ETHEREAL..EPHEMERAL

 

ETHEREAL.. EPHEMERAL

 

It is the year 2055, and the aged form of the Reverend Hellfire is seen sitting on a bench in the Julian Assange Memorial Monorail Terminal, twitching and jerking with the miswired energy of 97 years of chronic Self-Abuse.

Next to him, a Modern Youth, dressed in the very Height of Fashion, is slumped in a semi-comatose state. His head rolls heavily from time to time as he mutters unintelligibly.

“ETHEREAL.. EPHEMERAL..” the youth murmurs softly, drifting through the mists of his mind.

“What’s that you say, son?” the Old Reverend bellows jovially, “EPHEMERAAL? EPHEMEROLL? Why, yes, that’s that new drug on the Market, aint it? Its effects are said to be elusive, transitory, virtually intangible in fact, yet once touched by them, they cling to you with the firm persistence of a spiderweb..of course it wears off after awhile, leaving the user with no clear recollection of what it actually felt like.

That’s the hook of course..the kids keep going back to it trying to nail down exactly why they took it in the first place..dog chasing its own tail, son, dog chasing its own tail. So, what do you kids pay for a taste these days?”

“Fifty bucks will get you into a heavy reverie,” said the Youth, attaining consciousness briefly, “but I think it’s been cut”

“What with son?” the Rev asked compassionately.

“I’m sure there’s a touch of Reality there somewhere,” the Youth whined.

“That’s usually the way of it son,” the aged Reverend explained kindly, sharing the dubious wisdom of the years, “You take care now. That Stuff can linger for years and it’s a real bummer.. you get “the bills”, corners and hard edges bruise your limbs, doubt creeps in, the light hurts your eyes..

Stay away from that Designer Shit kid, it’ll kill you quick.

But if you really must get HIGH then Etherium is the kick for you Charlie..imagine getting fainter and fainter and further away..Higher and Higher, they say you can hear the Angels sing or the Heavenly Music of the Spheres, looking down from those great heights as the doorbell rings and rings and rings..”

 

“But nothing exceeds like excess I always say, so if you want the full Synergistic Potential of the Multiple-Drug-High to be tapped, then there’s nothing like Spherecaine to round things off..and its still only $25 for a two-way ticket..there and back again, you understand, you gotta do the Full Trip, son, no-one ever gets off half way..

But never take Spherecaine by itself, son, it produces that terrible hollow feeling, the old Existential Void in the centre of Ones’ Being..a void that can only be filled by dense-packing the human vessel with a strategically selected array of alkaloids!”

“AAAllkilloiddsssss..” slurred the youth, mindlessly.

“What’s that? The Alcho-Droids you say? Now that takes me right back.. I remember the Alcho-Droids..Alcoholic Androids created by the Alcohol Industry in the Thirties to boost sagging sales, when folks realised it was cheaper and quicker to have a surgical operation to remove the Cerebral Cortex than spend 25 years drinking Alcohol to achieve the same effect.

That’s the Korsakoff Syndrome, son..permanent, alcohol induced organic brain damage to you..there aint nothing like it.. recollect when I was a Psychiatric Nurse way back when..you know who the happiest folks in the world are , son? Folks with Korsakoffs Psychosis, that’s who.

All sense of identity is removed, along with the memories, starting with the most recent. The Old memories go last so that at the end your left singing nursery rhymes and gurgling “Dada” as they spoon oatmeal mush into your toothless mouth.

But they is always smiling, son, and there was Wards and Wards full of them.. not like it is today with the Psychiatric Terminals overflowing with the victims of De-Ragent and Anti-Disgustoid abuse..”

 

“Allkillooiidddsszz..”the Youth repeated, for no apparent reason.

“No, son, they’re all gone now,” the Reverend explained patiently, ” They turned out to be a Blight on the Industry. You see, whereas with Humans violent mood swings are a classical indicator of alcoholism, the Alcho-Droids, not having the same emotional range or capacity, are not afflicted by mood swings..no, they just Swing, and I do mean Swing! Yes indeed, I’ll say this for them, they sure knew how to party.

But of course they not being prey to Regret, Remorse and other important symptoms of the Day-After Effect, they soon started unravelling Societies Delicate Fabric..undermining the Family, etc, Corner-stone of Civilisation doncha know. Yes, it was fun for awhile but they had no sense of Shame, a trait which decent folks deeply resented and envied, so they was all rounded up and exiled to some godforsaken island somewhere.

They’re probably still there for all I know, on their island in the Sun.. sipping Rum & Coca-Cola!!” The Reverend trails off, humming an archaic melody.

“But you distracted me, son, you distracted me. I was going to tell you about Anxiety & Depression. Now back in the Eighties this was a popular complaint..got a pension for it myself you know, not to mention a lifetime prescription of Tranquillizers and Anti-depressants..never took any them of course.. just used to feed them to the ducks in the park. Gosh, I used to love the way they glided about so serenely on the water. Of course the effect was ruined somewhat when they started floating upside-down, but you could always take them home and eat them.

Anyways, by the Nineties the Quacks (that’s the psychiatrists I’m talking about, son, not the ducks) realized they were getting more and more cases of people who had Rage & Disgust rather than wimping out with A & D, so they cooked up two new classes of drug to cope with the Situation. (This was when MOODS INCORPORATED took over the whole Drug Industry under a special Charter from the New World Orders’ “Social Stability Division”).

First out of the Labs was the De-Ragents. Now whereas many of the other popular drugs of the time, like Angel Dust say, acted by suppressing the brain’s Higher functions, leaving theprimitive Reptile Brain running the show, the De-Ragents instead suppressed all the basic reptile drives like rage, fear, hate, etc., that are all so much a part of daily life. Needless to say folks started abusing it. BLAND they called it on the streets and soon all the kids were “Blanding out”.

With chronic abuse permanent melancholia would set in and if they didn’t get their Bland nice and steady then the old Reptile Brain would start thrashing around making up for lost time.

That’s why most of the Bland-heads ended up in the Locked Wards, or, as they were called in popular parlance, the “Reptile House”.

 

Didn’t have much luck with the Anti-Disgustants either.

Designed as a sort of psychological anti-emetic for Spiritual nausea, the drug proved to be too successful. Folks on it would swallow anything, buy everything they saw advertised, believe any crap you told them and soon there were hordes of…

But, say son ! I said SAY!

You’re not listening to me!..son??…”

The Reverend scratched his beard thoughtfully. The youth had slumped onto the ground and lay on his side, completely motionless. His lips no longer twitched with unspoken words.

“Well, son,” said the ancient poet, as he slowly got to his feet,” I’ll see you around, perhaps..time to go home and smoke a little of my “herbal remedy, heh heh..Take it from me son, the “old ways” are still the best, no matter what Moods Inc says.”

The old Reverend shuffled off into the night. “Kids today got no stamina,” he thought disparagingly, as behind him a gigantic automated Street Cleaner, yellow lights flashing, rolled inexorably towards the prostrate figure lying on the ground.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe.

He’s a pleasant man if you don’t stuff him around.

***

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~ by reverendhellfire on September 23, 2012.

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