The dreadlocked barista was in his apartment reading, while he loaded the video of Darren cutting his face online, when he got a call that showed up as an unknown number. He waited for the call to end and then made sure there wasn’t a message before putting his phone face down and returning to the notebook. The pride he felt for snatching it before the cops had arrived was a drug unto itself. He didn’t even need to get high.
The video would take another moment. His plan was to release at first an uncut version and then a series of edited ones set to pop music. That way, he could pull in the views on multiple fronts. Maybe this time he could actually get a worthwhile check from his ad sponsors.
It would be another ten minutes at least. He sighed and turned the page.
I’m going to cut my face off because that will make everything okay again. Things have never been okay. So maybe that’s not accurate. Maybe instead I should say that once my face is gone I can at least stop feeling the weight of them. Maybe then they will feel my weight.
Every day of my life, I wake up as if I’m wearing heavy clothes, soaked completely with water, so that I’m hindered by every attempt at movement. I don’t know why life has been so hard recently. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do, and so there has to be a solution and that solution only makes sense as the one thing that they have told me. The they I speak of is silly to anyone that doesn’t have any like experiences. I feel them, but especially him, or maybe her. Not sure. They are the same but they are sometimes a him and sometimes a her but all the time it is me that they want to do something. Always something awful. Bargaining with me. Wanting me to bring the bad shit into the world that they for some reason cannot. And they will swear up and down, all over, that there is no bad, that everything isn’t even real. That all the things people see as bad, or evil, are no different than what people see as good and right.
And so life is about destroying the false constructs that other people want to create around you. Life is not meant to have boundaries, borders or restrictions. Life needs to be as random and exciting and magnificent as you can make it and if you follow the rules of those that would attempt to create order within your necessary chaos, you have to destroy that, destroy them, destroy everything.
The dreams were how she was coming to me at first. The golden mask still stays in my mind. It has a pointed chin and a flat face with slits for eyes and eyebrows, and it almost makes a heart shape, except that there are horns at the top. This mask, so sparkling and shining and beautiful that I wish I could wear it always, it makes me feel like heaven and hell might not exist. That maybe I get to decide what happens when I die. That the afterlife is all up to me.
I wish that this mask could be mine and I want it to be and I find myself in dream telling whoever is wearing it that I will do whatever to be able to wear it myself. I will do absolutely anything. I promise her that I will obey them, do whatever they want, but that I have to have this mask because this mask will make everything about my life what it has always needed to be. The problem has always been my face. That was what she told me. In my dream, that was what I was supposed to know.
And it was after that that I knew that all I had to do was get rid of my face. If my face was gone than they would give me the mask to replace it that would resolve everything. I wouldn’t need a face that showed emotion or showed intent or anything else. I would have the gold mask of this god, whatever it was, because it was not the God, it was a new god. It was the god that was actually going to do what the selfish God of this world couldn’t. It was going to make everything right for me and it will, but only once I lose my face.
As I was thinking about this, contemplating what that would really mean, how best it would be to lose my face and how best the execution would need to be executed, I found myself grinding my teeth. Sawing off the tips with each other. And so I chose to forget about it because why think about anything that was so not up to me and so up to something so beyond me that I didn’t understand and so I started wearing sunglasses and a hood and sometimes a bandana over my nose and mouth to experience something like facelessness. I was able to forget about how much I needed a drink and I could feel this god, this energy that was going to give me a mask to replace myself that would never leave and I could forever be a new self under the mask that would make everything okay.
It was on the night that it was a moon that was just barely visible because of the foggy skies. It looked like a fingernail and was dirtily lit, as if there was mange under the nail, and it was almost setting, but it seemed like it was important, that the gunk underneath was a personification of who I was about to become, filth but godly filthy, living underneath the gunk of the moon. A goon for the moon. The moon goon. That is exactly who I want to be.
I walked with my sunglasses even though I could hardly see. I kept the bandana up and my hood up and along the river is where I came across someone that wanted my money. There were more and they were laughing and as they barked at me, so much that I couldn’t understand, I realized that the moon was the one who was laughing, that they weren’t barking, but cackling, not dogs but hyenas, and so I knew then that I wasn’t going to give them my money. I was going to eat them. The hyenas needed to know what it was to be bit and so I grabbed their necks and bit their faces and they tried to hit me but I didn’t feel it and kept biting, eating, chewing their skin away from their faces and making holes that showed me the insides of the bodies that were worthless and needed to die because fuck anything and everyone that needed to feel as though they were something that they weren’t and cackled like hyenas when they weren’t at all and came victim to the true villain, which was me, which was so beyond them and all their shit and fuck them, and everyone dies because I kill everyone I can and that is when they started running and I was disappointed because I had already swallowed their face meat and I didn’t have a gun to stop them and they were just hyenas so they could run faster than me so there was no use in bothering with their bullshit because after all the moon is alive and I am its goon and once they were gone it began to tell me something and I had to listen close and I did as I was able to finally tell what it meant and that was when I did and it was this: SEVIL LIVES.
The dreadlocked barista stared at the last two words until the video was done uploading. He didn’t put anymore thought into it after he realized the last two words were a palindrome. It was too late, though. The words were already in his brain, growing like teeth that would never leave.