“This world of the erstwhile primates, of bountiful foliage, of hatred, greed, pain, envy and love, now belongs only to the guns.” He said. “How does a mere mortal survive this tribulation, eh, Mr. Sanchez?”
I looked up, because he did sound a little more than weird that day. The Mr. Sanchez routine had started a week before. He probably thought it added gravity to his pronouncements. The upshot of being a manager was to digest filth with grace.
“I don’t know Roobie.” I said, “How?”
“Aaah, the answer neither you know nor me…otherwise hadn’t we been seated on nimbus number nine in the sky, sipping mojitos, rapping on the Pearly Gates for a much deserved Nirvana? No, Mr. Sanchez…we mere mortals are condemned to just glaze the awareness of such cognition even if it existed, and then babble about it in pseudo-intellectual braggadocios with plain stupid mortals. Now let me just think for a bit.”
The huge mirror reflected towards me the image of the rest of the band looking at their lead guitarist with grave concern as he screwed his eyes up in concentration, his face framed within a huge war-bonnet he had procured for this concert. The attires never did perturb me. They made good music, sold millions of their records, and took their marijuana in moderation particularly for a band that claimed psychedelic rock as its bastion. So what when Pete donned a Viking warlord look crooning the ever soft ‘Tread upon the sea’ number and the crowd went berserk with mirth? Or the time when only the drums obscured the vision of Bernie’s uncouth little wiener from the ravaging sights of a thousand bimbos? He had taken me by surprise, Bernie had. And so had the rest of them thereafter; garish props and people being procured seconds before the gig smuggled under my very nose, though even I thought the woman with hundred pound breasts belly dancing to the tunes of ‘God loves his sheep, Baa Baa!’ to be worth a hoot.
I looked at the chest on which Roobie was seated right now. Warily. Every testy ejaculation of mine had fallen on deaf, dormant ears. They just would not tell me. A part of me didn’t want to know even, priming itself in heightened anticipation of the finale. The nagging curiosity always kept biting me round the clock.
“Unfruitful knowledge is being bestowed by the heap upon the younger generation, dear sirs. During the course of my humble Eton education I have always been made privy to the notion that psychedelia inducing drugs wreck havoc with one’s mind. Yet eight years later, I find this very absurd. “
“As you will, Roobie. I have no opinion in this matter. I would simply hate to lose control of my mi-”
“Oh no no Mr. Sanchez!” he appeared horrified, “My apologies! Never was this statement meant to be derisive! I am merely pointing out the fact that such knowledge, being imparted to the general populace, has made them all harbingers of clinical beliefs. It is this that I find very appalling. You follow me, yes?”
“I do not.” Eddie had pulled off his head sets and was visibly amused at the sight of Roobie straining the already frazzled mind of the manager with his pot-induced rant.
“Aah, no worries. See, you do have the basic definition of a zombie in mind yes? You look at it as it comes towards a hapless victim and devours blood, never a care, a thought, an expression in its face. I look at all these people now. People writing on public forums pledging us declarations of undying adulation all the year around. People with fertile imagination, yet not the temerity to make it useful. People with perfect ability to converse as one would expect from the species that rules this world, yet they choose slangs and abbreviations. Now, do not think of me as an elitist, please, I am not that cruel. Yet, there is this hopeless feeling of nausea that besieges me when I think of all these people inhabiting the earth, walking upon its bosom like the aforementioned zombies, never ceasing to think just, oh god, just think!” He finished saying this with a theatrical flourish of his limbs. Exasperation was rife in the dressing room. I decided to throw tact or indifference aside. There was still time.
“All true, Roobie, all true, but what can you do about it? All is well as long as the machinery functions, as long as the majority are happy-“
“Are they? Or is this happiness only an illusion, a mere mirage behind which a decrepit gloom haunts, a gloom comprising failure or ignorance? Or perhaps this is only a charade that society has introduced and wishes us to participate in?”
“No happiness should be real then, according to you. How then would you expect them to pursue something which is unreal?”
“Most of it, yes. Most of the time, yes. There are very fleeting moments in our lives when we do feel happiness in its pristine form. For every individual out there it is different, coming from the adrenaline rush of a heady coke snort or a bike cruising at a breakneck speed…Lord knows where from. And music, yes, that is where we have capitalised, you and me, Mr. Sanchez. We sell happiness bound in paper and plastic. “ He chuckled. “This endeavour to achieve…happiness…is something that we most want and at the same time deny ourselves the most. By ourselves I mean we as a species in general. Aaah, fuckers, I can never even envisage how could such an asinine philistine’s logic could even make its way to a human mind? ‘Pleasure is in pain’, ‘Perpetual happiness leads to destruction’ baah! Faggots! Though…though…the idea of them thinking up of such legislations, ethical codes rather, isn’t that much awful as the fact that even hundreds of years later, we still stick to them. This barbaric prohibition on drugs by the government…so what if a junkie wants to get wasted as long as he derives pleasure out of it? They themselves derive it out of power, as strong a drug as any! The sheer hypocrisy of it all! Sodding bastards!”
Damn, justification of drugs, there we go again. I wondered whether the chest beneath him was full of mescaline at the moment.
“Come on now, you do not seriously think the ideal way to die is suffocating to death in your own pile of vomit and shit? That is just, well, sickening!”
“Sickening for me, for you, indeed. You screw your eyes shut in disgust, wishing the mental picture just perceived to go away, and leave you well and fine as before. Can I ask you now to put yourself in that particular junkie’s head in his final moments? There? Good. He died at the pinnacle of contentment, one which you, Mr. Sanchez, achieve while listening to Crazy Diamond. “ A smile flitted across his face.
That I couldn’t deny. Pink Floyd did have that effect on me. As on the rest of the potheads here. I asked him to go on.
“The entire life passes by, yet in their last moments people tend to replay images of their entire life, in not necessarily a chronological order. There is fumbling, a mishmash of the joyous with the dismal sights. Something which you just want to avoid, if a fitting end is to be achieved. I, Mr. Sanchez, think that a man, though he may not admit to himself, has this enduring…until, of course, his demise…desire, to die a happy and fulfilling death. Accidents are the worst, you are caught at a time you are quite vulnerable. The only way you can assure yourself of a blissful enough death is to be its master. Dominate your own death, and die happily!”
“Or let other noble jerks do the job for you.” Matt made his presence know from behind the closet door. He had been rummaging there for quite some time now, God knows what for.
The collective screeching of a thousand throats startled us with its abruptness and then plummeted. Someone had entered the room.
“The crowd is ready for you sir.”