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Registered: 03/18/03
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Short Story: Dimitri
    #3986351 - 03/29/05 07:50 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Its a work in progress... oh and thanks to Grateful Jim for coming up with a good name for the character.


Adam Thornton had just walked through an incredibly dilapidated building and was now standing in the strangest apartment he?d ever seen. The walls were crawling with Turkish prints, beads, hanging pots growing vines and exotic cacti. In the center of the room was knee-high wooden table, intricately decorated with geometric carvings. The carving was apparently still in progress?some of the wood was covered in a dark oily resin, and other parts revealed the naked interior, freshly exposed by the craftsman. The room smelled sticky and sweet, a scent Adam associated with Venice Beach, but couldn?t quite put his finger on. It wasn?t pot?Adam was no stranger to that smell, which had punctuated the air even back at home. But this was something else.
Directly across from the entrance hung an enormous painting of a skinless woman giving birth to a skinless baby, their internal organs and external auras on display.
?You like Alex Grey?? said the tanned, dreadlocked owner of the apartment, who had introduced himself as Grateful Jim when they met at the Venice drum circle.
?Alex Grey? I?m not sure who that is,? said Adam.
?The painting?? the man gestured toward the opposite wall. ?The guy?s a real visionary, man. Mother and child, you know? The beauty and the blood?C?mere, I?ll show you my favorite print.?
Grateful Jim rolled his eyes, spun a lazy circle, and sauntered away. His dirty blonde dreadlocks echoed the movement a moment later. He walked through a curtain of hanging beads straight out of the sixties. Adam followed, mindful of his squareish gait and Lacoste polo shirt. Grateful Jim made him feel so inauthentic, so wealthy and unoriginal. He felt like an intruder in their world, this underground community of shamanism and psychedelics and music and god knows what else. But his curiosity and wonder always trumped his self conscious doubts, and so he followed Grateful Jim towards the hallway, trying not to look like a complete tight ass.
?Yo, Christi.? Jim said into an open doorway. ?Say hi to Adam. He?s looking for Dimitri.? Jim winked, and motioned Adam towards the door. She was beautiful, the perfect hippie goddess. Her dreadlocks were different from Jim?s, the braided kind. She had brown, sunbleached hair and bright green eyes, and the same tanned, ruddy face as Jim?s.
?Hi.? Adam said, shyly.
?Oh, he?s adorable, Jimmy!? she said. ?and looking to try out some dimitri.? She mimicked astonishment. These people were always mimicking astonishment. ?Be careful, guy. I hope you know what you?re doing.? Adam turned to look at Grateful Jim, but he had disappeared into his own bedroom.
?I hope so too!? Adam said, with nervous laughter and the best knowing look he could muster. ?Nice meeting you.? He turned and walked into the other room.
Grateful Jim was holding a burning piece of sage, looking at Adam with that fierce yet benign look of a veteran tripper. The smoke curled up and filled the room with yet another vaguely familiar aroma. This one called to mind one of Adam?s conquests from Chesterfield Prep back in New York, a hippie chick who hadn?t been able to resist the lure of Adam?s cherry M3 and vintage overcoat. Back then he had known exactly who he was, and just what to do. That was before coming out west and this craziness that had shaken Adam to the core.
Jim stuck the unlit end of the sage into a Shiva sculpture covered in several shades of wax, and turned to face the other Alex Grey reproduction. A bright euphoric sphere covered the top half of the print, enveloping a human figure with cascades of pink and green. Below the figure was the familiar crescent of Earth, but with the unique touch of a waterspout springing from the North Atlantic and connecting the figure to the planet itself. ?Something else, huh?? Jim said.
Adam nodded his assent?he couldn?t think of anything to say. The bright sphere on the print gave Adam an intense episode of D?j? vu. He knew he?d seen something very much like it?somewhere else. This was starting to happen on a daily basis. Adam would see some view, hear a series of noises, smell some particular scent? and it would just set alarm bells ringing in his brain. He?d seen this before.
Grateful Jim lightly dropped his thin frame onto the floor, landing gracefully cross legged, and then pushed his feet out in front of him and his arms behind. ?Sit down, Adam.? Adam, who was still processing the bolt of recognition brought on by the painting, was startled by the direct command and use of his first name. Grateful Jim?s whimsical attitude began to turn serious. He gave Adam another one of his penetrating stares, and Adam tried desperately to return the prolonged eye-contact without shrinking away. It was the look of someone who had glimpsed unimaginable vistas, a look that screamed wisdom. Adam felt naked. Those eyes?they read Adam like an open book.
?So, uh, I guess you know why I?m here,? Adam said, desperate to break the silence.
?Hmmm?? Jim began, taking a deep breath. ?You?re looking for DMT,? he said in a mock-anxious tone, parodying Adam?s earlier request. More silence. Adam grew increasingly uncomfortable. His mood alternated from elation at having finally found it, to uncertainty revolving around his preppy background, to utter confusion about what exactly he was looking for in the first place, which would remind him again that he had finally found it! He felt like he was being strung along through some narrow corridor that had been predefined for him.
?Yea.? Adam said, finally. This brought about another stare from Grateful Jim.
?Look, I?m going to level with you here Adam. No one knows who you are. No one?s even seen you before. I?m sitting out front there??Jim motioned towards window, and the beach outside? ?and you?re just another tourist in the Saturday evening circle?then all the sudden you?re tromping through the middle with this look about you, interrupting the dancers, stumbling, stumbling?you look like you?ve been frying for days. And you come up to me with a bunch of sirs and stuttering, asking after some Dimitri.? Jim laughed at the memory, mimicking his prior astonishment for Adam?s benefit, and then turned abruptly serious once again. ?We don?t deal lightly with this stuff?you?re talking about the most powerful psychoactive substance known to man. I wouldn?t have even considered bringing you up here, but you had this look?and you picked me out of the crowd. How did you know I even had the stuff??
Adam tried frantically to formulate a reply. He didn?t need Jim to remind him how out of place he looked. How could he explain what had happened? The way the view across the drum circle flared at the edges, and how Jim, trancing out to the group drum beat like the rest of the hippies, had become...defined ?how the scene lit up his brain around the nexus of Jim?s face: grinning, open mouthed, eyes focused somewhere on the other side of the percussive trance?how could Adam explain this to him if he didn?t understand it himself?
?I don?t know how I knew.? Adam said. ?You just kinda jumped out at me. This thing?s been happening?I look at something, and something sorta fills in the details for me. Like that picture there?? Adam motioned towards the painting with his eyes??I know I?ve never seen it before, but still, its familiar. It kind of? lights up in my head, and I recognize it from somewhere?? Adam felt defeated. He wasn?t doing this well at all. Grateful Jim?s ever-present stare took on a new intensity. Then a small smile parted his lips, and he reached into a drawer and came out with a neatly rolled spliff. He held the lighter to the twisted end, burning off the extra paper.
?How about we start from the beginning here, man. I mean, no offence, but you don?t exactly look like the type to attend a drum circle at all, let alone disrupt one to ask a stranger for a potent psychedelic. Where are you from anyway?? He blew a bit of air onto the lit end of the joint, and a small cloud of pungent smoke rose off the cherry, a bit of combustion potentiated by Grateful Jim?s breath. He took a leisurely hit and passed it on to Adam, who immediately accepted the offer and took a substantial toke. He was anxious to both prove his worthiness in this world of drugs and counterculture, and to ease some of the tension that had permeated the whole visit. He felt the familiar buzz begin to take hold before he had even finished exhaling. Jim continued:
?You know that expression, ?spinning a yarn?? It?s about storytelling, you know? The wives in old tribal societies used to get high off the seeds of the hemp they wove, and talked story to pass the time. So let?s smoke this nice bomber here, and you just relax and tell me how you got into all this, just relax, ok man? I?m sorry if I came off a little intense earlier, I was just a little surprised. Don?t take offense to my poking fun at you, that?s just what I do, I poke fun at everything.? Jim reached over with the burning cannabis and knocked some ashes into a basin beneath the Shiva sculpture. Adam watched the orange and gray bits make their way slowly down through the air to settle amongst wax, ash, and paperclips. He took a second drag?he did feel like ?talking story??and so he blew the smoke into the air and began.
?The reason I?m nervous is because all of this is so new to me. You can?t imagine what California?Venice, LA?what this all is like to someone who has lived on Park Avenue their whole life. My dad works on Wall Street. It?s all I?ve ever known. From pre-school to my graduation from Chesterfield Prep, I never had a classmate who didn?t come from an upper class family. Everyone is rich, everyone says the same shit, there?s a script, you know, that everyone sticks to. And they don?t even know it. They don?t have a clue how restricted they are, it?s just how life is for them.? Adam was relieved at the chance to get this all off his chest. He knew that Grateful Jim would understand.
?By the time junior year came around, I was so tired of the atmosphere out there, and so I decided to leave New York, leave the east coast completely and head out here to California. I felt like heading west would do?something. I dunno, I guess I never really thought it through, I just wanted to head west. For my father, I might as well have been moving to China. He was pissed?he thought I was coming out here to screw some blond girls and party?and I was, I was. But the real reason?I just needed to get out of that scene. I was getting very cynical. So I got accepted to USC and came out here in the fall.? By now the spliff was really starting to go?each hit more powerful than the last. Grateful Jim listened attentively.
?USC wasn?t at all what I?d expected. I had this idea that people out here would be somehow?freer, that there?d be less bullshit I had dealt with back at home. A week off the plane, I was already joining a fraternity?everyone was. I might as well have been back at Chesterfield. One day this asshole Kurt had us lined up right in the middle of campus, reciting all this nonsense they?d forced us to memorize. It was ridiculous?I hadn?t learned it, I actually thought they were joking when they passed out these books full of codes and oaths and whatnot, just trying to see if some moron would actually learn the stuff. So the guy starts going off on me after he sees I don?t know any of it, I mean really getting into it?so I took off my pledge pin and put it in his hand, and walked away.? Grateful Jim pursed his lips and feigned indignance.
?Nice move.? He laughed.
?I was really flying off the whole encounter, the showdown. I played the scene over and over in my head as I walked back to the dorms.? Adam was ripped from the high-grade pot they?d smoked, and really getting into his newfound storytelling trip. Grateful Jim was a great listener. ?That?s when it really started, Jim. I was walking down the hallway, and I passed this room where a few stoners sat and played halo all day long. They were the only guys on the floor who hadn?t pledged a fraternity, and so instead they smoked pot all day in that room with the door closed. Normally I would have just walked by, but I had just told that guy Kurt to fuck off, I was really feeling great, and decided to introduce myself to the only other non-frat kids around. Plus, you know, it was still that California trip?pot smoking and the beach and all that.? Grateful Jim raised his eyebrows and smiled, noting that they were at that very moment doing just that, and that he appreciated the irony of it all. He could communicate all that with a look.
?So I knock on the door, I don?t even know if I?ve met anyone in there. And a guy opens it kind of slow. I just said what?s up and told them I?d just quit my frat and wanted to see what they were up to. Just like that. They were allright, they let me in and smoked me out, and I did that whole thing for a couple of weeks. Honestly though, they were boring people, just as bad as any I?d dealt with back in Manhattan. Then one day this guy Chris shows up with a half ounce of mushrooms. We split them up four ways and ate them. I thought I was going to see funny men running around and laugh a bunch. Magic mushrooms, you know? I had no idea what was coming.?
?Good for you man. A whole eighth for your first time. Most people under dose.? Jim said.
?I had no idea what I was doing man. I just ate what Chris gave to me. I even ate a couple mushrooms that another kid didn?t want. I didn?t realize, you know? So everyone started to feel a little sick and anxious, you know how trips can start out like that? So we all lay down and Chris puts on some weird music. And then it hit me?BOOM?you know? I was gone. The room.... I remember staring up at the ceiling, it was just swirling, and full of eyes, faces, scenes, all moving and interacting. Then I lost all contact with reality, with the other kids around me. I lay down and shut my eyes. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I saw myself laying there on Chris?s bed with my eyes closed and my face calm, and I could see the kids around me, apparently enjoying their trip, playing halo and taking bong rips. And then it kinda zoomed out, and I saw the whole campus, I could see how it worked! The way everyone moved, the way the plants grew, the money changed hands, the buildings were built and eroded away? and the whole time there was this voice talking to me in there, calling me by my first name, controlling the entire trip, you know. I could ask the voice a question, and it would show me the answer in my hallucinations. It was unbelievable, and terrifying, and just?ecstatic. Near the end, the voice told me I was special, that I was called to this, that it was my destiny, and this was accompanied by an image of me covered in this sort of?energy? Electricity? Something primal, something eternal, I looked like the centerpiece of one of those Aztec plates, you know? And then I was back in the room, tripping balls, while the rest of the group laughed and played halo.? Grateful Jim began to respond, and then hesitated. He looked like he was trying out different ways to proceed in his head.
?I couldn?t believe they could sit and play video games like that. I wanted to go explore! They wished me well but stayed in that damn room of theirs. I never saw them again. I never saw anything the same way again. I?never really got over it. I mean, I came down from the mushrooms a few hours later, but those episodes I told you about earlier? They didn?t stop. I could? I can? look at something, and tell you what it?s about. Like how I told you I knew you had DMT. I just see it there, in a different part of my mind, just floating back there like a TV screen feeding me information. That?s the part of me that told me I needed to find DMT in the first place, and lead me to Venice beach, to that drum circle.? Grateful Jim looked impressed. Without a word, he pushed himself up off the ground, walked over to the same drawer where he?d gotten the spliff, and took something out. Still silent, he held the object in his palm and offered it to Adam. It was a pea-sized crystal, whitish with an orange tinge. Adam could see the potential it held within its geometric walls.
?Dimethyltryptamine. ? Jim said. ?This is what you came for. The rest of this stuff, man, its too much! I don?t know... sounds shamanic, Adam. I?I can put you in touch with some people that really know what they?re doing, who can help you figure this all out and guide you through the process? if that?s what you want. You?re getting into some serious shit here.?
Adam took the crystalline chunk of DMT. It vibrated softly between his thumb and index fingers. He thought about his family, his mother?s socialite friends, the money. He?d left that far behind already. ?Sure? thanks man. I really appreciate this.? He put Dimitri in the front pocket of his khakis. ?Can we go back to the drum circle? I?m high, man. I bet it?d be a lot of fun.? Grateful Jim grinned, grabbed his south African djembe and another spliff, and the pair walked back to the beach.

namaste said:
no flamz in da ODD, if you got nothing to contribute then keep yo lips zipped

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Registered: 02/09/05
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Re: Short Story: Dimitri [Re: Noviseer]
    #3986480 - 03/29/05 08:14 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

fucking awesome! great writing. the story held my interest long enough for me to finish reading the whole thing, and still want more.
keep it coming

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Re: Short Story: Dimitri [Re: BoneMan]
    #3986703 - 03/29/05 09:01 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for reading it man :smile:  I appreciate that.

namaste said:
no flamz in da ODD, if you got nothing to contribute then keep yo lips zipped

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Re: Short Story: Dimitri [Re: Noviseer]
    #3989197 - 03/30/05 08:53 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Nice... I liked it. Didn't expect it to hold my attention as long as it did. (I actually finished it.. doesn't usually happen when I'm reading stories on here)

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