Judge Santiago Burdon

Suffering Pleasure 

Darkness had punched the time clock showing up to work the night shift, so I lit a couple of candles in my Studio apartment. The purpose wasn’t to create a romantic or Gothic ambience, but instead to be able to navigate around my four hundred square foot living space with some type of light. It seems my memory has been on a drunk once again and forgot to pay the electric bill.

The Electric and Power guy pointed out I’ve used that somewhat creative as well as almost humorous excuse far too often. The novelty has worn off with the consequence being orders to confiscate the Electric Meter and return it to the office. It meant he couldn’t just pull it out, turn it upside down, and push it back in. The company mid-level suits had become aware of me pulling it out then placing it back into the service restoring my power after the electric guy left

I guess I’ll be playing pioneer for a while. Maybe I should stock up on candles or get one of those oil lamps. You know what? My neighbors are leaving on vacation for a month tomorrow. So I’ll be able to jump their electric power and their Cable, which I think is still hooked up from the last time I tapped in. I’ll try to find some way to get my TV out of hock. Quite possibly I’ll just borrow one of my neighbor’s. This guy will be living like a suburban scumbag in no time at all. I’ve got it all worked out.

“This has to stop Santiago. There’s no future in what you refer to as a recreational activity.” I said out loud.

“Ya I know. I’ve gotta straighten up.” Answering back with a four a.m. honesty.

I emptied the entire contents of the paper into the small pool of water in the spoon. 

“When do you think that might happen?”

“I’m not sure. It may manifest as a revelation or an epiphany? Maybe there’ll be an intervention, or the never-fail cure, incarceration.”

Bubbles appeared on the surface caused by the heat as I held the spoon over the candle flame.

“It doesn’t matter. You’ve gotta get clean. This is just no fun anymore.”  

“I can’t remember when it didn’t become fun any longer.”

I drew up the warm liquid mixture through the cigarette butt I used as a filter, inspecting the contents for air bubbles.

“You look at life as though it’s a nonstop parade and you just watch it pass by. Let me tell you, the last float will be showing up soon signaling your demise. It’s got to stop!”

My voice echoed in the near empty apartment.

 “Ya, it’ll happen. I just can’t say when.” I answered sincerely. But even I didn’t believe myself.

I stabbed the syringe deep into my vein. I didn’t even have to pull back on the plunger to register. My dark, thick, rich red blood billowed into it, offering a crimson preview of the explosion about to erupt inside my body.



Originally published in Raven Cage Zine #73

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