Fear and Loathing and Espresso

Last week was a busy week; professionally, I mean. My personal life doesn’t tend to get as busy as my work life, unfortunately. Right, so I was busy last week. Thursday was an especially busy day. Details would be superfluous in this context, but suffice it to say several appointments and a trade show visit figured prominently into me getting back to the office at 6:45pm, and wanting to get the hell home as soon as possible. Imagine my elation when my boss said I would need to go to an espresso tasting in his stead since he didn’t feel like attending, and the company had already paid the fee to participate. Somebody had to go.

What the hell is an espresso tasting? Great question. I’m still not sure myself. It does seem to involve old Italian men with too much time on their hands, old and single Japanese women, and levels of pretentiousness that shouldn’t be possible. Apparently, an espresso can be judged by over 15 different olfactory, visual, and taste dimensions, which I think can all be mathematically supported by string theory. I don’t know, but it was all damn complicated. What made things even harder was the fact all espressos, whether from Lombardy or Sicily, taste like burned paper. There’s a reason people invented sugar, milk, cappuccino, regular coffee, tea, etc.  Anyway, long story short, I drank about 10 different espressos, from 8pm to 10pm, and that set up the following.

Warning: mature/explicit content

Sagremor was jogging. It was almost 11 pm, but sometimes he liked running after dark. The city always looked better at night in his opinion, all lit up. He wanted to write poetry. The Tokyo skyline looked like glowing pillars holding up a tenebrous cloak. Well, that was crap; maybe later he could think of something better. Granted, he usually jogged in shorts and a t-shirt, not wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying a briefcase. But tonight was special. Tonight he had 10 espressos coursing through his veins, pumping him full of unholy, roasted energy. His inner body temperature was about 200 degrees; he could feel his blood turning into vapor and flowing behind him in a stream as he ran home from the train station. He noticed he was coming up on a lady walking a little Chihuahua-like dog, and he ran straight at them, leaping over the dog. It let out a little yelp of surprrise as he flew over it, and he waved behi-

He was standing in front of his door, on the 3rd floor of his crappy, little building. He turned around just in time to see the spacetime wormhole close in on itself behind him. He had just leapt 7 minutes into the future. He unlocked his door and stumbled inside, bathed in sweat. As his body temperature continued to rise, Sagremor stripped off his suit down to only his underwear, and stood directly beneath his air conditioning unit. He was still crazy hot, and the AC didn’t seem to be working. He ran over to his bathroom and splashed cool water onto his face. Then he ran back under the AC….no change. Dammit! What the hell was go—oh, it wasn’t turned on.

He heard the little dog-mounted knight from Labyrinth scurry across the ground behind him, but he didn’t want to turn around, since he was afraid. Sagremor kept standing under the AC hoping to cool down. After a few minutes he moved over to his bed and sat down. He grabbed his pc (not a Mac) and turned it on. He also turned his television on. He heard a crashing noise in his kitchen/dining room/living room hybrid small-ass Japanese room thing. He slammed the door shut, and checked email. His computer felt hot, but somehow, the pc heat against his thighs counteracted his espresso-fueled inner body temperature. This hot balance seemed to work, so Sagremor just sat on his bed, sweating.

He opened up the word file for a short story he had been working on, but he couldn’t concentrate. He looked at his clock; it was 11:38pm. He was hella tired, but also wide-awake. He wanted to watch illegally obtained Naruto episodes on his TV, but he didn’t want to reach for the HDMI cable because of the Indian man at the foot of his bed jiving his head from side to side like some kind of hypnotic cobra thing. He had met him earlier that day at the trade show, kept bobbing his damn head left to right like a brown metronome with creepy eyes. Disconcerting as shit. How had he gotten into his apartment? He turned his computer off and put it away. He stared at the clock; it was 11:27pm. He got up, and walked over to his AC unit again. After a few more minutes he decided to try and go to sleep, so he turned the light off and lay down on top of his sheets.

Sagremor dreamt of peeing. Recalling the specifics later proved impossible, but he knew he dreamed of peeing a lot. Gallons.

He woke up, suddenly, with an aching pelvis. He had to pee urgently. He got up and ran to his bathroom. He lifted the toilet lid and looked down, only to see quite possibly the largest and hardest erection he had ever experienced. He managed an awkward, angled crouch, which would in theory aim most of the pee into the toilet bowl, but none would come out. It then became clear he physically didn’t need to pee. However, dreaming of peeing had somehow convinced his mind of the urgent need to relieve himself. So his brain was projecting the pain of a full bladder onto his actual, not-so-full bladder. Sagremor was freaking out. How the hell could he pee? Meanwhile, his angled crouched over the toilet was getting harder to maintain has his legs tired. He started stamping his left foot impatiently, and concentrated as hard as he could into peeing. After a few minutes pee somehow shot out into about 4 different streams, most of the discharge falling into the toilet bowl. He flushed and stumbled back into his bedroom. He lay down again, completely awake, and tried to sleep one more.

Sagremor dreamt of sex with elderly women and masturbation. He wasn’t sure why he would dream of masturbating; I mean, it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill….wait, the masturbation part was real.

He opened his eyes. His sheets were drenched in sweat, and that dam Indian man just kept bobbing around and staring at him. He heard strange noises from outside his window. It was cats having sex in some alleyway, near his house. Great, those damn things go on for hours…He rolled off the bed, and started doing pushups to work off some energy. After about 7 he got bored and got–

He landed just past the dog and kept on running towards home. Deja’ vu washed over him like a sledgehammer as he jogged onwards. Can something even “wash over” like a sledgehammer? Anyway, The streets were completely empty; not a car in sight. He looked into windows, and convenience stores, but saw no one. The lady and dog he had recently run past were gone. He came upon a red light and stopped. The world was completely still. The various lights and functioning electronics added to the eerie feeling of desolation. He strained his ears trying to catch something, but he heard nothing but the inner sounds of his own body. Suddenly, the faint sound of a pan flute wafted into his consciousness, seemingly bypassing his actual aural sense.

The flute grew louder, and then a drum joined in. Sagremor canvassed the horizon, but could not pinpoint the origin of the sound. Cymbals and wood blocks jumped into the musical panoply, creating an Asian festival atmosphere. The traffic light was still red. His peripheral vision caught movement far off to this right. Soon, a group of about 5 people came into view. The procession wore red coats and straw hats, and little else. They came forward in an awkward dance as they played various instruments. As they moved in closer, Sagremor noticed none of them had faces. Their hairline descended upon a blank, skin canvas. The band walked on through the street, right past him, without pause. A sense of dread seemed to accompany the group, and Sagremor would have hidden were he not frozen with fear and incomprehension. As the group moved further and further away the music dwindled, and he let out a nervous cough of relief. The band froze in tracks; the music stopped.

The flute-player looked in Sagremor’s direction inquiringly, and the entire group quite suddenly rushed back towards him. He turned to run, too late, and felt hands grab his legs and force him to the ground. He struggled as they turned him around and grabbed his head, probing around his face. Fingers gripped his left eye socket, as others grabbed hold of his eyeball and pulled. He would have screamed, but his tongue was similarly being forcibly removed. He waved around frantically, trying to fight off his aggressors when a—

He was sitting down on his kitchen floor, with his back against the refrigerator, drinking a hot cocoa cappuccino. A truly delicious drink. It blends the best of hot cocoa and cappuccino into possibly the best hot drink that has ever existed on the mortal plane. The cats were still going at it outside, and he looked up to the clock on his rice cooker. It was 1:12 am. He still had a boner for the ages. And he was still crazy hot. But at least the cocoa cappuccino tasted good. He dropped down to the ground, and rolled out of the way, then opened the refrigerator door. He took out an apple, a banana, some kimchi, and Parmesan cheese. That’s all he had in there. He got up, and took a jar of chestnut honey. He had brought it back from Italy with him, but hadn’t tried it yet. He opened the jar, savoring the popping noise of the lid’s first removal. It smelled delicious. He looked down at the banana, the apple, and the kimchi. None of those options seemed to lend themselves to chestnut honey. Sagremor had always been a big believer in the fact that fortune favors the bold, so he decided to be bold. He sliced the apple into thin strips, and dipped them into the honey. It was delicious. His boner got a little bigger. He then sliced the banana, and dipped that in the honey, but it wasn’t as good. He put the kimchi back into the refrigerator.

Satiated by the honey and cocoa cappuccino, Sagremor lugged his swollen belly back to his bedroom. The cats seemed to have finished their business, but now there was a vampire floating outside his window wanting to be let in. He closed the curtains and dropped back down into his bed.

Sagremor dreamt of being a Power Ranger. He was a strange checkered, flannel looking color Ranger. He kept trying to take the lead, but the Red Ranger wouldn’t let him, so they fought, but the Red Ranger won. Sagremor told the others they should fight again, and do a best 2 out of 3, but they wouldn’t listen. It was frustrating because he knew if they battled again he would win this time.

A cat’s yowl woke him up. Dammit! Those cats had started up again. He leaned over to his window and peaked out, but couldn’t see any cats. A naked man wearing a little red coat and a straw hat looked up at Sagremor from the street. He only had one eye. He leaned back into his pillow, and shut his eyes. This night wouldn’t end, and neither would his boner. He needed to wash the espresso out of his system somehow….how do drug people get over being high? He walked back into his kitchen, and got out a bottle of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon, Jack Daniel’s, and Amarone grappa from a low cupboard. He filled a coffee mug with a few pours of each liquor drink, and downed it in one go. Ha! The combined power of 3 different whiskey drinks should be enough to counteract the espresso though he seemed to have burnt off his esophagus in the process. Everything has a price, they say. He sat down on his armchair, directly across from the refrigerator in his kitchen/dining room/living room/really small room thing. His stomach felt like crap, and everything between his mouth and liver hurt. He leaned back out to the refrigerator, and drank some Kagome fruit/veggie juice straight from the carton while his mother’s ghost lambasted his manners. He felt refreshed. He sat back down in the chair, and closed his eyes.

beep. beep. Beep. BEEP BEEEP BEEEEPPP!!!

Sagremor’s alarm tore him from sleep sweet embrace with the subtlety or a car horn. He dragged himself from the chair, and tripped over a juice carton as he stumbled his way into his room. He looked back at the spilt juice, but decided the annoying noise took precedence. He picked up the alarm and fumbled with it until he found the “off” button. It was 6:25am. He ran back to the kitchen, and picked the carton up then stuck it in the fridge. He lifted the carpet and threw it on top of the spilt juice, then walked back into his room. No way he was running this morning. He re-set the alarm to 7:30 and dropped back into his bed. Without even covering himself—

beep. beep. Beep. BEEP BEEEP BEEEEPPP!!!

Sagremor’s alarm snatched him from slumber’s saccharine hug with the subtlety of a rifle shot. He rolled off his bed, and slammed his knee on his dresser’s drawer knob as he reached for the alarm clock. He picked up the howling device and fumbled with it until he found the “off” button. His heels hurt with every step; they weren’t oiled yet. He limped, and dragged himself to the kitchen and opened the fridge. All his bananas and apples were gone….He drank some milk straight from the carton while his mother’s voice cursed his poor manners. The kitchen smelled like fruit juice and wet carpet. Sagremor went into his shower room to brush his teeth, but knocked his toiletry stand over by accident. He sighed, and just turned the tap on and showered. 15 minutes later he was out the door and on the way to work. As he walked to the station he devised a new modus operandi for the future.

F&’#k espresso. Drink normal f$%&ing coffee instead.

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