Lavender & Mint
Written By: Ahren James Fregia
Illustrations By: Jip Piet Hilhorst
Chapter Minus One - Chapter Zero - Chapter One - Chapter Two - Chapter Three
Chapter Minus One
“It's like, ever since I stopped taking my medicine. It's like my memory just doesn't want to keep up with my day to day.” The therapist started laughing like she does so many times. “Let me remind you that alcohol and drugs are not medicine.” “They are to me.” I replied. “Without them, the world just doesn't make any sense.”
Going through 'day to day' doing the same thing, same job, same people, same roads, traffic lights, stop signs, same asshole in the car behind me flipping me off in the same manner he does every day. Doing that 'daily grind' without mind altering medicinal substances will make it seem like you forget everything, but you just don't remember anything. It's just all the same anyway.
'I don't recall' doesn't even begin to describe the things I can't remember ever since I stopped taking my 'medicine'. I remember a lot more stories when I was still on my 'medicine' than from when I stopped taking it.
I mean, who would even want to live in a world where the 'daily grind' is the only state of being. People grow up and get depressed and.. All they do is work, sleep, shit and look at screens all day. Screens in the palm of your hand, screens at the office, screens in your house the size of windows worth more than your monthly mortgage payments. They'll find refuge in bars or other places where they take their 'medicine' and become cured of their diseases, even if it's only temporarily. Perhaps its not medicine to treat a physical disease, but its definitely a medicine against a psychological one.
Imagine that same road you where driving on earlier from the 'daily grind' but imagine it now in a state of total intoxication, high on ketamine and other suppressing agents. Now that same road you've been driving on seems very different. That guy flipping you off doesn't even matter anymore because his finger is more interesting than his face. The frustration of standing still in traffic is a welcome relief to the hectic experience of driving while under the influence of mind altering and body numbing 'medicine'. Enjoyable even.
I know you didn't ask but the answer is yes, I'd rather go through life taking my 'medicine' than waste another year talking to a therapist about not having it.
After I finished my heartfelt speech the amount of water coming from my eyes was comparable to the Norwegian glaciers of Nordaustlandet melting in the ever rising global temperatures due to global assholery. The nasal discharge my nose was producing slowly dripped over my hairy upper lip as my tonsil stone filled mouth exhalent reeking of concentrated morning breath mixed with Marlboro Gold left the back of my throat propelling the now fused facial secretion onto my therapist exposed right ankle. Her legs where crossed so her ankle was just in right angle to receive it. Like the professional she is she simply ignored my expelled facial fluids on her ankle. “Tell me, what experiences did you have before coming here. Before you ended up in that chair talking to a therapist.” My mind went blank after her question. But only for a minute.
How come every story worth telling always starts off with something horrible. A break up, a loss of material things maybe an accident, being parapapaplegic, not being able to spell correctly, feeling smart but being stupid when it comes to it.
I've always assumed I was just lazy but lately I've come to realize that, yes, I am one of the dumb ones.
If I could just blindly follow like the rest of the world and live in bliss with my dog and cat, my three year younger wife in my house in the middle of suburbia with my two and a half kids, two cars, never used dirt bike for junior, one tree in the front, two in the back yard, kind on the bus, boss yelling at me, no job satisfaction, getting fired, coming home, wife in bed with the neighbor who happens to be an Austrian swimsuit model, kids hate daddy, daddy gets divorced, daddy buy's a twelve gauge over under from Stoeger Condor the one with the standard short barrel, a colt M1911 from the pawnshop, has it refurbished, walk into my kids school crying and stuff, nine pellet buckshot in the shoulder belt, 45 hollow point, three clips, one in the chamber, living the dream.
Waking up, made up like a clown is kind of like shitting your pants, somewhere along the way someone's going to say something about it. Only on this day, I must say, disappointment was the name of the game. I woke up wearing diapers, made up like a clown still drunk with someone else's feces dripping down my leg and all anybody had to say was, nice going dipshit. “Thank you, Bathroom?” The Asian kid pointed in a direction and then started flapping his hand in the same direction while grabbing his forehead with his other hand and spitting on the ground. He was wearing a baby blue T-shirt with Sponge-bob on it and underneath I think it was tighty whitey's although it might have also been diapers. “Thank you very much” The Kings voice throbbed through my head while my penis was hanging out of the left leg hole of the diaper I have now discovered was definitely filled with my own feces. “Thank you very much”.
Take a shower, brush my teeth, unlock my room, fresh clothing, new shoe's, step out, lock my room, look around, three people left, “Get out!”, smell the air, throw up in my mouth, step outside, lock the door, check the mailbox, no mail, smell the fresh air, smile, step in my car, drive to the old theater, around the back, buy some weed, drive home, unlock door, back inside, throw up, “damn it”, garbage bag, clean the house, grab the bong, smoke all day long.
“Why did I ask my roommate where my own bathroom was?”
A few days later after detoxing on a steady diet of Kush, Pepsi Max, BLT's, strawberry smoothies and vitamin B pills, along side of my regular diet of stimulants, I started to get a stable line of thought once again. Walking down main street with an apple doesn't seem like an opening for a job interview unless you accidentally drop your apple trying to take a bite and the apple rolls into the street, ends up under a bus and splatters onto some suit's new shoes.
All I could do is stand in aw, especially considering the closest road is across the water. I didn't wait, fuck it, I just kept on walking. That guy in the dark gray suit was looking for someone to blame and that someone was me. His face got so red I could see a vein on his bald forehead from across the water. The last thing I saw was his stupid blue and white polka-dot tie flapping angry through the air before I took a random turn and a jump into a random garden. Maybe I was just paranoid.
When I stood up and my eyes regained focus I dusted myself off and took a look around the garden. It felt like dying and being reincarnated as a seven year old. Air castles, clowns, magicians, a petting zoo. This was a party. “Why aren't you in make up?” a smokey voice said behind me. “Pardon me?” I replied. A very happily dressed clown in a purple seventies style jacket with matching purple bell bottom pants looked very angrily in my directions, the smell of alcohol on his breath and the cigarette holes in his pants clearly stated that; he was one of those pissed off clowns with a habit of fucking up his life entirely. “Why aren't you in make up?” he said again but a bit more pissed off. While eyeing him up and down I rubbed my flat hands clean along my chest as I started to look around the party. “I'm late?” Even I could not believe I was actually going along with this. The seventies clown grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to one of those Volkswagen vans, not the hipster kind, but the serial killer kind. It must have been fifty shades of rust with a little gray here and there. It simply read 'clown for hire, low rates' on the side and as it opened I could smell the smell of fat drunken guy on too much amphetamines taking a shit on a toilet that's too small while sweating heavily into the new toilet paper container. I held my breath as he pushed me in.
Somehow all I could think of was 'Highway to Hell' from ACDC as I emerged in a slow-motion fashion from the rusted Volkswagen rapist van dressed and made up as a cheap party clown, once again. Red hair, a red nose, white make up and big fat black painted lips was all it took, apparently my normal clothing was perceived as clownish. I was wearing a green extra -extra -extra large polo shirt and a red puma sweat pants that day. Plus the size thirteen green Adidas high tops made the floppy clown shoes obsolete. “We'll howdy y'all” my accent suddenly went from Louisiana Loser to Texas Scumbag as I passed through the Bordeaux red curtains smelling of cat urine and rivelled in moth holes that kind of resembled the marks a sawed off double barreled twelve gauge shotgun filled with buckshot would leave. I think it was like fifteen kids eagerly awaiting a clown forward slash magician show when I saw there face go from 'Einstein inventing the atomic bomb' to 'Donald trump getting the presidential election' as I stumbingly got on stage. The biologically brewed beers I had for breakfast made the entrance even more comical as I tried to inhale through my cocaine swollen membranes, yes this had been quite the detoxing week and such an interesting Saturday morning.
For a 'never has been' clown or even a 'never has been' at all the show was going pretty darn well. The seventies clown was doing most of the work as I was more or less getting a full load of sour, stale and hardened full, non pasteurized whipped cream pies onto my already drug inflated face. Also I am lactose not so tolerant but we'll get back to that later. I was merely inflating a long balloon, the kind you use to make poodles with, or in my case, one balled penises, when I had the genius idea to whip out my genitalia and attach fore mentioned one balled penis balloon to my other one balled penis balloon. Side note, when did I lose a testicle. The crowd quickly went from laughter to disgust to amazement as I successfully elevated my family jewels using a type of air forward slash cocaine forward slash kush hybrid of lung exhalent I had blown in the one balled penis balloon.
Why can't I open my right eye? I heard in the background as I regained consciousness. I started coughing insanely, like a walrus inhaling too much cold air. Why cant I.. I suddenly realized it was me uttering those words when at the same time my left eye regained vision and was staring at a angrily right index finger shaking up and down in my direction. The face I was staring at was the owner of said index finger and the phlegm hanging from his upper lip was wildly waving in the airwaves created by his angry yelling. The pain sprouting from the right side of my head made the world move in slow-motion. For unknown reasons “highway to hell” started playing in my head again, except this time it was in a slow, distorted, fucked up version of the original. As the world regained its regular twenty four FPS I started hearing the words coming from the phlegm infested mouth. “you're in deep shit ya pervert” the mouth yelled. “I'm sorry sir, I'm not quite sure what my particular situation is at this particular time of being”.
“Leave the junkie alone”, I heard from the left side of the angry person. He was gripping a steering wheel revealing the location I was in at that time, the backseat of the patty wagon. “Why do you call it a Patty wagon?”my intoxicated, bloody and right upper corner swollen lip mumbled.
There is a reason for everything, some people say. Its like when you're watching a movie like 'John Wick', which is awesome, and the beagle gets killed and you think that's unnecessary, but then after a beer or six and some kush and the occasional knife point of 'ol Escobars powdered sugar, you end up watching 'Hostage' with 'Die Hard's' Bruce Willis, which is also awesome, but the point being another beagle pays the piper for being a fucking beagle and one starts to see connections between whats on television and what life is really about. In the case of 'John Wick' vé 'Hostage' the connection is of course beagles and also people dying. Beagles obviously deserve to die but that is besides the point.
I regained consciousness in a white room with pencil and key scratch graffiti all around me. The shade of white wasn't the crisp white you would expect in a freshly painted young families new apartment but more the crisp, off white a fully cum soaked white gym sock hidden underneath a teenagers bed would resemble. It was three walls and a steel door with a single square glass window covered by a steel panel on the outside of the door. As one would do in a situation resembling this one, I started reading. “1312” was the first graffiti input I read followed by “cum is everywhere” and “I'm not drunk”. Even a full passage of Hamlet's “Solid flesh would melt” was on this cum colored canvas of a wall. But before I had the chance to finish it, an agonizing pain in my bowels began to form and forced me to take leave on the stainless steel, very cold seat-less toilet in the right corner of the upsetting white chamber I was residing in. The sour whipped cream pies I ingested through my drug inflated nostrils began to take its toll.
After twenty minutes of praying for a banana and hoping they serve beer at the police station my stomach finally settled down as I reached for the toilet paper that was no where to be found. A telecom system on the left side of the door was just out of reach forcing me to penguin walk from the toilet to the intercom. During this shuffle the pain in my abdomen swiftly came back and was no match for my sphincter trying to hold in the BLT's and other crap that had been in my diet over the last couple of days. Like a new born baby ejaculating poop onto its parents my asshole exploded with foul drug infused feces smelling of yeast and resembling blended fish stew that had been sitting for days in the hot sun covered by an old hub cap. From top to bottom the stainless steel, seat-less toilet was covered by my anus ejaculent and my face went full “Max Payne” as I stared emotionless to the mess my innards had left for me. “God, I hope they come and get me quick”. My penguin shuffle ended when my left index finger followed by said sides extended arm finally reached the intercom to press the call button. The feeling of burrowing rats in my intestines started working its way to the bottom part of my torso as I reluctantly forced my right hand in between my whiter than snow butt-cheeks as the intercom started producing a dial tone.
“We'll be with you in a moment sir” the female voice behind the intercom stated in a terribly “go fuck yourself” manner. “Ma'am I've had an accident!” I screamed. “Someone will be with you in a moment sir” the voice provocatively stated. “But I'm fucking dying in shit!” The words coming out of my mouth felt profitless as a loud 'click clack' through the intercom ended our conversation.
It must have been six hours before they came to interrogate me. The amount of ammonia like fumes had made me so high I actually started to enjoy the solitude of the white room covered in brown, grayish fecal matter. As the cell door opened I could hear the officers yelling in disgust as they angrily opened the door and raised me off the bed. It felt like floating as they dragged me into the shower and started spraying me with ice cold chlorine water. The water felt scorching hot as I gave into the feeling of bathing in an Alaskan frozen lake with topless Japanese angels giving me a sponge bath with baby soap smelling of lavender and mint. “Watch out” one of the topless male Japanese angels whispered in my ear. For some reason the angel had a gigantic hard on with which he started pushing me ever so gently. “Watch out!” one of the officers screamed as I fell to the floor.
“We'll be with you in a moment sir”. Both my eyes opened fully and painlessly as my vision went from pitch black, to Vaseline on the lens blurry, to full technicolor with Dolby surround sound as the light from the flames surrounding me penetrated my peripheral vision. “Next!” the voice uttered. “State your name, age and cause of death”. “Cause of death?” As my view started gazing around me I could feel myself shrinking. Sticking both my hands inside my underpants made me realize that even my penis and testicle where now reduced to the size of an infant. The number of testicles still unchanged. “Cause of death?” the voice repeated. For some reason staring straight at the source of the voice did not reveal a clear face. It felt like staring at every person you've ever met all at once and no one at all both at the same time. The voice sounded unisex and it was hard to figure out if I was getting confusingly aroused by it or if I'd just turned into a pink, anus loving fairy. “I ate too much candy and then my pooper went boom boom”. The childish voice coming from my head made me feel even more confused. “Alright, name?” As my gaze kept wandering around the flame filled area my brain still felt intoxicated. “My name? My name is..” A sharp pain shot straight through my chest as my knees buckled. The impact from my knees hitting the pointy red volcano like rocks shot even more sharp pains from the knees to my neck through my now suddenly adult body. “Clear!” The lightning restarting my brain felt like taking a tablespoon hit of amphetamines, the adrenaline making my heart pump at a smooth one hundred and eighty beats per minute. For a couple of hours it seemed like the world moved in slow-motion while at the same time days went by in seconds.
Have you ever just sat at home, drinking rum, sweaty hands with your fingers interlocked slipping on top of your head.
“No I have not”. The therapist uttered after I went silent. “Did I say that out loud” I replied. “It's odd even for a regular person, let alone one like you to experience these things on a daily basis and taking in account that you use alcohol and other suppressing agents it wouldn't surprise me if you've remembered certain details differently than you are describing them to me in such vivid detail”. The therapist stared motionless while trying to force words to move from my gray matter to my vocal chords. “You see, if we can get on the record that you've experienced certain details in your mind instead of in the physical we could get a certain diagnosis that would benefit your situation and probably help you get rid of these constant urges you have towards self destruction. Wouldn't you like to be a happy, sane person?”. “I'm not schizophrenic doc.” Her surprised reaction made my words impact like a hammer on a nail sticking too far out of the backboard and therefor being forced to bend back towards the wood, bending the nail into its permanent position. “A person diagnosed with schizophrenia can be forced into treatment without his consent, I'm not schizophrenic”. “Than what would you describe yourself as being?” the therapist replied. Once again the silence filled the room. Without blinking I stared straight into her glass covered eyes.