This short story was inspired by tonight’s sound trip, which began with Rubber Soul and ended with the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I apologize in advance for the hints of vulgarity, and caution those aware of the fact that these may seem inappropriate for them to stop reading. MWAH. :*
I welcome opinions and criticism. 🙂
Personal Enlightenment, or the Non-Confrontational Way to Self-Destruction
The long hair marked him as a rebel. Back then; one could only be considered a man with a clean barber’s cut, a crisp suit and a slim leather briefcase. But he wasn’t a man: he was more than that. For her, he had transcended the conventional definition of masculinity and gifted her something that she regarded as a form of personal enlightenment far beyond the wildest dreams of suburban marriage.
Liberation had been his best gift to her the night she turned eighteen. She would recall the moment with renewed pride every time she spoke to those they met on the road, remembering his frameless aviator glasses and the vintage Harley they rode on the way to the van that was parked atop some deserted parking lot. There, he gifted her the ruby-encrusted ring. There, he had promised so much to the girl that had held him prisoner for months. He was madly in love, he said. He had found his muse, he said.
She took it all in with a hint of veiled fright, recalling the month before when she had first found ‘personal enlightenment’ whilst watching him play lead guitar. He was the main attraction, many would say, as the vocalist lacked charisma and resulted to constant flashing just to get the audience’s attention. The drummer, on the other hand, kept losing his sticks and forgetting his place.
He was the only perfect one.
She remembered the time a friend of hers who had seen him live compared his guitar playing to making out onstage. ‘The guitar is his girlfriend’, she wrote. ‘His mouth kisses her, slowly. His body thrusts, harder… harder… and harder…’. Needless to say, her mother was aghast and the friend became nothing more than a schoolmate after the incident.
But the same girl had been there that night, dressed in fringe and sitting attentively beside the skill-less drummer. Between intervals, her tongue entered his mouth and the songs lost their weak beat. Because of that, he became the main attraction, and played hours and hours of endless riffs, mesmerizing a crowd that had been long disappointed by the resident band’s clear lack of actual musicality.
She left that night resigned to the belief the man had taken no notice of her, but somehow knew deep within her alternate consciousness that he had found her, and that she was the one. Fate had made her right.
For months he spoke of the angel in devil’s clothing, and the epiphany many believed that made him crazy. ‘Who was this girl?’ they asked.
Within weeks his answer came when she returned, disguised in club clothing and seemingly depressed: he saw the eye bags and the infusion of white powder scattered on her flowery blouse. He quickened the show’s pace and rushed to find her, pushing through the crowds with his guitar strapped to his bony chest. Finally, he had found her.
“I’ve found you,” he muttered, extending out his hand. She looked into his eyes and felt the hormonal surge some would associate with a menstrual period. The heat went to her cheeks.
“…And I, you.”
Such began a sordid yet drug-scented affair built on the sweetness of cocoa and the vanilla taste of her lip-gloss. They spoke in unfinished sentences, forever pledging eternal gratitude to the Eastern gods that had brought them together: entities of a foreign course, polar opposites made to unite in the midst of a torrid world. Realities, to them, were another realm, one they associated with the negative visions one tried to avoid whilst in the middle of a voyage towards enlightenment. But there was nothing to escape to once her lawyer father found her asleep in the back of his Volkswagen and unleashed the worst of hell upon the faggot he believed that had impregnated his innocent little girl.
‘You’re going to college! You have a future!’
‘Don’t waste your life like this! You’re better than this!’
In between slaps that wounded her cheeks these words echoed in her brain. To her, this was noise. The point had come when ‘future’ had lost it’s significance in her dictionary and only peace and love echoed in her fragile brain, one that had forgotten Calculus and World History, remembering only the cause of the moment: peace… and love.
Zombie-like, she rushed up, taking no time to walk away from her concrete future. She passed the homemade birthday cake and the shelf of presents that had been poorly hidden. By then, she cared not. She was about to enter a life and advocate a cause that was priceless, one she believed would transcend whatever material success a college education would gift her.
“Years from now, they’ll remember us,” he muttered one evening. “And how we fought for their cause. We’ll be heroes,” he added, taking her hand. “You and me. In this… together.”
“Forever?” she asked, with a hint of cluelessness.
“Forever,” he said. She smelled the alcohol in his breath but smiled.
That night he was sober and shirtless.
She dropped her leather case in the van and rushed to finally touch him. He went ahead, beginning what would be the best night of her life.
They ended by midnight, wrapped in each other’s touch, painfully unaware of the reality that would face them in the months that followed.
She joined him on tour, sitting on the amps as he mesmerized crowds with the gift of personal enlightenment. At night she made a living by selling what little she had learned from high school to the handful of people that sought a meager education in penmanship. He came home at midnight and again the events of her eighteenth replayed themselves. On some nights they would escape together, and still wake up naked and in each other’s arms.
‘A creative revolution,’ he would say. ‘Active exploration in the art of fornication, forever made public through my dissemination’.
The remark would elicit aimless laughter in the crowds, and in her, euphoria would erupt. Life had been euphoric then, as she bore witness to a number of glorious events. They traveled to New York and watched him play to crowds in a large farm. There, they took escape with others and for the first time she had shared something with someone besides him, a thought that killed her conscience badly.
Yet what was there to be afraid of, what was there to be worried about?
All her life she had sought the perfect suburban dream, and yet euphoria found itself personified in endless touring and repeated visits to the gas station, the only consolation being the nights when he would personify personal enlightenment to her once more and everything would feel like it was perfect… like it was right.
Months had passed since she had last moaned over him and repeated the events of her eighteenth birthday. She was twenty-one now, horribly uneducated and physically sick from the constant escapes from reality. She heard ‘personal enlightenment’ lesser and lesser from him and feared something was wrong. Yet it seemed like nothing was out of place.
Finally… it came.
Luca had thick hair, dark skin, large breasts and a swimmer’s lungs, evident by the way her moans could be heard from far away. Tears welled up in her eyes as she watched him reach personal enlightenment in front of her. He turned to her with a look of indifference when he had been found out, cementing in her mind the certainty that he had forgotten her. In truth, the darkness had made him clueless.
She ran to the edge of the cliff, shouting curses to the sky that had resigned her to a future-less fate. She wanted nothing but revenge then, nothing but the chance to liberate her from the second bardo, which was now her reality. Unfortunately, it never came.