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Twisting all the bad things into good

Mar 5, 2012

CHAPTER 11: THE PATRON SAINT OF . . . WHATEVER. Hell Bent For Hollywood

If I read the articles about me,
and I didn't know me,
I would think I was Satan.
Jack Abramoff  

FRIDAY 9/10/10

            It must have been after midnight by the time I fell asleep.
            I don't know what time it was when I woke up to a door swinging open and a bright light in my face. I put my hand up to keep the light from my squinting eyes.
            "What the fuck?" I say to whoever is behind the flashlight.
            "Go back to sleep", says a tech with a Haitian accent.
            "I was sleeping".
            "Nightly room check", he says. "Go back to sleep."
            "Yeah, you said that the first time".
            After the tech left the room, I took his advice.
            For the first time in a long time, I had a dream.
            It was about ice cream. 
            My shopping cart runneth over with dozens of nonexistent flavors of Ben & Jerry's. .

            It's 6AM when Kid Creole makes his startling wake up call. He bursts through the door again and flicks on the lights while shouting,"GOOD MORNING!"
            I flip from my stomach on to my back.
            "What the fuck, man? What time is it?"
            "Time to get up", he says.
            After zoning out on the ceiling for a minute, I sit up and put my feet on the floor. When I realize that palming my eyes is not making me any less sedated, I take my hands from my face to see my roommate laying in his bed. He's not as vocal about his disdain for our wake up call. Maybe he's used to it. I have no idea how many mornings he has woken up in this room. He's never opened his mouth, so I don't even know if he speaks English.
            "Dude, what the hell was that all about?"
            He just shakes his head.
            Nice talking to ya.

            I'm way too drugged up to know whether I'm supposed to brush my face or wash my teeth, so I do neither. I just zombie my ass into the rec room where everyone is looking at me. Maybe it just feels like they are.
             From across the room, the tech asks, "James, what are you doing?"
             What is this guy's problem?
             "James, where is your shirt?"
             He sounds more demanding than curious.
             Good thing I slept in my jeans because they're all I have on.
             "Oh, my bad. I think I'm still half asleep".
             "James. Where are you going? Go put your shirt on".
             "I'm grabbing a towel so I can put my head in the shower so I can wake up."
             "Go put your shirt on".
             "Goddamn, man." I turn and walk back towards my room.
             "What is your pwoblem, James?"
              I turn back around. "I don't have a problem, I just don't get why you have to wake us up like that. That shit's completely unnecessary."
              From my room, I hear Loretta.
              She asks the tech, "Why do you do that?"
             "Yeah, seriously. It is pretty rude", DJ adds.           
             When I come out, I sit on a couch next to Sparky.
             "Hey. Good morning, James", he says with a smile.
             Sparky asks how I'm feeling today.
             "I'm fine. I just don't see the need for this guy to come through the door like he's Elliot Ness or some shit."
             In response to my Untouchables reference, Sparky says,"Maybe he thinks you're running a speakeasy in your room."
             "Right? I don't know what he's thinking. All I know is, from what I can tell, all the other guys who work here seem pretty cool. This guy sucks."
             "Ya know something, James? You're right." Sparky does more than agree. He gets the tech's attention and tells him, "You know what, buddy? You're going in my report."
            The tech is amused. "Bwian, what are you talking about?"
            "Oh, yeah. You'll see. You, everything that goes on here, it's all going in", Sparky assures him. "I'm in here undercover for the state. You can't treat people like this".
           I look at the tech to see his reaction. When he laughs, it becomes clear that he's not really a bad guy.
           "Okay, Bwian", he says.
           "Just wait," Sparky says. "You'll see."

           After breakfast, me and Loretta talk music.
           We liked a lot of the same bands and had been at the same Radiohead and Coldplay concerts in West Palm Beach. We discussed some of our favorite songs and lyrics that have a personal meaning to us. I recited some lyrics to my favorite Bright Eyes song, Lua.

          You're looking skinny like a model with your eyes all painted black
          You just keep going to the bathroom always say you'll be right back
          Well it takes one to know one kid, I think you got it bad
          But what's so easy in the evening, by the morning is such a drag

              I tell her that this makes me think of the girls I know who would hit the bathroom every fifteen minutes to do key bumps of coke. It reminds how what's seems like so much fun at midnight is just depressing at 7AM.
              Loretta thought it was about bulimia.
              I thought about how I would probably fuck her.

              When you get passed the withdrawal from an opiate addiction, your sex drive comes back in an overwhelming way. You lower your standards to none. You remember every girl you passed up a chance to sleep with. You think about those last few months with your exgirlfriend, how if she wanted to get laid, she had to initiate it, and how that was probably one of the reasons that when you found out on her friend's MySpace page that she was moving out, she seemed so excited. You tell yourself that you should have fucked her everyday, three times.

               Loretta's tells me that she's been in South County three times in the last month.
               She tells me that she thought she had been possessed by the devil.
               I thought about how I would definitely not fuck her.
               This was the perfect time to steer our conversation away from evil and back to entertainment. With demons in the rearview, we left Hell for Hollywood.

               "You seen any good movies lately?"
               This was my attempt at avoiding a detailed account of her own personal horror movie that I expected would be as drawn out as banging on Percocet. This "go to question" of mine was usually reserved for being out with a girl who had either too little to say or too much to say about topics that only one of us found interesting. Even if the sex is great, if our dialogue descends to me reciting movie lines, that's a pretty good indicator that there probably will not be a second date.               
            Loretta was the first girl I had ever met who had demonic tendencies. Actually, that's probably not true. She was just the first to admit it.
            I wondered how I would have reacted if I had ever been out with some other girl who also confused manic depression with satanic possession.
            I would have handled it the same way.
            Bring up the devil and I'll bring up The Joker.
            The words of a dead actor who pretended to be a villain.

            If she mentioned "exorcising", but had never heard of "spinning", bet your ass my next question would have been "Why so serious?"
            Speak of the devil and watch me do my thing.
            Even if she'd never done a pilate or seen The Dark Knight, I probably still would have done my damndest to piledrive away the evil spirits from inside her. After putting on my jeans and channeling the spirit of a dead actor, I'd tell her, "I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself".
            She would have spent the rest of her night considering the possibility that the only demon she ever had inside her just made his escape through her upstairs bedroom window.
            I would have spent the rest of my night wondering how I got involved with someone so disturbed.
            The actions of a villain who pretended to be a dead actor.

            Loretta tells me about the last movie she saw. After she got released last Friday, she went to the theater with some friends. I could not fathom what possessed them to go see The Last Exorcism.

               We were back in Hell.
               We never left.


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