Is that Jesus?
Out on the street. There’s a guy dressed as Jesus.
Yeah, come and have a look.
I don’t want to see Jesus, Baby. If it’s the Rapture, I’m not ready for that.
This is—this is fantastic, isn’t it?
No. The mescaline.
I didn’t take it.
Oh. What’s with the Jesus talk then?
It’s just an observation. Come and see.
I said no.
He could be wheeling the Pope around. There could be the Pope down there in his wheelchair, and you’re missing it. The Pope in his white robes and his little white Pope hat, and he’s holding a sign that says, I Ain’t Never Gonna Die.
Are you trying to ruin this for me? You’re trying to ruin this for me, aren’t you.
I’m just saying.
I thought you were going to take the mescaline. You should. It’s real gentle. Everything just feels—
I changed my mind. This girl is not indulging her inner Aldous Huxley.
You’re missing out. It’s just—just. Just.
I’ll turn the lights off then.
What’s it like?
Everything is breathing. It wasn’t there at first, but now… now I can see the life in everything. The bed. The curtains. The light. The cigarettes. All of it inhales, then exhales. I’m lying in the moist organs of the World and it’s breathing around me.
The World is taking a breath with me.
I only ever read Brave New World. Maybe I should have read more? Chrome Yellow is supposed to be cool, and you… you’ve like, read everything he did. That’s got to say something. But there was always George Orwell. Whenever the choice was there, I’d always end up with Orwell. I guess Huxley just didn’t speak to me enough.
There was always something more authentic about Orwell.
Orwell loved people.
I don’t think Huxley ever did. He loved culture, society—not people.
You’re so beautiful, Baby. You’re so alive. You’re never going to be more alive than at this moment.
Did you know that Huxley died on the same day as John F Kennedy and C. S. Lewis?
He had throat cancer.
Can you imagine: his throat sunken and eaten away by this disease to the point where he couldn’t talk anymore. His thoughts are still working but he’s stuck in his bed, his whole body shrunken, his bones brittle and filled with pain as life slips out of him.
He told his wife to give him LSD to ease him into whatever comes next. That’s kinda fucked up, isn’t it?
No, but can you stop—could you stop talking about this?
And then there’s Lewis wasting away from the heart attack he’d had months before.
He heard the Last Rights when it happened. He almost died the first time. Did they read it to him again? Do you read the Last Rights twice? Or do you just lie there and think about God and Heaven?
He couldn’t have been as coherent as Huxley. I’ve never read anyone that says he was, and… y’know. I just imagine that Lewis lay there, waiting for whatever happens to men like him after they die.
That’s kinda more fucked up than Huxley.
Do you have to talk about this now?
But at the same time they both die the back of the American President’s head is blown out.
The world pauses.
Then screams while his wife crawls down the back of the car to collect the pieces of his skull. Like it’s a jigsaw puzzle that she can put back together with the children at home.
Just gather around, she says later. Mind the blood. Careful with your fingers. Don’t poke.
Can’t you just picture that cold and grey room with her and the kids standing around John F Kennedy’s fractured skull, trying to put it back together. If they can’t, America is going to be fucked for the rest of their generation.
Maybe everything since that day has just been the fevered nightmares and dreams of those two dying men.
This is just not cool right now. That is doing bad things to a girl—the world is not breathing right when you talk that.
I’m sorry, Love.
Just—just quiet. Just some quiet. Just let me—let everything—
Leave him alone.
Jesus is stealing your car.
If Jesus needs my car, Baby, Jesus needs my car.
(Street Conversations is an eight part series, updating every Wednesday. Photos and text. Part One was Wires. This is Part Two. I already hate the title 'Street Conversations' but I suppose I'm stuck with it for another six weeks. Special thanks to Jesus.)