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Twisting all the bad things into good

Feb 22, 2013

BOOK OF TANGENTS: On Sundays, Purgatory

 

       A tangent I went off on about a year ago.


       It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task.
       Virgil


A LONG TIME AGO

       When I was a kid, there was a place called Heaven.
       By the time I was old enough to fake my way inside, it wasn't Heaven anymore. I don't know when or why they shut it down. I only know that one day it was there, and then one day, it wasn't.
      
       There was definitely a Purgatory.

       I used to go every Sunday, for the music, for the crowd, for the drugs, and for some reason, sometimes, regretfully, I even danced.

       Wall to wall ecstasy.

       Purgatory was where I met Mitch.
       Like the Virgil to my Dante, Mitch showed me around the place that his Roman poet equivalent would have called "Purgatorio". We quickly became good friends. A jealous friend of mine called him "Jim's bitch, Mitch."

       It wasn't always like this.
      
       It wasn't always Purgatory.
       That was just what they called it on Sundays, the Alternative Night at Club Boca.
       There were other nights, when the music was not as dark, where you'd find a different crowd
      

        I've heard voices.
        I've had visions.
        I don't believe in a place like Purgatory.
        But I've been there.
        It felt like Hell.
        And it looked like my bedroom.
        Wall to wall agony.

        It got worse when Mitch died.

       If this reads like fiction, well, I don't write fiction.
       Believe it or not, I've never written anything else except this.
       So forgive me, I know not what the hell I'm doing.
       If this sounds like melodrama, it's because you've never been there.
       I wouldn't recommend it.
       You wouldn't like it.
       You'd fucking hate it.
       
       That makes me a modern day prophet.
       So you better believe me when I tell you that if you don't share this with your friends on FaceBook, well, then you can go to Hell. 
       Or you can go do whatever.
       I don't care.
       I can take it.
       So can you.

       You can take from this what you want and leave the rest, like you're at Sweet Tomatoes. You know, because you've been there.

        It's a herbivore's Brazillian Steakhouse. If you haven't been to a Brazilian Steakhouse, and you're not vegetarian, I highly recommend it, not because I'm high, but because I've been there and I loved it. Take my word for it, there's nothing more mouth watering than watching the guy with the Ginsu knife slice the flesh from the skewer, Rodizio Style, like I've heard they do to sinners at Dante's Infernal Steakhouse (it's somewhere South of Heaven).

        Speaking of flesh from the bone, that is exactly what Heaven became. Same location, but instead of serving rounds of shots to under-agers, they served ribs to senior citizens. I used to joke with Jeff about how they should just call old people "cold people" because they were always complaining about how cold it was inside the gates of the place once known as Heaven.
        How Jeff and I know so much about how cold people can be, even in the humid South Florida Summer is because we parked their white Cadillacs while they gnawed flesh from ribs, Chicago style. The only thing that blew harder than these freezing folks fucking AC was their tips. A lot of those dollars were spent in Purgatory. Must not have been enough though, because like Heaven before it, Purgatory would close it's doors and Boca Bob and the other dudes playing god at the door would have to grow up and get an afterlife.

       And as for the cold people whose cars I'd look after and occasionally steal quarters from, well, whether they chose the Carson's Cobb Salad or a full rack of babybacks, they're all dead, nothing but a chewed down to the bone rack of ribs in a to go box.

       I don't know where their leftovers went, if anywhere, I just know that I'll be having a salad for dinner tonight, if not all week.
   
       That was back when we were in college.
       Thursday nights were College Night at Club Boca.
      

       Like those dead and gone shit tippers, I've often never wondered about most of the peeps I met at Purgatory, I know only that Boca Bob has grown colder, and that Jeff and I will always be younger than anyone with the birthdates on our fake ID's. Bob recognized us as false prophets, but as long as the ATF was not roaming the promised land, he showed mercy on "The Fake ID Crew", a name he bestowed on us before he stamped the back of our hands with a glow in the dark "PURGATORY".

       When I wasn't taking stimulants in the men's room with my bitch or by myself, I could always be found in the dark, with a glow that you did not see on the faces of the others, not even those of my best bitches, Jeff and Mitch. I couldn't help but outshine those around me. It was just a natural thing for my nose to get itchy when I ingested chemicals, so I'd unconsciously rub the back of my glow in the dark stamped wrist on my nose, and I'd walk around like some raving Rudolph until someone finally told me. But most of the time, I found out for myself, after I'd notice something in the corner of my eye, fucking with me until I'd stand there with my eyes crossed for a few minutes, trying to figure out if my nose was neon or if I was just really high.
 
        It was usually both.
 
        Sometimes, I didn't glow in the dark, sometimes it was just my fucked up mind fucking with my head, so after a few months, I'd request Bob stamp my left hand instead. That way I could enjoy myself while I rolled around somewhere between Heaven and Hell, pondering only over pleasant thoughts about college kid stuff like my most-of-the-time girlfriend, and why the hell she's rubbing some guy's shoulders while he chugs water and inhales Vicks Vapor Rub, and if that bitch, or my bitch, Mitch, or Jeff or any of the other bitches in our fake ID crew would have chosen to stay behind for me if their parents and little sister and baby brother were weeks away from going far away to avoid punishment for the sins of their father. I decided to stay, and pay for those sins here, alone, with my girlfriend and all our friends. Alone, with all the other lost souls in Purgatory.

       Tuesday was 80's night.

       They called it DV8.

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