Trash of the Gods. chapter 7. Senior Year

Senior year, that was when it all came to a head. Senior year, the year of Tammy’s legendary parties, the year we all graduated, the year Robert and I joined the school newspaper, Senior year.
I was seeing more of Robert, he had seemed almost like his old self, smart, mindful, and brilliant, but he still wasn’t present.
When we started hanging out again, he started telling me the whole story, slowly giving me the details of what had been going on. 
Nobody even talked about andy any more.
I wasn’t happy with Robert, to say the least, but i took his word for it that he was clean and I believed him. I was excited to be on the school newspaper, in a place where i could write and be published consistently, then that became the year I learned journalism is bullshit because editors will make you change everything you write to make it tame for their vapid cowardly demographics. The good part of the class was there was plenty of time for “research” which consisted mostly of my friends and I talking shit in between articles.
Tammy was on newspaper, she was there house photographer. Rose joined that year to. Our editor in chief was a friend of ours, a girl who was obsessed with ayn rand, Ally, she was a kind soul, but if she was pissed you didn’t want to receive her wrath. I’ve seen the buffest of football players shit themselves when she gave them her evil eye. I didn’t always agree with her, but I was glad she was the person we had to answer to. She wasn’t afraid to push the papers boundaries, it was our teacher who kept things cowardly.
All I’m going to say about our teacher was that he was a fairly young man, but he always seemed mad at something. He seemed to like the newspaper class though, or at least he tolerated us. He always just sat at his desk, talking to us with his arms clenched across his chest.
Another girl was in the class, Jan, I had a crush on her to. Jan was lead editor of the entertainment section of the school paper.
  I did everything I could to impress them, I wanted the whole school to be in awe of my writing.
Half of my stories would be cut from the paper at the last minute, but never when I wrote for Jan’s section.
And everyone always seemed to like Robert’s material more.
The best part of the class though was the fact we had these special id badges, we could 

basically wonder around the entire school unsupervised for a whole period, so me and a few of the other reporters would often cut class and go hot box Rose’s car.  
Rose, I was always jealous of her, she had better stories than me, she was a better writer than me, and so was Robert. People liked my work but were never in awe of my stories the way I had wanted, but always with Rose’s or Robert’s.

Another editor, Luann, she and I became fast friends. She had the Feature section and I always got good stories from her, she would cut them sometimes but she always gave me great pieces to write on. She would also smoke with me, Robert, Rose, Tammy and Ally.
Senior year. The year I decided to become a writer.
Senior year, the year of Tammy’s party.

Trash of the Gods.  Chapter 10,  The Quick Depressing Ending

I remember the last time we hung out, our last hoorah just before graduation. We ran into each other at school on one of the rare occasions he was there and clear headed. Resolved to start fresh and put any nasty business behind us, we decided to smoke some weed at Robert’s place. A sort of for old time’s sake kind of deal.
And there we caught up on what we each were thinking about philosophically these days and where our Tool or Tom Waits obsessions had led us. It was as if nothing was different, as if nothing was changed or had ever happened for this one afternoon. But something about it all just felt like it would be our last time together. as if it were plato watching socrate’s trial, you could guess who would drink the he lock. Deep down I think we both knew it, but didn’t want to admit it.
when i left we resolved to hang out again, that it had been too long, but we both knew it wasnt going to happen. He would get high and hang out with his girl as soon as I would be home, and I would be in my studies taking a puff or two in my back yard to ease the stress of finals.
My college life was a stoned drunk and psychedelic journey through narcotics and the English and Film departments of a Northern California state university.  
I fucked, fucked up, and got fucked up. I hung out with local bands and met new and fascinating people every day. I even came into my own as an artist and started painting.
All I knew about Robert was from second hand info from the few other friends I kept in touch with after high school. according to them Robert was on a downward spiral of addiction, crime, and domestic abuse.  
One night, after drinking a full bottle of Jack Daniel’s to his dome, he left his girlfriend with a black eye and a patch of bruises on all four corners of her body. Then later in an attempt to get drug money he was caught breaking and entering, and got three months.
Then one day on my 3rd year of college, I was taking a shit and scrolling through my Facebook feed.  
I saw the posts, everyone from high school was in morning, talking about how smart and gifted he was and how it was such a waste.
 Robert was hit by a car, dead at 23, riding his bike down the wrong side of the street, drunk, without any helmets or lights. I learned every detail about the death of my best friend while sitting on a toilet.
So that was it, that was how it all ended. An alter was set up in memoriam by our friends from highschool, leaving flowers in empty forty ounce bottles like vases on the corner where he was killed. They used melting candles at the memoriam to spell phis name on the pavement, and the word “Robert” glowed on the ground in red glistening wax for a few weeks before it chipped off the sidewalk, leaving nothing behind.
I miss Robert, I would not be the person I am without him. And I let his life serve as a lesson to my own. The choices we make will always follow is for the rest of our lives, they can make us, or destroy us. Robert let his choices destroy him, and yet, in a way I envy him. I don’t think anyone can argue that Robert lived more in his short life than most people do even if they live to be a ripe old age.  
The boys all dispersed into various labor jobs and dui arrests as my education continued. I lost touch with all of them of course. But to this day I still think of Robert and them and the effect they had on my life. And no matter what Robert has done or how much we hurt each other, I am glad I knew him and my only regret is deciding to turn my back on him instead of reaching out my hand.

Trash of the Gods. Chapter 9, The Wet and Sad One

Robert had been using on and off again throughout Senior year. A few weeks after tammy’s party was when it all happened. The sort of official beginning of the end.
One day, during Robert’s on again off again usage, Robert, myself, Steve and the rest of the boys were hanging out outside the strip mall. Robert was clearly coming down off of some kind of random narcotic, and we all had just finished smoking a joint behind the subway. We were hanging out up front, Steve on his bike and me leaning on the hood of my car, drinking Arizona in order to combat the cottonmouth. We were talking about random this and that’s as we usually did, and then for some reason Robert got into one of his moods where he enjoyed humiliating me.
I don’t remember what caused it but for some reason he decided to start pushing me down onto my car. He just kept shoving me with this brutal force, making me drop my drink and making me look weak and pathetic in front of everyone. 
“Robert, back the fuck up.” The more I said it, the harder he pushed back, and the more he laughed.
“Robert, back the fuck up! ” 
He laughed harder.
“Robert, back the fuck up!! ”
He’d push harder.
“Robert, back the fuck up!!!”
And then, all I remember happening next was instinct taking over, and the loud “THUD!” that was skin of my fist against the skin of Robert’s cheek.
Suddenly it stopped, he wasn’t pushing anymore and we were both just standing, and he was just motionless, in shock, as if he was still processing what had just happened.
“You just punched me in the face,” Robert declared, still in disbelief.
“yeah,” I confirmed, still in a karate stance waiting for his next move.
He then mocked a sudden lunge of his chest, assuring I would flinch into another karate stance.
He then chuckled to himself, said “I love you man.” and again, I replied, “yeah, sure.” but this time, with nothing but sincere anger and humiliation behind it.
He then, without looking at anyone or saying anything, wandered off, stoned and smiling.
For a second I thought I was the one humiliated, but then the boys started wooping it up.
“That was a sweet punch,” said nick. after three years of hanging out, he gave me a genuine compliment.
“You really hit em,” Steve said, hoping to move on. Steve was never one for drama, unless his pipe broke or coke got mooched.
“yeah, yeah.” I just kept repeating that. It was a shock, it was as if the punch had earned me their honest respect for once and not just their impatient tolerance. from that moment in their eyes I was an equal, a man, and all it took was humiliating my drug-addled friend.
I accept the praise with a smile and the temporary confidence that comes from validation. Of course, I then went home feeling nothing but guilt and wondered what it would be like to talk to Robert in newspaper the next day.
He didn’t show up for class the next day, or the next day, or even the third day. But on the third day I did see him at the end of school as we both walked to the parking lot.
“Robert, hey robert, man listen…” I said when I caught up to him.
He turned to me with a look of anger, not rage, just dead anger. I knew he was junking out again. Before I could even a finish my apology or even say the words I’m sorry, he spat on my shirt, and walked away.
And he left me there, humiliated and alone with a mucus stain on my shirt that wasn’t mine.  
A few days later he was back in newspaper class, clear headed and saying he loved me as if we would always be friends.
On the surface the matter was settled, but we stopped hanging out after that, and I stopped hanging out at the strip mall altogether. I decided to get my weed else where and to find new friends. I didn’t like the validation I thought I was looking for.
Robert eventually had to leave newspaper at the end of the semester because he was failing all his other classes. He had to either take everything over or not graduate on time.  
I was busy with my new AP classes and started taking my time in newspaper more seriously than ever.  
Robert started hooking up with another girl and they just started doing heroine together and fucking. It became a rarity for me to even see Robert around it the hallways at school at all.
Robert did graduate on time, with a D average. I was off to college, and Robert was off to nowhere.

The Man Who Is Tall Is Happy?

The man who is tall is happy.

Is the man who is tall is happy?

The man who is tall is happy.

Is the man who is tall is happy?

Simple, but not,

naturalized structure

and generation, and burden

of proof is on the state.

The burden of proof

of law, order, proffesional dissertation, facts

and the like.

Sweet and natural,

yet a constant redux,

and eb and flow constant

and layered 

and frequent.

Is the man who is tall happy?

Trash of the Gods.  Chapter 8. The Rejection

Tammy had 2 parties senior year that were of epic proportions. One at the start of the first semester and one at the end.
They were the first parties I went to that were bigger than kickbacks.
The first one is the only one I cam remember clearly, I went with Robert, he took a few hits of what he said later was bad ecstasy and he stayed on the back porch all night, glued to his seat and trying to smoke himself back to normal with whatever was passed to him or whatever was put into the bong he brought. Robert had a really cool bong at this time and was showing it off whenever he could.
As he carried on with that I went around smoking joints I brought with everyone I could at the party, while bumming a shot of tequila or a cigarette here and there, all the while assuming I was way cooler than I actually was.
Within an hour I was beyond cross faded. I came back to the back porch were Robert still was, about to smoke a joint with him and the rest of whoever was out there in that massive beyond capacity of the house over flow crowd. Yet I immediately pulled a terrible blunder, or a “party foul, ” as you’re more likely to understand.
I moved my chair to sit down when suddenly there was a loud clunk, and then immediately after, “CRASH!”
Using my flip phone as a flashlight, I saw what were the remains of Robert’s bong, that I had knocked over with my chair and shattered.
Of course I became the center of some rather unwanted attention at the party, but the matter was solved almost immediately.
Robert didn’t seem mad at all. He didn’t even seem to care because he didn’t even bother to get out of his chair.
After repeated drunken pleas pf “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry dude, I broke your bong man,” all of which Robert just laughed at, I eventually paid him for the bong, $60, and the matter was settled.
It was I think 2 hours after the party had started that the cops arrived.
soon we were dispersed from the premisses, I was relatively sober so i drove Robert and i home.  
I don’t know what it was, but after I had dropped him off at his house and left, as I was leaving, he said something that was beyond out of character. He said, “I love you man.”
And I just grunted and said, “Yeah, sure,” and sort of sighed as he smiled, still somewhat high on the ecstasy. That was the most sentiment he had ever shown me, and my only response was, “yeah” before I turned around and left.
A few weeks after this our friendship would basically be over, and a few years after that Robert would be dead.