“Over the Edge” by Chris Numpsa.
True Story (Adults ONLY)
Full of black humor, this is the story of Damian from Poland, a man lost between the socialist and capitalist systems. Damian is a victim of circumstances, of history and of bad decisions, to whom the Irish paradise of the era of the real estate bubble quickly becomes hell on Earth, releasing the demons of the past. And Damian is haunted by plenty of them: alcoholism, sexual perversions and youthful fascination with satanism are only three out of a long list. Irritated with his barren life he begins one more alcoholic binge during which we begin to see a terrifying picture of a man possessed, hanging over the edge of the abyss. A picture of a weak, deviated man, laughable in his frustration. There seems to be no salvation for him. The only hope is a complete change, and, in order to achieve it, Damian must first find the roots of evil within. Will he succeed? “Over the Edge” allows the reader to look at the world from the perspective of a psychopathic mind which, aware of its imperfection, decides to risk it all…
To really understand something is to be liberated from it. Dedicating oneself to a great cause, taking responsibility, and gaining self-knowledge is the essence of being human. A predatory capitalist’s greatest enemy, and humanity’s greatest ally, is the self-educated individual who has read, understood, delays their gratification, and walks around with their eyes wide open.
“Four Horsemen” according to Ross Ashcroft
Irony of fate – those three words haunted him for months. He could not help but to think of how destiny, fate, God or whoever else was in control of it all, were fucking with him, no holds barred.
Or maybe no-one was in control at all, maybe Damian was just looking for a guilty party, someone he could blame for his far-from-successful life.
Trying to find the source of his failures, in his mind he went back in time to the gray reality of late socialism, he remembered the vexing desire to leave his shitty little homeland, at the time brimming with hustlers, double-dealers and other types of thieves who, under the guise of politicians, office workers and priests, were cheerfully screwing the society in the a-hole until it was impossible to simply stand and watch any longer.
He remembered the people acting out their own biographies, he remembered the fear of the next day resembling the one that was just coming to an end, of being stuck forever in that hopeless world, surrounded by soulless dummies.
His greatest fear, however, was becoming part of that reality, eventually blending in with the landscape and selling the part of his nature without which he would cease to be himself in order to survive in that world full of schemes.
An escape seemed like the only solution, offering a shot at normal life, one in which, if you worked diligently you wouldn’t have to worry about paying your bills on time.
He remembered Berlin – where his ‘first time’ happened, when, as a teenager, he crossed the border between the systems. It was like losing your virginity to Natalie Portman. At first he was hit by the colors, then came the shock he couldn’t shake off for a long time. He was overcome with the feeling of awe for the beautiful world of the West, its smiling people, its music, store windows and amazing cars.
The joy was mixed with regrets over that dark paradise, regrets over himself, over the fact that he didn’t belong there although deep inside he fit perfectly in.
Christ, did he waste his life up to that point in that valley of tears, he would never be able to make up for all those years. Instead of the gray one, a different world was possible, filled with opportunity, freedom of speech and thought. It was then, in Berlin, that he realized how much he hated Poland and it was also then that he promised to himself he would leave that land filled with hopelessness at the first opportunity, never to return.
He was sitting there, recalling all those years of being fed bullshit about the superiority of the idea of brotherly nations over ugly capitalism, about the need for reform, about the crisis being only momentary and the austerity measures only short-term, about the history of Polish-Soviet friendship.
“Leave me the fuck alone!” he shouted out loud what was to become his way of life and determine the direction leading towards the farthest reaches of Europe, where now, at a taxi stand in Galway, Ireland, he was pondering the irony of fate, the meaning of life, the existence of God, or lack thereof.
“How are you?” His philosophical deliberations were broken by this idiotic question about one’s well-being people here used instead of a regular greeting.
“I’m fucked!” he thought, staring blindly through the windshield at an old lady overladen with shopping bags.
“Good, and yourself?” he answered, helping the woman put her shopping in the trunk.
Fuck me, like I care how she is, just get inside, tell me where to go and shut up.
“Been drizzlin’ today,” the grandma stated the obvious and it was clear she wasn’t going to shut up, she had to babble away, it’s so polite to chat up the driver. Especially a foreigner.
Jesus, here come the same old questions, what’s his name, how’s the traffic, where’s he from, where does he live, any kids, what time is he off ?
Too bad she wouldn’t ask if I took a dump today or if I get regular hard-ons, if I believed in God and loved my Mother, he thought, dreading the perspective of repeating the same formula for a thousandth time.
“Do you like Chopin?” he asked swiftly, trying to avoid the standard chit chat.
“No, no, I’m all done shopping. What’s your name?”
I’m going fucking crazy here, the primitive old bag thinks Chopin stands for shopping.
“No, I mean Chopin. Do you like Chopin?” he repeated his question, turning up the volume. Soft sounds of the piano filled the cab.
“I’ve already been to the store, I’d like to go home, Medow Villas, please. Where are you from?”
“I come from the ass and my name is shit” he cursed at her in Polish. He was at the edge of sanity, after all these years in communism, running away from that swamp, in a car with a half-wit, desperately trying to change his reality. “Music, how do you like the music? I mean Chopin, not shopping, what I’m playing now, do you like it?” He was pushing it, refusing to give up. He felt that, right there and then, he was fighting for that one moment in time torn from the nightmare of the mundane.
“Oh, the music, it’s kind of lazy, sleepy, what time are you off?” The gargoyle stared at him with unseeing eyes not wanting, or maybe not being able, to see his despair.
“I’m Damian, from Poland, been here eight years now, in Galway, that is, add one year in Dublin, married, no kids, I like Ireland, I’ll stay here for a while,” he blurted out under his breath. The battle was lost. Anyway, how was he to win against such a primitive, with Chopin?
The insensitive old bitch sucked out every last drop of positive attitude from him, now he needed a drink.
From now until night time he will only think of what to buy, will it be beer or wine, liquor was out of the question, it would end in a week long binge, which he could not afford.
Yeah, he’ll just down a good old little glass of wine and, a minute later, pleasant warmth from his stomach will go right to his head, after the second one the feeling of self-pity will dissipate, after the third he’ll forget the whole future-anxiety, after the fourth he’ll laugh or cry and he won’t remember the fifth.
“Where does your wife work?” Another one in the long list of questions asked repeatedly like a mantra brought him back to reality, to the world of recession, climate crisis, war on terrorism,
the rat race world, where man’s worth was measured by his checking account balance, he was back to the world which Damian, son of Marian and Ben, was sick and tired of.
“The wife’s unemployed, no benefits, though…” he answered with a slight sadness in his voice, bent on squeezing a tip out of the cow.
This was his ’empathy’ method – Damian had at his disposal a whole range of different emotions to be selected depending on different clients. Sometimes they helped increase the taxi income.
“Why are you people stuck here? Such a nice country you have, I talked to Katrina from Centry over on Macherboy Road, she told me how beautiful Poland was.”
“If it’s so beautiful then why is Katrina stuck at Centry instead of a Lidl somewhere in Krakow?”
Damian knew there would be no tip. He put too much anger into this comment and the old woman fell silent, thinking of how rude this Polack was.
He didn’t really care, fuck her tip, as long as she kept from asking moronic questions till the end of the ride. Beautiful Poland, well maybe it is, he thought, not for him any more. He was done in by his mortgage they let him take out on a house during the boom. Now, even if he sold the house, he’d be left with a humongous debt at the bank. They were screwed, all these years of hard work gone, because of these dumb-ass shepherds building forty thousand vacant apartments and ruining the real estate market and the economy of the whole country in the process.
What irony, he escaped from cretins painting the grass green and ended up in a paradise built on the housing loan bubble. To make things worse, he was so impressed that, before he realized what was going on, he was right in the middle of the materialistic arms race, first a quick career with a fast food company, then car loan and mortgage. He remembered the moment of bursting with joy, a feeling of finally becoming as successful as he always dreamed of being. He was working for a big corporation, driving a new car bought from a respected dealership, he felt like the Lord was on his side and then, out of nowhere, the whole fucking bubble burst, the bubble of loans, dreams, visions of happiness and success in life.
“Where are you going, you missed my exit!” the hag started running her stinking mouth all of a sudden, “who’s going to pay for this?” The stench of bad teeth permeated the whole car.
“It’s on me, I’m sorry,” Damian groaned, completely broken.
“You’re not paying attention,” the old lady smirked, “going the roundabout way now…”
Fuck this fucking day, he thought. He was looking at the grandma nodding her head in pity. He felt like stopping the cab and running away as far as he could.
It was him against the world with only one goal in the field, each decision he made seemed bound to fail because the reality around him kept changing just enough to kick his ass and his ass only. He left for Europe’s fastest developing country, worked like a horse, diligently and honestly attempting each and every task. He started from cleaning ashtrays in a pub in Temple Bar and making sandwiches at Burger King. He still remembered the pub owner hesitant over hiring a Polish guy with no knowledge of English. Damian really needed the job so he used his body language to show him he’d work for free for a while, he’d be great at it, the language barrier not a problem whatsoever. He remembered the guy being moved by the fact that someone would be willing to work for free. He got the job on the spot.
For a while he felt happy, he knew that thanks to the two jobs he’d be able to pay for his wife’s ticket and maybe, in a month or two, they’d be together, and it was all that mattered to them.
He remembered the feeling when, with tears in his eyes, he called from the internet phone booth at O’Connell Street in Dublin, telling his love he got another job and now everything was going to speed up. They were both crying tears of joy, for a long time, happy that fate was on their side.
Little did they know how fickle fate tends to be. Right now Damian was thinking of his luck in terms of black humor and was convinced that, should he have gone to Australia, it would have collapsed under the ocean like Atlantis and had he invested in an oil refinery stock, people surely would have started driving hydrogen cars. Should he have started buying gold, someone would have come up with a cheap way of producing it at home. He was under the impression that God was just mocking him and his life was a dream of a madman.
“Will you help me with these bags?” The granny was wriggling in her seat, looking for change in her purse.
“Want me to carry them home for you, fatso?” he asked in Polish. “Yeah, sound,” he added in local slang, watching his customer’s face closely.
It was showing a mixture of outrage and surprise at this negative-minded foreigner daring to talk to her in her own language.
Damian knew he was behaving improperly. It was with pain that he noticed his negative transition. Just a few years back he would see in this woman an interesting element of the folklore, he’d open the door for her to show off his Eastern European manners, he’d entertain her with conversation about Polish history and assure her of the common denominators between the two nations.
But something changed along the way, frustration, drop by drop, filled Damian’s heart with bitterness and regret, his poisoned mind saw everything in a negative light, his words more and more often hissed with hatred.
“Help me with the shopping, will you,” the witch knew her customer’s rights, she was aware of the fact that the driver was simply obliged to be of assistance.
Naturally, the phone started ringing just as Damian, dragging the shopping bags, headed for the old woman’s lair.
He noticed a while ago that in this grim mood of his all things were in conspiracy against him, as if the whole world felt he was weak, and when you’re the weak link, you’re easy to break.
On the other hand, his common sense was calling for him to be reasonable: what did he mean the whole world was in conspiracy against him?
Pure paranoia. In moments like these he felt the growing anger at everything happening around him was trying to find its way out, that if there was anyone standing in front of him he could blame for his lousy fate and he happened to be holding a knife in his hand, he’d strike repeatedly.
“Phone’s ringing,” the witch observed.
“I can fuckin’ hear it ring, just can’t get it because of these goddamn bags, I’m not just gonna drop them on the floor or you’d say I broke your eggs,” Damian murmured under his breath.
The phone stopped ringing the very moment he put the bags down on the floor in her hallway. A trip just went straight to fucking hell, if he called back he’d only hear:
“Sorry, we picked someone else since you didn’t answer…”
He was sliding on a downward spiral, tired, broken, frustrated and disappointed.
He hated himself, his neighbors, his old friends having careers back in Poland, he hated God.
He read somewhere once that he himself was God and each person on the Earth was also God, he just forgot it. If that was the truth, he hated himself twice as much, since if he was God and his life depended on him, then, for fuck’s sake, why didn’t he concoct for himself the life of David Beckham instead of wallowing in fucking poverty, always struggling to move up the hill. And even when he pushed that boulder to the top, something would fuck everything up for him and he would end up all the way back at the bottom.
True, he was never one for learning, but who’d want to go to school during socialism. No tennis, no English, no swimming, no dancing classes or guitar lessons. Boring. Sure, there were those who graduated from these fucking schools to have careers as dentists, office workers or businessmen, but Damian just couldn’t imagine himself doing anything of that nature.
“I’m not happy with your service today, I’ll tell John to reprimand you. You were impolite and of little help.” Exactly, like the cow right here. If she took down her drawers and spread her legs in front of his face, he’d puke on the floor in an instant.
“Better get the fuck home before I smash your fucking head to pieces!” he burst, in Polish, of course.
John was a guy with a much better deal with God than himself, having inherited the taxi company from his father and making a fortune. The past twenty years of the Irish economic boom were his golden age. He had the best number in town, and business was taking care of itself, based on the satellite-cellphone cab selection system. A company in Dublin John hired was picking up orders, inputting them into the computer which forwarded them according to the “first in the zone, first served” rule. Some drivers were working for John’s company, but some, like Damian himself, just paid their share for being part of the system.
Damian had good credentials over there: honest, helpful, polite with clients, and, most importantly, never broke. Which was why he never intended to get on his knees in front of the old bag, for even if she did run her mouth he could always hint to John that it was the menopause thrashing her brains into a pulp or that a case of womb-rabies due to final convulsions of her big old twat caused some sort of emotional confusion.
Anyway, the man didn’t really give a shit, he co-owned two pubs, some land, real estate, a huge auto parts store just outside the city. Taxis were only one source of his income, heaven on Earth, endless vacation. Most guys working for his company were really envious of it all.
Beep beep! The sound of John’s system interrupted Damian’s train of thought, the address blinking on the screen of the pager bringing about bad feelings. Wally’s Bar was a local dive with ninety percent of the customers neighborhood drunks and junkies and the remainder some accidental tourists who mostly ran as far as they could after drinking the beer they ordered.
Ignore this shit, he reasoned, but his greediness forced his finger to click the green icon, thus confirming the trip.
“Cathrin Study going to Bridge Street,” the message following the confirmation of the order informed him who was going where.
“Oh well, not so bad,” Damian said to himself.
The broad was definitely partial to a drink, but she always paid, no questions asked. Sure, she was loathsome in her horniness and lewd facial expressions but easy to deal with, especially since she never went too far in her advances.
Damian remembered she felt like having some fast food the previous time and even let him make the choice for her. He took her to this Arab place that was the sloppiest under the sun. The counter went up to almost twenty five euros. Cathrin was a bit disappointed with how slow the service was, but he reminded her politely that she wished for something tasty, not fast. Before they got home, the fare got to twenty eight euros. As he was handing her the change, Damian really made sure Cathrin knew he hoped she was going to enjoy her meal and she magnanimously let him keep the two euros. One trip and twenty percent of the daily minimum cashed in.
A little while later Damian was right by Wally’s Bar, parked by the side entrance, which was a smart move. Because of the one way traffic system in Galway, a single maneuver lengthened the ride thus increasing counter fare to eight euros, easily turned into a tenner if you complimented Cathrin. It required some effort since this one was particularly hard to look at, but Damian was good at making things up and already prepared something along the lines of: “Wow, Miss Cathrin, you’re just like wine, the older the…”
Putting the compliment together was interrupted by opening of the door next to which he parked the Passat Highline his partner and himself bought only recently. They were both really proud of it – black paint job, chrome door trims, wood covers, leather and suede upholstery, twelve speakers for the highest quality sound the clients could enjoy.
“Open the door!” Shouted the bartender, supporting the nearly passed-out Cathrin Study, and, since she weighed something around 180 pounds, the guy’s face was purple from the strain.
He struggled as much as he could to keep his balance. The woman was a sack of potatoes, you could see her legs were completely out of control.
“Fuck no,” Damian grunted, opening the door.
Normally, he wouldn’t even hesitate and drive away in a second but seeing the bartender try with what little strength he had left in him to keep himself and Cathrin perpendicular totally hypnotized him.
Later that day he kept reproaching himself for that decision, analyzing the situation from the start and trying to figure out why, at that point, he actually opened the door.
“Take her home,” the bartender gasped, pushing Cathrin Study inside the car. “She’s fucking plastered!” Damian shouted as his voice stuck in his throat, for, hearing a powerful fart, he started to smell a foul stench.
It was a stench like no other: carcass and rot mixed with the smell of the final stage of a malignant tumor. Damian felt that the moment he said anything else, he’d vomit all over himself.
“Sorry, there might be some leakage, must wash myself, I mean take a shower,” Cathrin mumbled.
The bartender was already closing the door, happy to be rid of his problem now seated in a perfectly maintained cab. Damian drove off, pulling all the windows down. Since he let her inside the taxi, his choices were: the cops, the hospital or taking her home. The two former options were out of the question, the stench would kill him before he’d take care of the formalities, and, if not kill, definitely remain in Damian’s car forever.
“Fuck, why did I go for the detour, sweet Jesus,” he whimpered, trying to catch some air by sticking his head out of the window.
It was one of those altered states he read about in some book on meditation, a state in which you don’t think, focusing on a single particular activity, mostly breathing. Indeed, Damian was focused on breathing, or rather gasping for breath, only it wasn’t meditation making him do it, it was Cathrin Study.
“Fuck me, you’re rotting away, Jesus Christ, the stench,” he was close to crying, trying to hold his vomit.
“Why is this happening to me?” he kept asking himself and, somewhere deep inside his soul, something whispered back an answer:
“You only have yourself to blame, start from the beginning. Why did you accept the order? You kept telling yourself Wally’s Bar was not for your nerves, and once you took the trip, you were so greedy you had to go around the whole town.”
“I’m going insane, I’m going fucking nuts,” he meowed, maneuvering the streets like crazy.
He felt he could murder the drunk woman in this state, grab a huge baseball bat and just keep hammering, pounding at her until the whole stench flowed out of her with her whole shitty, wasted, alcoholic life.
He knew perfectly well that brutal murder was socially unacceptable but sitting in this disgusting reek, speeding through the town and breaking every single traffic regulation while he was at it, he had a vision that the killing of this parasite would do the world a whole lot of good.
“Get the fuck out of the car,” he blurted out, swallowing excess saliva caused by nausea.
Cathrin moved like an insect on its back, releasing successive waves of unbelievable stink.
Damian jumped out of the cab, opened the passenger door and dragged the woman outside, as if she was a rag doll, despite Ms. Study being the size of a well-fed hog, the mixture of anger, hatred and adrenaline helping him do the job.
Cathrin almost flew home, clumsily moving her legs.
“Fucking go, never come back!” Damian screamed, propping the sow against the building door.
He was frantically trying to figure out what to do with the stench. He was desperately fighting the desire to let everything go. Unfortunately, he knew full well that he didn’t have it in him to just leave his wife, the home into which he put so much energy and heart, the pets that accompanied him for years.
“I must fight,” he was talking to himself, “odds will finally be in my favor, one day this nightmare has to come to an end.”
Christ, not this… of course, the phone had to ring at that very moment.
Damian, apart from the system he paid the lucky boy millionaire for, had a taxi phone number he and his friend, the partner, started on their own. They advertized it in the local business circles, trying to win some rich clients who, while demanding quality service, paid well and didn’t complain about the prices.
An especially valuable customer was the local tycoon with a plethora of business activities: starting from restaurants, ending at car showrooms. The name O’Lary opened the door to many a bank and always evoked respect in the local shysters.
“My house, in twenty minutes.”
Damian almost fainted as he recognized Martin’s voice. Normally he’d be happy with the call as it would’ve meant his day was paid in full, how on Earth, though, could he go there in a car smelling as if someone was hiding a dead human body inside?
“There’s a small problem, Mr. O’Lary,” he spoke timidly into the receiver, at the same time feeling the stress causing a revolution in his stomach.
“What problem? If you’re busy I’ll call someone else,” the businessman’s firm tone triggered waves of panic.
Damian couldn’t possibly let this happen, it could mean a loss of a good customer for the sake of some taxi-brown-nose who, smelling the opportunity, would whine the whole way about how loyal and obliging he was. He’d wheeze about the kids he had to support, saving for their education, that was why he worked his ass off, maybe next time, Sir Martin, Mr. Rich Guy, could help the poor family out by ordering a cab directly from him.
Fucking kids, half of those cabbies were making that shit up, there was one who went so far as to take a business card photo with the three of his children, as if he was bringing them up without a mother. So emaciated they looked, so sad, their bellies swollen from hunger. The truth was the government paid the sponger for everything, from monthly benefits for each of the brats, to money for fuel, electricity, not to mention welfare housing. The wife was on the dole, and the whole parasite family were sucking society’s blood with no care in the world whatsoever.
“Are you there, what’s wrong with you?” Rich Guy Martin broke Damian’s musings.
“Coming, will be there on time, Mr. O’Lary.” He started to regret having said the words the moment they came out of his mouth.
“Why didn’t I just say no?” he was mumbling to himself, “what am I going to do now?”
He was in dire need of a plan. Damian calculated that getting there would take him ten minutes. Which left him with good couple of minutes to get rid of the stench beyond human imagination. He remembered he had a bottle of cologne and an air freshener which, for some time after opening, filled the whole interior of the car with a pleasant vanilla aroma.
He opened the trunk, moving fast, first of all because Martin, Mr. Inheritor Millionaire, was waiting over there in his big house and, the respected businessman that he was, he didn’t like late arrivals – they were bad for the O’Lary brand name. And an absolutely intolerable type of a late arrival would be one he would have to blame on some taxi driver’s clumsiness.
Second of all, only moving fast made it possible for him, from time to time, to keep his head out of the stink zone to breathe fresh air.
“Christ, why does it still smell so bad?” Damian asked himself, frantically groping the driver’s seat.
He recalled Cathrin saying she had a leakage, but where did it go?
Initially he assumed the whole load stayed in her underwear. This turned out to be a mistake, as finally his hand, examining the space under the seat, touched something that had the consistency of freshly scrambled eggs. Now he knew where the monster left her whole diarrhea. The need to empty the contents of his stomach was growing with every passing second. Damian knew if he didn’t do something with his brains, he’ll start puking, and once he started, there would be no end to it. He felt the smell of the innards of Cathrin Study inside of him, he could taste it on his teeth, his tongue and down his throat.
“This is a war,” he kept convincing himself in a gesture of despair, “the conditions are tough, you have to make it, deal with the problem and go get your commander, the lives of the whole brigade depend on this, save your buddies, be a real warrior.”
He pictured a battlefield and himself as the one changing the course of history with his heroic stance.
It worked, the stench no longer came from Cathrin but from his brothers in arms, shitting their pants in fear, and the implemented speed of action wasn’t caused by the need to satisfy some rich customer but the glorious struggle against the enemy to accomplish a higher goal.
He recalled he used to do that as a child when something was bigger than him. He would imagine being someone special, performing acts of incredible importance for the world and the people.
He almost forgot this method but somewhere at the bottom of his life-weary heart there was still the little Damian – apparently, he managed to save some remains of his childhood thinking that used to help him paint the world with magic.
The vomit reflex ceased as if by magic touch and he saw the whole situation as if from a distance. He quit wallowing in self-pity and started taking concrete emergency measures, acting cool, efficiently moving with every step.
He quickly finished wiping the substance that gashed out of Ms Cathrin ring the area, rinsed his hands with mineral water, copious supply of which he always kept in the trunk, thank God. Same with toilet paper – he used it to finish cleaning the floor mat.
In his mind he thanked his beloved wife. She recently gave him a bottle of cologne along with his lunch, which he now lavishly sprayed underneath each seat. The only thing left to do was open the vanilla air freshener, wear a hat and roll all the windows down. Some fast driving should do the job – before he gets to the tycoon/reach guy/super-client, the car will be almost as good as new.
“God, help me, please,” Damian remembered uttering those words on many occasions during his lifetime as some strange sadness welled up inside of him, a longing for his mother, father, his homeland, his youth, the faith that all things in life had a deeper meaning.
At that single moment he noticed the so called ‘mature life,’ devoted to following materialism, was, slowly but surely, and for quite a long time now, killing that unique bond between him and the spiritual world. A mere look behind and he was left all alone, surrounded by people, no faith in his heart. Now, just a moment after he felt again like a boy spending his time thinking up stories, he understood the words he read some time ago, that hell was being forgotten by God, without any bonds, without the conviction that there was some misinterpreted reason to everything in life.
“Hello, Mr. O’Lary,” he said, opening the door. He knew that the reek was still perceptible through the odor of the cologne and the vanilla freshener, creating a one-of-a-kind sweet-nauseatingly-sour mixture. It’ll only be a moment until Mr. Business Big Fish jumps out of the cab, barfs all over his wife’s legs and, screaming something about stinking cabbies, runs home without looking back.
“Been eatin’ garlic, eh?” the capitalist/investor/living-success-story chatted up joyfully as he entered the car. “You know, my old lady, it makes me think of childhood, it smelled like this around our house, mom and dad had a lot of sheep, cows and horses, it all created pretty much the same aroma.”
Damian couldn’t believe Martin O’Lary enjoyed the stench. The wife, on the other hand, went slightly pale in the face after getting in but didn’t dare destroy her husbands bucolic vision with some tactless comment. It might have a negative influence on her weekly allowance. She positioned herself on the couch-sized rear seat, leaning her head towards the open window as they drove downtown, each absorbed in their own thoughts.
Damian was pondering God who didn’t completely forget him. Mrs. O’Lary was deep in prayer for a chance to get out of the car as quickly as possible, tortured by the question: “What does this Polack eat?” Little did she know she was breathing in the smell of cirrhosis courtesy of her fellow countrywoman who dealt with life by consuming enormous amounts of alcohol. And then there was Mr. O’Lary, remembering the sunny years of green Ireland when people weren’t running around like crazy just to join the never-ending rat race. Back when folks had enough time to sit together, have a beer and, feeling no envy towards their neighbor, laugh at Queen of England jokes and listen to their lively national music.
“Keep the change, have a Guinness on me, might help with the gut.”
Damian couldn’t believe his eyes. Right there in the passenger’s seat was a fifty euro note, left by Mr. Businessman, the Lover of All Things Rural.
“Thank you very much, Mr. O’Lary,” Damian expressed his gratitude for the generous tip in such a boot licking tone it caused a wave of disgust in him.
He escaped from Poland hoping to save his soul, only to shortchange it right here, in Ireland, slowly selling himself out for multicolored banknotes.
His whole self saw him gradually turning into a tight-wad, a miser, fawning and crawling just to get his share of the dough. Pretty soon he’d become like the rest of the wankers, ferociously fighting for a better spot in front of a disco or a supermarket. In time, the main topic of his conversation will revolve around where he went and who his passenger was, how he picked up some loaded sucker who dropped some change from his pocket while leaving the car, helping the balance stay in the black, causing that pleasant thrill of satisfaction, for nothing makes a tight-wad happier than a wallet full of paper.
A good taxi driver is the one literally having to wrench his wallet out of his pocket, having to wrestle the fat receptacle for dreams came true, overflowing with cash, where neatly stacked notes sit next to one another, color-coded so that they form the one-of-a-kind taxi-driver’s satisfaction pattern, absolutely completing him, assuring him that he needs nothing else to live.
During the last six months on the job Damian observed there were several stages to the spreading of the disease.
The first one, like in the case of any addiction, is the state of euphoria. Here comes the opportunity for endless earnings, a discovery that the cash can flow uninterrupted, you just have to be good at overcoming the fatigue, and taxi drivers had their ways. Some claimed that cigarettes, a chocolate bar and a two-euro double cheeseburger were the best mix, that drinking seven, eight cups of coffee opened the door to the possibility of phoning in a twenty four hour shift.
Truth be told, there was no guarantee you wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel, however, sometimes such an experienced lover of a fat wallet would come up with his own way to make it through another twelve, at times even twenty four hours behind the wheel.
All you needed was to nap every once in a while, in the car, of course, to maintain readiness for instant action in case of a call: an order – client pick up – transport – and then, finally, the most satisfying moment – the payout.
Another minute more, maybe one or two more trips, as they liked to come in waves, then you park anywhere, take a nervous nap while your consciousness is on standby.
At the last stage of such a marathon, some taxi-drivers would pass out after nearly every completed trip. Finally, the end of the shift came, and with it the feeling of anxiety.
A feeling that, unfortunately, you had to check in, otherwise your body would refuse to cooperate. Despair, because somewhere out there there were people in need of transport, willing to pay, and those very people would be picked up by someone else.
Picked up by your worst enemy, another cabbie, some greedy motherfucker, more cunning, stronger, better at energy management.
After a moment full of panic, somewhere deep inside your soul a voice of reason was heard – you drove so much, almost forty eight hours, the wallet hardly fits in the pocket, plus the change under your armrest. Just count it, you’ll feel better, and go to sleep, those wankers are going through a slow phase now, the suckers are getting tired while the first thing you do after getting up is a good cup of coffee, a ciggy, then you’ll turn on the phone and hit the town well-rested.
Coming back home, to your family, who are just the background, a justification for working your fucking ass off, a handy explanation for your greedy addiction. Once it’s the new TV you have to earn the money to buy, then it’s a nice new car so that you can make those fucks waiting at the taxi stand go berserk, everything but vacation, no vacation at all, you can’t make any money on vacation, can you.
A tight-wad, once he’s on vacation, has to keep drinking from day one, seemingly to relax, to unwind after work, that is, but truly, to forget someone else over there is eating away at your business, stealing your clients, getting beautiful trips, stuffing his wallet, a cup of coffee in their hand, a Marlboro light hanging from their lips, they’re healthier than the regular ones, aren’t they, a chocolate bar under the armrest in case of an emergency, with a view to a delicious double cheeseburger at McDonald’s, two euros “only.”
The next stage in taxi addiction manifested itself in the form of slight apathy, keeping to yourself, neurotic behavior due to chronic fatigue, depression caused by sleep deprivation. Your looks spoke volumes about your lifestyle: rings around the eyes, belly bloated from fast food, chocolate and Coke. Skinny little arms and legs, no longer accustomed to physical labor. The only exercise such cabbie/addict does is sitting behind the wheel, working the shift stick, and pushing pedals. The top achievements for the second-stager are spanking his monkey and scratching his ass.
At this stage you could clearly spot health problems, constipation caused by your intestines being idle from constantly sitting on your ass, circulatory disorders form too much coffee and cigarettes. Some get diabetes from devouring fast food, sweets and drinking Coke, then come the obvious mental problems: paranoia manifesting itself in constant suspicion of the competition stealing your trips, cutting their fares and cheating.
Permanent anxiety about the business coming to an end soon, about the unemployed Paddies, Polacks, Pakis and other niggers flowing into the taxi market, destroying everything that no one but you deserved. Anxiety was followed by hostility and aggression towards all the cabbies in your area, hatred so profound it was hard to describe. The sight of your competition driving in some unknown, surely distant direction produced a tsunami of envy, striking so hard it left a ruined landscape filled with depression – the universe lost its colors, while a question appeared in the sky and in the clouds, painting them with sadness: “Why does it have to be this fucking greedy fucker getting such a nice trip, not me?” Disillusionment, regret, sorrow.
The cabbie cursed the competition winning the taxi race, cursed God, treating him unfairly, and only somewhere in the back of his mind a quiet thought rattled around that maybe there was something wrong with him, that his life was limited to the car, the stand, the train station, the competition, the trips, the wallet and the cash, that somewhere along the way he lost touch with his wife and his family, that it was a long time since he enjoyed walking his dog, going to see a movie, a hike in the forest, no matter what he did, he would forever keep thinking about the trips he was losing while not keeping his hands on the wheel.
At the final stage the taxi driver was completely exhausted, with no energy to spare. Of course, he continued sitting around in the cab, only even when he got a really good one, no pleasure came. Total burnout, fatigue so strong regular sleep was impossible. The cabbie slept no longer than three, maybe four hours, after which he would drag himself out of his bed, stumble to the kitchen to make coffee, feeling nothing any longer besides the compulsion to drive and boredom, for how long can one get excited with someone paying you for driving them from one place to the next.
He no longer cared about the competition since his wife told him she was in love with someone else and the doctor told him about the rectal cancer, he didn’t care anymore if someone was going near or far, he was slowly coming to a realization that he made a mistake, that chasing the euro brought him to a sad, lonely end, that he was going to die now to the delight of those cabbies who were still at stages one and two.
Damian did not want such a life, which was why it was with great concern that he noticed the brown-nosing tone ringing in his voice while he was thanking for the tip.
He knew there was something he could do with his life, something was deeply flawed, the job, the bills, the drinking, the existential anxiety, the fear of things to come, the regret of money lost due to bad investment, recession, terrorism, global warming, the lack of deeper meaning, God, how he hated them for being young and having a chance, set for life from the very start, no debt, no responsibilities…
“Fuck, what a day, I need a drink.”
“As bad as that?” the partner asked, his tone full of understanding.
“The car stinks like hell, I did what I could, it was really terrible,” Damian’s words betrayed so much weariness that Mathew didn’t bother to ask about details.
“You sure you want a drink?” he knew perfectly well that it wasn’t going to be just tonight. His partner had a problem that only seemed to be getting worse.
“What am I doing here, in this fucking waste land?” Damian was in total disarray. “I need a shot of the strong stuff, please.”
Mathew struggled with himself for a second, knowing that a shot of the strong stuff meant the beginning of a week-long nightmare, and he didn’t want it to happen to his friend. After a while he went to the kitchen and poured a generous amount of bourbon into a glass. He was aware that in the state his partner was in at the moment no sermons on the bad effects of alcohol abuse would work.
In his heart he counted on Damian to somehow start dealing with his problem one day.
“There you go, cheers.”
Mathew uneasily watched his friend’s trembling hand hungrily clutch the shot glass.
“Thanks, man.” Damian emptied the contents right away, a good double shot of Jack Daniel’s, neat, getting to his stomach fast, warming him up nicely.
The psychological effect was almost instantaneous – the whole existential anxiety dissipating in the blink of an eye, replaced by a comfortable don’t-give-a-damn-about-anything-or-anyone attitude. Damian took a deep breath, the remains of the stench of Cathrin Study in his mouth and stomach washed away by the ever-so-delicious bourbon courtesy of his partner/friend/fellow sufferer.
Life gained its colors back, became bearable, one more shot and it was going to become deeply meaningful.
“Gotta go to the loo,” Damian smiled brightly.
Just a second later he was urinating, savoring the peace he was filled with. He was looking at his face in the mirror, thinking about the marvelous drink and nothing else.
“Pour another one, why don’t you?” he screamed from behind the closed door, washing his hands.
When he finished, he looked back at his reflection, and, for a split second, saw the future – clearer than a phantom. He saw a lifelong struggle, at the end of which there was a lost, destroyed man, burnt out on the inside. The man could not remember that life can smell of freedom and that each morning can bring about a new adventure. He looked into the cold eyes, no sign of a sparkle to prove there was an individual behind them, only emptiness with no remembrance of anything, even the dreams he once had…
O’Brians Pub was the kind of place where real manly fun was easily available. Huge TV screens hung on the walls while the bar patrons, hungry for the thrill of sports, to their hearts’ content could stare at sweaty bodies of men running after the ball, rolling around in the ring or vigorously whacking one another in the head. The room was filled with sighs of disappointment interspersed with screams of joy.
Once you made up your mind to walk in, you could see the joy was also expressed through hugging, slapping of backs and rubbing of hands by all involved.
The place was not much to Damian’s liking, he’d much rather find himself in the company of loose women, in some establishment with stripper-poles everywhere and topless models of all races and types twisting their bodies into obscene poses.
Unfortunately, in Galway this was not an option. Instead of beautiful female legs adorned with stockings, there were the hairy legs of rugby players, instead of tits stuffed with silicone, the sculpted pecs of boxers, instead of little latex-covered Asian buttcheeks sticking out in each and every direction, here you could look at throbbing asses of footballers piling up in ecstasy after each scored goal, on top of the one who managed to put the ball in the back of the net.
“You can’t always get what you want,” Damian murmured to himself as he walked into the pub.
The whole bunch of regulars were already into a Premiership football match. An African American, known here to everyone as “Nigger,” was bending his body in all directions, striking poses not unlike Benito Mussolini.
The cause of the African American’s frantic pride was a terrific assist thanks to which Manchester United took the lead over the generally hated Chelsea London.
The men gathered at O’Brians, most of them Irish, were all full of praise for the footballer. It would all seem pretty normal and quite natural, like in any sports bar all over the world, if it wasn’t for the fact that this establishment was located in a small town in the west of Ireland, which made at least two things hard for Damian to understand.
First of all, those very same people, virtually eating shit out the African American’s butthole, yelling praises all over one another about his agility, his technical perfection, his ability to kick and pass the ball, his speed, his header, his athletic built or his hair-do, those very same men failed to show an inch of respect for Blacks in their everyday lives.
Second of all, why such great admiration for English football in the Irish? The striking hypocrisy and insincerity of this situation were to Damian what a red cape was to a bull.
“Double whiskey, please.” The bartender glanced at Damian suspiciously since the latter already looked like he was under the influence. However, he grabbed the bottle and filled a shot glass. He was well aware Poles could drink whiskey like it was tea, not to mention the incentive to complete the transaction in the form of a twenty euro note Damian took out of his wallet.
“Any special occasion?” he asked, passing the order.
“Yep, a bomb blew up in Russia, gotta drink to that,” Damian answered in a provocative tone, swallowing a big gulp.
He was already pretty plastered, having had two double shots at his partner’s, then a 100 ml bottle he bought in a store on the way so that his mouth wouldn’t run dry, and now another 80 ml at the bar to add.
Eighty, because here in this strange land, everything had to be insular, so a forty instead of a fifty. It was what they took over from the Brits, everything here was taken over from the Brits anyway: driving on the left, speaking English, measuring distance in miles as most of them did, and, weirdest of all, supporting English teams.
Damian, for quite a few years now, couldn’t stop wondering how come most Irish, while expressing their pure hatred for the Brits due to the years of obliteration, the plundering of their land, eradication of the native tongue, killing of the rebels, persecution of families connected to the IRA, treating all things Irish like shit, in their hatred those very same Irish could love English teams, what’s more, they could beat each other up in the name of respect for Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea London.
“How is that possible?” Damian would sometimes ask them, since it would be along the lines of him, a true Pole, loving Spartak Moscow or something similar.
He would often go up in flames trying to explain to an Irish supporter of an English team that for us, Poles, a good Russkie is a dead Russkie and it would never be any different.
It wasn’t even a possibility, after all these years of humiliation, betrayal and mass murder, for a Pole to support a fucking Ivan, no matter whether he played pick-up sticks, chess, football or some other fucked up game. The Russkie could do anything he wanted, even play Beethoven on his own ass, a true Pole could never admire that. What’s more, a true Pole would do anything to finish the Russkie off. If the existence of the Russian nation was up to us, Poles, they would’ve been blasted out with napalm, like Viet Cong during Nixon.
Every Pole knew that, sooner or later, the imperial snake would rear its head again and start inflicting damage upon everything in the vicinity, so how could you possibly support their football team, tell me, how?
“Oh, you Polish, you really don’t like them Russians, do you,” the bartender smiled, dismissing Damian’s jibe with his positive attitude, marching off to the other end of the bar to help another lover of hard liquor.
Damian was left alone, his hatred slowly consuming his soul.
Deep in his heart he knew full well not all the Russians, English or Germans shared imperialist ambitions and that all over the world, despite their nationality, creed or color of skin, people could be both good and bad.
No nation as a whole was good or bad, not all the Blacks were lazy, not all the Poles were thieves, not all the Irish drunks, not every single Muslim was wearing an explosive vest while getting on a bus.
However, Damian’s alcoholism was accompanied by a certain state of mind, a state that made him enjoy the hatred, enjoy taking it all out on some fantasy enemy guilty of all his misfortunes. Sometimes it was the Russkie imposing his communist will over the Poles, destroying Damian’s childhood in the process. Sometimes it was the Jews Hitler failed to cleanse this world of, now manipulating the banking system together with the freemasons, spoiling the whole capitalism for him with their crisis, the capitalism he missed so much as a child locked behind the iron curtain. Sometimes it was the Poles getting on his nerves with the very fact of being there.
The fun of having the first few shots of alcohol was long gone.
He was sitting there, angry at himself and the whole world while he was at it.
He knew well what was ahead of him – he’ll keep drinking until he poisons his whole body, then he’ll return home and mumble in front of his wife, trying to find an excuse. Maybe it was the release, maybe the nerves drove him to it all, can’t a regular guy have a drink after work anymore, life while you’re sober is just unbearable.
He felt he had to leave this pub, go home, go to sleep. Get up, have a shot and stack up booze for two more days of drinking since it was obvious once Damian started drinking, no matter if he wanted it or not, he just had to keep going.
Three days at least, during which the real meaning of life was maintaining an appropriate level of alcoholic exhilaration.
The only thing that mattered then was careful dosage since too small an amount of consumed alcohol could lead to an unpleasant state of sobering up approaching with panic, depression and anxiety spells.
On the other hand, too large an amount would knock you down, pushing all the fun of that drunk feeling into oblivion waking up from which was never a good experience.
You didn’t know where you were or what was going on, what evil you were up to, for in such a state you were up to no good.
A three-day-long session of sex, watching TV, sitting around in his garden and walking his dog awaited him.
An expertly controlled post-hangover high was Damian’s paradise.
Ever since he remembered, he enjoyed the hair of the dog that bit him, he liked how an infernal hangover, aided, of course, by a bit of something on the strong side, in a matter of minutes could turn into the state of bliss all alcoholics chased.
A drunk’s metamorphosis, a passage from hell to heaven.
A long-term pattern, an addict’s pitfall.
Drinking – oblivion – awakening – hangover – hasty unscrewing of the bottle taken out from the freezer – one shot, bombed again.
And there was nothing more you needed in life, maybe some music, depending on the mood. Tears of joy, contemplating the magnificent certainty that everyone could just kiss Damian’s ass, much obliged.
The second day of the cycle was definitely the best. Lots of energy, the perspective of coming back to reality seemingly far away, Damian had no worry in the world, just living the life. As he opened another brew, he liked to stand in front of the fridge like an altar, letting his eyes feast on the shelves filled with booze. Looking at all the cooled down glory, he felt happy and safe.
At times he wondered why he drank so much, was it the body’s addiction making him cyclically perform the ghost dance in the circle formed by boozing up, hangover and depression, was it the lack of true meaning of life or the frustration caused by the rotten existence of the proverbial cog in the machine?
All of that at least partially contributed to why he would reach for the bottle more and more frequently. He did it to enter a state in which there was no remembrance of things past, planning of things to come, nothing but the present – here and now, unobstructed by problems, fears or worries – no bills to pay, no mortgage payments or taxes, no ambitions to be somebody, no career, no position to aspire to, just a single moment in time, and only one desire: to make it last forever.
“Ocean Park,” he mumbled, getting into a taxi parked in front of O’Brian’s.
He regretted the fact he was about to see sadness in the eyes of his one and only as he told clumsy lies about having drank just a couple of beers, he regretted his own weakness which, tearing away his dignity, was pulling him towards hell full of inept losers.
“I’m fucked,” he murmured to the taxi driver who obviously didn’t give a good goddamn. He knew it from his own experience the cabbie was interested in two things only: Damian not throwing up and not being broke. The guy had to hear people’s tales, their problems, joys and sorrows over and over every day, so by now he was totally immune.
He no longer thought of the passengers as the living. The moment their trip was set, they turned into a digit on the meter. The digit might change a bit compared to the one showing, but everything Damian’s fucked up state was to the taxi driver had the value of six euros and forty five cents.
“Keep the change,” he politely handed a ten euro note to the driver, breathing heavily as he thanked him.
“You’ve been drinking,” his beloved wife declared the obvious in a sad tone.
Damian didn’t even attempt a rebuttal, his idiotic facial expression, the extremities failing to comply and the stench of digested alcohol enough of an evidence.
“I’m sorry.” He felt like a total loser.
Maybe because his sweetheart wasn’t giving him a hard time.
Maybe because once again he came back home from work not to spend some quality time with his wife but to contemplate the loneliness of an alcoholic, to drink away his self pity as he downed shot after shot of his poison.
Maybe because somehow he was aware of his wasted life, washed down the river of booze, no meaning, no will, no God.
“Why don’t you eat your dinner, you’ll feel better.” She stared at him with her sad eyes.
“Yeah, feel better, hanging at the end of a rope I will…”
“Enough with the nonsense, kitty cat. Got anything for tomorrow morning?” His love knew the way he was going to feel the morning after, no chance for normal functioning without a shot of his medicine. She obviously loved him a lot, so much patience to bear it all after all these years.
“Yep, a naggin, a trip to the store will be necessary tomorrow to get some more. I’m sorry, such a terrible day, and the stench in the goddamn car…”
Like a little child, he was trying to find excuses. He was conscious enough to know what it looked like, every reason was good enough, he was just being indulgent, an alcoholic, that’s all.
High time to face the truth.
“We’ll buy more, I’ll have some too, can’t pull through otherwise,” the wife stated firmly. That scared him the most, the love of his life was drinking more and doing it more often to endure her husband’s alcoholism.
With each shot the chance for the two of them ending up in the gutter grew. He knew he would never forgive himself for letting it happen. He knew that if he destroyed both their lives, the only way out would be to hang himself from a tree, lamenting loudly.
“Baby, I have to stop drinking or things will turn for the worse,” he was close to crying.
“One of these days, but for now let’s have some fun, now that we’re drinking anyway.”
He admired her with his whole self. A different woman would nag, cursing the whole wide world because of him not being able to go to work, drinking his money away, being hungover and her having to listen to his squeals.
His sweetheart, meanwhile, preferred to have a drink and stand by him no matter what, just like they swore to each other years ago. Which was why he could not let her down, she was worth throwing it all away, changing himself to make the world a better place.
It was up to no one but the two of them how they were going to spend the lives they were given.
He was pretty plastered and yet, somewhere deep inside his heart there was a trembling sensation that the day he was going to have to face all his fears was coming fast.
He was going to do it for the sake of the two of them, fight for them to be able to consider the life they had together successful and happy.
“Come on, let’s tuck in and watch something, tomorrow we’ll get up and get smashed together,” she said warmly.
They made it to the bedroom where Damian fell asleep almost instantly, while his wife kept watching TV and thinking about their lives.
She had no doubts as to the choices she made, she was just worried about her husband, hoping from the bottom of her heart he was going to make peace with himself. She deeply believed he was a good, positive human being, capable of giving them a happy life full of profound values.
He woke up covered with sweat, the alcohol partially evaporated, leaving him with a terrible hangover. He had an erection and he needed to get rid of it fast.
His lady sleeping on her side, he reached out to touch her – she wasn’t wearing any underwear. He licked his finger and pushed it inside her hot slit. She murmured something quietly without waking up.
She was beautiful. He adored her black hair, wonderful breasts, long legs, full lips. Her squaw-like features, emanating exotic sexuality, drove him insane.
Frequently, during love making, he would look at her face straight from a fashion mag cover.
She was asleep, and he was abusing her sexually, irritated by his hangover. He was fondling her with his finger, making the hole more and more wet.
With his other hand was stroking his penis, erect to the point of no return. Close to coming, he pulled his finger out and put it in his mouth.
He wanted to taste her right before the orgasm, he loved that sweet taste of her pussy, high above all the other pussies in the world.
The moment he tasted her in his mouth, the hungover climax exploded with delight, his cum shooting all over his belly and his chest. It felt good but the hangover kept asking for more.
He had to go downstairs to the kitchen. He was going to have just one little shot, then go back to his bedroom, where, pleasantly intoxicated, he’d make it through till the morning.
“What are you doing?” His wife woke up suddenly. “You pervert, what did you do to me? I’m so horny now!” She sat at the edge of the bed, completely awake.
“Hold on, baby, be right back.” Damian got up and went to the bathroom to take a shower.
When he came back to the bedroom, his love was lying with her legs spread apart, the pink labia inviting him to kiss her.
He stuck his tongue inside, she was wet all over. He loved taking her the French way, her cunt was driving him insane.
He lifted her legs and hips so that he could suck on her asshole. He was fucking her with his tongue like crazy, switching from one hole to the other.
Their breaths grew faster and faster. He was hard as a rock again, so he entered her, making her scream in ecstasy. After a few thrusts he put his tongue back in her warmed up pussy.
“Fuck me, baby!” she screamed, turning her back to him quickly.
She was really cock-starved, she got on all fours and stuck her ass out, waiting for her husband to make her feel real good.
“You’re being bad, bitch.” He grabbed her hair, shoving it in from the behind. A couple of solid thrusts of his hips almost made her come.
Damian slowed down for a bit, only to speed up again – her protruding ass was driving him crazy. He was feeling her tits, spanking her buttcheeks, they kept fucking sweetly until she came, moaning.
Damian was almost ready, he pulled his dick out, turned his wife on her back and forced it down her throat.
“Here, see what you taste like,” he said.
She took him in willingly and kept sucking until he finished. Afterwards, they were lying down, savoring the wonderful chemistry, the mixture of happiness, ecstasy and love flowing through their veins like the best of all drugs.
They formed one entity, they did not need anything, they were a self-sufficient super-creature in the shape of a woman and a man in love.
They knew that if they died in that magic moment, after death they would travel across an unknown netherworld as one super-entity, united by love.
A minute later, Damian’s wife was sleeping soundly and he was lying there, staring at the ceiling.
Fear for their future, frustration connected with another lost battle against his addiction as well as early symptoms of withdrawal made it hard for him to fall back to sleep.
His salvation lay in the back of the fridge door. He pulled himself together and walked down to the kitchen. He took a shot which transported him to a peaceful oasis. Back to bed, piece and quiet, sleep at last.
A dream, in which he saw his own hands frantically tightening a noose around the neck of a man reeking of the worst of fears, the fear for his life.
Damian felt nothing, he was working with zest, just fulfilling his task. He was certain that this kind of death was what the man deserved. He couldn’t be executed by a firing squad, for instance, since that would imply somebody living according to some code, somebody of character, somebody deserving some respect. He knew that man, it was a hideous brute always filling Damian with utter disgust.
The dude came from Poland, which was a burning issue in and of itself, giving a bad name to the whole Polish immigrant community. He embodied the most negative characteristics of a Polish person abroad: he stole, hustled and abused other people as well as institutions with the zeal of a born kleptomaniac.
Damian was furious every time anybody would ask:
“Have you heard what your friend from Poland did? He borrowed money from Mr. X and now he denies it, looks like he has no intention of giving it back.”
“The fuck you mean ‘my friend’?” Damian would get irritated trying to explain that just because the dude was from Poland didn’t mean he was his brother from another mother, let alone a friend.
Once the dude got his feel of the naive islander’s lifestyle, he saw an ocean of opportunity for someone with a thieving attitude like his own. For him Ireland was a paradise filled with “suckers waiting to be played.” So he abused every possible government institution, from welfare, to banks, to insurance companies. He did everything to do nothing and make a lot of money while he was at it.
Damian was tightening the noose around his fellow countryman’s neck and remembering the first time they met.
It was back in the days when there were no Polish markets around. Once he found out they opened a small thing selling groceries from Eastern Europe, he went to visit the place right away. He saw a Polish flag on the door of a small store located in one of the side streets, went inside without hesitation just to see a couple of shelves with goods on them and hear some happy-sounding disco-polo music.
Behind the counter was an obese guy with a mean face, piercing eyes and a conniving stare – definitely not a good first impression.
“Good morning,” he showed off his decent bringing up, uttering a greeting right after entering.
“Hiya,” with that particular word the bloated snout identified himself to be part of the cultural divide Damian simply refused to accept. Sure, he knew how to use slang or offensive language, he had no problem with shooting the shit among friends, but he always maintained a cultured distance at first sight, making an effort to use commonly acceptable words, suitable for every social group. It drove him mad when, at first sight, anyone forced their “hiya’s,” “wassup’s” or other vulgarities upon him.
“I’d like to look around, I heard you can purchase some Polish goods here,” he was doing all he could to avoid categorizing the man just like that.
“Keep fuckin’ lookin’..”
That was it. Damian already knew this was a slow-witted simpleton he would never able to communicate with.
“I’ll keep fucking looking then,” he replied, knowing he’d never buy any food there for fear of throwing up while chewing on the bread handed to him by the boor.
“Got any books in Polish?” he asked, glancing at an ad claiming that swine for mere four hundred euros would be willing to assist anyone planning to travel from Poland in getting a job or helping fresh arrivals find one.
“Books? Fuckin’ kiddin’ me?” guffawed the bastard/employment agent/shopkeeper behind the counter.
There was something in his laughter that caused a vomit impulse in Damian. Only later did he understand why. It was intuitive, some part of Damian knew right away what he was dealing with was a prime example of a scumbag.
After some time the shit hit the fan – sure, the dude arranged jobs for his compatriots, took his commission and paid some Paddy, not unlike himself, an owner of a construction company, everything legal, the business going great.
The Poles came, paid the commission, got the jobs, and, two weeks later, under some pretense or other, ended up in the street. What awaited them was a return to their homeland with nothing, or rather with a debt, the trip being a long one, owing the motherfuckers four hundred euros.
The noose is tight, as is the rope, the hog groans and moans, he’d surely beg for mercy, but the gag won’t let him. Terror-struck to the brink of madness, he knows there’s nothing he can do, in a second he’ll dangle and there’ll be two things left for him to do: break his neck and it’s all done, or asphyxiate, kicking his feet a bit, which would allow him to analyze his predicament and, later on, perhaps even realize why he was ending his life this way.
Damian didn’t care anymore, he had no intention of interfering with the way the bastard was going to die, let the universe decide if he asphyxiates slowly or stiffens once and for all.
One way or another, the world was to become a better place, one more piece of slime gone – a wonderful vision of the scales leaning in the right direction.
Damian felt enormous satisfaction from a job well done.
His foot checking the stool the object of his vision was balancing upon, he recalled the tears of a woman passenger he had picked up once from Dublin airport.
During the short trip she opened up to him and explained her reason for coming to Ireland. She told him the story of her brother who, exploited by a Polish-Irish gang, saw no other way out but to throw himself off a cliff into the depths of the ocean. He left a note claiming that after two wonderful weeks he was fired for being too lazy. He didn’t think he was, but who would believe him, nobody fired people for no reason, did they.
Little did he know that he was one of the many pieces of the puzzle, increasing the profits of one greedy, merciless fucker.
Damian’s heart would almost break as he listened to the story, he remembered himself fighting for a job in Dublin, the pride he felt when he finally succeeded. He was broken up about the life taken from the mentally weak kid, his sister’s despair, depression of his family members.
He often thought about how easy it would be for him to carry out a death sentence. He was capable of doing it, removing the stool and quietly watching the scoundrel responsible for the evil done to others kicking the air at the end of the rope.
The guy never expressed any remorse. Over time it only got worse – tax fraud, insurance scam, government aid hoax, unfounded welfare benefits, plus borrowing money from anyone in sight, small three or four hundred euro loans, non-redeemable, of course, going on to larger ones, feeding off human sympathy.
The children need food to eat, the county’s poor, try as he might he just can’t make it, opening a new business, buying a house for the fam, just short on the down payment.
Should anyone make a claim, they’d hear nothing but empty laughter:
“I’ll give it back one day, stop runnin’ your fuckin’ mouth, ain’t got no papers on me..”
Most would just pretend it never happened, but if anyone pushed a bit harder, the little fox would threaten them with the cops, the lawyer or going to court, and on his little business went, giving the Poles a bad name.
Throughout the years Galway saw more and more people wishing for him to be dead. Somewhere deep within their hearts they kept making one wish: “One of these days someone will get you, bastard.”
And now the rascal stood in front of Damian with the rope tied around his neck, meowing and groaning through the tightly jammed gag. He was just a piece of flesh, out of which, with the help of Damian’s foot, his shitty, mean, hypocrisy-filled life was about to be squeezed.
Damian knew that in a moment he would become a murderer but it didn’t phase him at all….
Damian woke up, not getting to see the guy’s last breath. That’s OK, he thought. He read once in some book of magic that such conscious dreaming in some inexplicable way influenced everyday reality.
He believed the scoundrel got his comeuppance.
From now on, in his shitty life the crook would only get into more and more trouble, and at the end he was to meet the justice he deserved.
Damian was lying in bed, thinking of alternative dimensions, of unending possibilities existing in an unending universe.
After a while the memory of the dream faded and with it the alternative perception of the world – the whole vision was gone. ‘Normal’ thinking and hangover reappeared, bringing with them the certainty that all those ‘hallucinations’ were nothing more than symptoms of mental illness incurred due to alcohol abuse.
Not even half an hour passed and Damian was squirming in his bed, hurled around by fears and questions.
Who am I? Is death sentence just? Why am I capable of committing such deeds, shouldn’t I, a well mannered Christian, forgive my fellow man?
Uncertainty filled Damian’s heart. He was no longer an executioner, a warrior/cleanser/lord of life and death. He was an alcoholic in need of a drink, a drink to kill this fear, approaching from somewhere in the depths of the absurd.
He had to have another one, he felt he just wouldn’t make it without one more shot.
His sweetheart woke up and started stretching sensually.
She was so sexy, the mess of her long hair, tits falling out of her nightie, and that awesome cunt, smelling of last night’s fucking.
He had a solid hard-on, the desire to drink replaced by desire for sex.
“Would you do dress up for me?” he asked in a lewd voice.
“Fuckin-a,” he moaned with delight upon seeing her, dressed up in his favourite way.
He approached her, knelt down and started passionately kissing her shaved cunt. His tongue was sticky from the juices pouring out of his one and only.
He asked her to sit down in a chair as he positioned himself on the floor between her legs. He loved sitting like that and stroking, he was absolutely nuts about black nylons and high heels.
It was a remnant of his boyhood. He couldn’t have been older than seven. His grown up sister had a girl friend with dark, Latina-like complexion, who would come to visit.
She would always wear nice clothes, her blouse stretched tightly over protruding tits, a skirt with stockings underneath, and stilettos. She would let him sit between her legs under the table, as if just for fun.
The sister thought it was just a little kid’s fancy. At least he wasn’t bothering her, so she let him do as he pleased, as long as he kept quiet.
Her friend, on the other hand, knew very well what was going on. Little Damian was sitting down there, aroused as all hell.
Back then he didn’t know what sex was, he just liked the ‘kid’s play,’ the amazing feeling of being down there between her legs. He would crawl under her skirt and sit down there excited, softly touching her black stocking-clad legs. He tried to do it so that his sister wouldn’t see what was going on under the table. Her friend must’ve liked what he was doing, as sometimes she would stiffen, squeezing him with her thighs passionately.
Whenever the sister left for a moment, they would go a little further. The super-slut would stick her crotch in Damian’s nose, pulling his hand towards that magic heat-emanating spot between her beautiful legs. He would fly away, so turned on by it all that he was close to losing consciousness. One day his sister’s friend left for Australia. Damian missed her a lot, often recalling being down there between her legs under the table. Imagining all that, he’d get flushes of erotic fever.
When she came back, he was already twelve. She came to visit, as always wearing a long skirt, stilettos and garter belt stockings.
When Damian, all smiles, pretending it was a game, asked if he could do it like in the old days, she agreed, as usual turning it all into a joke.
His sister gave them a strange look, thinking it was all somewhat inappropriate – after all, he wasn’t so little anymore – but she decided not to bother and Damian, like a young dog in heat, crawled under the table.
What he saw down there was true paradise – he just couldn’t believe the perverted slut wasn’t wearing any underwear.
Afraid and aroused at once, he started with the usual touching of the stocking-covered legs, at the same time staring deep into the shaved cunt shining with more and more juice from all the excitement.
He couldn’t resist it and finally touched the slit as it pulsated with desire. He felt delightful hot moisture as shivers ran down his whole body. His swollen dick, stuck in his underwear, was throbbing like crazy.
He sat quietly, not knowing what to do. He felt like moaning in ecstasy but he was afraid his sister would hear it and the party would be over.
However, the moment she went out to make tea, the horny slut pulled his face towards her cunt with one move, making him start licking and kissing, no real clue how and where.
The nymphet quickly pointed with her finger:
“Right here, suck here, suck on the little button, oh yeah, stick your finger in the hole and suck, you little pervert,” she gave her orders, breathing heavily with desire.
He adored her, thinking he was in heaven. The sister stayed outside as it turned out she had to leave and run some errands with some man who just showed up. She just shouted from behind the closed door she’d be back in twenty minutes.
“Put your hand inside, come on, do it.” She reached out and helped him cram his whole palm into her vagina. It slipped in after a few attempts and his sister’s friend started screaming in ecstasy.
She was really into depraving little boys, perhaps she was once depraved herself. Damian didn’t know the truth. All he knew was this was seventh heaven, sliding his hand in and out, unbelievable tension in his pants growing.
He felt her sweet taste inside his mouth. They were both moaning as the perverted slut arched suddenly, screamed loudly and fell back, powerless. Seconds later, however, she opened her eyes and asked:
“Do you want to be a man?”
Of course he did, she could do everything she wanted to him. The girl took his pants off, he was so stiff he didn’t even feel any shame.
“Give it to me, right now,” she pulled his little erect penis, throbbing with unbelievable tension and delight.
She directed it at her burning hole, adapted the position of her hips to Damian’s height and pulled him towards her. He went in easily, she was far too spacious for him. Despite that, once he felt the hot, moist cavity burning with desire, he exploded instantly, just pushed it inside and came. It was the best thing that happened to him so far in his short life. He knew back then and there that sex would become his hobby, he felt so good he wanted to stay inside her forever.
“Gee, you’re quick, kid.” She pushed him away and took his dick in her mouth. He felt aroused almost instantly.
“Come on, I’ll let you do it one more time, you didn’t even have a proper fuck,” she said as she sucked his little penis.
Once it was back to being hard, she sat on a chair, stuck her butt cheeks out straight in his direction and said:
“In the ass now, it’ll be tighter, just your size.”
Damian was in shock, he didn’t know you could do it like that. The slut made her finger wet and put it in the asshole, moved it around a bit and stuck it in his mouth.
“See how sweet, you’ll love it, you pervert, it’s nice in the ass, very nice. Come on, this time you’re gonna fuck me real good.”
She spread her legs open wide, stretched her anus and waited for him to put it inside. Damian gave it a couple of tries and went inside. It was tight, very nice.
“Come on, move it now, kid, fuck that ass hard with your cute little dick.”
Damian went on fucking, fucking like a robot, no control over his movements whatsoever. He felt the pleasure washing over him. He looked at her legs in the black stockings and her arched feet, beautifully exposing the sexy stilettos.
He was fucking and screaming when he came. Once the perverted slut/sister’s girl friend/young boys’ lover saw Damian coming, she pulled him over with a swift move, pushed her hot tongue down his throat and her pinky finger she just drooled over straight up Damian’s unsuspecting butt.
The feeling he experienced at that moment stayed with him forever, he was shaken with ecstasy so powerful he lost his consciousness for a second. When he came to, he saw his sister’s friend masturbate skillfully with both her hands, one of them fondling her burning vagina while the other was busy with her still unsatisfied ass.
“Give me your tongue,” she moaned in excitement, she wanted to come while French kissing that little bad boy.
She was evil, immoral, deviated, but Damian remembered her as the source of all his favorite experiences in his youngest years. He never regretted anything that happened back then. It was thanks to her that he discovered the taste of sex which later on became his way of life. Since then Damian’s priorities were to party hard, cum hard, try anything you could just to feel the perverse thrill of ecstasy. He was possessed, nothing mattered apart from sex and the occult. It was also to her he owed his interest in magic.
The stockinged slut, while visiting Damian’s sister, would often read Tarot cards, talking about the spiritual world, the magical perception of reality influencing the world and the people. She brought with her books of satanic curses which she would often recite to achieve some results.
Above her ever-hungry pussy there was a tattooed head of some demon. On her ass and back there was a writhing snake with a goat’s head. Damian saw the tattoo once as he was peeping at his sister and her friend trying on some outfits. The snake-goat stared at him with a mocking stare devoid of any respect.
Back then Damian thought that one day he would like to look at the world in the same way.
The wish must have been backed by sincere enthusiasm as due to the efforts of his will, the seed that was planted then, sprouted and finally grew.
Damian the Sorcerer crudely objectified women. He thought of them as instruments to help him achieve states of ecstasy and transmit his perception into the place shown to him back then by the perverted witch. He kept chasing that wonderful state without respite.
As a teenager he would follow attractive women into doorways in apartment buildings and, with no witnesses around, ask for a kiss or put his hand under their skirts from behind. Most of them chased him away, screaming in outrage. However, sometimes he would meet his own ‘kind.’ He remembered one day following some chick into an elevator, and asking her innocently as it started moving:
“Will you kiss me?”
The broad pushed her tongue down his throat and they French kissed for a while. He was so surprised and aroused at the same time that he came in his pants and froze the moment the woman grabbed his crotch. She smiled, wagged her finger at him and got off the elevator.
He stood there like a pillar of salt. When he finally moved, it was too late – the bitch disappeared. He hunted in the neighborhood many times after that but never met her again, the period sticking in his mind as the time when he removed himself from the ‘common human form,’ never to return. Undoubtedly the responsible party was his sister’s friend, her attitude winning little Damian over to the ‘dark side of the force.’
“You know how to turn me on, baby.”
He approached his loved one and felt her up lasciviously for some time, and, once she was ready, pushed his cock inside her up to his balls, they fucked rhythmically, moaning.
He imagined they didn’t know each other and he was raping her mercilessly using extortion. She doesn’t want it but she fears for her life and gives herself up to him obediently. Exploitation remained in his brain as a leftover from that demonic slut with stilettos and stockings showing him way back when what life was all about.
His darling came for the second time and he also felt he was going to come, he pulled his cock out and stuck it between her thighs in the tight-fitting nylons. He was looking at her beautiful legs, rubbing himself against them like crazy. At last the orgasm came, a moment of different reality, a moment of forgetting.
For breakfast, Damian had nothing but a couple of glasses of water, eating was out of the question. He waited patiently for his wife to finish her meal, then all that was left for him to do was a trip to the store, with its shelves full of treasure, treasure captured in glass bottles with beautifully rendered labels. An alcoholic’s paradise, the Eden of a terrified drunk, the choice, the purchase, the medicine bringing about liberation from the hell of anxiety and mental illness, the key to return to normalcy and the will to live.
“That should do it.” Damian looked lovingly at the shopping cart filled to the brim with beer, Coke and frozen food which would help them save the time. In alcoholic routine the only thing that mattered was to party, that is to drink, fuck and listen to music.
The cart had enough place for a “0 – seven” or a one-liter bottle of vodka, out of which he now badly needed to take at least one little swig.
The symptoms of withdrawal were just starting to eat away at his brain, there was nothing Damian hated more in his wasted life.
The waves of panic were rushing through him, ruining his psyche, cold sweat on his brow, spells of depression approaching. He was no longer thinking of quitting one day, the only thing on his mind was leaving the store, unscrewing the bottle and taking a swig, making all the bad things disappear for some time.
“Anything wrong?” his wife asked rhetorically.
She was well aware what was wrong, she knew he was going crazy standing in the line which didn’t seem to move at all. The checkout girl, in no hurry whatsoever, celebrated her every move, making Damian’s torture seem to last an eternity. The reason for her sluggishness was the traditional Irish exchange of niceties with a woman client.
“Boy, is it pouring today,” same old same old, spoken in a debilitating tone of voice.
“Yep, supposed to rain till the evening,” a brilliant answer, shining with brightness, followed by another lazily checked out item.
“Supposed to rain tomorrow, too.” Another sentence made Damian ponder over why some folks were given the gift of speech.
“Might as well be raining all through the week.”
You could literally go insane. Damian knew he needed to occupy his mind with something or he’d go mad with his hangover in this fucking line.
He felt like opening his krówka and having a drink right there in front of everyone, to make the nerves go away. He knew, however, that his lady would never forgive him for pulling such a number. It was a small town after all, where each little incident resonated loudly. After something like that the rumor passed by word of mouth would keep growing only to claim, at the end of the sequence of gossip, Damian not only had a drink of vodka from the bottle top at the store but also refused to pay for it and, to make matters worse, puked all over the cashier.
“One hundred forty euros fifty cents. You guys got your loyalty card?” The checkout girl finally uttered the long awaited magical words opening the gates to paradise. Damian knew he was going to have a shot soon and all those sick thoughts would fly way, leaving him in peace and quiet.
They packed it full of their supplies, got into the car, she started the engine, he unscrewed the bottle and they both peeled off, driving home, where they intended to listen to music, dance, watch pornos, fuck, and, yeah, drink, of course.
“Jesus, it feels so good…” The vodka was warm but it did the job. The hangover gave way to alcoholic exhilaration. Maybe it was the reason Damian drank, maybe it made his life look one way, not another.
“One of these days I’ll beat you,” he announced to the demon as it kept mocking him.
His wife gave Damian a strange look but gave up trying to find out who it was he was going to beat. She adhered to a philosophy according to which everything had its reason, its time and place. She deeply believed that one of these days everything will fall in its place somehow.
She focused on driving, picking the fastest way to get home, thinking of what to wear once they get there. She knew very well Damian would have her any which way there was. She felt she was getting wet so she sped up to get there as fast as possible. She wanted to walk in the hallway, lock the door, pull her panties down, turn her back to him and begin a two-day long party with a vertical quickie.
Everything Damian remembered of that day was listening to trance house music, drinking and making love in many strange ways. His wife would sometimes go in the garden to smoke a cigarette. They passed their time indulging in drunkenness and debauchery. Then they fell asleep, tired. When they got up, day three began, the day of slowing down, not as nice as day two.
“What’s taking you so long?” the wife screamed at Damian.
He was locked in the loo for over an hour, listening to the water pouring from the tap to soothe his trembling nerves. Day three started with a barf. Vomiting bile was standard issue following forty eight hours of imbibing all possible forms of alcohol – his liver refused to cooperate, the level of system poisoning was so high it was impossible not only to leave the house but, for that matter, even the toilet.
“Be there in a sec,” he answered, thinking of the brew he left unfinished after last night’s libation. “Going to get a beer, want one?” he asked, afraid of his own voice.
“I’m not drinking anymore today, and neither should you, otherwise tomorrow will be a nightmare.” Damian’s wife knew that, should her husband cross the limit, things would get really bad. Three-days would turn in to a four- or even five-dayer, perhaps a whole week, and then they’d end up losing weekend taxi money – their livelihood.
She couldn’t let it happen, she made up her mind to watch Damian all day long so that he survived on six, seven beers tops. This was the only way to slow down the alcoholic binge and have some time to relax. Until the next Brunhilde McCanus crosses her path with Damian and provokes him to return to drinking.
“Just beer today, I promise.” He walked downstairs, opened a brew, sat down at the computer and turned on a porno.
He needed badly to get rid of one more hangover hard-on and he was so out of it he had no energy to make a pass at the wife. She had enough of his love making after all their recent shenanigans anyway.
On the screen, a hot Asian was doing all she could to stuff a humongous dildo inside her tiny little pussy. The thing was so enormous Damian at first could not believe such a size can fit into any cavity. However, the Asian was really talented and determined, and after a while the cock was stuck firmly in her hole as the girl moaned in ecstasy. She started shoving it inside faster and faster, the cock disappearing and reappearing between her legs, trembling with desire.
“Women are more perverted than men,” Damian spoke to himself. He was applying pressure to his erection rhythmically, feeling like he was going to come any moment now. The girl was coming hard, really enjoying the huge apparatus, a true miracle of modern day ‘sex shop’ technology. The sight did it, Damian came, but the orgasm was very weak, a light thrill with no satisfaction after which his tense body reclined in the chair, slightly relaxed.
Day three started, the day of expecting the worst. Tomorrow he needed to get sober, to go back to normalcy – he knew it was going to be an extremely painful return, he had experienced it hundreds of times…
“One of these days I’ll give up and hang myself, I won’t be able to make it, I have to quit,” he was talking to himself in a very weak voice.
“What are you doing down there, spanking your monkey?” his wife shouted from upstairs. “Come on over here, bring me a small beer after all, we’ll drink together.”
Downward spiral – he was sliding lower, pulling his lady with him. He had to quit or kill himself for her sake, to save her life. It was just that if he did kill himself, she would keep blaming herself forever, keep missing him, she did love him after all, she’d never be able to be happy anyway.
Which meant one thing and one thing only – he must quit drinking once and for all.
For her, for his mother, for God, and, most of all, for himself, he had to save his own world which, if shaped by a weak-willed alcoholic, could only take on gray colors, colors betraying lack of character, personality, weakness of the spirit and insignificance of its inhabitant.
Damian needed to find out who he was and where he was going. Also, if he wanted happiness or misery for his beloved.
“Coming.” Climbing upstairs, he was thinking of death.
After all, to live was to die.
It’s just the way it is, even if I achieve something, I’ll die anyway, and, in time, everyone will forget, for everything comes to an end, even the Earth will burn down one day, scorched by a way of heat from the dying Sun, and if that’s all there was, then why bother?
Isn’t it better to drink your life away, without a care in the world? Isn’t it better to live your life and take it easy, without the everyday struggle for survival?
Perhaps it is, he argued with himself. But what if life is a test, what if the way I die determined where I was going to wake up? Maybe there’s an aim of it all, hidden somewhere at the energetic level of existence? What then? Should I die as a villain who hurt everyone around him? Should I die as a crook, liar, traitor, a piece of trash unable to beat his addiction? Perhaps a rapist or a serial killer who took indulging in his lust to extremes? What if I wake up one day somewhere far way, on a different spiritual level and it turns out I failed my test?
Damian was ascending the stairs and pondering all the questions that haunted him. He read somewhere once that the so called “higher Self” sometimes communicated with you through your own thoughts. Perhaps this was the case and “Damian Fountainhead” was addressing him directly:
“Come to your senses before it’s too late…”
He finally joined his wife. She was playing with the remote, looking for a TV show they could watch together. She knew that, while hungover, Damian liked to watch shows about murders, rapes or World War II. She thought it strange, herself not partial to this sort of ‘entertainment,’ but, for some reason, it used to quiet him down.
“’Hitler’s Generals’ is on, wanna watch it?”
Of course he did. The thoughts of the ‘higher Self’ disappeared into thin air and now he was looking forward to watching a documentary on the Nazis.
He loved all things Hitler since childhood – to him he was an unparalleled example of how an intelligent man, endowed with superhuman talents, could rule over the ‘stupid ape-like mass.’ Damian liked to study the story of a man, who, underestimated by the so-called ‘bleeding heart intellectuals,’ was able to leave his mark on the world in an unprecedented manner.
Hitler impressed Damian with his resolution, decisiveness, hypnotic magic of his personality, and, most importantly, total lack of respect and esteem for the established standards.
To Damian, he was the embodiment of originality, openness of the mind and lack of tolerance for the thoughtlessness of the people he reigned over like no one else before him.
He liked to think of the Führer as a messenger from another dimension who, via his fate, was able to direct the world’s attention towards the evil committed by civilization. Damian associated Hitler with the Scourge, punishment and warning for those who ignored the values of the Old Testament out of avarice, envy, greed and selfishness.
The world was fueled by the pursuit of money, the biblical Golden Calf, while the new gods replaced the ones who, according to the sacred scriptures, created the universe.
In such religious context Adolf Hitler could be admired without unnecessary remorse. You could focus on the characteristics that allowed him to achieve so much in the field of the manipulation of the masses.
As a believer in total hatred, he evoked the worst instincts in people around him. He turned shoemakers, shopkeepers, drivers, doctors and politicians into beasts murdering their fellow men as if they were always destined to do so.
Hitler was to Damian a proof of the fact that the will of a determined individual, endowed with the ‘magical talent,’ can move, and then transfer the consciousness of other people to a place of your own choosing.
He was a proof of the fact that unwavering intent was enough to perform any given deed, including those utterly beyond belief.
Which was why, hearing his wife telling him she found a documentary on that period in history, he felt really happy, from the bottom of his heart. The Hitler phenomenon never faded in the dark ages of history, unlike in the case of all the other ‘great leaders.’
Strictly speaking, no day passed without some TV channel showing the leader of the Third Reich, no doubt the man was among the icons of the twentieth century.
Damian often wondered where Hitler got his media savvy. The answer could be hidden in the big question mark itself, the fact that humanity never fully understood who or what he was and in what way he invited millions of Germans into his world of death, creating history’s greatest manifesto of merciless evil.
Documentaries showed history but always failed to interpret it in some other way than by blaming it all on Hitler’s psychopathic personality which, due to a number of miraculous ‘circumstances,’ was able to achieve power over contemporaneous Germany.
He was thinking of the hypocrisy of those analyzing the events, Christians speaking of evil, God, crimes against humanity. Lest we forget that if you believed in God, you should take note of the fact that in the Divine universe everything was made by God, and so was Hitler.
Such an interpretation invited self-examination, something people didn’t like, accepting your own fault, acknowledging a possibility that for God our civilization deserved an Adolf Hitler.
A true Christian should have seen the sign in the fact that it was Jesus who came to this Earth first, preaching love of thy neighbors, withstanding greed, overcoming hubris and sacrificing yourself for others. He died, true to his ideals. In response, there came the inquisition, religious wars, persecution of Native Americans and civilizational progress leading to the annihilation of natural environment.
From the point of view of mysticism, Hitler seemed to be the natural consequence. Since Jesus failed to teach humanity anything through his stance, the time came for the next ‘sign.’ In its uniqueness, it could not pass unnoticed.
Unfortunately, humanity, in its majority describing itself as believers, refused to look at Hitler form an alternative point of view, which resulted in failure to learn another lesson.
The world kept turning according to the mad rule of maintaining economic growth irrespective of the costs. Children kept dying of hunger, wars kept killing millions, football players kicking around a piece of rubber kept making fortunes while the people who attempted to fight for the future kept working for a pittance that could hardly support their initiating a ‘civilizational leap forward.’
Watching documentaries on Hitler, Damian would often think of what would be the next sign from God, providence, Mother Nature or the universe. He was curious what would blow the fuck up this time and on what scale. What could possibly make humanity open their eyes?
After Adolf Hitler demonstrating evil in its pure form, ushering in the rule of negation for a good few years to come, this time around something really terrifying must be about to happen.
Damian would often imagine a sect which, obsessed with creating ‘a new way,’ created a virus, let’s say a cross between Ebola and the flu. Then, having inoculated a selected group of people, released it on all continents, killing ninety percent of humanity. As a result, they built a new civilization, based on the homogeneity of the species. A civilization undivided according to race, creed or nationality. Functioning without indicators of economic growth, without foolish exploitation of natural resources, without the ego, without war. A civilization based on the model of the ‘anthill,’ with everyone doing what they do best for the good of the whole, a civilization built around the aim of the possibility of leaving the planet, a civilization looking for new worlds and ceaselessly striving to understand the mechanism controlling reality.
At that point Damian was thinking of how such a sect would go down in the pages of ‘super modern’ history. Would future generations treat it as crime syndicate or a heroic organization? It was then that he tried to imagine a war won by Hitler, eradication of other nations, the reign of the Thousand-Year German Reich, a world without enemies and wars. One ideology adhered to by all, at which point he would reply to himself that something was very wrong with the whole thing, since it didn’t work out. Maybe it was too much atrocity, maybe the excessive self-confidence, maybe the lack of truly ‘human qualities’ in the Nazi machinery. All of it contributing to the fact that the Thousand-Year Reich went down in history as a couple-years Reich and Hitler himself ended up as a great loser. Great, because endowed with unparalleled abilities, a loser, because he failed to put them to good use, repeating the greatest mistake of all the mystics, acknowledging the ‘divine gifts’ he received as his own. Lack of humility led to lack of common sense, and, as a result, ruining the opportunity to build a new, and different, civilization.
Damian was fascinated as he watched documentaries on women climaxing while listening to Hitler’s speeches, on his innovative ideas and openness to the existence of the mystical dimension of the universe.
The Führer kept feeding Damian’s scarred ego, as a weak man, prone to addiction, without any achievements in life, he was sincerely in awe of someone who, unappreciated by the society, achieved so much.
Damian dreamed on many occasions of being able, as the lord of this world, the great ‘lizard of power,’ to scream from his heights at humanity:
“Take it now, motherfuckers!”
There was certain duality in him – on the one hand he wanted to give love to his lady, on the other, to nourish hatred towards whatever he was at odds with. He sensed a point in his life was coming fast at which he was going to have to choose between black and white.
He had to sacrifice his drinking and his fuck-the-world attitude that followed on the altar of the love of a lady, he had to believe such a gesture would determine his path and, as a result, uncover the true meaning of life he failed to comprehend at the moment…
They spent the rest of the day sipping beer. They didn’t talk much, enjoying each other’s presence and the possibility of spending the time they were given together.
He was sitting in an armchair, full of fear. Three nights and three days of boozing did their job, he was completely demolished, knowing, however, he couldn’t keep going like that any longer. He needed to go back to work and make money which, during an alcoholic binge, kept melting away as fast as ice in the open sun.
He was afraid to think of what awaited him in the coming days: depression, panic attacks, reluctance to do a single thing. All of it amplified by the longing, the awareness that a single shot of vodka would mend any wrong, allowing him to think, act and live.
Philosophy, mystic choices, spiritual condition of the universe vanished from his head, replaced by alcoholic deprivation. The only thing left was his love for his wife, making him seriously consider a dark vision of their future together, sure to happen should he fail to cope with his addiction.
He saw himself and his beloved as homeless, lost, forgotten by the whole world. Sitting under a bridge somewhere in Dublin, begging for a couple of euros or a bottle of booze. He was aware that a lot of his fellow countrymen ended their great emigration adventure this way.
Damian regretted to admit it was getting harder and harder to break the alcoholic binges and, even if he succeeded and stopped drinking for a few days, he would soon become so furious with everyone and everything that accepting reality while sober was out of the question.
“I can’t fucking take it any longer,” he said, more to himself than to his wife.
“What is it, honey? What is it that you can’t take?”
“I don’t feel so good,” he groaned.
“Well, you’ve been drinking, you don’t feel so good, I told you not to drink so much. What did you do that for? Now you’re unwell, what’s wrong, exactly?” The wife continued with her sequence of questions.
“Fuck me,” Damian almost cried.
How was he to explain he knew he shouldn’t drink so much. How was he to explain the first shot also meant the final one would be three days later, no big deal, just some fun, release, relaxation. Bullshit: half of it he couldn’t recall, his body was exhausted, his head was humming, his breath stank. On top of it all, there was the contempt, disgust with his own self, mental and physical hell.
He hated himself for getting stuck in this shit one more time. Why did he drink again?
Three days of boozing – zero work, which meant zero income, followed by four days of utter torture, acute withdrawal. It all added up to a week stolen from life, a week without your own self. Living, yet dead at the same time, a zombie without a soul, character, compassion, empathy, no higher feelings whatsoever, dominated by fear and yearning to go back to drinking.
“Why did I do it again?” he moaned, pissed off as all hell at himself and the world.
“God, how I hate my life.”
He saw everything painted black, his financial situation seemingly hopeless, the recession growing deeper and the mortgage payment rising.
“What have I done with my life?” Damian asked rhetorically, addressing it half at himself and half at God, but it was like the rustling of worthless vermin for in that state he couldn’t perceive either himself, or any presence of any God.
What if he went out in a fucking blast in a car accident?
His wife would get indemnity, he did have life insurance the bank forced him to take out while he signed the goddamn mortgage pact with the devil. At least he’d die a free, sober man, they wouldn’t pay the compensation if he was drunk. At least he would leave something behind, a kind of substitute for merit.
A vision of himself dying a miserable cockroach’s death under some bridge, pissing all over himself, tortured by pancreatic, stomach or liver cancer was unacceptable.
He was aware of the fact that once you start serious drinking, everyone is hurt, starting with family, friends, all the way to the darling wife.
He did fuck-all with his life, not becoming a banker, a politician, or Ronaldo, not
even some small construction company owner employing a bunch of men, or a notary public. Nothing, not a shitty thing.
He was a cabbie-alcoholic, waiting at a taxi stop for someone to crawl into his car and, having driven a few miles, leave some change for bread and milk. He didn’t have a vision of anything – the rest of his life spent behind the wheel just because he signed a bad deal at a bad time.
The situation in Ireland was also far from positively inspiring – it was only getting worse with each piece of TV news, be it the deepening crisis, be it more budgetary cuts, be it the bankrupt countries taking down the whole European Union with them.
Maybe Damian shouldn’t be thinking about the world, the people or his own life – the perspective of a three-dayer hangover made him look at reality in an extremely negative light. He saw himself dangling at the end of a rope with a wet stain around his crotch.
Hopelessness – the word rattled around his brain almost at all times. The climate is a fucking mess, everybody’s talking about the end of the world as if it was some kind of Olympics, just a bit more exciting, the cancer’s everywhere because the food is poisoned and modified, some fuckers are blowing up buildings and shooting people in the name of higher goals revealed to them and them only.
“Fuck that,” Damian blurted out out of nowhere at his wife, as she gave him a strange look.
“You don’t say, kitty cat, must be feeling real bad. Why don’t you lie down, rest a while.”
How the fuck was he supposed to lie down not even being able to sit still. In fact, no position was good: lying down, sitting up, standing or running, unless it was to the liquor store to get a bottle of booze, or better yet, two bottles, just in case.
“This isn’t my day, baby,” he tried to say it matter-of-factly, but his voice spoke for itself: he was mentally ill, suffering from dependency syndrome.
Over the coming three, four days he would be struggling with exasperation appearing the very moment the anxieties receded, then depression would come, sadness, the realization that life didn’t make any sense, and, on top of it all, the shits, permanent, bothersome, annoying as all hell diarrhea, something a little extra to add to it all.
No matter what he ate or drank, he’d run for the shitter and be happy if he got to piss it all out into the bowl. That’s right, piss. He resorted to using the term ever since the day his darling spouse, losing her patience over his occupation of the toilet, asked:
“What’s taking you so long, honey?”
“I’m pissing out my ass,” he answered, so fucking furious he could faint, desperately trying to soothe the burning of his anus with toilet paper drenched in cold water.
“Taking so long to pee, babe?” Apparently his beloved wife’s brain was incapable of grasping the idea of a pissing ass. Maybe her hearing refused to cooperate or maybe his voice wasn’t loud enough through the door and the hallway, or maybe Damian failed to register with his life companion. One way or another, from that point on ‘pissing out the ass’ was part of his dictionary.
It was like a ritual starting at the end of each drinking binge. After the first ‘squirt’ he had to clean the whole shitter looking like someone poured a pot-full of veggie soup in there with a sweeping movement. There was diarrhea all over the toilet and it needed a thorough scrub job.
The following ones required little more than a toilet brush and a bit of Domestos. Cleaning the bathroom, Damian often thought this was exactly what he was meant to do, his main occupation should be scrubbing shit.
It occurred to him that if, while still young, he picked such a straightforward direction, without all those ambitions to be ‘somebody,’ without engaging in a serious relationship, without signing loan agreements, maybe now he’d be happy, working steadily as a toilet cleaning lady.
He would rent a small room somewhere in the vicinity of the public restroom – zero stress, who would bother a toilet cleaning lady as long as everything was taken care of: the loos were clean, the toilet paper in place, the floors freshly mopped. He could do it, he liked cleaning anyway.
“Fucking hell, I wasted my life,” he said, much too loud.
“How do you mean wasted, baby? You still have me, we have our house, our pooch we take for walks, and a cat we always dreamed of. You have a job, a lot of people don’t have a job now, count your blessings,” his wife was doing all she could to comfort him.
“Fuck yeah. It’s just that I could’ve settled for a bunch of little toilets all my own, a little floor space, a mop and a place to store the t.p.. I wouldn’t give a fuck about anything: the career, the loans, the marriage, the responsibilities, the ambitions. There wouldn’t be all that pressure pushing me into the claws of addiction now,” it all just poured out of him under a single breath, as he looked at his loved one’s astonished face. There was nothing in the world to make her understand what little toilets he was on about. “I’m sorry, honey,” he added instantly, noticing her sad face. “I only have myself to blame, even if I was a toilet lady, a gardener, a cook or a priest, I’d probably still find a reason to drink. I’m just built this way.” Damian needed to get hammered only to later on fall into the claws of nostalgia over a paradise lost, to be able to wallow in nihilism. “I am the problem, not my life,” he summed it up.
“Why don’t you have some lemon balm. It’s good for you, always helps. I’ll watch ‘Matilda’ in the meantime.”
His wife would always disarm him with her simple approach to life. He envied her the peace of mind resulting from her positive attitude towards life and towards people. Maybe that was the secret, maybe he just hated too much and that was where all the shit came from, maybe all the problems he left behind didn’t really exist, and since they didn’t exist, there was no way out, for how could you cure a disease that didn’t exist. Maybe all it took was a change in how you perceived yourself, the others and reality.
“Lemon balm, might as well, you’re probably right, honey,” he spoke without much conviction, dragging his feet towards the kitchen. “Will you have one, too?” He asked politely but there was no answer.
His better half was already engulfed in some TV show about some fashion designer chick. The soap opera was always on and Damian kept trying to figure out how it was possible to watch the same thing on and on, wondering how a large group of people, with enormous means at their disposal, came up with debilitating pulp in order for a different, even larger group to sit mindlessly in front of the TV, swallowing all that shit.
“Oh, already back, babe?” The telly resounded with a stupid rhetorical question. “Fuck, she sure can see she’s back, since she asks, she must know she’s back, why ask, then?”
“Yes, I am,” a brilliant reply came.
Oh well, what did he expect?
Sweet Jesus, how can you not drink? Maybe some drink themselves to death because they just can’t stand the stupidity. On the other hand, though, your living space should be arranged so that you could, at least to an extent, avoid such slime.
Let’s take an astrophysicist, for example – at work surrounded by thinking people, looking for new solutions, at home probably bookish-scientific atmosphere as well. Damian could bet his life nobody watched “Matilda” or some other “Yolanda” there.
That was all good, it was just that he never was or intended to be an astrophysicist – instead, he was an unnecessary-oxygen-user parasite, unbeknownst to himself listening closely to “Matilda’s” dialog:
“I am so tired of this design stuff, I think I spent three hours at the office.”
The made-up cunt didn’t even pretend she was going for an Oscar with the soap.
Three hours at the office and she’s tired, what was he supposed to say. He had a good couple of fifteen hour shifts in the car ahead of him for a shitty couple of euro, most of it to cover the taxes, which would then cover the debt the Irish banks made drowning their cash in construction business.
“Why the fuck doesn’t anybody pay me for blabbering nonsense on a shitty television show?” He was burning with envy. He envied anyone with any measure of success, from the great Messi to a shopkeeper earning enough to buy his own house and a medium standard automobile by selling Polish sausage and bread. He envied the Pope, the generals, the journalists, the politicians, envied anyone who found their place in line, envied anyone with their own little public restroom to shine.
“What’s wrong with me?” He shouted into the air, overwhelmed by accumulating thoughts.
“You’re hungover, honey. You drank too much and now you’re feeling bad,” his wife said during the commercial break.
Eu-fucking-reka. Of course he was hungover, or not hungover actually, he was developing some sort of schizophrenia. Why did he feel like there was nothing and nobody he belonged to? Why didn’t he see the meaning of life, why didn’t he have any hobbies, interests, passions, anything that would anchor him in normal reality and allow to live like all the other people?
“Sweetie, I can’t do this anymore, I think I might hurt myself.” He felt like crying.
Perhaps if he used his time differently as a young man there would now be a chance for him to become, let’s say, a deputy leader of some popular party, or at least an adviser or public relations person. He was talented enough, outspoken, spiteful when necessary, completely indifferent towards other people, he was unscrupulous, thought himself to be enough of a rogue and a brute to become a politician, why didn’t he, then?
“That’s nonsense, why hurt yourself now, kitty cat?” His life companion definitely failed to comprehend the gravity of the moment, she wasn’t able to get inside his head, therefore she couldn’t know how deeply her true love was sweltered by the hangover. He was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“I’ve had enough of it all.”
Damian felt the wave of panic growing stronger. It carried him through a recollection of childhood, when you entertained yourself with a game of bottle caps turned into little cyclists on the asphalt in the shadow of a ten-story apartment building or wandered about the housing projects aimlessly. It also brought about the memory of high school he hated so much that upon hearing reports on shootings at campuses in the USA he was unable to produce even an inch of sympathy for the victims.
He had more understanding for those who, unable to take it anymore, went ahead, guns in their hands, and finally forced the little monsters behind their school desks to behave.
He remembered how the whole class hated him, apart from Gregory Metka with whom he performed pranks such as leaving stool on the floor of the school bathroom or pissing in their schoolmate’s water container or soda bottle. The rest of the class expressed negativity towards him, perhaps because he was original and controversial or maybe because he didn’t have an inch of respect for them.
Ever since he remembered, he detested the socialist bootlicker contest, already starting at primary school level. He despised the kids dying to stand in front of the blackboard only to show off their conviction that the Soviet Union was a brotherly nation, the proton as well as the electron were fundamental particles and the universe was infinite.
As it turned out years later, none of it was definite, but back then they held against him the fact that he dared to ask additional questions, disputing their book smarts.
Perhaps if the focus had been on the fields he was really into, his life would be different now, perhaps they would have helped him find himself and foster his talent. He did read once that everyone had a talent of their own.
Damian truly hated science classes, he liked a good book, enjoyed history. He was unable to understand why the hell they were trying to instill something called trigonometric functions in his head.
To them, he was a pain in the ass, demoralizing the whole group. The school definitely favored little Agatha Pac who took it all fucking in: GPA five point eight, everything learned by heart, abstract thinking fucking zero.
Socialist-era education could actually be blamed for all his misfortunes. No one but him understood how much he hated it.
With the eyes of his soul he saw himself entering his school with a shotgun in his hand and a dilemma in his mind: will it be Polish or Maths, he hated both teachers equally.
Damian picks the Polish teacher – a scene straight out of Léon: the Professional, when Gary Oldman, gun in his hand, stops in front the apartment where the drug dealer failing to pay his dues resides.
“I like these calm moments before the storm,” Damian/Gary says to himself, putting away his Walkman earphones, the sounds of Beethoven’s piano still audible. He clutches the shotgun tightly, kicks the door in, interrupting a lesson of Polish.
“Now what, you whore?” He shouts at the slut/Polish teacher who refused to spend even five minutes analyzing the substance of his essays, failing him after finding three spelling errors or five punctuation mistakes. He could never understand how easy it was to scratch his whole work just because a letter was missing a hook, and they sure missed a lot of those for Damian couldn’t stop making mistakes.
“Oh Jesus, dear Jesus!” Ms. Bednarz, the Polish teacher, wails at the top of her lungs instead of trying to control the situation.
The class sit quietly, frozen, although Damian can see in the corner of his eye a pool forming under Agatha Pac’s chair. The little girl is pissing herself out of fear.
Damian feels stiffness in his pants, the sight makes him sexually aroused, he’s really cranked.
The Polish teacher is screaming like a woman possessed, maybe because she’s the only one who sees Damian’s eyes telling her the whole thing cannot end well. The class remain behind their desks without making a sound, apart from little Agatha who begins to sob quietly. She starts thinking to herself the others will always remind her of how she wet herself in stressful situations. The little bastards just bend that way, they might even start calling her ‘Piss Girl.’
Damian knows he can’t let this happen.
“Don’t worry, Aggie, you won’t live to see the days of humiliation and sorrow, your pitiful ‘cog in the machine’ existence ends today. It’s too bad I can’t fuck you just like that here in front of the blackboard, getting rid of this chafing erection and nervous tension.”
How do you hold a shotgun in your hands and screw little Agatha at the same time?
“Jesus doesn’t give a fuck about you, bitch!” he shouts at Ms. Bednarz and shoots her in the head. What remains of her skull and brain forms an intriguing, surreal pattern on the wall, the Polish teacher’s body trembling lively, as if dancing an folk, the class start screaming.
Damian reloads and shoots, painting more and more intricate patterns on the walls, not wanting and not being able to stop…
“What do you mean you’ve had enough, teddy bear? Don’t you love me anymore, aren’t you happy with me?” The wife brought Damian back to reality. The only thing remaining from the delirious vision is a hangover hard-on.
“Will you suck me off?” he asked softly.
“Oh, that’s what it’s all about. Suck off yourself,” his other half answered, turning in the direction of the TV in order to watch one more episode of “Matilda.”
“I need to quit drinking. I keep having weird thoughts,” he blurted out, fighting off a fresh wave of anxiety.
He was in shambles, he had enough, filled to the top with the conviction he was never going back to normal.
“Quit meowing first, you can do it!” his kitty comforted him, at the same time torturing the TV remote with her hands.
“Here we go again,” Damian moaned to himself.
In reality, he had battled against alcohol ever since his first shot. Maybe if back then, as a sixteen year old, he refused to try that shit, everything would be different now. He would have made proper use of his youth, investing in the future, specifically in himself, getting an education, developing an interesting hobby, there would be worthy friends around him, maybe he would even become someone recognized, respected, like a journalist or a district attorney, or an actor.
Unfortunately, as a teenager he reached for the bottle and fell in love ‘at first sight,’ from that moment on his favorite thing was simply being under the influence, and having a couple of drinks just to let it all go. The surrounding world would stop its wild goose chase and let him enjoy his life. He could stare at the fire, the TV, mow the lawn or take walks. The problem started when his brakes would fail and the pleasant, soft exhilaration would turn into getting bombed. Afterwards, he wouldn’t remember anything, waking up full of anxiety and a feeling that he would surely go insane unless he had a drink instantly. A vicious circle, frustration, no light at the end of the tunnel, a downward spiral.
He perfectly remembered the day he felt the warmth and the power of alcohol for the first time. It was the time when Gregory Metka and himself finished off a fifth between the two of them.
It was a beautiful, sunny day – the type he learned to appreciate here in Ireland where clear blue sky was a rare sight. They were going for a historical class trip to Auschwitz that day.
“I fuckin’ stole a bottle of vodka, wanna get drunk?” Gregory asked instead of saying hello.
His brother was in the middle of planning his wedding and their parents were doing all they possibly could to amass sufficient amount of alcohol for the guests. They stored vodka in all the sofas in their three-room apartment – part of a ten-story building made of concrete slabs, identical with thousands of other buildings comprising socialist-era projects inhabited by the working class.
“Sure do,” Damian answered and off they went, to a small hill behind the school playground.
Gregory took the bottle out of his backpack, together with a shotglass, a bottle of soda and a jar of pickled cucumbers.
“The fuck you brought that for?” Damian asked, staring at the jar.
“My dad always yells at my mom to get him pickles when he’s drinking, there’s gotta be something to it,” Gregory replied and they started their little feast.
The vodka was just hideous, but the soda and the pickles helped kill its atrocious taste.
“Nice headfuck, ain’t it?” Gregory asked rhetorically.
They were both laughing their faces off, the world seemed somehow more interesting, more fun, the school building not so gray and bleak anymore, the perspective of a school trip to Auschwitz more intriguing. They high-fived each other, put the leftovers back into the backpack and, their movements a bit shaky, daringly headed for the main entrance to meet the rest of their group.
From a distance, Damian saw their classmate, Robert Kózka, known in the whole school for his masturbatory inclinations. The kid was always horny, running for the boys’ room even during classes. One day he managed to please himself seventeen times. All the boys envied Robert his talents but Damian suspected something was wrong. He thought his schoolmate’s tension had its roots in problems with the nervous system, the realization coming from his familiarity with Robert’s family situation and his father’s firm conviction that, in order to stay healthy, the wife and the kids needed a solid helping of the knuckle sandwich every now and then. So he took care of his family’s health every day with the regularity worthy of a Jesuit monk. Rumors persisted that apart from displaying sadistic leanings, daddy also had some special feelings for Robert’s sister, unusually ‘well-built’ for her twelve years of age. Daddy apparently didn’t mind the blood ties, taking advantage of his cute little daughter’s body any old time he felt like it.
Damian knew Robert hated his father as much as he loved his mother. The poor woman did all she could to protect her children, shielding them with her own body on many occasions. She was the only good Kózka junior experienced in his whole life.
“Let’s pull a nasty one,” Damian smiled as he spoke to Gregory Metka.
Alcohol kept circulating in their blood, strengthening their spirits. As they approached Robert, Damian blurted out:
“Robert, we have some terrible news for you,” he used all his acting skills to produce a sad tone. Little Greg was speechless: Damian sounded so real you could actually believe they knew something horrible happened. “Unfortunately, your mom is dead,” Damian continued and that was when all hell broke loose.
The sound Robert Kózka emitted at that point stayed with the two of them forever. It was a scream of a man breaking down not just physically, but, above all, mentally.
“Run home,” Damian uttered, unnerved by his friend’s reaction. Somewhere deep inside he knew he went too far.
Robert wailed and started running, as the whole class, including the teachers, looked at the two of them. They got caught red handed. Miss Waiss, history teacher, was already dashing in their direction, knowing they were up to no good.
“What did you do to him, you little jerks?!” she yelled from a distance.
“Nothing, just a little prank…” Gregory explained coyly.
Damian was quiet. He knew there was going to be trouble, remembering the look on Robert Kózka’s face.
“Let me smell your breath, you scoundrels! What’ve you been drinkin’?! I can tell by the way you look!” Miss Waiss thundered.
Black clouds crept over them, the day couldn’t possibly end well, and it didn’t. The parents were asked to come to school, investigation on the alcohol abuse was held, the two of them were prevented from going on the trip, a reprimand in the school register was made, the principal was notified.
Damian closely followed Robert Kózka’s life afterwards. Apparently, his recovery was slow and then he was transferred to a different school. About two years later, real tragedy struck in his family: Robert’s older brother, Andrew Kózka, was caught stealing at the Supersam. The head of the family, Stan Kózka, couldn’t let it go unpunished, so he stormed into the house, yelling at the doorstep:
“Where’s that little bastard?!”
In his hand he was holding an army belt. Andrew took hold of a meat tenderizer and caught his father from behind. Stan Kózka, no clue whatsoever, swung at the wife, the poor innocent soul. They both struck at once, the mother catching the tip of the belt, daddy getting hit with tenderizer by Andrew, all his anger from the years of humiliation put into that single blow. It was strong enough for Stan Kózka’s skull to crack like it was made of glass. Reportedly, he grunted like a boar and it was the final sound to ever come out of him in his miserable life. They said Andrew kept smashing his head about twenty more times while his mother and his sister watched in silence, only Robert screaming like a man possessed in the room next door, bouncing off the walls.
The autopsy showed the first blow to be enough, however, after the motives were disclosed, there were few who wondered why Andrew felt like striking dozens more. Despite the circumstances and the consistency of the family’s depositions, Robert’s older brother got several years’ sentence, Robert himself ending up in mental therapy without much results. He was left with sleep problems, waking up at night full of sweat, screaming in terror:
“My mommy’s dead! Mommy dear’s dead!”
As the time passed, Damian would often reproach himself for the stupid prank, after all these years he understood how cruel it was. What he did, taking into consideration Robert Kózka’s family situation, was evil and mean. Perhaps the evil became the foundation for Damian’s alcoholism or maybe he just used it to justify his own weakness.
The fact was that, having drank the fifth Gregory Metka stole from his parents and having pulled Robert Kózka’s dead-mom-prank, Damian woke up the next day with a terrible headache. The terrible hangover from drinking the hooch was made even worse by his father standing right above him.
“See what you’ve done?” he asked, shaking his head in disapproval.
“Son, what’s happening to you?” his mother was sobbing quietly. “How could you tell Robert his mom was dead? Why did you drink alcohol?”
Why, why? Everybody drinks, don’t they? Damian was thinking feverishly. Christ Almighty, a nice mess you got yourself into.
He felt like hell, he kept having cold fits and hot spells interchangeably, remembering Gregory telling him how his father, while ‘badly hungover’ after drinking, would raise a toast to one of his legs first, then the next to the other one so that he wouldn’t limp, and then, if necessary, another one to the third, shorter lag, and then the hangover was gone as if it was never there in the first place.
Damian knew his parents had some liquor in their cabinet. He just needed to drink to those legs, because things were really bad.
“First you vacuum the whole house and then we’ll see.” He recognized a note of anger and disappointment in his father’s voice.
“Your mother and I need to go to your school to talk to the principal, because of you,” he added in a harsh voice, pointing the finger at his son.
All good, Damian thought.
He did hate vacuuming, but it gave him the opportunity to cure his hangover. His parents left the house and Damian did what he had to do.
Maybe it was genetic, maybe it was the stress caused by the Robert debacle, maybe it was the evil thing he did – the fact was Damian was knee-deep in alcohol.
Back then he didn’t know a morning after drink was a short cut to addiction. When he found out, it was already too late. Maybe if his initiation didn’t come at such an early age, maybe if it wasn’t vodka he started with, something lighter, like beer or wine, his life would be different.
It no longer mattered – it was high time he faced the truth. He became an alcoholic and he only had himself to depend on to prove drinking wasn’t to become his single, and final, lifetime achievement. The situation wasn’t funny anymore, he was at an age when notorious drinking couldn’t be explained by having fun or releasing your stress.
Time came to examine his conscience, to ask himself if he wanted to fight for his sweetheart. He did not see any other goals for himself – for could the meaning of Damian’s existence become testing thousands of human anuses for rectal or prostate cancer? Could that meaning be delivering mail, cooking hamburgers, farming, politics? Damian failed to see himself in any of these roles. Each required involvement, sacrifice, routine and scheduling. Boredom and monotony, he saw no ‘deeper meaning’ in any of this, materialistic goals would never encourage him to change his life. All he had was his love for his wife and now, at this turning point, he decided to cling to it. He thanked God for having her, feeling that without her his life would end in an explosion that would take many other human lives.
The phone rang. His wife was talking to someone, he didn’t know who it was, he could not concentrate. She finally put the cell phone down on the table.
“Going to Beata’s, something came up, I have to babysit,” she declared, uneasily observing her battered husband.
Damian was to stay at home. And maybe for the better, he thought. He’d watch some TV, take cold showers to quicken his metabolism. He might jerk off, he might do the dishes, if it got really bad he’d lock himself in the toilet and listen to the water running from the tap. He might make it through the day somehow. He didn’t want to think about the night to come, that was for later. First, he needed to survive the first critical hours of alcoholic withdrawal.
“Bye, babe, take care.”
His sweetheart left and he was all alone. A terrible thought overcame him, a premonition that there was going to be an accident and she wouldn’t make it. A wave of panic came, then tears, he was telling himself it was just little gremlins playing with his head, there would be no accident, he wasn’t going to be notified of his only love being dead.
Television, National Geographic, they were showing the Japs slaughtering the dolphins.
“Fucking nuclear bomb taught the gooks nothing, the dolphin with the intelligence of a couple-year-old baby, filled with love for mankind, all helpful with its positive influence, and those fuckers killing it for some delicacy.”
Damian felt the hatred flowing through him, pushing the hangover anxiety out. He imagined he was Godzilla, emerging from the sea and trampling his way towards Tokyo.
He kills everyone in his way, destroying the buildings. He has a special tongue like an ant-eater, collecting all the people running away in panic.
He eats them alive. Suddenly he stops, seeing two hot Japanese girls at the tip of his tongue.
Damian never had a Japanese girl, so he got an erection and turned into a monstrous creature from outer space who came to the Earth in order to collect biological samples. He takes the Japanese girls to his spaceship.
He is so hideous the girls scream in disgust and terror. Damian can’t understand Japanese so their cries for mercy go unnoticed, and even if he did, it wouldn’t do any good, since he really needs those samples. He abducts them to his spacecraft.
Once there, he holds them in place entangled in his tentacles, he feels one of them up her skirt, pulls the panties to the side, looks at the vagina and enjoys the sight, starts penetrating the orifice. She screams like a woman possessed, the other one sobbing quietly as she contemplates her whole life.
The tentacle adjusts itself to the shape of the vagina and starts pulsating rhythmically, the girl moans, disgusted with herself, at the same time surrendering to the growing sensation of ecstasy. The other one is intrigued, the tears of fear drying away. A different tentacle enters the anus, at first it’s small, then starts growing, filling the whole ass. The ecstasy reaches the limits of pain, more tentacles crawl towards the girls, filling their every orifice, pulsating, fondling and caressing them. The first waves of orgasm cause spasms in both of them, the girls kiss one another deeply, moaning together into oblivion, having the best sex of their lives.
Damian/monster/alien bites off their heads, their bodies stiffen, constricting the tentacles, blood squirts all over the spaceship, the biological material the alien came to collect is everywhere.
His dick got hard, but he had second thoughts about murdering the Japs.
Us, whiteys, he thought, we also kill and eat pigs, cows, horses, animals with intelligence and full of love for human beings. Why pick at the Japs for dolphins, or the Chinks for dogs and cats, while we too eat intelligent, sentient animals?
He changed the channel, turning on the news. They were speaking of the new pope, a woman of some renown calling him a “fucker.” Damian was disgusted. It wasn’t about being a member of the church or not, but what kind of example for the young generation was the broad setting by calling an older guy a “fucker”? One more piece of news form the ‘politics’ department, where there were no rules any more, just spitting at one another, instead of serious conversation there was only hatred, fighting to the death between people once united in the struggle for freedom against the Soviets, disgrace, a feeling of sadness and dejection, not good for a hangover.
Finally, something fun, the weather.
A slim woman in a mini skirt, cute as a doll, was circling around the map, promising tornadoes, rainstorms and flooding, followed by temperatures in 40 degrees centigrade and more storms. Damian wasn’t paying attention, he was looking at the weather anchor and contemplating his erection. Boy, would he show her how to stuff her pussy. He started stroking himself but the anchor was gone.
His cock was hard as a rock.
He changed the channel to the one showing non-stop ads for phone sex services.
One part of the screen showed a blonde pleasing herself with her hand, the other showed a black guy fucking a petite brunette. He found the former more interesting and kept watching the two going at it. The black guy was breathing heavily while the brunette kept moaning. Damian was stroking his dick fiercely.
Suddenly, he heard a loud knock on the door.
He turned the TV off in a hurry. Piercing fear destroyed all the fun. Damian pulled the bottom of his pyjamas over his bulging dick. He sneaked towards the door, grabbed the knob and opened it. Two women, complaint in their voices, informed him that they rang the doorbell first but it wasn’t working.
“It’s not working, I turned it off, I needed some piece and quiet, what’s the matter?” he aseked conspicuously, looking at their faces. Both of them somehow devoid of femininity, he would’t fuck’em even if he was really destitute.
“What piece and quiet, the end of the world is coming, may we take a minute?” the old hags started waving Jehova’s Witnesses propaganda in his face.
“Fuck this shit, just what I needed,” he thought.
“The end? Great, my dear ladies, nothing to worry about. Life ain’t worth shit anyway, my wife and I just keep praying for death to take us both at once, we won’t save the world anyhow. Why even try? For the sake of some power- and money-starved cocksuckers? Me, I’m not starved at all, I’m here by mistake, well, maybe just for the pussy, and, my dear ladies, not for your pussy, unfortunately. Allow me, then, to withdraw into the depths of my, or the A&B bank’s, apartment in order to continue my masturbatory practices.”
Damian looked at the Jehova’s Witnesses, their mouths agape, and, for a moment, he was back in good spirits, as if by dealing with these grandmas he somehow regained his will to live. Or maybe it was just his imagination, he wasn’t sure. Closing the door, he heard them talk of heaven and hell, salvation of his soul and of the truth no one else but them knew.
Horse shit, this hangover here and now was hell, he couldn’t imagine any other, worse than this. His whole life in the black whole, and those two trying to teach him about the truth.
The sex thing was gone, he didn’t feel like moving his hand, plus he had enough of TV. So he went to the bathroom and let the water run. He was sitting there with the lights turned off, listening to its sound. He read once that rushing water can take away any ailment and that while holding your feet under the stream with your intentions focused in the right direction, your sickness may pass. Supposedly, it was even enough to just picture holding your feet in the stream. If it could heal diseases, why not a hangover?
There was Damian, then, in the loo, imagining a brook which, flowing by, would take away his nightmare. His thoughts wandered all over his memory until he got to the only time he was carefree and happy – ages ago.
The darkness of the bathroom, the sound of the running water and his hungover brain allowed him to visualize those days quite vividly.
He was seventeen when he met Arthur. They hit it off right away. Arthur was a race car buff, while he was into prostitutes and exploring the occult. Their interests seemed extremely different but the manic passion was enough to connect the two with almost brotherly ties.
Once they discovered they were having great fun spending their time together, they decided to do everything to make it last as long as possible.
Destiny was on their side. Victoria, Arthur’s sister, to whom he was the apple of her eye, came back from America. After a while she bought a place in their hometown as well as an old house, a leftover from the German era, located somewhere in the middle of a vast mountainside area, a nice, quiet place where you could take a rest from the mess that was civilization.
Communism was still going on, which meant that in Poland you could buy a liter of vodka for one dollar at ‘Pevex’. So Arthur advised his sister to stock up on it, as the prices were about to go up.
Victoria took notice, made an investment and filled one of the rooms in her apartment full of alcohol crates. There was enough room left to fit a bed for Damian. Arthur slept in the bedroom while the guest room was always ready in case anyone felt like having a party.
It was heaven on earth for them, they were on their own since Victoria, having returned from the States, spent most of her time partying, which mostly meant doing a new man every so often, kept moving between her pieces of real estate like a boomerang.
It was a perfect deal, ideal for all three of them: if she came to the place in the city, they moved to the house in the mountains, and vice versa.
They were hardly ever in each other’s way, literally passing each other in the doorway. Victoria would give Arthur some cash, ask if everything was alright and that was it. The minute she closed the apartment door behind her, the two friends would start a party, gradually using up the vodka amassed in Damian’s room. They kept boozing almost every day which, slowly but systematically, pushed them into the the clutches of alcoholic addiction.
Those were the days of total fun and liberty, not a single care in the world, using the chance they were given to the hilt, everything veering around a single scheme: girls – partying – booze – music.
Only the places changed.
Damian perfectly remembered one of the craziest escapades to the old house in the mountains, when Arthur’s sister decided she had to run some errands downtown. They had no choice. They took a couple of vodka bottles with them, along with some food and a whole lot of good mood. They really liked going to the mountains.
The house stood isolated, no supervision whatsoever.
This time around it looked like things were going to be quiet, no plans, none of the party girls going with them. Every single one they called and invited to come with them was either busy or had previous appointments. They went on their own, all set on drinking, and taking walks, ready to take a couple days’ break from loud parties.
It wasn’t meant to be. On the bus they met two teenage girls. It didn’t take long to convince them to spend the night together at their old-German house. Once they got there, they were all pretty drunk. Both of them did all they could to get the girls tipsy, as there was one thing they knew – getting a girl drunk meant getting into her pants.
The girls, while pretty intoxicated, were watching over one another.
“We gotta separate those little bitches, otherwise we don’t get lucky,” Arthur whispered, using a moment while the girls were powdering their noses.
“Yeah, can I have the blonde?” Damian asked gallantly.
He really wanted to do her, his dick got hard just from looking at her. The girl didn’t seem to reciprocate, she knew he was looking at her like a boa snake at a little lamb.
“Sure, what do I care, just as long as I get to one of their little pussies in the end.”
Damian was happy. The other girl wasn’t bad looking either, but the blonde was making him hot like a stove.
“Alright, let’s get them drunk, then I’ll take the blonde upstairs while you keep the little one outside, ask her to help you get water from the well or something,” he suggested and his friend agreed.
Once the girls came back from peeing, Arthur gave them double vodka drinks spiked with Valium he found in the kitchen. The pills were probably left there by his sister who stayed in the mountains the last time around.
You didn’t have to wait long, the girls got completely high after drinking the cocktail, the blonde dropping face down on the table and her friend barely able to stand on her own two feet.
“Come on, help me with the water,” Arthur said, sticking to the plan.
“I can’t leave her here like this,” the girl resisted.
“You can. Damian will take care of her here, don’t worry.”
Damian had a huge hard on. He knew he was going to make a pass at the little slut any second now.
His friend went outside, supporting the drunk girl who kept muttering she shouldn’t be leaving her friend alone. Finally, he was alone with the blonde who was passed out with her head on the table. He came up to her and started touching her with trembling hands. She didn’t even react.
“Jesus Christ,” he moaned to himself as his hand, impatiently penetrating her panties, finally got to her pussy.
The blonde had a nice wet pair of lady bits down there, a true hidden treasure. Damian got a fever, he had to have her. He grabbed the girl like a sack of potatoes, slung her over his shoulder and trampled heavily upstairs. His cock was near bursting.
He opened the bedroom door. The cold air woke the girl up.
“What’s going on?” She mumbled, trying to resist, but she didn’t have enough strength to defend herself.
Vodka and Valium did their job and Damian thanked God Arthur found the pills, as the girls were into drinking but not much into sex.
He threw her down on the matress and started taking her clothes off. She tried to stop him, but, in the aroused state he was in, nothing could. He had to have her and he he had to do it immediately.
He spread her legs and couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Look at that cunt of yours,” he breathed heavily in excitement.
Now he knew what attracted him to that slut – she had the best pair of beef curtains he ever saw in his entire life.
“No, no, please,” sobbed the blonde, but Damian, going wild with desire, wasn’t paying attention to her protests. All that mattered was him and that magnificent pussy.
“You’re mine,” he groaned lustfully, squeezing his tongue right between her labia, the wetness, the heat, the ecstasy, he was licking away at it like a man possessed.
“What are you doing to me? Please, stop,” she begged, but her resistance grew weaker.
Damian’s tongue was doing its job and she started pushing her hips rhythmically forward, satisfied with how he was working her down there. He felt really horny, intending to suck everything out of the girl. The blonde knew that her cunt was driving him nuts. She felt drunk, high and excited all at once, she didn’t care anymore, she just wanted to come. The tongue was working like crazy and, suddenly, the first waves of a powerful climax started to flow through her. She was screaming.
“You’re amazing,” Damian gasped, as the blonde squirted in his mouth. She did it every time she came.
Finally, as she ejaculated once again, he just couldn’t hold it anymore and shot his load right in his pants.
His strength left him but only for a short while, just enough to take his clothes off.
“The fun starts now, bitch.” He licked his finger and pushed it inside her tight ass.
“I have never, never in there,” the blonde tried to resist again.
“That’s OK, there’s always the first time,” Damian laughed, fingering her beautiful little holes.
He felt the meaty cunt swell and get wet one more time, which showed the blonde was starting to like this game. He knew he had to be patient – the more time he was going to spend making her feel relaxed, the better of a fuck she’d be later on.
“Ooh, aah.” The little slut was winding up, two fingers already up her ass.
With his other hand Damian was fondling the best hole in the world while his dick was getting erect, regaining its power. All he was thinking of was to stick it up her tight virgin ass.
He took hold of his dick and, using his finger, aimed it at the hole. He looked at the flesh of her wonderful cunt, and, for a while, delighted with the perspective of the coming fifteen minutes during which he was going to pump that juicy ass any way possible, rubbing her wonderful pussy, fingering it and licking up the juices squirting out of her at the same time.
“Put it inside, please,” the teenager/blonde/squirting sex bomb moaned lustfully.
“As you wish.” He obeyed the order willingly.
Not even a minute passed before the ass swallowed all of his cock. Damian pushed his tongue down the blonde’s mouth, screwing her ass as hard as he could. Just a minute later and the slut jetted out of her cunt, having another orgasm. Damian was going insane from all of the lust. He pulled out his dick and kept licking, the ass and then the pussy – he was loving it. He would dip into one hole and then the other, sucking away at anything gashing out of the blonde. The pussy was as sweet as the ass.
“Jeez, you taste great,” he moaned.
“You’re a pervert,” the teenager meowed, overwhelmed by anal sex.
Suddenly. Arthur stormed inside, screaming:
“The other one fell head down in the well! I barely managed to pull her by her legs, fuck, she almost fuckin’ died, that would be a fuckin’ spectacle.” He looked really upset.
“What’s up with her now?” Damian asked.
Thoughts were running through his head. If Arthur hadn’t caught the girl and she fell head down, they’d be fucking done in. Death, autopsy, Valium, underaged teens, sex.
“Fuck, man, what’s up with her?”
“She’s sleeping downstairs, it’s OK now, but it was real close, bro, real close. How about you two? I can see you’re having some good old fuckin’ fun here.”
The tension from the stress turned into sexual arousal. He got a good kick out of what he saw and his dick got hard right away.
“May I join?” he wheezed lustfully, staring at the blonde’s sexy legs spread wide open.
“No,” the girl protested, closing her thighs together at the same time.
“Shut up, bitch, now you’ll know what good fucking is.”
The two of them grabbed her and positioned her asshole right on Arthur’s cock, which he started to force inside right away. Damian was licking her cunt, her juices flowing out of her as if the bitch had a never-ending supply, she didn’t resist any more, the tongue in her pussy and the cock in her ass taking her into the world of sex she had no clue existed up till now.
“Both of them now,” Damian groaned, sticking his rock hard cock inside her wet, hot flesh, they were both screwing the fuck out of her, the blonde screaming in delight, muttering something about fucking, not wanting it any other way from now on, coming back for more tomorrow. They came almost at the same time, not bothering with the fact they could get her pregnant, the three of them screaming in ecstasy and dropping down on the bed, unable to compose themselves for a long time.
Then Arthur left, claiming he wanted to check on the other one.
Damian wanted more, the blonde was really up his alley, good tits and that one-in-a-million cunt, the squirting beef curtains.
The blonde looked at the newly erect cock with unease, she knew she would be abused again, the devil only knew in what perverse way.
“I don’t want you to fuck me again, I’m hurting down there, please,” she whispered.
Damian caught her by her hips and made her sit on his face, beginning to work softly with his tongue. He wanted to get her going again. He pushed his tongue inside her pussy, tasting cum mixed with her little teenage slut girl juices. He was turned on by all of it, he knew he was perverted, but he enjoyed his out-there sexuality. He was open to its various forms, thanks to which his life was full of diverse sensations. He was licking the cunt, looking at her legs and her arching feet, the slut had a really good body.
“Suck,” he ordered, and she began to suck.
Damian was licking her clit, trying to turn the girl on. A minute later they were both moaning, their mouths filled with their organs, gasping, breathing heavily and muttering, coming close to another orgasm. The girl came first, screaming in ecstasy.
“Piss on me,” Damian asked, aroused like it was his first time of the day.
The girl was embarrassed.
“What do you mean, piss how?” she asked, standing above Damian. He was gasping, looking at the blonde beauty.
“Just pee, please.” He felt he was going to cum in a second, he wanted to feel her hot urine all over himself, he was excited by the fact it was going to flow out of the flesh he fucked so hard today.
The drops fell on his face, Damian opened his lips and tasted the urine, it was salty. With the taste of it came the first wave of an orgasm.
“Now on the cock.” The blonde aimed her piss at the rock hard dick, Damian almost fainted as he came, it struck him like lightning, the hot urine caressing Damian’s ejaculating cock.
“Sit on my face.” The blonde, paralyzed by shame, sat down submissively.
Damian was eating the body part, salty from urine, stroking his cock simultaneously, two more waves and he had enough. The girl clung to him with her whole body, muttering something about her favorite pervert, about how good she felt, she didn’t want it at first but now she can come here all the time for him to teach her something new.
She was discovering a slut inside of her, a slut who loved to fornicate. She knew from now on she would always dream of cocks drilling her starving holes. She fell asleep assured that one day she would let a whole horde of hungry males fuck her, and they better be soldiers as horny as only soldiers coming back from the front can be, they would mount her for two full hours. She’d only have to save herself some jell-o to be able to make use of the sex to the full extent, for from now on it was going to be her hobby…
It was an amazing, spontaneous, crazy mountain hike, ending up in great fun, close to a tragic ending at the same time. It wasn’t supposed to happen, although they were only one little step away from real trouble.
“What goes around, comes around,” and it was no different in their case, since one of their mountain hikes to follow eventually came to a not-so-joyful end.
One time they took an exception and went there together with Victoria/the hungry pussy, and her new cohort she called Tommy. He turned out to be an intoxicant fanatic. As early as on their way there he promised to get everyone “real high” with “magic mushrooms.” Once they got there and started unpacking, Tommy asked, giggling:
“Ready for a real trip?”
Of course they were ready, the worn out scheme got little boring so the suggestion of making a “trip” made them almost epileptic with excitement.
“I’m going to take something magic,” Damian’s enthusiasm was double that, as ever since meeting the stockinged witch, he was into the occult.
“In a moment you shall receive a great honor, thanks to these here magic mushrooms you shall get to know ‘The Might’,” Tommy announced mysteriously.
Victoria wasn’t hundred percent sure, but, upon their strong insistance and with Tommy’s support, she finally ceased to resist.
With the coming of the night, according to Tommy the best moment to get to know ‘The Might,’ he took out his bag and divided the shrooms into four equal servings. They were immediately devoured by the thrill-seeking friends.
Victoria was the only one still less than enthusiastic, she kept munching on them as if it was her own flesh. Maybe it was some kind of premonition, maybe it was her female intuition telling her something very bad was about to happen. Perhaps she felt she was making a mistake agreeing to her beloved brother and his pervert friend shrooming, what it was precisely Damian did not know. The fact was that even if, at the moment, Victoria, the Wet Pussy, the Maneater, had some kind of premonition, she did not listen to it.
They swallowed their servings. For the first half-an-hour nothing happened, then the nausea came, and then they had to run out of the house, such mighty will to live overtook them that they were unable to remain still.
They kept running round in circles, laughing nervously. Then the colors appeared, everything started to sparkle as if charged with electricity.
Suddenly, Arthur and Damian started howling in astonishment – they were having the same vision in which they saw Tommy as a shaman with a head of a huge goat instead of his human one.
As if that wasn’t enough, somehow they both knew it was his real head, while the human one was just a cover-up, allowing Tommy/the shaman/the goat to freely operate among people.
They didn’t have to say anything, their minds harmonized in a truly unique way, making it possible for them to share their thoughts. At that moment they saw through each other, penetrated their souls, attaining knowledge which made them realize that if they used their unbreakable will by implementing unwavering intent, they may utilize the energy that filled the world to make their own plans come true.
They traveled through the land of knowledge available to them dirtectly, they kept asking about the meaning of creation, the goal of life, of human existance, of the world. They kept asking why they were the way they were.
That night they understood that their acquaintance was not accidental, that together they could achieve anything, manipulate the future they were somehow able to see at that level of consciousness, that they were able to decide about things to come and, unanimously, they did: let’s fuck humanity up. The homo sapiens apes deserve to be fucked up, to the extent that they wouldn’t know where to run and fucking hide – their common macro-brain thought.
Their consciousnesses became one, they saw themselves at a spiritual level in a way impossible to comprehend with a normal mind. They formed some kind of a super-entity which, using the fortunate circumstances, intended to bring an end to the civilization.
The civilization based on mutual exploitation and careless wasting away of natural resources. The world wide avaricious plundering of any goods available.
The civilization created by a parasite divided into races, creeds and nations. Divided into the rich and the poor, the abounding in luxury and excess and the dying of hunger and thirst.
The civilization in which every group pulled in their own direction without coordination, claiming propriety over anything that could be turned into money or power.
The civilization sponging on the Earth and on their own selves in such an avaricious way that one could not imagine a more spiteful way of life.
“Mikama, zodir,” they cursed in an ancient language used by the satanist band Mitote. They were their fans back then.
“Mikama, mikama zodir kom se la-che, zodir kom se la-che azodiren,” they sang, summoning a nuclear war.
“Nuclear assault, nuclear assault,” they growled in black metal voices while the wild music played all over the universe. The trance beat, mixed with thrash guitars, the speed was overwhelming, a concert to celebrate the end of the world.
They were playing for those killed by the inquisition, the slaves, the victims of war and hunger, for all the people who fell victim to the sick system based on blowing macroeconomic data out of proportion.
They were singing for the logged forests, the slaughtered dolphins, they sang for themselves because they never felt true satisfaction living in this wasteland full of envy, corruption and greed.
“Fuck’em up, motherfuckin’ fuck’em up,” they were happy they were finally able to do something.
How about a supernova? Both of them heard the thought coming out of nowhere.
Sure, why not? Let’s supernova the sons of bitches.
“Kali gita o achueria, o santas, o bados.” The guitars were playing heavy rock and they were screaming like men possessed. “Bafometas, Bafometas, Loki, Neronetas.” They were conjuring a ball of fire the telescopes would never be able to see.
They were happy, imagining a shock wave so powerful it would circle the globe several times, they saw fire consuming everything, they saw the planet changed beyond recognition.
They were convinced life would survive despite the cataclysm and some day a new intelligence would arise, perhaps a better one, perhaps one deserving to live. An intelligence based on mutual respect, its life synchronized with other species, wisely administering the resources, no divisions into the better and the worse, the economists and the laborers, the rich and the poor, the noble-minded and the crooks.
“Boom, boom,” they wailed, “Kill him, kill him, kill the beast called man, kill him, oh what a beautiful kill.” The music played like it was possessed, and they became the satanist Mitote. They heard the screams of their fans.
The fans who, no longer living on the physical plane, now supported them in this strange dimension of permanent present tense, where everything was a question of will, where the vision of the world could be painted according to your own design, using the unwavering intent streaming from inner silence: the state they achieved thanks to Tommy’s magic mushrooms
In their heads they didn’t hear the inner dialog ceaselessly describing reality – there was only here and now, no fear of the future, no dreams or remorse. They were locked in a moment full of miracles, relishing the enlightenment they experienced.
“Bazademo,” Arthur sang, his whole spirit infused into the incantation.
“Satan!” Damian shouted back at him, completely convinced that it was Satan all of humanity deserved.
They realized that they themselves were part of this predatory species geared towards unbridled consumption. More than once were they guided by lust, greed, non-stop hunger for success, acceptance, the will to experience fashionable bliss, falsity and merciless approach towards your fellow men. They knew they were going to die like everyone else, yet they were proud they were able to accept the hideous nature of their pitiful existence, that they were able to commit mass suicide and give up the hedonistic enjoyment of future lives.
Fuck it all, they wanted to die together with the mob of cockroaches.
As they made their decision, they somehow looked into the depths of the universe where an enormous, incomprehensible, inorganic Being woke up from its sleep.
Once it understood what happened, it started vibrating ominously out of hunger and fury. The friends understood at that moment that their decision was irrevocable and that they were going to deal with its consequences until the end of their lives.
With their spiritual eye they saw a monstrous creature which, awakened from its dream, was getting ready to strike. It was promised the heart of humanity and they saw it was in a hurry to get it.
They woke up the next morning in a normal state of mind. The contact they achieved at the ‘mushroom level’ was gone without a trace.
They faked hilarity, telling one another about their strange trip, but behind their empty laughter there was fear, primal fear for their own soul. If it was nothing but a trip, why did they see and feel the same?
Slowly they arrived at a premonition, or rather an unshaken certainty, that their happy, carefree time together came to an end. Deep within their hearts they realized they surrendered to the one whose name was forbidden for ages by the Church and its sacred scriptures. They knew that by sentencing humanity they became mass murderers, for it is not only the deeds that make people the way they are but thoughts, desires and feelings as well. By expressing their unbreakable will of destroying the world they clearly delineated the spiritual path they were going to follow.
“What have we done?” Damian moaned, shaken by second thoughts.
“We have to stay unmoved in our resolution, my friend.” Arthur as always was able to go with the flow. “Such is our fate, now, let us await our death filled with peace and unshaken faith in our righteousness,” he added, looking at Damian. His eyes were filled with self-confidence.
For a moment they felt one again, it was only a split second, but it was enough for them to accept their new arrangement of life in the normal state of mind.
From now on they shall live as if they were to die at any given moment, each action they undertake will be of final significance, they will express their gratitude towards the people doing something good for them, they will appreciate nature, celebrate every day as if it was to be their last.
Both of them were convinced that somewhere over there in the universe something evil was approaching them and that they didn’t know the day or the hour.
Over time, the soul brothers started following their own paths, Damian met his beloved, while Arthur made money fulfilling himself through his automotive passion.
They lived their lives separately but they shared the feeling of togetherness created due to the decision they made back then and their long years of friendship. They weren’t lonely, supporting one another spiritually, and, despite their contact being limited to a minimum, they always felt one another’s presence in the back of their minds.
That is until Arthur died in an accident. He was speeding in his car, the road was poorly marked, he didn’t make it around the bend and that was it.
Damian didn’t attend the funeral. He never got over the loss. He knew he could not let the himself accept the death of his only friend. He didn’t want him to dissolve somewhere in the universe. He felt that he was his only saving grace, that all that was left was his will and the intent to maintain his friend’s consciousness at a spiritual level unobtainable through reason.
Which was why Damian never visited Arthur’s grave. Sometimes, though, he saw him in his dreams and then they would laugh, cry, and, naturally, conspire against humanity like they always used to do…
“How is it?” his wife asked, walking in.
“Don’t even ask,” Damian gasped, paralyzed by a new onset of panic.
Are all drunks so screwed up? Maybe it was just him? Maybe all those things from the past did this to him? Hitlerism, satanism, lack of respect for the people and the system he lived in, all of it caused all the horrible fears he just couldn’t get rid of any longer.
“Let’s go to bed, watch something together, then we’ll go to sleep, we’ll get up in the morning and then you’ll feel better,” she gave him a worried look, he was in total disarray.
“What do you mean better? What do you mean sleep? I couldn’t sleep for the life of me with those fears, honey.”
They watched some crime show for a couple of hours, episode after episode. It finally got late and his love decided she had enough.
“Goodnight, honey,” she said, turning off the TV.
“Maybe I’ll just try to rest here for a while,” he gasped instead of answering.
No matter what he did, for the next three, maybe four days he’d be fucked. Sure, it would be great to just sleep it all off, he just didn’t stand a chance of doing that. He had to walk through his hell ‘alive.’
A mere half hour later his wife was snoring away. He was doing his best to fall asleep, but a slightest touch of sleepiness would result in a terrifying wave of fear striking through his whole body, head to toes.
The fear approached from the verge of reality, bringing about horrible visions.
In a single second of delirious hallucination Damian could see all kinds of terrifying things. It would appear to him that there were hideous martens straight out of hell hiding under their covers. The martens, although dead, were always hungry, so they waited patiently for Damian to fall asleep.
In a different vision he would see a huge, dark shape at the foot of the bed, staring at him tellingly with non-existent eyes. It seemed conscious of all the bad deeds Damian committed. It was lurking about to get his soul.
Each attempt at falling asleep ended up in seeing things, a short slumber, a piece of hell on earth, a feeling of disillusionment, bitterness, loss, remorse. He was suffering so much the craving for a drink of vodka filled his every cell. He knew perfectly well that after two shots he’d sleep like a well fed baby clinging to his mother’s heart.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a drop of alcohol in the house and buying anything downtown was out of the question.
In Ireland, overtaken by its drinking problem, the government limited its citizens’ access to alcohol by introducing prohibition between 10 pm and 10.30 am which supposedly was to help in fighting drunkenness.
Damian had no idea if the prohibition was helping anything, he did know, however, he couldn’t buy anything containing alcohol.
He was struggling with the urge to drink the perfume sitting at the bathroom shelf when he realized in what kind of trouble he’d be afterwards. He had to survive till the morning, maybe then he would get up, take a shower and go to work or, if not to work, at least he’d buy four beers and somehow slow everything down.
“Rock bottom, I fuckin’ hit the bottom,” he was whispering to himself, swallowing his tears. How did it come to this, he was lying in bed next to his lady and, instead of sleeping soundly, resting before work, he was up shit’s creek with turd for a paddle, struggling against hangover hallucinations.
“Do you realize what you look like, man?” he asked himself. “What is it you amount to?”
Zero – the answer was clear. What else could a forty-year-old guy, sweating like a rat, afraid of his own shadow, amount to.
Damian was pondering the choice: a shot glass or a noose? Boozing it up in front of a liquor store or swinging from a tree?
He knew there was another way out, however, in order to choose it he would have to get out of bed in the morning a sober man, drink-free, with a positive mental attitude. Live through the day given to him with dignity, trying to do the right thing as best he could.
He needed to do away with wondering about what was and what would be, no remorse, no dwelling on things, he had to draw a thick line, convene his own round table.
Theoretically, it was possible. He could stop drinking. The only problem was to be consistently sober. In order to achieve that Damian needed a fundamental shift on all levels of his consciousness.
He had to give it a try, he was at his wits’ end, he had enough of his life, he felt with his whole self that if he failed to do something right away, pretty soon his sad, unfortunate existence would come to a tragic end.
“You need to examine your conscience,” he thought, trying to clutch at the proverbial straw. Perhaps it could be a step towards a fresh start? Perhaps a confession would bring about the lightness, making it easier for him to move on?
Damian once read a book on alcoholism, the title a certain number of steps towards happiness, it talked about sincerity, about penance, about breaking the chain of lies. He needed a confessor, someone he could talk to about his hatred, envy, sorrow.
He needed someone to see him drag his life’s baggage like a bag full of stones. Someone to understand that the decision he made back then with his friend under the influence of magic mushrooms, the aggravating expression of the mass extermination wish, tragically determined their fates.
Damian needed someone with an awareness of the sin they committed, someone as merciful as Jesus himself. He needed to find a man who would forgive his oppressor. Maybe then, cleansed through forgiveness, he could start all over, maybe then his anger, driving him to drink, would die out and he would be a happy person again, one to whom a sober reality would be acceptable. He needed someone to listen to him and approach it from a distance, to give him absolution, to open the door to a new chapter in his personal story.
A Catholic priest seemed like a natural choice, a parish priest by chance, high up in the church hierarchy, helping folks out on account of being closer to God, Our Lord.
Damian hadn’t set his foot in a Catholic church for a long time, his consciousness permeated with stories of the faithful severely objectified by the Church while the institution itself made him think more of a money-making enterprise than a place of worship. In his understanding the Church became, or, more accurately, always was a comfortable facade for those who used a clergyman’s garb to hide their real goals.
Now, although, in his moment of life crisis, he really missed the air of eternal rest you could feel in a church. He missed the smell of candles and spiritual mystery.
Damian liked churches when no service was held. It was then he could contemplate the atmosphere of being separated from reality.
Sometimes the organist would practice and the music would carry Damian far away from the world he knew to be his own.
He was lying next to his beloved who, in Morpheus’ embrace, was enjoying a peaceful rest, as he listened to Bach playing in his imagination. He remembered the good old days, when life, only just begun, provided plenty of opportunity.
At last he fell asleep, his heart filled with sadness.
He dreamed of his mother’s native village his parents would send him to for summer holidays. It was a cheap alternative to a retreat or a summer camp Damian couldn’t care less for. He preferred this place due to complete freedom his aunt’s rule allowed him. He could have a smoke, wander about the area and watch his uncle ‘let chicks go’ which was one of the funniest things he saw back in the day. He would often follow his uncle Georgie and shout:
“Let a chick go, let a chick go.”
“Well, alright, show me which one,” the uncle smiled broadly.
Damian would make a choice and then uncle Georgie would catch the chicken of Damian’s liking by its legs with one hand, a nicely sharpened hatchet with the other, put the bird with a well trained move on a specially arranged tree log and strike at its neck hard with the hatchet, screaming:
“Watch the chick, watch the chick!”
The head would fall off, the blood would squirt, the uncle would let the animal go and the fowl, despite having been decapitated, would run around the garden like crazy. Damian screamed in joy while uncle Georgie loudly sang some army song from the days of World War II. Those were beautiful sunny days, full of naive joy and happiness.
Damian kept dreaming, although he wasn’t a small boy anymore, just a lost forty-year-old looking for help.
He was walking down a country road towards a church where he was supposed to meet the local priest at his office. He was looking forward to confessing all his sins and telling him about his drinking problem bringing him to the edge of a breakdown of his life.
As he walked he was filled with hope for the priest to help him take the burden off his back, the one pulling him down to the ground and making him hopelessly unhappy.
Having reached the presbytery, Damian grabbed the door knob and entered the priest’s office, immediately to be struck by its beautiful interior, timber furniture, shelves heavy with volumes of wisdom, a huge desk, and, sitting behind it, in a richly ornamented armchair, the obese parish priest. The first thought to strike Damian at the sight of the priest brought about a question as to whether a man indulging in such luxury would be able to be of any spiritual assistance.
He gave the round face, reddened from imbibing altar wine, an insecure look, as it stared back at him with the expression of “What does this one want now?” The portly shepherd of souls wearing his black cloth was trying to get rid of the itch in his anus, vigorously wriggling around in his armchair/throne.
“God bless,” Damian said quietly to the parish lord/fat food lover/messenger of Jesus Christ.
“Amen,” the priest answered, glancing at the intruder with his piercing little eyes. He was wiggling his stubby fingers. They looked like greasy frankfurter sausages some mad fashion designer adorned with sophisticated gold jewelery. “What brings you here, son?” he squinted at Damian, wondering how much he could squeeze out of the sad loser.
“Drinking problem, I would really like to break the habit. I have a feeling that the reason of my sickness is the ill state of my spirit, with the addition of somehow getting lost in materialism, falling into financial trouble because of my greed, investing my years of work in the wrong way, I am a bad, frustrated man, envious of everyone, even of you, father.” For fuck’s sake, why did he just call the pig his father? Maybe because he called him his son?
The priest/stubby finger/frankfurter already knew he was losing his precious time. Instead of contemplating church atmosphere while ogling firm buttocks of altar boys, he was sitting here with this God forsaken alcoholic, listening to him complain about stupid spiritual issues.
“Well, I’m really sorry, I would love to help you, we just don’t treat alcoholism here, you might want to turn to the AA or a good doctor. Should you need penance, confession of your sins, you are welcome to visit the church.” He was doing all he could to get rid of the intruder.
“I would like to confess my sins, but I am tortured by questions, father, for example, why is it that our Baby Jesus is the best, the only one to lead to salvation, why not Mohammad or some other Buddha? What if I was born a Hindu somewhere out there in a village far far away and never heard of our Baby Jesus the Lord, would I then, by all means, be thrown into hell fire just like that?”
The priest’s face was becoming as red as a beetroot. He has a stroke coming his way, that’s for sure, Damian thought, waiting for things to happen.
“The hell kind of idiotic questions are those, huh?” the priest/wine aficionado gasped. “You have no fear of God, saying such things in front of a minister?”
The frankfurters attached to his hands were moving like crazy, the priest was wiggling them so fast you could hardly see the rings.
“God be with you, young man, and remember Jesus loves you,” the black-cloth-wearing Greek-love connoisseur finished the conversation.
“But I truly need help, father. Isn’t it what you do, help people, the Jesus you talk about, he could wash people’s feet, shake a leper’s hand, cure the sick with faith, and what is this? Sending a man in need back home with nothing?” Damian was close to tears seeing how this was not the place to get rid of his baggage, and without it the road was closed, zero chances for drawing his own personal thick line.
“Leave, or I’m calling the cops,” the priest was losing his patience, clearly tired of his itching ass, a leftover from last night’s ‘backdoor loving,’ he just couldn’t get rid of it no matter what he did, tired of this lunatic daring to preach heresy right in front of him.
“If Jesus wasn’t resurrected, he would be turning in his grave on a daily basis seeing what you, pederasts, pedophiles, greedy bastards did to his Church,” desperate Damian quit beating around the bush. “The only things you care about are cash, power and career, allowing you to fulfill your desires,” he was spewing out the grudge he had held towards the Church for a long time. “What about renunciation, humility, dedication to your neighbor, what about sacrifice for the sake of faith, what kind of example are you giving to others, you pig, you?” he was screaming and the scream woke up both him and his wife who, sitting up on the bed, asked:
“What’s wrong with you, baby, a bad dream?”
“Sort of, I was dreaming of a parish priest from my grandma’s village where I used to spent my summer holidays as a kid,” Damian answered.
“Oh yeah? He caught you stealing his wine?” his wife joked, changing her position.
Damian was pondering the meaning of his dream.
Maybe this was not the way, maybe what he needed was to forgive himself. He was confident the Church wasn’t going to help him, for even if there were a few honest, noble people left within that institution, the probability of running into them seemed scarce. He would have to look around missions or in welfare houses, and he wouldn’t really want to bother such true men of the Lord with his problems.
“God, help me, please, I would like to quit drinking and never start again.”
His favorite great leader claimed that nothing ever happened without the participation of will, which was why he uttered exactly those words expressing a steadfast desire for change, a need to mend his life, a call to find the meaning of his own existence.
He turned to God because of his upbringing, his parents instilled in him the faith in a force you can turn to, a force you could ask for help when in need.
As a child he associated God with the Church, in time he understood the Church was just one more institution filled with all kinds of people, honest ones, faithful ones, those helping others, loyal to their calling as well as those who used the disguise of the cassock to commit evil.
Under the influence of the acquired knowledge and experiences, Damian separated God from the Church. One day he understood that religions contribute more to dividing people than to uniting them. Representatives of various denominations maintained that theirs was the only way to salvation and the name of the God they worship was the only true one. It was precisely for that reason he gave up religions a long time ago, without ever losing his faith in a causative, conscious, universe-forming force. Things between him and God were sometimes better, sometimes worse, but, in general, the two of them could always count on one another.
“Why don’t you help yourself,” he answered his own question and decided to finally do away with his addiction.
The method of small steps.
He had to focus on the present and carry out his plan in the present, do everything to bring the realization of his goal closer, at the same time eliminating those things that made him weaker by acting against him.
You need to find something to do, perform a given task and do it with devotion and dedication, as if those were the final things in this life.
“I’m going to the kitchen to clean up, I’m not falling asleep anyway,” he said to his beloved and, despite her protests, did exactly as he intended.
In the kitchen he found a piece of paper on which he wrote: “Hour One – Cleaning.” He was doing the dishes, wiping the shelves, meticulously arranging every single object in perfect order.
An hour later, the chore he performed so diligently took away the fears and the panic attacks.
Two hours later he became tired and felt like going to bed. He returned to the bedroom where his wife was sleeping, lay down on the bed and started feeling better.
Just a little bit, but better still, a light at the end of the tunnel, a small chance to live a happy life. All he had to do is endure.
He knew there was no other way. He had to make it on his own.
The Church he didn’t really believe in, while a shrink assigned through his health insurance could only drive him to another addiction, maybe even worse than alcoholism.
He remembered a shocking documentary he saw about American, Australian and Canadian doctors pushing Oxycontin, a medicine containing heroine, to patients complaining about headache or backache. He was convinced he could never trust a doctor, because a doctor, without even listening to Damian’s story, driven by the desire for profit, forced by the pharmaceutical company, might end up prescribing some shit he would not be able to free himself from till the end of his life.
With the eyes of his desperate mind he saw himself at a psychiatrist’s office where the healer of human souls, dressed in white to make a good impression, glances at him from behind his little round glasses while scratching his well-groomed goatee.
“What seems to be our problem?” the expert asks, but why the plural pronoun? Perhaps he wants to diagnose schizophrenic bipolar disorder as it would fit perfectly with alcoholism.
What is Damian supposed to answer? “We” have a problem, with the meaning of life, with God, with the universe? Or maybe, “I” have a problem with the strange bipolar perception of reality?
On one level I am a desperate loser, coping with the meaninglessness of life by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
On a different one, I am an executioner, a spiritual oppressor of evil people, a programmer of reality, Satan summoned in the name of the final solution of the problem of modern civilization.
Should he go for the former version, he’ll be given a whole ‘cocktail of drugs’ typical for alcoholic psychos, should it be the latter, surely he’ll end up in an institution he’ll most probably never leave, for, with the the help of colored pills, they will force him to confess to the rapes, the murder, the monsters, the serial killers and Hitler.
They will force him to tell the story of Tommy the Goat, magic mushrooms, his spiritual brother assisting him from a higher level unattainable to the living.
That’s why he remains silent.
The doctor, in the meantime, is thinking about his account balance which could be much better if he was luckier, treating the rich and the famous, prescribing pills to improve their mood, at the same time making them believe everything was going to be fine, the lack of satisfaction and success in life only temporary.
Then he’d buy a Porsche and a huge house in a good neighborhood, he’d have pretty assistants who, during breaks from seeing filthy rich patients, would wear huge strap-on dildos and fuck him in his enema-cleansed ass.
Because the good doctor, like most shrinks, only pretends to be normal, in reality he’s a hedonist perv his parents forced to study that particular field only because they themselves had a hard time coping with their own problems.
Damian sees the young doctor with his mind’s eye as he spies on his mother ferociously buttfucking dear old dad. The parents are unaware, or they don’t want to be aware their little boy just crossed over to the side of anal-sex, turned on by the sight, he starts touching his anus first with his finger, then with the candle he found in a drawer, and that the feeling he gets in his ass takes him to another world.
The good doctor will never be able to find himself in a ‘regular’ relationship, he would keep seeing prostitutes pleasing him in that particular manner. He is ashamed of his penchant for ‘Greek love,’ somewhere deep inside he fears he is a closeted fag. The whole picture leads to an inner conflict making it impossible for him to help others. That’s why he’ll never make it big, there’ll be no Porsche of his dreams or anything else, instead he’ll be forcing cheap hookers to perform the sick acts on him and he will keep prescribing the corporation-recommended drugs to people naively seeking help with him.
“Doctor, cure thyself, man,” Damian says to his mirage and starts planning the whole following day, a very important day, the first one of sincere, self-declared sobriety.
He needed to fill it with tasks: cleaning, gardening, reading, and, most of all, exercise.
Thirty push-ups every hour. The best antidepressant chemical there was, he read once it was better than the whole pharmaceutical shit pushed by pseudo-doctors.
Exercising will make endorphins flow through his veins, chasing away phobias, panic and regret. In time, they will bring peace and joy of life.
You need to focus on the here and now.
Damian was falling asleep full of hope.
Awakening – a panic surge, a question – can he do it?
“There’s no other way, dude, you have to strive at perfection, start with a shower, push-ups, make your wife breakfast, then more push-ups and work in the garden. It’s strange, talking to myself, but it helps…”
He took a shower, dousing hot and cold water all over his body to quicken that metabolism. He left the cabin, his lady couldn’t help but notice his erection, without a word she exposed her ass and they had a hard standing fuck, coming together.
“It’s going to be a good day, honey,” she told him, out of breath.
“I know.” He deeply believed in what she said.
He loved her flexibility. She was able to perceive what it was he wanted, she was a lady when he needed her to be one, she could also act like a whore. She knew very well he was into prostitutes so sometimes she let him take her just like that: demand – service – satisfaction.
She knew how to create that unique air of a brothel: the ritual of hunting, of choice, of paying only to be used, objectified, don’t speak, just do what the john wants.
Damian remembered his first time with a whore perfectly, he tried it and fell in love at first sight.
He remembered it as if it was today: the paper, the “Escorts” column, the phone call:
“Hallo.” The soft voice makes his dick hard in an instant.
He’s so horny he can’t sit in the cab quietly, as he knocks on the door of the mansion he has to take deep breaths to control his excitement. In a minute he’ll walk in, he’ll pay and do all kinds of things to some yet unknown hooker.
A mountain of a bouncer opens the door.
“Get in.” He can tell by the look on Damian’s face he’s dealing with one perverted, hysterically horny kid. He couldn’t care less the little bugger is sixteen, now that he’s here and he’s paid, let him fuck.
“Cash, a hundred per hour, make your choice,” he says, pointing at the door.
Damian grabs the doorknob and enters. Seven, maybe eight girls are sitting around a coffee table. He takes a careful look and already knows, black hair, dark complexion, miniskirt, black stockings, stilettos.
“Will you come with me?” His voice shakes, his dick swollen to the point of exploding, Damian doesn’t want to finish that fast, he’s going to lick that pussy for a long time.
“Yes, I will go,” the Russian girl smiles.
She leads him upstairs, Damian follows, staring at her legs, stockings, going nuts, her behind swinging right in front of his nose, the only thing on his mind is putting his tongue up that ass.
“Let’s have a shower,” the hooker tells him as she opens the door to her room.
“I will, not you. I want to smell you the way you are,” he answers, all shaken.
“Whatever, I took one five hours ago, a john had me, wore a rubber, what do you think?” She looks at Damian, knowing this one is a young perv, a sex addict, a male version of a nymphomaniac.
He is turned on by the very thought of her having fucked a couple of hours earlier, for sure there’s some taste of her orgasm left, he’s gonna try her in a short while. He can’t wait, takes a quick shower, his dick hard, trying not to touch it for fear of cumming.
“Turn around and get down on all fours,” says Damian, his voice breaking.
The prostitute looks at him uneasily, but turns around, sticking out her beautiful ass. The skirt fits perfectly, the stockings are good quality, the stilettos are red, the whole thing sexy as all hell.
Damian doesn’t mess around, no kissing, no feeling up, he just pulls her panties to the side and groans with satisfaction. The flesh of her pussy showing, lots of sucking to be done, but he starts with the ass, the first touch is his tongue coming into contact with her hot anus. Sweet. He starts licking, shoving his tongue deeper and deeper, the ass is fleshy too, well worn, you can see the bitch likes this game, she knows there’s nothing like working the behind. Damian puts all of his heart into it, the whore moans, she feels good, it’s not what she expected from this pervert, the kid knows how to lick an anus, the way he does it sends shivers all over her body.
Now for the pussy, miraculous, pure passion, the prostitute comes, moaning, Damian’s nearly out of his mind, he turns the Russian cutie on her back like a doll, playing with her tits, the protruding nipples, he caresses her legs, kisses her feet, revels in the face of his favorite fetishes:
“Let me suck it,” the hooker says quietly.
“No, the second you do it I’m going to cum, I’m so turned on,” says Damian, worriedly.
“Wait, lie down on your belly, I’ll do it so that you won’t ejaculate, but it’ll feel good, I promise,”
The doll is an expert in her trade.
Damian lies down obediently, the little slut attacks his ass right away, puts her tongue inside so that he knows right away this is her hobby, she loves licking just as much as he does.
He can tell this is a passionate effort, the tongue fondling the hole, goes in and out slowly, the bitch isn’t using her hands, she’s going crazy on the anus, sending shivers all over his body, kissing his ass as passionately as if it was his mouth.
Damian is in heaven, he knows from now on he’s going to frequent brothels, he knows he’s going to pick innocently looking shy little sluts and force them to lick his hole until he cums.
Just like that. An amazing orgasm makes Damian scream and it takes a while before he can compose himself.
A minute later he takes a shower, comes back, and does the Russian in any which way possible.
He abuses her like a rubber doll bought at a newsagents and loves every second of it, finishing in her mouth, flying to heaven, feeling happy.
They talk, he’s wondering about her passion for ass licking. She tells him about her stepfather inventing this game when she was eleven. He wasn’t violent about it, explained to her it was something normal, just showing her how much he loved her, she was a little afraid, a little ashamed when he used to kiss her between her legs.
She felt it was bad, especially since they only did it when mom was away.
On one occasion she let herself go and came, she remembers that feeling, she flew straight to heaven. From that point on she knew she was a bad girl. She must’ve been evil since she enjoyed what they did back then in hiding.
After a few weeks of playing games with her stepfather she asked him to do something about the heat she felt down there in her pussy each time she saw his huge cock. He told her they had to leave the pussy alone since if she was examined by a doctor by chance, their secret would be exposed. After what he told her she only reassured herself what they were doing was really bad but still asked the stepfather to at least do something in the other hole as she couldn’t take the tension tormenting her anymore.
She had a feeling the big tool he possessed could bring a lot of joy.
She frequently watched her mother impale herself vigorously on the stepfather’s cock. She did it in various positions, yelling in excitement, but she liked it best when lying on her back with the stepfather doing her while putting her legs on his shoulders.
This was the way she wanted to do it, there was no telling her she was too small and too tight. Finally, she threatened him with telling mom about everything if he doesn’t do her the way he did it in the bedroom with her mother.
Daddy-o, having no other choice, worked the orifice a good ten minutes and already then the fingers in her butt were enough for her to feel unearthly pleasure. However, a real shock came when he took her in the position of her dreams. The pain mixed with delight made her come after the first few thrusts and she came five more times before the stepfather shot his load in her mouth.
For the next couple of days she was so delighted and relaxed it felt like being in a whole different world. On the third day she felt there was a vacuum down there she needed to fill as soon as possible.
As soon as the mother left for work, she mounted her stepfather like a thoroughbred and went crazy riding him, which again was followed by two days of a sore, happily relaxed hole.
In time, the stepfather was no longer enough for her, so she directed her affections at the gym coach. He couldn’t resist her, after her experience with the stepfather she knew how to turn an older man on. The coach went at it like a savage and she came several times. Then there were the boys from higher grades, and then she became a prostitute. After all, she does what she loves, and working the ass is her favorite: asslicking and buttfucking like there’s no tomorrow. Actually, she prefers buttfucking to cuntfucking, it makes her come like crazy.
When she finishes the story, Damian’s hard again, it’s just that his time’s almost up. He pays sixty zlotys more to stay half an hour longer. The doll calls security to inform them the john paid extra.
“Pretend for me you are with the stepfather again, please,” Damian feels the pervert in him rise.
He wants to have her as an underage little slut, unaware of the danger. The Russkie girl goes to the little room next door and comes back dressed up as a little girl, tube socks, colorful dress, braids, girly style panties, she was really acting well although you could tell many johns requested such performance before.
“Come on, play with daddy, just don’t tell anyone or people will be jealous.” Both of them start to identify with their roles right away.
“Good, daddy, what do you want me to do?” She asks him with an innocent face.
He is as horny as if he never had a fuck in his life, the Russkie seems perfect to him. He becomes the stepfather, about to take his young stepdaughter anally and he will pound her until he cums in her ass, all the time looking closely at her face contorted in pain.
“First show daddy how you pee, did you poop today already? Tell me, daddy wants to examine both holes.” He’s having a great time looking at her surprised, embarrassed, and simultaneously intrigued face.
“I pooped and I peed, I helped myself with my finger, just like mom taught me to.”
Damian feels he’s going insane from the excitement, he watches the whore take off her panties and tighten her thighs in shame, he can’t take it anymore, he licks her, sticks his tongue in, then fucks her violently in the ass, screaming from arousal as he sees real tears flowing down his stepdaughter’s cheeks.
Yes. He really felt back then that he was doing sick, perverted and forbidden things. He came in the ass and took a long time to recover.
That first time in the brothel was a wonderful experience. Damian discovered a place where he could pay to have his most unbridled fantasies come true.
“I’ll have something to eat and go have my nails done, you’re gonna be fine?” his wife asked in a concerned tone.
“Yes, I’ll take care of the garden, looks a bit neglected, working outside will make me feel better.”
They were having breakfast – hers was sandwiches, his some unsweetened bran with milk. Then came a surge of nausea, panic, phobias, breathing. Just don’t let me go totally insane.
“Later, hon, have a good one.” His wife left, leaving him on his own.
He was struggling with the urge to run to the store, doing push-ups, washing the dishes, then more push-ups, lawn mowing, push-ups, preparing dinner, push-ups, wife coming back home, pussy licking, jerking off, television, news, hatred, war, climate changes.
“Fuck it, what matters is here and now,” he uttered the words with a certainty long absent from his voice.
His wife smiled at him, for she knew her beloved man picked up the gauntlet and decided to put on a fight.
He was heading for the Radisson full of hope that a couple of hours spent at the gym and the pool would at least to some extent influence his mood. He was planning a kick-ass workout, quickening his metabolism. He was hoping to be able to withstand the presence of others, the claustrophobia, the need to escape. He was torn to pieces, each task he undertook seemed impossible to fulfill. He was holding on to dear life, trying with whatever strength he had left in him to keep himself from checking in at the psychiatric ward to get some help.
Anxiety, fear and panic attacks. A simple description of reality you could definitely never call ‘the land of happiness.’ It was a bleak world of an addict losing the only real goal of his pitiful existence Without the alcoholic exhilaration the whole meaninglessness of Damian’s life came to the fore, its weakness and lack of worth, all those wasted years were asking for an explanation.
He thought he was immortal, he thought he was going to be forever young, always able to find the time to do something good, something useful with the gifts he received from his parents. The thing he became definitely wasn’t a reflection of the vision they had for their own child. They never planned who he was to become, never imposed their will upon him. They only wished for him to be a happy man who, positive thinking his m.o., would give himself to the world and to others. Unfortunately, he spent his life supporting the alcoholic beverage monopoly, sacrificing his youth, a natural time for expanding your knowledge, developing your personality and talents.
There was only one little step between Damian and a complete mental breakdown. This small step could turn into action along the lines of the one the Polish media were discussing for a few days, repeating like a mantra the news of six deadly victims whose lives were taken by some alcoholic. The drunk figured out he could drive a car after a few shots, so he got into his BMW, sped up and boom, here come death, pain, loss, despair and tears.
The same could happen to him.
Somewhere in the back of his head glimmered a tiny hint of solace, his very own sorry version of a light at the end of the tunnel: it wasn’t you waking up in detention under the charges of a road accident as a result of which children turned into cripples without parents, happiness or chances for regular life, but it could be you.
Sweet Jesus, thank God he finally came to his senses, decided to quit before it was too late.
With his mind’s eye he saw the despair of the mother who created a murderer. The mother who deep within her broken heart regretted ever giving birth to someone who destroyed people’s lives with one stupid move.
He saw the father devoid of the joy of life, stripped of his pride. The father into whose heart somebody poured regret, frustration and sorrow, the feelings that would accompany him till his death, the death which would come good twenty years too soon, for how can you live as a parent of a murderer.
The vision proved unbearable. If Damian did something like the guy in the news, the only solution would be death, and he would fight for it, trying to smuggle shoelaces into his cell.
He couldn’t fathom the mental state of a hungover alcoholic finding out he was at the D.A.’s disposal because, as of last night’s party, he turned into a serial killer. How would he spend the time left until it was just him and his shoelaces? Should the smuggling attempt fail, there was always one more possibility. Damian read once that, when really determined, you could try to bite off your own tongue. The part remaining in your throat would cause asphyxiation.
He imagined sticking his tongue out as far as possible, jumping up and hitting the edge of the toilet with his chin, the tongue falling in the shitter. Now it was a question of few more minutes and it’s all over…
Damian considered capital punishment to be just, no court in a democratic EU country was able to rule it, but personal responsibility required an honest attitude on the part of the perpetrator.
Damian was convinced that after committing such a crime he would have to behave the only way possible to save society the time and the money necessary to take proper care of a leech like himself. He would spare the victims’ family his own sight and his parents the dilemma between disowning him and sticking by him although it went against their desire to erase him from their personal history.
A surge of panic – it could be my own life, he knew well what it meant to have a blackout.
He trusted himself behind the wheel, after all he was a taxi driver, driving was something he knew inside out. He was at a point in life real close a place where he’d be left with nowhere to go.
Maybe he did waste his best years, at least he kept his record clean, never doing things he could not repair.
Small consolation, still allowing him to think of his future life from the perspective of some kind of usefulness. There was always a chance he could achieve something, become somebody for his parents to be proud of.
Damian knew he had to make it, going back to drinking would end up in some tragedy, both for him and his close ones.
Sadness, depression and suicidal visions will soon pass, replaced by peace and quiet followed by self-restraint and decisiveness – it was only a question of time.
He had to spend that time somehow.
Exercise was something Damian really needed to help his sick mind focus on performing simple tasks. He knew that in the state he was in it was impossible to think about life, everything he did up till that point, every decision he made, seemed like a step on his way to a fall. He needed detox in order to be healthy again, only then could he contemplate how much he achieved in his life and how much he screwed up and if there was still any chance for him.
His heart was telling him there was, the very fact that he was facing the issue with sincerity, clearly defining the problem, was a step in the right direction. Realizing he wasn’t in control of his own life made him see clearly, allowing him to determine the enemy so aggressively reigning over his world.
Radisson, parking the car, try not to leave anything or you’re going to have to to run back and forth and then the people watching you will figure out you’re insane.
Somehow he knew no one was watching, judging, classifying his behavior, but the paranoia filling the empty void left by the alcoholic exhilaration was telling him something opposite: they know, they will expose you and then you’re finished.
He felt like a runaway, guilty of something, a traitor, a villain, a social outcast. You haven’t done a thing, he kept telling himself as he entered the hotel, it’s just the withdrawal symptoms, they will pass.
Or maybe they won’t? Maybe you’ve been drinking for so long you won’t be able to recover, it’s always going to be like this – his paranoia refused to give up.
Then I’ll fuckin’ hang myself, leave me alone, I want to have a life of my own.
A life, huh, that’s a good one. Too late, you piece of trash.
“Hi, how’s it going?” he chatted up the lady at the reception desk.
Short, red, freckled, she had that special something and seemed asking for it at the same time. Maybe it was because she was the islander type and had small tits, the low self-esteem making her hungry for any kind of adoration. She wanted to do it. With his third eye Damian saw a squirrel with her legs spread open, he could see her fucking and feeding her ego. She was one of those chicks: the more guys she screwed, the more fulfilled she became.
“Fine, and you?” she answered with a question, pushing the conversation in the direction of what she really wanted which was stuffing the ever hungry orifice between her legs.
“Not too good, you know… I hope to feel better afterwards.”
Damian was afraid of this slut in the state he was in, he could feel her desire through and through. Like a vampire’s call it overtook him instantly, he was ready for the action, standing at attention.
All he wanted was to escape, as he swiped his membership card staring the vampire straight in the eyes. He saw empty lust – he wasn’t going to cheat on his lady for a moment of forgetting. He looked down and almost ran to the locker room.
“Wish I could help,” she shouted at his back but he was already out of reach of her nympho hole magnetic zone.
He made it. He took his clothes off, his dick hard as a rock. He was glad there was nobody else in the locker room. He was going to take a shower, he turned on the tap, soaped his trembling hand and stuck his dick in his clenched fist. He closed his eyes, feeling his palm turning into the red hair/squirrel/reception supervisor.
The beautiful, fit body vibrates with sexuality, small tits with large, inch long erect nipples are turning him on beyond the limit. He pounds her like crazy, standing. She keeps swinging, holding his hips tight with her legs which push at it hard. They are screwing like pros, egoistically taking from one another what they think is best. The vampire girl thirstily laps up self-esteem, feeding her ego. He follows his male programming of dissemination, curing his hangover, sticking his organ in the squirrel’s hollow.
They come, trying not to scream, for fear of someone overhearing although such a possibility turns them on even more.
Damian stood on for some time, regaining his composure before he left the shower. In the locker room he stumbled upon an elderly guy, changing.
The pops gave Damian a weird look, like he knew what just happened under the shower, maybe he heard something and saw the pervert unable to control himself.
Damian waved his hand as if chasing away a fly, got dressed and hurried to the gym, his paranoia following him. It wouldn’t let go, the shower cumming only made it worse. Feeding on his guilt, it was biting away at him with fury:
“You’re acting like a psycho running around a hospital ward masturbating all over the place.”
“What, so it’s not OK to jerk off anymore?” Damian wondered, trying to clamor down the inner dialog.
He needed to calm down or he was going to lose it. He had to capture the here and now, to ease up, stop running, start facing things.
He jumped on the treadmill, pushed the start button and set it on fifteen minutes, which made him stay in one place for a while. He should let the time pass, then switch to another machine and repeat the process – fifteen more minutes, then half an hour of pumping iron. After an hour of roughing it at the gym he’ll move to the swimming pool section, where he’ll swim, take a sauna, jump in the jacuzzi – one more hour and he’ll feel better, maybe the voices inside his head will stop talking him into committing suicide.
He was jogging, struggling with the desire to escape, the desire accompanying him all the time, a completely irrational one, for he had nowhere to escape to. Wherever he went, he would take his head along, and with it the panic, anxiety and depression.
His heart was beating like crazy, skipping a beat every once in a while. It occurred to him a heart attack or a stroke of some sort was about to happen to him. If so, damn him to hell for he wouldn’t want to drag his legs around, paralyzed after a stroke.
Paranoia resulting from the deepening of the feeling of guilt now turned to hypochondria, forcing upon him visions of unhappy endings: cancer, cirrhosis, alcoholic seizures, stupor, schizophrenia.
Nothing’s wrong with you, he kept telling himself, fighting the panic.
“Are you sure?” the paranoia laughed, knowing it had the higher ground. It recognized the lack of certainty in Damian’s tone. You drank so much you’re going to die now. Too late, my dear, you should have worried about your health earlier, you should have thought about it when you drank the cheap four euro wine Tesco put on sale, obligingly meeting the needs of their less affluent customers.
Run, just keep running, don’t listen to it, he kept telling himself, the liver has regenerating qualities, the brain will cope, the psyche will recuperate. All you need is time.
The time was passing, measured by the meter of the treadmill just like Damian’s life, struggling to maintain among the remains of common sense.
In the mouth of madness, who knows why his imagination got tangled around a movie he loved to watch as a teenager. Maybe it was the title, fitting the situation Damian was in. Maybe it was the vision of the insane asylum he was sure to end up in should he fail to free himself from despair.
The paranoia got lost somewhere in the meantime, as he changed the machines. Damian was surprised to discover himself pedaling away at the walker with no desire to escape. It was a wonderfully normal state of mind, a light at the end of the tunnel. He believed things could be different, the hole he was in wasn’t the end of it all, and, although the quiet didn’t last long since the paranoia found itself again finally instilling in him the thoughts of the chances he lost in life, it still let him breathe a little. He could keep memory of it.
A lifesaver, things are gonna get better, I’ll make it, I’ll walk through it, and, as a reward, I will experience happiness, living in harmony with the world and my own self.
Yeah, right, in harmony. Stop fooling yourself, take a look around, the world is coming to an end without your help, soon it’s all going down any fuckin’ way.
Keep talking, even if it is, I’m not ending up a drunk losing a war with his own self.
He was sweating profusely, working with his hands and feet. The paranoia tried to inflict visions of his close ones dying, of hunger in Somalia, of the conflict in the Middle East, of corruption, indifference and the climate change. He was huffing and puffing, both physically and mentally, waging a war on two fronts, facing his weaknesses. He already knew he was winning. Accepting the challenge began his march towards victory. He couldn’t count on a blitzkrieg but he knew if he stayed faithful to the path he chose, the addiction would finally give up on him, demon alcohol would let him go, allowing him to save his soul.
It’s gonna be alright, he kept vowing to himself, as he marched towards the pool.
He assumed water, magical in its healing power, would do him more good than the gym. He needed to swim in it and retain positive thinking throughout. He was thinking about how he’d jump in it in a moment, just a couple minutes rest at the sauna first.
He opened the door, it was hot and empty. He sat down on a wooden bench, struggling against waves of anxiety. He flipped the hourglass hanging on the wall. Fifteen minutes, the tiny grains of sand measured Damian’s time.
“How are you?” the idiotic look on the face appearing at the entrance to the sauna wasn’t a good sing.
“Not particularly well,” Damian answered in a tone telling everyone to leave him be.
“It’s hot in here,” the smiley face refused or rather lacked the skill to recognize such ‘tones.’
“We’re in a sauna. In a correctly functioning sauna it is hot, people frequent it to relax in peace and quiet.” Damian put his whole withdrawal syndrome into the hint. A deaf person would be able to hear the “Leave me the fuck alone” resounding inside.
“Where are you from?” Dude apparently couldn’t take a hint either.
Damian already knew it wasn’t going to be easy, the happy cretin will continue to piss him off to no end.
He’s doing it on purpose, the paranoia was at it again, smelling the bacon, it’s no accident, just part of the conspiracy.
What fuckin’ conspiracy? A half-wit, that’s all, Damian got into the quarrel, the country’s full of those, an island closed off to foreigners for so long, incest everywhere, the genes don’t like it, oh no they don’t.
“From China,” he answered spitefully, staring at the face which radiated with happiness.
“What is he so happy about?” he asked the paranoia.
He’s not happy, he’s just having a laugh at your expense, jackass, laughing at your shitty life.
For a moment he could see his hands grabbing the happy neck, tightening around it in a violent act of revenge.
Here’s for laughing, for being happy despite your disability, for my problems and my failed life, you piece of shit.
The vision dissipated, leaving his soul in terror. He was able to perform terrible deeds, he already knew frustration in unison with paranoia could push people to commit crimes.
“Sorry for my impertinence, I’m from Poland and I am at a crossroads in life, I’ve wasted it so far, now I’m fighting not to waste the rest of it.”
“Aah, from Poland, I have a classmate, he’s from Poland, too.” The joy stemming from ignorance took over Damian’s soul.
Although not fully understood, Damian was telling his story, spewing out all of his regret and feeling of failure. When the hourglass showed the time was up, he rose and expressed his gratitude for the company and the conversation. As he was leaving he noticed he was feeling better. He enjoyed replacing animosity with openness, anger with humility, he was finally holding the key to everything, it finally came to him that hell and heaven weren’t waiting somewhere out there in the future, they existed right here, right now. He understood it was up to him what colors he’d use to paint the surrounding world.
Exiting the hotel, he glanced at the reception. The ginger girl was gone, a fat guy sitting in her chair nodded politely at Damian. He nodded back.
On his way home he tried to convince the paranoia with his conclusions about life, human interactions, reaping the good harvest after sowing the seeds of positive thinking. It wouldn’t hear it, kept fighting, inventing ever more perplexing scenarios. At last it became so entangled that, defeated, it let him be. They arrived in silence: him, satisfied with the battle won, the paranoia, outraged with the whole world, aware of the growing power of Damian’s spirit.
Entering the house, he was on his own, filled with certainty the paranoia left him for good.
Eating his meal, he thought about how little it took to change your life – the only things necessary were honesty, willingness and a plan of action. The remainder was perseverance in your resolution. The reward was peace of mind which, just like Lithuania to Mickiewicz *, could only be valued when lost.
After the meal he decided to rest a while, so he lay down on the sofa in the living room and turned on the TV. He caught a documentary on Kazakhstan on the Discovery Channel. The Russkies built a nuclear test facility there, purposefully locating it in the vicinity of small towns inhabited by people unaware of anything. The people suffered for years due to diseases, giving birth to handicapped, frequently awfully deformed offspring. The wrongs they suffered from the ‘brotherly nation’ were beyond Damian’s comprehension. It was terrible what the Russians were capable of in the past but it seemed even worse they failed to draw any conclusions – the following program dealt with the war torn Chechnya. In Grozny there was no single undamaged building left standing. Communism fell but the attitude towards the world stayed the same: violence, war and death. You reap what you sow: Putin was concocting a grim future for himself and his citizens – bomb attacks, often the only way for a given community to signal their problems, seemed to Damian to be harbingers of the storm the ignorant troublemaker was about to beget.
Sadness, depression, regret, tears. The paranoia gave in, but the other companions of the withdrawal syndrome remained.
“Let’s get to work,” said Damian to himself as he took hold of the vacuum cleaner. His mood improved with the thought the lady of his heart would simply adore the clean house upon her return. She loved cleanliness and he loved making her happy.
He admired her patience accompanying an unwavering conviction that everything had a deeper meaning, that there was a goal at the end of the road you needn’t look for too hard because it would appear when we’re ready, when all the life’s lessons are taught.
“Well, nice job, there must be something you want from me.”
She pushed him on the armchair, not allowing him to say anything, opened his zipper, pulled out his cock and started her ‘tongue dance.’ He loved her blow jobs.
He was ready to cum in a second. When the first waves of orgasm came, he thought of an article he read recently on the philosophy of kung-fu, a simple recipe for life advocating striving for perfection in any situation. He thought about what he chose to do, taking up exercise and then cleaning. Instead of sitting around drowning in sorrow, he decided to do anything to make him feel better. Such a stance resulted in his lady being happy and him cumming in her mouth – the whole kung-fu thing wasn’t so stupid after all.
They switched positions and now he was the one striving for perfection while using his lips. After a while her screams became proof he was doing something right.
He spent the next couple of days struggling with depression that wouldn’t let go. He fought it well, with the SS, or sports and sex, indulging in huge doses of endorphin somehow making it possible to for him to endure.
He read a lot about Eastern philosophy, about acceptance, a sound mind in a sound body.
He stumbled upon a YouTube clip of a guy demonstrating the martial art of fighting with a stick. Before the display he explained the exercise allowed him to meditate, turn off his mind. Damian was impressed and decided to try it himself. He bought a two piece pool cue and commenced his training.
After some time he acquired his skills, stopped thinking about the sequences performed, moved instinctively until, one day, he achieved the state the guy in the clip was talking about. It was a moment of deep, almost blissful piece, allowing Damian to sequester himself from the standard everyday train of thoughts. That moment, albeit a brief one, opened his door to the world of meditation. He spent his every day trying to save the time for his new passion. The exercise with the pool cue turned out to be more than a martial art, it was the art of inner silence.
Days, weeks, months passed by during which demon alcohol would often ask for what was his, assaulting him with dark thoughts or feelings of meaninglessness.
Damian’s beloved refused to have a drink for the first couple of months in order to be with him and give him a sense of togetherness. He was extremely grateful for that, making sure she knew about it with every step they took. To him, she was the epitome of empathy and harmony. He loved her with everything he had, holding on to this emotion in his moments of awe and doubt. She was the lighthouse to his ship which, sailing in the middle of a horrific storm, managed to navigate its way thanks to her light shining through.
Driving his cab, Damian looked back at the past six months during which he replaced his boozing with getting fit.
He ultimately got rid of his anxieties, depression and suicidal thoughts.
It wasn’t easy, his addiction refused to set him free from its clutches as if it knew Damian was in the middle of making a final lifelong resolution about it. Usually, even after the longest binge, it would take him up to three, four weeks to recuperate. This time it took him almost three months during which he went through some tough moments. Sometimes the sadness that overcame him was almost too hard to take.
Damian survived, working his ass off at the gym or in the pool. He did the job of two men and in his spare time he looked for something to do at home, took long walks, studied meditative techniques. Every night, before going to sleep, he would imagine putting beer, wine and vodka away on a shelf with chemicals. He was programming his mind, visualizing poisonous substance warning labels stuck on the bottles of liquor. After a while, he stopped considering alcohol to be something available for consumption. He started seeing it for what it was, i.e. a seriously addictive narcotic the experts in the field placed right next to cocaine and heroin. A substance that, once consumed, caused a number of reactions in the brain which, as a consequence, led to increased tolerance and heavy addiction. He understood all the suffering he was going through was a natural reaction of an addicted organism demanding its ever growing dosage of the drug, no matter the cost.
The sight of a drunk asking for a fiver for wine in front of a store became to Damian something equal to the sight of a heroin addict demanding spare change in front of a railway station. He understood both of them actually craved one thing: a dopamine rush to their brains. Both, shaken by heavy depression, were looking for a remedy to clear their heads of all the problems, allow them to forget about unhappy childhood, unsuccessful life, lost chances and people they hurt on the way.
Both of them were looking for a remedy to put the demon lurking somewhere in the back of their heads to sleep, the demon suggesting all kinds of reasons they should be getting high.
A vicious cycle of satisfying the ever growing demand for chemistry the addicted brain cried for.
Prosaic, but true, and it was this honest stating of the matter that became the key to his struggle against addiction. Without the face in the mirror telling him: “Yes, we have a problem,” there was no getting out of the trap. Especially since alcohol remained legal in most countries of the world and its use, as well as abuse, more often than not was socially acceptable.
Damian kept making it on his own: no meetings, Church or doctors. He replaced one addiction with another. Instead of a double shot – a double dose of push-ups, instead of a bottle of wine – serious workout, instead of a six-pack – an hour in the swimming pool. After his ‘exercise dosage’ he achieved peace of mind. He was stronger, more self-confident.
More and more often a thought occurred to him that the whole struggle, everything he went through, the problems, the failures, the feeling of utter and complete loss, were necessary, practically indispensable for him to be able to play the role destiny prepared for him.
He started to perceive all of his previous decisions as a sequence of steps necessary in order to reject the manner of perceiving reality the society enforced upon him. Failure to graduate, lack of interest in a business career, retreat from the norm manifesting itself in constant criticism of the surrounding world, and, finally, shedding the human form, were necessary to achieve the state of uncommon consciousness.
A state of consciousness which refused to recognize the fleeting need to become somebody, in which the awareness of your own importance disappeared, in which there was no place for energy deficiencies caused by indulging in envy.
A spiritual state in which there was no need for acceptance by the society or the desire for approval or fame.
Damian would, more and more often, recall the situation from fifteen years ago when his friend and himself tried to take the matters of this world in their hands. It was then that, for a short while, they felt life was something more than participation in the rat race, something more than running around in a football field, being an important politician or a hot dog manufacturer.
Damian noticed that, along with the change of the evaluation of his life, his outlook on the surrounding world also underwent a slight change. He saw everything from a growing distance, human lives appearing to be plots in lousy video games.
He saw that both he himself as well as the people around him were chasing some materialistic goal, afraid of failing to reach it, and when they finally did, they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to keep it. In the end, they were afraid of passing and becoming forgotten.
They were running in a race without winners, for there was always someone who ran faster, more efficiently, in a more innovative way, someone smarter, with harder elbows or just more determined in their desire to succeed socially.
Damian slowly discovered that due to his victory over his weakness, he began to embrace with his mind what he once saw with his spiritual eye under the influence of magic mushrooms. On the level of common perception of reality it occurred to him that you could have a different life. A life fueled by an abstract objective. He reached towards the history of the world to find examples of people with no interest in economical success.
He realized there were people like Jesus or Buddha, trying to wake humanity up, break it away from the vicious circle of life’s incarnations spent on meaningless squandering of spiritual energy and seeking satisfaction in the realm of material world.
More and more often he would get lost in moments of silence during which desires, life’s goals or lack of them, faded – there was only the wind, the sun or the rain, the birds, the trees and the sky.
With those moments of inner peace came the unwavering conviction as to the unique character of life on Earth, of a special, undiscovered goal of this seemingly meaningless existence.
He was beginning to see the reality as some kind of platform for man to gamble for some invisible stakes.
Sometimes he would be bothered by doubts, thoughts suggesting he went nuts, he should be undergoing therapy, it was all because of brain damage caused by intoxicants abuse. He would remedy it with meditative techniques, pool cue fighting or the art of conscious breathing.
In time, he learned how to live for the moment, the only thing that really existed. It dawned on him that the past was long gone, the future might never happen, or if it did, it could be very different from what he imagined.
He began to appreciate living here and now, the time spent with his lady, the smell of freshly made tea or the taste of a meal just prepared. He noticed that the more he gave, the more fulfilled he became, the less he expected from life, the more he appreciated whatever happened to him. He was no longer bothered by the lack of fulfillment or disillusionment, he desired nothing. He only aspired to perfection in what he did at the very moment and that helped him find satisfaction in the mere fact of complying with this rule.
If he made a meal, it would taste great, having been prepared with attention and the will to make it as good as possible. The garden he took care of eagerly looked beautiful, and his relationship with his beloved, full of respect and devotion, bore the fruit of fulfillment through love. He no longer regretted the life he had as a taxi driver, humbly accepting his way and diligently performing his duties, helping his customers, treating them the same way he would like to be treated. In return, they would ask for Damian, remembering his open heart and the quality of his service. This brought about satisfaction with the job done and allowed him to make a decent living.
His good mood wouldn’t be spoiled even by the world’s most frustrated old woman who, entering his cab, interrupted his meditation on the really good six months behind him.
“How are you?” In the past he would at once be unsettled by this standard question, heard hundreds and thousands of times in his career as a cab driver.
“Excellent, ma’am,” Damian answered, all smiles.
What does he mean, excellent? The woman couldn’t put it together.
How come this Polack felt excellent while she, and others like her, felt shitty as hell? The weather’s fucked, recession draining the fuck out of her pocket, yesterday’s hangover asking to be cured while this here cabbie is rude enough to tell her it’s all excellent.
“Just like that, ma’am. I’m healthy, I can go for a walk, so many pretty places here, then I can have some hot tea by the fireside with my loving wife, what could be wrong?” Damian answered with a question, overpowering the negative hag with his positive outlook.
“Where do you live, sonny?” the woman attacked with one more of the often asked questions, counting on an opportunity to show pity for this poor foreigner having to live somewhere out there, such a long drive to town, the gas so expensive, probably having to work his fucking ass off for good few hours just to break even.
“Ocean Park, ma’am.”
Perhaps Damian did overpay, at least he was living in a good neighborhood close to the ocean. Sometimes, when the west wind blew, you could smell the sea water in the air you breathed. No crime, lots of space to walk around, lots of greenery, generally quiet and pleasant.
“Must be renting?” the woman asked with hope in her voice.
“Paying my mortgage.”
She gasped, pissed off as all hell. How can this Polack be doing so well? She has to be afraid of her own shadow when she takes out the trash, dreading some junkie attacking her with a knife, and this one came here from some asshole of a country and he lives like a lord.
“You poor people, the houses going down now, bought them in the boom you did. Those were some crazy prices,” she made one last attempt at spoiling Damian’s mood.
“It’s not so bad,” he kept glowing with optimism. “Better than paying the rent, then it’s just blood in the sand, at least we live the way we want to, keep the place the way we like it, you’re allowed to have a dog, no one bothers you or complains.”
“But you’re probably barely making ends meet, the prices of everything going up, child care so expensive.” The witch was using whatever negative argument she had left in her to try to suck his blood.
“The prices are definitely going up, but it’s mostly smokes and alcohol, my wife and I we don’t smoke and don’t drink, no kids either.”
“What do you mean no kids?” the passenger jumped in, resentment in her voice. “How come, life without kids? What kind of life is it?” The narrow-minded hag was beyond herself. “I’ve got four.”
“A life in peace and quiet, dear lady,” Damian smiled. “A life of unlimited love for one another, the only love you have, without fear for the future of the world.”
“This is no life to live, makes no sense at all,” the woman concluded, satisfied she could finally criticize something, find some fault in the whole picture.
“It’s really unfortunate of you to be judging someone’s existence in such one-sided manner. Some people don’t want kids, some can’t have them. Would you say the same to your bishop, that his life is no life to live? You’ve got four children, I’ve got zero, two per couple average, not a bad outcome, in my opinion.”
They remained silent till the end of the trip, Damian thinking of the things he failed to mention to the woman – in fact, he hated children, the whole noise and clamor, the idiotic baby speak, adolescent fights, fear of bad company, drugs, thinking of what they’d end up being. A military man, perhaps? A serial killer, maybe, or maybe both the former and the latter.
He was approaching the end of the trip with a feeling of having won the battle. The old woman failed to deprive him of his good mood or his energy, try as she might. Driving boldly forward, he became aware of a pleasant tingling in his belly, his mind switched off, relaxed, he became submerged in inner silence.
Sometimes he would check in the rear view mirror – the woman was sitting straight, on the surface it was all good, but inside her a volcano was boiling, ready to erupt. She couldn’t spoil this Polack’s mood so she was drowning in frustration instead.
Not a long time ago Damian would’ve gotten carried away by emotions, provoked, he would fight with the old woman and the whole situation would push him into the claws of addiction. He defended himself with calm and with acceptance of his destiny. The witch would get her hands on her victim after all, it just wasn’t meant to be him.
“God bless,” he remarked, a greeting often used by the locals.
The woman looked him straight in the eye and they maintained eye contact for a few seconds. Finally, she put her head down, answering quietly under her breath:
“God bless you too.”
She got out of the car and ran home, all cranked up like a spinning top.
Damian turned on the radio and put Lyric FM on – the only station he listened to: no too much babbling or commercials, a lot of good music.
As he drove, he was thinking of the change in his perception of reality having occurred to him since he broke the habit. As everything in life, it had its pros and cons. The former was regaining of life energy, the latter not knowing what to do with it. He broke away from the vicious cycle of work – drink – hangover, sentencing himself to a life in exile.
The environment they lived in was spinning on a working week-weekend carousel, which meant work from Monday to Friday, followed by getting shitfaced all the way through Sunday, curing the hangover and starting all over again.
Breaking out of the routine, Damian was forced by the momentum to situate himself outside the whole circus. From there, he saw himself and his friends in a totally different light, he saw the superficial absurdity of their lives, as well as his own.
He had to fill the empty space somehow, he had built a vision of the world, of the people and of his existence from scratch, which wasn’t easy at all. He was looking at his past as if he was watching a movie, he kept seeing the same scenes, like a broken record, all the schemes, people repeating the same words on and on, only in different configurations, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, laughter, tears, disappointment, little joys, actors playing their roles, a dominating, omnipresent ego, materialistic ambitions, greed. He was standing on the side as if at a river bank, watching himself, and others like him, float by, driven by the current, some kicking about aimlessly, trying to resist, others in complete surrender.
“Where is this ship going, lord?” the eternal question awoke in Damian. Maybe looking for the answer should become his abstract goal, bringing meaning to his future existence.
What was the purpose of it all?
Was there nothing beyond watching TV, drinking, curing your hangover, working, spending, looking for approval or understanding?
Beep, beep – the taxi system let him know it was time to get back to reality.
The next trip was a special task, an order from Fiona, a woman so deformed by gout that looking at her it was hard to believe she could walk on her own, although you could hardly call it walking, the poor woman moved around like a broken doll with her legs and hands twisted in all directions, as if by some little candidate for a psycho.
Despite her disability and the suffering that came with it, Fiona was a woman full of optimism. She had an amazing sense of humor and Damian gladly accepted any orders from her – they took a lot of time but brought a lot of joy and satisfaction with the work done.
“Hi, Fiona, been drinking again?” Damian threw a nasty joke at the woman stumbling towards the cab.
He was standing next to his car parked as close as possible to the supermarket exit. People standing around looked at him reproachfully.
“Damian, two shots only,” Fiona laughed, struggling with her every step.
A shadow of a smile appeared on the faces of the outraged witnesses as they started to understand there was a special bond between those two.
“Right, two shots and look how messed up you are, I’ll help you get in or you’re gonna end up wallowing in mud in front of all those people.” Damian opened the side door, pushed the seat as far to the back as he could and helped the woman sit down.
She was giving out a strong smell of the ointment her gout-attacked extremities were smeared with. As usual, she started being sorry it took her so long.
“Quit yammering, Fiona, you’re lagging behind on purpose so that I don’t make any money today,” Damian kept joking.
He felt the joy overcoming him as a result of the meeting. He was looking at a crippled woman, but saw a warrior who, against all odds, managed to keep her spirits high. Fiona could be crying and complaining, but she preferred to joke around and laugh instead. Damian felt comfortable around her as if he was somewhere high up in the mountains where you no longer needed to watch out for mean questions or backhanded comments. He knew he was safe with her and paid back with exactly the same thing. She never felt any impatience on his part, any disgust or contempt, during the short period of cooperation they formed a happy team of life-weary people.
“How is everything, Damian?” She asked out of sheer curiosity and he honestly talked about his wife he loved more than anything in his life, the parents he kept missing, his siblings who showed him so much understanding, the town he came from, traditional Polish hospitality, his soul search, alcoholic withdrawal, and of the exercise partly making it disappear.
Fiona kept listening, taking in each word he said. What he told her was real, it would give her something to think about after she comes back home, she wouldn’t turn on the TV to be fed with made up stories, she would reminisce upon the tales of the young Pole and she would pray for him, deeply believing he would be able to make his dreams come true.
That night Damian had an unusual dream; he dreamed of a planet entirely covered by the sea, not even a small patch of land, just one huge world ocean. He was a creature completely unlike those of the Earth, conscious of himself and of his brothers. They formed a society of entities supportive of one another, communicating telepathically, thus no hidden intent or falsity was possible, working together for the good of the whole populace, using just enough natural resources to survive.
No spacecraft was necessary to travel in space as they fell into a special kind of sleep in which they were able to launch their consciousness in whichever direction they chose. It was a place of such perfect harmony and so overflown with happiness that Damian could not stop crying after waking up. Somehow it seemed he belonged in that society.
He remembered a theory he heard once of our alternative selves inhabiting alternative realities. Perhaps through dreaming, such a reality, and your own self living there, could be observed?
Damian really wanted to show it to his beloved, they’d also take the gout-battered Fiona with them. The woman deserved to feel the freedom and happiness of becoming an amazing swimmer in a wonderful, harmonious water world.
After breakfast he went outside to walk the dog, and, upon returning, he heard this sentence:
“Kitty cat, you’re going shopping at the Polish market,” his wife said in a tone of her voice that tolerated no resistance.
Jesus, not this – he hated shopping at the Polish market.
First of all, he always ended up in a line, and even if he didn’t and the store was empty, it only took a moment before a a good crowd of Polacks, most of whose guts he hated, appeared. Once he even asked the clerk how come they did such good business, the store always full of customers.
“Not really,” she answered, “it’s just when you come around.”
Right, he should’ve expected it, he was attracting them with his aversion. The more he pushed them away, the more they clung to him as if something kept pulling them towards him. Maybe it was just a coincidence or Damian’s selective memory. The fact was any time he was supposed to go there, it gave him the creeps.
“Good day to you, my ladies, got my fresh pork and my cold cuts?”
The fuck with all the “my’s,” just say it the way it should be said. He just wasn’t being himself.
My pork, my cold cuts? Fuck me, he struggled with his own thoughts, just order what you want, pay and leave, they won’t even tell you if it’s not fresh, they have to sell it and that’s it.
Damian always started with ordering cold cuts sliced at the counter. Before the girl behind the desk was finished, he would do the smart thing and run to do the rest of the shopping around the self-service aisles. He hastily gathered all the necessary groceries she would then start clocking in at the checkout. If he did it the other way round, a half-hour long line would form there in the meantime.
He noticed he was the only one to do so. The others stood in the fucking line unbothered, as if it was made for it. Once he used to think this habit was a communist era leftover, some kind of longing for committees, food rations, conversations about everything and nothing.
Then he realized most of the people remembered communism from films only. Maybe it was all in the genes, it was the parents, and the grandparents before them, passing on this kind of line-standing-code and the human mannequins kept lining up, no problem whatsoever.
As if they didn’t feel life pass them by while they stood there, knocking at each others legs with their shopping baskets, blabbering about the fucking crisis, things getting worse, about to get even worse, but there’s no use in going back to the old country, everyone’s at war with one another over there, better the Irish recession than the Polish boom, one more shootout in the States, some degenerates beating a grandpa to death, some Polish guy supposedly hanging himself, and they all need a drink.
“Forgot about my eggs and my coffee.” Again with the fucking “my’s,” what’s going on?
He knew well what was going on. It was his ego going crazy, dominating over his whole being, indulging in envy, scorn, hatred. The confusion he was experiencing was clearly pointing to the problem. He found his weak point, he needed to work on himself in this area. He had a Polack complex, just like Hitler had a Jew complex – he hated Poles because he was one of them.
In reality many other fellow countrymen felt the same, with very few realizing it. One wanted to be ahead of the other, possess more, a better deal, better vacation, more hours, cooler wheels.
Polish national characteristics, envy and contempt, energy devourers, were what he needed to liberate himself from.
Therefore, he made up his mind to shop at the Polish market more often, to stand in line and stand there long enough to stop having any negative emotions. Only then would he acknowledge that he killed the Polack inside him and liberated himself from the hatred devouring him from the inside.
He came back home to his wife sitting in front of the TV. On the screen, politician kept yelling about the plane wreckage, conspiracy and settling the score. After a while there was a commentary by someone from the other side of the barricade on people without honor, hypocritical scoundrels, mental patients to be.
“Doesn’t watching this bother you?” he asked rhetorically.
His lady loved TV: news, series, shows, she didn’t even mind the commercials, whereas he hated them wholeheartedly, they drove him insane, always played two-three notches louder, attempting to coax him to do something. Most of them produced as if their target were imbeciles.
Damian adhered to one rule – whenever he saw two products at the store, one of them aggressively advertised, he would always pick the other one, just out of fucking spite for the pieces of shit. He was of the opinion that if everyone did the same, those motherfuckers would have to do something about that louder broadcast.
Unfortunately, most viewers, like a bunch of apes they were, upon seeing on TV a maxi pad with wings, anal odor neutralizer, a nose clip to make you smarter, an adhesive medical foot pad removing heavy metals from your body, went ahead and bought everything without considering whether they needed it or not. They’re talking about it on TV, it must be worth something. Later on, said ape would sit down, satisfied, as from now on it would be smarter because of the nose clip, healthier from the foot pad, its anus cleansed with the super-wash, no more hemorrhoids, flying off to heaven on the maxi pad with wings.
“They’re about to show the guy who blew those people up and then shot himself. Don’t you wanna see, honey?”
Damian’s heart sunk. Why the hell would anyone voluntarily feed their head full of pictures of death, rape, violence, the psyche must digest it and purge one way or another.
“Baby, you know I don’t like the news. There’s always some tragedy, they always show misfortune, it messes with my head. You know I like Discovery Channel, something about pets or the cosmos, about nature, the beauty of this world, why the hell should I be looking at some psycho blowing people up. I’d much rather look at the Grand Canyon or something about animals.”
“A propos animals, they just showed a report on those baby seals mass murdered by getting hit in their heads with sticks. They die in fear and suffering despite international protests. Supposed to be real tasty.”
“No way, fuck those motherfuckers!” he burst with anger. If it was up to him, those murderers would be battered to death with the same sticks and turned into cat food. “See, baby, it just rubs me the wrong way.”
It was always like that, whenever he watched the news to find out what was going on in the world, he became fed up. What people did to one another, to the environment they lived in, was beyond comprehension. Damian couldn’t stand the whole ‘save the planet’ bullshit. Fuck this shit, he thought. The planet? Save yourselves, idiots, the planet doesn’t give a damn, it burns one day only to freeze up the next, once it’s green, then it’s gray, comets strike its surface, supervolcanoes erupt.
‘Save the planet’ as a slogan seemed erroneous from the get go. To a man treating the world egotistically, minding only his own business, the planet-saving bullshit fell on deaf ears. Damian wondered why ecologists didn’t scream “Save your own ass!” Maybe then the gathering of fools would start using their heads and solve the real problems.
“Fuck TV, fuck those hacks and their sick news.”
“Alright now, take it easy, honey, I’ll put the sports channel on.” Kitty cat was doing her best to find an alternative.
Sports on TV, Damian thought, now that’s an invention.
“Babe, you know I like doing sports, not watching them.” Damian loved his wife from the bottom of his heart, however, he failed to share her passion for TV, he’d rather watch the fireside, listen to good music or go for a walk with the dog.
“Let’s watch the weather,” the wife suggested.
He nodded his head in approval, the weather he could watch, the only part of the whole show without rape, robbery, murder, war, death or the approaching end of the world.
He would often discuss weather with his customers himself, it was statistically the most talked about topic on the isles. The Irish would often get excited about some long-term report predicting the winter of the century. At the beginning of his islander career he tried to explain to them they shouldn’t worry about some shepherd foreseeing harsh winter or dry summer. How could the guy know about what was going to happen in six months’ time in a country where one-hour prognosis could be wrong? They wouldn’t listen to logical arguments, they just enjoyed the fucking nonsensical chit-chat, perhaps because they’d rather avoid talking about the problems connected with the crisis. Perhaps they had no other topics to discuss, perhaps they wanted to steer clear of an honest conversation about their lives spent on chasing the pieces of paper issued by their national bank. Lives fading away in toxic relationships, lives devoid of passion, love, lives full of sickness. Perhaps weather was just a safe haven, a universal topic everyone was comfortable discussing.
“Babe, let’s go for a walk, it’s good for us,” Damian suggested.
And they did, taking the dog with them.
They walked, held each other’s hands, it was good. They enjoyed the moments spent together, no people, no TV, no phones. They had everything they needed to be happy: the beach, the ocean, the breeze across their faces, few dozen minutes of being free from their desires, from dwelling on the past, free from the fear of tomorrow. They existed here and now, and it felt real fine.
Sobriety neither helped Damian find the meaning of life, nor did it provide an explanation as to why he was there and where he was going. It did, however, give him peace of mind which, in time, allowed him to look at things from a distance. Then came the awareness that the meaning, the goal or the reason of human existence didn’t need to be recognized at all.
Damian understood that the search for the ‘philosophical Holy Grail’ only meant chasing your own shadow and all he ever needed was the person sitting right there beside him, torturing the TV remote in her hand.
“I love you, little flower, I love you with all of my heart.” He was looking at the woman of his life, thanking God, fate, the world.
He was thankful for the chance he was given to change the spiritual direction he had been heading in. Once, there was nothing in Damian’s life that would keep him on the surface any longer, love turned out to be the lifesaver thanks to which he comfortably navigated among the hatred, racism, nationalism, Hitlerism, satanism, alcoholism and lechery.
Looking back, he came to realize she was always the key to everything. No matter how many times he stood at the crossroads having to choose, he always chose with his heart. It set him free from the demon, ever since he could remember the choices he made on the road both of them walked on allowed him to tear down the veil of anger obscuring his eyes.
The world seen without the medium of hatred turned out to be a better place, a place definitely in need of a revolutionary change, a step forward, a renouncing of the stereotypical negative behavior by humanity, but, somewhere on the horizon, hope was shining through.
Before that, Damian’s hurting ego projected nothing but a bleak vision of the future.
Salvation came in the form of the ability to sacrifice himself. A sacrifice for the sake of the one and only person in the world, yet a sacrifice so complete and unconditional, it was enough to save a lost soul.
He was also thankful to himself, for he succeeded in rejecting the egotistical mind and following the path of the heart, which required toning down of the intuition. He was treading it with ever growing confidence, abandoning ambition, will and strife on his way. Questions, aspirations, desires fell off of him, taking fears, stress and frustration along.
Because of that, Damian relaxed, became a free man of no significance, a small wave in an endless ocean. He was no longer the center of the universe, he wasn’t most important anymore. This simple change of position became the key to his freedom. As ‘dust in the wind’ he didn’t have to do anything any longer, become anybody or achieve anything. He was just being there, breathing, loving.
“Do you feel like eating? Anything you’d like in particular, baby?” he asked, rolling up his sleeves.
He liked keeping himself busy, doing something for someone, no matter what, as long as it meant giving a part of himself. Guarantee of good mood, nice feeling of warmth around the heart, positive energy bringing peace of mind. Ever since he discovered giving was better than taking, he tried to give any time he had the chance.
“Not really, got a little headache, a glass of water, please,” his wife answered, looking at him with pride.
“Headache again? Need to finally see the doctor about it. I’ll call our GP and make an appointment.”
The “headaches” occurred a bit too often recently for his taste. Lack of appetite seemed really disconcerting, especially since food was his wife’s favorite hobby, even more important than watching TV.
“Don’t want to go to the doctor’s,” she protested in a soft voice.
“Nobody likes seeing those quacks, but sometimes you have to. Remember that time when I was shitting blood, I didn’t want to go either, but I listened to you and ended up being better off.”
The memory of his bloody stool helped, she stopped protesting and let her husband make the phone call. He made an appointment for the next morning. The way the system worked was you ran to your GP, or family physician, with everything, he then would give you hospital referral and that was where you got specialist help. It was like that with the bloody shits he got a couple months earlier – he went to see the GP who cashed in 50 euros, filled in a piece of paper and then Damian went to the hospital where they put him to sleep, stuffed his body full of pipes from every direction, only to conclude it was a bacteria and needed to be killed with an antibiotic.
Fortunately, they bought private insurance, which guaranteed instant professional help. Those who failed to do so, waited for a few months to see a specialist. Damian always thought it was better to pay for something and never have to use it than to take risks only to beg for mercy later at the door of some overworked oncologist’s office.
They lived in a foreign country, surrounded by people who were foreign to them, they couldn’t count on any selfless help. Adhering to the “better safe than sorry” rule was self-evident to Damian.
“Done deal, let’s drive to the woods, you’ll breathe some oxygen and everything will be alright.”
The woods they used to visit were better than any medicine for any ailment, starting with depression, ending with migraine.
They were walking, holding hands, the dog was running around like crazy. He was in his doggy paradise, all full of smells, foxholes, bushes to piss on. The sun was shining through the treetops, creating a one-of-a-kind luminous spectacle, everything smelling of nature.
What more could a man ask to be free? The unique microclimate of the place invited reflection.
Damian wished for all those religious fanatics, communists, freaking capitalists, racists and nationalists to abandon their hateful baggage. He wished for them, just like he did himself, to understand they would be doing it for themselves, not for someone else. He wished for them to see they couldn’t know happiness or peace by breeding anger, malice and egoism in their hearts. You had to start with yourself, someone needed to be the first to forgive and break the spiral of hatred.
If only he could, he would shout at all the rich folks in the world: “Free yourselves, give your millions away to the poor, the hungry, the terminally ill, unburden yourselves from being somebody and, as free men, complete through an act of good will, take your family out for a walk.”
After coming back home, they watched a documentary on ants. Some guy was explaining patiently a single ant was as stupid as a donkey, however, in a swarm it was part of a super-intelligent construction, perfectly capable of managing its life.
Perhaps it’s the same with people, Damian thought. Maybe a single man, albeit a smart one, is unable to embrace the whole universe with his mind, however, if he rejects the barriers dividing him from others, together, as a super-intelligence, they gain the ability to understand the mechanisms of reality?
Maybe humanity, free from racism, nationalism, and, first and foremost, from religious fanaticism, would be able to take the next evolutionary step?
Then his sweetheart changed the channel to the news, where a newly elected deputy leader of a big party was hissing on and on about revenge, breathing contempt for his political adversaries.
The thoughts of the evolutionary step uniting people burst like bubbles in Damian’s head.
Then they showed Ukraine with the the petroleum noose tightened around their necks, a report on mass killing with the use of biological weapons, an obituary for the British Fusilier whose head was cut off by Islamic fundamentalists, a school shootout, children found in a freezer, anti-gay protests turning into a regular battle, and, to top it all off, a weak display by Poland football team and weather anomalies.
“Starting tomorrow, I’m not watching the news, baby, they’re just not good for me.”
Damian would get depressed after almost every ‘news broadcast’ he saw. The downward shift in the mood may have been an allergic reaction to the world’s situation, perhaps sensitive people just couldn’t stand the whole mess noticeable in almost all areas? Maybe depression was not a disease after all, just a consequence of one’s awareness of where the world was heading to?
One way or another, the thoughts of illustrious future got pushed back by current news. The yearning to return to positive thinking drove him under the sheets where, between the legs of the love of his life, he forgot about Putin trying to resurrect the great empire. After some oral sex, he put his hard dick where his tongue used to roam. They came together, turned off the lights and fell asleep holding each other, enjoying their fine microcosm.
The morning after, waking up, hundred push-ups, shower, breakfast, GP, hospital referral to take some tests. An appointment with the neurologist scheduled for the following day, only possible due to private insurance.
Afternoon and evening at work, some push-ups, they were probably going to be part of Damian’s life till the very end, you couldn’t turn off your brain’s dependency on the happiness-releasing chemicals just like that. He has to get something, so he gets endorphins, thanks to them he can somehow make it, exercise the key to feeling good again.
Returning home. His sweetheart waiting for him patiently as always, shower, bedroom.
“Hold me, please,” she looked at him with love. “I feel this eery tension before tomorrow’s neurologist.”
He moved closer, took hold of her hand, kissed her lips passionately.
He stopped only for a short while, just to look at her wonderful face. She was the embodiment of beauty, an angel, her looks a perfect reflection of her spirit.
“Don’t worry, baby, everything’s gonna be alright.”
He wanted to kiss every inch of her beautiful body and he did so with passion. Face, breasts, belly, thighs, calves, feet. He turned her body around, as his tongue started dancing down her back, legs, butt-cheeks, he could hear her breathing faster, whispering with desire:
“I am loving you,” he answered passionately.
The magic of the union, one common rhythm, loving thrusts inevitably leading towards ecstasy. The joy of satisfaction.
They were flying together, two bodies, one spirit.
“It is wonderful to love someone” was Damian’s final thought before falling asleep.
The familiar pattern of the morning meal, then a visit to the hospital.
“We will keep your wife here for a while, we need to take additional tests.” The doctor seemed to know what he was talking about. “We have to be sure.”
“Sure? Sure of what, exactly?” Damian asked, seriously worried. “What do you mean?”
“Sure everything’s alright, sir.” The face of the man in white was one big riddle.
“Of course, doctor.”
Damian knew there was nothing he could do, he had to lean on this man and trust him. Maybe that was why he detested him so much, because of having to give up, lose control?
“How long can it take?”
“A week, two weeks tops, and you’ll have your wife back,” the white gown was smiling at him but Damian was far from laughing.
They came here with a headache only for her to remain in the hospital for a week or two? What was going on? Maybe it just paid for them to keep her here and get the insurance money?
The questions brought about anxiety and fear, with panic marching right in. Damian needed to calm down, he knew that if he gave up to those three, he would go insane, and if he went insane, how could he help his lady? He needed to stay strong for her, chase away the thought lurking somewhere in the back of his mind, suggesting one solution: why don’t you have a shot, relax and then think what to do next.
Get the fuck away from me!
“Good, can I see her then?” He gave up, started taking deep breaths, trying with all his might to stay focused.
“The nurse is going to show you the way, we’ll be in touch,” the doctor bid his farewell coldly.
He followed the nurse down the hallway, not a bad ass, nice legs, but he wasn’t in the mood to indulge in his male instincts.
The tight uniform finally opened some door and invited him in. There, in a neatly arranged room, his lady lay. If it wasn’t for the hospital bed, he wouldn’t know they were in one.
“I’ve got the TV in here, honey,” she tried to make him laugh.
He knew she wasn’t worried about herself but about him, how could he survive on his own in this sick world.
“I’ll take care of everything.” He knew what absolute love she felt for their pets, treating them like her children.
“I know, baby. Do some shopping, you need a few things for the house, I’ll text you a list.”
He didn’t give a damn about the list, the shopping, the pets or the house. He was scared.
“That’s what I’ll do,” he spoke weakly. He wasn’t doing a good job pretending.
“Whatever happens, happens, don’t worry yourself blind, it won’t do you any good, it will only make you weaker and you need to be strong, I need you strong, do you understand?” Her great spirit fought back the anxiety attacks and Damian felt like himself again.
“We can do it, it’s gonna be alright,” he said, more to himself than to her.
He held her tight and they stayed like that for a while, already missing each other. They were doing the missing in advance, they knew they would have to spend a couple of nights separated.
Saying goodbye, shopping, coming home, emptiness, tears.
He had to do something. Work.
Sitting in his cab, he finally understood some of the fellow drivers who spent most of their lives in their cars. They had no one to go back to. For some of them it wasn’t the money, it wasn’t the addiction to cabbie lifestyle, it wasn’t being motivated by fear of losing business. They were just lonely, unable to stand the four walls, vacant windows, burnt out fireplace. They escaped to their jobs. To the taxi stop. Once there, they could gossip, talk about the past, live somebody else’s life, a more interesting one than their own.
At the moment Damian understood them perfectly. He was remorseful, he judged them so mercilessly, criticizing and ridiculing them. He realized the truth in the proverb “don’t judge lest you be judged.” He had no right to criticize the lives of others, nobody did.
“How are you?” A passenger meant company, he was no longer a number on the euro banknote, he was somebody he could talk to and feel OK again.
“Not too good, wife’s in the hospital,” Damian answered sincerely.
They talked about life and values, about money ruling the world without giving anything good in return, about TV, politicians, social inequalities, communism and capitalism, civilization and its potential.
Once they arrived at the destination, they could see the human being in one another and were sure all people should look at each other that way.
Working late hours, a break to take care of the pets, fatigue, bed, loneliness, sleep.
Days coming and going, a growing need to have a drink. The old demon, now fully awaken, kept arguing about the inevitability of things to come.
Depression, anxiety, tears. A growing vision of a hand holding a shot glass, more strife, visits at the hospital, work, shopping, walking the dog.
One day, a phone call from the white gown, an invitation. Damian just wanted the nightmare to end.
He arrived at the hospital.
Waiting room. Out of the nervousness he started to go through an advertisement with holiday offers, planning where to take his sweetheart, thinking about Kenya.
Better Kenya than a bartender pouring a double shot of bourbon. She always wanted to go there, although he himself wasn’t much for going to Africa – since he was a child he couldn’t stand insects and the place was full of those, after all.
“Come in, please.” The doctor interrupted his mood for vacation.
He followed the white gown to the office and they sat opposite one another. Damian felt a weird chill in his heart as he looked into the neurologist’s eyes. Probably just a general subconscious reaction to the hospital, he explained to himself. He was never crazy about them.
The words were spoken, tears flew down Damian’s cheeks, it felt strange, as if hiding behind a thick sheet of glass. He didn’t understand anything, he was just wondering why he was crying.
“Can you hear me?” the doctor asked and repeated what he had to tell him.
This time around little pieces of information reached Damian: malignant glioblastoma multiforme, commonly referred to as “The Terminator,” grade IV malignant tumor, inoperable, the end of it all.
“How much longer do we have?” he asked, swallowing his tears. His heart, turned into a boulder of ice, somehow still kept beating.
“Seven, twelve months at best, I’m sorry.” The doctor seemed overtaken with sorrow, he must’ve really felt for Damian.
“Is this for sure, doctor?” He kept asking just for the sake of it, deep inside he knew the white gown was right.
“I’m really sorry,” the specialist answered, pronouncing a death sentence.
“Does she know?” Damian wasn’t crying anymore, he switched to emergency mode, in which his mind, wound up to the extreme, was trying to figure out what to do next.
“Not yet, I was waiting for you.” The doctor knew the routine. It wasn’t the first time during his career he gave people information that changed their lives forever.
“Good, let me tell her, could you?”
The neurologist agreed, looking into Damian’s cold eyes. The latter was thinking about the irony of fate but he wasn’t blaming anyone. He read once that in order to abandon anything, you first needed to conquer it.
He conquered the Mount Everest of his lifetime. He climbed to the top of it, accompanied by the one he loved, thanks to whom on his way there he abandoned the demon trying to destroy him at all costs.
He stood there, facing her. One look at her was enough, she understood everything he had to tell her. As always, no words were necessary – gestures, facial expressions, the waving of a hand, the way you walked, the look you gave were more than enough.
“Come here, babe, we need to get going,” he whispered to his loved one, as he wiped the tear running down her cheek.
“She’s staying here,” the doctor interfered, scribbling something in his notebook.
“No, doctor, I’m taking her home.”
The doctor looked at Damian, then at his wife, and then again at him.
“Doctor, I’m leaving upon my request,” were the first words spoken by her.
“I’ll bring the papers for you to sign.”
The neurologist left, shaking his head in disapproval.
They signed the papers, thanked the doctor and left.
“I’ve got a plan,” Damian began, closing the door behind him.
His wife put her hands over his lips, clinging closely to him, crying as they attempted to accept their destiny.
“Take care of the pets and our close ones, please,” she demanded the impossible.
“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of their future and then we’ll leave this place together, little flower.” A deadly self-determination was visible in his face.
“How come?” She asked rhetorically, knowing perfectly what he was trying to tell her. “No way, it’s unnatural, no religion would allow it.”
“What if there was one that would?” Damian decided go for broke.
They never were religious and yet they believed in the common denominator of love, respect, forgiveness, giving yourself, of trusting your life to the unimaginable. They respected each other’s right to the freedom of choice of their spiritual way, they gave one another the ability to pick the direction leading them to salvation.
“I doubt there is. I hope you’re not thinking about any of those occult volumes of yours.” She was worried, not for herself, she was worried looking at her husband’s despair.
“You know very well, babe, satanism is over for me anymore.”
He was hoping to find something, in his soul he was begging for God, the universe, destiny to let him die with his beloved.
For a long time now they formed one spirit occupying two bodies. He saw no opportunity for himself living in this world defective and broken. With his whole heart he expressed his wish to take a trip into the unknown with his lady who, in some magical way, unattainable to the mind, became united with him over all those years.
They drove in silence, thinking about life writing its own scenarios, they took such possibility into consideration and yet, deep inside, they wished to depart together. Thinking of death, an inseparable element of life, they imagined dying in a car accident or a plane crash. Apparently, fate had different plans.
“Fuck the fate,” said Damian, more to himself than to his wife.
In the end, he had his free will, he just needed to Google some religion to convince his lady, without her consent the solution Damian had in mind made no sense. They had to be of one mind as to their final step together, only then did they stand the chance to wake up on another level of existence as a united super-entity.
“I’m going to see the pets, then I’ll call my parents.” Her quiet tone was the essence of acceptance.
“Good, honey,” he answered in a weak voice.
He needed to get to the computer as fast as possible, he couldn’t stand this limbo. Encouraged by the fast-growing feeling of failure, he opened the kitchen cabinet where his lady kept a bottle of the strong stuff. He held the Ballantine’s close to him in order not to drop it and ran upstairs as fast as he could, skipping several steps at a time. He turned on the computer and waited patiently to fire up the Internet Explorer. He was groping the bottle with trembling hands, but he didn’t drink, waiting for the sentence from Google, in a minute it would be clear if he perishes drinking himself to death or if he dies a free man, filled with self-confidence.
After a few minutes Damian’s wife heard an inhuman scream. It contained a plethora of emotions. The years spent together allowed her to tell any emotion in his voice. In this scream she definitely didn’t find failure, despair, anger or fear, it was a triumph of a man who won the biggest possible prize.
“Motherfucking Jainism! Jainism, baby, fuckin-a! Jainism. I’m converting to Jainism, ha ha!” Damian was running down the stairs, outpouring his emotions like a man possessed.
Once he stood in front of his beloved, she saw him the happiest she ever did see him during the many years of their married life. He was pulsating with joy so absolute it was only possible to achieve in some insane way. Damian looked really high on something, with no possibility to come down.
“What jinn, now? I told you, no demons.”
“Not a jinn, I mean Jainism, a branch of Hinduism,” he was shouting, unable to hide his excitement. “From now on I’m a follower of Jainism.”
His face was radiating with joy, he was thanking God, the world and Hinduism for letting him pass on together with his beloved.
A couple of minutes ago he was completely broken down, driven by last glimmers of hope, by the skin of his teeth he managed to type “Religion allowing suicide” into Google. He gave it no more than two percent of a chance. However, when he saw the result, he understood how false the proverb “Hope is the mother of fools” really was.
He was experiencing such happiness he had no clue existed. It was an emotion completely off the scale. Never before did he feel such gratitude, he had to scream, so he did scream as if he was completely losing it.
Tolerance was at the foundation of their relationship, they had the right to abide by any code they found appropriate, as long as they didn’t hurt anyone. The only condition was to hold on to a philosophy based on love. Jainism seemed to be the quintessence of the rule, as its tenets spoke of ultimate renouncing of hurting any living things, marital fidelity, limiting materialism to a minimum and, what to Damian was of utmost importance, allowed starving yourself to death if the believer was rid of ambition, desires or life goals.
“What should we do?” his wife asked in a resigned tone. She knew there was no talking him out of the idea, in the state he was in no arguments could change his mind.
“We’ll have the pets taken care of for life, we’ll do all the paperwork, say goodbye to our closest ones. Then we’ll rent a house in a secluded place, overlooking the mountains, and we’ll go on watery diet, honey,” he told her, laughing with his whole self.
It occurred to him that at the last stage of their existence his sweetheart would have to face her greatest weakness, her inclination for food. This gave the whole situation an even deeper, magical meaning.
His laughter was so spontaneous it was almost contagious. A moment later they were laughing together, wiping each other’s the tears of joy, a result of their all-encompassing love.
They were free and they could be together and it was always all that mattered to them…
Read more :