April 2000

The Pitfalls Of Being Marty

    I used to dream about being here. Watching all these faces looking down at me, their eyes filled with an uncertain terror that is as perplexing to me as the frantic actions of the paramedics that are currently attempting to cork my chest. I wasn't supposed to make it this far anyway, so why the long the face? There were never paramedics in the dream though. Just those faces up there. You'd think, tangled up in the myriad of details, my subconscious would have remembered to add paramedics. Even if for just some realistic bent. Damn, look at 'em go. I do believe they actually think they've got a fighting chance of plugging me up. Relax guys. I don't make it to the hospital in the dream. It ends right here on the floor.

    All I remember is the flashes. Two of them, right on top of one another, no reports. And then I doubled back like I'd been hit in the chest with a hammer. Like I was lying on the floor and someone was trying to hit me so hard that my eyes would shoot straight up and ring some carnival bell. All out of stuffed animals, you're girlfriend's going to have to settle with a piece of my rib cage and a whole lot of black cherry surprise. Everything silent and surreal, the actions of those around me have played out in an almost comical slow motion while I do my best not to frantically giggle at them like some gin induced high school girl. I don't know why I find it so funny, but I do. Lying here, I've been futilely telling myself that I've just been winded and will be alright in a minute. I'll get up and everything will be okay. That, in itself, is humorous enough. Lying in an expanding pool of blood, I find it rather ironic that I got it in the lungs. After battling sarcoidosis and pumping my body full of antibiotics in an effort to keep me well enough to perform, it's my lungs that have truly been assassinated. And because of that I feel cheated in a way. You see, in the dream I always got it in the head and there wasn't any of this inner monologue bullshit to wade through. So if I've got to wade through it, then you're going to have to put up with my bullshit a little while longer. Tomorrow's another day kids. One in which I'll not be around to remind you that it's nothing more than our irreversible perpetuation of eating shit and being programmed to ask for salt.

    I remember a time not so long ago when my dreaming subconscious used to dwell on images of some quiet paradise lost to the wandering majority and the perfect features of a girl's face that I'd never met. I used to wonder what her hair smelled like. For some reason that was the one thing about it that always bothered me. I never knew. I'm not quite sure whether all of this means that I'll never know or that I'm about to find out. Maybe that's heaven, I dunno. One thing I do know is that it would be nice if these paramedic guys would stop bringing me around. I like it in here when it's all quiet and full of wind sounds. For some strange reason I can't stop thinking about Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. I have no idea why. Who would have ever guessed that, in my final moments, I'd be consumed by thoughts of milk chocolate rivers and doors made of marzipan. Now I ask you: is that, or is that not, just typical of me? This is where I'm supposed to be questing for forgiveness and letting the better graces of my nature consume me with warm fear and resigned conclusion. Instead, I've got images of grape flavored bubble gum trees planted in my head. It would seem that my implant has gone all screwy again. The last time this happened I was covered in chocolate sauce and couldn't stop thinking about redemption. I had been a very bad boy then as well.

    Even in death perhaps the kid's still got it. Maybe you'll buy our boxed set and remember me from time to time. On your stereo. In those bad walkman head phones. I'll be in there, wandering around, bumping into walls, tickled up on the inside. It's me, He-Man - is that you Battle Cat? I'll be watching you dance around your room using a brush for a microphone, a tennis racket for a guitar. And like myself in youth and life, I'll recognize some of me in you and we'll be together again. Even if for just a little while. Perhaps when you need it most. But let's get one thing straight. Not in the shower. If you're going to sing in the shower then I'll press my ear to the door and leave it at that. Cause that's not the kind of thing dead guys need do. We'll leave that to the cast of Porky's one through three and possibly a handful of inventive ninth graders that have discovered the universal splendors of the silent power drill.

    Up goes the gurney. It would seem that they still think there's a chance they'll get me there in time. So much for subconscious accuracy. This is one of those rare moments when you wish you had a couple of grand down on yourself. It's a lock. And, as any gambling addict will tell you, it's not about the money but rather the thrill of knowing that you've got inside information. I'm quite certain that I will not make it to the hospital. Therefore, it doesn't really matter if I die and don't collect. I'll have won and that's the whole point. You see, 99% of the world thinks that gambling is all about the cash. Whereas the remaining 1% of us just want to avoid having to undertake the grueling task of convincing ourselves that we won't be losers forever. Like some antidote for the poison of defeatism, we're trying only to become that which we were destined not to be. Laughed with and not at.

    During the nine months that you are held captive within your mother's womb you breathe symbiotic fluid. Although blood is a substance that carries vital oxygen through the body, and is therefore usually considered an ally, my last few breaths have forced me to the conclusion that blood shares no resemblance to symbiotic fluid whatsoever. It is, in fact, somewhat harmful when it attempts to skip several steps and decides to wander around directly in your lungs in hopes of cutting out the middle man and getting first dibs on the O2. This is not good. Your lungs, which are quite stern and not that receptive to fluidic change, decide to stop transferring oxygen to the blood which is not rebellious, causing you to choke and ultimately suffocate. My inner workings are all about ego it would seem. Something just occurred to me. If you blew hard enough into my mouth I might actually be useful as a wind instrument. I can't imagine being played like a flute. Actually, maybe I can. A naughty business, that.

    Is this where I stop pretending to be the me you always hoped I was? Somewhere, imprisoned within the impregnable fortress of your inflexibility, I remain perfectly fabricated. In a place without windows, without doors, without the knowing of what transpires on the other side of things. I'm going to die, you know, and little remains for me to become that I haven't already deemed worthy of becoming. The trials of myself, the pitfalls of being Marty, that beautiful confusion that always was my photogenic side. I am a competent liar, you see. And to myself perhaps better than with you. Maybe it's time I faced some facts. Maybe it's time to realize that all this talking isn't doing anything to repel the panic that keeps gnawing at my insides like dynamite with a full dance card. I think that you should go now. This doesn't concern you anymore. I shouldn't have invited you in the first place.

    This is the last of it. There will be no more.