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...The Quit Smoking Express: Dark Passenger...
Harsh Morning Light
It's been awhile since the new dawn came and went. The birds have left for Southern skies and the trees are now bare and gray skeletons against the cobalt blue background. The wraith whom walked me into this place has been watching closely. He stays carefully in the shadows so that the scorching truth of the daylight cannot touch him. He manifests completely at the foot of my bed some nights while I am thinking about how his beautiful torment has stolen parts of my life and parts of the lives of those whom I have known.
He carefully inserts horror into my dreams, just one good strong image at a time. I see blackened lungs and teeth. I see parts of people thick with silt and disease. I see places in their minds shadowy and laced with bubbling madness and addiction. I see my own self in all of it. I wake up and eat something full of sugar so that I can crash into a blind continuance of undisturbed sleep.
I wake every morning and I am thankful I don't see him standing there anymore, waiting to feed me more of the addiction. He changes his clothes and persona. He waits for me then in the kitchen, or the stores. I see him in plate glass reflections and on the labels of the Red Velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting. Tiny bursts of laughter lay in the bread crumbs of Italian bread. Ha ha ha...you cannot escape all the temptations that I embody. If it is not one thing, it is another. I sit quietly and do my best to tune him out.
He is the King of gluttony and material pleasure. He resides in things that cause havoc and unrest in the mere mortal body. He enjoys weighing down the flesh with refined sugar and white carbohydrates, red meat and alcohol, drugs and excess. He is the addiction that lays between the spirit and the flesh. And He loves us.
Riding Alongside Me
He invades my thoughts with his brash expectations. He waits around corners as I am tired and sweating with repetitive chanting in my head, chanting that is supposed to take me away from him, even just for a few moments. He waits everywhere. I see him hanging onto people out in the streets. I see people stuffed in their cars, bellies touching the steering wheel, smoke pouring out of their mouths while their gray lips have already turned to ash.
He is disgraceful and disgustingly attractive because he throws an illusion over the addiction like a silk sheet. Smooth and cool it spreads itself over me as I lay looking up at it and realize I am already dead. I allowed the addiction to win. I allowed myself to lay down and be calm with it. It consoled me when I was abused and it rejoiced with me when I won. It made itself my best friend but my flesh has always protested. My body revolted against me. I became ill because of my "friend" the addiction. I didn't blame him though, I blamed myself. I heard myself tell myself all sorts of insulting things. I blamed myself because I didn't want to take responsibility for what I was in fact capable of changing. Until I started to really write...
While I was content telling myself lies, the addiction was twisting his fingers into my hair, waiting for me to try to pull away. I finally arrived at the slightest illuminated conclusion that I may in fact have a chance at being a better person if I could just ditch that addiction and not trade it in for another one. He can hear these things though, he hears ALL and is always a step ahead. I knew I would have to carefully plan out my own path and be certain to account for his presence along the trip. I began to seek out his tracks. Condensation slid down the windows of my life.
Hallowed Be Thy Name
I watched carefully as the moisture collected on a billboard sized piece of glass in a dream. I was standing on the ledge of a very high building while winds threatened to blow me off into the city below. Words began to spell themselves across the surface, each letter dripping down making it very hard to read. YOU BELONG TO ME is all I had the chance to read before the ledge made itself too narrow to support me.
I began falling quickly to the streets below and a figure blocked out the light from above me. He flapped his enormous dirty wings and held out one boney hand as if he were going to save me. In horror I grabbed for it and he laughed a dark sinister rhythmn into the wind. The flesh from his hand slid off into mine and I shuddered just before I hit the ground.
I stared up into the sky, now a torrent of gray smoke and fires on rooftops. People were standing at windows and yelling for him to help them, to save them. Their fear and compulsion could not be contained. My body was shattered and my spirit was broken. I could not trust myself and cursed his feigned assistance. He had once more led me to believe he would take the pain away when in reality he would always be glad to see me fall.
Fires rose up all along the street and I watched as he saved those helpless pitiful people. He cast a hallowed glance at me every so often as if to say, "See, if you would just stop fighting against me we could be friends. I could make you feel better." I wondered what his name was or if he even had one. It never came to me in the dream and so in my wakened hours I made a point of finding out who he really was to me. I soon remembered that his names were many.