by: Ty Reynolds
Watching a friend struggle to combat the effects of an intense acid trip is both infatuating and mildly terrifying.
It gives rise to one of the great lists of “what-now’s?”. What the fuck do I do with this guy? Do I just sit back and try to filter the wisdom out of the insanity? Try to lock him in a room? Lock myself in a room?
As Monk sits here telling me he can’t read the hieroglyphics on the screen and accuses me of attempting to dupe him with non-words, I can’t help but smile even though I’m a tad worried.
Vicarious living has never been so…satisfactorily unnerving? I’ll coin a word or phrase for it later. None of the current ones seem to do this justice.
I’m trying to keep up with the conversation about God. Yeah, not real original, but still pretty intense. It’s hard to keep the conversation on track as my associate seems to be dealing with not only my questions, but multiple dimensions worth of questions. I’m actually pretty impressed he’s even able to stand and speak clearly, even if he trails off mid-sentence from time-to-time.
I’ve done my best to participate, though, and have been rewarded with several proclamations of “You nailed it” and a lone “That just put the cap on it.” I think that’s a good thing. He seems happy with whatever answers I supply.
And not just sorta happy. This is an I-just-solved-the-ultimate-riddle-of-the-universe-for-him kind of happy…I’m going to go ahead and assume his excitement is due more to the illicit chemicals flowing through his brain than to any eternal wisdom I’m able to dispense, but I must admit, my theory that people often view the scale of divinity and mortality (as in, on a scale of divine to mortal, what are you?) incorrectly, and we should view the extremes of the scale as just different versions of the same being is some pretty heavy shit.
I’ll decide if it makes sense later. I think it might, but for now, simply blowing his mind will suffice. I wrote it down on yellow legal paper for further inspection in the daylight.
Monk seems to have begun experiencing some severe mental anguish. It doesn’t look at all enjoyable from my perspective, but I could describe it as oddly profound. How many of history’s greatest thoughts have come in moments like these? How many of those breakthroughs have been forgotten?
Fuck, that’s a shitastic thought…All of mankind’s perpetual dilemmas have likely been solved untold times only to be forgotten mere moments or seconds later, lost in a tsunami of interdimensional white noise. No wonder he looks so frustrated…He’s deciphered or been presented with the ultimate truth multiple times in one conversation, but just can’t hold it up to the light long enough to commit it to memory.
He was immersed in The Office reruns for a bit, but now he’s talking about how we’re in Heaven on Earth- never mind, he’s been distracted by The Office again. Couldn’t even get the thought out that time.
Michael Scott’s hold remains strong.
He snaps out of it, but can’t keep a hold on his thoughts for long. I think he’s having several conversations simultaneously now, only one of which appears to be with me. That’s pretty interesting considering that I’m the only other person in the room with him.
Okay, we’re chugging along again now. I’m confusing even myself with what I’m spitting this time, but there’s a solid foundation. I think. Either way, I’m actually enjoying this. He’s making me think about some funky perspectives. The Adderall I’ve been snorting sure helps, but I’m still at a pharmaceutical disadvantage here so even being near the same wavelength as he is right now seems like an achievement.
He has an iron claw-like grip on his forehead. It seems to help him reign in his brain. He declares that tonight is the reason we’re best friends. We’re actually best friends because both of us are too socially offensive for anyone else to ever consider as prospective bff’s. We were left with only each other to fill that role in one and others’ lives, but I’ll let him slide on that one tonight as I don’t want to interrupt the story he’s now preparing to tell.
It is the story of everything.
He’s so adamant about that fact that he sternly states “And when I say everything, bubba, I mean everything…”
“Alright…” I reply. “You’ve got my attention. Believe me, you’re not losing it tonight”
It was a tale of DMT and meeting the lord. I can’t do it justice, but it was riveting. I don’t know that I believe it, but I believe that he believes it and that makes everything he is saying more believable. Lord knows if he’s right or wrong, but he’s not grifting for attention and that feels important right now.
He’s proclaiming in whispers that something is happening to him. Events are lining up perfectly with the actions of his father. It’s a Déjà vu moment. Father is up to no good. Mother is in danger. He feels the need to take action and I feel the need to ixnay that desire.
“You cannot call anyone in your family right now.” I thought that was adequately stern on my part.
“I’m seeing you…we fight. We fight tonight. Because my mother is dead.”
“Call whoever you need to. Just know that you might not want to in this state,” was the only reply I had.
“I’m never going to see my mom again…but I don’t blame you. You’re my best friend.”
This feels like an ambush. I might start swinging preemptively if he tries to come in for a bro hug. 4:39 could be pivotal…
Still no fisticuffs, so I think I’m in the clear. He seems to have moved on, which is a fantastic relief because I have no idea what effect LSD has on a man’s pain threshold. I’m betting it removes pain from the equation almost entirely, though.
More labored, but intriguing anecdotes of drugs and enlightenment. Wow, can whip-its and reefer really enact phases of schizophrenic-like symptoms? “The voices” have appeared and foretold of a Miranda from Alabama, the only thing they’ve ever done right. Space and time are no obstacle as they pursue this perfect, lost love…who is also in danger, apparently. Oh, never mind, the voices have declared that my companion’s love for Alabama Miranda has spared her life from certain death on the highways.
Fuck, these are probably the same voices that just about forced me into a fist fight earlier, aren’t they!? Hmmm…
Oh shucks, my need to urinate just disrupted the flow of information. A terrible turn of events, just terrible. Killing the momentum of this infinitely important conversation with “the voices” is tragic, but I am merely a man, subject to the same mortal burdens as everyone else.
I return to see that the head has returned to the hands and the mood seems to have darkened during my temporary absence. Maybe I should’ve tried to stick it out with the voices…
“Terminator is coming. I’ve always said that,” he states abruptly, his face still covered by his palms.
I decide that is a fitting conclusion, so I turn to slip away towards a room with a bed in it, but he continues before I can make my exit.
“And not the focused ‘Are you Sarah Connor?’ type of Terminator. Nah, this is the I-sense-a-soul-I-kill-a-soul type of death bearer. No nuance or specialization. No frills. The Model-T of death machines, designed by the Henry Ford of divine retribution himself. G-O-D. You breathe, grow, or replicate, you die. No wrong targets this time. Even the trees will have to go, man. And the flowers, too. Fuck those roses, they gone…”
He peels his face from his palms in order to look at the ceiling and ask “Why’d you have to condemn the trees, God? I feel so bad for the leaves. And the squirrels. Why do you gotta do the squirrels like that, God? Is Jesus legit, and if so, did he sign on to this, too? Because, I swear, if Jesus is down for killing the squirrels, I’m done with both of you!”
A better conclusion.
I lock a door to a room with a bed in it.
I rarely pray, but now I’m spooked. It has become a take no chances kind of night. I go ahead and throw up an apology prayer and make sure to include polite pleas for the trees, just in case they really are on the hit list, Alabama Miranda’s future health, and some sleep for myself. I contemplate praying for Monk, but determine that God probably doesn’t need me micromanaging his responses any more than I already have tonight. I trust his judgement when it comes to the blasphemous heathen currently occupying the living room. Time for some hunkering down.
Adderall is still doing it’s thing. That portion of the prayer was ignored. I find out why, though, when I notice my guest’s voice partaking in a new conversation.
The SOB has deciphered the hieroglyphics that make up the number pad on his cell phone and now some poor soul, I assume a loved one of his, is being forced to deal with the consequences before the crack of dawn.
“Mom! Are you okay? Where is my father?…Okay, whatever you do, don’t wake him up!”
This is my fault. I should’ve just fought him earlier. I open the door and attempt to intervene.
“Hey, get off the phone, man! You can’t talk to your mother right now! What the fuck are you thinking?”
He whipped around and pointed directly at my face before firing back. “Shut the fucking fuck up, Ty! My mom is dead and this is the last time I will ever get to speak to her! I don’t have time for your yard gnome gibberish right now!”
Yard gnome gibberish? Damn…that was a good one.
He returns his attention to his phone and asks “Mom…are you still there? Okay, I know you’re dead already, but when Dad figures out you’re speaking to me, you’re going to have to fight for your life. Put me on speaker phone. I’ll talk you through it. Be strong. We’ll get revenge on this bastard for what he did to you, Mom.”
Mother Monk, who is still very much alive, heard at least some of our exchange and then takes in her son’s assertions about the end of her life. She is not impressed. I hear her voice over the phone from across the room, but can only make out two words clearly.
“Calling” and “police.”
Fuck…Mother Monk has threatened disembowelment and decapitation, but I’ve never heard her threaten to call the police. She is either highly pissed or he’s got her spooked, too. It’s not going to go well for me, either way.
Calls to the police in small towns can only end one way: a late-night call to your parents house. Anyone who lives in a town that boasts a higher density of hunting rifles than people can tell you that a night in the slammer is far preferable to a phone call to the parents. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 45. Christmas and Thanksgiving won’t be the same for at least a decade and grandma might just fucking die of shame.
I now realize that the supreme being denied me my sleep so that I can put an end to this. I must put an end to this. For Thanksgiving. For Ma-Maw…
It’s me or the heathen now.
“Give me the goddamn phone, Monk” I yell as I advance across the room.
I remember that Monk has a black belt in karate right before the roundhouse kick sends me to the floor. That hurt, but not as bad as one would expect. I probably have the Addy to thank for that. There’s no time to ponder it further, however, because my best friend is now attempting to punt my head through the roof.
I sacrifice my right arm to block the blow and stand up as quickly as I can while I scream “Fuck you, you dirty festival monkey! I’m about to kick your hippy ass!”
He didn’t even take the phone from his ear as he cracked me with a straight right to the nose that whipped my head back and reintroduced me to the carpet. I can’t win with traditional methods. Time for desperate measures
“MRS. MONK, HE JUST PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE!” I made sure to reach a decibel level that his mother was sure to hear. “HE KICKED ME, TOO! TELL HIM TO STOP! IT REALLY HURT!”
“Stop telling on me, asshole!” whisper-hissed Monk as he tried to cover the phone’s speaker. “Fucking tattle-tale!”
I gave the bastard my best crazy-eyed look and smiled as I doubled down. “I’M BLEEDING, MRS. MONK! FROM THE FACE! I’M BLEEDING FROM THE FACE!”
Monk convulsed and stomped his feet as he put his finger over his lips and shushed me with all of the intensity such a gesture can feasibly produce.
The strategy had paid off and Mother Monk’s voice was more audible to me.
“That. Is. It. I am coming over there and I’m going to make you wish I had called the police when I get there! I cannot believe you would put your hands on Ty like that!” she roared.
Apparently, not even a hefty dose of acid is enough to numb the fear of a confrontation with and admonishment from the legendary Mother Monk. because Son Monk almost instantly abandoned the higher realms he had transcended to throughout the night and finally rejoined me in the land of the slightly buzzed. After a thorough beratement, an apology had been ordered.
He complied immediately. “Ty, I’m sorry.” He extended the phone to me. “Tell mom I said I’m sorry.”
I decided to make him sweat it by looking at the phone in his hand and then melodramatically turning my head to the side.
“Dude, seriously…I’m sorry. Please tell her.” he begged.
Beautiful. I silently mouth the words “Ya little bitch” as I take the phone from him. He doesn’t dare reply verbally, but the flash of anger in his eyes proved that the blow had landed flush across his little bitch face.
I flipped him off for good measure as I raised his cell to speak to his mother. “Mrs. Monk, it’s Ty. I’m okay. He apologized. I’m sorry you had to deal with this tonight. I don’t know what got into him, but he and I are about to have a long talk about it.”
After a few more apologies from Mother Monk on her delinquent son’s behalf and a little more consoling on my part (and a lot more straight up lying about what her son had been partaking in that night), we finished the conversation and both hung up. .
I returned the phone to my shellshocked friend and said “I’m sorry it had to come to that, Monk, but you left me no other option. This is not the time for you to be speaking to your mother. Trust me.”
“I can’t believe you told my mom on me…” he said with a stunned look on his face.
“You hit me in the face, fucker.” I replied.
“Yeah…and you ratted on me to my mom, fucker.” was his retort.
“She was going to call the police on your stupid ass while you were tripping balls at my house, dumbfuck.” I politely explained. “How was I going to explain to my father that the reason his son got hauled off to South Central was because his moron best friend decided to have a multi-dimensional debate with spirit voices that were telling him his father was about to off his mother and I ended up in handcuffs because your space cadet ass gave the police probable cause to search my place?”
“Yeah…that would’ve killed your grandma…” he conceded.
“No shit, Jerry Garcia. I’m glad to see that your brain didn’t entirely seep out of your ears tonight”
He nodded his head begrudgingly. “Me, too…Holy shit, it’s almost 6 in the morning. I don’t even remember why I was calling her. What was I thinking again?”
My eyes bulged as I stared at him in exasperation. I had just reminded him why 30 seconds before. “Are you serious? You’ve already forgotten why you called your mother?”
“Yeah…I’m pretty fucked up right now” he chuckled. “Why’d I do it again?”
I couldn’t help myself.
“Huh?” he asked, obviously confused.
“Squirrels, motherfucker. You were afraid that Jesus is going to kill off all of the squirrels and you needed to tell your mother and ask advice about your next move.”
“To save the squirrels?” he asked slowly, clearly embarrassed.
“Yep. To save the poor squirrels. You’ve got this squirrel terminator theory bouncing around between your ears, and yeah, you wanted your mommy’s help to save the squirrels from Jesus.”
His face. The expression is worth more than gold to me at this moment. Thank you God for keeping me awake. You have delivered a victory to me that will be drawn from for ball busting for years to come.
“Squirrels? Fucking squirrels?”
He can’t accept it. This was worth getting punched in the face for.
“Yep. Squirrels. It was all about the squirrels.”
I’ll bludgeon him with this phantom squirrel incident until we’re both in spirit land. I must remember to ask Mother Monk to play along. This opportunity needs to become a way of life, not just a short-lived gag.
“Please don’t tell anyone about this. For real…I can’t believe I did that. She’s going to lecture me about this for months. I don’t need everyone in town laughing about it., too.”
“Oh, dude, of course not. I wouldn’t embarrass you like that.”
The world will know the tale of Monk and the Squirrel Holocaust. It will be passed through the generations until it is as ingrained in the human psyche as the legends of a global flood. No one will remember the tale’s origin, only that it has always been with us.
“Thanks, man. For real. And I really am sorry about punching and kicking you like that. Muscle memory, man. I didn’t even think about it.”
I noticed a sense of relief in his last statement. Unacceptable.
“No worries, man. I know you’re kinda fucked up right now…and worried about the squirrels.”
“It’s okay, man. Everyone should have something they’re passionate enough about to punch someone, even their best friend, in the face over. Some people are passionate about respect, or their religion, or their family, or even their favorite team. For you it’s squirrels.”
“Okay, fuck you. Enough.”
Let the salt rain down on me like a summer monsoon.
“Don’t be like that, man. I’m honored to be best friends with Captain Squirrel. Hey, do you think there’s a General Groundhog? Or a Beaver Believer? You could all join forces and take on Jesus together. Team Rodent Proponent.”
“I’m going to punch you again.”
I’m already addicted. Like, it will take me years to abandon this behavior kind of addicted.
“Are you going to call your mom again first?”
“Uhhh, no, I’m not going to call my mom again first, ya snitch.”
“Good, because you cannot call anyone in your family right now. If you had listened the first time I told you that, your mom wouldn’t be questioning where she went wrong with you right now…That, and it’s for their own protection. Anyone close to Captain Squirrel is going to be in perpetual danger. You may need to leave them behind. For their own good, Captain Squirrel. For their own good.”
“Fuck you, Ty! Fuck you so much!”