking, he muttered under his breath while hoping that the darkness of the corner, the smallness of it all, would simply squash him into oblivion. Had you the same proximity as the hatred he so carefully nestled, you might even hear his moaning, “you stupid mother fucker! You piece of shit! You animal – you’re a waste of human flesh, you dumb ass moron ugly trash idiot! I hate you, you’re fucking pointless, pointless, POINTLESS!”

He spent far too many days beating himself up like this. The words, having initially come from without, were now originating from deep within. The opinion that had been that of another’s had now become his own. The hate, the pain, the abuse, now it was all his, and he nurtured and cared for it much more than he did himself. He hated that damned corner, and the monster that forced him into it – but he almost loved it as well, needing it to survive. In short and to be brutally honest, Clive was an unholy and miraculous mess. A playground in the making for the spirits to come.

His friend Douglas, however, faired a bit better. He did so for several reasons, the most important of which being that his parents hadn’t been quite so successful at destroying him early on. That’s not to say that they didn’t try, but Douglas (he insisted upon the use of his full name – “Doug” garnered you a punch in mouth) had an almost inbred tenacity, a certain strength that seemed almost spiritually imbued. And maybe it was. Hell, stranger things have happened. It was with this strength that Douglas knocked briefly upon Clive’s door; not waiting for a response before opening it effortlessly, allowing the light to burst into the heavily curtained tomb. A light that almost recoiled when it finally reached the deepest, darkest, smallest corner of it, to find Clive there waiting.

He was broken from his task of diligent self destruction not by the encroaching light, but rather by Douglas’ booming, yet gentle voice “Clive, come on man. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re better than this. Friend, your old man is long dead, would ya please let his words die too? Finally?” “I know Douglas, I know” Clive responded meekly – doubly so when compared to Douglas’ robust tone – “But sometimes the attacks just come. Sometimes it’s like my brain is swelling inside… Itching, and trying to bust out all over the damned floor. Sometimes I just can’t help it. Sometimes I… Oh, I don’t know, it just feels like sometimes I want to kill myself. I really wish I could. And then I get all pissed because I’m too weak to do even that. I’m just too weak… too damned weak.” “Clive, you scare me man. Honest to Christ in heaven, you really do” responded Douglas, shaking his head demonstratively as he reached out to offer a hand up to his friend “C’mon, let’s get out of this damned “doom n’ gloom’ room of yours, and go grab a bite to eat. It’ll do you some good.”

There were two things to keep in mind about Douglas. First, he always started a statement by addressing the person he was speaking too. Some said it was respectful, others thought it cute, but most everyone who had to endure a long conversation with him just ended up thinking it was damned irritating. The second thing was that for Douglas, food cured all. Whether it be your heart, body or soul that was hurting, a warm burger and fries would make it all better. Faster still if cheese was involved. This second inclination of Douglas’ irritated Clive. He was not nearly as hungry as Douglas always seemed to be, and he had never allowed himself the pleasure of actually feeling warm cheese simply slither joyfully down his throat. Much like most other things in his life, hunger was only a burden, eating, simply a task. Something to be done just to get on with his life – a life that he didn’t want to live. A life he was too scared to end. Interestingly, towards Douglas’ first tendency, Clive liked it very much. The constant repetition of his name being called out was comforting. Like a repeated pat on the head, or a caress to an ego wafer thin, it made him feel like at least someone – anyone – knew he was alive. Knew he existed. And maybe that was exactly why Douglas did it. Or maybe not. Who knew? One thing was certain, there was no time to question the oversized overly-intelligent loaf about that now, as Douglas was hungry, and there were cheeseburgers waiting.

© t – 2o12

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Well, here it is and here it begins. Please be so kind as to leave any constructive criticism and/or comments below…