from "Stoned" by Robert Samoraj


FULL STORY APPEARS IN THE JULY 2009 ISSUE!

Little sister surprised my eyes when she took a mysterious round stone and summoned a needle. “The greatest junkie alive is coming to visit,” she said while preparing his fix. No idea who this was. “Who is this?” “Stone junkie!” No idea. The red liquid bubble in the spoon, floating around into a vial connected to the syringe. We sat on my bed, watching out the window, waiting for the visitor. Sister made a batch for both of us, and when I shook awake, something in Stone’s cold gray eyes attracted me. “Stay with us,” I said, wanting to know more.

“Only for a short time, but all right,” he said. It was an honor to host the great stone junkie for as long as he wished to stay. He even built his own needles to stick in those iron veins, transforming into a beautiful statue after each shot. His skin froze in the tidal action; the undulations turned to stone and he walked with the self-assured steps of a god with granite feathers. I took him for a ride too, down the sides of walls in my plastic hotel city, garden of flight and dilemma for the witch with the fake finger nails. I joined the junkie and the musician that played strings faster than anyone I knew. We spent time sharing stories and heroin delusions, until we started to become friends and I learned to love them both.

Maybe the false circumstances blew up the whole tangled mess.

“Man, I can’t handle this either,” Stone said when our highs started to push in their peaks. “See Bird. He’s falling apart too, playing his violin like that.” I witnessed the hallucination of this once great junkie while we nodded off in a bathtub with Bird flying on violin sounds.

The violin player stopped and smile, and he gave me a photo album of a beautiful place brought back to life. The books in the pictures would have made me cry, but we had just injected our orange-red solution and I was busy fighting with the monsters climbing from underneath the bridge on which we dozed.

“Stone,” I said, “you’re beautiful and graceful. Take a bath with me.” Coming down, so close. The moisture would soften his skin, melt him down. We could wash in that shed identity, and I would see his face.

But no. The tub stayed empty. They never brought flowers to my grave.

The musician and the stone junkie came and we danced, with great affair … there was a perfect love. The stone junkie was that which could not be touched. He violently refused to let me feel his cold hard skin, but he wouldn’t give anyone that sense. I understood, at least, why the layers cannot be penetrated. After all I had my own adamant shield to throw back attackers, friends, even lovers.

The musician strummed my guitar, clumsy but moving. He smiled, still, even after all of those images broke free from our minds. The sentinels and their plasma waves never stopped under the influence of the liquid we used. Our psyches broke down walls, and we shared the projections of our fantasies and fears.

A princess with a knife in her teeth stumbled forward, bloody and empty.

Dancing sea creatures on a lake of fire surrounded the rocky bridge where we stood.

Cars drove in three dimensions.

Dimensional barriers melted and the strangest sex was experienced, with a little death behind the skin.

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