Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Breathe Part Two


Once I had the majority ousted, I went to look for my neighbor. It was probably too late for damage control, but I had to try. Failure would result in eviction. I’d be slithering through alleys, caked in grime, sheltered by cardboard, nibbling on rats I barbecued over trash can fires. Unacceptable.

My roommate was in the hallway accusing the neighbor of using psychic powers to alert the landlord of his transgression. Last I’d heard, a different neighbor had “called” the landlord using a modern invention called a “telephone,” but none of this registered with my roommate. He was livid, all worked up, splotchy faced and drunk, and doing us no favors. In no way was he settling our looming crisis. I shut him up.

“You. Shut the fuck up. Inside. Now. You’re not helping at all, in fact, you’re just pissing him off worse. Inside. NOW.”

I was getting pretty tired of directing human traffic.

I followed our neighbor to his apartment, where he spent an hour explaining exactly why our actions were rude, and why he intended to request our eviction. I empathized, sympathized, begged, pleaded, and did everything I could to separate my other roommates and I from the party gremlin. I succeeded, I think. He’d heard me screaming the guests out, and I think he got a sliver of satisfaction watching their disgruntled faces as they exited, frowns as symptoms of celebrus interruptus.

I spent another half hour watching his storm videos, which he’d edited so the lightning strikes flashed in time with an REO Speedwagon song. Nature and classic rock, choreographed together in perfect harmony. It was strange and wonderful. After three glasses of wine he was diplomatic and nearly friendly again. My interest in his hobby didn’t hurt. Feeling browbeaten and abused, I begged exhaustion and returned to my loft to survey the wreckage.

Eight tattered souls remained in the residence, all of them hiding from the dawn stabbing through the tall windows. They were all big eyes and giggles.

“We ate mushrooms.”

“I’m thrilled for you. I stress out all night, kick everybody out of your shitty party, spend over an hour getting lectured for your bullshit, and you’re moseying about in Smurf village playing sit and spin. I hate you so much right now.”

It wasn’t all love and roses for the hallucinating happyheads. One couple took too many stems and caps and lost their shit within fifteen minutes of my return. Great. More bullshit. The girl seemed sad and helpless, reiterating over and over “Where’s Mom? Where’s Dad?” Her boyfriend was far worse.

“You fucked my wife? Who’s fucking my wife? Who did it?”

“Tim, she’s sitting right next to you. Look. She’s fine. You’re fine. You’re just tripping.”

“Fffffuuuucccckkkkkk YYYYOOOOUUUU!!!!!!”

Great. Tim’s not only tripping, he’s possessed by a murder demon from Lucifer’s barbwire tickle gang. He started flailing around. When he tried to strike his girlfriend (not his wife, not yet, anyways) I held him back.

“Calm yourself.”


I never heard a person scream like that. So loud, so angry, so afraid. Murderous. He ran for the window to take a pavement header. I’m not cool with broken glass or suicide, so again, I restrained him. My roommate looked on in puzzlement. He was tripping, too, though not psychotic. He looked like a fish in a tank. A really stupid, useless fish.

I got help from one of the few friends I’d invited, Chris. (He came to help me move my furniture on Saturday afternoon and stuck around for the party) Together we held Tim down.


I was tired. So tired. I wanted to crawl away and sleep. But I couldn’t, because there was nobody else to keep everybody alive and sane. Chris could've, but I couldn't leave him to clean up someone else's mess all alone. That would make me just like my selfish roommate.

Anytime an ounce of slack was given to Tim, he’d lash out, punch his captors in the face, or bite at our ears. The one time he got loose he turned into a Tasmanian devil and punched holes in the wall and ceiling.

I could go into detail, giving you the play by play, writing down the bizarre and frightening things that screamed from Tim’s mouth. He really sounded possessed. I was holding him down, trying to hold his mouth shut, when his voice lowered and he began to whisper.

“steve... help… stop…”

Chris spoke. “Steve, ease off, you’re choking him.”

I let up.

“Is he breathing?”

I put my ear to his mouth. Nothing.

“He’s not breathing.”

I put my palms on his chest and pumped. I wanted those lungs heaving again.

“Breathe! Breathe, Tim, breathe damnit! Fuck fuck fuck!”

“Steve, stop, get out of the way, you’re doing it wrong.”

I got off Tim. I was about to cry. I was so scared. Chris did the same as I did, but lower on Tim’s torso. He successfully resuscitated the violent bastard. Tim started breathing, ragged and slow. Chris slapped his cheeks. “Tim, say something.”


He was alive all right. I stayed back, freaked out by what I'd nearly done. Chris used repetetive brainwashing techniques to control Tim's outbursts. He encouraged Tim to sleep. He babysat Tim for several hours while I sat aside, helpless.

I almost killed somebody. I didn’t, but it was too damn close. It’s haunting me. It takes me hours and hours to fall asleep now. I had to get wasted last night just to get some decent rest.

I feel empty.

I’m not having any guests this weekend.
3:15 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


April 12, 2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Anonysis said...

EVERYONE OWES YOU AN APOLOGY. Your hospitality, patience, reason and sanity were tested and it sounds like it was a thankless job you undertook. When do your friends stop being friends and just become drug buddies, desperately clinging to some fantasy that life can be lived without responsibility? Its getting to be hard on you, the most responsible one. Maybe you should isolate from all of that for awhile. Stick with the ones who care for you and respect your decisions and opinions, and this will fade into the background in no time.

April 12, 2006 4:10 PM, Anonymous The Captain said...

Holy Shit man! Like anonysis said everyone should be apologizing to you. You're the reason the guy didn't take a header out the window in the first place. It would have been easy for you to just go crash out and let nature take its course. Don't be hard on yourself. You did the right thing.

April 14, 2006 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop being a whining fucking cunt, and punch someone in the face next time.

April 14, 2006 5:04 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Thanks Dave! I already perpetuated violence on him for other crimes two weeks past.

April 14, 2006 11:21 PM, Blogger mowingsheep said...

Its good to see that the gangs all still hanging around and causing rukus. what feels like a hell of a night will only be remembered as a great day when your all eighty and hitting yourself in a not so private way.

i can only guess as to the real faces of the people described but in order would say there was the fat man the big man and the lonely programmer wandering about in an astute silence onnly to awaken it with an odd out burst or other person-shit-personly retch.

although your night was full of plight i still have to say that yoou could be living the normal light (wich by the way is a complete slap in the face to every thing we held dear)

but in the long run youll find that moments like these only serve to justify human exsistence. and if im wrong



get me a mini van some poppin fresh cookies and a coffin cause that s where we who leave seeem to end up

in a bitched up rage your friend ian

P.S. I love the fact that spider now graces your holy grail of a page

April 15, 2006 3:50 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Hearing from you makes my month, Ian.

April 15, 2006 11:19 PM, Blogger mowingsheep said...

good or bad?

April 17, 2006 1:45 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

In the first aid class I took, they said that sometimes the drowning victim thrashes around too much and tries to climb on top of you and will take you both down, and therefore the drowning victim must be, *ahem*, incapacitated - incapacitated enough so that he can be rescued. Punched or something, choked out – to prevent the person from panicking so bad they are a lost cause. So . . . don’t worry man.

You should have sold off all of their organs, really.

April 17, 2006 4:36 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Let me rephrase that, as some months are not salvagable. It's a highlight (good) to hear from you.

April 23, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Siv said...

you're funny


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