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january seventeenth, nineteen seventy-six the trains howled in the distance for lovers long since dead. the long, solitary wail of a man deprived of his love. he is a danger to all those around him, this man, as a bomb created by an insurgent who died with the secret of the detonating factor. the coyotes answered the lonesome cry of the trains, as did my soul. i looked past a blanket of rain falling from the Heavens that stood as my first shower in months, taking in every letter of the message i had chosen in my mourning stupor: Rosemary A. Valentine the last romantic the world shall ever know October 9, 1949 November 17, 1975 i had made her my wife less than a year before she passed, but that was merely a certificate declaring legally what had already been written in our souls, in the oracles of time since their creation. we were made for one another, intertwined in this world and the next. my shovel sank into the mud that rested upon the outer layers of the ground making up her tomb of earth. with each laborious motion, i pulled the metaphysical string tied to both our fingers- connecting us in the inescapable manner that it always had- and felt a tug at the opposite end, beckoning me toward her. half of the grave had been uncovered, and i stood, caked in mud and rain, unsure if i was crying, and unsure still, if i was, whether the tears stemmed from joy or sorrow. one could be rationalized just as easily as the other. on one hand, i was growing closer with every shovel-full of dampened earth pulled from the grave to being with my beloved Rosemary once more. on the other hand lay what could only be the toxins, disease and bacteria produced by the ever-decaying body of my intimate lover. perspective, i suppose. it's all perspective. i expected a THUD. the one heard in films when the protagonist has reached what he or she was digging for. the resonating sound that signaled to the audience that something had been found. on the contrary, however, i lifted a mound of dirt to find i'd lifted the exact amount of dirt necessary to lift in order to fully gaze upon the head of a magnificently adorned casket, below which lay the rotting, but unquestionably still majestic, face of my darling angel. we were nearly together once more- moments away, shovel-fulls away- when i heard a sound. "YE GODS!" i cried i stood, painfully still and silent, staring at the latches binding my darling skeleton princess in her wooden prison, knowing any move to open the box of her eternal enslavement would alert whomever emitted the sound to the already quite compromising and incriminating scene that was a hysterical mad man standing in a freshly uncovered grave. that is, if said sound's source was, in fact, a whom at all. it could very plausibly have been a 'what.' the sound was reminiscent of footsteps, but it was quite possibly the rustling of leaves by the winds or an unknown creature from the woodlands surrounding the hillside on which the cemetery lay. by any means, the sound paralyzed my body, overwhelmed by the fear of being discovered before the deed had been fully committed, and though it struck my heart, knowing i was a mere movement from being with my

skeletal bride once more, i could not risk being discovered, our reunital foiled by circumstantial coincidence. and so i stood, masked by the blanket of shadow provided by the night, for agonizing seconds seemingly lasting for centuries. when i was completely certain the who or what had passed, i knelt, taking in what was so very close- that which i had yearned for each and every second in the months that passed, so desolate and alone, i watched them pass from my institution of depression, of solitude, of lonesome sorrow. it was all to end as i opened this forsaken casket! the moment stood, and then fell. i brushed away the climactic nature of the situation, holding fastly to the romanticism that would come next, flying to the clouds upon its wings. slamming into the wood, and creating a tremendous din in the process, i ripped into the final resting place of my fallen angel. and there she was. all that was left of her corpse was a skeleton, wrapped in part by dwindling pieces of green and purple flesh. the tiara in which she was buried donned her skull, holding a remaining clump of brown hair in place. the Chuck Taylors worn every day for years- acquired before she and i metwere even more decrepit than the day she passed. Rosemary would have loved this. she would have loved the entirety of the scene. i, however, was greeted with the haunting realization that the Fear whispering, making its presence in the back of my mind known, was inescapable and real. she was dead. she was not awaiting my arrival, not imagining the moment of salvation when i freed her from the grave and we rode on- the wind ripping dirt from our bodies as it whipped around the roaring machine rumbling between our legs that we once rode together- through the moonlit night toward The Coast. we would not escape in this world together. but we would escape this world together. i pulled the loaded Ruger from my waistband, the sole element deemed necessary for a last ditch effort planned moments before leaving my apartment earlier that evening. i felt the cold steel against my temple and then reconsidered. i couldn't do it. not there, at least. if i missed, i would be a mongoloid, not a liberated corpse. i repositioned the barrel into my mouth, pointed upward toward my palette in order to sever the medulla Oblongata. it was then that i heard the rustling again, this time accompanied by a voice, assuring the validity of my previous precautionary silence. "HEY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING MAN!?" i pulled the barrel from my lips, shouted a dying request, placed it again, and pulled the trigger. in the fleeting moment between the action and reaction, i caught a glimpse of something in the sky shining with a light through the evening much akin to the moon. but this moon wore a tiara and Chucks and, most importantly, the contented smile of a skeleton princess finally granted her sole wish. and i was gone. january twenty-fifth, nineteen seventy-six i was just there to smoke some dope, man. the kind of dope they don't offer at dispensaries. the kind with chemical properties allowing it to be burned down and injected. but needles trip me out. they always have. so i was just there to smoke some dope. that's how my story begins. i suppose, if you wanted, you could say my story began when i saw my pops shooting up as a kid. or the first time i got high. or this compulsive desire to always get off in a cemetery. to me, though, these are supplementary facts. i guess my story could start there, but it didn't. it started with the last time i smoked heroin in a cemetery. there was a motorcycle parked out front by the cemetery gates, so i scoured the place for a sign of somebody else. nothin'. then, the moment i pull out the pipe, BAM!

a bunch of fucking banging and the wails of what could have been a man in distress or a really stoked seal. seeing as there isn't a body of water for nearly a mile from that cemetery, and that body of water is a municipal fountain, i figured it wasn't a seal. now, contrary to common opinion, junkies are not completely meritless. the junk is the most important factor in our lives, however, so i naturally killed the rest of my dope before heading over to see if the guy was oh kay- which i assumed he was not, due to the stoked seal sound, but i figured he was just getting a rough beating or something. i didn't expect to see what i saw. didn't expect to do what i did. but i saw. and i did. and that's that. this is this. i stumbled over to investigate the shouts, fully expecting to walk up on a fight or mugging or something of relative nature. what appeared before me, however, was something that has haunted me every night since. i dream about it quite often. the rain was heavy that night. i, myself, was taking shelter, as i commonly do, under the overhanging of a large tomb until i heard the sound. he was soaked when i found him, as if he'd been out there for hours. i felt quite the same from being in that damned rain a matter of moments. he was standing below a gargantuan mound of dirt that was quickly turning to mud. he looked up from the bottom of a grave once filled by said pile of mud, and the moon reflected a glimmer from the barrel of a fucking pistol pointed right in his mouth! i walked to the edge of the grave and screamed something that i'd completely forgotten until reading of it in the pages of a notebook later that evening. i'm getting ahead of myself, though. i walked up and screamed something at him, and i thought he'd changed his mind, hoped he had, because he pulled the gun out of his mouth for a second, but it was only to shout, "bury me! bury me as soon as it's done, please!" and then POW! his fucking brains went everywhere! i'd seen that before. my ex ole lady did it- off'd herself- right fucking next to me once. it was one of those things you can sort of block out when you're a dope fiend. nothing really resonates with you. it does now, though. once you're off it, i mean. it haunts me every motherfucking day of my life, and i'd go into it all, but this isn't something i've told anyone before, and this is not when i will begin. anyway, POW, he's gone, and, naturally, i jump down. i wish i could say it was to check if he was still alive, but his brains were pretty much everywhere, and i knew he'd done it well. i leapt down specifically to rifle his pockets- found the keys to his bike, thirty-seven dollars, an unopened pack of cigarettes, and this fucking notebook and pen with every fucking word of the events that had just transpired written in it. it was eerie as fuck. there are things in this world- terrible, frightening things- that we cannot explain and will never understand. that man was one of them. along with this notebook. i was afraid of the consequences that came with not fulfilling his dying request. for one, he was holding a handwritten journal that contained events he couldn't possibly have put down. i mean, i saw the guy blow his brains out, and the book had every moment- every single one- that led up to it. it was something....phantasmagoric. not to mention, i know first-hand that the fucking pigs don't let you off with the suicide chains of events. hours and hours of interrogation i sat through, for weeks- they beat the living hell out of mebefore they accepted the fact that i didn't kill the fucking cunt. really put a whole new perspective on the Sid&Nancy deal. so, i buried the guy, every trace of him. that is, every trace but this notebook and his motorcycle. april eleventh, nineteen seventy-six

it's odd, this notebook. no matter where i place it in my apartment, how well it is hidden, i always see it. i spent a week in indiana last month for my grandfather's funeral, and specifically recall placing it in the drawer of my nightstand, double checking it was there moments before leaving the room. when i arrived at the motel in Muncie, i opened my suitcase to find the brown leather-bound notebook sitting atop my black dress shirt. i attempted, after this, to leave it at the motel, but found a small, rectangular package sitting upon my doorstep when i arrived home the next morning. a note inside from the management politely returning something left during my stay. i pushed it from my mind. 'what an unfortunately considerate manager.' i thought to myself. may third, nineteen seventy-six i nearly grasp it, now, how the previous owner had written something impossible to write. the past few days, the notebook has gotten....stronger. i can feel its presence when it is in the room with me, this unseen force pulling me toward it. i can feel the man when i touch the pages. as if he's in the room. as if i'm talking to him. its presence has changed my train of thought, even when i am away from it. my vocabulary has been expanded precipitously. my morale has been lowered from an already mediocre state of existence. i wield, with these traits, the capability to coin the most poetically cryptic, tragically beautiful narration, musing the tragedy of the fleeting nature that plagues all beauty, all youth. the bedeviling reality of eternal failure in everlasting aesthetic allure. it feels odd, however, alien. as if i were talking for someone else entirely. as if i were locked inside of this body, a prisoner to a foreign entity- ambushed and hostage in my metaphysical home, watching impotently from a corner of my mind in horror as another impersonates me, infiltrating and controlling each and every aspect of my life. may sixth, nineteen seventy-six i have recently become privy to hallucinations. realistic, horrifying visions. they occur sporadically throughout the span of my day. it began as a blurry scene, each sense during which was hardly possible to discern. all but sound. i could, quite clearly, hear it all as if it was happening around me. perhaps what i saw was clear. perhaps i immediately pushed the sight into a finite compound, hidden in a corner of my mind never to be touched. by any means, i heard footsteps, distant but drawing closer, the creak of a door, a scream and then a resounding, finalizing blast, as if from a cannon. it could have been a dream, the first occurrence. in fact, this is what i told myself. i'd only just awoken, and was lying in bed without a drop of coffee. faded back into sleep for a bit, that's all. nothing at all to worry about. nothing at all. then it returned. it was stronger this time, in every manner. the figures in the vision had become nearly perceptible. the footsteps, the door, the scream, the bang. each time the final sound occurred, my eyes were ripped from the seams, heart racing, skin lightly covered in a thin-layer of sweat. i was petrified beyond the point of any reasonable capability of selfcatering, yet refrained from telling a single soul. when falling into the depths of insanity, voicing your plight makes it very real, and insanity is not the sort of thing one willfully encourages in one's self. and so, i continued through my day on the brink of a wild mental explosion, but all the while silent in my cerebral plight.

may seventh, nineteen seventy-six. it returned before bed- the vision- this time fully framed, as if i were watching a film in a large theater. it played out in first-person perspective, much akin to a pellucid memory. footsteps, ascending a flight of stairs, an enveloping scent of stale-cigarettes and desperation, the sight of my closest friend, Marco, letting himself into my studio apartment, the sound of his embarrassingly high-pitched scream of trepidation, the feeling of a bullet splitting the seams of my throat, ripping through my skin from the inside. the vision burst apart, and i lay- cold sweat puddling my mattress- in an empty room beside an overflowing ashtray. the clock read eleven. no rest came the remainder of the evening, the visions increasing. two to three times an hour, they came, each time more distinct and clear than the last. i clutched- in my waking, lucid hours- the infernal leather bound notebook, writing and writing and writing. this is what came of that. the sun has just risen, and i am still alone. There! i hear the footsteps ascending the stairs, the whistling of an optimistic friend. i've a pistol in my mouth. how did i reach this point? i do not want to die. i do not want to die. i do not want to die. i do not want to die. i do not want to die. i do not want to die. i do not want to die. I Do Not Want To Die. I DO NOT WANT TO DIE!

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"half of the grave had been uncovered, and i stood, caked in mud and rain, unsure if i was crying, and unsure still, if i was, whether the t...

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