15 Back to the girl with the skeleton key tattoo

There may be Hope above,  There may be Rest beneath.  We know not- only Death is palpable- and Love.





Back to the girl with the skeleton key tattoo



<<okay.  well then.  that was neat huh?  future present!  yay!  are you a day dream believer Finnegan?  i have day dreams that i like to believe in.  come on Finnster, smile!>>

Whats going on?  Where are we now?


<<you stumble out of the back door of your house to your van (this is a day before you wake up tied to a hospital bed and years after you fell in artistic love with Hopskotch.  and Way before the year 4325)  and dig your car keys out of the pocket of your battered black leather jacket.  you just found the note that bastard husband of yours left you (the one talking about him leaving town with your son.)  YOUR SON!!!  Finnegan, you seethe with anger (look! you are even doing it now!)  and when the rage starts to boil up inside you wash it down with the poison from the bottle in your hands.  that always ends well…>>


Have I told you lately, that I hate you?  Hmmm, Virus?


<<it is six in the evening and you have an art show to attend.  the show is in Oklahellmouth City, at a book store (that specializes in outsider art and all things anti-mainstream) called, “the Book Beat”.  with car keys in one hand and whiskey bottle in the other, you wobble to the passenger side of the van, open the door and climb through to the driver seat.  you know Finnegan, it is nice that your driveway runs along the side of your house into a garage outback.  that must be why you and Ruben got it.  easy access to the garage that you use as your painting studio.>>


<<you booked the show with the owner of the Book Beat, a man named Shilo, last month when Hopskotch took you up to Oklahellmouth City to show you around his old neighborhood.  after getting kicked out of a couple of dive bars you will never remember, much less visit again; you wound up at the Book Beat.  Hopskotch introduced you to Shilo and you both fell into artistic conversation about the rise and fall of ‘Merican’ society.  you produced a bottle of Jesus Juice out of your backpack along with some of your tarot card paintings.  you shared both with Shilo.  yes, he enjoyed the shared wine, but he liked your art even more.  Shilo offered you a show in his gallery.>>


<<tonight is not a good night for you to have an art opening however; considering that you were just abandoned by your family.  luckily you have already hung the art show (over another bottle of Jesus Juice with Shilo) in the gallery two nights ago.  Shilo complained about the huge nails that you used to hang your work, calling them Jesus Nails.  Jesus Juice, Jesus Nails, i sense a theme with you Finnegan.  so tonight all you have to do is show up to the art show opening kinda sober and be charming and hopefully sell some paintings.  but your child has been taken from you by the love of your life.  so sober and charming is out of the question.  when you planned the show out, you hoped that Ruben or Hopskotch would drive you to the show, but Hopskotch is busy covering for you at the Bucket o’ Blood (A.K.B.S.A. as B.o.B.) and your husband Ruben is busy skipping town with your son.>>


“Oh Fuck All.”, you swear.  <<as you climb into your 1970’s multicolored cargo van.>>


<<nothing catches the attention of the authorities quite like a drunk driver in a cargo van, swerving down the city streets.  especially your cargo van, with all the various images that you have painted on the side.  you think about this when you have to put the whiskey bottle in your hands down to find the vehicle’s ignition and insert the keys.  master of your own destiny and captain of bad decisions; you open the driver’s side door and fall out of the van into the honeysuckle bush that grows on the fence next to the van.  cursing at Demeter, Goddess of such growing plants, you stumble back into your house through the back door and into the kitchen.  you open the refrigerator door to scavenge for sobering food and drink.  the cold air from the refrigerator starts to give you a chill.  it is then that you realize that you are not wearing any pants.>>


“Oh Fuck All.”, you repeat.


<<you grab some bread and absentmindedly put meat and cheese and dressing (or things that look like those things) together in a sort of sandwich looking pile.  you then start taking large angry bites and swallow after minimal chewing.  you wash everyother bite down with water from the kitchen tap.  three quarters of the way through the “make me less drunk” sandwich you head to the bathroom and prepare for bathing.  as you chew, you take off a “LOCAL MARTYRS” folk rock band t-shirt (stained with paint, wine and i hesitate to contemplate whatelse…), black work boots, a pair of black and white striped socks and a pair of panties with a skull and cross bones printed on the crotch.  i am happy to report that it does not say “juicy” on the ass side of your underwear.  you throw these clothes into a pile next to the bathtub and climb under the hot water showering down from above.  after you soap your hair, you hang your head directly under the flowing water and lean forward onto your hands as they push against the wall’s avocado green bath tile.>>


“I say Rock.  You say Roll.”, you chant.  <<repeatedly as you beat your drunken head against the tile wall and wash away the hurt and shame that is your life.>>


<<steam heat spreads throughout the bathroom and fogs the mirror.  after ten minutes, the hot water runs out and you exit the shower.  you draw pictures in the fog on the mirror using your fingers and a piece of shattered wall to make smaller lines.  you stare at the human figure trapped in the glass behind the drawing.  you really hope that she is you.  feeling sorry for the woman in the mirror you think a ten minute nap is called for; before you try to get on the road again.  off to your art show in Oklahellmouth City.>>


<<a good two hours later; you are back in your child molester van (as Hopskotch jokingly refers to it) taking it on the train, heading north to the Book Beat, for your first art show in Oklahellmouth City.  the bookstore is located in a lower economic tax bracket section of Oklahellmouth City.  arts communities are always trying to reclaim run down areas of towns and sculpt them into something prettier.  it is amazing the things one can make out of red dirt.>>


<<in spite of the community being without a great deal of disposable income, the parking lot is full of cars.  the building, once upon a time a printing company, is now the largest independently owned bookstore in Oklahellmouth.  Shilo waves to you as you shyly walk in half an hour late to your own art show.  Shilo smiles at you and motions for you to come over.  he introduces you to a group of young hipsters he was talking with before you arrived.  you awkwardly move closer to join.  you and the hipsters discuss art and social injustice for a couple hours and drink lots and lots of red wine.  with every glass you move further up and out of despair and then fall back in as each glass becomes empty.  you break off from conversation and conversation to refill the glass again and attempt to drown sorrow, one more time.  the show goes on.  it is a success.  you are a hot mess.  despite the warnings of many new fans and buyers of your art and the bookstore owner himself, you climb back into your ChoMo van and you start the engine and the trip back to Normal Towne.  the wine gives you hope that some how, after you drive off the train, your family will have magically come back for you.>>

<<you wake up in a nightmare with a tube in your lung.  you hear voices, but you

cannot see.>>


<<nurses trying to make men leave you alone.>>

“Gentlemen, you cannot be in here!”, says a female voice.


<<arguing from the men.>>

“He’s her husband, and a Doctor.  Step aside.  Go ahead Doc, give it to her.  Give her the shot.”, says the first man’s voice.


“I think I can do better than this woman.”, says a second man.


<<you wonder:>>  Was that Ruben’s voice?


“But she’s your wife man.”, says the first man.


“Yes, but I just settled on her to pass the time.  There has to be a more stable control for the serum to be tested on.  Let us go get the child.”. says the second man.  <<who you now know is Ruben.  what a dick.>>

“Zukio!!  What are you doing?!  Don’t give her that one damnit!!  That one is the Control!  I wanted to test one of the formula sub-strains on her.”, says Ruben.


“I told him.  Didn’t I Yukio?  Told you Doc, you should have done it.  You’re the Doctor, Doc.  I just picked a vial from the lot…”, says a third man.  <<apparently named Zukio>>


“He did tell you doc…”, says the first man.  <<A.K.B.S.A. as Yukio>>


“Quiet you two.  It is what it is.  Let us see what comes of it.  Time to leave.”, says Ruben.


<<exiting sounds.  nurses struggle to keep you alive and sedated.  doors open.  doors close.  time passes.  both in metaphor and for really real.>>








14 Far and Awake


“I’m getting closer.  I’m getting closer, all the time.”

– Trent Reznor

<< The Star either has nine or 11 points of contact (the illuminati can never remember which) 4 or 6 are unseen in this dimension>>

Virus of the Cows: <<what do you remember about the time before my children?>>


Finnegan of the Cooks:  Before your what?!  From when?  Speak english imaginary fiend!


Virus: <<AARRRRGGG!!!  just roll with me kid.  you sure can screw up a good narrative junior.>>


Finnegan:  Hey.  Don’t call me that, you ass head.  you…you truck drivin’ disease!!  I thought you were a pleasant voice inside my head back in the hospital…

Virus of Cow and Cowmen:  <<ok, i am sorry bud.  but ass head?! really?  i would shake my head if i had one.  how about we make a deal friend?>>


Finnegan the cook:  Friend?  I think I’ll stick with fiend.  What kind of a deal you devil?


Virus:  <<why thank you!  i just mean…how about you never call me a disease?  i am nothing so base.  nothing so wrong or destructive.  i am a virus.  something that grows, not destroys.  i am like a computer program, or language; written by  God, Herself.  i am a builder. i am a giver!  a lover of life.  it tastes good, life.  kind of like chicken.  i rebuild the broken.  i bring back the lost and fallen lambs…errrr…rather cows, humans, and chickens (it is fun to watch them run around headless for eternity), but never dogs or cats or mice (they already over run the earth without the shot at immortality)  oh, and pigeons.  i like to reanimate pigeons.  i think that about covers it.>>


Finnegan:  Pigeons?!  Zombie pigeons?  That’s a thing in this story?


Virus:  <<oh yeah.  just wait for it bud.>>

Finnegan:  Gosh, you are a specifically benevolent and generous being aren’t you?


Virus:  <<hey girl, everyone has to have goals.>>


Finnegan:  Ok, I get it.  And in return for me caring about your disembodied…err…multi-bodied feelings?  I get…?


Virus the Liar:  <<i will never call you junior again.  i will not even let anyone else in the story do it.>>


Finnegan the Gullible:  For Reals?!  You promise?


Virus:  <<ofcourse.  unless it is that asshole boss of yours.  it is kind of a running joke and plot point.>>


Finnegan:  (Groans)  Okay…I guess.  

Virus:  <<good.  now let us start over.  what do you remember after your drunk ass wrecked your van?>>


Finnegan:  Gawd, you are an ass.

Virus:  <<hey, you are Captain Bad Decision, not me.  i do not even drink.>>


Finnegan:  Oh yeah?  Not even the blood of the innocent?


Virus the impatient:  <<tell the damn story already, junior!!!>>


Finnegan the Bard:  Mother Fucker…



I am curled up on the couch in a spiderman blanket, clutching Baby Thor’s stuffed panda.  Last night I broke out of the hospital and wandered the streets of Normal Towne.  I wandered for hours until I remembered where I lived.  I was way messed up and withdrawing from all the drugs the nurses had used to sedate me and block the pain caused by my wreck.  I tried to steal some clothes from a couple homeless guys sleeping near the train tracks.  They woke up went I started going through their stuff.  But they didn’t mind so much because they had some extra clothes and I let them watch as I stripped away my hospital gown.  One of them, a guy wearing a sweatshirt with the ‘Merican’ Flag on it, gave me a swig of his Jesus Juice before I stumbled off barefoot into the night.  It was raining slightly, which helped me wash some of the grease from my hair and my face, and some of the blood from the tubes and bandages that I pulled off.  I smelled horrible, but was relatively clean by the time I passed the Bucket o’ Blood.  It was then that I realized that I felt really strong.  Like drunk strength times ten.  

All the restaurant’s windows were dark except for the neon bar signs.  I heard a noise from the dumpster out back and ran away from the restaurant; fearing that it might be a co-worker.  I didn’t realize that it was the middle of the night and that it was probably just another bum looking for a bottle or a bite to eat.  I made a mental note to go repay the kindness those bums who clothed and gave me a drink showed to me.  I think something like that would only have happened in Normal Towne.  People are really kind here, sometimes.


I lurked through the alleyways behind the Bucket o’ Blood.  There was a streetlamp overhead and beer bottles alongside soggy cardboard boxes from the surrounding restaurants and bars strewn across the ground.  This was the business district next to the Ticky Tacky University Campus.  I realized that it was that rare part of the night when the alleyways are deserted.  A few hours earlier or later and there would be service industry workers of some sort closing or opening the various shops, bars and eateries.  Soon there would be trucks bringing supplies and products that these workers would prepare to sell to the consumers who would come and spend their money.  The people always come and spend money.  Everyday.  It is our religion.


Anyway, I was out of my mind and roaming the streets when I happened by the Belly Bar.  “Home of the Dead Cup that will fill yer belly up”.  With beer of course.  I could not for the life of me think of where I had wanted to go when I left the hospital, but I did remember that there was a fire escape with roof access in the alleyway behind the Belly.  So in a couple of minutes I found myself climbing a wet ladder to the top of the most popular music venue in Normal Towne, bare foot.  As I stood atop the building and stared at the sleeping community I felt alone and empty.  I knew something, someone was missing.  I listened to the sound of car tires rolling through standing water on the rain slick streets.  I wondered where the people in these cars were going.  I thought that they should be at home at this hour.  And then I realized that was where I wanted to be when I was tied to the bed at Normal Towne Regional Hospital.  So down the ladder, off the roof, through the streets and home I ventured.  When I found myself standing at the front door of my home I realized that the pockets of the clothes I was wearing did not come with a copy of my house key.  Otherwise those bums wouldn’t have been homeless.


So I had to break into my own house.  I tried all the windows and doors first, but everything was locked up tight.  I decided that I would kick in the back door if I could.  I was cold and wet and done with the day.  When I raised my foot to the back door, I put all of my strength into the kick.  I figured that someone my size would have a harder time kicking in a door than, say…a cop you see doing it on television; but to my surprise the door flew back and came off of it’s hinges as it crashed to the kitchen floor.  My foot, my leg did that?  It was a loud and messy way to come home and I’m sure my neighbors were super glad to know that I was back.  


Virus of the Cows:  <<okay, bored now.>>


Finnegan of the Cooks:  What do you mean?


(You feel yourself fading away)


<<i mean that i want to talk now.  you tell the story too slow.>>


But it is MY Stor…


<<so, Finnegan, you broke into your house cried about your kid being gone, got cleaned up and drunk and masterbated or something like that and passed out in a superhero blanket.  you wake up to Hopskotch Sundey and the Police knocking on the front door of your house.  you stumble to the door wearing only panties and that sweatshirt you bummed off those bums last night.  Did not that sweatshirt have a kitty cat sitting under a christmas tree printed on it?>>


I hate you


<<anyway, when you busted out of the hospital in the middle of the night, the police were called out to find you.  your dishwashing buddy, Hopskotch Sundey, read a belligerent email you sent him in the middle of last night/this morning’s drinking jag about your husband taking your child and leaving you… and so Hopskotch and a couple of police officers wind up meeting on your doorstep at seven in the morning.  Naturally, since Hopskotch is a six foot tall black man with dreadlocks down past his shoulders standing at the front door of a missing white lady’s house, they assume he’s completely innocent…>>


I see what you did there.  Ha!


<<fearing for his life, Hopskotch Sunday tries to quickly explain that he is your friend, coworker and fellow artist and here after receiving a desperate email form you.  the two Normal Towne stare blankly through his words, hearing only a preamble to a murder confession.  they then inform Hopskotch that you were admitted into the hospital yesterday evening with near fatal injuries and were now in fact missing from the hospital.  the two officers explain the impossibility of you getting up and walking out of the hospital in your condition and their current theory of your abduction by a six foot tall black man claiming to be your “friend”.  as the two police officers are reading Hopskotch Sunday his rights and putting on the handcuffs, bam!!  Finnegan, that is when your half naked human female ass-hanging-out self opens the door and asks…>>


Can I help you officers?

<<hey.  i am telling the story here punk!!>>


Sorry Not Sorry.


<<can i help you officers, you say.  Hopskotch Sunday in handcuffs, turns his head to look at you over his shoulder and says:>>

“Hey look!!  It’s my special little Snow Flake!!”

<<Hopskotch and the two police officers are all stunned to see you scantily clad and apparently uninjured.  I remember you replied to Hopskotch with a polite “Fuck You” and then start ranting to the police about how your husband ran off with your son and that they needed to: “Uncuff your asshole best friend and go find the other asshole who has run off with my child!!”  the two officers suddenly remember that they have something better to do than stay here and listen to your Crazy.  they then uncuff Hopskotch Sunday and push him toward you door.  the first officer explains that they have to go investigate a violent food poisoning at a local breakfast diner.  as they are walking away to their car, the second officer advises you to:  “Go fill out a missing persons report, and put some pants on ma’am.”  And like that the law is gone.  you and Hopskotch go inside and smoke some dope for breakfast and have a cup of green tea with goji berry.  Hopskotch asks you about the art show the night before and:  “What the hell happened after?”  Finnegan, you tell him that you cannot remember much of the art show.  all you remember is finding that note from Ruben and then hulk smashing walls and drinking fuck you amounts of whiskey and wrecking your van and Ruben and needles…and then you remember me.  nut you keep me to yourself.>>


Yeah.  Where did you come in the picture bud?


<<Ruben obviously loved you for your mind>>


Fuck you.