It's like this and it's like this and it's like this. It may have always been like this and I just didn't realize it. I couldn't see, no, I didnít want to see. I was so busy, into myself, that if I took one second off to notice the ropes that were being thrown around me ─ The Lilliputians attacked while I slept. Sleeping with all dreams centered on myself. I tried to tell myself that it was never going to be like this. But it's like this. And it's like this and it's like this. I watched as he dipped the syringe into my cup of joe. He slowly drew out the hot liquid and pushed the end of the needle into his arm. "Oh, yes," he moaned softly. And then he looked into the mirror, locking his eyes with mine, together we smiled.
"You're shaking,Ē I say.
"Anxiety,Ē says he.
I am going to meet a girl and I am anxious. Itís like this and it's like this and it's like this. She is very pretty, my friend tells me. She is his girlfriend's cousin. He says he tried to get them both at the same time, but they wouldnít go for it. He said it would be good for him to know that at least someone was going to have her. I questioned my friendship with him at that point and then realized that I didnít have any other offers and I should either find solace in loneliness or put up with him. I chose the latter, for a while.
Why? Why stay friends with a guy like this? Because, he always has girls around him. He's that kind of guy. I don't necessarily like him, but the women do. They love this guy. When we go out and then have to come back to his place, there are nearly a hundred messages from women on his machine. If I didnít know better, I'd think he's gay Ö come to think of it I donít know better.
So he picks me up and we're driving to this coffee place and I notice that there's a lot of roadkill on the highway. A sign of spring I ponder while he tries to tell me about this girl I am going to meet. Soon the two ideas begin to fuse in my brain. This girl Ö roadkill Öbeautiful red hair Ö covered with blood on the side of the road Ö a face you just have to Ö crush under the tires of an eighteen wheeler Ö
It's too much for me and I try to shake the wicked thoughts from my head. I know my caffeine level is way down. I wish I wore another T-shirt. This girl, I think, this girl is going to hate me. Whatever I am wearing. I know this because it's like this it's like this and it's like this.
We pull up outside the coffee place and my veins are glowing like Spiderman when something is amiss. We walk past a blue Honda Civic with a "Silence = Death" bumper sticker next to one with a wire hanger under a circle with a line through it.
"Great," he tells me, "They're here."
We go inside. I can feel my stomach going dry rot due to lack of coffee. He sees that I need a fix and together we make it to the bar. I am so sick of people who don't know what they want. I canít believe that there are actually Coffee Posers. You know people who just like to hang out with the "coffee crowd". They act so hip, but the tragedy is they don't know the difference between and Au Lait and A Latte. O.K. so neither do I. At least I know that one has frothed milk and the other has steamed milk. Or is that something else? Anyway, I do have an espresso/cappuccino maker, so what if it's a Betty Crocker one. I own it don't I?
Anyhow, I get a double espresso because the throb in my brain learned the mambo and I could feel my veins wrapping around each other to squeeze what caffeine there was in m y blood. I shoot the first one down and look around the place. I didnít want to get more caffeinated then the average, I like to bounce with the room ─ not against it. I ordered a Latte with Torani Hazelnut flavoring in it. I figure like this, if I have to drink milk, it might as well be flavored.
So it's like this and it's like this and it's like this. This chick turns out to be O.K. but probably more O than K, and I think if I stayed around her for more than a week, she'd probably drive me nuts. I know a potential murder ─ suicide when I am sharing coffee with one.
And it's like this and it's like this and like this. I have done an incredible thing. I have surpassed the room as far as caffeine intake, but at the same time I have transcended it. I am below the needs for attention and the high strung high flung emotional whirlwinds. I am beyond contentment. I am told by a familiar face that I look lethargic, catatonic. I am only visiting here, I say to the face. I am between lives and worlds. The face takes a step back from me, and I smile at it. What I meant to say was I am enjoying tonight's brew to the umpteenth possibility. Oh, says the face, and we are parted, again I notice how I have transcended Right and Wrong, Dry and Wet. There is no today or tomorrow, there is only an always that snags my trousers like a shizu biting at my ankles. I want to hold this dog and cry, but I have transcended tears; in fact they were the first to go.
It's like this and itís like this and it's like this. Joseph Campbell tells me about the secret truth behind Myths. I wonder if this is the right path to go. How can the Christians be wrong? How can the Jews be wrong? How can the Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists Ö How can they all be wrong? Someone is right, and God hasn't told me who it is. I wonder these things as I start to come down off my coffee and this girl is still here, still looking at me. I think she is telling me that she wants to pierce her nose.
Like magic my friend takes on the role as server and brings me another Latte. This one is unflavored, but for free who would complain? He says it is time to go as we finish our intake. And the girls are invited over. We play Parcheesi for awhile and the night somehow fades into the next day, where I am alone again with a syringe full of dark roast and I can't remember if I kissed my blind date good-bye