Archive for drugs

Executive Floor Executive

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby couldn’t believe it. He had applied for a job at the Lucerne Valley Hotel and got it, and not only that, it was a job on the Executive Floor. Was it a mistake? Had two people with the same name applied, and they’d mixed up their applications?

A resident of the halfway house getting a good job was not a regular occurrence. At any given time, no more than six of the thirty-six people living there were working, mostly in short-term menial jobs. As far as he knew, no one from the house had ever worked at the Lucerne Valley Hotel. It was run by the fearsome Mr Kazantazkis who was said to be a fascist, believing in survival of the fittest.

Bobby’s letter confirmed his position as Executive Floor Executive. He would earn twenty-five thousand dollars plus tips, which he’d heard could exceed the basic salary, so this was a fifty grand job! He’d earned this kind of money before, but that was a long time ago when he was a different person in a different world, before the curse of drugs, but he was clean now. Why shouldn’t he make a fresh start?

Bobby wasn’t sure whether to tell his housemates. He didn’t want to seem like a show-off, but he couldn’t help mentioning it.

“What?” said Shama. “When was that job available? I didn’t see it advertised.”

“It wasn’t advertised,” said Bobby. “I sent them a letter mentioning my background, and the troubles I’d had, and how I had overcome them. I told them I would love to work again at a meaningful job, something I could take pride in, that would help to develop good daily habits.”

“What’s the job exactly? Executive Floor Executive. Is it a fancy word for cleaner? Will we see you leave the house wearing a frilly apron, carrying a feather duster, and bending over for businessmen to tickle your…”

“Don’t be stupid!” said a girl entering the kitchen. No one knew what her name was. “He’s got a good job. We should celebrate. Hang on.” She went to her room and returned with a bottle of cheap vodka. She poured them each a measure.

They downed them in sequence, the girl saying “Executive,” Shama saying “Floor,” and Bobby saying “Executive!” They laughed together and did it again, this time with the girl saying, “Floor”, and then finally, Bobby. Spirits were high at the halfway house.

Bobby’s first week went well. There was some cleaning involved, but the job mainly involved concierge and security duties. He got great tips, and the pile of cash under his mattress grew rapidly. He was so busy at work that he wouldn’t have had time to go to the bank, even if he’d had a bank account. The pile became huge.

One night he awoke, inspired. He counted out his cash: there was $7,200. He divided the money into thirty-six lots and walked around the house, putting $200 beneath everyone’s mattress. People were sick or drunk, and none awoke. It was enough for a month’s basic groceries.

He could use this money to get out of here himself, or he could use it to make everyone’s lives a little better. He had an additional role here: Forgotten Floor Executive.

New Drugs Den

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by javedbabar

Samuel’s gang met every night after school. Some came immediately, studious members came after homework, and laggards came after dinner. They rode bicycles to their den, a cave at the base of Mt Alba. Older kids sometimes “borrowed” cars to get there, and gave everyone rides home.

The police knew about these activities but were powerless. They couldn’t stop a child without a special warrant, which required extra paperwork. Also, there had to be a minimum of four cops present as witnesses, each later required to take a polygraph test.

Parents didn’t even try to discipline their children. A single complaint by a child led to their immediate arrest, a speedy hearing, and possibly prison. The result of all this was that children were allowed to run free and nowhere were they freer than in Samuel’s gang.

The first few weeks were exciting, but then kids began to get bored. “Let’s play games,” said Samuel. “We’ll start with wrestling.”

This wasn’t a popular choice, and no one volunteered to participate. Since the death of his friend Dale, Samuel had had no real competition. He could crush any other boy or girl in an instant.

One of the studious gang members said, “Okay, how about some word games?”

They played rhyming, guessing, and spying games and grew bored again.

“Who’s got some cards? We’ll play poker.”

They played poker, blackjack, gin-rummy and snap.

“Did anyone bring video games?

They crowded around Playstation 6, XXX-Box and Nintendo Wiiiii.

The modern world had made them bored. With so much available, always and everywhere, nothing was ever enough. Immersion in abundance became avoidance. They needed escape.

Gang attendance declined till Samuel hit upon a new idea, which was in truth an old idea. Toxins, the oldest pleasures known to man.

They began with drinking games, downing beers, wines, ciders and spirits.

Then came smoking games, with cigarettes, cigars and hookahs.

Then snorting games. Snuff, speed and cocaine.

Then injecting games. Morphine, heroin and amphetamines.

They all became drug addicts, which proved a nice earner for Samuel, and for his next layer of lieutenants. But he realized that to become a successful organization, his own house should be in order. Every night that week he locked everyone out of the cave, and made them go cold turkey, and chased the drug monster out.

But the monster returned. Samuel’s wholesale dealers were upset by their loss of earnings, and came looking. A fur-coated, trilby wearing thug asked, “Who is Samuel? The Boss wants a word.”

They didn’t know who they were dealing with. Samuel and his gang trapped and killed them and sold their cars.

The police suspected the gang’s involvement but could do nothing, and to be frank, were not inclined to. They thought, let the underworld clean itself.

Many years later, when Samuel was a grandfather and also a godfather, his grandson’s gang was in trouble. Samuel took care of the situation personally, but in the process was wounded mortally. He hadn’t been hit though. There were no traces of poison, nor knife or bullet wounds; no ropes or cement; no fire. How had they reached him?

Modern crime was no place for old men. It was a subtle arena. Electronic signals disrupted everything, communications in the outside world and nerve impulses within. He was no match for the new breed of robot dealers. Samuel’s last sensation was that of flashing ones and zeros, and high-pitched whirrs. This was against established protocols. Computers’ offspring were also out of control.

Potanical Garden

Posted in Lucerne Village, Organic Farming, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by javedbabar

The Zoological Society of Lucerne had done a great job developing the Botanical Garden. Danny took a leisurely stroll there most days, which cheered him up, especially in winter. He was healthy generally but became sad without sunshine. The blooms in the garden, especially the huge crimson flowers of Silva Sanguinara,were a vital tonic. The creator of this haven was known as The Gardener. As well as a grower, it seemed that he was also a healer.

Danny walked along the main path and stopped to admire a collection of funnel spider’s nests. They were marvels of construction, their weight close to zero, and their strength unbelievable; if only human beings could live so lightly and strongly. Beyond them were swallows’ nests; again, masterful engineering. High above, crowning a cedar was an eagles’ nest, providing the ultimate vantage point for this forest kingdom.

The Gardener practised permaculture. Everything grew among everything else, as it should do. There were no cleared patches for single species cultivation.

There was a wooshing near a side-trail, and Danny set off to investigate. It was amazing that five acres could be so diverse; you never knew what was happening anywhere elsewhere within it. It was probably the boys he saw playing hide and seek and fighting.

As he walked down the side trail, he saw something moving ahead, high up in the trees. He wondered if The Gardener had introduced monkeys, or maybe flying squirrels. The movement continued back and forth across the trail. The canopy made it hard to identify, but something was swinging quickly, whooshing, and sometimes stopping.

As Danny drew closer, the motions and sounds stopped. He too stopped instinctively, but was intrigued and went to investigate further. At first he saw nothing but then eyes and heads appeared. Boys were peering at him from both sides of the trail, hiding and whispering, trying to be invisible, but not doing a good job.

“Hey guys!” he said. “Why are you hiding? I’ve seen you. You may as well come out.” They didn’t move, so he said, “Sorry if I’ve ruined your game.”

Danny stepped off the trail towards the left and was met by five boys advancing, and was suddenly surrounded. He became scared and said, “What’s going on boys? I already said that I’m sorry for ruining your game.”

He wanted to say something more but didn’t know what to. He’d never imagined feeling threatened by young teens – thirteen, fourteen tops. All physically smaller than him, but together they were menacing.

One jumped at him suddenly, and two more followed with fists flailing. When he was on the ground, those standing kicked him. Danny shouted, but his voice seemed to die off in the forest. He renewed his fight back, till kicked in the head too hard to recover. One of the boys put his face close to Danny’s and said, “Shut up or we’ll kill you.”

Danny was terrified and stopped resisting. The boys lashed him with vines to a coconut tree, which he fertilized inadvertently. He thought of calling out again, but decided to remain quiet. He was never left alone for a moment, and the imminent threat of violence was a disincentive to fuss.

They left him there, and brought him food and drink; usually stuff they’d foraged in the forest. Over a week he lost a few kilos but was basically okay. He discovered the reason for their aggression. There were pot-growing patches on both sides of the trail, with gangs of boys competing for this lucrative trade. They swung in the trees for reconnaissance and to intimidate rivals. If they found plants unattended, they stole and replanted them in their own patch.

Danny was a problem for them now. Would they kill him if they lost patience?

One day he saw The Gardener walking on a path nearby. It may be his only chance to escape, so shouted out “Help!” The Gardener ran over immediately. Thank God, thought Danny, he can protect and free me with his machete. The boy guarding Danny backed away as The Gardener raised the glinting weapon. Like every good business man, he must protect his source of income. He brought it down on Danny’s neck.

Lost Time

Posted in Global Travel, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , on January 30, 2012 by javedbabar

Jenny followed her father around the house. It was the first day of spring and all of their clocks must be changed. They had some old-fashioned clocks with hands that needed turning, but the rest were digital; some changed themselves, and you had to manually change others – and she wasn’t sure about things like the Nintendo.

“How do you know whether to put them forward or back?” she asked.

“Remember I told you, Jenny,” said her father, adjusting the big wall clock. It chimed many times while he did so. “Spring forward, fall back.”

“Yes I remember that, but why do we put them forward or back?”

“It started during the First World War as a way to save coal,” he said, fiddling with the red desk clock; its ticks got louder rather than quieter. “Germany did it first, then Britain and her allies.”

“But why do we still do it today?”

“If you put clocks forward, it means that you start and end the day later.” He repeatedly clicked buttons on her alarm clock, as the radio went on and off. “So you have more daylight hours. It helps farmers.”

“But isn’t the amount of daylight the same? What difference does it make?”

He struggled with the microwave’s buttons; it was beeping and flashing. “People waste daylight in the mornings because they’re sleeping. If you move it to the evening, they can use it for sport.”

“But aren’t days longer in the summer anyway? What’s the point?”

Her father cursed the microwave, which had somehow zapped his nose. He said, “I don’t know Jenny. We just do it every year. Spring forward and fall back. It’s a tradition.”

Her father knew more than her friend’s parents did, for sure. They had only told their children about farmers; not about World Wars and sport. But Jenny wasn’t satisfied with her father’s explanations. Her central concern remained – what happened to that time?

Since her birth on February 29th, twelve years ago, Jenny had been obsessed with time. She had, with her father’s help, built a sundial in the garden, as well as a water clock. She had made a model of Stonehenge, and had plans for a tiny Newgrange. But all the time that was lost when putting clocks forward, or shaving off a quarter-day each year and then making a leap year later, or with the creation of a new calendar, as had happened many times in history – that time must go somewhere. Where did it go?

Jenny decided that there was only one way to find the answer. She must chase that time. She observed the effects of annual time changes, and realized that they had nothing to do with helping farmers. Where this notion came from, she had no idea.

Time had to be looked at in context. Ancient societies used solar time, where daylight had twelve hours, regardless of day-length. So depending on the season, an hour could last anywhere from 40-80 minutes, and you adjusted activities accordingly. But modern societies ran on standard time. Their work, school, and transport schedules were rigidly set; they continued regardless of darkness or light; they ran unnaturally.

Farmers were in tune with the seasons. They began at sunrise without the need to fiddle with their clocks. If anything, putting clocks forward hurt their activities. Their labour and supplies were usually on standard time, and arrived an hour earlier than “real” time. This was before the dew evaporated on crops, making harvesting them less efficient; dairy cows milking schedules were disrupted; rural children took long bus rides home in searing early afternoon heat; and it remained lighter longer, so it was harder to get them to bed. Farmers hated DST.

Jenny learnt that a leap year did not have 365 ¼ days. It had 365.242374 days. So even a leap year was an approximation; a clumsy attempt to mark solar time with standard time. We never got it right really; we were only ever guessing. Traffic accidents increased when we switched to DST, there was more cancerous sun exposure; there were timekeeping complications; disruption to travel and meetings; billing and recordkeeping errors; difficulties with complex medical devices and safe equipment operations; and broken sleep patterns.

Losing time was dangerous. Everything we were told about it was lies.

Jenny devoted herself to the study of time. She did a science degree, a postgraduate degree, and then a PhD in “The Chronology of Lost Time Incorporating Ancient Babylonian, Greek, Indian, and Chinese Sources”. Her research took her to these and many other places. She became an international authority on lost time. She had no time to get married or have children herself. Her only concern was to find the lost time. But it always eluded her.

A clue was yielded by a conversation she arranged between a Zimbabwean Witchdoctor and a Mayan Shaman. They spoke of times such as sickness, drunkenness, and madness as being “outside time”. Jenny felt that these were avenues worth pursuing.

When she couldn’t get funding for her research – deemed too risky by academic legal departments – Jenny decided to continue alone. She allowed herself to become sick regularly, and didn’t take her medicine. She drank herself into a stupor. She stressed herself till she had a nervous breakdown. These were all productive experiences which enhanced her knowledge of lost time. But they didn’t go far enough.

She consulted a Finnish sage. He said that the way to hunt lost time was “through the blind eye of the Dreaming Eagle”. He gave her a resin to chew which would help her to “fly high with her sightless feathered brother”. It certainly did, and led her on to other “flights” with other brothers. She used Marijuana, Mescaline, Ayahuasca, Mushrooms, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Amphetamines, Barbiturates, LSD, Opium, Solvents, and Heroin. They each held clues to lost time – especially the Heroin, which “lost” her a night in jail, and then three months as a dealer. A bad batch finally stopped her heart. And at that moment, she realized where time went if not used wisely. It simply disappeared.