Chimney house.

by The Wandering Wastrel   

chimneyhouseresized

So there I was… a young man.
Mind made of black stone.
A thick dark haze everywhere I looked.
Cough up a little more black soot and keep brushing my teeth.
That’s the way.

A voice from the left of me, sort of low and whimpering.
“Babe, if you don’t love me anymore just say so and I’ll go back to Auckland, cause there’s no use me staying here if you’re going to be like this”.
I looked down to see her, white and shivering, wearing my pants, my hat and my jersey, sitting on the floor… dejectedly looking up at me.

“Be like what?” I said.
“You haven’t said any thing in weeks, you’re like a robot! All you do is grunt and smoke dope!” she yelled.

It didn’t even startle me.
A robot? The truth was much worse. I was Iron Man.
I had been turned to steel.
What had done this?
An ounce of powerful grass a week, Over 100 doses of LSD in 3 years, magic mushrooms, poison toadstools, Glade air-freshener in a bag, speed, opium, amyl nitrate, nutmeg, morning glory seeds, datura, mescaline, assorted pills, stolen hospital medicines, and whiskey.

I was a wooden doll staring out from the eyes of a wooden doll.

I said “Nah I’ll go to Wellington, gimme a lift to the highway I’ll hitch to the ferry.”

The poor girl drove me down the road in tears and said she would meet me in Wellington in a few days to give the relationship another shot
I mumbled some sort of reply.

With my little green backpack on, my ferry ticket in my pocket, 40 dollars in my wallet and skateboard in hand, I headed down the highway into new realms of single man adventure.

An aged gray and slightly shaking hippie in a battered Volvo picked me up a short time later.
I sat in the car looking as stunned as usual until he said, “wanna buy an ounce of dope?”
I perked up and said, “Is it buds?”
He said “ummmmm, not really”. So I said “gimme $40 bucks worth”.

He dropped me off at a rest area and soon returned with a huge bag of green shunt*.
I inspected the goods and handed over all my cash, then quickly rolled a fat Trumpeto* with all the best little buddy bits.

I watched him flee in his battered Volvo through a fog of green smoke.
I coughed a bit of soot up and continued to Picton.
Where in the middle of the night on a deserted street I came off my skateboard.
Where one solitary car happened to run my skateboard over as I lay in what would have been pain to person whose body didn’t have all the feeling of a root vegetable.

So with my two new mini skateboards I continued to the big plastic bubble at the top of the slide in a playground, which doubled as a drifter’s bedroom.

Inside the playground bubble I slept until woken by the words “there’s someone in here!” coming from a worried looking child who was peering at me from the top of the slide.

I slid down the slide and headed to the ferry.

I arrived in Wellington with my little green backpack, the two halves of my skateboard in hand and almost an ounce of cabbagy shunt, I headed down the street into new realms of single man adventure.

First thing I met a couple of kids who were very exited to swap their skateboards for a very small amount of cannabis and also introduce me to a load of other kids who wanted to by my bad quality dope for incredibly high prices.

I met the other kids in the center of town and as a gesture of good will they gave me handfuls of cash to purchase them alcohol from the liquor store.

I came out of the store with my new skateboard loaded up to head height with boxes of beer and casks of wine (and a huge tax on the mountains of change nicely stashed away in the top of my sock).
This I skated down the main street to my new friends at the park.
I sailed smoothly past two cops on my way by crouching behind the tower of booze.

After all the purchases of my scarce and flaky product were made one of the kids gave me a ticket to see Shihad who were playing up in the university at the top of Wellington, a distance and altitude which in his state was impossible to cover. So up the hill I fled fueled by hearty swigs from their beverages, which I freely taxed.

I got to the concert and just walked in! Not needing my ticket at all!
Being the powerful entrepreneur that I am I grabbed a ticket stub and headed outside, past the doormen who had suddenly appeared.

Scalping my ticket outside to some happy punter I headed back in on my floor stub to buy a big frosty mug of ale and sit up on the balcony (thinking to myself that I was far to old and wise to be leaping about downstairs and was more suited to watching the show from up on high).

Now I had money, a show, and a glowing warm numb feeling.
I was the king of the world.

After the show I headed into the graveyard to smoke a joint and reflect on my part in the grand scheme of things while I looked over the lights of Wellington below me.
Realization of my life path came to me. I would forever be a drifter. Wandering from town to town, relying on my wits and my luck to get me through… having crazy adventures and perfecting the art of being a rip-off artist.

It was time for bed so I headed to my old house.
My old house was half of a huge fallen down chimney which was located to the side of a long flight of stairs in a patch of the overhead high weeds that only seems to grow in the center of cities.
Two years previously I had lined the chimney with cardboard so I wouldn’t get all sooty and I had stashed a candle stub and some matches in there.
All was in order. I read my book for a while then slept.

Something was smashing into my feet! I awoke! “Who’s that!?” I said.
“Ohhhh… sorry man, I locked myself out of my apartment” came a drunken voice. “I’ll sleep outside”
“Right… goodnight.” I said.

In the morning I looked over and saw a young man in a business suit blacked out on my no-doorstep
I lit a joint, inhaled, blew the smoke on him and said “wake up bro its morning.”
He blearily looked at me and went “oh … yeah…see ya.” And staggered off.

The view from my chimney was usually pretty dull, the back of an empty building with windows looking into an empty building.
But not today dear readers, oh no… not today.
Today the windows looked in on a kitchen and lounge room of some kind of student flat, and the bedroom of a young couple who were at that moment performing some rather vigorous morning exercises.
I was transfixed, half hiding, half staring, all in the name of knowledge and learning of course.

Oh and in the name of purely perverted voyeuristic spying too.

Anyway, I was at home in my chimney. I roamed the town, selling, smoking, browsing, shoplifting, meeting and talking to people I didn’t know, acting like a crazy man and then having them go weird on me and then having the whole scene go weird and then weirdly slinking off to quietly hide some where while looking out into the city and smoke dope while convincing my self that I’ve got it made because I’m not living by the rules of society and I alone have unraveled the inner most mysteries of this sector of the universe by means of heroic doses of hallucinogenic drugs.
If someone had just yelled in my face “You’re a bad smelling sweaty, feral loser with a slippery hold on reality who lives in a fallen-down chimney, wake up to yourself!” I might have snapped out of it.

But in all seriousness I probably wouldn’t have, and would have dismissed the yeller as just another victim of the Man in a severe state of Matrix lockdown.

Over the next few days I learned more about the couple who lived in the house next to mine. They enjoyed each others bedroom company very much and would sometimes use toys on each other they would get from a box beneath the bed. After each episode they would write something on the wall under the calendar before retiring to the kitchen for a few cones from the bong before blacking out.

People do funny things when they think no one is watching them.
Things like fart on a pillow and then smell it, pick their nose and eat it, sit and stare at nothing, stare at them selves in the mirror for ages, stand and stare at nothing while twitching their fingers and having a pretend argument with invisible people.
From this social experiment I deduced that most people do worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.

A whole world of not thinking that anyone was better than me opened up before my eyes.

I always must suppress a little smile when something I say is responded to with ” that’s terrible!” or “that’s just fucked, you should be put away.”
Yes… suppress a smile, and imagine the person who is berating me lying on their back in the bath trying to piss onto their own face.

Anyway I was climbing a flagpole located in a small park when I saw two people laughing below swigging from a bottle of wine.
I climbed down and regaled them with stories of my adventures while taxing their wine.
They found me so witty and interesting they invited me back to their place for some coffee, chatting and heavy dope smoking.

We chatted away as we strode through the city and eventually arrived at their house.
It was in front of my little chimney! This was the couple!

Woooooooo.

We proceeded to the lounge and she got some coffee on while I told them a tale where innocence reigned and madness prevailed.

They gazed into my broken eyes where laughter and sorrow collide; shattered were the pieces of the forgotten puzzle that was my mind.

She said, “Where’s the bong”.
I said “in the gumboot.”
They froze, and stared at me. The pregnant silence that followed gave birth to my sudden outrageous claim… “I’m psychic and sometimes receive pictures from peoples minds.”

I explained that I apparently came from a line of witches from Denmark and theses latent talents had plagued me for many years, the visions I received sometimes being so much that I would have to leave town and live in the bush for a few weeks where there was no people just to get my head straight and convince myself I wasn’t going insane.

The lies flowed from me smoother than shit from a waxed arsehole.

They sat either side of me and tried not to stare at my trench-coated form.
I must have made quite a picture there, sitting on their couch, my grubby black hands clutching the bong like it was a sacred idol, and taking huge pulls from it like I was born with a third lung.
Long dreddy hair, ratty beard, green teeth, long filthy nails and piercing ice blue eyes furtively glancing about.

“What else do you see?” she asked.
I began a story of looking into the souls of men and gauging the darkness or light thereof, peppered with spice about people’s minds being filled with worry about what people thought of them and stress about wondering if they have been caught doing what they think they shouldn’t.”

They both looked concerned.

What do you see about us?… I knew this was coming and I was ready for it. “Ohhhh you don’t want me prying into your head, I have found it just makes people angry and scared, so I don’t do it anymore.”

Now I had them. They pleaded, they pretended they thought I was a fake, and they offered me more cones (which I accepted as I said that dope has magical properties which help expand psychic power and awareness. The more cones the deeper the reading).

A burning fire rose up in me, a huge golden lion roar like a pillar of white-hot light. My head felt as if it had been filled with hot soft sand. All exterior surrounding took on a hazy sheen, sounds were muted and I felt as if I was encased in a huge soft velvet cushion.
I put the bong down and something inside told me that any more of that would precipitate unconsciousness.

I lay back on the couch and they stared at me while I sank into it and pretended to be concentrating on conjuring up images from their minds adding just the correct amount of twitching and gibbering to give it a dangerous mystical quality.

I let my eyes half close as if I was in a trance and made some strange yet convincing noises as if I were in a deep hypnotic state.

“Ohhhh … I can see a blue bedroom with a red duvet… I can see a calendar… now this calendar hides something… there is attention on what lies behind the calendar.”

I stopped and opened my eyes. “You’re getting worried, I cannot possibly continue!” I exclaimed suddenly.

For five minutes I let them convince me that they were defiantly not scared and really wanted me to continue.

More cones were needed to penetrate the shield of fear they had put up and we had to go into the bedroom for a clearer reading.

So bong in hand I marched into their boudoir.

Now this was freaky, seeing their room from the inside. I kept my mind on the task at hand and resisted the temptation to look up at my chimney-house.

Closing my eyes to draw more pseudo psychic power I said “yes …
Yes… a lot of sex goes on here, you really do enjoy each others company…”

I opened my eyes to see their smug proud looks and I asked what was behind the calendar. They pulled the calendar back to reveal a chart with lines depicting who was the first to come, being some sort of sexual contest between them to see if they could out last each other.

I decided it was time to start firebombing.
I painted a picture from my minds eye of various acts and particular instances, complete with times and descriptions. The look of worry and fear on their faces was delicious as I described the conjugal acrobatics they had been performing. Then I dropped the bomb. “Wait!” I said. “There’s something under the bed”. And reached down as if too look. He was on me in a trice!
“This has got far too personal” he stuttered red faced.
I hung my head in mock shame and said “I understand all to well, never again shall I use my powers for such a purpose, I see now that it is a secret I must harbor within no matter how much pain it brings me”.
I turned to go in mock sadness, hiding my face as to not show evil grin spreading across it.

“Nice meeting you” they lied as I left.

I headed around the side of the building up the stairs and over into the bush to my chimney where I crouched and watched the frightened conversation going on between them in the room below.

They took the box from under the bed and hid it under a whole lot of clothes in the wardrobe.

A few days later I rang an old friend of mine, his mother answered and happily told me that the cops were looking for me and I should go and see them at the police station.

I somehow decided that it would be best if I handed myself in, sure that the kids had ratted me out for selling them pot that would not help them study at school as I had claimed.
I arrived at the police station with visions of serial anal rape at the hands of tattooed inmates dancing in my head.
When I told them my name the female cop smiled warmly and said “ohhhh your girl friend has been worried sick about you and she has been calling us to see if we had located you, you can call her on this phone here if you like”.

The freezing sweat on my body started to slowly warm up.

I called, and eventually she arrived in Wellington. We took up rent-free residence in her psychotic aunts house, whose’ husband had yesterday dropped to the ground on the path in front of the house almost dead.

She discovered that he had been cheating on her for two years with a lady from his office they called “The rottweilder” and he had taken to downing whole bottles of gin after breakfast and throughout the day and hiding the bottles under the bed.

But the tale of the anorexic chain-smoking madwoman is another story, and shall be told (or not) another time.

Glossary:

Shunt: very bad quality cannabis consisting of mostly leaf and stalk also called jiggaby, jiggaby shunt and shunt jiggaby.

Trumpeto: a large trumpet shaped cannabis cigarette rolled using two full papers.

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