The Redding Mile

by Fielding Goodfellow

Oliver Redding wasn’t much of a businessman, but he had inherited the family business when the old man died, and the stress was killing him. I suppose that’s why a portal must have opened up and dropped him into the pink, plastic Muskoka chair beside me as I wiled away the blistering hot afternoon at Sugar Beach. I really have no other explanation as to where he came from, I mean one minute the chair was empty and the next, well there he was. He seemed a little odd, but certainly no worse for free falling a mile or so through the universe. He couldn’t stop talking about the ducks though, I mean he resented that they could both fly and swim, while he could do neither. He thought it would be nice to be able to do one or the other.

One morning Oliver discovered that while he had been climbing the ladder to the top quite matter of factly, it had become harder and harder to breathe, I mean the air was unbearably heavy with the stench of corruption and deceit. He was tired of pretending that he enjoyed the view that always seemed to trigger his vertigo, and he wondered what it was going to take for him to truly feel happy. So, he simply let go and found himself on Sugar Beach. “Well, that’s odd.” he said. I suppose it must have seemed that way to him, but I’d seen it before. It wasn’t so long ago that I was the one drifting through the cosmos, sifting through what had been and what was yet to come, in search of something, although I really didn’t know what the hell I was looking for. I found myself in the strangest of places, so far out there that I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it back. I swear that if I didn’t jump through the haze of sound and color when I did, I’d still be floating around out there with my head up my ass. And in all that time that I was free falling I never, not once felt any real happiness.

“Don’t worry about it.” I said. “It happens all the time.”

“Really?” Oliver Redding asked. It actually didn’t happen all of the time, I mean it was a pretty rare occurrence, but it did happen more often that you’d expect. All of that kind of searching pretty much ends the same way, I mean there’s the desperate plunge of about a mile or so and then well, there you are at Sugar Beach. If you sit there long enough, I’m pretty sure that you’d get to see it.

“More than you know.” I said. “And it always ends the same.”

“It’s not that I haven’t tried” Oliver said, “I keep looking, but I just can’t seem to find anything that makes me feel happy.”

“I think that’s the trouble.” I said  “Its not out there.  But I’m probably not the best person to ask. I’m no expert and I’m not sure I know anything about being happy, I mean I’m a writer, and my entire life is really nothing more than the fictionalized accounts of the movies that keep screening in my head. Some of my characters though, seem pretty fucking happy.”

“What makes them so happy?” he asked.

“Usually drugs or alcohol.” I said. “But sometimes they get the gift of knowing themselves, and when they live their lives true to who they are, happiness just seems knock on their door rather loudly and completely  unannounced.”

Oliver seemed overjoyed at the prospect of finally getting his hands on what he had so desperately wanted. It was a shame to have to knock him on his ass, but its never easy really, I mean the hardest thing to do is to peel back the layers of who you’ve become and stand face to face with who you really are. Most of us wander around our entire lives with our brains and bellies stuffed with all of the shit we carry around forever, assuming that we’re happy until we find ourselves leaving a psychiatrist’s office with a prescription for Prozac or Xanax in our hands. I suppose that’s what makes it so damn valuable, I mean being happy is really not as easy as it seems. Sometimes though, if the gods have had a good afternoon on the back nine at The Mother of Our Holy Emptiness Golf and Magic Club, anything is possible.

“So, I just sit and wait for it to come?” he asked.

“Well there’s a bit more to it than that.” I said. “Forget about what you know. You’ve got to empty your mind. Go to the park and watch the men feed the squirrels, or head to the beach and listen to the waves brush up against the shore as they roll over your feet. Become part of the universe, and once you’ve done that it will come. Don’t wait for it though, I mean it never comes when you’re expecting it. You’ll figure it out when you get back.”

“I’m not sure that I want to go back.”

“I don’t think you have a choice.” I said. “No one else seemed to.” I guess I should have seen that coming. He was pretty comfortable in that pink, Muskoka chair on Sugar Beach, I mean there was really nothing going on. It was just talk, about anything, but mostly it was just talk about nothing at all.

By the time Oliver Redding had to go, I think he understood. I hope so, I mean he wasn’t a bad guy, he was just lost and confused. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the trip back along that mile of space and time was far more difficult than the trip here. The way I see it, its pretty tough to go back to what you were, once you know who you are.

A Squirrel In Every Thought

by Fielding Goodfellow

I don’t know what the hell we were on, but Farberman completely lost his shit. He was stuck in the endless loop of one fucking weird hallucination that just wouldn’t let him out. He was seeing squirrels all over the place, but not the kind you find the old men feeding in the park. They were Secret Agent Squirrels, working undercover to silence our voices, and if that failed, to send us to swim with the fishes. He was dead serious. “Squirrels are harmless.” Ramona said. “They’re probably just looking for nuts and stuff.”

“That’s easy for you to say.” Farberman said. “You don’t have any nuts and stuff.”

“Well, according to Mindy” Ramona said, “neither do you.”  Sometimes Farberman thought that Ramona was pretty funny, but this time he didn’t think so, I mean he had been carrying around a hard on for Mindy Arnett since sixth grade and everyone knew about it. I think he managed to kiss her once or twice, and he might have even got to feel a tit over her sweater or something, I’m not sure, but that was about it. It was a sore spot for him, I mean he would have given his left nut just to see her naked, but now the poor bastard was drowning in his own mind.

It was another time and another place, but my memory of it has been driving around in my head for what seems like forever, although I really can’t be sure that it actually happened. I don’t suppose that matters much though, I mean its as real as any other memory, and most of them don’t make any real difference in the general scheme of things anyway. In my mind though, there should have been stories told and songs sung about it, I mean at the time we thought it was legendary.  We marched for social justice, and we protested for peace. We banded together on the left, raising our voices together in songs that echoed around the world. We were called subversives and anarchists, but we really  weren’t either. The Administration however was determined to stop us. We were sure that they were resorting to subterfuge, I mean the word was out that there were spies among us.

We believed that we could change the world, and I suppose for a time we did, but somewhere along that long and winding road some lost their bearings and wound up neck deep in the quagmire on the right, dangling over the precipice of their own design, with their mouths sewn shut and their beliefs relegated to heresy. They could have seen see it if they looked close enough, I mean you could usually find it hiding behind God. Most of us still believed in the cause, but if history had taught us anything, we would have known that free speech is never really free. It always seems to come with a price, and the listeners are the ones that usually have to pay. Most of the time though the price is found to be far too steep. Campus Police began rounding up the most vocal protesters. Some were arrested, and others were expelled from the school. It was nothing more than a witch hunt, and we were powerless to stop it. We didn’t like it much, I mean we just didn’t care for the superior attitude the authorities flaunted so deliberately.

I guess Farberman could have been right, not about the squirrels, I mean that was just fucking nuts, but I suppose it was possible that we had been set up to swim with the fishes, in the figurative sense. While he barricaded himself in the bathroom, the police arrived and took several of us in for questioning based on nothing more than our involvement in peaceful demonstration. We were released sometime the following day, more determined than ever to protest the violations to our basic human rights. By then Farberman had returned to Earth, relatively unaware and unscathed by his ordeal, but determined to leave our little band of anti-establishment dreamers. I suppose it was all just too much for him, I mean sometimes we can find ourselves moving as fast as we can in circles, desperately trying to hang on to what we’ve been convinced is important, only to find out that its all just a bunch of worthless shit. It seems to me that sometimes it makes a hell of a lot more sense to just leave it all behind, and do the things that truly make us happy.

Dream On…

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

I had a dream. It wasn’t one of those profoundly, visionary dreams about social justice or the salvation of humanity, but it was still worthy of a heavenly chorus of angels. No, it was better than that. It deserved a ‘Be My Baby’ chorus of The Ronettes. It was an epic dream. I carried it with me for years and years, despite the many times that life had kicked me in the nuts without a second thought as I dragged my tired ass out of Madame Lee’s Pleasure Dome where you could get the one hour Pussy Cat Special and a raging case of genital warts for one hundred dollars, all while listening to synthetic 60s cover tunes by The Pervasive Taoist Orchestra or The Shanghai Swing Quartet.

Emily stood by a door, appearing dazed and confused by what was going on around her. It was obvious that she really didn’t want to be where she was. We connected from the first time we spoke. She had the heart of a poet, and was a self proclaimed environmentalist, vegetarian, and feminist, even though none of it was fashionable at the time. Her tortured soul and the sordid secrets she had been keeping propelled her into the world found at the bottom of an alcohol saturated rabbit hole filled with assorted drugs and Cheshire cats. We were floating back then without really going anywhere, circling fields of white rabbits and Mad Hatters and the occasional caterpillar armed with a hookah, though none of it really seemed to make any sense to either of us.

We spent a lot of time together, wandering around the Fish Hatchery and the small water fall nearby, but Emily was most comfortable just hanging out and getting high while we listened to Yes, or The Beatles. She was a fun high, all smiles and giggles but interested in everything. We talked for hours on end and neither of us ever seemed to grow tired of it. She was insanely hot, and while I toyed with thoughts of depravity and debauchery, quite surprisingly and totally out of character, I was more interested in her friendship than the amusement park that lay nestled between her thighs. We were, it appeared to me, kindred spirits. I had lived many lives, and I had played many roles. I had been many things to many people. I had, much like Sinatra, been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. I had played each of these parts in the only manner I could, and I had no doubt that they all served to take me exactly to where I was supposed to be.  I was sure that it was with Emily at that time and place, and I was just as certain that she would remain a part of my life forever.

She had an edge about her though, an anger that she carried deep within, masking it with smiles and laughter and I suspect getting high. She never told me much about her past, but it seemed like she was always trying to forget something. The sixty days we spent together were some of the best times of my life, and when we went our separate ways, we promised to keep in touch. We did for a while. I visited her in her home town a couple of times, and she came up to see me a few times as well. In between there was some letter writing and an occasional phone call until she moved overseas and, as inevitably happens, we lost touch. I tried to find her, but after thirty-five years or so had passed, I pretty much had given up. More than anything, I wanted to see her again. I wanted to know that she was alright, that she had beaten her demons and that she was happy and at peace. And that was my dream, just to be sure that she was finally okay.

A few years ago, she found me, and we reconnected. We talked as if we had spoken everyday for thirty-five years. She told me her secret and I understood the anger. I wished I had known back then. I wish I could have helped her, but I suppose she just wasn’t ready to deal with it then. We talk often, although not as much as I would like to, and she is happy and at peace. She is married to a great guy, and together they have a busload of kids scattered across two continents, and a van load of grandchildren. She is still interested in everything, and continues to amaze me with her involvement in service to others. There is a plan for her to come for a visit sometime soon, and I really hope it happens. If not, well that will be okay I mean that dream of mine from all of those years ago came true. And that is certainly more than enough.

 

Solomon Tate’s Lesbian

by Fielding Goodfellow

Tate had no idea how he got there, waking up on Kew Beach, nestled against Jessica with a mouth full of sand. The last thing he remembered was leaving The Roxy Theater, totally messed up on peyote, after being immersed in the tragedy of Michael J. Pollard’s ‘Dirty Little Billy’.  This was certainly not the first time he found himself face down on the ground with no idea of how the fuck he wound up that way.

So, here’s what happened. In the mid 1970s, Tate was living in a second floor walk up that overlooked the park in a trendy, artsy neighborhood  filled with writers, painters, and musicians, where their very existence was celebrated our existence with one party after another, fueled by copious amounts of hallucinogenics and beer amid the constant challenge of keeping the flying lizards and leprechauns at bey. That summer, as Frampton came alive and The Eagles checked into the Hotel California, Jessica Emery settled into this little piece of psychedelic paradise and moved into the apartment directly across the hall from Tate.

The world was scared shitless of homosexuals back then, and the fear that their very presence would turn the universe gay and ultimately bring about the demise of the human race was widespread. It was pretty fucked up just how much time and effort went into stopping the gay scourge then, when there were men in overalls dining on squirrel stew and drinking a gallon or two of corn mash whiskey, and then going out to the barn to bang the shit out of their livestock without anyone raising an eyebrow, or a shotgun. Jennifer was gay, a lesbian  from Beaumont, Texas and was often subjected to ridicule and taunting from some of the community assholes who felt the urge to state the obvious in an attempt to display some sense of superiority based entirely on their sexuality.  “She’s a lesbian.”, was often whispered with scorn and disdain.

Sometime in August Tate and Jessica were sitting on her sofa listening to Spirit, and getting messed up on mushrooms. Jennifer, like everyone else Tate involved himself with, was a writer.  She had a weakness for the absurd, and was quite fond of Ionesco, Kafka, and Beckett. There was a wall in her living room filled with caricatures of Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger, and Vonnegut. She was wonderfully beautiful, and was several years older than Tate. He thought she was the one of the coolest people he knew, and watching her move around the flat that day, braless, in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, he believed  that she was one of the sexiest. All the while Tate had pornography playing in his head. It was in slow motion, always in slow motion. There was something insanely hot about girl on girl sex, well, not something, Tate felt that everything about it was insanely hot, and despite the fact that he was sure he would never be able to take that trip up her thighs to get to the magic kingdom. he was more than a little interested in at least getting a ticket to the show.

The inside of her apartment was as cool as she was, with a wall dedicated entirely to caricatures of writers including Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger and Vonnegut. There were plants growing in every room, and a fish tank hummed loudly atop a large coffee table in the middle of the living room. They ate dinner together, and then  headed down to The Roxy for the Friday night movie marathon  to catch ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ , John Waters’ ‘Pink Flamingos’, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’, and ‘Dirty Little Billy’. All the way to the theater Tate wondered what the hell he should talk about. There was a series of random questions, covering topics that ranged from the fall of the Mayan empire to “So, how long have you been a lesbian?”

“Since I was a Freshman in college.” Jessica responded. “Up til then, I always  had boyfriends. But in my freshman year”, she continued, “my boyfriend and I were watching porn and everything became clear. It was an Epiphany. A life altering moment.” Jessica stopped and sighed heavily.  “The first time I saw that pussy up close, I knew I was really into girls. I never really thought much about  dick, but I couldn’t stop thinking about pussy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate dick or anything like that. I’ve got a bunch of fake ones stashed in a drawer. But just the idea of pussy gets me hot.”

“Me too.”, Tate told her.”

“I’m sure it does.”, Jessica laughed. ” More than anything, at that moment, Tate wanted her. The film in his head began playing again Tate knocks on Jessica’s door and she invites him in. She’s wearing a robe, and as she invites Tate to sit on the couch, she goes to get him a beer from the kitchen. The Beatles are playing in the background, Revolver, side 1, when a completely naked woman comes out of the bedroom. Jessica appears with the beer and without the towel. The two lesbians lead Tate into the bedroom. With each screening, the script became more and more detailed, but that didn’t really matter. What was important here is that there was always a happy ending.

Nothing unusual happened at The Roxy. They sat in the last row, as Tate always did, aisle seat,  did some more peyote and  watched the films. By the time Willy Wonka was over, they were totally messed up and Tate was lost in the world of Dirty Little Billy. He had once said “You can get lost in your own mind, but don’t worry about it. The journey back will surprise the fuck out of you.”, and for Tate, it always did. After the screenings Jessica wanted to watch the sun come up at the beach, so they headed off to Kew Beach with a little time to spare.  They walked along the shore line, chasing the waves and finishing off the peyote.  They took their clothes off, and went into the water, splashing around like a couple of seals in heat. When Jessica ran up the beach, Tate chased her, and tripping on a piece of driftwood knocked himself out cold. He didn’t see the sun come up. When he woke, he found himself and Jessica laying on the beach naked and apparently spooning. He tried to get up, but his arm was trapped under her head,. The movement stirred her awake. “Any idea what the hell went on here?”, he asked her.

“I suppose that you took advantage of me.”, she said.

“No.”, Tate said. “I’m sure I’d remember that.”

“Well, then”, Jessica answered, “Maybe I took advantage of you.”

Really?”, he asked. “I’m pretty sure I’d remember that too.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it.”, she told him. “Shit like that happens.” But Tate did worry about it. For days he tried desperately to locate that information locked somewhere in his mind, underneath all of the drugs and alcohol, but he couldn’t find a thing. Not even a trace. That movie kept playing in his head, over and over again, as Jessica ran naked along the beach with Tate in pursuit. But that’s where it stopped. There was nothing more. About a week or so later,  Jessica arrived at his door, braless in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left nothing to the imagination.  Tate stood at the door following the curves of her body with his eyes. He followed her legs up to her thighs, and lingered there for a moment, and then moved up to the outer gates of the secret garden she seemed to be taunting him with. “Nothing happened at the beach.”, she told him. “I wanted it to, but you got hurt, and so, nothing happened.”  She took him by the hand and led him to her flat. “Have a seat.”, she said. “I’ll get you a beer.”

Tate watched her head into the kitchen, mesmerized by the movement of her hips as she walked. The Beatles were playing in the background, Revolver, side 1. A naked woman emerged from the bedroom, just as Jessica returned with a beer and nothing else. She was totally naked. The two women kissed, and Tate felt the massive hard on that has developed in his pants. It all seemed to be in slow motion. The two lesbians led him into the bedroom, and from what we gather, there was a happy ending for all. This arrangement lasted just over a year, about the time Ramona moved in with Tate, and Jessica found herself in love with Stacey Hollis. Sometime in the late winter, Jessica moved out of her flat, and Tate never heard from her again. But that didn’t really matter anyway. What was important here is that there is always a happy ending.

 

 

 

1973

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

Politics is a dangerous game, full of treachery and deceit as it hovers around smoky, back rooms, peddling itself like a crack whore for a few dollars to be made in a nefarious deal sealed with a handshake and the wink of an eye. Hiding behind closed doors with unsavory and unscrupulous bed fellows, surrounded by broken promises and Philistine fetishes, the skeletons in the closet sooner or later scream with delight. The campaign for senior class president of 1972/73 was no exception.

Arnold Pritchard was a pot head who had served as junior class president of 1971/72 following an election won by acclamation. His  platform of doing nothing ushered in a junior year of psychedelic serenity, which appeared to be exactly what the student body had been pinning for. Sandy Lynde, the blow job queen of Guy Lombardo High, had thrown her insanely short, pleated skirt into the ring kneeling firmly on the promise of an open mouth policy, offering up her student body that had been responsible for fueling wet dreams since her freshman year. There are always difficult decisions to make in electing officials, and the choice between Arnold’s policy of governance from eight miles high, and Sandy’s open wide and say ah approach, had the class divided.

As a writer for the school paper, I was assigned to cover the political wranglings of this heated campaign and interview the candidates. I was completely removed from the events that were unfolding, tripping through high school with a mind accosted by peyote and the occasional Percocet, but I caught up with Arnold in the  second floor stairwell on the north side of the school. There was a cloud of smoke that hung in the air like a London fog, as Arnold passed me a joint that had been circulating around the small group of regulars. He stated that he was looking forward to another mellow year, and referred to his vision of leadership as  nothing is everything. As the peyote, Percocet and pot joined forces on the battlefield in my head, I suggested that it all seemed very Taoist, although I was certain that Arnold had no idea what the hell I was talking about. It didn’t really matter though, I mean, the entire senior class would be led astray by a trail of dropped cheese doodles if he was elected. As I was leaving, Arnold placed a dime bag of pot in my hand and reminded me to vote Pritchard.

I met up with Sandy at her campaign headquarters, behind the bleachers at the football field. “I see you’ve come back.”, she said as soon as I was within earshot. “It’s been a long time.” It had been two years. Two years ago, at the very same spot, I  was on the receiving end of a Sandy Lynde special which despite being only moderately special, was still quite enjoyable.

“This time I just came to talk about the election.”, I told her.

“That’s a shame.”, she said. “I always kind of liked you.”

“Really?”, I replied. “Well so far I think I’ll be voting for Arnold.”

“Ya, I know he’s got the drugs.”, she said lifting her t shirt high enough to expose her tits. “But I bet he doesn’t have these.” I couldn’t be certain, but I was pretty sure that she was right. Sandy had nothing much to say about the campaign or the election. She had no real platform, and was relying on her campaign slogan, ‘wouldn’t you like to have a president who sucks’, to garner enough votes to win her the presidency. Much like her bleacher blow jobs, Sandy’s campaign, while certainly adequate enough, lacked substance.

Somewhere along the campaign trail things got ugly. In the dark and dirty underbelly of politics, it is inevitable that slander and libel become a necessary evil. Tales are told and rumors are spread with little, if any thought of the consequences, as the pundits follow closely behind with mouths wide open like fucking  Pez dispensers, encouraging this odious repartee and hoping  for an equally offensive retort. And so it was in 1973 at Guy Lombardo High a rumor spread faster than a California wild fire, involving Sandy Lynde, an English teacher, and a trip to an abortion clinic in Buffalo, New York, which completely overshadowed the story of Arnold Pritchard’s drug induced mental breakdown and subsequent vacation at the Queen Street Mental Health Center. As happens in all political campaigns, the three week campaign for senior class president was now a hotbed of sin, seduction and insanity. With careers, reputations, and victory hanging in the balance, a stop was put on the campaign and the election was suspended by the school administration until a viable solution could be reached. During the ensuing investigation into the allegations of teacher-student relations which revealed nothing, it was determined that in order to stop the circus of crap that was enveloping the student body , a co-presidency was deemed to be the only decision that could be made. The candidates agreed, and the news was revealed to the senior class. Sadly the gossipers and rumor mongers refused to accept the compromise and protested outside the  administration office demanding their right to vote. Unconstitutional or not, as the simpletons claimed, I was confounded by their failure to recognize the perfect union of sex and drugs. It all ended with the protesters getting up from their failed sit in, after most of them were rendered harmless by Arnold’s seemingly unlimited supply of dime bags.

Out behind the bleachers at the football field, Sandy was holding court with three or four junior co-eds, who were hanging on every word she said, which somehow seemed odd as I imagined that her words were almost always indiscernible as her mouth was otherwise occupied. “Thanks for all of your help.”, she told me. “I really appreciate everything you did.”

“I really didn’t do anything.”, I replied. “I just wrote about what was going on. But I’m glad it all worked out.”

“Me too.”, she said. “I owe you one.”

“Don’t worry about it.”, I said.

“Well.”, she turned to look at her entourage, “We all want to thank you. How would you like to be today’s practice volunteer for the young ladies?”

“Right here?”, I asked.

“Here and now.”, she answered. My pants were down before she finished that sentence, and by the time they hit the ground, the trainees and their coach were all on their knees in front of my now fully erect manhood. It was 1973, and amid all of the rock and roll hoochie koo that had been going on, I developed a balls deep appreciation for politics.

The Body In The Courtyard

The view from my terrace is wonderfully tranquil. I look directly into a forested area that, in Autumn, turns into a myriad of colors that regularly takes my breath away, and a courtyard enjoyed by the 4 buildings that make up this community. But that morning, it was different. Something had happened to shatter the peace that often came with a morning on the terrace.

I stepped out onto the terrace at about 5 in the morning, coffee and cigarette in hand. The lights that illuminated the courtyard below brought the entire area into view. There was nothing out of the ordinary. At 7:30, I returned to the terrace to find 6 police cruisers parked on the courtyard. There were strands of bright yellow police tape roping off an area near one of the other buildings. And there, on the ground just beside a neighboring building, was a body. It was covered with an orange tarp, and guarded by one of the officers. Several bicycle cops, dressed in the standard issues yellow jackets, and short blue pants arrived on the scene, and were relegated to directing the public away from the area. A black sedan pulled up, and 2 men, wearing suits and sunglasses got out, and walked over to the corpse. It seemed that the detectives had arrived. This was a local CSI.

They wandered around the site, and headed into the building. From my vantage point I watched as it all unfolded. I could see the detectives step onto an 11th floor terrace of a neighboring building, and, after rummaging around, peer over the edge of the terrace. Within minutes they departed the building, spoke to a uniformed officer, and left the scene just as inauspiciously as they had arrived. “Probably suicide.”, I said to my wife.

“What if he was sleep walking and fell off.”, she remarked.

“No.”, I told her. “Either suicide, or someone was high as fuck, and thought they could fly.”

“Really?”, she questioned. “Does that even happen?”

“It does to me.”, I informed her. “Many times. But usually the gargoyles wandering around the terrace keep me inside.”

It didn’t take long for the Forensics Unit to arrive. Two Officers lugging a briefcase full of evidence gathering equipment, and a camera. Pictures of the scene were taken, and the orange tarp was lifted in order to take photos of the corpse. Once completed they headed inside the building, up to the 11th floor terrace, and began taking pictures there. They returned to the scene on the ground, and rounded up what I suspect were bone fragments, and placed them in a bag. Once they were done, the Coroner’s Office arrived, in their black van, instructing the bicycle cops to keep away, and a Sergeant on the scene dispensed the short panted cyclists to other duties off the site.

The corpse was rolled and lifted onto a series of plastic coverings, and placed on a stretcher. It was wheeled to the awaiting black van, placed inside, and driven off. I looked down at the site, and noticed an enormous pool of blood. One of the maintenance workers from the complex came to wash the blood off of the concrete slabs that creating the walkway around the courtyard itself.

“I wonder if it was a man or a woman?”, my wife inquired.

“I think it was a man.”, I said. “Pretty big corpse for a woman.”

“Well that seems a little sexist.”, she stated. “There are big women, and there are small men.”

“Indeed there are.”, I agreed. “But it took three men to lift the body onto the stretcher, so I’m going to have to go with it was a man. Secondly, I am not sure that jumping to one’s death is a method women generally make when they contemplate suicide.”

“We don’t know it was suicide.”, she reminded me. “Maybe she was thrown off the terrace.”

“Well”, I added, “The detectives were in and out in about 15 minutes. The forensics team took about 30 minutes and then left. I would suspect that if foul play was suspected, there would be an investigation going on right now. I think they found a suicide note in the unit, so, that’s it.”

The Police began to remove the yellow tape, and once this task was completed, they left, like a convoy. It was 10 o’clock, and after 2 1/2 hours, the scene was completely restored to its previous pristine condition. We all seem to react to these kind of things differently, and my youngest daughter, who had been busy taking pictures of the event, began sharing them with her sister who now lived in the suburbs, informing her that there was a vacant apartment down here that was available. My wife found it completely disrespectful. My daughters found it funny. I just found it sad.

I have seen a lot of shit go on down here. There have been multiple stabbings and shootings, drug overdoses, and a serial killer stalked his victims not too far from where I live. The intentional taking of one’s own life saddens me. We still have no idea of what transpired. There was no information in any media outlets, and no one who lives in the area has any more information than I do. I suppose that we will never know what really happened. Perhaps my wife is right. Maybe some one was sleepwalking and fell over the railing. Or perhaps someone tossed the victim over the edge. I suppose, any scenario could be possible at this time. My guess, as I informed my wife, is that the gargoyles on the terrace had left, and the dude, who was high as fuck, simply wanted to fly. It happens. In any event, I hope the poor soul finds some peace now.

Lost With A Moral Compass

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

Following my expulsion from a private, religious school which my parents truly believed would set me on a clear and direct path to a cabana on a pristine beach in the after life, I entered high school as a free man, and left as one incredibly fucked up high school graduate. Over the course of four years, I am almost certain that I was wasted every day. As a result, most of my high school memories have dissipated, much like a fog bank settling over the shore line.

While the regular cast of thousands roamed the bleak, concrete hallways, engaging in self deprecating mating rituals with assorted cheerleaders in short skirts and knee high socks, who brushed them off with a flip of their hair and a turn of their head, I was  engaged in a psychedelic lunch break with draft dodger turned English teacher and drug dealer, Mr. N., or some bizarre sex ritual in the back of a Jeep Wrangler with Madame S., the French teacher who I am certain worked part time as a stripper at The Algonquin Tavern.

I suppose it was just my good fortune to have entered the corridor at the exact moment head cheerleader and dating expert Marilyn Garland, bent over and displayed her upper middle class, wonder bread ass to Fitzroy Simmons, a science nerds who had stopped to gawk. “You can keep looking.”, she said, “but you’re never gonna get this.” After a cursory glance, it occurred to me that nobody around wanted to get that.

“Don’t flatter yourself.”, I told her as I walked by. “No one wants that pasty white, bony ass. Put it away.” Fitzroy laughed. Marilyn stormed off with her band of mindless, professional virgins who I have been led to believe went on to find success as frigid wives of suburban accountants, and I was once again in the office of school Vice-Principal, Mr. Brackett.

It was the usual exchange of ideas, one that we seemed to continually rehearse. Mr. Brackett sat behind his desk, tapping his hand with a yard stick, pointing out that I was  disrespectful, immoral, and destined for a lifetime of failure. I disagreed, and expressed my concern that he was ignorant, belittling, and an asshole. I was suspended for three days, and the customary call to my parents was made. As I went to retrieve my belongings from my locker, I ran into Madame S., and I told her what had happened. “You’re just so adorable.”, she told me. “Let me give you a ride home.” I met her at the Jeep. “You drive.”, she said as she tossed me the keys. Now, if you have never had a blow job while driving a manual transmission Jeep with the top down, I suggest you try it at least once. It was wonderfully fulfilling.

My father’s only concern was that he had been called by the school. It didn’t matter to him what I had or had not done. He really didn’t care. He just did not want to be called. “I don’t understand why you keep getting caught.”, he said.

“I don’t get caught.”, I informed him. “I just choose not to run away.”

“Well”, he advised, “that’s getting caught.”

“Not really.”, I replied. “That’s surrendering. I am trying to make a point.”

“Which is?”, he asked.

“That I am right, and they are full of shit.”, I told him. We never understood each other. He neither shared my sense of justice or responsibility. The battle was fought over many years, with his frequent reminders that he just didn’t understand me. I let him know that it was alright, I wasn’t really looking for understanding, anyway. What I was really seeking was the freedom to think my own thoughts, and to live my own life. His only request was that I lived a moral life.

Many years later, following a night out, when the paranoid delusions invade the deepest recesses of my thoughts as I attempt to sleep, I realized that I had very matter of factly pissed away most of my life. Wallowing in the effects of years and years of uninhibited hallucinogenic consumption and random acts of various erotic mayhem, I realized that I was plagued with a sense of melancholy. I had discovered, much to my father’s chagrin that morality is a sham. Behind a facade of transparency, it has been driven into the shadows under a veil of secrecy and deceit. It manifests itself as the law of the land, but in reality it is merely the masturbatory fantasies of those who sit on the far right. I have participated in enough protests to have discovered that those liberal, left wing social democrats who take to the streets and gather in the squares to voice their disapproval, wind up being corralled like cattle and detained in the name of decency and public safety. I have come to understand that morality is a word used to dupe us into conformity. It is used to stifle self expression, and entice the masses to join in and march in the great military parades. Morality is insanely immoral.

We are, after all, human beings with the freedom of choice. So whose morality are we being asked to accept? Morality does not stop us from hurting others, but in fact encourages it, provided those we wish to harm are without morals. It is not morality that should prevade our existence, but responsibility. Responsibility to ourselves, and to our fellow man. We all have a responsibility to take care of each other, that is the essence of being human. Morality gives us the option to fuck up those who are less fortunate and marginalized, once we convince ourselves that they are immoral. The white shirt, suit and tie bufoons who reign supreme by virtue of their ability to make promises that they have no intention to keep, dictate what is moral as they shove the poor and destitute deeper into the holes that have been dug in an attempt to bury all of the unwanted refuse this society has created.

Where is the responsibility we have towards our fellow man? Where is the sense of duty to help those in need? These qualities, an integral part of what makes us human beings has been relegated to land fills across the planet in order that the rich and powerful may continue to be rich and powerful. I  don’t profess to have all of the answers, but I do know that I do not screw others because it is immoral, but rather because I have an obligation to help, not hinder, to enlighten, not confuse. I don’t want what others have, nor do I need it, but the constraints of morality force even the meekest of men to become sinners. The new found morality will not lead to happiness, or peace of mind. Happiness will be found in doing what you love, and being who you really are, without seeking acceptance from anyone other than yourself. Those who expound morality are immoral.

I regret nothing, although there are times when I wish I could have said something a little more appropriate than “Go to hell, you fucking whore.”, at the settlement hearing with my first wife, but it was said and done. I have tried to spend my life as a champion of the underdog, the guardian of those who are unable to help themselves. When no one wanted to hang out with Fitzroy Simmons, who was taunted, teased and bullied his entire academic life, I looked out for him, and offered my friendship. Madame S., well, she needed to feel love, and I desperately wanted to be the one to give it to her. My refusal to knuckle under to the intimidation tactics of Mr. Brackett served to demonstrate to others that authority exists only because we give it permission to.

I went on, after University, to work with children and adolescents with mental health and behavioral issues, guiding them to a life of self reliance and self acceptance. Not bad for a disrespectful, immoral, failure. Recognize your responsibility and your duty to give back, and stop listening to the moral right. They’re all just fucktards.

Fielding Goodfellow Speaks

 

This is an excerpt from an interview with Fielding Goodfellow published in ‘Psychedelic Psecrets’, in June 2016.

I met Fielding Goodfellow at a small Middle Eastern restaurant just north of the city. I had been advised by his publicist that he does not talk about politics or religion. I arrived a few minutes early, to find him already seated at a table, drinking Turkish coffee. The following has been transcribed from notes I took at this meeting.

MAG: You’ve written short stories, a few novels, and a screenplay. No one seems to know much about the screenplay. Where did that come from?

FG:  Oh, ya. ‘Free Swim In The Gene Pool’. My foray into film. It was, by the way, a resounding piece of crap.  I wrote it on a dare from a friend.

MAG: ‘Free Swim In The Gene Pool’? I’ve never heard of it.

FG: Well,  I’m not surprised. As I said, it was crap.

MAG: Did you always want to be a writer?

FG: No, I never thought about being a writer. I wanted to be a super hero. The writing thing I think was always there, laying patiently in wait. And then one day, it just all started to fall out.

MAG: There are numerous references to your days at University in most of your work. What was your major?

FG: Well, as I remember it, my University days were quite the Space Oddity, so I suppose there was Major Tom. Oh, and there were the majorettes.

MAG: Sex and drugs. Right?.

FG: Pretty much.

MAG:  Both seem to be recurrent themes in your work. What’s your take on the upcoming recreational marijuana laws?

FG:  I have no opinion, really. Drugs are simply a great way to travel to far off places without having to put my pants on.

MAG: You once said that the writing process and sex are pretty much the same. Care to elaborate?

FG: I probably did say that, but I have this weird ass writer friend in Detroit who said it first. But ya, I think its true. The only difference is that with writing, I never have to apologize for finishing early.

MAG: You don’t seem to take much seriously, do you?

FG: No, I don’t. Its pointless. Life isn’t a serious venture. Its a divine comedy. A burlesque revue at best.

MAG: And for those who can’t seem to find the humor?

FG: Get the fuck out of the house. Just live life. Here’s the problem. When I was 13, I was riding my bike around the streets, having incredible sex with the neighborhood housewives. At 15, I was listening to The 13th Floor Elevators, smoking a joint, while getting a blow job from Wendy Phillips. Today, I rarely see kids outside. They’re busy sitting in their rooms, alone, playstation powered up, engaged in some fantasy bullshit with 4 other virginal nerds from assorted parts of the planet. Life isn’t fantasy. It’s life. Go out and fucking live it. Travel. Experience shit. Its wonderfully funny out there.

MAG: Are there any other words of wisdom for our readers?

FG: Stop listening to people who don’t know anything. The world is filled with ignorant twats who are selling information on things they really know nothing about. Why would you trust someone who has never raised kids to teach you how to raise kids? And yet, they write their books, appear on TV talk shows, flogging their insights into child rearing, all with no experience raising kids. They’re full of shit. If you want to know about raising kids, talk to someone who has raised 5 or 6 of them. Stop believing the so called experts.

MAG: So, what’s next for Fielding Goodfellow?

FG: Well, I think I’m going to order the chicken shawarma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clown Of Fenlon Falls

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

I met Neanne sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, but I can’t be certain of anything any longer.  I was caught somewhere between the excessive drugs and a a chronic reluctance to accept and adapt to the bullshit that was falling around me in the guise of manna from heaven. When both  joy and despair  danced around my head like Fred & Ginger, tugging at my sanity to a degree that would make any bipolar disorder envious. The effects of the copious amounts of hallucinogenics I had been dabbling in were wonderfully bizarre. Every now and again there would be a flying burrito doing figure eights above the kitchen sink,  or the chameleon who lived next door would bring home a penguin he had recently started dating. And when it all seemed about to implode, she wandered into my world.  She was tall, blonde, and exactly what I needed at the time.

Neanne came from a small town north of the city, and she was a prostitute trying to get out of the life. She was the perfect distraction at a time when I longed to be distracted. We became friends, and when she left the business a short time later, we began a relationship based entirely on each one of us getting their needs met. She needed someone to love her, and I needed someone to keep me safe from the Blue Meanies. She turned me on to all kinds of weird ass sex, and I got her into all kinds of weird ass drugs. Our entire existence as a couple revolved around sex and drugs. In retrospect we were the Sid and Nancy of the bagel crowd. We were either getting high or getting laid, or more often than naught, getting both.

I was working for a small, local record label in those days, working on projects with some larger Independent labels, scouring the land for marketable talent. Neanne went with me to a small community just North East of the big smoke, where we rented a cottage on the lake. We traveled around the area, catching shows at various bars while insanely stoned, and returned to our rented rooms to engage in coitus stupendous. On the third day of our talent search, we ran into an older gentleman, dressed in a suit, looking like a lawyer, or perhaps a bank employee. And while neither Neanne nor I had any idea of who he was, he was certain that he knew Neanne. It seems that during one of his sojourns to the big city, he had enlisted the services of a sex trade worker, and he was sure it was Neanne. Before long, the entire bar was looking over at her, and she was being propositioned by most of the men present, with the server delivering notes and drinks to her. It was becoming overwhelming for her. I on the other hand, was devising a plan to send the giant lizard men who were standing by the car in to eat the little bastards. “I want to leave.”, she told me.

“Okay.”, I said.

As we drove back to the cottage, she had asked if I would take her to her parent’s home, about an hour or so away. I agreed. She talked the entire time, relaying tales of how this sort of thing happens regularly. There was always an ex client who recognized or remembered her and was seeking something now. She had had enough of it, and wasn’t sure if she could stay around the city. Even out here, in cottage country, she was being recognized. I felt bad for her, but man did I want to take her now. It occurred to me that I was getting for free what everyone else had to pay for, and that seemed pretty cool, with a cloud of opium sifting through my brain.

We spent 24 hours at her parents’ home, giving Neanne time to settle down, talk with her parents, and try to come up with a plan to move on with her life. She had decided, with the help of her father, who went off to work each day with a lunch pail in on hand, and a bible in the other, that she was going to find God, and devout her life to helping others. A noble quest, indeed. But the only thing my drug soaked brain could focus on was how would this interfere in my getting laid.

I understood her need to find something more. I myself, had traveled down that road on more than one occasion, seeking God, or a reasonable facsimile. I searched everywhere I could think of, at the beach, in the mountains, at the bottom of a box of Fruit Loops, but found nothing. But Neanne was determined, and I was certain her father had the address to some secret location where God could indeed be found.

I stayed with Neanne until she figured out that she wanted to be a  clown. “Are you serious?”, I asked her.

“Yes,”, she said. “Its perfect. I would make people happy.”

“It seems to me that your previous occupation made people happy too.”, I replied.

“I can’t do that anymore.”, she said. “It didn’t make me happy. And besides, I think I love you.”

The sarcastic laughter and comments from the giant lizard men sitting in the back seat of the car, startled me at first. “I really need to stay straight long enough to know what the hell I’m doing.”, I thought.

We parted ways shortly after, I mean I didn’t love her. I loved the sex. And while, at the time, I didn’t know there was a difference, I figured it out. Neanne did indeed venture into the world of clowning. She got pretty good at it, and eventually started her own business providing floppy shoes, baggy pants, and big, red noses, to parties, school events, and children’s hospital visits. I saw her a few years later, and she was happy. I was happy for her. I traveled on, discovering new ways to antagonize the universe, and simplify my life.  I moved on to new worlds, discovering that while there was no need to search any longer, it was still wonderfully exciting to look for the prize in the box of Fruit Loops.

 

 

A Christmas Flashback

 

“Where have you been?”, my wife asked me.

“I don’t know.”, I replied.

“What do you mean you don’t know?”, she continued. “You had to have been somewhere.”

“I know.”, I told her. “I was somewhere, but I’m just not sure where that somewhere was.”

“Okay.”, she said. “You’re starting to freak me out.”

“Freak you out?”, I quipped. “How do you think I feel.”

It was a Saturday afternoon. My wife and I had gone out for the day. I had wandered off, as usual, and had somehow become lost. Nothing seemed familiar, and yet I knew I had been there before. It seemed like I had been gone for hours. And standing there, surrounded by the cavern like walls, I was sure that I would never find my way out. Fear and anxiety began to set in, and then the panic hit. Waves of impending doom washed over me, leaving me filled with dread and despair. I realized that I was alone, and had no idea where I was. There were people milling about, but I couldn’t ask anyone for help. I just couldn’t speak. I opened my mouth, but not a sound would come out.

“You always do this.”, my wife pointed out. “It doesn’t matter where we go, you always seem to wander off.”

“This was different.”, I told her. “I don’t think I was here.”

“What the hell does that mean?”, she asked.

“It means”, I leaned over to her in order to whisper, “it means I was somewhere else.”

“Like another store?”, she asked.

“No.”, I responded. “I think somewhere farther away.”

“You’re not making any sense.”, she said.

“I know.”, I replied. “I’ll try to explain, but I don’t really understand it, either. Maybe we should sit down somewhere.” We walked over to the bench that sat in front of a metal sculpture of 3 strange looking women who seemed to be flying, strategically placed over a fountain. “Okay, I’ll tell you everything I know.”, I said as we sat on the bench.

“You were looking at shoes or something, so I thought I’d just walk over to the electronics store. But I never got there. Something happened to me. Everything seemed different, like it had changed in a instant. There were these really bright lights. They were everywhere, and they seemed to blink on and off with some sort of synchronicity. And there was music, but really awful music, like Bon Jovi or something.”

“I like Bon Jovi.”, my wife interjected.

“I know.”, I replied. “And I couldn’t really see anything, I mean I couldn’t make out where I was. I tried to speak, but nothing happened. I just couldn’t make a sound. I could see people, I think they were people, moving around me, but I couldn’t seem to get anyone’s attention. And then, I felt as if I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. It was like I didn’t have arms or legs. But the lights kept flashing, and getting brighter. There were shadows moving behind them, I thought they were people, but they seemed to be floating, not walking. And then, something got into my mind. I can’t explain it, but it felt like someone was taken information out of my brain. It was so weird.” My wife sat silently for a few moments, thinking about what I had just told her and gathering her thoughts.

“Are you high?”, she asked.

“I sure as hell hope so.”, I answered. “But that has nothing to do with this.”

“Really?”, she asked, as sarcastically as I had ever heard her. “Remember the time we went to Medieval Times, and you were certain that one of the knights had a flying horse? What were you on then?”

“That was different.”, I explained. “Mushrooms, I think.”

“So what do you think happened to you?”, she asked.

“I think I was abducted. By Aliens.”, I told her.

“And what would they want with you?”, she queried.

“Information.”, I answered. “They were getting information and knowledge from my brain.”

“Well”, my wife replied, “Its unlikely they got much except maybe flying horses, and dinosaurs.”

“Dragons.”, I corrected her. “Dragons. Not dinosaurs.”

“Let’s just go home.”, she said. The ride home was one of silent condemnation. She didn’t believe it. Hell, I wasn’t sure if I believed it either. As we turned onto our street, the entire block was lit up. There were blinking lights everywhere, hovering over the houses like low lying clouds. There was a constant hum, as if a giant vacuum cleaner was running.

“It was kind of like this.”, I said.

“Really?”, my wife asked.  “Those are Christmas lights. They’re Christmas lights on the houses. And there are Santa’s and reindeer on the roofs of the houses. And big snowmen on the front lawns. That’s all it is.”

“Then what about what happened earlier?”, I asked. “At the mall?”

“You wandered into the Christmas display.”, she informed me. “With the lights, and Santa and the elves.”

“Well.”, I said. “That makes sense.”

“Ya.”, she replied. “Probably just another Christmas flashback.”

“I guess.”, I replied, as we pulled into the driveway. “You go inside. I’ll be in as soon as I get the giant marshmallow off the lawn.”