I almost died last night. Word is bond I think I was dead for a couple of seconds, like one of those flatlining ER patients that Dr. Green brings back to life, only there was no Dr. Green, no IV drip and no TV cameras, just an old ass sagging couch filled with horsehair and the younger sister of the girl who was playing the part of Sterling in my movie--my “of the moment” desert epic about characters with European dreams and Hollywood realities. For some superstitious reason that I can’t remember I didn’t want to type out the girl’s name or give her a fake one when I wrote about her before. But whatever, I feel pretty certain that my near death experience set my Karma meter back to zero so let’s call the little dimebag slut “Trixie”, and make it short for Grace. She’s a 12 yr old heavy metal hair whore with an unexpectedly amazing one-man (one-girl) band that I keep meaning to tell you about. The music she makes is strictly next level. You’d never believe it by looking at her—I’ve decided that she must be one of those secret geniuses who’s so smart that they’re stupid. Trixie fucks 18yr olds and hangs out with stoners behind the town Kmart in her Kid Cock I mean Kid Rock T-shirt, smoking Virginia Slims and examining the sharp points she’s filed her nails into. The expression on her face is that of a monkey’s but underneath it I swear she’s the Mozart of electronic music. Shit, I’d like to tell you about her now but it’s important to get the details of this dying episode down before vaporization commences and the memories get left behind like days lost in the wake.

Of course the whole thing was my fault. Trixie and I were home alone. We sat on the couch in the living room and watched “Unfaithful”. I’d given everyone the night off from shooting because we all needed the rest but when it came to it, I couldn’t relax so I did coke off the glass table instead. I also had the one hitter stuffed with hash. I kept going from one to the other, see-sawing up and down, up and down until finally I thought, “This is stupid,” and scraped the rest of the coke into a single fat rail. I bent down just as Richard Gere’s wife rejected his advances in the bathtub. It was the rich person kind that stands on its own little gold feet.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I sat up. There were flashing white squares in front of my eyes, like department store snowflakes or a close-up on a disco ball. I blinked several times, rapidly, but they didn’t go away. My back clenched up and my legs started shaking. I stretched them out in front of me—I couldn’t feel my toes.

“What the fuck, I’m losing my extremities,” I mumbled, panicking.

“Whuh’d say?” Tricia asked. She snapped her gum; her eyes didn’t move from the screen.

“I said, ‘Bitch, I’m having a heart attack.’” It was true—my heart was going a million miles a minute. Not only that, it sputtered and throbbed to the point where it made wet sponge sounds in my chest. I felt a deep ache through to my back and all the way up my left shoulder. That was pretty bad but what was even worse was the knowledge of how unreliable this essential bodily function had suddenly become.

From one minute to the next, cardiac arrest...

(You think you’re mad, too unstable, kicking in chairs and knocking down tables in a restaurant, in a west end town, call the police there’s a madman around, run him down, underground, to a dive bar, in a…)

Actually what was really the worst weren’t the physical symptoms but the psychological shit. How I felt like I was going to stop breathing at any minute, and as a result how I kept giving myself the same goodbye speech: That’s it for you, _____. Your little race is over. Obviously, at a time like this I fell back on the name my mother gave me. It makes me a sucker, I know, but what can I say?

The pins and needles from my toes spread through the rest of me, traveling in waves that corresponded to the ecstatic rhythm of my heartbeat. I was leaving my body, I was sure of it. I started moaning, softly.

“Are you fucking losing your shit?” Trixie asked.

I slid down on the couch so that my head was resting beside her thigh. When I looked up she rose before me like a mountain. I drew some odd comfort over her sudden increase in stature. It didn’t seem like such a bad idea to make mountains out of kids.

“I’m dying,” I whispered.

“No, you aren’t,” she said, her eyes fixed on the TV behind me.

“Richard Gere’s getting old,” she pointed out, “But it’s still really hard for him not to be Richard Gere, you know what I’m saying?”

“You don’t understand, there’s something really wrong--help me.”

“OK, OK,” she half-heartedly placed her hand on my trembling shoulder. I looked up—her eyes were still on the screen.

As I watched, her face faded out and I was pulled into a shadowy expanse, filled with pink and turquoise galaxies gently swirling in the otherworldly light. It was an opening up—a feeling of endlessness far away from other people. Dissolving into it would be as simple as giving in to a waist-tugging current. I just had to let myself be swept away. The feeling was not altogether unpleasant.

I focused on Trixie’s thigh, on the exact shade of her retro jeans. Suddenly, it occurred to me that there was too much I’d miss.

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