She Offers Flowers

She offers us flowers

And I wonder about the milk that was never served

She Offers us Flowers

And all I can think about are your eyes

How I would like to separate the light

The chemicals that split apart

            I fed your love to the children of the street

She offers us flowers

            And her petals lubricate the darkness

I have served my loneliness well

            Indifference is the thing that kills

And you served me flowers

Hungry still

            I devour your Nectar

                        Blood on my gums

My Tongue swirls in the ozone layer

I served your breast on a plate

            By the fireside

                        The ash is your Flowers

Sprinkled in that afternoon

                        Fucking Blue

To keep my fingers

            From the third eye to the other one

She offers us flowers

            And I can only serve you cold meat

If you are my truth,

Then you are my hurt

            I let it bleed

                        A scab that is worn like a battle wound

                                    Mottled entanglement

The flowers are raw

            And I am burnt

If you serve them again

            I have to refuse again

Indifference is the thing.

© A.R. Minhas 2018

A dream that could’ve happened

I could’ve dreamed for a better outcome

But reality brings me down

It brings me down like that third drink

On a Sunday night

 

I could’ve dreamed about you for hours,

Months           if I wanted to

 

But I would’ve done to you what I do to my cigarette stubs

And I know what this world is like

But more importantly

I know what I’m like

And I’m not that pleasant to deal with

Buried beneath the foundation of my house

Curb-stomped to nothingness

Your perfume lingers always

And I fail to capture what you smell like

But I know you’re better than lilacs in spring

 

I’m hoping you actually smell like that still

I sometimes dream of meeting you on another planet

“Let’s share oxygen together!”

And maybe a conversation or two

Could you imagine what it would be like to share a living space?

Can you break the ice?

Forever and Ever and Ever…

 

Drowning, I don’t want anything from you

Maybe I just like the thought of things

Maybe everyone just likes the thought of things

 

I don’t want anything from you

And Maybe we’re just cursed to dream

Of whatever could be

And instead we’re here

Locked in fishbowls.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2017

The Chemtrails of Innisfil

 

After a while, the road seems like a known entity. The black sterling rolls with beastly sighs of diesel relief. Motoring along with the silver logo of Sisyphus Inc. reflecting off the small sliver of the sun, “We carry the burden for you.” The snowy single-lanes, speed ramps, and posted signs act as a transition between imagined folk tales and certainty. It dawns on him, while the winter light fades; the strange plumes of white were making a symbol in the sky. Shyam Rafiq observes everything; he knows that single focus can drive a trucker mad. Distractions are important in journeys, and sometimes he gets distracted by thinking of his family. Mariam must be getting the kids by now; she and the kids come to his thoughts often, and they often leave too. Monochromatic images of bills appear in his mind: The evidence of existence. Payroll there or not there, but the trucker’s peripheral concerns are illusory. The only truth is that the road winds, unwinds, and gets narrow or wider. Drifting with a coarse blaze of horns, enflamed yellow headlights, middle finger salutes, slippery exits and a glimpse of that blind spot apparition– hanging on like a suspended dream, the thing seems to be getting closer. Shaking his head with violent denial, and it’s all rear-view mirror now, he thinks to himself. He turns up the radio, tuning into other frequencies.

 

Michael Ballard: “Welcome to KTX2, this is Michael Ballard, and you’ve tuned into ‘Lifting the Veil,’ we have a very special guest on today, world renowned author, Dr. Eliot Wiebe. Dr. Wiebe’s last book ‘Mysteries of the Sky: A closer look at Chemtrails,’ has been garnering a lot of attention and creating a lot of controversies. Dr. Wiebe, thank you for being on the show. ”

Dr. Eliot Wiebe: “Thank you for having me, Michael. I couldn’t have introduced myself better; plus, you pronounced my last name correctly.”

MB: “Weeb. That’s how you say it, right? Ha-ha… anyway, thanks for coming on, Doc. So, I read your book, and I found it very fascinating; stuff like this barely gets any attention in the mainstream media…umm… so, to start off, please just give our listeners a little bit of a background on Chemtrails.”

He’s half-listening and half-drifting to sleep. A car whizzes by him in reckless abandon. No turn signal. Typical highway antics.

EW: “Chemtrails, yes… Michael. So I want to ask your viewers if they have seen the sky, lately?”

MB: “I’m sure they have…not all of them live in their mother’s basement, you know? Ha-ha.”

EW: “Ha-ha. Yes, in the sky you might have noticed there are streaks of lines that run across the sky. Most people look at those trails and think that they are the residue of the smoke left behind by jets in flight. But actually, it’s much more nefarious than that. These streaks of lines aren’t contrails, as some government propagandist put it, these are Chemtrails. Chemicals released in the sky to alter the weather, or even alter us.”

MB: “How does that work?”

EW: “Yes, these are chemicals not only created to change the weather but also affect the health of the populace. Have you seen the cases of cancer that have been reported all across the world? The amount of fluoride in our water— isn’t it obvious? My book explores this in greater detail.”

MB: “This is truly incredible…so you’re telling me the government is poisoning us from the sky? Let me ask you this wouldn’t ‘they’ be affected too?”

EW: “They have the antidote, Michael. The elites have special medication that allows them to negate the effects. The sky has been poisoned; our sky has been poisoned with fly ash, sulfur, and chemicals with unpronounceable names.”

MB: “Wow that was very enlightening, Dr. Wiebe. Please, stay with us we’re going to continue this conversation after this break.”

 

He changes the radio again; for once he would like to hear something good happening in the world. He doesn’t want to worry about why everything isn’t working. For once he’d like to know that authority figures had the common folks best interests at heart. The past wasn’t kind, and the present wasn’t looking all too bright either. Mariam had a miscarriage recently. It was a traumatic experience and had put their marriage under a lot of stress.  This would’ve been his third child, and he didn’t know how to grieve it. The guilt was impenetrable because he wasn’t with her when it happened. Needless to say, he was taking more assignments because he didn’t want to talk to her. He’s not good at saying the right things. Then there was the other feeling, the feeling of divine retribution–for the past, in the old country, for what he had done.  He felt like he deserved this.

He knows that the only constant in his life is the road, and the truck is an extension of himself. Passing under the green billboards, leaving Barrie and his 76 km journey to Concord began. He realizes that if he keeps himself distracted enough, everything makes sense. All the regrets and even the guilt make sense now. The window is slightly cracked open so the smoke from his Belmonts can disappear into the ether. The slight Arctic chill and the flurries sharply bite his dry skin. He barely realizes that it should be spring, but the snowfall is picking up. Humming a tune; adjusting his beanie while yawning, and using his free hand to put the ash in the cup. It’s only a matter of an hour really, but it’s usually the smaller trips that are much harder, he says to himself. The road is somewhere between a mistress and a second wife. The radio now bursts out portents of a heavy collision which will slow down traffic to Vaughn, which was not too bad considering how close it was to his destination but he knows it’s going to be a long wait. But more importantly, he knows that he needs a little bit of rest; this was his fifth assignment this week, clocking in at least 2,000 km. Moving to the right lane, getting closer to the white forested area; the snow-covered, tall-branches-like fingers inviting him in; preparing to take the exit: Innisfil, a small town to the west of Lake Simcoe. The yellow deer crossing— open eyes wide and half-empty coffee cups drained and crushed now. Overhead wires beware. The half-smoked cigarette butts make a hissing noise when it’s thrown into the coffee cup, reacting to the brief residue. His eyes have bags, good’ol Adderall by his side. Trying to stay awake even though he knows, lack of sleep can drive a man insane. He repeatedly blinks to keep his eyes moisturized.

Following the serpentine ramp, he notices the diner, right off the exit, and his stomach gives a loud growl. Darting towards it, nearly overlapping a car that was following too closely. It makes wide turns! He mutters underneath his breath. Sometimes he’s too polite with the idiots he has to share the road with.

He pulls up to the parking lot of the diner, opening the door and welcoming it with a yoga-like stretch. Taking this opportunity, he also fetches the anti-smoking tablets that had wedged themselves between the dashboard and windshield. He doesn’t trust himself when he’s with nature; it’s the waiting-for-something-to-happen, that urges him to smoke. He knows it’s not a good idea to be smoking and taking anti-smoking tablets at the same time, but a reduction is all he needs.  Yawning, he rubs his eyes vigorously; the crust comes off like a mask of insomnia. His beard had attained the height and the streaks of white to indicate the scars of wisdom. He pulls out a heavily-armoured jacket, wrapping it around his slightly round body, rubbing his neck (the snow always finds a way to sneak in at the back of your neck, he thought). He is making his way to the diner. After a few steps, there is a flash of pain on his forehead. Massaging his brow, he accidently bumps into someone.

“Hey, watch where you walk you dope!” the stranger yelled.

“Hey, easy buddy, I’m just—uhmm…” Shyam trailed off with his slight accent. He makes the mistake of looking at him. The man’s face is decaying; flesh hanging between his pale bones and worms were squirming in his eye sockets, blackened teeth as if they were dissolving in warm coke.

“You’re just what?” The man replied and as he spoke globs of blood and flesh fell to the ground. He stared at the piece of the stranger’s face on the ground.

“I’m just tired,” he said, assembling the courage to look up at him now. The man’s face was intact again. “Sorry,” Shyam put up his hands.

The stranger dismissed it and trailed off with harsh words for foreigners. Shyam knew it was happening again. He slapped himself a little. Snap out of it!  He said to himself. He knew he had stopped taking his antidepressants. They made him drowsy on the wheel and made his mouth feel like it was stuffed with cotton. But it seems the hallucinations have returned. He took a deep breath and hoped a hot steaming cup of coffee, and some eggs, with a healthy portion of sausage on the side, would help matters.

He opened the door. Tnnng!  A bell rings from above; the smell of breakfast can do wonders for the soul. The diner itself is an archetypal diner. Dark booths, with the leather, pinched to expose the mustard foam; specials, up above on the chalkboard mantle, sugar cookies encased in a plastic prison right next to the counter and black and white tiles stretched across the horizon. Shyam finds a corner near the window, and the aroma of freshly-made coffee follows him. He slides into the seat unbuttoning himself of his insulated skin. He looks outside: the snow is falling faster now.  The cars are piling on top of each other like bodies on a pyre. Someone has started a riot, and the vehicles start to melt into each other; the flames don’t change their bodies—they return to their natural state of ash and up above there is a streak of poisonous green gas that forms a skull. He can make out the eye sockets and the mouth opens—

“Hi, welcome to Orla’s Inn, how can I help you today?”

Startled, it took him a moment to realize that the waitress was talking to him. “Oh yeah, I’ll just get uh…” he flips the menu quickly, knowing what he wants and pointing to the picture. She grabs the menu, flash of her red nail polish, tucks in the menu between her armpits.

“Eggs over easy that’s how I like them too,” She said, in a bubbly manner.

He took a look at her pink outfit. The blue eyes stood out like blood in the snow, and her dark brown bangs and square glasses made her into an odd figure in this place. “Yeah, and can I have coffee, black, thanks… Denise” he looked at her name tag, she had a heart on her ‘i’.

“Of Course, you can,” she said in a cheery voice. “You expecting the snow to hold you up for a while?”

“I hope it doesn’t… wanna get my delivery in as fast as possible but I know it’s not safe out there” he said, looking down at his hands which had decided to shake on their own and somehow the yellow patterns on his table began to move like a vat of liquid.

“Better safe than sorry that’s what I always say,” She said putting her hand on her hips.  The hand shaking was getting violent; he quickly hides them under the table. “Just listening to the radio makes me cringe… a whole lot of collisions happening outside, whatever they put on the roads makes everything slippery.”

“Yeah,” the patterns on the table were moving and forming an image. Shyam felt the sweat and the feeling of being cold at the same time.

“You ok, sir? Looks like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“You won’t believe me even if I told you,” he said, staring absent-mindedly into the space in front of him, desperately trying to not show any more symptoms of his psychic fragility.

“Ha-ha, you don’t say? Personally, I don’t believe in that stuff. No offense to you, of course, but I think our minds are just so powerful that any suggestion can, you know…” She said, with an air of excitement. “Trigger something.”

“Thanks for that. Can I get my order now?” Shyam said in a frustrated manner. “If you don’t mind, I’m just a little hungry.”

“Oh, Silly me…I’m sorry. I just get excited about these type of conversations…I’ll be right back” She said still in a cheery mood.

His eyes following, Denise as she makes her way to the counter.  He also notices an old woman behind it. The old woman met his gaze and proceeded to give him a very contemptuous look. He doesn’t know what that was about, but he turns away quickly and observes the other patrons: Bikers, truckers, and drifters. Transients in transit. They are all here, but they were meant to be somewhere else. More importantly, he recognizes that his darker complexion makes him stand out. Shyam had been trucking for almost ten years now, ever since he came to live here he had been to several of the small towns. He could always sense his otherworldliness. The distant stares, abrupt end to conversations or just general rudeness, he had developed a keen sense of when he wasn’t welcome; however, the problem is amplified if you are severely paranoid and also suffer from an acute case of social anxiety. He’s trying now to think of the past, but all he can remember is death, suicide and the stench of hospital rooms.  In the old country, there was only that. He needs a distraction. Meditate now on the half empty salt shaker. Napkins are sticking out of the holder. Periphery visions of gaudy paintings hanging of the autumnal orange paths. Posters of local tourism initiatives. The low rumbling of voices, conversations turning into murmurs. The blatant chink of plates and crackling of cutlery. The snarl of the kitchen staff and then for a moment, as it all died down, the bell rings from above.

         Tnnng! The entity walks in. The thing. The thing he saw in his rear-view mirror. He assumed that everyone saw it too because it had physically entered the diner, he had heard the bell ring, but there was no head turns, no staring— It was surprising because the thing wasn’t even human. It was a magnified cancer cell, deformed and mutating, with a plant-like body. It had a thick purple vein throbbing from its forehead, and as it walked towards him using its tendrils, it left a trail of blood and green pus on the floor. At this point, he closed and opened his eyes repeatedly, but the thing wouldn’t disappear.

“Here you go, Hun,” she said, settling the food below his eyesight. He looked up again; it was gone.

“Oh thanks,” he said, relief washes over him. The eggs stare with golden pupils, sausages thinly burnt but he knew if he sliced them their juices would flow.

“And here you go, coffee, dark as sin for you” she pours it with precision. “Let me know when you want dessert, OK?”

“Thanks, I’ll let you know.”

“Oh! Don’t mention it.” She said, waving her hand. “And what can I get for your friend?”

His jaw buckled, and he froze, the thing was sitting right in front of him. There were no eyes, folds of distended musculature and oozing liquid. There was a slit, in the middle of its bulbous face. It pulled up its tendrils to let Denise know it wasn’t hungry.

“Ok, I’ll come back again.” She left. Shyam couldn’t believe that Denise wasn’t appalled by its appearance. Its tendrils are rooting him in that booth. Then the thing spoke, and it spoke a foreign language. It spoke Shyam’s language:

Astrological headlights. Green fingers. Chemtrails are nature’s curse.”

It didn’t move its mouth. It was communicating through some other medium. It was as if Shyam knew what it was going to say. The thing’s appearance. Chemtrails. Synchronicity. Something was unveiling for him.

Then he felt in his pocket. It was the shipping order— Sulfur. Fly ash. They are changing the weather; putting chemicals in the air. Heavy snow in April. That is abnormal.  The trail of condensation has materialized into hands swooping down on the masses. Disease. The government is using the Chemtrails to change the weather, or they are creating diseases. That’s what he’s delivering. The thing tells him. Chemicals above, chemicals below. He knows before it tells him. He looks around the diner, and now everyone looks like a mass of pulp; he could see the effects of the plague. He looked at the Eggs. The yolk fluids, claws scratching; the fetus is trying to get out. In a moment, he lost his appetite.

“Hun, did you not like the eggs?” Denise asked. “You’ve been staring at them for an hour.”

He doesn’t know where these eggs came from; how they came to be made. Chemically induced. Poisons are being introduced into the system. Biochemical warfare. Infection.

“Can I get my cheque, please; I have to get out of here–”

“You’ve been saying that for ages,” She said.

“Please, Denise, I have to get out of here” He screamed looking up at her. It wasn’t Denise anymore. It was the old lady, who he saw behind the counter.

“Where’s Denise?” he cried.

“Hun, I am Denise” she pointed to her name tag. There was a heart on the ‘i’ though it was partially smudged.

He rummaged through his wallet and pulled out colorful wads of cash and threw it on the table and ran past the dropping plates and floating napkins, barely having any time to gather all his thoughts. He heard echoes of the yells as he left the diner behind but as he went outside he was met with gray skies and snow that had attained a force of a torrent. He could barely make out the dark beast as his face was being pummelled by glass daggers. Struggling to find his footing, he made it somehow to his truck, vaulting the door in a superhuman burst. Rummaging his pockets for the keys. He floods the engine with bronchial sounds. There was a figure standing in front of him. The thing covered in carbonic snow. It pointed to him, metastasizing into a smile. He knew what is going to happen. Purple tendrils burst out from the ground. Wrapping the truck, squeezing till it couldn’t breathe. Then he felt the feeling of drowning. A black hole opens up and drags him in.

The radio bursts out in snow:

Reports are coming in of a major crash on the 400. There was a four car pile-up after a truck—no survivors— carrying chemicals which slipped into oncoming traffic and collided with multiple vehicles. This incident comes on the heel of an unusual spring as most of the country has been pounded by heavy snow which has made visibility nearly impossible.  Emergency crews have come up. The chemical fire has everyone baffled.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

 

 

 

 

           

 

And it gets Weirder

 

Don’t you think it’s weird?

That the color is red

And its redness depends on how you see it?

 

Weirdness                              Compounds

(Entropy of life)

 

 

I have found that facts don’t surprise me anymore

I believe that anything is possible

And no one is genuinely concerned about anything

 

 

Your pretend outrage

 

When I held your hand

Recoiling,

 

Like a defanged snake

The thighs were another matter

 

And the kiss between them

“Made you blue didn’t I?”

 

I felt your petals soft as melting ice cream

“It’s the thirst after, that gets in the way.”

 

The bite pressure has to be just right

A mold for a dangerous mouth

Belching fire and blood

 

Gums giving up because of a recession

The longing for unrequited Vitamin C

 

“I can make my fingers dance.”

Inverting them in the right places.

 

So you see them in the mirror

And it gets weirder

I do a very good impression of me.

 

Scratch marks and all

Eyes in the opposite direction

            I’m still

It’s getting weirder

                                                                     And I can still surprise myself.

 

It gets weirder

 

and I feel myself changing

 

And I’m still motionless

 

Ear Cartilages drooping on foreshortened peaks of wisdom

Ballooning Belly Button

And an ironic short temper

 

It’s a strange day

 

Just to be alive

Like always.

 

 

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

That Moment

There is a moment of

Peace

 

You just have to find it

For a moment or two

 

Peace

 

Just                  have               to…

 

Khamooshi!

 

 

I’m obsessed with

That moment

 

Where we hold onto each other

 

For a moment or two

 

Just hold onto

 

Silence!

 

 

No one is around

And here is the moment

 

Barely             grasping           onto

 

The gentle slip of it

 

                                                                                                  A  Subtle Capture

 

 

And I never hear  about that moment again

 

 

That moment

 

Of

Pure

Silence.

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

 

I used to sing love songs

I used to sing love songs

 

And now there is no urgency anymore

I’m fine without it

Like a second cigarette

 

There is no need for it anymore

 

I used to write poems of love

But now death is more comfortable

Its silence making it easier to breathe

 

I have no intention of giving you that

I have no intention of being sentimental anymore

 

I used to blame the world

And then you

 

But I have no need for that anymore

I would like forgiveness for my naiveté

My childlike passion

 

I have no right to sing love songs

And neither do you from hearing them out loud

 

 

I used to sing love songs

And now whatever is left will be

Silenced.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

Kill me, Beloved!

I have ruined the self

It was to you I owed that debt

& it was to you that I held onto

 

“Kill me, Beloved!”

My self doesn’t trust you

 

It has been lost

Somewhere

 

In the blue overtures of night crawlers

Reminding you of their eternal blindness

 

The self                       finds itself a starry night to behold

& smoke dangling on its own

Freckled with                                                                spidery legs

 

 

The    Ether                             a   container   of   forgotten      scents

&         the self       can’t stare at you long enough

 

 

It grows tired

& it bends

 

I have ruined the self

& I can’t trust it anymore

 

 

“Kill me, Beloved!”

 

 

Maybe my Yellowed bones

Gave it away

 

The kiss I drew on you that night

& displayed for fortuities sake

 

The love that was borrowed

The love that was taken by no one

& it is no ones…

 

It is for Myself

& only to Myself

 

& it is not owed to

Nor does is it belong to

 

So kill me

If you’d like it back

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

The Sleep You Made

 

You live in the bed

You sleep in

“I dream of going back”

There was a time

To return into

 

The source of things

Maybe it was before death

“You only read poets who are dead”

There is no wisdom

And life decays

A          red             body         swirling

In the midst

There is a scent

Lost in the stench of placenta

Maybe if I gurgle the bitter water

It floats above my throat

If there was only compassion to fold these sheets

It would be easy to make that bed

Tossing and turning

The chaos presented between sleep and waking

I love being around entities that perpetuate my unworthiness

And I’ve made that bed

And I’ll sleep in peace

If you let me be

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

Arousing Bitter Unions

My hirsute heart has a slit                &

I regurgitated these words from the depths of my nausea

                                               That’s why they leave a bitter taste in your mouth

 

Please…     Please…  Gather these caked tears

                                                    Inside my cubic Dreams,

O! Dear goddess of my eye

So swallow or spit                     Or extend below my…

Breasts

My only escape…

   From the fetus inside the blanketed cocoon

    Which Curls…                                                 Gestating with Green Idols

Grow to be trees of dissatisfaction

Pouring the White bitter sap

                                    A window to a hollow bed

An invitation for sleep deprivation and horniness

And I’m the random speck of nicotine…

 

 

From                    this                      Endless sleep

Walking                                    Throbbing

for

unions

 

Fully                                     erect.

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

Confessions of an Abortion Addict

I am at a party again. Even though I don’t want to be, I still am. You have to show up, my agent tells me, You’ve only had a few movies out; You have to get your name out there! She doesn’t understand that I don’t want to be known in the first place, but she still repeats the need for social interaction, stroking the right ego and saying the right things. That’s what you have to do if you want to be successful, my agent says in that belligerent manner that she’s known for. I really don’t want to be here but, as usual, I have no choice in the matter. I’m still June, by the way, June Husk, that’s what they call me; and for now, I can still pass off as an entity.

I have evidence of makeup on, my hair adjusted in a bun that formed a Fibonacci Spiral. I’m bathed in perfume, Poison, if you’d like to know and I’m sparkling in a sequin light blue dress, strapless of course. The right eyes have to be on you. I really didn’t care for that; sometimes, it feels good just to look good for yourself.  But little did I know that this was a masquerade. This realization occurred as I stepped out of the Limo that was provided by the agency. You always have to appear glamorous, always. The flash bulbs leaving behind an afterimage of amorphous shapes, blinding me temporarily but not enough to notice the other guests had masks on. Dream faces painted in satanic furs.

‘That’s great,’ I thought to myself, I forgot to bring a mask. I walk inside the red velvet ropes; while, on the outside, the paparazzi, pseudo-journalist, and entertainment bloggers shout questions, comments and stick out their recording machines to get something newsworthy. They are feeding the loop of information, my pictures are not myself. Projection of a reality I seem to portray, hoping to catch something of me…unedited. I’m directed in by dark-shaded men who are in love with their ear pieces, as other more prominent figures of the entertainment industry approach. I always like being in the background, I know the narrative about me or the stories they will eventually tell, but I know they aren’t the real me. Honey, you haven’t even cracked the surface yet and you’re imagining they’re writing rumors about you? Ha-ha… you’ll be lucky if they even mention you. I survive the mob and adjust my dress, so I can breathe a little, the heels don’t help of course.

“You can go through there mam” the dark shaded man waving his fingers towards a small entrance way, which was cordoned off with rail-barriers on the outside, looking like a black hole. The party was being held in a grand hotel that has a name which is too generic to be remembered.

“And where does it lead?”

“Through the back entrance. We don’t want to cause too much of a security concern for the hotel.”

I nodded and made my way through the dark entrance. There were little lights directing me deeper into the burrow. The faint overtures got louder as I got closer to its source. I saw now the threshold covered with red drapes. Parting, I enter a large hexagonal place, with opulent staircases on each end. Grecian statues doused in heavy  purple light surrounded by a mass of people covered in lace, feathers, and furs. I stepped with hesitance. I don’t like parties. I’m an INFP after all but I have to attend this party or my agent won’t ever shut up. You’re damn right I won’t! I walk a little closer into an orgy of flesh,  grinning with their freakish faces, probably because they were enjoying  the pleasures of being famous, filthy rich and a little anonymous— just for today I guess. The music was loud and I could feel the spilled alcohol on my feet.  Fire-dancers circling in the middle–the soothing warmth of twirling flames. Contortionists suspended in metallic cages in the corner of the ceiling. This was not a conventional party.

“Is that you June?!” a man screamed from behind me. He was wearing a hideous mask, and accompanied with two blonde women, with spiral horns jutting out of their foreheads unable to control their giggling fits. Arms entangled in three bodies but I could still recognize him. His cologne gave it away.

“Eddie Virchow?!” I exclaimed in fake enthusiasm. Eddie was a skivvy producer who was trying to get me into a movie but only if certain preconditions were met. I won’t go into details but you can think of what men can do if they have absolute power and no one to tell them otherwise. “So good to see you!”

“Come here you sexy thing,” He said, hugging me closely, leaving the blonde twins with their arms akimbo. His fingers felt cold and I didn’t let him linger too long, using my elbows to break free of him. He backed away a little. “How have you been?”

“I’ve been good just finished a movie with Tcherkov,” I said, trying to act as much as I can that I didn’t think of him as absolute scum.

“You mean that artsy fella, huh?” he said in a dismissive manner.

“Yeah, him,” I said making direct eye contact to let him know that I wanted to follow a true artist’s path. Be more diplomatic, Honey, please!

“Uh, well if you do get bored doing all those types of movies; I have a really good part for you,” he said with a smirk. “Have your agent call me, ok?” handing his card to me. I took it reluctantly. You don’t skip out on opportunities, Honey, you just don’t.

“Yes, absolutely” I replied maintaining my act. “I’ll definitely see my schedule”

“You should, anyway, gotta go, and by the way, June, dig the mask. Ciao!” He said, vanishing with his twin accessories into a sea of bodies.

I touch my face and the mask is there. I thought I had forgotten it. No, it is here and ever present. I can feel the smooth velvet texture of surface in the past. I look up at the ceiling, it’s lined with mirrors and I see my reflection on plain surface. It looked like a gigantic purple-black moth covering my face. Intricately patterned with two black dots at the very corner of its wings. I had eyes on top of my own. I’m a phantom now. Multiple eyes, see multiple faces. The chandelier acting like a fixed star in the constellation of myself. An exposed eyelid. Crystals dangling and small bursts of sparkling light emerging out of the cocoon. Why are my thoughts conversing? Ultrasound consciousness. Jelly self-actualization. I’m your Life process. The light dims. Masked animals move in synchronicity and I’m in the middle of it. Pixels on flesh, submerged in sounds and pheromones. The crowd drowning in the stimulation.

They don’t recognize me. I’m at a party. I move through the crowd. Lowering my gaze and I see the carpet which has no undulation and a multitude of dynamic images moving through the crowd looking for an escape. A huge screen comes into being from the red parted drapes. Then silence. The lights go out: surreal darkness. The kind where you see afterimages swirling in. I heard a woman cry at the loss of her vision. All of a sudden a beam of celluloid light erupts. Its source was from the urethra of one of the Grecian statues that were now positioned in the middle of the room. I looked at the screen and blocks of red letters flashed onscreen: COMING SOON. I couldn’t help my curiosity.

It was a rough cut with a time code on it. The character on screen appeared staring deeply beyond the fourth wall. It looked like me but this wasn’t me. The scene appeared to be from some movie; needless to say, it was probably on the verge of being cut in some editing room somewhere. Why would they show it here? I looked around and everyone was transfixed, there was a low mumble of conversation still happening. The character looking directly at the audience against a white backdrop with lens flares peeking through her left ear.

 

“My name is Cathy and I like to have abortions.”

 

Ktshh! A glass broke somewhere and even the gentle conversations stopped. The flames turned into smoke and the contortionists got stuck in their camel yoga pose.

“It’s fucked up I know, I know. But god, it feels good to say that aloud. I feel bad for saying it in my head all the time, but fuck it I’ll say it again: “I like to have Abortions!” “I like to have Abortions!”, “I like to have Abortions!”” Cathy says, or the person who looks like me says it.

“It feels different when you say it aloud, though, doesn’t it? It feels more real, more tangible. The words create references to political debates. However, to be honest with you this isn’t about pro-choice or pro-life, though some of you might consider me a serial killer. I want to tell you this is about me. This is my confession and it’s about me… so fuck your moral interpretations.” Everyone in silence.

“I like the feeling of cool jelly running down my thighs, the soft vacuum-like device that boldly intercepts me with precision. The end of what could be. The end of possibilities. Life doesn’t mean anything. All the toil, all the suffering, all we have to do to become a person is meaningless because it is a lie. We are all condemned to perpetual struggle because of consciousness. Consciousness is the key to dissatisfaction. Abortions are like orgasms. That is why I chose to end consciousness, the end to the struggle. It is so… satisfying.” She closes her eyes when she says that, acting out her little death. I could hear gasps from the audience. I see myself from their eyes. Theirs glued to the image projected on the screen of another character, who I wish I had played telling them about how I actually feel.

“You may think I’m crazy for doing this but I’m not. I’m aware of what I do. I have 47 pictures of supposed children or ultrasound pictures on my wall. Each of them haunts me every day, but this is the sacrifice you make when you want to eliminate any thought. A sacrifice for pleasure. I cry tears of happiness that I chose to end those possibilities. If I look at them closely they resemble cancer cells. Fetus or tadpole? No self-reflexivity. No thoughts. No suffering of this world. No con—.”

The screen goes blank in mid-sentence. The lights are back. I’m standing in the center of the chaos of stars. There’s a loud roar, someone whistles and I’m showered in thunderous applause. Hoots and hollers. No one is wearing their masks anymore. There is heavy feedback as the PA goes off.

“And that was June Husk, in the movie The Unborn Ones. Coming out to one of your local film theaters this year.”

You deserve these applause! That wasn’t me. Applause! Oh god, that wasn’t me!

The sounds dissolve and the flash bulbs fuse, blinding me temporarily but not enough to notice that no one was there. I’m standing in the middle of a hotel room. Staring at an image of a pattern of orange triangles, on a green minimalistic horizon. A tear in the wallpaper as unseemly as cobwebs found on the corners of walls. I hope they recognize me for what I truly am. A fraud.

    Water drips from the sink. Tip. Tap. It’s hot when I shed my disguise, a shower of steam to evaporate the mask. My hands feel the cool tiles, as I lean against the shower head, spurting me with the optimal amount of hot water. Eyes downward, circling the drain. I let it consume me. You have it all by yourself, honey, you have conquered the art film scene…let them think it was you…ha-ha… you are their darling….time to think… bigger….bigger than the whole world and it can all be yours now.

The card is on her side table. I don’t deserve applause, they need an explanation. And you won’t give them one! The guilt I felt was real and the punishment felt deserved. Water is circling the drain. The business card is smudged; it’s smudged with dripping mascara. I’ll have the agent call him tomorrow. She always knows best.

 

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016