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Atmosphere

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Atmosphere

I need a f***ing shower, I think to myself as the smell of stagnant sweat fills my nose. I don’t take a shower. Hunched towards my computer screen as if it has a gravitational pull, I continue to work. The pixelated clock expectantly reads: 1:00 AM and I’m not even close to satisfied with this project. The melody sounds pleasant but it’s falling flat like casually whistling, it’s not hitting me deep enough to make me feel anything. “I guess school is going to be rough tomorrow.” I chuckle to myself. “You’re going to have a rough day if you don’t go to sleep soon.”
“I don’t care! I need to make some progress!”  I laugh at myself. I can make myself laugh better than anybody else I know. Maybe that makes me crazy. “But you can’t have crazy without sanity.” I eagerly respond to these thoughts. See what I mean?
I look down at my keyboard. It’s small, only taking up one octave of the piano. Somewhere in this desert of white and black there is an oasis. I just have to find it. The keys form a smile of mockery and stare back at me. I try several different chords. If I were more acquainted with the piano, I would enlighten you with the names of the keys involved, however I produce music solely by ear; so this is not possible. None of the chords felt right in my hands so it comes as little surprise that they don’t sound right either. “Goddamnit!” Frustration is coming into play at this point. I’ve been trying to evolve this melody for days now. “Why can’t I get this to work?” I can feel stress and anger beginning to rush up my legs like a geyser that’s about to break the earth's surface. I stand up. Aggressively. The backs of my knees hit the front edge of my chair and send it back a few feet. There’s an unpleasant dull throbbing in my left knee now.
        “F*** you” I mutter to my chair as I pass. He nonchalantly shrugs off the insult, but I know I hurt his feelings.
I struggle with the packaging. Trying to get my finger nail in between the plastic and paper is like trying to thread a needle with no hole. “If the point is to get the gum out, then why the f*** do they make it so difficult?!” I’m enraged now. It doesn’t take much to set me off. Without thinking I hurl the tiny package at the ground. Full force. It bounces of the floor, with an unsatisfactory click, and slides under my bed. “Of course…” I say as the anger in my body rolls my eyes. I self loathingly lay down on my stomach, in such a way that is not unlike doing a pushup in reverse, and attempt to locate the gum. I mutter some noises that express my angst but aren’t words, as I reach for the gum. I decide to use my newly gifted pocket knife from my dad to defeat the packaging. The knife is brown with little ridges covering the handle like crop fields. There’s a metal plate screwed into the left side with an engraving that reads: “Old Timer.” I consider the knife to be a grandfatherly figure. I flick open the resin cover blade and punch it through the paper. My next actions are robotic, nay programmed. I hastily rip back the paper exposing the gum from its synthetic coffin, dump it into my left hand and pop into my mouth. Cinnamon. I chew quickly and efficiently to release the nicotine as fast as possible. Once the peppery sensation hits the back of my throat I move the gum under my tongue thinking this will intensify the effects. A calming weight like a thick blanket drapes over my shoulders making them fall slightly. My legs feel weaker and soft as I sit on the edge of my bed.
Cold morning air rushes in, through my now open window, as if being pulled. A familiar sticky green color radiates to my eyes from the bowl of my freshly packed pipe. The smoke hurts going down. Bongs are smoother but I don’t trust myself with one. I study the pipe in my right hand. Thick orange and blue lines squiggle across the piece just under the surface of the glass like snakes trapped under a thin layer of ice. It originally belonged to my ex. I take another long puff. Hold it. Just a little longer. I cough. Its kicking in now, a warm fuzzy feeling sprinkles through my body bringing a grin to my face. My lips remain attached. Blood rushes into my eyes. It’s feels warm and good. My heart rate seems to increase and a nervous feeling sits, fidgeting, in my stomach. I try to ignore it. Julie and I used this pipe the first time we smoked together. Many other times, over the course of two years, as well. Visions of her smile, her laugh, the fear in her eyes, her body, her jealousy, and of course her favorite colors flow into my mind as if I’ve removed an object blocking water from filling empty space. There’s pain attached to the the thoughts. Of this I’m aware, however their noise is barely heard over the sound of marijuana. I feel a need to cry; mourn. I can’t seem to make it happen. I feel blocked up. I can see my reflection in the window and our conversation goes as usual.
“So why are you smoking weed and chewing nicotine gum?” I ask rhetorically.
“Well, to run from pain.” I say matter of factly and offensively.
“Does feeling blocked up feel pleasant?” Now I’m being a smart ass.
“Not particularly.”
“So running from pain is causing you pain. That’s a downward spiral.” My spiritual side is annoyingly shining through.
I take another puff and blow it directly in my face, sending a clear message that my analysis of my current situation is not wanted. I set the still smoking pipe on the window sill next to the pile of pistachio shells from my snack three days ago.
When I’m stoned everything seems to act differently than when I’m sober. I wonder if it’s because my vibrational frequency, which has been altered by THC, is interacting differently with the vibrations surrounding me. I return to my computer unable to test this hypothesis. Music makes me feel in control, it’s like sculpture. Instead of a slab of marble, you have the atmosphere to work with. My mind’s eye sees my music vibrate the air in such a way that it creates invisible landscapes. Magnificently beautiful 3D images of palm trees next to the shoreline with a seagull pecking at the remains of a recently deceased crab. Or a close up shot of tree leaves blowing in the wind in unison yet separately. These landscapes are undetectable to our eyes, but are very much real. Our ears are the forgiving gateways to this dimension. Creating music is to create worlds of which I am the all knowing god.






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