Twenty-Four years on planet Earth. An omnipotent being refusing to provide answers has granted Sidney Cage twenty-four years of human experience. The dismal date of September 17th serves as Sidney's annual reminder of when reality ripped itself apart. Not as if any other day can be accompanied by a bright score from Tyler, The Creator's old record "Flower Boy", but this is the day she always seems to fucking dial.
Working to conclude the bore of a call, Sidney grunts, "Why do you still bother?"
"Because I wouldn't be a mother if I didn't."
"That role hasn't been fulfilled for a decade, as far as I'm concerned," he calmly leaked with absent remorse.
Silence fell upon the conversation until a subtle wheezing reached from within Ms. Cage's throat. "We have done all we can for you," she whispers. "Call you back in a year. Just don't die on me, asshole."
The dial tone lived for a full two minutes before Sidney rested the phone on its base.
"There is an endearing tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart." – Washington Irving
The personality of Sidney Cage isn't one many have ever been attracted. Neutral painted faces are commonly deemed unapproachable and showing emotion has been an absent attribute for as long as he can remember. Therefore, when a loud knock struck the apartment door, Sidney instantly knew the only human to accept his uncanniness stood on the other side.
“Not a good time, Phin," he said. "Meeting with a new Psycho-fucking-therapist today."
Phin instantly decided to remove and launch a classic Stefan Janoski Nike shoe at the already distressed door.
"Aren't I your friend?!", Phin yelled with humor. "Can I at least come in? Peephole convo's never felt too genuine."
After sharing a firm handshake and hug, Phin removed a psilocybin filled Ziploc from his right jean pocket.
"Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you!" The excitement and anticipation were both evident in his voice. "If I were you, I'd say fuck the counseling and let's drift off with our breath smelling worse by the second."
"Wow, you even applied...a bow...to a Ziploc bag." Sidney grabbed the once horse shit snuggled shrooms and pitched them to the kitchen counter.
Phin never fails to grace Sidney with the road to a new journey. This attribute alone has attracted him to Phin for the last six years. The thin figured, skateboarding, loud mouthed, herb scented, 25-year-old presents himself as a vibrant psychedelic stereotype. Thus, being his primary makeup, Phin's smoke-filled lungs are also accompanied by the IQ of 147. This number lacks a college degree, as he felt no need to finish school and rather apply most of his focus on illustration. Then again, the city schools are not worth much at all. For now, he is part of a self-taught creative team, antiIDOL, that is currently focused on forming a toon in which can be presented to Adult Swim; a nighttime programming block on the long running Cartoon Network. Phin's remaining hours are spent alongside Sidney as a wage slave at the local antique shop branded Bruler Swamp Shop. With the store being owned and manifested by Phin's father, he was able to successfully recommend him for employment.
Sidney knew he wouldn't be able to eat the mushrooms anytime soon. His Mondays will now be occupied for the next three months by dreaded dates with a new therapist. The rest of his week is usually flooded with hours at the Swamp Shop, but, too, the memory of a recent trip gone wrong presents itself as hindrance for further curiosity.
About four months ago, Sidney learned just how many caps and stems he could handle in a single sitting. Phin approached Sidney with an ounce of shrooms with no particular celebration at play; just for the hell of it. This trip was joined by Phin's ambitious team (two males and four females with some serving more a detrimental purpose than others), but they were only there for the shits and giggles. They weren't too well known by Sidney, but he generated a reasonable amount of comfort due to having a few social encounters with them. Usually, Phin's apartment, or the "psychedelic fortress" as they would dub it, is where they all would gather, create, and distort the brain. This time Sidney joined the event after a long day consisting of ten work hours filled by the overthinking of random life events. Rather usual when there's a low amount of stock or local trade-ins and the customer service is somewhat nonexistent.
Sidney tackled the psilocybin just as anything else in his life. The careless mindset was common. A threshold had yet to be formed preceding the event and he didn't care to follow along with just how much was being consumed. Following Sidney's placement of his worn body upon Phin's beige bridge water sofa, he would then face a few caps and broken pieces of stem on a slice of garlic crusted cheese pizza. Southern Slice failed to mask the disgusting taste super kicking Sidney's taste buds one by one. The taste of the magic shrooms were only in comparison to the gross stench of the common public restroom in which hasn't been attended to during a busy work week.
"Hope this shit somehow kills me this time." The next 20 to 30 minutes would be the introduction to Sidney's descension into an unpleasant torment.
He continued to reach for the glass jar containing the mushrooms while entering an altered state. Being very observant, Phin took it upon himself to cut him off as he realized how many have been eaten over the last half hour.
"No more for you, right?", Phin asked in a concerned manner.
"Are you fucking serious? I'm concerned about your health and all, but holy shit you ate half the cheese!"
Phin's friends chuckled and continued to practice voice acting along with reruns of Rick and Morty for their entertainment. This oldie is one of their all-time favorites.
"Weddings are basically funerals with cake" – Rick Sanchez
“You're lucky I'm tripping balls too. I should fuck you up for converging me into a baby sitter for the night." Phin sat next to him as he stared off into an ocean of many illustrations plastered against the apartment walls. Everything was fine as long as Sidney was breathing and only lightly drooling at the mouth.
The brain of Sidney would only actively form waves of color up until shit became distorted. The trip began at approximately 7:45 pm. There was no telling what time it was now as he suddenly became even more interested in the drawings on the wall.
”Why is it staring at me!?", yelled Sidney.
Everything in the room suddenly died and all attention would be placed upon the glossy eyeballs of Sidney.
“Why is it stari-." His jaw was tightly palmed by Phin's brick textured hand. "Chill the fuck out. You're all good." He gave a slight pat to the cheek.
This group of creatives who accompanied Phin consisted of no stranger to witnessing bad trips, but it was different for Sidney. They all knew he was an odd being who they have learned little about. He could snap in the blink of an eye and attempt mass murder for all they know.
He would then rise from the beige bridge water sofa while showcasing an expression of peaked curiosity. One would think he had taken the role of the common toddler who has approached the wonders of Magic Kingdom for the first time. The legs of Sidney would visibly vibrate in a nervous manner as he slowly made his way towards the vibrant walls of ideas.
"I think some of them could be better...but..." Phin became absorbed into his own creations as the fungus excelled at its job.
"They're fine. If Home Movies could last on Adult Swim for some years, then we should last at least a nice decade. Lackluster scribbles with little detail applied to the human makeup and the most basic use of color since Elmer Fudd still wanted Bugs for dinner." Tyler Boudreaux of antiIDOL made haste to reassure her friend's confidence. The remainder of the team's attention remained glued to Sidney's eerie stance.
Phin replied, "Well yeah, but they are damn near a hundred years old, so there's that. There's always something to learn from the oldest of the old, no matter how mediocre the content may now seem."
Frozen to the bone, Sidney's eyes locked onto one particular illustration for what seemed to be a lifetime from his point of view. This drawing portrayed a visibly putrid character with the cold and lifeless eyes found all too familiar. It looked to be an adolescent male no older than 14 or 15 years of age surrounded by an environment populated with the decay of tree bark bearing rotten fruit.
Tyler called out with fret. "He hasn't moved for three and some change." The haunting energy in the room was felt by all other than Phin as his bubble was now formed and impenetrable.
No one expected the psilocybin tripping weirdo to repeatedly throw his forehead against the wall until a seeping ruby wound was formed. Too high to exit his comfort zone, Phin could only watch as the fellow cartoon enthusiasts pulled Sidney away from his self-conscious nightmare. He continuously bled up until Tyler was finally able to pull the location of bandages from Phin's stagnant mind.
Sidney was carefully helped back to his former resting place shared with Phin's sluggish body. One would think Sidney was a lifeless carcass by being so nonresponsive during the aftermath of the previous situation, but the steady drops of tears landing on his Levi khaki skinny jeans spoke all that needed to be known. antiIDOL made sure to keep watch over the pair of torpid soul cases as they simultaneously returned focus towards their creative activities. The remainder of the night was filled with the comedic dialogue of both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith.
"Can't take this shit today. But would you happen to ha-"
Phin removed a sparkly pint of Jameson Whiskey from his left jean pocket. Those pockets of his are oddly ever empty.
He had then cleared his throat, smirked, and handed the crowned jewel off with extreme care and grace. "I know you all too well."
The first sip of venom applied a stinging comfort to the back of the throat. Sidney kissed the bottle as if it wasn't inanimate.
"I'll accompany you to the session." Phin took the bottle back and embraced a shot of poison as well. "How far is the place again?"
"Only about three and a half, maybe four miles down. Might take about 45 to get there by foot if we beat lunch traffic. An easy and relaxed distance."
"Of course, because you walk everywhere anyways. I know this place is a shithole and all, but people still drive cars and trucks here ya know..."
"But not everyone has a near death experience by drunken fuckin' drivers, you prick." Sidney hasn't had a vehicle since his second near death experience two years back.
March 3rd, 2032. Another experience listed with quite a few that have mentally fucked with Sidney Cage. The drunken driver of an 18-wheeler vs the left side of a 2014 Toyota Camry. Luckily, Sidney left the scene with a gracefully broken left arm and twelve stiches split amongst the bottom lip and above the left eyebrow. The driver, however, had been imprisoned for one year and 8 months while also fined two thousand dollars following his third offense DWI.
Recalling the horrific event, Sidney ignored the statement and snatched the pint from his ever so thoughtful friend. Two more shots were downed in preparation. Following the short-lived Birthday "celebration", the two drug induced souls would then exit the apartment complex and make their way into the pit of East Bruler, La.
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