Hunting for Thompson in a Big Apple
by The Cultural Communist
Prepare, brave readers, to be taken on a journey into the heart of America with me, the Cultural Communist.
But unlike usual, I will not be dictating a way of thinking that will bring about a higher cultural consciousness. Today I am here to tell the world a story.
So, here I was on a typical Saturday in the city, except it really wasn’t. No, time has slowed to an unbearable speed. It was crawling slower than a snail on weed. Of course, I’m getting far ahead of myself.
Earlier in the day I had told my friend, and co-conspirator on this Saturday, that I would not smuggle his herb into the heart of Metropolis. I knew Superman too well to even take the risk. The terminal I had to pass through in order to enter the city was akin to the crossing of the Berlin Wall. No way was I taking the chance of one of their hellish hounds sniffing out my friend’s funny leaf. I gave him a resounding no on the subject and went about my daily activities.
These included the usual tasks of collecting food, securing shelter and fighting off unfriendly people. Even with the complete dullness of my day it seemed to fly by. Soon I was passing through the aforementioned terminal into Gotham. I met my degenerative partner just outside and we headed over to a park to make peace as the Indians did so long ago.
Of course, my partner in crime was none other than the devious. disgusting. substance abusing. King Midas. Naturally we got along great. King Midas passed me a puff from what he or some other junkie before him had termed “Sour Diesel”. Strangely, it didn’t seem sour, or to be created with a diesel additive. Its name’s origin aside, we inhaled the air which was no longer made up of fresh oxygen, but something altogether more sinister. I looked around for Batman. This was his turf and he wouldn’t take too kindly to us.
A few minutes later and the Sour Diesel was powering us to the local train station. Unfortunately it seemed to be causing malfunctions on my part. Maybe I required premium grade? I barely found my way through the operation of a touch screen machine to purchase my ticket for the train. Luckily, King Midas was a bit more experienced at this kind of thing and he helped me to speed up the whole process. Yet it was to no avail as time and space began to bend to stop us from reaching our ultimate goal. We waited for what seemed like hours on the platform. A breeze seemed to be blowing me towards the tracks so I held onto the closest rail for dear life. The breeze picked up and soon I was lifted off the ground, but once again King Midas came to my rescue and held me fast.
The next thing I knew I was being forced to smile. It wasn’t by any human presence that my smile was being conjured but by something more sinister. I couldn’t stop my face from entering the smiling position. Would this ailment kill me? Well at least I’d die with a smile on my face I guess? Finally the train rolled in. I had lost all track of time. I couldn’t remember how we had got to the train as soon as the doors closed behind us.
Something began to sound in the background. It was some kind of queer chorus. A group of voices had become one. Much like legion they were many and yet only one. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The mysteries of life were being whispered to me if I could only understand them. The train made its first stop. My god! How long had I been on this thing? It seemed like it had been days, months even. Had I been immobilized by humanities song, much like the Sirens acted on humans? I had no way of knowing. There was no way to tell time in these tubes. I attempted conversation with King Midas but he was lost to the world as much as I was. I couldn’t make out a word he was saying.
Across from me sat a man all in black with blonde hair, and some strange woman next to him. Standing by the door was a group of people, and to my surprise two of them seemed to be having sex! I did a double take, but before I knew what had happened they were gone’ my new friend with the black suit and the strange woman, and the group of people by the door. I couldn’t explain why, but I was sad. In our brief time together I had felt something of an understanding with these people, but alas now there were new people in their seats.
Unfortunately, after one look at the Asian business man in front of me I decided I would simply pass the rest of the ride listening to King Midas’ musical device. But still the time it took to reach the end of our journey was impossible to judge. It could have very well been three lifetimes.
Yet at the end of those lifetimes we emerged from the black pit of hell, where the tunnel travels, into a booming Metropolis at night. The lights were brighter then they had ever been before and I passed Benjamin Linus on the street. I knew he was probably up to no good, but I was too stunned by having walked past him to have reacted in time to stop him. King Midas led me by various bright paths to a terminal of quite another kind.
This one was not a way station for passing through, or filled with bacon, or any other pork products. No this was a good old fashioned hole-in-the-wall musical joint. The kind of place I thought only existed in movies, and bad teen television shows. This was heaven on earth. The first opening act finished up to crimson applause. I joined in the happy festivities, and remembered coming through the door.
Although there were no pork products here the remnants could still be seen. As I stumbled in I was searched by a knightly woman. She found in my front right pocket a marker. Before I could wonder why of all things she grabbed my marker she told me they weren’t allowed and pushed me on my way. I felt for the place where the marker had been, and felt sadness well up inside me. I had planned to tag one of the bathroom stalls with that! How could this woman have known that? What was even stranger was the two black Xs that stood on my hands. I had been branded by the ticket master before entering into this terminal. I wondered if they used the confiscated markers to mark people. The thought of my poor marker in the hands of these fascists made me cringe.
I proceeded up the stairs to the second floor and found myself smiling again, but this time I controlled it. Then King Midas visited the bathroom, perhaps to tag it? I looked down on the opening act with glee. I knew this was the kind of place teenagers were meant to hang out in. A group of people who had no idea what they were doing or where they were going getting together to yell shout, smoke, drink, and just have a damn good time. So it was that I found myself right where I needed to be.
Time began to play a bitterly cruel trick on me as I entered the mass of human groupthink on the ground floor. It began to speed up, but instead of resuming its usual schedule it was running on the express track. Suddenly a “rat-a-tat-tat” sounded from the stage. Two holographic men appeared on the right and left of the stage. For years, I had wondered at how everyone and anyone had wanted to be able to project themselves, and now here in this terminal it had been perfected. I listened as the guitar began to soothe the restless crowd. Of course there were also puffs of smoke that seemed to be performing the same purpose.
All at once the crowd surged forward. They longed for the sight of the two chosen ones who made the music. We all moved as one, and as individuals. We moved, and grooved, and soon people were in the air next to me. Women were being thrown about like beach balls, and men were shoving with the force of cattle at work. It was great. Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the screen to loud cheers as violent explosions rocked the crowd. We jumped as one, and when we leaned back to fall there was always someone there to catch us. The most interesting man in the world also made an appearance and before we knew what had happened confetti exploded over our heads.
The “rat-a-tat-tat” stopped and we all looked for our friends as the collective broke back down into individuals who now probably felt equal parts ashamed, sick, and excited, perhaps the same feelings one would get after a good one night stand.
I found King Midas outside across the street. He told me about a place with good eats. I followed him as time finally slowed down to its casual speed. Suddenly, my humanity came back to me like a boomerang. My back ached, my feet were sore, and my mouth was dryer then the desert. I had sweat out what fluids I had once had within me. We moved like two husks of people, and it was at our lowest point that we found Halal awaiting us. I partook of the lamb, and chicken with devilish desire. We sat together by the edge of some concrete castle. There was no musing over life. We just managed a bit of conversation over the “rat-a-tat-tat” we had heard.
We found our way back to the train, and from there we went our separate ways. King Midas went back to Kings, and I went back to the land of the Tories, those are the people who supported the Crown during the Revolution. Of course when I made it back to my home land I found my transportation gone, and I was forced to seek a Han Solo-like captain to complete my journey. I lucked out and found just that. My driver traversed new roads I had never seen, and got me home at light speed. I proceeded to collapse from exhaustion on the kitchen floor.
When I awoke I tried to make sense of the whole affair. I tried to find what lesson I could in the odyssey I had undertook. I only came up with a line from Ferris Bueller; “Life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you may miss it.”