This is kind of a strange one from back in my days living in Black Rock... what I sometimes refer to as my "pre-Traci" days.
UNTITLED - by Jonathan K. Lee
Doug’s head chakra had stalled. He could feel it; it had stopped spinning and felt like black hole full of lead in the middle of his forehead. He searched the apartment for his book, You and Your Chakras, finally finding it under the couch. There wasn’t anything specific on restarting stalled chakras, but he found some instructions on chakra recharging that he decided to try. The process involved sitting in meditation and linking all the chakras until they were in harmonious balance.
Meditation wasn’t Doug’s thing, but he would give it a try. Every attempt at meditating in the past had ended up with him falling asleep on the couch. He’d even tried it with the TV off, but as soon as he closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind, sleep was sure to follow.
He stared at the diagram locating the chakras on the body. He was supposed to link them in harmony, but how was he supposed to remember where they all were? Doug solved this little problem by taking a black marker and drawing dots on his body in positions corresponding to the various chakras. He had to take his clothes off to do this and felt funny sitting on the couch naked with a marker in his hand. He was glad Debra wasn’t home.
There were two chakras in confusing proximity in the genital area. Doug did his best to place his dots appropriately, then moved up the heart chakra and the head chakra, placing a black dot in the middle of his forehead. The book showed some other chakras floating in the space above his head, but Doug didn’t know how to mark those, so he just ignored them.
With the chakras marked, Doug turned the TV volume down and sat on the couch to meditate. Sitting there naked all he could think about was sex, so he put his clothes on before attempting to proceed further. He got into a comfortable position, closed his eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath.
He soon fell sound asleep. The telephone woke him a few minutes later.
“Hey, Doug, it’s Ken. Look, Rick, my roommate, asked me to clear out for a while, says he has a girl coming over, so I wondered if you and Deb wanted to come down to Trev’s and have a drink.”
“Sure, I’ll come. Deb’s gone to the mall with Sharon. She should be back around nine, so I can’t stay any later than that.”
“That’s cool, Rick asked me to stay out till nine as well, so see you there?”
“Hey, this is Thursday, isn’t this your school night?” Doug asked.
“I finished that course. We had the exam last week, just waiting for the results. If I pass, I’ll have my high-school equivalency.”
“That’s great!, see you there.” Doug hung up and went into the bathroom to wash the chakra mark off his forehead. He scrubbed with a facecloth laced with Deb’s Apricot Treatment Gel for Sensitive Skin. There was no effect whatsoever. The chakra stood out as a big black dot in the middle of his forehead.
Doug picked up the marker to see if there were any instructions for removing the ink. Permanent Marker, it said on the side, the world’s first permanent ink that even solvents won’t remove! Doug swore under his breath, retrieved a peaked cap from the closet, pulled it down low over his brows and set off to meet Ken.
Trevor’s Cantina was a disastrous attempt at a Mexican Theme Bar. It had the requisite exposed roof beams and fake adobe walls adorned with colourful sombreros, but for some reason had failed to catch on with the salsa and guacamole lovers of the world—probably because the patrons could get better food at Taco Bell for a fraction of the price. The desperate owners, faced with bankruptcy, decided that they had to appeal to a different clientele. They quickly slashed their prices, dropped the dress code and became extremely lax about checking ID’s. Even when they did, they found it difficult to distinguish the picture of the twenty-seven year old brunette in the picture from the sixteen year old blonde who proffered it.
Trevor’s Cantina subsequently became the hangout of choice for the town’s wayward youth. Doug found Ken in a back booth, tossed his cap on the seat and sat down.
“What’s that on your forehead?” Ken asked.
“Oh, it’s my head chakra. It’s stalled or something. I was trying to get it spinning again, but nothing seems to help. It’s like I’ve got like a rotting dead rat in my head or something. It’s driving me nuts.”
“Hey, you know who can help with that? Rick!” Ken announced excitedly.
“Your roommate Rick? I thought he was just into heavy metal and video games.”
“No, no, he’s a really spiritual guy, I mean, he’s into that other stuff as well, but he knows all about natural healing and vibrations and chakras and stuff too. Look.” Ken unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a crude X of duct tape in centre of his chest. “This morning I felt a little down and Rick said that it was because my heart chakra was out of alignment, so he did these like energy passes over my body to realign the chakras and then put this duct tape on my chest to hold the heart chakra in place.”
“And it worked?” Doug asked doubtfully.
“Yeah, I’ve felt really good all day. Come on, let’s go see Rick.” Ken slid out of the booth.
“But,” Doug protested, “I thought you said he kicked you out tonight.”
“Yeah, but this is an emergency. Come on, Rick won’t mind.”
Together they trudged the few blocks to Ken’s apartment building, taking the stairs to the second floor. Ken unlocked the door and called inside, “Rick! Hey Rick! You busy, man? Can I see you for a minute? We need your help.”
A moment later, Rick came out of the bedroom in the act of pulling on a t-shirt. “What’s up? I thought you were going to be out till nine?”
“We’ve got a problem here,” Ken explained, “we thought you could help. Doug here…” Ken stopped when he saw the expression of utter shock on Doug’s face. Following the line of his gaze, Ken saw Deb coming out of the bedroom, tucking her shirt into the waistband of her jeans.
“Deb?” Doug said incredulously.
“Hi, Doug,” Deb said as if they’d run into each other at the bus stop. “What’s that on your forehead?”
Ken stepped in to smooth over an awkward moment. “It’s his head chakra. It’s jammed up or something and we thought Rick…”
“It’s fine now,” Doug interrupted, “it’s started again.” It hadn’t just re-started, it was spinning wildly. Suddenly the last few weeks began to make sense: Deb’s sudden passion for shopping on Thursday nights, the night Rick would have the apartment to himself while Ken was at school; her irritability; the way she pushed Doug away when he tried to get close. “I gotta go,” Doug blurted, his eyes darting from Deb to Rick, “I gotta go.” He turned and fled.
Ken followed him out onto the street. “Hey, I’m sorry man, I didn’t know. If I had any idea I wouldn’t have made you go there.” Ken sighed and searched for something else to say, but nothing seemed appropriate. “We didn’t even get your head chakra started again,” he finally added lamely.
“Oh, it’s goin’,” said Doug. “It’s really goin’. It’s spinnin’ like crazy. That’s not my problem anymore.” He hunched his hands in his pockets and walked doggedly down the street. “Now I’ve got another problem.”
“What’s that?” Ken asked, ever ready to come to the aid of a friend in need.
“It’s my heart chakra,” said Doug, tapping his chest, “now my heart chakra’s stopped.” They walked on together in silence.
“Maybe I can help,” Ken offered. “You got any duct tape?”