Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis Chapter 16

chapter 16  The Aftermath

    Judge Bachman was ecstatic to hear Lewis was in custody.  He was disappointed to hear he was in another state and would be tried by a separate Judge, but he would watch the trial coverage on FOX NEWS as close as possible.

    Once Jack was caught, it wasn’t long until a cop leaked info to the press.  It also wasn’t long until the guy who broke out of jail by walking out the front door became the news of the century.  His trial would have more followers than Scott Peterson, OJ, and Casey Anthony combined and unlike all of them, the public loved him.  The more they dug up the more they realized this guy was less of a criminal and more of a conundrum.  The more they retraced his steps the more they all saw a man who had beat the system, had lived the ultimate adventure, and had made a strong network of friends.   Alex Kobe and Fiona did not mind the publicity.  Others, like Hal and Conner, disconnected their phones to not be bothered.  Kate showed her face without fear, and before her highly ttrated 60 minutes interview, she had released only one statement.  “I love him so much.”

    Then a girl named Ann delivered a rebuttal and was used as a character witness by prosecution.  “I Hate him! He got me pregnant and I had to…” She broke down “I destroyed my first child, and it’s his fault. But I’m in college, I can’t have …”  It then went on to become more about her and less about Jack.  It wasn’t long until no one gave a shit about the rich-bitch sorority girl he had a one night stand with.  That’s how fast the news moved on social media.  The jury also didn’t think much of her either.

    Another girl came to the press about having sex with Jack, in a more positive sense because he had rescued her from what she said would have been “a guaranteed rape.”

   

    A former prostitute gave a short interview from her room at a rehab clinic, apparently Jack was her “Guardian Angel”, who guided her with fatherly words and a much needed iron fist.”  The girl was quite poetic now that she was sober.

    Some hipster told a story of how he had been beaten senseless by Jack.

    Conner and Hal only appeared in court and offered no statement to the media.  They only voiced their support for their captured friend and acted as character witnesses for the defense.

    Nancy delivered only one statement, he burned his supena in a video he posted on youtube.  He refused to show up for court and be at risk of saying anything against his friend, period.  “Fuck you.  He’s a good man, good men don’t belong in the shit house!”

    The whole trial if it so can be called, was more of a rush of media, the law waving theirrestored masculinity around, and a fast forward of witness after witness that Jack didn’t even pay attention to.  Jack didn’t even know his lawyer’s name.  

    Jack was sent back to prison, obviously.  He was to serve at least 20 of his 25 to life years before he could start serving an eight year sentence for escaping and another eight for the various assaults, and finally two more for assaulting an officer.  Jack was to serve at least forty years, not eligible for parole until half of it.  The outrage from his fans was massive and pushed on the verge of rioting.  Jack got endless flows of fan mail, none of which he read.

    Jack accepted his fate with the usual discourse and lack of emotion he always had before.  Except one thing was different.  He never could stop thinking about Kate, every second he wasn’t with her he wanted to die.  He was not allowed a conjugal visit until they were married, which they were soon after the “trial” had ended.  

    Jack’s cellmates were two black guys and a hispanic man, all in for drug charges.  When they learned they were on the same cell block as the famous Jack Lewis, they spread the word and before dinner, Jack was a hero.

    Jack got a package every other week when Kate visited.  It consisted of cigarettes, suggestive photos of herself for lonely nights, and books.  

    Jack was keeping his reading up like never before.  Reading everything he was sent from beginning to end. Jack also took advantage of the book cart every chance he could.  Reading the classics, pop fiction garbage, anything that looked interesting.  For the first month of his sentence he was on an Oscar Wilde kick. Then he started to read some prison narratives by Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu Jamal.  Soon he began a Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King phase.

    One day on the book cart, jammed between two volumes of War and Peace, was less of a book and more of a pamphlet.  Jack looked to see it was by the same author Kate and he would read together.  Memories of his last hours in Kate’s bed came to him.  He decided to read this pamphlet.  He hoped it wouldn’t be as demented as the writer’s fiction or as archaic and scattered as the authors poems.

The parody of the self

a manifesto to the young millennium.

by James J Jackson Jr

“the more i see, the less i know, the more i like to let it go.” Snow by red hot chili peppers.

Introduction

We, as a species, are ever burdened yet rewarded with the human condition.  We have been given this gift of logical thought and consciousness; yet, we are ever burdened with the knowledge of our own mortality, the weight of physical and emotional pains coincided with our pleasurable emotions, and the fact that there is and are things in this universe that we shall never comprehend, not even in death.

We as a generation, are cursed.  We live in the generation that is blank abstract and a parody of itself.  Every cliche sense of identity, every generation has lived through some sense of identity, except ours, and the more we think we figured it out the more abstract it becomes.  We elected Obama and thought a new generation of peace and tolerance would take over the country, but other than killing Osama and marijuana dispensaries, we see Obama is just the black Clinton, left but not left enough.  A progressive American, but still an American, still putting delusional faith in the ultimate evil, the “market.”

We as a generation, have no sense of identity because of this sense of American economy.  Every sense of identity has now already been taken, and our generation is nothing but vintage chic that copy other generations.  We have people living the hip hop lifestyle that died with Easy E and Tupac.  We have hippies wearing their granola parents old clothes.  We have club kids creating multiple genres of rave and electronic music that would make the 1980’s blush.  We have the “fashionable” still flocking to the mall to throw away their money.  Everything, it seems, from the art world, to the film world, to the simple world around us, is blank because all that could be done with each medium has been done before.  Is there anything wrong with this pursuit of identity?  No, it is a part of the human condition.  It is one of the burdens of our gifts of conscious thought.  It could use a little more structure however.

We as a culture, lack culture.  Our authors have shifted from literature to nothing but commercial interests.  Mark twain would not survive the literary world unless he took shock value to another level.  50 Shades of Grey is a hit when its writing is pure garbage and names like Kurt Vonnegut, ee cummings, and Ralph Waldo Emerson are in danger of slipping into hipster obscurity.  We have no respect for the academic and the educational like we should, and those in the academic or educational run the risk of being cut off from reality and being stuck in theory.  Both people, academic and non, are guilty of ego and entitlement.

    We are so egotistical, so up our own ass, we refuse to acknowledge the Us government is guilty of genocide of natives and blacks, that immigrants and gays are being attacked for being who they are, that the authority of teachers is needed to educate our students, and that media is more powerful than it should be.

    The human condition, despite its strifes, is a beautiful and amazing thing.  We live in a beautiful world, and are capable of leading beautiful lives.  Yet these lives we constantly refuse to mold and make our own.  Not only that, but we are often under the delusion that we are the molders of our life, when in fact we are not.  As Goethe said, “ No person is more enslaved than one who falsely believes they are free “

We as a generation, are the generation of the 21st century.  We have to make up for the mistakes of our ancestors.  They promised so much to us by this century and none of it was delivered.  I say we deliver more than what they asked for.  Let’s not just shock and awe our failed ancestors with our technology and progressive inclusion. Let’s amaze them with a philosophical, artistic and creative strength not seen since the enlightenment and the renaissance.  That is where the waves are shifting.  Our existence, pointless. Our efforts for professional success, a waste of time, it is in the creative world that our generation belongs, and it is there we will stay.

The poet, the artist, the sculptor, the filmmaker, the musician, these people now live as “starving artists” and garner no respect from the public as they should because they don’t hold “productive careers”, they just express themselves.  Well, maybe if some of these white-collar conservative jerks expressed themselves once in while they wouldn’t be stuck in their meaningless existence. An existence where the only thing left behind to show for their lives will be a stack of money that will some day be gone and spent, and maybe a plaque on some office or library wall that will be up for a few years before the building is moved or torn down;  While the author and the artist have a lifetime of work to leave behind to show for their lives.  If that is not productive, and if that is not what this world needs right now, I do not know what is.  Also, these people make no money and live as they do because these Same people who criticize them for living so meagerly download and exchange their work with each other for free.  Capitalism has created the worst kind of entitlement, the kind where we practically have enslaved our artists and entertainers.  They look down on people trying to make a living through their creative side and then go around stealing it.

Consider this a manifesto, a philosophy much needed for the modern age.  Call it whatever you want, just take what it says to heart.  My only hope is that this book teaches you something, if you can walk away from this book with one difference of opinion from when you started, whether or not it’s agreeing or disagreeing with me, I will know I have done my job.

Also, I wish to mention that not a single original thought exists in this book, everything in this book has been said a thousand times before, and will always be said a thousand times again.  But every once in a while it needs to be put on to paper.

Lastly, I wish the reader to remember that this is merely a book, do not find meaning in this work where there is none and don’t miss the actual meanings altogether.  But remember this is merely one book written by one man, and in all respects should never have had to be written; for as Lao tzu said, “those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know.”

And there is hope, there is always hope.  For if there is not hope, these people strangling our culture, strangling our generation, which is a generation of artists, then our generation has already lost.

______________________________________________

When he finished, Jack  closed the book, sighed, and waited for his thoughts to catch up with him.

Jack enjoyed the read.  He was a little excited after he finished.  He stood and looked out the cell door.  Down the hall he could see the only window high at top by the catwalk that the guards use to look over the entire cell block.  He could see through the window that it was a blue sky and a sunny day, and despite all of Jack’s best efforts to stay grounded in reality, to keep himself from getting any fruitless ideas, he couldn’t help it.  After what he had just read, he could not help but feel that the author was, in fact, right.  If you want to stay victorious, there always has to be hope.

    As Jack looked at that tiny window far off in the distance, at that one square of blue in a bleak wall of gray that was almost blocked by a guard with a rifle and an NFL build, Jack could not shake the feeling that there was hope.  He then turned to his cellmates and joined their game of cards, still smiling, and he started to get excited for his visit with Kate tomorrow. 

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Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Gotcha, in the Cops and Robbers Game.

 

Jack had stopped listening long ago.  It wasn’t a voluntary thing, he was just too captivated by the sight of her to care about anything else.  After she had stopped reading she caught his gaze, which was locked on her eyes.  They both smiled and kissed a kiss so passionate that it belongs in a movie.  They damaged her mantle piece with the love they made.

 

Later, he sat on the edge of the bed, brooding.  Jack never brooded in jail, but he brooded now, naked, sweaty, and coming down off an endorphin rush.  His busty satisfied lover next to him sleeping and breathing heavy, happy breathes.

Jack truly did love Kate, and because he loved her he had never been more conflicted.  Jack knew that the reason he hadn’t been caught and thrown back in jail so far was because he had managed to move from place to place.  So now he had to make some choices.  He had been here with Kate for three weeks now, he knew if he stayed much longer it wouldn’t be long before the cops would catch up with him.

“What do I do?” he thought.  Does he risk getting caught and keep her at risk, this living gift that Jack had received after years of apathy and suppression.  Or does he flee, leaving a note for his lover explaining why she may never see him again.  Either way, he knew he would hurt Kate, and that was exactly what he was trying not to do.

 

He sat on the bed for two hours, trying to think of a way to elude the police and keep Kate.  The more Jack thought about it the more he realized one way or the other Kate was going to find out that Jack was a fugitive.  If he told her and she was okay with it, she would get locked up for aiding and abetting, and that was something Jack would never let happen.  He would sooner take a bullet than let this woman go through the hells he did in prison.  Especially a women’s prison, where she will be subject to the already sadistic guards.

 

He needed to clear his head and think.  He put on some clothes and shoes and a beanie Kate had given him that she knitted herself.   He kissed her cheek, then walked to the corner store to buy a pack of camels.

 

This turned out to be a mistake.

 

Jack got the cigarettes and left the 7 eleven with no confrontations, as he usually expected when going to a market at 3 at night.  He lit one and smoked as he wandered the neighborhood and parked his ass on a bus bench, chain smoking and trying to figure things out.

 

Jack went through four cigarettes when he first heard the sirens, he thought nothing of them.  He hadn’t been here that long, there was no way they could find him.

 

They did.  When one of the six squad cars parading the area turned the corner and started speeding towards him.  They braked suddenly by the bench, the red and blue sirens illuminating Jacks face from a fierce and distressful red to a chilling stunned blue in a taunting back and forth.

They blocked off the sidewalk with the car and before Jack could react or flea, another car came and blocked the sidewalk in the other direction. Jack had a cop car blocking either side of him and he now had four cops standing in front of him blocking him from fleeing across the street.  Each one was strapped in kevlar and had their gun drawn.  Within another the ten seconds the helicopter appeared and the light was right in Jack’s eyes.  In a last attempt to keep his freedom, Jack blindly sprang to his right and managed to leap over the hood of the cop car and out paced the spot light momentarily.  But he didn’t outpace the rookie’s taser which sent 50,000 volts into Jack’s body for what seemed like an unreasonable amount of time to take down an unarmed fugitive.  When Jack came to he was in handcuffs, sitting on the curb with some schmuck in a suit and trench coat standing in front of him like some Law and Order SVU cliche.

 

I’m agent smith of the FBI, as you can guess you are under arrest Mr. Lewis.

 

Jack nodded. he read him his rights and then took in one of the most wanted men in America.

 

The news hit the media in less than an hour.  While he was out Jack was just another transient to the world, now he that he was back in he was a celebrity, the entire world was captivated by the man who walked out of prison. Hashtags started trending for days, ones like #LongLiveLewis #JackAttack #WeLoveJackLewis  he had become a folk hero of sorts to some.  To others it was a chance to reveal their darker side of the internet once again with hashtags like #frylewis #LifeforLewis and the less creative #wehateJackLewis.

He used his phone call for Kate, he got the machine, she was dead asleep.  Jack said he got arrested, gave her the station number, and said don’t bother trying to bail me out, they wouldn’t let it happen, there’s a lot I didn’t tell you, but if you give me a chance to explain… I will.  I love you.

 

As he hung up he realized a bunch of the deputies were watching him and laughing at him.  and mocking him  “I love you..(grunt) yeah right”

 

“Bullshit”

 

“You’ll say anything to get people on your side won’t you.”  were some of the jargon.  This officer then shoved jack’s head, not enough to be called brutality, but just enough to remind Jack he was in and was powerless.   That’s how the police operate in this world, they remind the citizens they are powerless.  Jack knew this game, and he had played it his whole life.  Who is the court going to believe the cop or the three time felon?   The cops were going to remind Jack of that the entire time he would be in holding.

The other cells were full, so they threw Jack into the drunk tank but kept him under round the clock surveillance.  It was futile effort Jack just sat there hanging his head until Kate arrived.  When she saw him she leaped to the cell door and hugged him and kissed him.  She asked what happened before Jack could explain a cop had his baton between the two and he pulled Kate just out of arm’s length.

 

“At least two feet from the bar Miss.” jack noticed when the guard started pulling Kate away with his arm his hand noticeably brushed Kate’s breast.  Kate noticed it, and Jack definitely noticed it.  And the deputy definitely confirmed it as he smiled small but smugly as he walked away.

 

Later this cop would be sorry.  Jack made sure of that, the next time he came to tauntack he had a surprise for him.

 

But now he had to focus, Jack didn’t hesitate, he wanted this to be as quick and painless as it could be.  So Jack just spilled the beans, he told Kate everything; the escape, the wandering, Nancy, the head wounds, the crippled hand, Alice and the sorority girl, all of it.

 

Kate was speechless for five minutes, then when she got the chance as the guard wasn’t looking planted long wet kiss on Jack’s lips.  “Let me know when the arraignment begins. I’m there with you the whole way.  I love you.”

 

“I love you too” jack said and meant it.  He never knew one could fall in love in such a short period of time, but he did.

 

Kate left, confident she could help Jack in someway, unaware she had helped Jack in the best of ways.  Her presence in his life had given him something to live for, something to fight for.

 

Jack was left desperate for more of her company, this look was blatant on his face, and it drew the cop who just sexually harassed Kate over.  He had some new material to taunt Jack and was about to use it. Jack hadn’t been in there for twenty four hours and already sixteen different cops have taunted him right in front of the holding cell door.  This time the pervert cop got greedy, and opened the cell door and stepped in and out and in and out.  “Look at me” he teased “ I can come and go as I please, just like a certain Mister Jack Lewis thinks he can. I can just waltz out of here and visit my friends and go and have sex with my girlfriend any time I want and wait, why don’t you too?”  He kept the door open and stood aside while he raised his palm directing Jack like he was free to go, sarcastically of course, but the cop finally made a mistake he did this standing inside the cell.  The three drunks in the tank made a leap for the door but were immediately clotheslined by the cop.  “not you drunkies.  Come on Lewis.  go for it.”  Jack hated it when he was addressed by his last name; this was the final straw. Before  the cop could react Jack grabbed his outreached arm, twisted it like a motorcycle handle, then brought it down with all it’s gravity onto his knee.  The bone began to stick out through the flesh as the elbow was now bending the wrong way, the guard yelped with pain, and Jack used the cops weight to chuck him on the ground, smacking the back of his head on the concrete floor causing a nice concussion He grabbed the cell keys and the gun. He stepped out and slammed the door and locked it, and told the drunks to “go nuts.”

 

The cops injuries were so bad he was given early retirement.

 

Jack made it out into the hall in a sprint but was once again stopped by some offensively high number of volts that leaped out from behind and bit him in the back.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 14

Chapter 14  The Happy Couple

 

Jack had finished the story by the time Kate was long out of the shower. Now that he had come to, he decided that although the author of these stories was very talented he was also greatly disturbed, or at least in a very dangerous state of mind when he wrote these.  Jack figured maybe it was a fine line between genius and crazy.

Her return broke him out of his feast of literature, and he directed his attention to her lovely, curvy, soft pale body.  He grew hard as instinct began to take over.  He wanted to be with her now, and not the books any more.

 

“I see you’ve got quite the collection here,” Jack commented on the room full of Poe and Shakespeare. As he got up and gently kissed her on the neck and snuck a soft hand down the back of her towel.

 

“Oh, well thank you,” Kate said in that tender, erotic whisper that was her bedroom voice.   He had such strong hands yet such a delicate touch.  Jack’s kisses slowly began to trail down her back.  “Yes, I really love reading.”

 

`“Me too,” Jack said as he moved her arm up, allowing the towel to fall so that Kate stood naked, wet, and helpless, Jack’s lips got closer to their target.

 

“I try to read everything, classics, contemporaries, obscure authors and works, essays, journals, but my personal favorite, are my art books.  I love art, Oh my god!”  She wasn’t going to be able to contain herself anymore.

 

Jack began to dig his tongue deep into her as she tried to carry on, but she just couldn’t.  For some unknown trail of time Jack buried his tongue and two fingers into her body as fast and gentle as he could until the inside of Kate’s legs were gushing and sopping wet, and her screams of pleasure echoed throughout the house.

 

The two needed a minute to catch their breath in between their loving and congratulatory kisses of climaxing.  “Would you like to read with me?”  Kate said in a sudden spur of smiles, love, and inspiration

 

“Sure,” said Jack as the two laid down on the bed to rest.  “I read that last book while you were in the shower.  The guy who wrote it is pretty twisted…”

 

“That’s nothing, you should read Naked Lunch,” Kate interrupted

 

“Anyway,” Jack carried on.  “I’m kinda tired of reading, so why don’t you read to me, while I just lie at your side and kiss you until my lips are sore?”

 

She kissed his chest in order to signal that this was a splendid idea.

 

Kate picked out a book and the two made themselves comfortable on the bed.  Kate made herself some tea and Jack poured himself a strong full glass of bourbon.  Kate showed Jack the book, it was a collection of essays and poems by the same looney who wrote the other stories.  Jack wondered why she was so fixated with the author,  but he didn’t care. He was just glad to be with her and to listen to her read.

 

She carried on  and she began in that amazing theatrical style she did so naturally while Jack cupped her left breast and kissed her neck, gently finding his way down her stomach to the bottom of her leg and back again.  He did it soft enough to make her smile and not distract her from the reading.  She selected her favorite poems and began.

 

wishes by crazy modernisms and former external instincts.  

By natural unnatural intoxication knowledge.

Depraved yet smiling on another winded day.

But so of another wandering light of love on milton forgotten days.

What so can be said of a forbidden lust and wandering capture.

What escape and what a love of such a word of that and what!

By lyric

By center and by try these all and forever will and will not,

ever by light of the modern, and the former, and the knowledge,

 

and the forgotten days.

 

“Beautiful,” exclaimed Jack.

“Yes, it is a good poem isn’t it?” replied his love.  “It reminds me a lot of e.e. cummings.:

“No,” exclaimed Jack.  “The way you read it.”

His love blushed and turned the page, carried on with another poem as he continued his kisses up and down her body.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 Fun Playing God

Needless to say our star crossed lovers spent that night in each others arms.  In fact they had spent every night for the last three weeks in each others arms.  Never had either one been so happy, so warm, so full of joy. Kate was used to men being douche-bags, but she felt Jack was soft and sweet, but so masculine at the Same time. Plus she wanted to take care of him. She felt she understood him, and the world didn’t. The world just locked him up.  But she wouldn’t shun him, she wouldn’t hurt him.  And Jack knew this, and for the first time in his life he felt comforted and at peace.  What Jack couldn’t believe was how much light and change had come into his life, in a single night.

They awoke each day at her apartment.  A studio a few blocks away from Hal and Conners home.    This morning, he heard her sing in the shower, she was singing “God’s gonna cut you down” by Johnny Cash and Jack was simply intoxicated by the beauty of her voice.  

While lost in her song, he danced about her apartment and by her impressive bookshelf.  Upon which he decided to grab a book and lose himself in both her voice and her books.  He walked the shelves until he found the one that struck his interest the most

He picked the one with the most worn out spine.  A collection of short stories by some author who had 17 manuscripts lying around from his teen years after he died.  “Clearly she reads this one a lot,” thought Jack, “I should get a sense for her taste in books if this is going to work out.”

He cracked open the book the first story and began, losing himself in Kate’s songs.

Fun Playing God

by *******************

*Authors Name Omitted for Liability

I am God.  I Control the heavens and the Earth.  I crafted and molded the peak of Everest and I spread the water across the seas.  Life is a canvas and all that is and all that you see is my masterpiece, the beauty of the stars and galaxies are my Mona Lisa, and the majesty of my creatures are my David.  Out of the billion and billions of my creations among my stars, Earth was my masterpiece, my requiem.  

Yet, when I created this Earth I found something was missing.  There was nobody to appreciate it but me.  I thought I was being selfish, so I created other beings, humans, to share these gifts.  I gave you the planet out of selflessness hoping that you would in turn bless another soul by returning the kindness of the Earth .  I also hoped that all would give to the Earth as it gave to them.  

But I was wrong.  You humans have raped my beautiful creation.  The earth has become a filthy scum ridden infestation.  Greed is as constant as oxygen.  My perfect blend of sea and land, unlike all the other planets, my perfect piece of art, my child, my greatest creation, full of evil. pain, and greed, all thanks to you.   Don’t worry, like most artists will tell you, when there is something wrong with a picture, you fix it.  Robert Louis Stevenson created three drafts until he perfected DR. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I just need to do the same to earth.  

Actually, you humans are doing that for me.  Climate Change , Depressions, Wars, disease, all because of your lack of responsibility.   You guys sort of took all the work out for me.

THE ANSWERS

What are the Answers?

Where are the answers?

Are they hidden?

Is there a definite answer?

Answer to what?

What is the question?

Do you know?

Does anyone know?

Who is anyone to say that they know?

I thought no one knows?

Maybe some do, and most of us don’t, so that’s why they are so hard to find?

But then how did those people find the answers?

I hear these so often, truth be told the answer is there is no answer.

YOU ARE NOT THE SUBJECTS OF A GRAND LEADER.  WE ARE EQUALS IN THIS WORLD. WE NEED THE BEGGAR AS WE MUCH AS WE NEED THE WORKER, FOR THERETO BE UP THEREMUST BE DOWN.  IF DOWN WAS ALWAYS DOWN, AND UP DIDN’T EXIST, DOWN WOULDN’T EXIST, BECAUSE DOWN WOULD ALWAYS BE DOWN, IT WOULD BE CONSTANT.  REMEMBER THIS, ALSO REMEMBER TO  SEE THROUGH THE PROPAGANDA EJACULATED TO YOU BY YOUR COMFORTERS.  LIVE BEYOND THE ILLUSION OF COMFORT, ONE FREE OF COMFORT AND DISCOMFORT IS TRULY AT PEACE.  THEY SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS.  

And so it was, the word of the lord.

Peace.

Love.

Happiness.

This was all there was supposed to be to life, but thanks to you cowardly fucks overcomplicating everything by creating your mirage.  You have destroyed what was Eden,and you bastards raped it to shreds.

When I look back I wonder what happened, I wonder how It came out of my grasp.

Let’s tell a few stories, maybe you can get my point.

With every believer there is a prayer, and all those prayers have to come to me, do you understand what it is like to have millions of voices in your heads at once?

Every prayer someone is almost always asking for something, rarely is it ever just one of thanks.  Some things I can help with and something’s I can’t.  I can’t make your dreams come true, I cannot grant wishes, I am merely a teacher, you are the own who must evaluate my lessons.

THERE IS NO DIVISION, THERE IS NO SEPARATION.  EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED, WE ARE ALL ONE, GIANT INFINITE BEINGs ALWAYS EXPANDING AND EVOLVING.    

WE ARE ALL ONE THING, THIS DIVISION IS SIMPLY A MIRAGE.  A MIRAGE THAT IF YOU FAIL TO SEE THROUGH, YOU WILL SUFFER, AND YOU WILL FAIL TO SEE THE SEPARATION OF SUFFERING AND JOY.  YOU WILL BECOME ADDICTED TO THE RUSH OF THE DEEDS BUT THE COMEDOWN OF SUFFERING IS FOREVER THE PRICE OF THIS HIGH.  ABANDON THE MIRAGE.  MIND IS THE FORERUNNER OF ALL ACTIONS.

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

Even an evildoer feels happy

Before his negative actions reach fruition.

However when the evil ripens

He will have a bountiful harvest of evil results.

The Dhammapada

I found how blind you humans are somewhat hilarious to be honest.  I look around at my children and I see them taking medicines which hurt and destroy them with chemicals and synthetics.  I gave you humans a bounty of medicine in nature.    I gave it to you free for the taking.  But because you people are blind deaf and dumb, you created more disease, more filth.  Having a beautiful clean world shouldn’t be a chore, it should be your joy.  I only have one earth, I thought that meant you’d appreciate it.

Perceive the world as a bubble.

Perceive the world as a mirage.

If you see the world in this way,

You render the Lord of Death powerless.

The Dhamapada

I willed for many a tragedy to happen.  I also will for every miracle, it entertains me to reward humans for their successes, and it satisfies me to punish you when you deserve it.  Your failures of classism, racism, and all the rest of your fuck ups, have been restituted with the deaths of numerous benevolent leaders, musicians politicians, actors, you name it.  The scandals of those who preach my name, it is there restitution for abusing my name.  They use my name to hate other innocents, so I make them sex and coke addicts and give them incurable cancer.  Oh the fun I have killing the unworthy, but I cry when I kill the innocents to punish you, it seems sometimes that’s the only way I can teach you a lesson is to take away the good.  

 But hey, shit happens.

Free will.

It comes with responsibility.

For there to be moderation there must be overconsumption.

For there to be up there must be down.

Life cannot exist without the positive and the negative.

For there would be no balance

LOOK AROUND THE ANSWERS ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.  A FINGER IS POINTING AT THE MOON, DON’T FOCUS ON THE FINGER OR YOU WILL MISS THE BOUNTY AND BEAUTY OF THE MOON.

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

A question I hear from you a lot is, “How was this planet created?”  Well as I said I am God I control the heavens and the earth.  I pull the strings with my own two hands without you ever seeing it.  The laws of gravity are constant thanks to my planning.  As for how the Earth was created essentially I clumped a big ball of nothing together into a dense mass, until the mass was so dense it imploded upon exploding into the world.  You humans evolved from the puddle of ooze that was the Earth into carbon based living beings.  Marvels of the majesty that is art and science can be seen throughout nature and even the naked body.  Yet you let ancient metaphors block your judgment keeping you blind to the beauty of the body and the joy of sex.  

Don’t you think there is a reason I made sex feel so good?Because I wanted you to enjoy yourselves.  Death is inevitable. So I gave you simple pleasures, like sex and natural intoxicants, such as wine.  Yes, I gave you wine. Wine comes from nature, look it up.  

Why do you humans think you need to suffer your whole life to be rewarded in death?  Don’t you see I gave you Earthly pleasures to enjoy your short time there?  Think about it, “Heaven on Earth!?”  What the hell do you think awaits you in the afterlife?   So long as you don’t hurt anything or anyone you should feel free to do as you please.  Enjoy your entire time on earth, don’t suffer in the long run in order to be happy in short run.  Life is not a wave you have to work and paddle to ride and enjoy, life is the ride of the wave itself.  So drink up and grab your lover.  Those of you how enjoy others suffering are doomed to suffer.

I have all the answers, and I am always willing to give them.  I recall a meeting with one of my children, just weeks ago.

She approached me but she dared not to get to close, she was a young woman, and you have no idea what joy it gives me that some people care enough.

“Are you God?” she asked.

“Yes my child,” I replied and she wrote something on her notepad, I could tell she wanted to hear what I had to say, she wanted to write it down and remember it all.  She continued to ask me questions.

“Do you know everything?” She asked, I could tell she was just a little skeptical, they all are when they first meet me.

“Yes,” I said.  She decided now to seize the opportunity and put to rest her quest for answers.

“What is the meaning of life?”  She asked first.

“Peace, Love, and Happiness, I suppose.  Come back to that question in little bit so I can think it ove because there are a lot of right answers to that problem.”

She wrote it down without hesitation.  “Why did you create suffering?”

“So you may know what joy is.”  She wrote this down.

“Do you control everything?” She asked, I not buried her skepticism.

“Essentially, I do, but I do it without you ever seeing it.  I keep you on Earth with gravity, it holds you on the planet, and I don’t have to do a damn thing after I invented gravity.  You invented the label for it though.  Remember all labels are subjective.ook at the different labels that are my children’s languages.”

She nodded and continued to write.  “Did you settle on an answer for the first question?”

“I’m afraid there is no answer to that question my child.”

She nodded, “I understand,” she gave me an offering as a thanks, and left.

THE MEANING TO LIFE IS THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE.

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

HUMANS INVENTED RAPE, HUMANS INVENTED MURDER, YOU ARE THE GUILTY INNOCENTS.  YOU ARE ALL SAINTS AND YET SINNERS.  YOU ALWAYS ATTEMPT PERFECTION.  YOU FAIL TO SEE THAT WHAT MAKES YOU IMPERFECT IS WHAT MAKES YOU THE SAME.  YOU ARE ALL VICTIMS AND VICTIMIZERS BOTH.

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

People under the idiotic notion that the only way to be happy is to be free of stain.  You forget no one is free from stain.  No one is free of criticism.o one is free of pain.No one is free from attack.You humans look for ways to be free of these things, but you cannot be.

Why do you humans waste your time asking me all these questions when you already know the answers?  You ask me what is the meaning of life is, and you know what it is, but you can’t accept the fact.  You are always preparing for the future.   There is no future.

MY NAME IS NOT A TOOL TO BE USED FOR ANY MATTER.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING THE WORLD “HEAVEN ON EARTH”. THE WAY IS NOT BY YELLING MY NAME AT PEOPLE BUT YELLING MY MESSAGE.

AND I MEAN MY MESSAGE NOT YOURS.  LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, GIVE YOUR COAT TO THE MAN WITHOUT ONE.  YOU ARE INDIVIDUALS, BUT YOU LIVE IN A COMMUNITY, WE PERCEIVE THE WORLD SEPARATELY YET TOGETHER.  WE CAN MAKE THIS WORLD THE PLACE IT WAS BEFORE YOU HUMANS INVENTED WAR.  YOUR ANIMAL INSTINCTS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE USED IN SELF DEFENSE.  NOT MURDER.  

ALL WAR IS JUST AN EXCUSE FOR PILLAGE, RAPE, AND MURDER WITHOUT SUFFERING ANY CONSEQUENCES, SO I CREATED CONSEQUENCES.  

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

When I say I’ve killed innocents, I’m talking about Martin Luther King or Gandhi. They died to show you the suffering which you have inflicted on others.  I also felt that they could serve a higher purpose in death than in life.  Because in death their lessons can be appreciated, in life they remain the subject of debate.  In death they are subjects of history.  They are the symbols in death they couldn’t be in life.  I truly cried when I had to kill Lincoln, King, the Kennedy’s, and I laughed my ass off when I popped Hitler, Stalin, and Jerry Falwell.  I  cried when I had to open the gates of heaven to Hitler’s 11 million.  

THIS IS HEAVEN YET THIS IS HELL. THIS IS REAL YET THIS IS FALSE.  THIS EXISTS YET IT DOES NOT.  I’M REAL, YET I’M NOT, I’M EVERYWHERE YET NO WHERE.  INFINITE YET CONFINED.

And so it was, the word of the Lord.

She visited again.

“Do you still control, the heavens and the Earth?”  She asked.  I understand her skepticism.he debauchery and sin of the world has reached shocking levels under my radar.  But fear not, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

“I understand your skepticism, it would seem I have lost control, fear not my child, it is all part of the divine plan.  But it gives me hope for my people when I see them so concerned about my kingdom.”

She looked back at me, “I was more concerned about you.”  Then she smiled, this one is truly a gift to this Earth.  She then gave me two blue offerings and scoop from the well, and she was off again. I always want to follow her, but I can’t.   I want to run and tell her how much this world needs people like her, so considerate of the welfare of so many beings, even the Lord.  But this locked door, these padded walls, keep me from getting to her.

Why do so many question if ‘I’m god?  They say “No, you are Isaac J. Constantine,” why can’t I be both?

You humans keep your own creator in containment because you have wandered so far away from me, you don’t even recognize me.  You don’t even recognize your father.  You have become so unfaithful. You’ve taken my words for heresy and follow the priests and preachers like the Hitler youth.  It’s okay, abuse me all you want, one who can take abuse without delivering retribution is truly in control of themselves.  I can only lead by example and hope those follow.    But remember, God is everywhere. I am everywhere. I am everything. Just as I am the plants in the ground and the clouds in the air. Look in the mirror, and you will see I’m also you.

So, you can keep my hands tethered to my sides in this jacket,. You can keep my body in this padded cell.  You can throw the word “insane” around all you want.  You can fuck with your free will all you want. Just remember, I have the final say in reality.For I am God, and I control reality.  I am reality.  So…

SO NOW  GOODBYE.  IT’S TIME I KEEP THE PROMISES MADE IN REVELATIONS.  I HAVE MUCH WORK TO DO!

GOODBYE, GOODBYE,  GOODBYE.

Jack found the work weird and confusing, he heard Kate get out of the shower and he could hear her singing even louder now that the water was off.

Lost in her song once again, he turned to another story and kept reading.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 12

Chapter 12  I’m With The Band

 

The next morning they all awoke one by one at the early hour of dawn.  They all rubbed their twinging necks and backs and gave each other shit for being so stupid for sleeping sitting up on the couches, especially these couches which they found in a scrap heap, and had hints of scabies when they first got them and cleaned them.

 

They recovered from their twinges with whiskey and a hearty breakfast, as well as a hash pipe session that Seth was so kind to initiate.  Jack asked what the plans were and Conner responded, “Well, we have practice today at five to eight.  Before and after that we’re free, but before practice I’m gonna take a nap.”

 

“You know what we should do today,”  said Hal, “role a fat joint, and I mean cigar sized, and we go to the forrest, drink some beers and have some fun.”

 

After about forty five minutes of rolling joints, packing food, and arguing for shotgun, they shipped off in what was an hour long drive into where Jack had no idea, it was some transcendent place in the Cascades.   The more they went on these nameless freeways and roads that went deeper and deeper into the trees and fields the more Jack was getting lost in the awe of the sights before him.  With every turn, with every mile came more and more beautiful blue sky lines dotted with puffs of white and the ground was just a bloom with the most vibrant greens, browns, and reds.  The almost neon technicolor wildflowers sprung from the hills and dotted the green horizon.  Jack had never seen anything so beautiful, so worthy of awe, in his entire life.

 

They eventually reached some huge park that Jack had never heard of, it was a popular local spot.  After they parked the group carried their blankets, food, and drugs deep into the forest on some painful yet pristine path.  Eventually settling on a spot deep in the woods far away from everyone, right next to a small lake surrounded by a grove of trees like a white picket fence, protecting our friends from the harms of the outside world.

 

They began their day.  Joints were lit and the boys talked, some vented about their girl troubles, Hal went on tangents about the need for music and art in society, while Conner strummed a small acoustic guitar, and Jack just got high and listened.  He was paying attention to what his new friends were saying and taking all of their words and perspectives truly to heart.  However, he wasn’t in the conversation; he was not even looking at them when they passed him the joint.  He was still lost in the awe that was before him; the shimmer of the lake, and the shine of the sun with its sweet reflection on the clouds in the sky, along with the circle and the bounty of the trees before him.  Jack couldn’t help losing himself in it for some reason.

 

Jack was amazed and lost in the beauty before him.  It wasn’t until Hal said something that he was shaken out of his nature coma.

 

“JACK!”  yelped Hal with a smile.  “You good over there bro?  You haven’t said anything for a while.”

 

“I’m fine,” Jack replied.  “Just, you know…”  Jack was too stoned to think of an eloquent response.

 

“Just lost in the forest, huh?”  Hal completed with a smile and without hesitation.

 

Jack nodded, “Yeah.  I don’t know why, it’s just so..”

 

“I know why!” Hal interjected again.  “It’s because its’ the brain kicking in your natural instincts.  Our brains are so caught up in the artificial world we feel we need to survive we ignore the states of emotions we get just by coming out of the artificial.  Just by coming out here you’re just getting a taste of what prehistoric man saw and experienced.  You’re getting a taste of what the Natives saw before we stole their land and you’re feeling what the first pioneers must have felt when they saw the world beyond what they were used to.  Now anyone could say these aren’t natural instincts, these are romantic fairy tales, that being awe struck isn’t a natural instinct but just psychological romanticism.

“But they are wrong.  All our emotions, are somehow in-tuned to some animal instinct we have.  Our awe of nature is our instinct of reflection on the self and the world.  It’s through this reflection that we are able to see who and what we really are and can be the more wiser for it.

“It was the awe and beauty that ancient man felt that inspired him to create song and paint on walls, which are the things that make life worth living.  Now some say that still isn’t natural and we don’t need those things, but again they are wrong.  If it wasn’t for our songs and our art and these outlets, these entertainments, then we would be just like every other animal. That’s what makes humans so cool, we not only have animal instincts but our instincts also become both analytical and psychological while still standing in the romantic.”  Hal paused for a minute and tried to remember what he was originally talking about.  His speech returned to its normal speed when he said, “So I know why you felt awe struck.”

 

Jack didn’t say much in response.  he just smiled nodded, he said that it made sense, and passed Hal the joint.

 

The hours passed, Jack and the others had become incredibly stoned, they were blotchy and red from the sun, and were out of food.  As the sun slipped away and the sky began slipping to its tri-colored beautiful warning sign of the night, they shipped off and returned home.

 

Once back, Seth gathered his things and left to go back to his place.  He said his goodbyes to Conner, Hal, Jason, and Jack and promised to be back for practice the next day.  Jason left soon after.

 

Once Seth and Jason were gone, Conner got a big box of Pizza Bagels and heated them up while Hal put on a movie.  Conner then passed out beers and they sat and passed the hours of the night once again.

 

“When’s your guys gig?” asked Jack when he remembered.

 

“In two more days, at 10:30 at some house party.”  said Conner.  “It should be pretty awesome.  Tons of beer, tons of girls, you know just a fun time and a hopefully good show.”

 

“It will be good,” said Hal with his usual enthusiasm.  “We got lasers and bubbles!”

 

The days passed in the manner that Jack had become accustomed, in a smoke filled haze.  After hours and hours of pot smoking and cartoon watching, the day of the gig came.  They all left for the party, and Jack acted as sort of a roadie.  He helped them set up and enjoyed the benefits of telling the passers by at the party he was with the band.

 

The crowd grew and built in mass.  Soon the house was full to burst with people like a 19th century ship on the Atlantic filled with East European immigrants. Jack was front and center when the show began, first with a cover of the Red Hot Chili peppers’ “Can’t Stop.”  It was the minute the intro peaked with the guitar solo that she walked in.

 

Jack was frozen stiff.  Jack had never seen anyone so beautiful, so original, and so soft of an air.  Thanks to a stroke of luck, her eyes caught his, and both looked away with a smile, and both drifted closer and closer to each other as the band played their set.  Eventually they met, and Jack extended his hand.

 

“What’s your name?” he yelled over the deafening guitars and drums.

 

“Kate.”  She said with that sweet auburn smile that hypnotized Jack.

 

“I’m Jack,” he responded, searching for the next thing to say.

 

“You have a very strong grip.”  Kate said to him.  Both couldn’t help but giggle at how awkward and dorky the other felt.

 

The night carried on with the most minimal and awkward of back and forths between the two, but one thing was desperately obvious.  The two were already falling in love with each other.

Jack didn’t want to believe it, but he did.  He didn’t know what it was, but there was something about this girl.  The more time he spent next to Kate, dancing with her, talking with her, the more he couldn’t bare the idea of being apart from her.  He wished the music wouldn’t stop and that this party would never end.  Jack had never felt like this before in his life.  The warmth of her body as he held her close sent a sensational tingle up his spine.  He didn’t want her to leave, he did not want to let her go.

Soon the gig ended, and the party slowly dispersed, but they still held each other close and still talked.  On the surface it seemed like idle chit chat.  Yet Conner and Hal could see in Jack’s eyes that he was falling for Kate, and decided to help him seal the deal.

 

“Hey Jack,” said Hal, “I see you met our friend Kate.”

 

“I did.  She was telling me she’s learning to be a nurse.”  Jack replied.

 

“And I was about to ask Jack about his tattoo,” added Kate, much to Jack’s despair.

 

Kate saw the frozen look of despair on Jack’s face and she knew that it was her last comment that made it happen.  But it confused her to no end.

 

“What’s wrong?”  She asked.

 

“I didn’t want to tell you so soon.  The barcode is a prison tattoo.  They’re my numbers from when I was in Leavenworth.”  Jack, for the first time, felt pure unadulterated shame when he had to say that, the only thing Jack was ashamed of before this was trying to tell his dad he loved him when he was five, and his dad laughed and beat him and called him a faggot.

 

Jack couldn’t even look her in the eye when he said it.  Hal was so uncomfortable he just slipped away.  But Kate only smiled, she lifted Jack’s chin up with her fingers, and led his face toward hers.

 

They kissed, and for the first time in his whole life, Jack let his guard down, and he let the warmth of the woman he loved into his life.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Portlandians

On the third day, the rain had not stopped, and Jack rose that morning in such a hungover stupor that he felt like he was rising from the dead.  He stumbled drunkenly into the bathroom and emptied his water-ballooned bladder.  He was groggy, he didn’t realize how strong those ales Nancy drank were.

Jack could tell that the place was empty, Nancy was nowhere to be found.  Jack thought nothing of it and proceeded to load bong hits.  Nancy returned fifteen minutes later with another twelve pack of beer and a few groceries, soaked from the storm still raging outside.

“We are in luck,” said Nancy.

“Why is that?” asked Jack.

“I just cashed my last check, and now I got hella beer money.”  Nancy chuckled and lit a cigarette.  He gave one to Jack along with a beer.  Jack reluctantly accepted, remembering it was blasphemy in his world to pass a free drink.

They resumed their past activities of shit talking trash tv while getting drunk and stoned.  Until after a loud crash of lightning and thunder, when the entire house went black.

“Ah fuck!” said Nancy with a chuckle, which made it hard to tell if he was seriously upset or not.

“Well let’s just drink and smoke.” Jack proposed.

They continued and jabbered on to twiddle the hours.  This time Nancy went on a tirade about how it’s unconstitutional to pay taxes, which didn’t sound quite right to Jack, but he decided not to challenge it. He was not in the mood for a debate; he didn’t care if he was right or not.  Jack liked Nancy, and he wasn’t about to instigate conflict by challenging his views.

The conversation then shifted to Nancy giving a thirty minute tirade about how stupid twitter was, and it ended with Jack admitting he had no clue what twitter was.  Nancy explained it to him as “stalking made easy.”  Then asked if he hadn’t heard about prisoners sneaking in phones where he got locked up.

“All the time,” Jack admitted.  

“That’s one of the things they do with them, they actually updated their facebooks and twitters with shit like, ‘Oh shit some nigga just got shanked and shit like that.’”  Nancy explained.  “Charles Manson actually just got in trouble for that, but it makes me wonder how the fuck he got a cell phone.  I mean a guy like him has to be pretty hard to get to.”

Jack pointed out that Manson did have a wife who visits him, and Nancy and him both had a laugh about how desperate that bitch must have been.  Then they both cringed a little at how crazy the bitch must be.

The conversation shifted back to an explanation of twitter.  Which led to a conversation about Facebook, which Nancy also hated, and from Facebook trends in general.  Which lead to a conversation about dub-step.  Jack admitted had no idea what it was, and Nancy immediately told him, “Good,  it’s the worst trend in music and it’s an embarrassment to guys like you and me who don’t waste our time when we get fucked up.  All dub-step is, is techno on ecstasy and acid.  It sucks.  It is the shittiest music genre ever.  It’s worse than country, hell with country you have to at least have enough intellect to come up with lyrics, shitty though they may be.  But with dub-step all you need is a mix-table and a laptop, hell you don’t even need the fucking mix table.  All you need to make dub-step is a laptop, mainly because any dub-step song you make no matter what you use sounds the fucking same.  The people who make dub-step don’t think so, they think they’re being fucking artists, and they get all pompous and bull-shitty about it.  Now every jerk off with a PC can “make music” while spanking it to Bree Olsen and then go around calling himself a musician.  It pisses me OFF!”

Jack had seen people in his cell block get stabbed, he heard them getting raped during quiet hours, and he had seen his father beat his mother to the point of death.  None of those things scared Jack anymore.  This reaction of Nancy’s, scared the living piss out of him, but like usual, he kept his composure and all he did was nod, and reply with, “I know what you mean.”

The time passed, Jack and Nancy passed the hours by drinking more beer, smoking more pot, and swapping stories.  Jack told Nancy about meeting Leonard Peltier and how many shankings he had witnessed, 75, and Nancy told him about countless nights of blurred drunken escapades that generally involved either a sardonic take on satanism or some anti societal bias.

The storm passed the next day.  Jack resolved it was time to leave his friend and carry on.  Around noon they shared one last beer and bong rip, and they parted ways.  As he walked away Nancy yelled out, “Remember you’re out and you can stay out. I know your girlfriend Bubba will miss you, but you’re a good guy, you don’t belong in jail.”

Jack said his thanks as he walked away, he felt bad he didn’t show more emotion because that was actually one of the nicest things anyone had said to him.

“A little kindness from a stranger can go a long way.”  Jack resolved to himself.  He knew he would miss Nancy just as much as he missed Fiona, Alex, and Kobe.  He wondered if they ever thought about him, but soon resolved that he didn’t care.

“I don’t need people,” Jack always told himself, “I didn’t need them in prison and I don’t need them now.”  Jack was very much in denial in regards to these matters.  Like anyone in denial he knew he was, but still like everyone of them he told himself he didn’t care.

It was immediately after he had this thought that a homeless thug came up from behind and bashed him in the head, and robbed him blind.

Jack didn’t wake up for nearly two days, when he woke up he had no shoes and no cash, not even his books.  Blood covered half of his face, some of it still wet and other parts drying to a deep red crust.  He was slumped in front of a free clinic, according to a homeless man, he got dumped in front of the free clinic when he was taken to a hospital and it was found he had no insurance.  They didn’t notice he was also an escaped felon.

Jack got his wound sewn shut after a three hour wait.  He wandered the streets circling block upon block, his beard dirty and stained with dried crusty blood, lost in a confused amnesia like daze.  For the first time in years Jack felt alone, scared desperate, and confused.  He was like a three year old lost in the supermarket looking for his mom.  He was clutching his dirty hobo hair on the verge of tears, lost in fear and anxiety.  As soon as the world started to spin, Jack passed out again.

Every few hours Jack would open his eyes, only for few seconds, and then suddenly they would close again.  Every time he opened them he saw something different.  First he saw what looked like the shadows of humans surrounding him.  Then he felt like he was being carried, moved , as if he was flying, he opened his eyes only to a bright beam of sun behind a form sitting next to him.  He still felt like he was flying.

He didn’t wake up until the next day.  It was to the smell and sizzle of fresh bacon.  He awoke with a start.  Could it be he was back with his college friends?

No, he wasn’t.  He immediately realized thathe was not in a beachfront house, but an apartment, that looked like it was decorated by Tommy Chong and the Grateful Dead. Tapestries with celtic knots and tie dye covered the windows.  Hendrix, Morrison, and Zeppelin posters decorated the rooms.  The person cooking in the kitchen was some hipster in a thrift store sweater, fitted jeans and a beanie with a strand of hair sticking out over one eye.  At the table was a pale kid with brown short hair and a lime green sweatshirt with the faded logo of some college no one’s ever heard of, he was strumming a baby blue nylon string guitar and singing about things he saw around the room. “Lamp, Lamp, Oh Oh I looovve Lamp.”  He stopped when he noticed Jack coming to.  

“He’s awake.” he told the guy in the beanie cheerfully.  

The man cooking turned around to show he had a thin beard and glasses.  He smiled along with his friend at the table. “Good, he looks way better.”

“Yeah he’ll be alright,”  replied the guitarist.

“Where am I?” Jack asked still delirious from his pulsating brain.  

“You’re in our apartment, we found you lying on the sidewalk with that bump on your head and that mutilated hand of yours and we thought “Wow, this guy needs help,” said the guy with the guitar.

“We were going to take you to a hospital but a guy lying knocked out outside of a free clinic doesn’t seem think you would have insurance,” said the guy in the beanie.  “So we brought you here, did what we could for your wounds, you know, cleaned them and treated them with this balm.”

“Then we laid you down on the couch.  You’ve been out for almost a day,” completed the guitarist.  “I’m Hal, and this is Conner.”

“Nice to meet you.”  Jack said, “I’m Jack.  Thank you, that was an incredibly nice thing of you to do.”  He was amazed, that was probably the nicest thing anyone had done for him, up to this point at least.  These two had such a happy friendly air that Jack couldn’t help but feel happy along with them despite his pain, which was thankfully starting to die away.

“How are you feeling?” asked Conner.  

“I’m feeling better, thank you.”  Jack replied.

“So what’s your story stranger?”  asked Hal after a dramatic strum.  “How did you get all these wounds if you don’t mind me asking?”  

Jack explained to them about the gash on his head and how the store clerk mutilated his palm.  There only response was “Damn that’s fucked up,” followed by a comical tirade by Hal about how bad guns are.  

Jack sat down at the table as Conner served the breakfast and joined them.  Jack also explained that he was homeless because he was an ex convict, and about his past thefts.  Hal sympathized.  “I was put on probation for Opium possession when I was in college.”

“Bummer,”  was Jack’s reply.  Jack remembered when he was first put on probation when he was seventeen.  Some bitch in school lied and told the cops he held a knife to her throat.  Jack got two years probation and had to see a counselor.  He faked his way through therapy then got busted again.

Jack enjoyed the company of these two.  They had the air of living cartoon characters who were only concerned with having fun.  Through their talks they revealed to Jack that they were musicians in a band.  The had been working a lot of local gigs for the last couple of years, to the point where they can even make a decent living off of it.  They had a few demos recorded but no official album.  “Our dream is to get a record deal,” said Conner.

“We are getting there,”  added Hal.  “Our gigs are getting bigger and bigger and a lot of people follow our shows.  So we already have fans.”

“We are going to be having practice soon if you want to hang out and listen,”  said Conner.  “The other members should be here around three.”

“I’m down.” said Jack, he felt the least he could do for these guys was listen to their music after they took him out of the cold, fed him, and treated his wounds.  

The two smiled and were happy to have someone to play for.  They spent the morning smoking a joint and playing Super Smash Brothers, waiting for the rest of the band to show up.  The other two members showed up and introduced themselves.  One was a long haired hippie named Seth, who Jack decided he liked immediately because he had as friendly of an air as Hal and Conner.  The other guy, was Jason, a non pot smoker but avid drinker who showed up with two bottles of whiskey for everyone.

The band got their stuff together and started playing.  They rehearsed their songs and covers, then worked on a new song for an hour or so.  Jack enjoyed their sound, they sounded like a return to the rock n roll of CCR in an indie band with synthesizers added to the mix.  Jason was a fantastic drummer, and Seth’s bass was perfect with Conner’s vocals and his guitar.  From song to song, Hal jumped from a drum to a keyboard to a rhythm guitar, and he did it with such ease that Jack was impressed.  When their practice was finished Jack gave them a genuine applause and praise.  

“We have a gig in a few nights if you want to come?” said Seth.

“I’d love to.”  Jack said

After the rehearsal, Jack spent the hours smoking with the members of the band and conversing.  Jason didn’t partake but he stayed and hung out while serving everyone whiskey.   While they got stoned, Seth and Conner began doing some half baked philosophy.

“You see I don’t think you can say humankind is good or evil,” said Conner as he toked up.  “I think that people are what their surroundings make them and what they choose to be.  You know, like good and evil aren’t really real things”

“That’s not a hundred percent accurate,”  interjected Jack, which surprised no one but Jack, he was never one for philosophy.  “I’ll agree that humans are not intrinsically or naturally one way or another, but good and evil are very real things.  For there to be people who are nice decent and good there has to be people who are pure scum.  I’ve been in Jail for a long time, I’ve seen both the most disgusting scum ridden piece of shit, and I’ve seen decent guys who just got a bad stroke of luck.  It’s half luck, half effort when it comes to making your own world or defining who you are.  But good and evil are very real.”

“Yeah but what defines good or evil?” said Hal, “Who’s to say what is good or evil?”

“Evil is the unnecessary harm of living things. Harm may be necessary at times, but people who profit or amuse or relish in the suffering and pain of others are evil.  I’ve seen these people.  I can say they were evil.  As for who creates the written in stone definition of the two, that’s completely up to the individual.  I said good and evil were real but I never said they were not relative.”  

Jack was shocked at himself.  That was the most eloquent and intelligent thing he had ever said.  The others nodded their heads and mulled it over, then Hal suddenly changed the topic to opium laws and Andy Warhol.  

Jack didn’t talk for a while after that.  He was confused, awe struck even.  He couldn’t figure out how a schmuck ex con like him, who didn’t even show up for most of his schooling, put together such an intelligent sounding thought.  Then he realized, it was the reading and the travel.  He was finally starting to see a world beyond that which he knew.

The gentlemen got more and more stoned or drunk until they were basically glued to their couches. They eventually passed out on the couches slumped in manners that would destroy their backs and necks the next day.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 10

Chapter 10   Nancy

 

Jack walked and walked, depleted of memory or energy.  He felt weak, he needed food and needed it fast.  He was glad to find water fountains so he could drown his dehydration.  Jack hadn’t been in so much pain in years.  So devoid of energy and strength, he felt open and exposed, as if anyone could get him at any time if they wanted to, and it was true.  Any one could get him at this time, Jack was surprised that nobody tried.  Then again they already had.

 

Jack eventually found a mom and pop liquor store.  He walked out with his bags as full as if he had just gone grocery shopping.

 

He walked up half the block before the pop from the store, a sixty something Vietnam vet, fired and reloaded a shot from a small handgun, grazing Jack’s palm, taking out a healthy sized chunck.  Jack looked back and was lucky the old coots eyesight was failing him because he just dodged another bullet meant for his stomach, the last bullet was supposed to go into Jack’s spine.

 

Jack easily outran the bastard but now became aware of the sound of sirens behind him.  Jack thought the sound was coming from at least two blocks behind, and he saw a dumpster ten feet ahead.  He timed it just right and laid low in the dumpster as he heard the sirens pass.  He didn’t hesitate to see how far they were. He just grabbed his stuff and went in the opposite direction of the old coot and the cops.  His palm smeared blood on all his clothes and a big red deformed animal print was left all over the dumpster.

 

The cops hunting Jack would never find it.  They still thought Jack was in Boise.

 

Jack ran grasping his palm in horrific pain.  He took out the pimp’s shirt from his back back and tore a long thin strand of its fabric and wrapped it as tightly as he could around his  hand.  He choked off the bleeding, but couldn’t move a single finger except his thumb.  He could actually see the gap in his palm and see the pool of blood filling it in.  Jack wondered what to do, and he resolved to get the hell out of the city as soon as he could.

 

Jack got out of Portland in a matter of hours and before the day was over, he had entered Washington state.  Jack decided to continue his trek north, as far north as he could go.  Jack would do what it takes, but he resolved he would start a new trek in Canada.  It was far from the authorities and he could fight extradition easily. he wasn’t Leonard Peltier after all, what do the cops have to gain by putting one schmuck like him back into some already over crowded and diseased infested prison.

 

Cops only had the bragging rights to gain, saying they brought in a dangerous, escaped convict. It was all they had to gain by putting Jack back in, and it was all they wanted.  It was all the reason they needed.

 

Some of the guards at Leavenworth even hoped they would bring him back there, and in their hopes were already preparing their taunts and teases for the bugger.  One was going to take Jack’s chains off and leave the front door open and pretend he didn’t have his gun.Then if the bugger made a move for it he would bash his brains into the depths of his bowels.

 

That guard had a heart attack and died the same day he had the idea.

 

Another was going to dangle keys in front of Jacks cage like a game of keep away in an elementary school play yard.

 

Jack was completely oblivious about the fact that the law was going insane trying to bring him in.  The media hadn’t even mentioned the story since Jack first walked out which Jack also hadn’t realized it but that was six months ago.  It had been a whole six months since he saw Kobe Alex and Fiona, he missed them.  Especially the warmth of their home.

 

He decided to camp in a clearing under the stars when his energy was no more.  When he lied down to go to sleep, he could not help but find it a little funny that after he might have knocked up a girl he got shot in his hand.

 

By the time Jack reached Seattle he had finished Ivanhoe and was now beginning The Art of War.  He had been moneyless for days and had stolen every drop of food and alcohol he had when he ran out of goods from the old coot’s store.  The palm caused Jack horrific pain daily, yet with almost everything else Jack saw, he didn’t care.  He honestly couldn’t care less about the safety and cleanliness of his wound, he was more concerned with the lessons to be taught by Sun Tzu.

 

Jack still had no use of his hand except his thumb, but he still managed to get by alright.  The blood had thickened into an almost perfect circle, and had solidified as if Jacks palm had a big red circle in the middle of it creasing into the bottom edge of his pinky.  The streaks and lines on his gushy circle looked like a cross hairs of a sniper rifle.

 

Jack slumped in an alley behind a pizza shop, and stuck his nose in his books, but he was interrupted by the rain.  It started to come down in bucket sized drops, and the wind blew harsh like a tempist storm.  Jack consented to sit in the pizza place until they kicked him out.  He knew that since he couldn’t buy a slice they wouldn’t let him stay too long, but Jack just wanted to be out of the rain.  Now he started to miss his old friends even more.

 

He sat in the farthest corner of the parlor, a 21 year old covered in tattoos came from around the counter and asked if there was anything he could get him.  Jack told him he didn’t have any money and just wanted to get out of the rain.  The obvious death rocker told him it was cool, and he understood. He told Jack he could stay as long as he needed, or until they have a rush and needed the table.

 

Jack thanked the guy and returned to reading.  “The man’s generousity definitly conflicted with the bloody sea creatures and deformed mutants he had tattooed on his arms,” though Jack.

 

Ten minutes later another person, much older and probably the owner, came up to Jack asking the same question, but in a much more forceful irritated and rude manner.  Jack told him the same story, and the man asked him to leave.  Jack told him the other guy told him it was cool.  The man asked to be excused for a second.

 

In the back room he could hear them screaming and shouting.

 

“ITS NOT YOUR FUCKING RESTAURANT ITS MINE.  YOU GOT IT?” the boss screamed.

 

“FUCK YOU,” screamed the tattooed employee.  He continued knowing he was definitely fired after that outburst.  “HE’S JUST A BUM TRYING TO STAY OUT OF THE RAIN.  WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO THROW HIM OUT ON THE STREETS?”

 

“YES!” screamed the owner back, soon following it up with a yelp of pain, a gurgling of blood, and a crash which was then followed by benign yelps of, “PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST GET THE HELL OUT!”

 

Jack soon saw the employee storm out and throw his apron on to the counter.  He put on his leather jacket and walked out into the rain.  Jack followed after him.

 

“THANKS.” Jack cried out sincerely.

 

The tattooed death rocker had let his hair down since leaving, revealing curly untamed Tarzan locks. His combat boots were stained with paint, and like the rest of his clothes they were black.  He puffed away at his cigarette under a shoddy umbrella as he turned to face Jack.

 

“No problem!” he yelled over the traffic and wind.  “Don’t trip, it ain’t your fault, this was just a long time coming.”

 

After a brief pause the man made Jack an offer he couldn’t refuse. “You wanna come smoke some pot!”

 

Jack jumped on the opportunity and followed the man up four blocks to a townhouse that reeked of pale ales and pot.  When Jack stepped through the door it was like being back in Santa Monica, only with one other person in the house.

 

“I’m Jack by the way.” Jack said as they stepped through the door.

 

“Nancy, and if you make a joke about that I’m going to punch you in your crotch.”  He replied soon following it with a vibrant smile and chuckle.

 

“It’s cool,” said Jack, “I’ve been to the pen so I’ve heard weirder names. Trust me.”

 

“Oh,” he said following it with another chuckle, “No shit?  Well, whatever dude.  We’ve all had a run in with the law.  Do want a beer?”

 

“Sure.”

 

Nancy retreated and soon returned with two large pale ales.  “Yeah a couple of these fuckers, and they’ll put me in my place, and its a good place.”

 

They both chuckled and drank their beer, as they talked Nancy packed and lit a bowl in his bong.

 

Jack did think it was odd that a man with bloody skeleton tattoos and psychedelic sleeves would go by the name Nancy.  But Jack was fairly open minded for your self educated ex con. The guy could be named Pinky Mcgee and Jack wouldn’t have cared.

Nancy was different. He had the look of a death metal Marilyn Manson worshiper but the air of a friendly and good natured person.

 

Then the conversation somehow shifted to Charles Manson,  apparently although he thought he was a horrible person, Nancy admitted that Manson’s writing Helter Skelter was in some aspects true and should be given credit where credit was due.  “I mean he was right about a lot of shit, I mean, yeah, he’s responsible for killing innocent people and almost killing a president, but he was right about shit, like how everything is going to have to be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.”

 

Jack didn’t quite agree with what Nancy was saying, but he consented to give Helter Skelter a read.  He was slightly irritated over how he didn’t agree with what Nancy said about Manson, but Jack couldn’t think of anything to counter or prove him wrong.  He knew he was wrong but he could not figure out how to explain why, as with almost any other intellectual debate Jack had ever had remote involvement in.

 

After Jack was drunk on pale ale and high on Nancy’s home grown, Jack pardoned himself and said he did not want to be a mooch and consented to leave.  Nancy assured him it was no problem, and he extended an offer of his couch for a couple of nights. “This storm is supposed to last half the week, I couldn’t just turn someone out into this weather, even if I knew them or not.  I mean I trust you.  You’re not like a baby fucker or creeper,or anything like that right?”  Nancy followed it with his usual chuckle to reassure Jack that he wasn’t being serious, and it was just his twisted sense of humor.

 

Jack appreciated it. Jack had developed a twisted sense of humor since prison, and he was glad someone else had one two.  Jack had to admit, Nancy was brutal at times, but it was funny none the less.

 

Jack accepted and slept on the couch, both men had passed out into comas by seven, and had awoken by nine.  Jack arose to Nancy stewing a big can of baked beans over his stove.

 

“Just in time,” said Nancy, grab a plate and a coffee, and there’s some bread on the table.

 

Jack sat down and helped himself to a slice of the white bread on the table and put another on his plate. He then sat down as Nancy poured two big scoops onto both of the plates.  They ate quietly as the storm outside raged.

 

“I appreciate you taking me in dude,” said Jack after they had finished their beans and started nursing the coffee.  “I mean most people are less than open to..”

 

Nancy interrupted him with his palm and a shake of his head, “Don’t worry about it dude.  When all you’re trying to do is live your life, you shouldn’t be fucked just for that.  It’s super messed up that I actually had to fight my boss over shit like keeping someone from catching pneumonia or some shit like that.  I mean… what was I supposed to do be a dick and kick you out into the storm?”  He answered his own question with another chuckle.  “Hell no.”

 

Jack nodded in complete agreement.  After the meal they washed it down with some more pale ales and bong rips. Then Nancy put on a copy of the Big Lewbowski. Jack had never seen it before and loved it.  He loved John Goodman’s character, and knew he was going to quote him more than once.  “YOU’RE ENTERING A WORLD OF PAIN!”

 

“Classic,” thought Jack.

 

The two stayed up for a few more hours watching basic network shows as Nancy made fun of each sitcom and commercial.

 

“What moron would need that!”

 

“Isn’t it funny that someone can be as much of dick like Charlie Sheen, and they get ridiculously paid just for acting to a bad laugh track?”

 

“Why the fuck did Jim Belushi’s brother get a show again?”

 

All of which were followed by Nancy’s usual chuckle and smile.  All of which Jack agreed with as well and thought were funny.

Eventually Nancy couldn’t help but ask.  “So what happened to your palm there,” he took the voice of a crotchety old mining prospector “Ol buddy.”

 

Jack made up some story about being caught in the middle of some gang crossfire and was too poor to get health insurance.

 

Nancy sympathized, and said he didn’t have insurance either.

 

As the hours of the night passed, Nancy retreated back to bed, and Jack was left awake in the weed filled living room, furnished with an old leather couch and milk crates.  He sat on the couch until the start of dawn with his nose in a copy of Ivanhoe and Macbeth.

 

Jack was starting to think that Shakespeare was his favorite.

 

He slept for a few hours.  He was awoken once again to the sound of sizzling beans and bubbling coffee.  The rain still pounded outside, so Jack and his new friend were stranded for another day.  It consisted of downing pale ales and of Nancy giving an estate lecture on Rembrandt and Marcel Duchamp.  It also consisted of Nancy’s explanations of why he hated Aretha Franklin and Chevy Chase. Jack defended them, not entirely sure why seeing how he wasn’t a die hard fan of either, but he didn’t dislike them.

 

They mixed their pale ales and conversations with more bad television and Weed.

 

“I just thought of something,” said Jack. “That Helter Skelter book, you got a copy around here?”

 

“Oh yeah.” said Nancy as he finished his sixth beer.

 

“I don’t suppose you got a copy I could borrow, at least for my time here?” Jack asked, figuring he could probably read through the thing in a night or two.

 

But Nancy ecstatically responded, “Actually I got an extra you can have.”

 

Before Jack could even officially accept Nancy had already gone back to his room and reemerged with a little black book with red letters and handed it to Jack.

 

“Thanks,” Jack said nervously.

 

Jack was interested in the perspective of another convict, but he did have the feeling it wouldn’t be as insightful as Hamlet, or Moby Dick.

 

“No problem,” replied Nancy, happy to share something he enjoyed with someone else who wasn’t scorning him, or thinking he was insane for reading a book by Charles Manson.  Jack could appreciate Nancy’s enthusiasm, he could tell other people didn’t.

 

“Yeah, my mom gave me a copy for my birthday last year, but I already had a copy so you can have this one,” continued Nancy as he swung back more beer stumbling back into his seat and returning his attention to the rerun of Two and a Half Men.  Then he made a smart ass comment about a tampon commercial.

 

“They should have Carlie Sheen do one of those ads, he’d be perfect especially if they put them in during his show. Think about it.”

 

Jack chuckled as he took another bong rip, grateful to finally be sharing someone’s company again.