Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why Roller Coasters Are Good For You

On Saturday, I went to the carnival at the rodeo. I'd already been last year so I wasn't expecting anything other than seeing tons of people and eating fried everything on a stick. This time though, my friend decided that we were going to go on the scariest rides at the carnival. I haven't been on a roller coaster or any kind of amusement park ride (except the carousel) since I was about six or so. I remember sometime after my last Haunted House venture that I swore to myself I would never go on a roller coaster again. Eleven years later, I had completely forgot why I had promised myself this until I actually got in the seat. 

I went on two rides. The first one was more of a you go up and down and backwards at an abominable speed and height. It was petrifying. Most of it was the fact that I thought I was literally going to die because I thought I was going to slip out of my seat. I was extremely uncomfortable with the protection and that made a significant difference between the way I felt about the two rides. You know that feeling where your stomach flies up into your mouth and your breath gets knocked out of you and you feel as though you're falling about ten stories down before you're suddenly whisked into the other direction? And after about five minutes of this, when you're about to get used to the feeling, you're stopped at the top of this horrendous mechanical contraption. You open your eyes for the first time and find your fingers are clenched into claws. Your whole body is tense. You feel your legs cramping. Oh, look. We're so far up the ground. It's a good thing I'm not afraid of heights or I'd probably start screaming bloody murder. Beautiful sunset.

The second ride was not as frightening because my partner and I were strapped in a cage. I felt much more comfortable and safe there than on the previous ride. There was one frightening moment where my partner suddenly yelled a hideous yell because the ride unexpectedly rolled us backwards while plummeting us downwards. At the end of the day, my whole body was aching because of the cramps I had forced my body into in ultimate survival mode. 

I can honestly say that those were the most frightening experiences of my life. Not even almost hitting a tree at high speed was as frightening as those two rides. I was calm in the car, my thoughts were "Oh, so this is how I'm going to die." At the carnival, my exact thoughts and words were more along the lines of "FuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK". I still don't like roller coaster rides and I don't intend on jumping on one in the next (at least) ten years, but I must say that it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. That must seem very trivial, but it's true. That fear, that unadulterated, pure fear, that before I had never felt, was beautiful. It was frightening but at the same time so beautiful. To go to the edge of emotion, to know that what you have been struggling with, life, may be whisked away at any moment...That's one more reminder that you care. I'm reminded by my friend's words who said several weeks ago "Bad experiences enrich your life". I didn't agree with him at the time, but now I do. Truly frightening, dangerous, adrenaline-pumping, set-teeth-on-edge experiences make life worth living. I think it's important now to feel at least once every twenty years pure fear, to know how you're going to react to such a situation and to feel truly afraid for your life. It might make you want to live it better.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

jez

She lays on the bed blowing smoke to the ceiling. Long, curling, thick wisps of smoke tantalizing and teasing the air. She is underage, seventeen, I think. I stare at her, my eyes engulfing her lips, coloured in deep sensuous red lipstick; her mascara-laden eyes; bra pushing up her small breasts; black shorts with fishnet tights underneath. She is rock 'n' roll, free, wild, freak, femme fatale. She is young, too young and my wolf eyes lick at her presence as though they want to eat her youth and naivete up. It'd be so easy to tear her apart, to cram fingers up...her...I banish these thoughts as they rise up in my ceiling of a mind, the disturbing, perverted thoughts, rising up like the cactus breeze that's surging from her mouth. She's a nice kid, smoking a hookah, relaxing. Nice, cute kid. These girls are all the same these days.

Hey, can I have some smoke?

I expect her to reach out her delicate hand, grasp the hookah, and give it to me. I expect to fleetingly touch her fingers, a touch of familiarity, of 'I know you I saw you there once'. Instead, this waif of a girl, this innocent, naive kid looks at me with lurid eyes and with fluid movement, uncurls her limbs and rolls over onto me. Her legs on either side of mine, her arms above my torso, her hands over my head. Her face, overly painted with poison, hanging like a lone lighbulb above me. I cannot move and it seems my mind that was so animated with sexual thought before has frozen. Does she not realize what she's doing how can she not realize that--her lips touch mine, too rigid, too doubting to be a kiss...yet I can already feel myself crackling. Sweet, thick smoke erupts from her mouth into mine--and I feel as though she's making love to me, true love, the kind of sensual, passionate, romantic love that only two strangers who will never meet again make. I can almost feel her tongue on me, her fingers touching my skin, fucking me sweetly and gently only as a virgin can and my whole body explodes with...

She lays on the bed blowing smoke to the ceiling. Long, curling, thick wisps of smoke dancing above her closed eyes. Seventeen? Seventeen. They come experienced these days, these girls. They're all the same.

Monday, March 14, 2011

creation

The sky is leaden black. The whole world darkens and an unbearable stillness eats at everything. Creeping electricity crawls through the lining of bones, raising the fine hairs of every living creature. Feel humanity's pulse slow down to a faltering halt as the I and the you, simple names and meaningless words, melt into non-entities.

thump

thump


thump

We are nothing yet part of everything. 

The old-world belief in religion rises within me. My human brain succumbs to the overwhelming sense of universe&world and the mystic awe of nature permeates entirely. Spreads its tendrils, gently suffocating my cries of <this is not truth>

We are more insignificant than we'd like to believe.
Once accepted, this can save us.

The thunder growls and I can easily imagine God or Thor or Zeus rolling around the heavens in a chariot. Time stops and ears, no, not ears, beings surge toward the anticipated
rain.

One drop falls and my heart resounds in my head. My breath unsticks from the back of my throat and curls from me as drop after drop of water soaks into it all--plants, earth, blooded creatures--and we all become ONE.

I am alive.

a school's reaction to human statues

6:40 on a Thursday morning in a city suffocated by fog and melted to its bones by humidity. Every step I take brings me closer to the ground, the pressure of the atmosphere bearing down on my head, my limbs, my clothes clinging to my perspiring body.

I walk into the courtyard of my school and step up onto a table. Ideal position. From here, I can see the students that will mill around in fifty minutes, pushing and pressing against each other like beasts to burst through throngs of peers to their classes or lockers. I can see the outdoor hallway that the teachers cover from the parking space to the main door of the school. I can see the oak trees and three-storey buildings that make up the school looming over me and staring at me with their darkened windows of eyes.

I am dressed in a strapless flowing pink dress that barely comes to my knees. My legs and feet are covered with thick leather black boots that clutch my skin as though they too were drowning in this unbearable heat and moisture. In my right hand is a hollowed-out plastic skull that I've placed one dollar in, to encourage my audience. 6:45. I straighten my back, raise my head, and fix my eyes on one of the opposite building's eyes. I raise the skull and extend my arm forward so passers-by can stick their money in easily. The statue is ready.

7:00. Teachers' voices are heard from several feet on my left side. My friend with orange hair comes and asks me what I'm doing. Reluctantly, I say 'I'm raising three dollars for the good cause of getting myself transcripts.' She laughs and takes a photograph of me. Before she leaves, she places several quarters in my skull. I nod sideways towards her, smile, and say 'thank you'.

Students begin to arrive at school now. They stare mockingly at me, yelling Jesus freak! and Acidhead! toward my direction. From the corner of my eyes, I see teachers staring and their minds racing whether they should tell me to call off my game or admire my performance. All of them trudge on through the ocean of air, eager to shed their skin for air-conditioning, too busy and tired to deal with me. A Spanish teacher actually whoops and laughs benevolently in my direction. My eyes retain my smile as I notice the minute changes in the building's windows. There is now a teacher in there, looking through her papers, searching for a test she just printed out yesterday. My mind focuses on my dress. It's becoming one with me, the fabric creeping through my skin and into my churning blood, the water out of my body gliding down my trembling body. I have been in this same position for the past half hour when two sophomore boys approach me with rude tongues and laugh Holy fuck, she's shaking! She's possessed! Hey, are you possessed? They're not worthy of a response. Hey, can't you talk? Hey, I think she's high. Are you high? My eyes smirk. Hey, get her down from there, teach her a fuckin' lesson. At these words, my heart shocks itself into beating at a normal pace and my head cricks and my eyes swivel down to the boys' level. I'm not high and I'm not possessed. Holy fuck, she talks! Are you going to give me money or just stand there? Peevish, they search their pockets and come up with two dollars between them. I say goodbye to them and notice my friends walking towards me. I take this moment to stretch my legs and feel more water flushing from me. I'm here for the purpose of receiving three dollars for my transcripts. A good cause. My male friend rolls up a dollar and with greasy fingers shoves it in my cleavage, clumsily, because there's no friction of dry skin or leverage of fat to hold it in place. I kindly take the money out of my dress and place it in my skull. I have collected four dollars.

The janitor's blood is not too thick for this weather and he's not in the mood to get fired. He tells me to get down from the table. I do so and move to the opposite side of the courtyard where the obese campus cop notices me. A good citizen of the U. S. of A., he tells the hooligan girl who's stepped out of a cyberpunkgothemo theme (or whatever these children call it these days) to get down because he has no time for this shit. She smiles and steps down, mingling in with the 3,500 students that have poured down from god knows where to start another day of high school.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

one-night love

her eyes were like strange sins
oceans of possibilities lulling in her widened pupils
washing up on my dry shores that thirsted for
love adventure her tongue on my flesh
searing her tattoo words through my skin

i wanted her to kiss the words fuck and making love
across my breasts her hands trailing down my body
and her thighs straddling my hips
i wanted to slam into her
mouth involuntarily opening moaning my name and
soul erupting through her core over my fingers

and after we would sweat our apathy and hopelessness out
we would both laugh and take turns photographing ourselves
brief snapshots of two humans climbing the pyramid of divinity
temporary covert hours of a forgotten hidden night

there is nothing like the vulnerability of baring yourself
to a complete stranger to make you realize that
maybe life's worth living

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Should Be Taught in School

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the famous novel by Hunter S. Thompson is one of the most known novels about drug use. It's the autobiography of the author's two trips to Vegas with his attorney and their Savage Search for the American Dream. Thompson (going by the name of Raoul Duke) and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo put two different news stories, the Mint 400 event and the Convention of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as pretences for their crazy drug adventures. The novel spirals into an ash cloud of doom and suffering from the first sentences of the book:

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like 'I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...' And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car."

And two pages later: "We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls."

Along with all the insanely hilarious and purely just insane drug exploits comes a dark theme. Too many times does Duke wake up in a hotel room with a scene of destruction in front of him because of the days before.The year is 1971, ten years after the Counterculture Movement. Ten years after the American Dream, ten years after the emergence of rock, ten years after acid. And ten years later, all was gone. Like a dream, the good times were gone, and all that was left was nostalgia and several crazy drug addicts going on week-long binges. But what really happened in those times? Was it all good? It was mostly Leary's territory, to be sure. As I wrote in my post, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: A Reflection On People, But Mostly Drugs, Timothy Leary was the Berkeley professor who inspired hundreds of young people to try acid and to expand their consciousness. His philosophy was that of doing acid for the spiritual and creative benefits--to enhance your mind and to open the "doors of perception", as Huxley would say. But as I wrote in my post, that mentality is not always so great. As infrequent as bad trips are, if your mentality is to find everything in the trip deep and meaningful, you're going to have a hell of an eight hours and more of a trip. Better to think of it just as a bad trip, rather than something more. But that's not what is actually dangerous. What is more dangerous is the mentality of people to believe in their trips. Here's the thing. I understand if you're doing acid to expand your mind and be more spiritual, but if you're not spiritual to begin with, you shouldn't really become spiritual just because you got high and saw God. Psychedelics, all drugs, are MIND-ALTERING. You will hallucinate and you will feel things that DO NOT EXIST. So tell me, if you are a non-believer sober, why in hell would you become a believer after you come off a trip? I understand if you're already spiritual and you want to become closer to God. That method of getting close to God has existed since the Stone Age. On the other hand, Thompson's (or rather, Duke's) approach to drugs is equally as dangerous. Doing them just for fun all the time is going to fuck with your brain. Even if they don't fuck with you now, they may later. There's that fine, thin balance between being able to function successfully with a drug lifestyle your whole life and not. Even Thompson couldn't, though he couldn't from the very beginning very well either. At the end of your lifetime, if you have kept the relationships that truly mattered to you, succeeded in your desired career, and are not suffering some horrible disease because of your drug use...You are truly a success. Is that even possible? Most people can't do that without drugs. I'll get back to you when I'm on my deathbed.

Nowadays, Health is one of those classes where you learn nothing in. It's an easy course, one you just need to graduate, taught by an obese middle-aged woman. The classroom has abstinence-only posters on the walls and the famous This is your mind/This is your mind on drugs poster tacked on the door. I remember my health education consisted of watching Intervention videos, which as moving as they are, get irritating as fuck after an entire semester. We never learnt about sex, drugs, or even basic health. The class was useless. Before ninth grade, I remember being shown powerpoints of certain coloured pills with the correct names and the street names below them; the physical consequences as well as the mental ones. What they make you feel. Horror stories. In reality, it's not all black and white. And I never learnt that in school. Why not? Because the education system in America is worthless, but that's another thing.* What I think the U.S. needs is unbiased, complete, correct information about drugs (and sex and everything else). We would be in much less trouble if we actually knew what we were doing, instead of crashing around like crazed hippos, being ignorant and arrogant.

In middle school, I read Go Ask Alice. I could write an entire post on how much I hate that book (because it didn't actually happen, because it's factually incorrect, because it's written horribly, etc. etc.) but I won't. That book, as bad as it is, made its point across. I read it several months ago again and I could see why it was so successful. It's shocking. It's also pretty enticing. When I read it when I was in eighth grade or so, I was immediately attracted to the feelings and visions the drugs induced. And on the other spectrum, I was terrified by what I read when Alice spiraled down into addiction. And that's the whole point of the book. Now, Fear and Loathing is a much better book than Go Ask Alice but targets the same point. It's factual on drugs, it actually happened, and it's better written. In addition, it allows you to view the destructive effects of drugs on people and hotel rooms. It introduces you to the Counterculture, to Timothy Leary's mindset, the consequences of the Counterculture and Leary mindset. It portrays both drug extremes extremely well. Though it fails to show the balance that can be struck between the two, I think that's important also. One need only look at the author himself and realize that there was no balance intended (along with the quote above describing all the drugs they had). Thompson went full throttle his entire life, using drugs just for fun, all the time. No, Thompson is not a good model for those who desire to see a successful, healthy person on drugs. No, drugs are not all positive and not all negative. Like anything, they can be used for a good purpose and a bad purpose. Moderation, moderation, moderation in everything. And that is not what I have seen in the majority of people's usage of drugs and that's what I think the real issue is. All in all, the book is horrifying and hilarious enough to go over well with teens, and perhaps parents also. It's truly an addition to the D.A.R.E. collection.

Note: I'm anti-war on drugs, but pro-education on drugs.
*I intend to, one of these days, be a Health teacher. Probably speak to a class about drugs and sex. I think this nation needs better education about those two subjects and I'm willing to help.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

the tale of the little boy who burnt insects with a magnifying glass (ii)

once upon a time, god created the world as a joke.

with each passing generation, he laughed harder and harder as he saw how well we were ruining ourselves.

it was truly very funny because god had a supernatural sense of humour

so of course we mere mortals couldn't understand it.

his sense of humour included famine, natural disasters, stupidity, ignorance, and of course, his favourite,

wars in the name of religion.

those were really what he lived for.

yet, one of these days, we will do ourselves in, all of humanity

and god will laugh so long and so hard that he will implode from amusement

and we will all live happily ever after

haha, haha,

go on, tell us another one.