Enter The Void

eyes

His search saw him travel across the great sea
Sharp oars in his eyes as he rowed out to me
Where shall we venture I wondered inside
He said come on board so I went for the ride

So stealth was the smirk I mistook it a grin
In voice oh so pleasant he begged come on in
I’ve waited many an hour to take you abroad
Tears filled my eye as my memories roared

My ghosts were battered and bruised barely no breath
I objected to marching head first into death
But we entered the hallways where life dare not tread
I knew in that instant the boatman was dead

My destination arrived it was time to depart
The redeemer in front of me pulling a cart
The cart it was full of clay, flesh, and bone
Into the dark hallway I entered alone

Universal Culture

culture

The Universe Is A Petrie Dish
J.T. Hilltop

There are those among us that believe that we are the ultimate creations, the single most important species in the universe. No, not the Kardashians, I’m talking about the reverently religious zealots who still insist that the universe was created by the one true creator, theirs. The ones that say earth is only 6,000 years old and science is pure nonsense. Bad news my zealot friends, the truth is we are a small speck of a culture dish being studied under a microscope. The bacterium on slides we viewed in biology labs in high school haven’t even been discovered yet by the ones studying us. To them the bacteria we observe microscopically is still a hypothesis called quantum theory and they are searching for the Higgs Bosen, or God particle which in reality is our very own staphylococcus. Get it? Well don’t, it’s a bitch to get rid of. So anyway that essentially makes us pathogens to these humongous scientific creatures who have us in their Petrie dish. Whaaaaaat? Okay, a little perspective.
As we will learn, assuming we pay attention to the new show Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, (On NatGeo.. highly recommend!!) there are many universes, a multiverse not just the universe we can’t even seem to find the end of. Personally I think instead of just exploring all over the universe trying to find the end one of us should just stop and ask directions. Unfortunately that would involve admitting we are not the smartest species in this universe let alone the millions of others out there. At any rate, our universe is situated in a huge scientific lab that makes the large Hadron Collider in Europe seem laughable, almost like a tiny little ant farm being viewed from the moon. Not our moon, Io, one of Jupiter’s moons.
The truth is our universe does have limits in the way of a spherical finite dish with a circumference as its boundaries. Our seemingly never ending universe is a live active culture in large round dish known as Experiment#541728226, and it is stored along with hundreds upon hundreds of other universe dishes all containing planets, and solar systems, and galaxies, and quasars, black holes, pulsars and super novas. Or as the multiverse scientists call it, Cosmic Bacterium. To us, our planet has a multitude of different species including humans, but to the Cosmic Scientist its merely an experiment and we are what they call micro-humanoid genatlium, a parasitic bacteria they discovered on the hairs of the genitals of a species from their world similar to our primates. They loving refer to us humans as GBHB. (Gorilla Ball Hair Bacteria)
Now I know this all sounds a bit far fetched but when you really think about it its not much different than many of the tales of the various religions around our own world. Aside from the obvious burning bushes, floating zoo’s, talking donkeys, salt pillar people, and river parters of the regular sort we have a religion created by a sci-fi writer, ones that focus on magic spells, UFO’s, cosmic light people, and even a church of euthanasia, which promotes cannibalism, suicide, and sodomy. And that’s not even the most bizarre, there is a group of people who believe the illuminati impregnated a women with Satan’s sperm and delivered the baby antichrist (Was its Moms name Rosemary?) They also believe that Nicola Tesla was originally from Venus and that we are conducting cloning experiments on Mars. Now I ask you, is a universe that’s a petri dish in a cosmic laboratory really all that out there?
I mean really, compare my theory to creation theorist that include leaders who convince their followers to drink poison Kool aid, commit mass suicide to transport their souls to a spaceship, allowed themselves to be killed while locked in a building, and finding assorted methods of death to escape the coming apocalypse by being reborn on a planet orbiting the star Sirius. I’m serious, Sirius!
Shit, by comparison my theory sounds almost plausible, or perhaps even sane! Hell, maybe it is sane, maybe I’m on to something. Perhaps the end of the world as we know it won’t be so spectacular, perhaps our world will end when the scientist in charge of experiment 541728226 gets frustrated at their progress and dumps the entire universe sown the drain. Or maybe I watch too much Doctor Who. But hey……Ya never know!

What is it your looking for my child?

kells

Many years of journey searching for the truth
Where is it that we find it?
Never in our youth
No not in our youth

A child reached up and grabbed my hand, tell me please don’t lie
My heart it full of heavy thoughts
Are you going to die
Papa will you die

Do you know God Papa
Mama says you may
Are you meeting God papa
Please don’t go away

Do you talk to God Papa
Do you know how pray
If you talked to God papa
What is it would you say

Mama said you doubt Papa
Why don’t you believe
I will talk to God Papa
I’ll pray to her this eve

So many times I’ve wondered why it takes so long to learn
The hardest lesson in life I think
Not easy to discern
Never could discern

Slow down my child you needn’t rush
Sit down here on my knee
Your story’s not yet written child
You’ve still so much to see

The world is big so much to love
So much you’ve still not done
One day like me perhaps you’ll have
A daughter or a son

Love is what we need the most
Its love that bring us bliss
If some day you have a child
you can tell them this

.Life is precious just like you, Here’s what I believe
It matters not where we come from. It matters what we leave
I leave behind a world of love, A world I shared with you
And even when I’m gone dear child, I’ll still be here with you

I don’t know if God exists
But I’ll be in you heart
As long as you remember me
We’ll never be apart

Sometimes in life we must shed tears, that’s the world we live
Don’t hold your love it here to share
Remember and forgive
For me child please forgive

Sugar’s Existential Crisis and A Sweet Intervention

shugs

(A Love Once so Sweet)
Sugar cries “Oh girl you must be mad what happened to the sweet love you an me had? Against the door he leans starts a scene and tears fall an burn his sugar dream.” Yea, it’s me your old pal sugar and I’m having an existential crisis. I’m not gonna sugar coat this I just don‘t even know who I am anymore. Remember me sweetie? I was always there for you when you were a kid, always! First in cubes wrapped in paper, then in bowls at the table, I was dancing in your candy, frozen in your ice pops, swimming in soda, and even the subject of one of your favorite movie songs. You remember Mary Poppins singing about how a spoonful of me helped the medicine go down. But now many of you scorn me, blame me for so much of the bad stuff in the world. Don’t hate me just because I’m refined, I can’t help being well educated. Seems you love culture in yogurt but oh my god don‘t let sugar get refined. It isn’t fair, it makes my crystals burn with anger contemplating what’s happening to my once sweet life.
People say I ruin dental plates and rot teeth, I increase peoples body fat, I cause hyper-activity in children, I cause acne in tens, I‘m bad for your liver and I cause diabetes. Now some even suggest I‘m responsible for cancer. Four out of five doctors hate me but I’m not mean spirited or evil, just ask the fifth doctor. When did I become such a bad influence? Why do they categorize me so unfairly, after all, I’m just a carbohydrate, a simple sugar. You can find me naturally in milk and fruits. You may know and love me by some of my other names, fructose, glucose, or maltose. When people use those names they aren’t so quick in judging me. It’s when they use the full force of their contempt staring at me disapprovingly and calling me “Refined Sugar” with an unabridged distain that hurts. It make my blood caramelize and goes directly into my dextrose filled heart . Who am I, what am I, why am I here? I think I need to do some repressed memory exercises to search out my roots and maybe figure out where our love story went wrong.
You may not realize this but I’m older than Jesus Christ himself. That’s right, I came on the scene around 8,000BC in Asia. Yea I was a mere infant back then and was extracted through chewing the cane I was born in. Some brilliant dude in India figured out how to crystallize me around 350AD. They shared the method with some Buddhist monks and before I knew it I was a staple in desserts everywhere. Believe me, its no coincidence that stressed spelled backwards is desserts and I was the main reason! Anyway, the Romans and Greeks used me in medicine (another non-coincidence, lol) but the Arabs actually built housing for me they called mills. Now I was a substance of great importance. An import of great importance and exportance. Cultures went crazy for me, the British colonists even referred to me as white gold. I was a huge profit maker and unfortunately a main reason for slavery in the Caribbean. I don’t like to talk about that aspect, that was the dark period of my life. Not brown sugar, that’s jut me teamed up with molasses. So you see, I’m really not a bad guy and I just don’t understand all the negative energy around me.
My troubles began back in 1957 when some “refined” doctor classified me as poison and accused me of being nothing but “empty calories” shortly after I achieved refined status. “Oh he doesn’t really have any vitamins or minerals like the natural stuff.” Get over yourself Doc, I bring the sweet baby, I make people feel good about themselves, make them happy. I put smiles on children faces. Is THAT empty?
Anyway, that’s why I have been questioning life and why I’m here. What I need is some support, an empathetic ear and comforting words from my friends to let me know I’m still loved. That’s why The Existential Baker asked you all here today to this sugar intervention. He put aside his own profound queries on life which rive him mad just for today to help me get my sugar Zen back on track and into dessert and other culinary preparations. Place your wrath back on GMO’s where it belongs, not on an old sweet friend. When you open your cupboards later today thank that 5 pound bag of sugar for always being there for you, tell the cute little sugar bowl how great it tastes and put some in your coffee or tea. I know many of you use artificial sweeteners and that’s okay so long as you don’t forget about me. Go ahead and use me, use me as much as you want I don’t mind. Just don’t overuse me, I do sometimes have a tendency to wear out my welcome as well as a few teeth when I’m used too much…….Peace

This Is Your Life Spinach (Potsink Diaries)

ult2

Here’s to you spinach you vibrant green member of the vegetable kingdom, winner of the peoples choice award for your leading role in Iron Man the Diet, voted outstanding roughage of the year from 2009-2013, four years in a row. A staple in the Gerber Baby line of vitamin rich pabulum sides, forever etched in our culture as the thing to eat for instant strength. I know many of us treated you badly in our early years sticking you in our pockets to avoid eating you when Mom attempted to force feed you to us. In the end though Mom was right because you really are “Good for us.” We’ve grown up and have learned to appreciate you not only as a side but as the base of spinach salads, the central ingredient in restaurant appetizer dips, and the heart of spinach casseroles. We’ve even forgiven you for that time you got stuck in our teeth embarrassing the hell out of us. We’ve come to love you so this tale is dedicated to you, Spinicia Oleracea, you green edible flowering plant we love to consume.

This Is Your Life Spinach

The worst thing about being a line cook on a slow night in a restaurant is the tedious chores a skillful chef can come up with. Whether its peeling a hundred pounds of shrimp we don‘t need today or the hundred and fifty pounds of potatoes the day shift now won’t have to peel tomorrow the chores always suck. Don’t believe me? Try rolling two thousand meatballs then laying them on out sheet trays. Yea the extra chores suck and everyone has one downtime task in particular they hate so much they would be willing to pay someone else to o for them. At the very least make an attempt to barter a fair trade for something less mundane. Being assigned many thankless “preps” I developed a trick that worked for me using my ability to zone out into a meditative daydream state to amuse myself while performing. I create stories or events built around the object of my benign task. One night for example, the chef came out from the walk in with two bushels of fresh spinach on a cart.
“Ah….JT… Ere ees some spinach needs to cleaning, get on top of it.” Spinach? I hate cleaning spinach! Most people buy spinach in those easy to use cello bags already picked through and washed but a bushel of fresh spinach in a restaurant comes complete with lumps of dirt, roots, and stems requiring tedious meticulous attention to get clean. Spinach is my personal bane, the one task I really hate because it seems the bushel is an abyss. I‘d rather do the shrimp or even the potatoes but what else can you do? “yes chef”
The first of two bushels was placed on the table so I jumped in and began picking while mentally preparing myself for my zone. Highly skilled at meditation I spent two minutes getting my breathing right and clearing my mind to make room for some internal entertainment. I picked the first few leaves placing them in a large bucket working up to a rhythm so I can go on autopilot:

The crowd is cheering building to a crescendo as Ralph Edwards walks on stage. A hush over the people as he begins, “ Born in what was then Persia, you moved to the Mediterranean around the age of 8. Knighted by Catherine De Medici you worked your way into our hearts and palates around the world. Green and leafy you come packed with iron and vitamins. Maybe kids don’t find you appealing but the health conscious world adores you and your attributes. In particular the vegan crowds hail you as the perfect vegetable. Stand up and take your place on the vegetable pedestal because tonight, Spinach……This Is Your Life.” The crowd roars it approval as spinach takes it place on the large Barcalounger chair smiling from root to root.
“Do you remember this voice Spinach? A raspy voice from backstage, “Hey pal how the Hell are you? Long time my leafy green buddy. Remember the old days in the supermarkets when no one picked me unless they thought I was you?” A short pause before the recognition, “Oh my God, Kale, how are you? I hear you’ve become quite popular yourself, I can’t believe you came here tonight.” Spinach and kale reunite on stage and share a few stories from the old days… “Wait spinach, there’s more. Does this ring a bell? “I bet people will buy more spinach if I can find a way to freeze it.” Spinach jumps up knocking kale to the floor, “Clarence? Clarence Birdseye? Holy shit Clarence you came from the deep freeze to honor me? I am verklempt. My sales increased tenfold since I met you.” The crowd is giving Clarence a standing O, Clarence embraces spinach lovingly. “We’ll be right back.”

“Ordering, one chicken, two veal and a shrimp!” The familiar sound of the chef ordering, we have some customers so I am free from the drudgery of spinach picking for the time being and back on the line cooking. Karen the cute waitress nudges me, “Back from outer space JT?” I shoot her my trademark mysterious stoner smile, “Theres room in outer space for two. Should I reserve you a spot?” As usual my chef is unimpressed, “JT get your ass back on the line. Stop too talk right now.” Chefs English was always good for a laugh so knowing he meant stop talking I went up to him and said, “That’s what I’m doing chef, I’m stopping to talk.” Karen giggled while I high tailed it to my station sensing the confusion in my chef as he’s trying to figure out what I meant. Anyway fun time over for now, time to get back to do what I do best, cook. Unfortunately the rain has put a damper on the evenings diners and the service is short lived. Thirty minutes later my chef sentences me back to picking spinach. Back to my zone:

Ralph returns center stage, “Tonight we honor Spinach who comes in three basic forms, Savoy, dark green curly leaf variety, semi Savoy, the hybrid which is slightly less crinkly and far more popular, and the flat which is the one being cleaned here tonight. You have added nutrition to so many dishes around the world, adding vitamins and iron as well as flavor, but none as popular as the dish created by this blast from your past. Recognize the accent? “If y’all really wanna know love its when I add epinards to something I done made fer John D. Rockefeller. When he done come downa mah place in Nawlins he be looking fer some special way to eats them there sex making bivalves so popular here in The Big Easy. Eye-sters. Mmm mmm, he show dew love him some eyesters that Rockefeller!” Spinach sat up in its chair, “Antoine? Oh my god chef Antoine! Wow, Man you lifted me to culinary royalty when you created Oysters Rockefeller, how can I ever thank you?” The crowd watches as Spinach tears up an hugs the hefty Cajun chef.
“Wait spinach, we aren’t done yet we have one last person here to say hi.” The crowd gets tense waiting for this last visitor as a voice booms across the room, “Well blow me down, ack, ack, ack. Well that’s all I kin stand and I cant stands no more.” The crowd goes wild as Popeye walks from behind the curtain to a thunderous applauses. Spinach lets the tears flow this time overjoyed to see the one person who has done more for it than anyone else ever. Together they break into song, “I’m strong to the finish cuz I eats my spinach, I’m Popeye The Sailor Man.” Olive Oyl, Wimpy, and Brutus join the duo as the screams of elation erupt. It’s a Popeye The Sailor/Spinach reunion for the ages!

As the celebration continues the very popular sailor pulls something out of his pocket replacing his pipe with a rolled cigarette. “Ahoy there Spinach, I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. Would you like a hit of this jay?” Simultaneously Olive Oyl walks over with a serving tray with cup saucer and teapot. “Ohh my, would you like some tea?” Popeye insists, No have a jay” Olive counters again, “Tea!” it’s a battle now of who can be loudest. “Jay!” “Tea!”, “jay!” “tea!” Finally it dawns on me its neither Popeye nor Olive, neither a jay nor a cup of tea. Its the chef is yelling “JT! What is wrong with you, I said you have an order!” Bam! Snapped back to reality! “Sorry chef, I just spaced out a second, I’m on it.” I ran behind the line back to my station to cook my orders, “Space out? What iz these a-space out? I was calling you for five minutes, lets go!”
Everything was back to abnormal, the chef yelling, the wait staff scrambling, the cooks sweating it out as the dishwasher puts away the cleaned spinach. The pressure is on but it actually feels good because us crazed restaurant people thrive on pressure. I can’t help though to take one last look at my bucket of cleaned spinach smiling while thinking it wasn’t all that bad a task after all. While my five sauté pans sizzled out a rhythmic beat I thanked spinach for all it done. Thanks spinach, even I am green with envy…Peace

Transcendental Medication (Exploring philosophy through drug enhanced acupuncture)

enlightenment

TM VII

Previously on Transcendental Medication (Exploring philosophy through drug enhanced acupuncture)

A bright flash followed by an excruciating loud crack bristled across the lake. As I turned toward the sound and flash standing on the water was the shape of a human but it was aflame like a flickering candle wick

“I am here to talk to you about free will. You’ve already seen God, later we will help you to remember her.”

If You Choose To Snooze You Lose

The man stared as though I should fear him but having Ambrosina taken from me I was filled with rage, “Free will? Pardon my ignorance here but what the fuck does free will have to do with anything? Kha dangles Ambrosina in front of me like sexual carrot then pulls her away leaving me empty. He tells me he will explain the reason there is something instead of nothing, and how I’m gonna meet God. So far I haven’t learned shit except that I know what love is and that medicated acupuncture makes everything weird. And you come here babbling some shit about free will and how I’ve already met God and he‘s a, he’ a fucking SHE? This is pure bullshit man, bull shit!” I knew my rage was showing but I didn’t care. The strange figure looked concerned, “ Okay JT, I see you’re angry, let me start over. My name is Shea. I’ve been sent here by Kha to help enlighten you. I didn’t want to do it like this but I see now I must. Ambrosina has taught you more than you know and you’ll have one last meeting with her. You’ve learned so much more than you believe JT perhaps you just haven’t processed it all yet, but there is more to learn before your journey ends. You need to learn about free will and multiple dimensions and universes before you can have a full quantum understanding. Believe me it will all be very clear to you by the end of your journey. But you are impatient my friend and I understand that so I will introduce you to God again but you must not talk, only observe. Once you have acquired quantum completion we will return and you may converse with God. Come, lets have a smoke.” He walked past me and sat down where I had just recently made love to Ambrosina. I followed quietly my anger subsiding slightly. We sat across from each other as Shea lit a long pipe and inhaled. He passed it to me but I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I had been previous times. I inhaled the smoke which was sort of licorice flavor, “So Mr. Shea, what is this we’re smoking?” he accepted the pipe back an inhaled, “This is dried anise jimson, a rare herb. Take a long puff, hold it in and close your eyes JT, this is what you must do if you want to see God. Remember, not one word, only observe. A disruption can cause a tear in the time stream and we sure don’t want that! We’ll go back once you’re enlightened.” He blew the smoke out at my face in rings of blue and green, handing me back the pipe. I did as instructed, took a long hard pull on the pipe filling my lungs. I closed my eyes and held my breath.
I waited as long as I could then tried to make smoke rings like Shea. No smoke came out . I opened my eyes to a huge balloon like cloud, a kind of fuzzy out of focus cartoon balloon. A figure began coming into focus, an overbearing mean looking guy with greasy black hair and a gangly long beard. He looked strangely familiar though his image was still grainy. He was sitting on a bright red throne as he bellowed loudly, “Those shit Romans will pay dearly for this.” People scurried around and a soft voice slipped out from somewhere, a woman’s voice, “It’s okay Vasudeva, that’s exactly what we want, they‘re playing right into my hands. Everyone will believe this Yahweh they worship to be God so I can continue my work undetected. Have them scribe a codex and call it The Bible. My God swindle will be complete and we will rule from the shadows.” The haggard bearded man looked out of place sitting on a luxurious throne appearing more like a homeless man than an assistant for the voice of the woman. His voice was much calmer, “Of course your right my love. The pomposity of those humans anger me but in the end you are correct, that is what shall take them down. As always Matrona Ruga, I shall follow your instruction.” I blinked and the image was gone. I looked to Shea, “Did you see that or was it just for me?” Shea exhaled more smoke rings toward my face, “JT, that was the husband and God herself.” What? I never saw that dude in my life! “You’re telling me that Aqualung look alike is what? Mr. God? And that voice was Mrs. God, a woman I met before? You’re as fucked up as Kha is.” Shea chuckled, “Aqualung, that’s funny JT, never heard him called that before. Reality is not always clear my boy, that’s why it was important to develop quantum eyes. You must be patient, I told you that you had met God before and you have, you just don’t remember. That will come in time. What you witnessed was not from your timeline, it was from mine, a turning point in forgotten history when the Romans convinced people God was a man named Yahweh, or Jehovah.” My thoughts were spinning. “I see you are skeptical that God is really a woman. Think about it JT, what is the one thing we all have in common, aside from seahorses that’s is?” I now knew what he meant, “Okay, I see where you’re going with this, we all came from inside our mothers, no matter what animal, all of us from females. But fucking A Shea, that doesn’t mean God is a woman.” Shea smiled condescendingly, “That’s where you’re wrong JT, if we read any of the ancient scrolls they all agree that we are all the children of God yes? And who has the children? Hard though it may be to admit as a man its not a mans role that matters my son, its always the woman who nourishes, who gives birth. So who better to give birth to all of life than a mother? A slight of mind a very long time ago led humanity to believe it was a man who create all things, but a great leader lead form behind, not arrogantly in front and that’s exactly what Matrona Ruga did. Perhaps it would be less confusing if we call her The Creator instead of God. She didn‘t create only humans JT, in fact she created many life forms in all the different universes” I puffed on the pipe without even noticing, “That would be fine Shea, if I even believed. Wait… What? All the different universes? Shit Shea I’m not ready for that yet, lets just stick to this world where I don’t believe in God to begin with. Even if I did, every religion in the world believes god is a man.” Shea shook his head, “Yes JT that’s wise, you will learn of other universe when ready so let me stay in this one for now. Its true that most religions believe god to be a male, but there are many religions which assign no gender whatsoever. The truth is she prefers to be thought of as a male and that is part of her plan, to kind of masquerade as what men consider the weaker sex. It gives us all a false sense of just how powerful she really is.” Remember, when you view with quantum eyes you see reality. Do you think you can chose your reality or is your reality chosen for you?”
At first I hadn’t realize how cleverly he switched the conversation to free will but it wouldn’t have mattered because I was intrigued. I accepted it as a challenge, “Well I’ll tell you what, as long as I’m high from this anise weed and whatever Kha put on those needles I have no choice because I am not in control. There is no choice for me because I’m stuck here instead of where I choose to be.” Shea passed me the pipe and despite it’s effect, or maybe because of it’s effect I accepted as he spoke. “Where do you choose to be JT? With Ambrosina? Do you think that she is all that exists?” He looked at me slyly, I felt like we were playing mind chess so I planned my response two moves ahead. “No, but with her is where I choose to be this moment, we weren’t finished. Uniting with Ambrosina was like uniting with the wind itself.” I glanced at Shea, “Remember JT, the wind blows soft fog in the dark and it is that dark fog that rises when the sun shines down.” He’s fucking with me right? Okay, I’ll play, “Yes but the fog pleases the soil and allows the grass to reach up to its full potential.” Shea smiled wide, shook his head lightly, “ The fog may please the soil my son, but the rain will fall on your shoulders and that will displease your back.” I stared at him for three seconds before we both broke out laughing. Was it the smoke or did the clever Shea get me loosened up? I didn’t care, he came to tell me about free will so let him talk.
“I’m sorry to say my son that all that seems real may not be. Before you go back to Ambrosina hear me out for a short while, I promise you it will do you no harm. For years philosophers and scientists have grappled over whether or not we as humans enjoy choice, or free will. More often its an argument of semantics because of our perception of what free will means. You can choose Pepsi over Coke, but you can’t choose to whom or where you are born. Many life forms can exhibit apparent free will, a squirrel when chased by a fox chooses whether to flee and which way to flee. Is its fate pre-determined no matter which choice? If a tree senses the soil drying up it can’t very well pack up and leave yet an animal can. Does that mean animals have free will but vegetation does not? So free will you see can be fitted to the definition which fits your need. I want to talk to you on a more idealistic level.” I was starting to lose him a little, “You mean like is there Karma or something? Cause believe me I know of many people who Karma seems to overlook!” Shea paused to smoke from the pipe before sharing, “Ah yes, Karma. So many of you these days believe karma to be your personal avenger, but that is far from what Karma is. Karma is like the gravity of spirit, originally a religious concept of the Brahmans. It was the hand of their god that issued the punishments of poor behavior and often would not occur until future reincarnations, so if you truly believe in Karma those people you speak of may indeed face the consequence of their actions in another life. They in fact had no choice in who or when the sentence of repentance would be given. Tell me JT, what is freedom to you?” I took a long slow hit from the pipe and filled my lungs, this is one deep mother of a question.
As I let out the smoke it formed rings, first red smoke, then blue and orange. I heard a slight buzzing in my head actually sensing movement inside. My head began vibrating imperceptible to the eye but I felt it, as if my brain was shaking. The last smoke ring left my mouth in a rainbow of colors forcing my mouth into a huge grin. I felt great! “Freedom? Let me see Shea, freedom I think is the ability to make my own choices without interference. It’s not having anyone tell me what I must do, telling me who or what to be, how to act. I am free to think whatever I want. If I think you’re and asshole that’s my option. If I chose to believe you have something to tell me that’s important I’m free to listen. I’m also free to tune you out. Freedom is the power to make my own decisions. That’s what I want Shea, to be free, to do as I please when I please and with whom I please. That sound good to you?”
“I’m afraid you cannot be free in that way, you are bound by the decisions your brain makes for you, you do not control all of your choices.” I thought for a second, “Maybe so, but its my brain so I’m in control.” Shea smiled and stood up walking a few step away. He turned to me and without warning tossed a small red ball at me which I caught. “Why did you catch the ball JT? Did you think look, here comes a ball, I must raise my arm and place my hand where I believe the ball is going to be then clamp my hand on it when it arrives or did you simply catch it without thinking?” I shook my head, I got it, “okay, so my brain can act on its own sometimes but when I have time I think things through to make a choice.” Shea was smiling, the pompous ass, “Are you sure JT? Maybe you make the decision or maybe your brain has already chosen for you. So here is my question, are you programmed to follow a predetermined life or are you really making choices?” He’s good. “There’s no way to be certain.”
“Yes JT, that exactly right. Even with quantum eyes there lies uncertainty. The path you are on is a path of discovery, but is it you who chose to go down the path or was it chosen for you? The truth is you cannot chose, because you have already gone down the path, you have already been enlightened, and you have already moved on.” I was certain he was talking shit, “Shea, what the fuck are you saying, that I’m already dead?” Shea exhaled slowly, “Not in those terms JT, but you still look at time as beginning to end, a line from point A to point B, but time exists differently. Everything that has happened in what you call time has happened and is over, you are merely experiencing your role in it in your own concept of time. Your life has been lived completely but you haven’t caught up yet. People experience their own times in their own lives, believing it to unfold every second, but its a force that never stops. You can understand history because you can read about it, but someone has read the history of your lifetime, and the lifetimes ahead of yours. You have no choice because time has already come and gone for you, you are watching it in what you perceive as real time, almost as a play with you in the lead role in. In this sense JT, your life is pre determined, or actually, post determined”
I got up an walked away toward the wooded area of my paradise island, “I’ve gotta go chill and process this shit Shea, I need to be alone for a bit.” Shea merely smiled a grandfatherly smile, “Of course JT, take your time, I’ll be here when you need me.”
I walked and tried to clear my mind so I could process what Shea had told me. Is this Island my manifestation? I mean its all that I would love, my perfect escape. Utopia! I love being around nature, especially water, and this is just jam packed with beauty. I walked a path between huge green bushes with little red berries, butterflies and birds scattered across the plants and tree’s. I came upon an opening that actually made me stop breathing a second. “Whoa, check this out.” It was a large circular clearing with the most beautiful plants and flowers I ‘d ever seen. The colors, bright red, blue, yellows, pink, orange, purple all surrounded by ornate green leaves and shrubs. Flowers of every shape, funnels, trumpets, bells, tubes, tongues, some in clusters, some in bunches, and some just out on their own letting all their beauty hang out. It was amazing, colorful butterflies and birds singing and dancing among the flora, little animals bouncing about, like I was living in a botanical wonderland. Again I spoke out loud to no one, “This must have been what the Garden Of Eden would look like if there was one.” A familiar voice rose out over natures chatter, a voice I wanted to keep in my heart forever. “In a way it is JT, its our Garden Of Eden. Isn’t it breathtaking? Come over here and let me hold you.” A tear trickled down my cheek, a tear of pure joy. Ambrosina was here! I turned to absorb her soul swearing I would not let this be our last time. I don’t care what Kha, Shea, or anyone says, Ambrosina is not leaving me this time. There she stood, arms stretched out waiting for me.
TBC

I Think There’s A Rat In This Bitchin’ Kitchen

rat

Pot Sink Diaries
I stood proudly over my pot sink ready to clean anything and everything the chef could throw at me. Literally throw. My gastronomic voyage had officially begun and I dove in to the trip with a work ethic beyond reproach. I scrubbed and cleaned pots and pans until my fingers acquired the same status Mother Nature naturally assigns to prunes and raisins. I happily scrubbed and mopped the floors, scoured the ovens, and enthusiastically awaited orders from ….well just about everyone else in the restaurant. No worries I was willing to perform any thankless task sent my way. This night I learned about one of the mysterious qualities found in any great chef. A great Chef has the keen acumen of understanding the dynamics of the driving desire of a young pot washer’s eagerness to please. Jimmy picked up on this rather quickly informing me of a special “time” in restaurants, a time when things were “quiet.” He called it “downtime”. Downtime sounded harmless when I first heard it escape from Jimmy’s lips, and I thought it might be cool. JT my boy” came the words from my illustrious leader, “Ees a little slow tonight. Looksa like a we have some downtime.”
Well I could barely contain myself. An opportunity had arisen for me to show everyone how gracefully I would be able to handle this newfound downtime. It never occurred to me that the word itself could enlighten me as to what may be in store. The Chef planned to put me “down” and keep me “down”, by assigning me an assortment of unmemorable chores that will get me down in the dumps. As for the “time” portion of my endeavor, it actually meant time consuming. Flagrantly left out of the phrase was tedious. It should be called tedious downtime. This inspirational portion of the evening I get to perform seemingly insignificant time consuming tasks. There are various levels of joy associated with downtime tasks. It could range from the somewhat mindless variety peeling 50 – 100 pounds of potatoes, to the absolute joy depleting role of shrimp peeler. Peeling shrimp is somewhat misleading as well, because chef hands you a ginourous pan of shrimp which you are require to clean. Remove the outer shell, put a lice sown the back of the tine morsel of future deliciousness and remove the incredibly objectionable digestive track that looks like small black sludge. Then rinse it and ass it to the other couple hundred shrimps. How many shrimp can people eat anyway. Don’t they know you are what you eat? Inclusive of all these food related tasks, are a mysterious set of non food thankless jobs given the official name of maintenance. I say mysterious, because I could never figure out how washing the Chef’s car in any way contributed to the dining experience. But wash it I did, along with every piece of kitchen equipment, and every floor within a 5 mile radius. On this particular evening, I was mopping the downstairs. A serene and peaceful place where all foods and food products reside to meditate. They remain at the Storage Inn, a kind of bread and breakfast for the grocery set, until they are summoned upstairs to become part of something monumental. In a back room, seldom used, was where I was sent. Upon arrival, my keen observation noted two non-moving members of the family rodentia lying on the floor. Damn they looked gross. Summoning all my energy to keep my dinner where it belonged, I walked into the next room and informed Edwin, the Chefs nephew or “senior potwasher” whose true job and intellect were yet to be determined. He was however, my supervisor and assisting me. His having been here so long gave him a queer aura of authority. “Hey Edwin man, there are two dead rats in the extra room.” Edwin’s English was worse even than Jimmies, and he just repeated what what what and stared at me puzzled. So of course I motioned with my hands as I said very slowly, for some reason believing that would help him understand, “Next ..room….dead ..rats, two of them!” This is too fucking tedious, and I needed a cigarette so I lit up and walked into another room to chill. Seconds later I heard a blood curdling scream followed by a pounding of wood to wood. I ran to Edwin fearing the worst and there he was still screaming and beating those two already dead rats as if they were zombies. Hard as I tried, the sight of Edwin clutching a broom and beating the shit out of two dead rats took over every rational bone in my body and I broke out in a laugh so fricken hard if Jimmy and Didier had seen me upstairs they would have felt like rank amateurs. Tears forced their way across my cheeks like rivulets of saline. I had to hold my stomach and fall to the floor in an epileptic fit of uncontrollable laughter. To date this may have been the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life and I wasn‘t even high. This is restaurant life. Now my mood was great. Hope it lasts.
Just when I thought Ed couldn’t make me laugh any harder he moved into action. At first I was repulsed and grossed out to the max. With his bare fucking hands he grabbed one dead rat in each, looked at me with a dopey smile that had me wondering if he smoked my hash as he said, “Come witta me JT. We godda bigga sue-prize forra da cheff.” With the rats dangling at his sides he climbed up the stairs like happy from the seven dwarfs. When he reached the top he made room for me to stand next to him and he held these two dead god damn rodents as high as his arm would allow and yelled loud enough so the entire kitchen could hear. “Hey Cheff…..Lookit a what we gotta for you soup!” As the chef and company began laughing wildly I looked on in horror. “Jesus shit Ed, you can’t bring thee disease ridden mother fuckers in a kitchen!” Mortified I looked around and everyone was laughing except Laura. Oh Jesus I thought, she’s the only other one grossed out besides me. Jimmy yelled back, “getta Jense inna here, we gotta special entrée tonight.” The laughter continued and Edwin took the rats back downstairs’ and no sooner did he get to the bottom when he tripped and fell letting the rats fly in the wind. I ran down to see if he was okay and he was frozen on the ground looking up in horror. Across the room was our illustrious asshole manager with a face so red I thought the beets were embarrassed. Over one shoulder a dead rat, the other at his feet. His eyes were exploding volcanoes and if had found the dignity to speak it would have flowed a molten lava of pissed off. I had to leave because my head was about to pop from not laughing at the sight and air was forcing its way through my nostrils. I knew if I let my tears of joy flow I would have lost my job, and I was thinking Edwin may already have lost his. I will never forget the look on Didier’s dead rat slapped face.
Damn that was a rough night I thought as I stopped at the corner of my block that had once served as my bus top. I reached to the bottom of my front pocket and pulled out the tiny piece of aluminum foil Ken had left me, then pulled my trusty hash pipe from my other pocket and unraveled the leftover piece of black hash. “One or two more hits before heading home.” As I lit the hash I thought about how funny it was that I was talking to no one, yet it felt like it needed to be said. I held the smoke from this sweet relief in my lungs and smiled at my ritualistic behavior. As I exhaled I let out a chuckle, remembering the dead rat and Ernie beating the shit out of it with that broom. Can’t wait to tell Ken all about it tomorrow. “But for now, one last hit before going inside.”
Feeling like my legs were on their own path and my brain in a downward dog trance I glanced up and saw the lights still on. Fuck, I thought, the old boy is still awake. Man I was hoping to go to my room, put on my headphones and dig on “Aqualung” the new Jethro Tull album I just bought. I took an extra two minutes to get my head together, a few squirts of Visine to “get the red out”, and repeated my little mantra chant that helped me appear not stoned. “Om Mani Pardre not too high, Om not too high” My good mood would not last long.