Astrological Enlightenment – Curtis Eggleston

        Something unsavory of selling cocaine. Or the potential to. I would never. Exchanging an addiction for cash might feed a penchant of my own, elevated net worth I couldn’t endorse. But there was always how to eat. I would not let employment detract from productivity. Yet remained the moral dilemma, I couldn´t sell a grain. My God-graven gut said to do so was wrong, and yet as well I was hungry.
        I traded drugs for meals then, and rent of course, metro swipes, socks and underwear. Taking someone´s money, spanking along their vice, that would never lead to eternal repose. But trading, there was something so beautiful, so fair about it. The pão de queijo would stale by day´s end, I was making the most of one’s stock. The metro would move regardless, clearly, if they uploaded my card with swipes for little key bumps, not even thin lines, let alone the caterpillars. If anything, a bump here or there wasn´t instigating anyone’s addiction. On their pay, they could never afford to rile up on their owns, on the assumption they didn´t abandon their home lives, one I made. It was just a harmless bump every while, deepening their focuses at work. I was a basis then, for efficiency, of the São Paulo working world, without accepting a single dime from anyone, more customers twirled metro turnstiles, arriving at their place of employment, perpetuating progress in a historically stymied economy. I would never denominate myself.
        The turtle cascinho backpack and its concomitant stuffing included other benefits. I had sworn I would not resort to use of substance, neither to read nor write. I knew God Earthed me to live as my own self, experience all through inherited lens, sobriety, my unitary birthright. I´d changed my mind though, since my bus ride epiphanies from Porto Velho, regarding what constituted sobriety. You have to be realistic. Food changed your chemistry too, so even if the source didn´t apply to me, I decided, for the cases of other seekers of God, some forms of stimulation were acceptable, as long they came from His varicolored Earth. Weed or mushrooms would be fine, then, but the latter was impossible, or at the very least straining, to procure. Weed simply me-retardou, which, while comforting, no longer benefited me after having decided on the goal of trying to impress someone.
        I tried to read but had no books. I found a pdf online, but the words were small and abnormally boring for having been decided to be published. I tried reading a poem, but didn´t understand it, and switched to a book of literary theory on poetry, but its arguments required me to read other poems printed smally on pdf scans. 
        I tried to write sober, really, I did. I sat and pen-tapped and pensively idled, up-rubbed the nublets of a childish mustache, dangled my legs off the sill outside my window like a genius, skywalking idle space billows, the distance between mere civilians below – I yearned by embracing the craft I´d touch God – the words flashed and left nothing but empty remittances, hollow whispers of lost laughter at the one so audacious to mimic creation. 
        Cocaine, if blown upward and out of palm before a black background, amber-lit, could resemble sparks –  inspiration or fiery particles. The problem was falsehood. As if God were challenging me, saying, you and I, we all know if you did a line right now the words would come flowing dam-collapsely, so don’t sit there giving up, succumbing to ideations of cocaine’s unnaturality, my implorations against trust of science are anything but frivolous. 
        So I connected to the wifi. I’d need internet to research how to make it. I learned: Coca plants grow just two months a year amid the lush greenery of the Columbian countryside. Below, a coca field owned by Edgar and father, Gonzalo, stands ready for harvest in the mountain region of Antiquia, Colu…skipping ahead yeah, okay…So basically I learned that cocaine is a plant. Bang. All natural. The leaves are soaked in gasoline, but the gasoline is drained. The crushed paste of coca leaves remains natural, and dries. Yes, the dried substance is dissolved then in a solvent like maybe water or normally battery acid, but excess solvents are removed, and whatever, it´s dried into bricks, au naturel. 
        I drank the slaked air of a God satisfied, exhaled bull-ly, enough to empty that replenishing breath, to refill it, with a hefty-broad line of crushed coca leaf. This stuff beat the last with an inspiring new bar for purity. There was no need for God, nor the written word. Maybe I would found a church. I looked out over the city. There was much poverty, filth. Sirens reminded, homeless wailed. It began to rain. I loved the rain whole and dropletted, but neither doused centurial grime. I did another line. And a few more, over the course toward sun’s rising. I guessed it was tomorrow. The people needed saving, by definition as people. My brain was wiring. I felt it strong, thought nothing. My journal sat open blankly. I decided I´d see, just to test it, just to make sure, when, if needed, I could write. I did another line, looked out off the ledge. My iPod died. I´d been listening to music. And forgetful of last cigarette, and hunger as consequence. I stood up, fell onto my back. One more bump and the journal sat blankly. Outside and below, the church, Santa Cecília. A woman walking, she looked like she could have been a hooker. I spent four hours til I came. The journal sat blankly. The church remained, the woman gone, but the memory…a homeless scream for God. Lightning must have flashed, for thunder spoke air’s scorn. That was it:


The church rises to three needles and a crux, long rusted
green but the threat hones clear: sky
do not near or I will puncture you, tear.


I did not see the light but thunder fables the windows, broken
sound warbles through the city like minnows
die on glass, slapping wet and memorable
echo sutures breaths.


Rains cleanses, acid´s must to wash church graffiti,
wooden, crane-still doors keep shut, but homeless adopt
resemblances of sleep at their foot,
to whose quiet unconsciousness,
humans offer pity.


A walker too beautiful to speak to doesn´t speak, she stands
beside the reeking – skirted religion – teases the festering she
prison-guards within her, avoiding the rain by a cornice centimeter,
lights a cigarette, two drags, and flicks it through
a leper´s squint where only flight should enter.


It´s flame, soused on rise, from my balcony I wonder,
had it entered lit, would have sparks borne fire, and all
that comes with it, rains save solely mire,
wrote permanent graffiti, prove vagrants blank-wet and
her burned empathy, and we are one all
whose responsibility
while the church keeps shut 
having threatened the key.


        Yeah nice. I could see myself getting good at this. Granted, there were some improvements to be made. Blank-wet, Jesus. Still. The minnow thing. 
        I did a few more dozen lines. Over awhile´s course to nowhere. I needed someone. A brother for getting with somewhere, lone companion´s role is savior. When I was God, there was no One there. Company, potentially anywhere, but out the window stiff floods of lights, indications of named accompaniments. Many, families, sure, but some loneliness, individuals in need of like me, shone silently, as far as the stars you can´t see in a city and as conceptually. However, paranoid as a crackhead elected prime minister, I only left my room to eat. Staggering to the elevator, starved to the ligament, listening to music that sounded like tin no matter whose creation suffered my emptiness, I´d watch the walls through the see-thru parts of the lift, masochistically tickling myself with the thought that something so old and shaky and holed and transparent in its risk meant that if it could it would break and I’d die, but I didn´t, instead, one-handedly lean-stepped through the vaulted lobby, past an old porteiro as tired as me who never noticed me, out to next door´s lanche empresario to buy whatever fried bullshit I could stuff down my life. There was never any looking anybody in the eye. The world was out to get me, especially since it knew I paid in cocaine, and since the tremors in my brain convinced me the oncoming aneurysm was the world shaking, not my conception of it. My hair shook if the rest of me made it to still. The twenty-some girl working the cash register plotted to rob me, and there was no seeing at her because if I did she´d ask me for my room number, try to fake-fuck me as pretense for theft, her daddy would kill me no matter the heft of the heist, and I´d want to vomit my beef stuffed bread, but pressing my swallow meant energy for steps to bed, deference of death, another line, not a single poem read or line written, but then it wasn´t bad, because I knew, out my window, from the shaded silhouettes revering out their windows all but themselves, the names of theirs shadowed by their backlighting lamps, I knew their every mind and tragedy, mine aligned, and as I promised across smog my poetry would render resplendent confusion to each of their lives, the blank lay firm inside the journal. My head felt like a kernel at the bottom of the bag. I knew I was a God whenever I wanted, it just wasn´t now, it was whenever the verses stopped compressing themselves in, so I could remember one enough to scratch it out. Sometimes for the experience of opposites react I´d level my imbalance, let the coke high dwindle to the particle, sit on the ledge, legs kicking out crescive ideation and cry my banes back at the junkies who were tearing sat air with their pleas, a single moan, pathetic cry from me would echo out ten throats below, I´d laugh down at them off my post and imagine in their delusions they´d think someone had come, angry or anything, only senseless noise from above, but unbeknownst to them, I was a human, same as them, with more comfortable, less space to call my own. I began to want to throw myself laughing to beneath their ground, twenty-two stories guarantees the flight results in gets-you-there, who was I to waste the room, my brain, two months? I deserved to die I was certain, my brain eroding to the flavor of battery acid, my body’s sulk like Godly promise atrophied. God decides when life must end, no doubting the epochal side of the exchange, the making space for faithful after privileged waste their sakes, spat my reflection. I laughed. Even while self-loathing I liked looking at myself, but I flinched at a new realization: this was a two-way mirror, and someone had placed a camera behind my flipped image.
        A monstrous decision born in the depths below the edge of my flat-brain flapped up over the territory of self, lowered itself, sunk its talons into gray matter´s soil. I abandoned the mirror, fled through my room, slid wide the window, surfed the ledge. Wind blew. It was early night and traffic discontented below. Far city starred, clouds barred views of the sky, I had no one. I discarded all thought but for focus on my physical realm. Jaundiced skin, schizophrenic eyelids, indefensible ribs. I imagined the flexion and extension of my bony legs, a coup against destiny’s gravity, her slurp of me back nearer to the orb, and how I´d crash, crack head first and then cement, swan my spine into chips, live sack burst to kubricks of blood, or perhaps I´d one-eighty, to admire the ledge, one step a lifetime ago, backflip it, land square on my shoes and lease femurs’ rising burst through hips like unsheathed swords. 
        The violence of it kinda turned me off. Besides, I still had a grip of blow. I tapped out a line, gummed a little for numbness, took a caterpillar deep sinus and one for good measure as they say, what they mean is to excuse tolerance. I felt better. The next comedown would surely kill me. I couldn´t pray. Nobody likes mooches. I would call on my landlord but he was just too gay, well, no, his gayness was relevant though, he was decidedly just too horny to trust to be utilized as therapeutic ear, with his newfound addiction to cocaine, especially. I´d go down, outside, try to get a hold of myself with some fresh air or talks with strangers, but my neighbor had been recently painting his walls, he was always hearing my sniffles through the plaster between us, he´d even gone as far as to slip a note silently beneath my door to notify me as a point of personal privilege to his being prone to sensory overload, he had some terrible synesthesia, ostensibly, and as example he´d cited, in nearly unreadably featherlight calligraphy (a question of pen-scratch sensitivity or a mere insufficiency of ink) an ideophobia lecture he´d attended at which others´ inappropriate whispers conjured visions of his son (the one he´d go on to explain he´d never had but always wanted) drowning in one of those waterpark wave pools, release valve malfunction in conjunction with a restroom-breaking lifeguard coinciding into inflatable tube riders tsunami-thrust airborne like damp humans cursed to ride frisbees while his sweet hypothetical baby boy sunk ignored to pool bottom due to all potential saviors distracted by besides the death part´s situation´s undeniable hilarity, and he pleaded then could I only imagine how my sniffles´ incessancy stifled his sanity. So far I´d avoided him, but now, to go out, I´d have to use the elevator, and I was sure this time would be the one he’d walk out too, where we´d have to awkwardly descend together, him neighborly attuned to my snotty river, cleverly deductive and annoyed by my nightly adjacent snuffling to see his chance and go all copsnitch on me, do me in. All the cops here were addicted to blow of course, I wouldn´t get arrested, I´d just lose my stash, which would serve as a somewhat convenient solution to this whole addiction business, but fuck a cop, no pig gettin´ cranked on daddy´s pride. I´d start swiping dating apps but I was pretty sure all of them were CGI, plus the second you do they start filming through the selfie cam anyway. I opened my computer. Really the cocaine was not the problem. For instant treatment I tried to type paranoia into the search bar, spelled it pronoia, and read the definition “a person experiencing [paranoia] feels that the world around them conspires to do them good.” 
        I looked up my horoscope: Green cricket homes rise outside the window, watch the river after the tittle-kitten hovers over broad shoulders of the buffalo, a new moon mews in only you know. 
        Oh shit. My door swung around its hinges, knob punished the wall. Landlordy mouth-breathed rabidity. Froth bubbles jovially rolled across horoscoped air. His eyes sought mercy. This must have been the tittle-kitten. As soon as I´d read it, I bastioned myself against lingerers. Aptly warned. Wagner really didn´t think I would give it to him. He fell into his knees and begged through threaded hands and teary sprinkles. Here was my green grass rising. I needed money, said I wouldn´t sell, but the future´s been written, and the cricket bemoans the sacrifice. We came to an agreement. The rest of the cocaine for all his liquid cash. We each found it perfectly fair, I passed on my share of the burden, he hunkered down into the breadth of his new buffalo role, grazing into the turtle shell backpack as he left. 
        I shut the door behind him, turned off the lights behind me as to effortlessly imbibe the city lights phasing through the window. They twinkled cute photons, each contact striking new epiphany. Watch the river after tittle-kitten hovers…bus prices to Rio were cheap. 
        The future really was prewritten. I mean, let’s argue from a scientific standpoint, if from the fourth dimension looking condescendingly upon our third, our livelihoods manifesting super human lifetime length millipedes, we´re a thread through ourselves to the end, and thus in contact with future memories, or, memories from future or past arise minded simply via these connections, now, one could argue the memory portion of the life doesn’t connect to that future section of the millipede until you already pass the action that creates the memory, all time or energy flows forward through the noodle or tube or long ass body of the millipede, from telson to head, but if the energy flowing through the light restarts from the beginning again, why can’t there be premonition, some present day rapport with the future, like the pearl necklace of last-night´s dream presenting itself to you days later, or the goals-wants-needs conjured by astrology terms tangibly manifesting as you envisioned them? Your body emits an aura, people can feel yours, there´s a sciency bowtied electromagnetic-waves-off-your-heart explanation for someone´s “vibe,” and so then your energy affects others’, and all other energy in general, you can warp what’s near you at least, so what about variation between heart bpm vibe cannons, there’ve gotta be some people whose energy extends much farther than the average viber, right, let´s apply as much variance to our hypothetical as between the vertical jumps of one obese and LeBron James NBA peak, meaning huge spread, meaning then there’ve gotta be aura dunkers-from-the-FT-line out there thinking of their ex-girlfriend from eight years ago who currently does her grad school homework in Budapest ten thousand miles away just to get a call from her minutes later, so then imagine their power when it comes to seeing vague astrology terms, their energetic reach extending down the 3D timeline taps the shoulder of a future event, who turns and shows its face and instigates the pop-up future memory of the new lucrative opportunity shining into your email which they already knew as coming when it appeared in their head when they read “a deer might be watching through the glass window this week.”
        Wagner came in, shoved me a bag of all of his cash on hand. I packed my bags. I checked the time. 2:47am. I added up the minutes to thirteen and sorrowed for those who had to deal with the number’s unluckiness. With a feeling under skin and surfacing of a business opportunity awaiting, I checked my email.