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Topics - Dr Greenthumb Granger

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Of Gall And Grangers / Fallout: The Missing Miscreant
« on: January 31, 2011, 08:17:35 PM »
Two weeks ago...

Any message for Gigi had been left to collect dust with the other more cryptic notes slipped into the unremarkable P.O. box she kept for those who needed to reach out? she certainly couldn?t have clients and enemies (not that the two were always separate categories) showing up on her actual doorstep whenever they wanted something. And while Caroline was on her mind, the news of her sudden return sat unread and unknown for days to Gigi because she had left RhyDin and her mail behind.

When the courier slid the letter into the box Gigi was miles away in a greenhouse much larger than her own. It was better hidden too, obscured from view in its rocky perch just outside the village of Onsaki, not far from the dragon claimed by local legend to be slumbering in the nearby mountain peak. This house belonged to Takeshi Motou ? the deceivingly stoic man who had quite rightly branded himself with a surname labeling him as ?the source.? Those who dared to dabble in the darker areas of Jenli and its surrounding villages were seven times out of ten sampling from Motou?s many products. If drug lords held award ceremonies, Motou would have made the short list for a lifetime achievement award for his ability to branch the yola trade from the Mount Yasuo region into RhyDin and beyond.

Seven times out of ten though meant at least one party was after thirty percent of Motou's market. That fact was the main reason that Gigi was in Motou's greenhouse now, not in a position of authority as she had grown accustomed to in the years she spent in Jenli before her recent return to RhyDin but tied to a chair for the second time in twenty-four hours.  At the rate she was going this was becoming a nastier habit than her past addiction to yola.

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They call it sliding because that's what you do, you slide, but not quick like a water park ride that shoots you down and spits you out into chlorinated pools. No, this kind of slide is more lazy river slow, slow the way you'd like to imagine it was back when you were born, when you drifted down the birth canal except here there's no violent noise, no glaring lights in your face and doctors smacking and probing you for signs of life when you hit the other side. Here on yola all you have to do is slide deeper into a dark pool of you.
 
You're the whole world. There's nothing but space and you but you're warm, so warm, it feels like you're wrapped up and cocooned in violet-velvet petals, the black-purple leaves with their wide veins wafting sweetly below you. Maybe they're singing a song without sound to you. It's a little different for everyone.
 
I heard bells the first time. Heard's not the right way to describe it. I was inside the bells, every one of them, tiny as they were. I rolled endlessly around inside. They were spherical bells, suzu bells, and the metal felt as cool and refreshing as the word's meant to sound tripping off your tongue.
 
There is nothing and everything. You drop further and further away from the space where your eyelids have closed. Maybe your eyes aren't closed at all but it feels that way. I knew a guy; one time when he was sliding he made the mistake of leaving his fifth story apartment window open. He made the mistake of sliding and being human. Humans aren't meant to fall out of apartment buildings and live to tell the tale. But, that's the price you pay for a few hours of perfect harmony.
 
That's a lie, really, there's nothing all that perfect about it. Not after the first time.
 
You can never slide so far, so swiftly at a soothing pace, ever again. You'll try and you'll fail. But you won't stop trying until you're dead. And you'll be sad when you're dead because you imagined dying would be like that first time you tipped the needle against your skin.
 
The sickest part, in my opinion for what little it's worth, is that you will do all these things being fully aware that staying on this path will always drop you off a cliff. You'll do it regardless because something that's happened along this way we call living has pushed you on a quest even more obsessive than sliding. To feel numb, to escape and to dive away from everything and everyone in the world that's ever hurt you. It's next to impossible to ignore that need.
 
But Gigi, you say, how can you know these things and live to tell the tale (unlike that poor bastard who learned too late to close his apartment window first)? It's got nothing to do with morals or seeing whatever light you believe in. I stopped because I?m greedy. You can't make money if you're using all your product. Quitting was just good old fashioned business sense. My father would be proud.
 
That doesn't mean I don't think about it every day. It's like having an itch in that space between your shoulder blades, halfway down your spine, and no backscratcher in sight. I spend so many minutes of my life actively deciding not to grab every last thick ounce of that black pudding in my greenhouse and shoot it into the first vein I can find. If it weren't for greed and vengeance I'd be slumped over a toilet somewhere, bloated and dead. How d'ya like them deadly sins now?
 
So Gigi, you respond, how can you sell something you know is so awful to people's sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, husbands, wives, mistresses, third cousins twice removed and so on down the ties that bind? You've seen junkies willing to mug their own grandmothers for enough cash to buy them one more ounce. How do you sleep at night when you're peddling death one injection at a time?
 
I can sleep because I know it's not such a cut and dry issue. Sorry if it sounds clich? but it's entirely gray. I won't condemn someone who wants to disappear. It's their choice, their right. If I stopped selling it they'd get it from someone else. Maybe they'd get it from someone more willing to screw with the quality and dilute it to make more money with greater quantity. It doesn't matter. You can't condemn them without knowing what it feels like to burn for something so badly, whatever that something is.
 
Maybe it's not right but the only person who'll ever be able to convince me to stop is me. And I'm a stubborn bitch.

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