First submission, Chapter 1
Nothing really cutting edge here, just trying to write something that i would want to read. I realize that it is a total chuck rip off, but it's just something i am planning to casually write and was looking for feed back. I don't mind criticism as long as it's with a perpose so please tell me what you think...
This doctor calls what I have Pavor Nocturnus. That’s what he called my night terrors. But, a couple of years ago, another doctor, called it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Common mistake, he told me. This new doctor said it was caused by misfiring of nerves during my non-REM sleep cycle. He also asked me if I was a persistent drug user. What he doesn’t know, is how I ended up on the tourist deck of the Sears Tower, naked and sweating so bad that they still have yet to completely clean the piss-yellow stain I left. I was covered in blood. Not my blood. Actually they still don’t know who’s blood it was. But who ever it was, the doctor says, they were probably dead.
Wait-- lets go back a minute. I’m Dan. Daniel Stidham. I had a pretty normal life. I worked as a journalist for the Chicago Times. I lived in a condo in the downtown area. I could walk to the Sears Tower from where I lived. The night terrors didn’t start until just recently, which for all intents and purposes, really should not have happened in the first place. But, with the amount of hallucinogenic I was doing, the doctors said, I could have caused my brain to over produce DMT, or Dymethotriptomine, which could have in turn triggered the night terrors. DMT is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, he says. It’s what makes you dream. It’s also one of the most illegal substances on the planet, according to the doctor. But, it is so common that you could even harvest it from curtain types of grass.
From the hospital bed in my own private room, I realized that this was probably the most attention I’ve had in my entire life. With all of these doctors and nurses surrounding me and asking me questions, I saw myself becoming some kind of icon, maybe like the next Charlie Manson, or maybe even the next Hunter S. Thompson. Really though, I was just biding my time because as long as I was in there, I was safe from the law.
Usually, night terrors are something that you develop early on in life and grow out of by the end of adolescence, but not me.
I asked my doctor what all of this meant. I asked him if I was going to jail. And he said maybe.
“But, I can’t be held responsible. Can’t you tell them that?” I say, fidgeting back and forth in the hospital bed, with sweat racing down my face.
“Look. They don’t even really have a crime on you yet. Other than, maybe, indecent exposure…” The doctor said all of this behind a clip board as he turned to the EKG machine. He ran his finger down the paper and made a check. “All that you need to do is cooperate.” He didn’t even give me eye contact. I’m here in the middle of the biggest crisis of my life, and this asshole won’t even give me the time of day.
I asked him if he was done yet and finally, he gave me some genuine attention. “Look. I’m trying to help you out here, buddy.” He says, cocking his head to the side and tilted it over towards to me; his glasses sliding down his nose, as he grabs the plastic end of the bed. He tries to stare me down the way a 6 year old might during recess. Just go, I say. He laughed under his breath and all I could think about was jumping out of my bed and punching him square in his perfectly tanned forehead. Douche bag. But with all of the I.V. tubes and suction cups, I felt staring right back at him would be enough. The sound of fuzz from the TV was the only noise in the room. We must have stared at each other for an entire minute, before he finally turned on his heel and walked out of the swinging doors like some gun slinger. Fuck you, buddy.
Looking down at my hands, with the bones and veins defined and bulging through the skin, I knew that this was my breaking point. With the amount of drugs I was doing, I would forget to eat for days. Nurses coming in and changing my I.V. must have thought I was a cancer patient with the looks they were giving me. Nobody wanted to give me eye contact and it pissed me off.
Its weird how clear things felt. Really, you don’t realize how boring the world is until you remove yourself from it. I was doing any trips I could get my hands on. LSD, Mescaline, Adreanochrome, Ecstasy, Salvia… you name it. I was altering my perception any way I could.
I scanned the roll away table for the TV remote and changed it to the local news channel. One of the nurses told me that the police still can’t figure out how I got into the Sears tower in the first place. I couldn’t help but laugh. What else could I do? All I could think about was what it must have been like for the person who found me. God. Could you imagine? You’re just doing your job, cleaning the gum and shit from peoples shoes off of the glass floor and you see a crumpled up skeleton of a human being, lying there in his own bodily fluids and moaning about spiders.
All I could think of was: What should I wear on the Letterman Show? And what could the anchorman be thinking seconds before he has to go on air and break the story to the world? I was right there in everyone’s comfort zone, spitting and pissing all over. Already, only three hours after the fact, they had footage of me being rushed out on a stretcher with cameras flashing and audio of me mumbling about a giant black figure. What else could I do, but laugh?
The fact is: I loved my job. I had this great little niche as a small time journalist, writing conspiracy stories about how fast food is worse for you than if you smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, or how the medicine companies and the FDA had a pact to make as much money off of your pill popping ass as they could before their “cure” killed you. I really felt like I was reaching people. So what if you had to flip all the way to page D-4, in The Way We Live section, I was making a difference. But now, I’m really set. I have my platform and I ’m gonna use it. So what if I’m a freak show now, I’ve got power. Look at Michael Jackson.
A couple of hours later, the walking hard-on comes strolling back into my room. According to him, Valium is my best bet. It will lower my brain activity, so hopefully it will cut down on the nerve misfiring. I ask: what if I refuse? What if I don’t want to be a dope fiend? The doctor just laughs.
With his, all-to-familiar, nervous little bitch laugh, he says “Well… This court order says, you don’t have much of a choice.” He went on for a few minutes after that, but I only picked up parts of what he said. I think he said something along the lines of: The police have a warrant, giving them executive control over any medical decisions pertaining to my well being.
So I said, “wait. I have rights man…” and the doctor just laughed.
“You lost your rights when you defiled a national monument.” He went on to say something about national security and how this type of publicity stunt may shock U.S. citizens out of their sense of safety. He said all of this behind a clip board, he was so smug. Asshole. Pretty much, he says, I’m fucked. They wanted to question me and he wasn’t going to stop them, he says.
Inch by inch I slip into the hospital bed and raise my knees to break eye contact. I look up at the ceiling and try to concentrate on something else. Anything else but right here and right now. Everything just seems to real. With my hands covering my face I ask how long I needed to take these pills for. The doctor says, forever.
“So when do I start?” and he said, Now.