Trash of the Gods  Chapter 2.  The Tao of Conversation

After that, Robert and I began to hang out more at his house after school. We would score our weed at the Strip mall then kick it in his room, doing the same thing we did at school. Get high and talk about literature. Ever since middle school, it felt like Robert and I were the only ones who actually read.
Robert was always the one to introduce me to my favorite authors, he always knew about things before I did. He was the one who turned me on to Tom Waits and Tool, he introduced me Hunter S Thompson and my life long love affair with Gonzo, everything from Danielewski or Palanuik was a part of his library, and would eventually become part of mine.
Today we were taking bong rips as Robert regaled tails to me of how he made out with Elise at the party a few times. Elise was yet another girl I had a crush on and he knew it, but of course he didn’t care. I was eager to get us off of the topic.
“I had a thought Rob,” I told him.
“Lay it on me dude.” He replied. I knew this would succeed. He was always eager to engage me in conversations. I think he enjoyed the break from our groups usual conversations of drugs, other drugs, and sex.
“Language.” I said. “I want your thoughts on language.”
He look somewhat confused by this statement. I enjoyed that. I always enjoyed the moments I felt smarter than him. “Like, what do you mean?”
Perfect the ball was in my court. I took my professorial lead. “Well, I was thinking the other day Everything, and I mean everything, that we have come to know, started when we created language. Like I think as long as we’ve been conscious we’ve had ideas but it wasn’t until we had labels that we could attach to these labels and communicate them that anything meant anything.”
“So language kind of created the illusion?”
“Yeah, I mean I wouldn’t call reality an illusion but..”
“Why not…” He interrupted me, I always hated it when he interrupted me but I was usually too stoned to react on time. So off he would go on some other tangent and there I would sit listening, like a meager college freshman listening to a pretentious tenured hack who wasn’t any smarter than me, just more well read. “you just said it your self, nothing meant anything until we had labels fixed to them, and if that’s true that mean’s these labels are fluid, subjective in truth and only as objective as we see fit to make it.”
I would always want to find a way to refute whatever Robert would say, even when I had no choice but to agree with him. I just got tired of him always sounding like the smarter one, but I couldn’t find anything to refute. He was right, reality is in a sense an illusion.
We had lots of conversations like this before, but this one is sort of my awakening. This was when my third eye was starting to get “pried open and scrubbed clean,” as Robert would figuratively put it.
“I’ll agree the labels and reality are subjective, but we need some way to communicate with each other right?”
“Oh yeah absolutely,” he agreed, I always felt validated when I got him to agree with something I say first hand.  
“So in the end where do these illusions come from, and does it really matter what we make up to explain our reality?” We both liked to provoke each other with questions like this.
“Hmm,” Robert pondered for a moment, “I guess not, because I think these illusions come from a number of places, the two main things being the void, and physics.”
The latter of the two had caught me off guard. “Physics?”
Robert nodded with the excited smile he got when he prepared for a new tangent. “Check this out man,” he said with the empathic hand gestures we both used when we got professorial, ” Everything, and I mean everything on the planet is built on both duality and singularity both existing at the same time. Both are the same thing and one that lead into each other, they are two sides of the same coin. Real and not real are both the same thing because each depends on the existence of another, up cannot exist without down because then up would just always be up, and because there is no converse to it we wouldn’t acknowledge its existence, it would just be. So everything, good evil, up down, relative concrete, all these things are not opposites, not separate things but the same thing existing at the same time within the same place much like, a coin, two sides, opposites, making one whole. Duality and singularity existing at once. That is the core of everything in existence, everything is structured around this because the same holds true in our atomic structure.”
He took a moment to catch his breath, by which I mean to take a bong hit, he held his hit in for five seconds then slowly exhaled as he talked, “What we were talking about was the void, and this is where the physics enters into it, this duality and simultaneous singularity exists within our own atoms, all of which make up all forms of matter, making them inescapable from this make up. An atom, is made of particles made up of a positive and negative and neutral charge, all of which come together as a whole, this singular whole bonds with others to create massive interconnectivity, that is what I mean.”
I feel we always got a little all over the place when we talked about these things when smoking weed, but for some reason no matter how off topic and tangental we got, we both always understood each other. It was like we were always on the same wavelength. Something Robert would go on a tangent about later on I’m sure.
I had enjoyed our conversation, but we adjourned from the brainy stuff, and moved on to our girl problems, and by ours I mean mine, I had only had sex once so far and had zero confidence at the time, Robert had two girlfriends at this point, one at our school and one our “rival” school. At the time I thought that was the coolest, now I feel sorry for how badly those girls got used, each never knowing about the other one.
We scored a huge chunk of kief from his aunt and got so baked we could lift our heads off the couch at one point. This was usually the point I would say my goodbyes and march onto the bus home.
It was after I left for home that Andy would show up with a stash and fresh needle for Robert.

Published by James J Jackson

I'm a poet from California.

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