HAPPY X-MAS, SON
The trip to the market, hours later, was shear madness. Our time together has opened Zero’s eyes. We started out the door and were met by his landlord, a thin elderly man named Jim Bone. But, to Zero, yesterday Jim was 25 not 70, this was just the start. Jim didn’t bat a lash at Zero scaring him to the soul.
“I went to school with him, what year is it?” he asked.
I told him, “Years don’t matter anymore. The composition of your spirit has changed, your not like them any more.”, and maybe I didn’t come across the way I intended.
“So I’m invisible to every one?”
“No, we move faster then a new soul. You have moving and living faster for years. You thought you were trying to die young, but you’ve been running backwards. The truth is that you, like all immortal spirits, are able to live in the moment. The moment is yours Zero!”
He pauses, “Wait, wait, wait…. Sssooo, your saying that if I stop and live somewhere, as long as I live in the moment, I can be normal again, but I would live forever?” he smiles.
“Well, Jesus, it’s settled! We are going drinking….. And, mercy on this city.” Zero belts.
“Remember that when places and people begin to feel and look out of sorts, be afraid. I do not know how your mind will take it.”, he didn’t knew how far that bar would be.
The two made their way down the street, a small town type of street. For Zero, reality was setting in, and coming fast.
“The season is changing every block?” he asked almost as a statement. “Time really is relative. This is splendid!” He threw his hands up in the air reaching for snow flakes like a 165 lbs toddler. Showing signs of delirium and laughing in hysteric he sat right there in the snow. His laughter then turned to sobbing as he began to break down before me.
“It’s painful, isn’t it, feeling everyone in the moment?” I say downwards to him in a mocking way.
“No... It feels great I feel like everyone else. It’s been so long since I’ve felt anything but terror.” his eyes filled with tears and a weakened smile upon his jaw, he looked up and said “I’m a monster. I’m the end of all this.”
After picking him up and brushing the snow off him, we walked season by season, block by block, talking about all forms of things. Mostly about love and the life we have had, or the lack there of. Five or six years latter we arrived at the bar of choice. A dark little hole in the world, the resting place of the most terrible demons, in one dimension of time, it was likely to have been the trendiest of dives, but today, in the moment violence, tyranny, rage vibrate from the establishment.
“It might be a little rough in here…” he says pulling me behind him, “…let me do the talking and don’t show any fear.”
I nod as he pushes the door open to his own personal bliss. The room is filled with beautiful women and the whiskey is flowing like mountain creeks, ice cold. The Animals on stage, playing “Don’t let me be misunderstood”, flashing lights and pure and joyful craziness, I could tell that Zero felt at home. Yet every set included a newer band or singer, time grew that fast, and within an hour he and were sitting basically alone. He was slumped in his seat pouting a little, when his head rose slowly.
“We,” he said kind of smiling, “I got to see the best of ‘em, Janis, Jimi, The Doors, more music then I could ever imagine.”
“Yes, you really got to see the life you thought was yours, but what happened to the fans?” I ask pointing a finger to the empty stage “They became politicians, lawyers and tyrants. That ‘love’ was cheap and self involved, with nothing behind it!” The patrons stare spitefully.
“All you need is love….” he answered with a twinkle in his eye. “……did you ever fall in love?” The question raised the drink in me. I couldn’t help it, his face was so understanding and full of help, and he could see and feel the torment of my soul.
He asked, “Please tell me about that real love….”he paused and looked into my eyes “I know you have loved… I can see it in your eyes?”
With out lying I said “She was everything. After all these years I’ve always loved her.” His face dipped as he looked to the floor. He looked up and said “Mary?”
Holding back tears I answered “That’s mine!” I sat in silence for a moment “You’ll know Zero, when it happens, you’ll know.”
“What do you mean, ‘I’ll know’” a small pause “How do you know how lonely a man can be? People like me can find someone.” He took a strong pull off his Wild Turkey and Ginger Ale and with a quick snifter of Budweiser he concluded, “Tell me, how dose someone like me find love?”
At this point I couldn’t stand anymore maybe the drink, maybe the scene, “YOU…. DON’T DISERVE LOVE?”
“Then who dose?”
“When you “people” realize what love is…….” I pause.
“What’s love, Jesus?” he says in a mocking voice.
“LOVE IS SOMETHING GREAT! IT”S SOMETHING TO CHARISH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS, DO YOU? YOU’RE AN ANIMAL WITH NO SOUL!”
“HA HA HA HA !Calm down. Have a drink.” Zero says pushing a glass of whiskey my way. “The universes problems will be there when you sober up. You know, if you didn’t worry so much immortality could almost be fun. Just watch it like a movie, you’re the director.”
“Maybe your right, that cross really took the humanity out of me.I spent a lot of time thinking.” I take sip of the whiskey and grimes.
“Not bad, eh?” Zero chuckles finishing his then lighting a cigarette “It’ll get you right there.” He bellows pointing to his chest.” Don’t worry there’s more of that coming our way…” he nods his to my right where a large woman, with the largest breasts I’ve ever seen, stood with a full bottle of Wild Turkey, 5 cans of Budweiser and an ashtray on her service dish. He nodded again, this time at her, and smiled a little.
“Gearzo you know that there’s no smoking in here!” she yelps.
“Then point me and my comp padre here to the war room or back off Sissy.” He answered with a hardened glare.
With a tiny stroke of fear in her lashes she bats off his stare and points Zero‘s attention to me,” Your friend is cute, so I’ll let you slide for now, but that couple over there..” she nods her head to the left, “… they keep asking me to come talk to you.”
“So, tell them I’m a raving lunatic or mentally disabled… I don’t care. I’m in here every day, I pay the bills around here even yours! So go tell them to go fuck them selves…….. I just found out I’ve got cancer.”
Everything in Zero’s life was always a drama or a complete fabrication and blown way out of proportion. As a child he would act out and come up with all kinds of stories about where he was from and what he had seen. A liar’s sport immortality is. Not that any of it was a lie, rather a dream of sorts. Unaware of time in its true form, a pool vs. a stream, he often made things seem unreal to fit his interpretation of the event. But now, he was just trying to say goodbye.
“Oh! I didn’t know.” She says while eyeing her feet. “Don’t worry Col. your secret is safe with me.” She leans in resting her breast on my face,” I’ll just tell them you’re the owner.” She winks, puts the drinks on the table and shuffles away.
“How can you say those things?”
He sits back and lights another cigarette, “Easy man, it’s the truth. See, everything can happen the only thing is, it hasn’t! I take care of that.” He smiles leaning dangerously on his chair.
“That’s why you’re in Hell. You don’t want out. You don’t want help!” I sit forward “Do you?”
He takes a mouthful of whiskey tips and his chair forward with a boyish grin yells,” Jesus Christ, will you shut the fuck up?”
Just then a voice echoed throw the place like…… It couldn’t be? The boy of the heavens, calling out” BULLSHIT!” from that table over yonder.
Zero’s ears perk up like a cat’s and stands to confront the statement upon his character. The old man stands at withered attention screaming something about, “You let me down, your complete let down.. You loser!” Zero screamed. “I can take it all away, you nothing!”
“Hahahahaho” Zero laughed.
“No, Zero.” I urged.
“Who is this asshole?”
“This oolldd man, he doesn’t scar me.”
“Well he should.”
I could tell that the drink had taken Zero’s tact. “….He could take all of this away.” As the old man came closer his age, his demeanor, changed, first from a belligerent, frail and pathetic man, but with every step, he became more and more obtuse. By the time he was steps before use Zero had started to crack up a bit, ranting about baboons and Hitler. Trying to keep my head space right I looked up to see………. Hitler walking towards use with two baboons, leash bound, coming right for us, screaming and swatting.
“What the hell is this?” Zero yells at what he must have thought was a bad hallucination “What do we do?” he asks me
“It’s my time Zero. He’s here for me, don’t be afraid.” I say to him “Break the cycle… and remember,” God snitches his hands around my soul “All you need is love, she is out there and together you can start it all over, the right way.” Just then God ripped my soul into four pieces and throw them into the furthest reaches of the universe. While flying through time’s chapters I wished Zero the best of luck and the strength to do the right thing, to fight God like none of the other numbers could.
Now I, like those before me, must watch Zero in his trials taking on this universe of energy. We watch in anticipation.
“That’s it you asshole…” Zero says to God “I’m going to tare your heart out and show it to you.” But God grabs Zero by the throat and threw him through a wall of the bar outside into the snow, evergreens covered in lights and people singing Christmas carols, it’s the 24th of December 1981, Zero’s first Christmas. He lands face down in the snow look up and says, “Shit!” he looks back at the bar and sees God, now a huge menacing shadow, coming towards him and the snow begins to blow hard upon his face. The singing got louder as the wind howled “Silent night”. Now all the other numbers and I watched in dread for Zero’s soul and our own salvation, as God stood over him. With great speed he bolts away from the tyrant and picks up a chair striking the dark demon with a force that woke all the people in the town square from their ignorant slumber, yet they kept singing. The chair shattered into the snow and Zero paused in disbelief. His moment of awe was broken by a devastating blow dealt by God. The strike sent him like a rag doll closer to the carolers. Brushing him self off he struggled to get back to his feet, Zero looks as if he was finally ready to end it and let God, the spoiled child that he is, have his way. My heart with every other spectator’s sank in the apparent demise of our only hope, his face was beaten and that strength that could save us all from another round of God’s game looked gone. The demon approached Zero, still struggling to his knees, with an apocalyptic demeanor and kicked him back into the snow hold him down with a heel on his chest.
“No my son, you belong to me and now I’m taking your soul back so we can start my game again….” Said the dark being then sitting on Zero’s chest “….ready for reincarnation?” The snow then turned to ran quickly melting the ice and snow on the ground to a lake of water. Gasping for air Zero starts to struggle for his life for the first time in his life, knowing now, that every living things happiness depends on his death. Head under fidget water his vision becomes blurred as his lungs fill with fluid and his arms and legs flopping madly his right hand felt a warm object in the cold pool. His grip wrapped tight around it as he turned his head to spot the devise, a small gold hammer. With all the power he had Zero swung the hammer striking God in the forehead, the blow sent God’s head snapping back and a small crack of light flickered from the wound. Terrified the carolers began to sing louder and louder as that crack turned to a hole lighting up Zero’s face and then joy erupted through out the universe as from that hole, on this Christmas morning the sun was born destroying God and drying the waters from streets in the town square. The carolers stood around Zero’s lifeless body whispering in disbelief about the events they had seen. His face was blue as the water in his lungs then, beautiful young women, with one blue eye and one green, stepped over him. She began to whale upon his chest trying to force the fluid from him she then leaned in and pressed her lips to his filling him with wind. She took her lips away and placed a hand on his chest “You fought bravely” she whispered in his ear. Standing up the mysterious girl turned and walked away as he smiled turning his head coughing up water. All of us in the universe began to cry tears of joy for our savior, our friend, our father, Zero.
ONE MORE SMOKE FOR THE ROAD
9 years ago