In the woods.

I run.

I’m on cocaine.

This is how the hunter-gatherer felt chasing his prey.

This is how the warrior felt charging joyfully into his foe.

Stopped for a breath.

Should I do more cocaine?

Yes. Not yet. Run first.

Sun is setting. Soon it will be cold and I am wearing way too little clothes for this shit. The only sounds are birds, my feet, and my heartbeat.

I stop to do more cocaine.

A black bird looks at me. Pretty sure its not a raven. I’m terrible at identifying birds. Is there a bird called blackbird? Is this black bird a blackbird?

Where the fuck am I?

I kneel. The soil has a raw scent.

Phone. Cocaine. Wallet. Roll the bill. Bam. Yes. Time to move on.

I reach the top of a hill. I know exactly where I am. Keep running.

Onto the next hill, I discover a beautiful old pine tree with a perfect pull-up branch. If you find a pull-up branch, you have to do pull-ups; those are the rules.

I jump. Grab. Just kinda hang there for a while like a monkey. Just to exist in nature. The sound of birds. Distant traffic. Getting heavier to hang on. Damn, I’m packing on mass these days. I’m a sexy fucking beast. I try a pull-up. No way. I’ve held on for too long. I jump down to rest. The dirt catches my feet.

Stand there for a couple of seconds. Birds. Traffic. Jump back up. Six reps. Think I pulled something in my back. Feels warm and tingly. Fuck.

Snort my nose. Get those white gold boogers. The after-drip is delicious.

Jump back up.

Three more reps. Back feels good, not great. Jump down. The dirt felt harder than last time. Sun almost gone.

Jump up again just to hang for a bit. Damn, getting dark very fast. Bird chatter escalates. Probably not smart to stick around for too much longer.

I sit down. Should I do more cocaine?

I lean my head against the trunk of my pull-up pine. I close my eyes and listen to the birds and traffic.

My mouth tastes dry. How much time passed?

Can’t sit here anymore. It is fucking dark. I get up to walk. Wait, where am I. Take three steps. What? I’m here? Nice.

I know precisely where I am. The stone fundament of an old cottage, must have rotted away decades ago. Its almost right next to the well traversed path out of this small forest. Several hundred people a day take their dogs on a walk along these paths.

I stop to do more cocaine. The same basic ritual. Phone, cocaine, wallet. I place it all on a flat spot on the small ruined stone wall. Carefully get a bump onto the screen. Then the card. Rolled-up bill. Tilt head backwards. It’s even darker when I look up. Stars finally looking down. The woods right here, right next to civilization always smells dead.

I stand up.

Just stand there for a while in the darkness, listening to birds, and the traffic. I walk. I take the path I know converges with the bigger path that leads out of the forest near the small parking lot a hundred paces from my doorstep, but that’s not where I am. Through the trees, I see some houses far from where I thought I would end up. This is exactly where I went into the woods, far away from where I thought I was. I feel a chill in my bones.

Knew I was.

This is weird. Air feels weird. Ground feels weird. Everything feels weird.

But at least I was out of the woods. Streetlights finally showed the way, instead of the dark contours of trees and hills. I was not even supposed to be in the woods today. I was walking home from my guy. Of course, he offered me to try some cocaine first. I was in such a mood that I simply had to run.

But here was still kinda away from home.

Well, not very far. A decent walk. Ten, fifteen minutes. Why not run this as well? I’m getting cold; running ought to heat me up.

But it didn’t. I’m still cold.

My friend once talked to me about portals. They exist, he said. They are everywhere, but mostly in places signifying change. The infamous crossroads, abandoned places, very old houses, the energy stays in the walls, ancient places of worship, and of course, where nature meets civilization.

Almost home. I still feel weird.

My door, unlock it, at last.

Now I definitely deserve more cocaine.

Don’t even need to do it on my phone anymore. I grab the old Viking metal CD cover I once decided was the designated coke platform.

I think the coke is dissolving the plastic.

Cocaine. Wallet. Card. Bill. Bam. Yes.


Worn out from all the running, I finally get to lean back in my couch. Close my eyes. Against my back, I feel the cold jagged texture of the old pine tree. Open my eyes. All I can see is the shapeless darkness of a forest at night.