PART ONE: SUNDAY MORNING FIREGUY BLUES
Mad Morrison, yeah, that’s what they call me. Not that I mind, and today is a beautiful day, by the way...
Rather refreshing, in these times of darkness and madness... if only you could feel this way forever...
...hmmm... coffee’s mighty strong...
So anyways, I pull the curtains wide open and I lay in bed, coffee in hand, sun, and... and.... I yawn, and a fly buzzes straight into my mouth. I wash it down with coffee.
Now, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but the little bastard seem to have drank some coffee as I washed it down. A little while later, it started buzzing and flying around in my stomach, and rather enthusiastically at that, I might add.
I calm the little bastard down with half a bottle of vodka. Too early in the morning, I guess, but not my fault, mind ya! As if I wanted to start drinking at dawn, I had no other option, you see!
I blame the fly, and any British American Englishman in their right mind, I believe, would have done the same.
I go to the washroom and cough up blood. I roll around in it a bit.
Must be all the toxic dust I inhaled a few months back, damn! Now, I’ve no choice but to take a shower.
Emily’s woke up. I can hear her singing downstairs. I must make her take singing lessons, perhaps it would make her voice less unbearable. I feel like coughing up blood all over again, just listening to the little nutcase squeak around in such utter tuneless manner.
Must get her to audition for “American Idol”...
I am Emily’s godfather, by the way, and nobody messed with my little nutcase, ha!
She’s been my responsibility ever since Ted went away. She, Ted, and Amanda will be staying with me until buddy Ted cuts down his drinking habits enough to afford a house.
Ted’s in the army. He’s my best buddy, Amanda’s husband, and Emily’s dad. His brain’s a midget, but his heart’s a giant... may God bless him, that idiot. We’ve been best of friends ever since I could remember. Yeah, he’s been pissing me off and getting me in constant trouble for at least 27 years now, ha!
Good thing it’s Sunday today... and ah, here comes the sun, just in time!
I dress up, grab the rest of my whiskey, and head downstairs to get the newspapers. I neatly wrap the half empty bottle up with the news paper, and walked down to the local park, taking sneaky random swings off it every now and then.
The streets were still deserted except for the good ol’ paperboy smoking a joint, hiding behind his bike, and a few hobos near the 7/11. They looked at my newspaper warped bottle, and grinned, perhaps to show me that they’ve accepted me as one of their own. The thought made me sick. I quickly take another swing of the good ol’ whiskey.
Needless to say, mood brightened considerably!
I found myself a comfy area in the park, and, whiskey in hand, I started thinking. Life was so simple when I was a kid, you know. I mean, at least, as a kid, we knew that we were playing games, as an adult, we’ve all completely lost our minds...
We’ve played it for so long, since we were kids, that now we’ve forgotten that it’s all a game. Now, we’re just living the game.
The most violent game.
Fake guns turned into real guns, fake deaths turned real.
Lucky for me, I never took things seriously.
I remained, an American idiot, and come to think of it, life’s good this way. I won’t have it any other way.
I feel like Mr. Wooster of the old, ha!
I watch the pale blue sky unfold the morning sun onto me, such simple pleasures! The park bench I was sitting on, I just realize, has a “WET PAINT” sign attached. Too late now, I guess, I just kept sitting. Too comfy to move now.
Jackie... I remember Jackie.
How can I ever forget?
She was the girl I always loved and always will. Haven’t heard from her in ages now. I just hope she’s happy, wherever she is, whoever she’s with.
I won’t have it any other way. Love is love.
She was my pen-pal. Ha! Never actually met her, but the love I felt and still feel for her... it’ll remain. It should remain, yup, it bloody well will!
Way back, in the summer of 91...
...and a song gently humming...
Ah, what is this mood which consumes me once again, so haunting?
Ambiance of the sunny landscape, it shaves my head, so overpowering!
Revolution in the air.
Flowers, love, and a pair.
So familiar, so fair!
I went looking for her, in her town, ha, on my own!
Oh, and don’t get me wrong, I am not the sentimental type, but the magic that summer, in her town, longing for her. Walking down the streets of her town, thinking about her, seeking her footprints on every sidewalk, longing for her, hurting, yet loving.
Didn’t get to meet her, well, after that, I didn’t get a chance to look for her again. How very unfair, but this is life, I guess.
Everything’s unfair because we make it so.
I fell asleep on the park bench, I guess. It was already noon when I woke up. I walked back home, but couldn’t help thinking about the strange dream that I had. I can’t help thinking about this young men that I dreamed about. He was sitting in the shadows, humming a song, and writing a story. It is real strange but I have this intense, real strange, and bizarre feeling about that story he was writing. I feel connected to him somehow, and the song he was singing, so haunting!
“In life I couldn’t find you, my love, but in death I shall...
In death, nothing shall stop me from finding you, ever again... Hmmm yeah...”
Something along those lines, I guess. Well, enough day-dreaming for a day, I am hungry.
PART TWO: HEAVY MASS MENTAL WITHDRAWAL!
Well, by the time I got back home, Amanda and Emily were having a barbecue out on the lawn with all the kids from the neighbourhood. Just in time to shut my stomach up, I guess, perfecto!
I was just getting down to my seventh hamburger when the neighbour started complaining about the noise. No surprise there, they’re Muslims, they hate to see other people enjoy.
F**kin’ Muslims! I always hated them. In fact, we’ve hated each other’s guts ever since they moved into the neighbourhood. Sworn enemies, of sorts, that’s the best way to describe our relationship. Now, after 9/11, I hated them even more. I hope somebody murders their whole goddamn family.
I go in and grab my old Gibson SG guitar, Marshall Amp, and an extension cord. Back out in the lawn, I turn the volume to max, and start playing “Fight fire with fire”. The kids go wild, in a good sortta way, and the neighbour goes wild too, but in a bad sortta way, perfecto!
I go to bed. I have to sleep early, gotta go to work early tomorrow. Being a fire fighter ain’t easy, to say the least.
I wake up, and cough up some blood. I trick myself into thinking that it’s all a bad dream, and I sleep.
The towers, like giant cigarettes, and out of the windows, it rained human beings!
South tower breaks down, 67th street cross-town bus people, hurry, hurry, stay calm!
Here, dust masks! Put them on Morrison, you’ll need them!
Where’s Michael? Kevin, I dunno, Kevin, what the hell’s going on Kevin?
Shit, Engine 33, watch out Morrison!
Roof coming down on me... One of my teammates pushes me away, gives his own life away to save mine. I try to drag his dying body out of the flames. Can’t recognize him with his helmet on, God, I hope it’s not my buddy Jim... finally outside... I slid his helmet off... thank God, it’s not Jim, it’s... it’s... ALI?!! F**k man, he’s a Muslim, why did he sacrifice his life to save mine?
Morrison, tell my wife that I love her...
I will Ali, my friend, I swear I will, hang in there buddy, everything’s gonna be alright...
Then he died...
I wake up, it’s 3 am in the morning. I want to start drinking but I’ve to work today. I take my job seriously. Absolutely no drinks till after work.
I can’t go back to sleep no matter how hard I try, and it’s already 4.00 am! No use trying to sleep, I turn the lights on, and pull out my old comics.
Doom patrol, funny weird stuff...
I guess I always wanted to be a superhero, in fact, that’s the reason why I got myself a job which allowed me to be one, I guess!
Guess I am still a kid at heart. Maybe that’s one reason why I am such a happy-go-lucky guy... maybe... maybe that’s also the reason why I am still single, hehe!
I drift off, into sleep...
THE ALARM CLOCK SCREAMS!
I wake up just in time for work. I dress up and leave.
Around noon, after lunch break, the fire alarm goes off. We jump onto the fire truck, and we head off. I cough up blood on the way, Sam, a new guy asks me if anything’s wrong.
“Yeah,” I tell him, “mild cough and cold.”
He’s smart, he doesn’t believe me.
“They shouldn’t have reopened Wall Street so soon, you know. Lots of civilians and fire fighters are suffering now...”
“Nah...” I cut in, “I’m just fine.”
“You sure?” he asks, “fine then, btw, Morrison, I’m just curious, but what’s your first name?”
“Can’t tell you...” I reply, “It’s a long story.”
“C’mon, I’ll buy you a beer after work!” he eggs me on, stubborn bastard, hehe...
“A long time ago, when I was a kid, me and my friends use to play in the cemetery. One evening, as we were playing hide and seek, I fell asleep while I was hiding under a huge broken tombstone. When I woke up, it was already midnight, the tower bell chimed far away. It was real dark and I was lost and scare, that’s when I met this weird shadowy guy. He wanted to buy my first name off, and replace it with “Mad”, the price? Well, he told me that he’d granted me two wishes if I did so. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody my real first name after that. I would’ve laughed it off, but the first wish I made came true, and after that I got scared and decided never to even think about my first name.”
“Really?” Sam replied, “what about the second wish, have you wished it yet?”
“The second wish? Yeah, well, it’s still pending, I guess!” I reply.
We both laugh.
“Well then Mr. Mad, care to tell me what your first wish was?” he asks.
“Ah, the first wish! For my first wish, I wished that it was all a bad dream, and Walla! It was! Just like that! I woke up in my bed, and realized that I’ve been dreaming all along! No cemetery, no shadowy guy!”
We both laugh again, ah, I like telling stories.
“By the way, where is it that we’re going?” I ask.
“It’s just around the block, seems like one huge fire.” He answers.
Shit, that’s my neighbourhood! I just hope it’s not my house that’s on fire. I cross my fingers and wait.
We turn a quick bend and I see thick black smoke from my house! What the hell is going on? Oh God! Shit, shit, this is bad!
I don’t care much about the house but, Emily and Amanda! I pray that you just spare them God, and you can have my life instead!
We pull over, and I jump out of the fire truck.
The house burning belonged to my neighbour, it’s not mine! Thank God, Emily and Amanda are safe!
PART THREE: MYSTERIOUS WAYS OF THE PSYCHEDELIC GOD!
The Muslim family, it’s their house on fire, not mine! Man, I hate them, but I wish them no harm. They’re my neighbours after all, good or bad. No family has to go through this, I hope that they’re all safe.
The house is burning like mad, there was no way in hell we could even go anywhere near it!
Hoses! We bring out the water hoses and start watering the burning house. Good thing is that all the members of the family, it seems, were safe. They had managed to escape! Good, good, I am getting sick of seeing people dying out on me.
Out in the lawn, the family huddle together, crying, watching their house go up in flames. We try our best to put out the fire before it spreads into the neighbourhood, suddenly, the 2nd floor window swings open and somebody screams!
“Elena! Oh my God, she’s still trapped in there! I thought she went out to play! Somebody please save her!!!” Screamed the neighbour’s wife.
And suddenly everybody was shouting and screaming. Another minute or two, and the child would be dead for sure.
I had to do something... no time to think.
What do I do? Shit, no time to think. I mustn’t think!
I didn’t think, I dropped the water hose, and I ran to the truck. I slipped into the fire poof suit, and axe in hand, I charge my way into the burning house.
Once inside it was total hell. Fire and smoke everywhere! I ran up the stairs as it collapsed. I manage to get up to the second floor, but the kid’s room was locked. I smashed my way in, fell over, and coughed up a bucketful of blood.
Damn, not now, so close, yet so weak. It seems like my body’s finally had enough. I black out for a second or two, but I somehow manage to get up again. I could see the kid, and above her some huge burning portion of the roof was collapsing. I make one last effort and jump at the kid.
The kid and me together, outta the window, just in time, and down we fell. I could see the terror in the little girl’s eyes. I positioned myself so that I would land first, that way, the little kid in my arms would land on my beer belly, instead of the hard ground.
I hit the ground, I guess, because the next thing you know, I blacked out.
Dizzy... can’t move... where am I?
Then I remembered. I could hear my friends shout, “He moved!!! The mad bastard, he lives!!! And he did it, he saved the kid! Bastard’s surely gonna make us all buy him beer tonight, I ‘m telling ya’!”
I could hear people cheering. I could hear footsteps, a soft kiss on my cheeks.
“Uncle Morrison, Uncle Morrison, you’re a superhero!”
It was Emily! Seems like the little nutcase had grown some brains, hehe. I mean, of course, I am a freakin’ superhero kiddo, and I’m your godfather, isn’t that just freakin’ cool? Damn, it’s moments like this you live your life for, you know.
Another soft kiss on my shaved shiny head, and a soft voice whispered, “Thank you for saving my life, Uncle Morrison, you’re the best neighbour I‘ve ever met!”
It was Elena!
Now, I grinned slightly at the irony of it all.
I just realized that I’ve just defeated my whimsical enemy, my Muslim neighbour. For years, the two families have been enemies, each family doing something to hurt or annoy the other, and the other family, in turn, doing something worse.
Back and forth, revenge, a circle of pain, in short.
Both parties losing even when they win!
But today, today, I just replied with love. How’re they gonna take revenge on my family now? Hehe! How’re they gonna top that?
With more hate? Nah, I’ll win if they do that.
They’ll probably try to reply with more love, and this time, it’ll be different. This time I’ve just changed the theme of the competition from hate to love, I guess. And if they want to top that, in order for them to win, they’ve to let my family win! See that’s the beauty of love, everyone wins!
In a mere moment, I’ve eliminated an age old enemy, a major pain in the ass, and at the same time gained a loyal friend. I just overpowered them with love, ha! I knew I was smart!
Too much happiness, head hurts!
I black out with a grin.
PART FOUR: INSTRUMENTAL - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
Where am I?
I wake up on the banks of a mighty river. A shadow fell upon my face, it was a young man. He was unshaved and shaggy, with long smooth hair, and a gentle smile.
Funny thing was that he was dressed in some sortta rags!
“What’re you watching?” I asked.
“Ah, just the creation of my creation in action.” He replied.
Normally, I’d have kicked his ass, but there was something soothing and calm about this young man. I just can’t figure out what it is, it’s almost as if he’s divine!
“Where is this place?” I asked, “Have I been abducted by aliens or am I just dreaming again or something?”
“No, I just felt that I must meet you, I like you, this world needs more men like you.” He replied, smiling gently.
“What? Whatever next! Do you guys have any beer stores around here, by the way?” I asked. I wanted to have a drink, my body hurt like hell. I could barely move. I have been lying on the ground and talking to the young man, I couldn’t even sit up.
“No, but here, you can have my wine, you deserve it.” Replied the young man, handing over some sortta leather pouch, filled with wine, of course.
“No man, I can’t drink up all your wine, I’ll share it with you, and we shall drink it together, ok?” I said, and took a long, long sip and handed the pouch back to the young dude.
Immediately, I felt a warm blanket cover my body, and all the pain was gone! Freakin’ awesome wine, I guess!
“Hey, thanks man, that’s some wicked good stuff you’ve got there, man!” I said, sitting up without any pain anymore, it’s as if I had completely healed!
He just smiled back at me.
“I must go now, but before I go, I just wanted you to know that what you did was right. For centuries, people have seen war. The funny thing about war is that it never ends. When you fight your enemy, you’ve to completely eliminate them otherwise they’ll take revenge, and it’ll continue for generations. Now, let’s suppose that, after centuries, your family has finally terminated/completely eradicated your enemy. You won’t have any enemies anymore now, but the thing is that, your young ones who witnessed you get what you want by destroying anything that stands between you and your goals, will, on that day learn that destruction gets you what you want. They’ll now start using hate and destruction to get what they want, and since your family will have no more enemies to fight, they’ll fight amongst each other, for little things they want, and in the end, your own family too would be destroyed, or know no peace, and won’t be able to progress due to spending all their time, money, and mind on useless power struggles, because that is the way they remember, how their elders used to win the war. It’s like the spirits of the dead enemies rising to haunt you, destroy you, you know. Take you back to the abyss, with them.”
“...so what’s so great about what I did?” I ask.
“Well,” he replies,” Emily and Elena will now see how, through love, her mad Godfather/neighbour not only erased an enemy, but at the same time, got a new friend too. It’ll be the foundation, she’ll build her life on, because, she has now learned that love is more effective, and at the same time, it has absolutely no side effects!
Most people don’t realise it but that’s what I meant when I said, ‘love thy enemy’, you know”
He said, drinking some wine himself.
“Here, have this.”
He hands me over a loft of bread, just in time to shut my stomach up! I like this guy.
Far away, I could see some fishermen walking towards us.
“Well, I’ve to leave now, John’s here. I must say I am proud of you. Oh, and I think if you walk straight into the garden over there, you’ll find a note someone dropped, I think it’s for you” He tells me.
I am absolutely sure that I am dreaming so I didn’t ask much, I just try to enjoy his company instead.
I stood up, and waved him good bye, and start walking. Funny guy, all dressed up like a shepherd and stuff... I wonder who he is?
“Wait, I want to know your name!” I asked, turning around.
He was already walking away with his fisherman friends, but he turned back, smiled again, and replied, “My name is Jesus Christ, nice to meet you Mad Morrison!”
A bright white light covers me... I float in empty limbo.
I couldn’t believe it... and, where the hell, am I now, by the way?
Anyways, I had already reached the garden, so I look for the note, and sure enough, there it was, on the ground near the garden gate.
I picked it up, here’s what it said:
Dear Mad Morrison,
You lucky bastard you, you’ve just met someone even I haven’t had the honour to meet yet, haven’t you? That was the real Jesus Christ himself, you idiot! I’m jealous! Take care, buddy!
TO BE CONTINUED...
- Eddieson Okram
(The weird shadowy strange guy from the cemetery, remember? Lol!)
P.S: As for your second wish, if you go deep into the garden, you’ll find it, cheers!
My heart Quickened, could it really be? I ran into the garden, rather like a madman, and sure enough, there in the middle of the garden, amongst flowers, a girl in a wedding dress. She looks up at me, smiles, and says the words I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear.
“I’m Jackie, and you must be my crazy pen-pal... come into my arms, my love, in life I couldn’t find you, my dearest, but in death, I have!”