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The following is a collection of short stories and reactions to a well-loved album. This should be read for inspiration and entertainment purposes. Like the album it was inspired by, I take particular pride in the introspective nature of this article. There is a central theme in this work that I shall leave to the reader to determine. I will try and impose this theme the best way I can without blatantly writing it out. I like puzzles. The events below may and may not have actually transpired. That is also up for the reader to imagine. Credit to the late Malcolm James McCormick, Easy Mac (But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy), AKA Mac Miller for inspiring the work below. Rest in peace and swim forever friend.
It’s cool to cry don’t ever question your strength…
“The Star Room”
Opening Thoughts: The reflection reminding me intimately of what’s meant to be. My eyes keep saying you were meant to be free, but the glass is always breaking, hearts are searching for a remedy. Emotionally these drugs are the perfect company. Can’t get enough of these orange bottles of ecstasy. So far away, but this girl is still sitting next to me. Don’t mind the lies if my purple dreaming is heavenly. There’s beauty in our creativity if I just listen to thee. My strong mentality constructed by your energy. Intellectual unconditional serenity. Asking a second time, is this practicality? The only way to trust is communicating effectively. Someone keeps telling me all of this is for a better me.
1. - Later
INT. HOME—SOME YEARS LATER
“To achieve the impossible, you’ve got to see the invisible.” is the message painted in beautiful colors hanging in the master bedroom. Today I’m quarantined at home with a cold while my love is away at work. Roscoe and Luci are laying at either end of the bed, looking at me with excitement. At least I have them here for company. Maybe walking them while getting a nice sweat will make me feel better. I sip the coffee my love left for me on the nightstand, which is sitting next to a good morning note. After some stretching and lying in bed more, I decide to finally get dressed. The morning sunshine peers through the curtains and drowns the loft as I descend the dark wood staircase. I pour myself another cup when I reach the kitchen as Luci and Roscoe follow each other through a small door that leads to the backyard. I follow them outside, and take a seat on the patio couch. It’s a quiet weekday morning with a very inviting breeze that rolls through the trees in our backyard. Roscoe and Luci are having an adventure in the garden while I read the news on my phone. “Scientists at NASA have declared that environmental longevity has finally been achieved. Efforts to mend climate change have secured a lasting future for life on Earth.” I read on more so I can present this great news to her when she comes home. While I’m at it I add a grocery trip to my to-do list. I feel Luci push her nose against my hand, reminding me to get off my phone and enjoy the morning. She’s a two-year-old rescue we’ve had since we first bought the house. Her all-black coat is awesome against the light during a full moon. She grew up in some pretty hellish conditions before we found her, so the name kind of fit given the irony of her new environment. Roscoe on the other hand has been with us longer. A little bigger than Luci with a husky’s grey and white coat. He’s laying out on the grass with his paws reaching for the sky. Our angels love to chase birds and bury their chew bones under the rose bushes. So care free and loved no matter what. The best part is neither of them are alone when we go out. I smile and deicide it’s time to make breakfast. I call out to Roscoe and the three of us go back inside. The kitchen is our favorite part of the house after the bedroom, she and I designed it together. The countertops are white marble accentuated with three black chairs seated at the island in the center of the kitchen. The appliances are dark steel colored and the cabinets are white with dark steel handles. The walls are eggshell with B&W tile backsplash under the cabinets. The floor is checker board tile running in a diagonal direction relative to everything. Roscoe and Luci find their dog beds as I prepare some scrambled eggs and oatmeal. While I wait for the pan to heat up, I cut some fruit for a smoothie and put on one of my rap music playlists (I can play them as loud as I want when she’s not here) *First song plays*.
“I’m Not Real (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)”
Today’s breakfast includes: bacon, eggs, spinach, salt, olive oil, pepper, wheat bagel, cream cheese, raisins, blueberries, steel cut oats, brown sugar, bananas, strawberries, acai, orange juice, coffee, two percent milk, aspirin, and creatine powder. Taken in the dining room while reading the mail. Today is cardio and legs, but I like to start an hour after I finish, I’m a slow eater. I also don’t feel like throwing up what I just ate. Luci and Roscoe are laying on either end of the couch parallel to the long black table. The sunlight shines on their fur through the curtains as if they were godly canines. I take a landscape picture of them, and decide to write that down for later. Maybe I should get it framed and hung somewhere before she gets back, and let her find it, like a cute surprise. I’m nearly done with my eggs before I remember to send her a picture of what I made. She approves, and reminds me to take my cold medicine. I respond back asking her to remember me when I’m gone, lol. She laughs and goes to her morning meeting, which lasts about 10 minutes. In the meantime, I finish up and stick the dishes in the machine. I make my way back to the dining room and join the dogs on the couch. I pop my meds and lay back staring up at the ceiling. The music is still playing as I close my eyes and think about the past. This is a form of meditation.
When I was out running errands the rest of the day, I was brought back to the vision I had when I was younger. I had envisioned her and I with this life together. It took me a very long time to realize that it wasn’t all that hard to be successful, or even get what I want. My thinking shifted to taking action, so I don’t risk not having the life I wanted. I had to also grow to be smart about who I listen to. Magic and fairy tales weren’t going to get me anywhere, and no one gets what they want by being lucky. Especially not a woman like her. Your biggest takeaway from what I’m saying? Give the cake some time to bake. I learned that from people who have been where I needed to be, so don’t think I’m some guru with all the answers. I also learned to use common sense when taking risks. The difference between being careless and thinking about the factors I can control. This isn’t a one-off thing either. I have to condition for this to stick with me, because it’s not like I’m going to live for 1000 years. I used to be afraid of the deep end of the pool, but once I learned how to swim, I realized it was just water. The deep end makes me way happier than the shallows ever could. That reminds me of not too long ago when she… you’ll see. As I stand there waiting for my order to be ready, I can overhear a woman giving the barista a lot of shit for missing something she ordered. The barista has to be at the age of seventeen barely, so I really don’t blame her for not knowing how to handle this obnoxious lady. A manager eventually has to take over the situation just to move things along. I finally decide I can’t stand the bickering and put my headphones in.
A few hours later my girl is home. The dogs were all over her as she opened the door leading to the garage. By then I did remember to get Luci and Roscoe framed. She was pleasantly surprised by that after a long day at work. I had just finished a few miles on the elliptical when she came over and gave me a kiss. I was plenty sweaty and feeling much better than I had this morning. After a little catching up about her day and mine, we headed to the bedroom. Luci and Roscoe took their usual position on the hallway floor just outside the room as she closed the door behind us. Her note from earlier this morning was doing things to my head all day, and she could tell. I sat on the bed taking my shoes off, and could suddenly feel her massaging my shoulders as she says to me slowly,
“So, did you miss me all day?"
Obviously I told her I did. Her pictures are on my desk and all over the house so i never have to stop looking at her. The dogs are great but nothings better than this girl right here. Plus I think my cold finally fucked of thanks to the positive energy she gives off. Did I mention how we met each other? We were staying at the same resort after tour season. I was sent to Texas for a meeting with a prospective studio manager who was looking to join the label and provide us with more recording assets. Just some brunch and drinks to get a feel of the offer. I’ll admit I went into the meeting a little too polished and formal. She called me on that saying I seem like the kind of person that takes things too seriously. I knew what she was doing, softening me up so I would be more receptive. It totally worked too. At the same time the conversation started to shift away from business and into a pretty nice time. We got interested in each other’s stories about how we got started and where we came from. She didn’t bullshit me with a fairly-tale picture of how she got here. Instead, I was given a genuine perspective of how dark times really can motivate you to getting better. How her uncle’s diagnosis devastated her but she never gave up hope in herself. That’s one of the things I found so attractive about her because it made her unstoppable when it came to getting what she wants. Getting back to the spicy stuff, I turned to meet her beautiful eyes and knew immediately what she was thinking. That look alone just drives me crazy with desire. There was a time at that brunch when I couldn’t tell her that obviously but deep down, I knew she was well aware. Our lips crashed against each other and my heart raced. We then moved slowing taking turns removing our clothes. After a while of closeness with each other it started feeling like nothing else really mattered. No words are needed as we move together, pulling each other closer while occasionally pausing to make eye contact. The summations of our relationship are built on the fact that she inspires me while I create her fantasies. A few hours and a trip to the shower later, we cuddled on the mattress listening to some music. I played with her hair as she napped in my arms. Roscoe and Luci are dreaming in their orthopedic beds on the carpet below. It’s the moments like these when I wished that time was something you could buy at the supermarket down the street. So finite it literally kills me. We were both laying on the bed looking up at the skylight as the setting sun painted the clouds purple and orange. Just two bodies floating through space and time with nothing but love as our compass. That’s a strong word I know, but I do really like her.
“Matches (feat Ab-Soul)”
INT. CHINESE RESTRAUNT – LATER THAT EVENING
"Hey let’s go camping next week. Fall is the perfect time of year for it."
"Camping? Like tents and log fires?
"Yeah exactly! But I think we should rent an RV so we can watch movies and I can cook for us. Plus, a bed would feel better than sleeping on the ground. I got it all thought out."
"Hmm that’s sounds kinda nice actually. I’d also like to lay out under the stars and make s’mores too.""You just read my mind. If you’re really into the idea we can go shopping tomorrow so we’re ready. Call it a mini vacation or whatever."
"Yeah OK! I’m down for this as long as Roscoe and Luci can come too. Did you come up with this today?"
"Well of course they are! They’re coming to hunt rabbits and have their pictures taken with you. I thought about the idea while you were sleeping. I was looking at the scarlet clouds and thinking about how you would look by a campfire. Flames dancing in your eyes as the light warms your soft face. I’ll bring the camera, maybe put on some nice slow music?"
"You’re smooth you know that?"
"I know I am. You always tell me that and I like it every time. I guess I’ve had lots of practice.
Oh, lots of practice? What are their names? Do I know them?"
"C’mon you know what I mean.""So, you’re saying you get lost in lots of girl’s eyes?"
"Well lately only yours. Then again Mrs. Moon is looking quite ravishing tonight. Age has really done her a favor.""Hmm why don’t you ask her out then? She probably hasn’t been asked out in 30 years. You could be her delivery boy every time someone orders chicken-teriyaki."
"You know what I think?""Please share what it is you think."
"I think you can say about a hundred things with just your eyes. No talking is even needed. That’s one of the MANY reasons why I like you. See, I was born with a silver tongue and most of the time, it works out for me. You on the other hand disassemble everyone just by how you look at them and that’s a powerful thing. Does that make sense?""Wow, did you also think of all that when I was sound asleep?"
"I didn’t have to. I’ve been thinking about that since the day I sat across from you at brunch.""That’s pretty hot, babe; you should write that down for me later so I can read it when I’m alone."
"Well why would I leave you alone?""Good question. Honestly you sound kinda obsessed with me, lol."
"Smh… yeah, I guess I am. Is there some other way I should feel?""Nope, I like that. Means I can tear you apart whenever I want."
"You’re so evil…""I’m bad and don’t you forget it."
"You know I’m messing with you right? Just now? Aw don’t be so serious all the time. Talk to me like that more on the car ride home :). Let’s get out of here, it’s my turn to pay."
“I Am Who Am (Killin’ Time) [feat. Niki Randa]”
I’m still dealing with some flashbacks and the occasional bad dream. Every now and then. Not of any particular event but more specifically a feeling I’ve carried on my shoulder since I was a kid. She called me out on it pretty soon after we started talking and since then we’ve understood each other well. The painting in our bedroom is now dark and tickled by the occasional blue light coming from the pool outside. A humidifier in the bathroom casts a yellow and red aura that slightly bleeds into the room. She lays her head on my right arm as the left one holds her body close to me. The blue light on the walls now moves to the white bedsheets, creating a pearlescent blanket that covers us. The bed now starts to move like waves and bubbles against the gravity of the moon. It’s not long until the waves begin filling the room with quiet yellow lights dancing beneath the surface. The walls of our bedroom become glass mirrors that shimmer with static electricity. I’m beyond the point of trying to wake up and instead decide to embrace this lucid experience. The static suddenly stops and is replaced by flashing images of someone’s past. I watch the screens above the gentle moving water and take in what I see. Suddenly I no longer need to contemplate whom these memories belong to; they are my own. As I continue to watch the choices I’ve made and the events which have gone I realize I no longer feel the wounds. Wounds like forgiveness, the hard lessons learned, and the love. What does it mean? My focus is compelled by a force I can’t control and I am suddenly thrust into the water now illuminated by the mirror screens above. I try to cling to what is familiar but it grows harder the longer I stay underwater. Luci and Roscoe must be dreaming too because I can faintly hear the sound of their weak barking.
2. - Earlier
“Objects in the Mirror”
EXT.??? – SOME YEARS EARLIER
There was a time when I’d place value on the wrong things. On those days of not knowing what I wanted, I would be in my head more often than usual. I once met someone who was like me in this regard but there was fine print that I didn’t see until it was too late. We were about to attend the same college together. She was from a small town I’d never heard of while I was from arguably the best city in the state. I introduced myself to her the best way I knew how to, with a good sense of humor. She ate that shit up and before long we were good friends. As the cliché goes, we actually had quite a bit in common. I was suddenly intertwined with what she had to say and the dreams we had. You know, the usual relationship stuff. It wasn’t perfect by any means though. We’d disagree on plenty and then make amends afterwards for the sake of each-others feelings. Normal shit like that was all new to her and I. Mostly me because I really hadn’t met anyone like her before. Honestly, I didn’t know what that felt like but at the time I wished it had lasted forever. (Nothing lasts forever and that cuts both ways). That is until I learned she had an addiction problem. She didn’t ever tell people about that shit. The way she dealt was by drinking or getting high and isolating herself from the people around her. One day we were talking and she just laid a few things out on me about using her dad’s money to finance her pursuit of anesthesia that was introduced to her by a few pathetic boyfriends in high school. It’s not like I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was something going on. I knew she was thinking about it most of the time we were together. Little things like when she’d randomly go outside to “get something back from a friend” or how she would go from super bummed to weirdly happy some days. I didn’t exactly know the extent of this problem until we went to our first party together after about 3 months. I was hesitant at first and I’m honestly not someone who just tries things even if they’re from someone I trust. She on the other hand was exactly that kind of person and begged to not be the only one on something. The way she worked the case, like it was perfectly natural to use hallucinogens as a way to have more fun, wasn’t helped by the fact that she also held sex as a tool of persuasion. I know what you’re thinking but let’s be real here, this was college. This is what you’re supposed to unofficially do after all; take drugs and have all the sex your heart desires. Like I said earlier about wanting the wrong things… I guess I should have seen these things as warning signs but I was still pretty enamored with the idea that a girl this free spirited, popular, and gorgeous liked me so much. Then the party happened and I had one of those wake-up calls everyone goes through.
“Red Dot Music (feat. Action Bronson)”
Halloween, well the college parties that were constantly happening around the holiday, was when I got my first taste of who this girl really was. Like a panther that escaped from the zoo and vowed to never go back no matter how many zookeepers chase her. I had passed a urine test for her at least twice by now and didn’t feel good about it. This night, however, is the night she would need to find someone else to pee in cups for her. She ninja dosed my drink with LSD and told me about it during the car ride to the party (that means she spiked it without me noticing). I don’t think she meant to tell me yet but then again, she had also already started drinking. WE had already started drinking. When she did, I immediately looked up and saw our Lyft driver giving me this look through the rearview like “dude, get out while you can.” She could tell I wasn’t prepared for what was to come, and maybe not so into the idea, so she began making out with me until we got to the party. Maybe to get my mind on other things since I was about to trip in a few minutes and see fucking monsters everywhere. I was dressed as an FBI agent and she went as John Dillinger (it’s pretty clever and she wanted me to put her in cuffs later). I meant to bring handcuffs but I forgot about them after we started pre-gaming. My pharmacy brand shades didn’t filter what was happening in my mind as we made our way through the sexy and absurd costumes everyone was in. The party’s energy was like nothing since experienced in high school, this was a true college holiday. Frankly this holiday always makes me feel weirdly close to fear without being wrapped up in it. Like the monsters we create aren’t these crazy abnormal creatures looking to eat us, they’re just lies hiding the truth. This greek life party was filled with such monsters that occupied the percolating red lights and loud music that almost made me forget the fact that I was high out of my mind. Not to mention drunk, even though I was now paranoid of the drinks she was handing me but whatever. I wasn’t even upset long because I have to be honest, she knew how to have a good time. There was a moment that night when we were dancing together in the crowd and I felt like I wasn’t on Earth anymore. I surprisingly didn’t even check my phone to see what time it was or answer messages. I didn’t care. The person in front of me had captured my whole world and I was just the Truman living in it. As nice as Truman’s world was though, he had to eventually face the truth.
“Gees (feat. Schoolboy Q)”
INT. CAR RIDE HOME – LATE EVENING
"Are you good?? Want some coke, baby? You better not fall asleep yet cause we’re not done here."
"I didnt know John Dillinger partied like that… I just like got a hedache is alll. Look im gonna lean my hed angst the window for a sec. Just as soon as it stps moving."
"Omg you’re still high my guy!? I think I’ve got a little something waiting at the apartment that will make you feel better ;)."
"Hmm rly? Is it bedtime because that’s sounds nice."
"Ugh NO. You can sleep it off tomorrow with me. Before then I want these dangerous hands restrained if you know what I mean. You buy any cuffs?"
"Oh course! Im police nd you have the cufs on the dresser I left them there, haha. Wait r you robbing a bank ltr??"
"Wow lol someone is having a hard time hanging. I'm not really surprised. That fish-scale I gave you is good right?"
"Sure, sure ok fish. Soo wh3n does this “stuff” where off cause im stil like rly rylly thrsty and strting to sweat. Is tht, normal?"
"Come here and lay on my lap until we get back. Fuck the seat belts."
It was incredibly late and early at the same time. The bedroom TV was on with the sound muted playing the ending of some foreign film. She was passed out facing the wall next to me on the opposite side of the bed. Half-dressed and still in her costume. My head pounded as I sat up trying to recall the events that happened last night. I quietly got up and headed for the bathroom. I turned the light on and saw that I had been undressed to my boxers. This was definitely a first for me. I was suddenly flooded with the thought that she did something reckless without using protection. Next thing I knew I was vomiting my entire night into the porcelain chair in a cold sweat. I barely took in the sight of powder residue on the sink counter as I got back on my feet trying to search for a used condom. Finally, I found a torn wrapper on the floor by a pile of my clothes. Was that supposed to make me feel better or worse? I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t get answers until she woke up and decided to lay on the living room couch. Wish I was there for that but I guess I this is fine too. Part of me just wanted to leave right then and there. I didn’t need an ongoing drug problem right now, especially in college where I’m supposed to “find myself” or something. The other part of me was more open minded and wanted to ride this wave until I was convinced this is becoming unhealthy. Should I be concerned that I was just drugged and used for sex? I mean I guess we’re together but the drug bit isn’t my thing. Maybe I should try and convince her to quit this stuff for her own good. That would never work out even if I was right. She wouldn’t change for me, some guy she barely just met. There had to have been other guys before me who were into this sort of thing and that’s why…I don’t know. I could hear a group of partiers passing by the door in the hallway outside. How many guys were experiencing the same morning in this very building? What about the one across the street? I know what you’re probably thinking right now and trust me, so am I. What I didn’t know and what you will soon is that things were about to work themselves out. Just not the way I wanted it to.
“Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes”
A couple of hours later I made her some coffee and a scrambled-eggs. I figured that was a good way to begin the process of telling her I was leaving. Like taking your dog out to do everything it likes before you put it down? I’m not even sure people still do that. First, I had to ask what she did with/to me last night and she said she wanted to do more but I was basically passed out. Too out of it to be of service. That wouldn’t look good turned the other way around either but she blamed the drugs. We kind of argued the point for a while until I finally had enough convincing to tell her this can’t go on. So, she wasn’t exactly happy about it. I think she mostly understood and partially started to act like it wasn’t a big deal to her at the same time. The details of who said what isn’t something I’d like to talk about. I’ll say it was a pretty sad day for both of us afterwards. We didn’t say much when I was getting my stuff from her place. I said to find what you’re looking for and got the door slammed in my face (because that’s a bullshit thing to say). Maybe this was normal and I was doing the right thing? A month later I was still thinking about her from time to time. Weighing the options of checking up on her or just keeping my distance was occasionally distracting me. Then a few more months went by and I didn’t hear from her in anyway or even see a post. It was probably nothing and I needed to forget about it. I did and I just assumed she was doing her thing and hopefully getting better at the same time. About a year later there was a story posted on the campus Twitter page about an overdose in the duplexes nearby.
Before leaving for some big party she had a heart attack after her new boyfriend bought some bad oxycontin and the dealer convinced her to try one. Turns out the pill she took was laced with a synthetic drug called fentanyl, a drug roughly 50-100 times stronger and very toxic. It’s starting to become an epidemic on account for the money it makes and this college town isn’t immune to its influence. If you’re not used to the effects of the drug, it can be extremely deadly for you. The boyfriend got freaked out and decided to leave town but generously dumped her off at the ER before splitting. Doctors got to her in time to save her life with Narcan but she isn’t expected to wake up from her coma anytime soon. After getting a call from the hospital about their incapacitated daughter, her parents coordinated with the police to try and find the guy who left her there. The guy eventually turned himself in maybe out of guilt or maybe for a lighter punishment if he helped the cops track down the dealer. I didn’t go to the rest of my classes after reading the article. I felt sick and just stayed at home not knowing what to do next. Do I go visit her in the hospital? Send her flowers and a get-well card? A third option is that this isn’t my business anymore. We weren’t even in love or anything like that. She had her game, which was having someone to spend her vices with no matter the collateral and feel good about it. I had mine too, a happy distraction from the pain and hysteria of this world at war with itself. Also, I was pretty lonely at the time so it worked for me to have her there. The truth is I didn’t want to get involved. That doesn’t mean I didn’t care if she got better, of course I did. She was a kind person deep down and had a troubled side that needed help. That’s why we clicked together at first, then that connection became dangerously close to enabling bad habits. The addiction was pulling both of us down to a place that’s ugly. It’s not my fault or hers either. We just moved too fast and, in the end, we are who we are. That’s what I remember telling myself so I could deal with it.
3. - Currently
“Someone Like You”
INT. RESORT - CURRENTLY
My job requires traveling to about 16 different countries during tour season. I don’t need to always be away from home during tours but I like to stay close to what’s happening on the front lines. The crowds, the artists performance, and especially the beautiful views of all these cities. Plus, our label’s media coverage is especially important to investors because fans are what makes us successful at the end of the day. I meet quite a few people on the job which is good because I’m not bothered by crowds or uncomfortable with handling other people’s problems. This week I’m in my home state, staying at a resort in Austin. Tomorrow I’m tasked with meeting a studio manager who hopes to join the label and sell ownership of her studios to us. This kind of proposition is pretty typical but it’s still different every time. Some prospects are very aggressive with our offers and others will sell for a chance to have their name under ours. I have a little background on her before going in: 24 years old, has a good professional reputation, attended university for a few years but left to take over the business her late uncle started, has 25 employees, a handful of journeyman artists, 10 studios with 4 more on the way, and looking for investment money. The meeting is set for tomorrow, 10 AM at the Texas Spice restaurant, brunch and mimosas included. This place has a nice pool and I think I shall do some night swimming later after traveling all day. I drop my suitcase, take my shoes off, and throw myself on the bed. I wonder if I can room service some fancy pizza? As I contemplate getting up and ordering some late dinner, I take a look out the window and see that it’s raining. No pool tonight. The clouds begin to spark in the distance with lighting. The sight has captured my attention in a hypnotic way. I start to contemplate getting up for dinner and before long, I’m falling asleep with my work clothes on.
I was/am fast asleep. The storm outside had joined me underwater. Cold currents taking me in and inflicting their harsh will. I could feel the electricity trying to tell me what it needed. I’m also getting this weird sensation as if someone else is here with me. Like they’ve always been there just watching and waiting. My mind is wandering to a strange place. Was I dying? I suddenly can comprehend if it’s night or day. All I can hear is the sound of my own heartbeat echoing across the submerged walls of the pool. Fluorescent jelly fish and gorgeous mermaids start to dance before me not as a performance but as if they were rehearsing. The mermaids jump through glowing hoops singing fantastic notes as the jellyfish gather under me to carry me closer. They are singing but my ears cannot hear their voice. The only sensory left is my vision which fluctuates with vibrancy the more I stare at the awesome spectacle. I envy these free creatures and wish to join them, but I have no place here. No matter how hard I adore these beasts, I am simply not of their world. Do I not belong here or am I better off from this watery prison? Perhaps I would get lost if I stayed. I’d forget about the sunshine above in a cold, delusional stagnation. The more I think about it the less I can feel my pulse. Before long I can’t move or follow the lightning that was once there. The sound of thunder lingers as it slowly fades into the distance.
INT. RESTRAUNT – NEXT MORNING
"Did you save room for dessert?"
"Umm no I don’t usually get dessert this early, unless I’m having dinner. You know?"
"Yeah, I get that. I like to really be in the mood for something sweet and definitely when its evening or something. I’m also fighting the urge because I’m kind of trying to watch what I eat."
"Really what for? I mean you don’t look like you need to honestly."
"Well last night I passed out when I got to my room instead of going to the pool, lol. I’ve been slacking."
"Hah same here dude. I think I’ll do some cardio later. There’s a gym, here right?"
(She called you dude?) "Yes there is, its downstairs past the market and the store that sells trendy resort clothes. I actually did some cardio this morning and prepared for our meeting."
"Wow brag much?"
"What, working out?"
"No, 'preparing' for our meeting. I just got out of bed and came down here so you could buy me brunch."
"Ohh-kay very funny, well I’m glad you enjoyed yourself."
"Obviously, so how did you prepare then? Were you nervous or something :)?"
"No, I mean, of course not. It’s just that I wanted to give my best performance that’s all. Obviously, I think it worked."
"Yes, I’d say so too. Your offer was very attractive sir. I look forward to our continued professional relationship."
"Oh, please stop talking like that I can see you holding back a smile."
"Lol I’m only teasing but that’s what you sound like. Then again, I appreciate the effort and yes, it was a great performance."
"Well, it feels good to win and I feel like this partnership will allow us to do just that. So, what’s on your docket after this?"
"Well I need to give my team an update on what’s happening next so probably just phone calls and emails in my room all day. Might watch a movie. You?"
"I suppose I’ll do the same. Let the label know we have the green light on this and that you’re a team player too. Then maybe...celebrate with drinks later? A dip in the pool? It’s my last night here so who knows."
"Well that sounds like a good idea to me."
"It is and that’s why I’m inviting you to join. I would usually say drinks on me at this point, but you have money now. Why don’t we split a few?"
"You’re pretty slick I’ll give you that. Do you always flirt with associates like this?"
"Nope. Only when those associates are like you."
4. - Epilogue
“Goosebumpz (Bonus Track)”
Here she is; pulling up a seat next to me at the hotel bar downstairs. We joked about how my persuasive nature brought her down here but really it was because we liked hearing each other talk. I don’t think either us were done with one another just yet. We even went out to the jacuzzi around 11 and drank champagne until we were talking about life and constellations. There’s something about this girl that’s just intoxicating, no pun intended since I’m writing after a few glasses. We had so much fun I almost forgot to ask for her cell number until the next morning when I found it slipped under my door. That made me smile. We’re going our separate ways for a while but after this I get the feeling, we’ll be seeing more of each other very soon. Who knows what the future has in store?
“O.K. (Tyler, The Creator) [Bonus Track]”
Luci woke up from her coma three months later. After some time in rehab, she applied for nursing school and ended up at the same hospital that my wife and I were having our first baby…That’s what I wanted to have happened but the reality is painful. I eventually told my wife the story about the girl I once knew. The girl who in reality never lived long enough to fulfill her dreams. She passed away in her sleep after a few weeks of showing no improvement. The funeral was exactly how she told me she wanted it to be, with the flowers she liked and the music she preferred. I know I shouldn’t say things like this but if I had stayed maybe things could’ve been different. There are so many beautiful things that could have filled her life instead of the darkness that surrounded her. At least now she’s free of all the things that troubled her. Even during graduation, I had thought about her often, when everyone around me was having a good time. The fond moments are what I held onto then and will always. Luci was an ethereal part of my life but that’s why we’d never last. When I think about it, neither of us were ever ok.
“Claymation (feat. Vinny Radio) [Bonus Track]”
That dream I had, the one where I could see my past on the walls, made me think about some advice my mentor Roscoe gave me:
“No matter what I or anyone accomplishes one thing is always the same, no one really knows what they’re doing in life. Even the “successful” people still struggle everyday with this or that, but they figure it out as they go. The best role model for you to follow is always going to be yourself. It’s going to be you then, now, and always. This isn’t a selfish way to think, it’s the only way you should be thinking. You know that message on the airplanes about putting your own mask on first? They tell you that shit because if you aren’t breathing first, you cannot do anything for the ones around you. Period. Look, that’s just the reality son and I’m not going to sugar coat it. It would be unethical of me to just keep telling you that you’re special. I want you to be uncomfortable and gut check yourself so that you can really get better. You’ll get where you want to be and painting a picture of that comes from personal experiences of getting punched in the stomach. There’s no secret to this.”
Fine. I'll do it. That is the purpose of seeing into the future. To describe what I see.