Dead Zone on The Rock

I looked at the rock I’d just fallen off. It was a rose quartz stone the size of a giant disco ball. Absynth Eve was still standing on it. Her car was parked alongside, tunes cranked top-volume and all 4 doors flung wide. We were in a strange place, twilight was shining & something about it was Right.

‘You’re listening to the Dead Zone,’ a voice boomed through the speakers, ‘On The Rock!!’

I stared at the sky astonished, laughed away some tears. Absynth Eve fell off the quartz stone in amazement. We looked at each other like, ‘Is this really happening?’ It felt like an Omen from a synchronistic ally. A song played on the radio, a few minutes before, that hurled me on my ass literally – but that was only the Warm Up Act.

Then the clock struck Grateful Dead Hour on the local Classic Hits station & the evening turned out like a song.

‘I think,’ I recollected faintly, ‘They do the Dead Zone every Sunday.’

‘Huh.’ Absynth Eve wondered. ‘Is today Sunday?’

‘Got me.’

And the strange music began.



Strange, beautiful & powerfully sad… I stared at a cloud through kaleidoscoping streams of tears. Curled my arms around my knees and rocked back and forth; somehow this sated my anguish. Then rolled on my side to face the rose quartz stone. Realized the rock, like everyone, has a Dream.

Someday it hopes to be a Dance Floor.

Meanwhile, the rose quartz swings a Day Job. It is our friend’s gravestone. My friend has by far the dopest gravestone around.

I took a long look at that rock and asked a thousand times why.

The next song was good for dancing. Not the greatest song ever, by far, but it’s got a beat that shakes. Do with it what you want to. At that peculiar moment I swore it was the greatest song ever played on FM radio. We had minds to dance on a friend’s grave, and Hell In A Bucket has the one line that goes:


And we danced to it.

Imagine that.

Like Pirate Treasure. Only better.

It was better than Booty.

My jaw dropped. Eyes widened with raw delight. I thumped, pummeled & ground my bare feet into the sun-drenched earth; ecstatic in a way I hadn’t felt since I plumb don’t know when.

I haven’t had so much fun with my dead friend since my dead friend died. I get the feeling my dead friend hadn’t had that much fun since the last time he was alive.

There were minutes in that hour which were less ecstatic and not precisely fun. They played Brokedown Palace, the one that sings ‘Fare You Well, Fare You Well – I love you more than words can tell!’ I didn’t dance on my friend’s grave, then. I crawled across it and cried

Things live in this world. Things die. So it is.

Welcome to Planet Earth. Please enjoy your Doom.

Oh, one more thing: Jump the turnstiles – never pay for the Ride!

I spoke with Absynth Eve on the telephone yesterday. She told me about how she’d just read Worthy Challenge at the library. Said she clicked for musical accompaniment, as suggested, and cranked the song out at top volume from her tinny laptop speakers.

‘Yeah, then a Sober Person accosted me,’ She griped, ‘He looks at me all in this whiney voice and goes MISS!! You Are In A Library! I was like, You Miss Being In A Library? What’re you talking about – We ARE In A Library!!’

‘That’s the problem.’ He fretfully stammered, ‘I know we’re in a library!’

‘Lemme get this straight.’ She eyed him warily, ‘You miss being in a Library, but your Problem is you know we’re in a Library. Um, yeah. Dude…are you OK?’

‘NO!!’ The Sober Person shot back a little too loudly, ‘I mean the problem is you’re in a library! But you don’t seem to REALIZE it!’

‘Excuse me,’ Absynth Eve replied, ‘Mike E wants me to play this song but I can’t hear with you yelling. Do you mind keeping it down? Or should I send you to find someone who works here, so they can ask you to leave?’

‘I work here!!’

‘No shit?’ Absynth Eve shook her head, ‘So that’s what your problem is!’

The Sober Person could contain himself no longer. He laughed. And regained his composure. ‘Look,’ the guy said polite-but-firmly, ‘I need to ask you to turn off the music.’


‘Because we’re quiet in the libraries. Don’t give me a Hard Time, please? I’m just doing my Job.’

‘Ah.’ Absynth Eve said, ‘I get it. You’re taking your problem Out On Me!’

‘Well,’ the librarian fumbled words, ‘Not precisely as such, but…will you turn it down at least?’

My friend started the song over, stood up and gazed at him with curious eyes.

‘Hey, are you a Writer?’ She asked.

‘Why, yes! Well. Not a quite published writer specifically. But I hope one day…’

‘Make you a Deal, pal – keep your trap shut long enough so I can play one song…and by the time the song is over you’ll have a story to sell.’

The Sober Person said nothing, just stared. He didn’t know the game but felt certain he’d been Beat.

Absynth Eve laughed, swayed to the music & winked. Then she bounced nimbly onto the table, feeling positively jazzed, reached her hand out to the stunned librarian, flashed her gold tooth and – in her surly yet child-like british accent – asked:

‘Care for a little Dance, shall we?’


6 Responses to “Dead Zone on The Rock”

  1. 1 galloway July 29, 2006 at 5:48 am

    They must be pretty good shrooms, my friend

  2. 2 pippi July 29, 2006 at 10:45 am

    i was alternatley pushing back the tears while laughing.
    your firend AE sounds like someone who is awesome to know.

    these past two installments of this ode, or story; beg the question, when are you going to land a book deal.?. get on it.

  3. 3 Mike E July 30, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Funny thing, Galloway, is I was (for once in my life) completely sober for this. But then, I guess I’m never completely sober — I am afterall One Spun Cookie.

    Pippi: You energize me…thanks.

  4. 4 Absintheve March 27, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Hey Mike E…
    Hey I know you wrote this forever ago..
    But did you get my email about how capitalism thrives on our misery /
    so… I got really sad and wanted to think of a time where I had fun and it did not cost me a dime!!
    so hello there stranger?
    That day was not only fun at the graveyard….
    I felt like I had the same feeling after a Dead show..
    I really like the way you write about it…
    I would not be able to to it the justice it deserves!!
    I am really glad you did…I want to remember it!!
    I know we cried but I felt like they were tears of joy…you know?
    What a powerful message about how life continues on…
    And you are right it was weird…no drugs involved!!
    Hey …Remember last summer when we wanted to leave and go to New York City..
    And we were coming down from LSD and my wallet.. All the money ..All we had to leave in it got stolen…
    So in sadness and our confusion…
    we went to the race track with change you found on my car floor..
    But when we got there we didn’t go in…
    We just sat there like poopheads… all confused…
    And I was like hey Mike E Weren’t we doing something?
    You looked all befuddled you were so funny You were like i don’t think so…
    and I was like No I swear we were going somewhere?
    And you were like going where..going where..
    Then you answered…Yes …We wee going inside the track..
    Why aren’t we indside?
    And then the money thing came up again…
    I was like hold on I just thought of something..
    And then I just pulled right out…I was like yes we were going somewhere this morning and I drove straight to graveyard..
    And then it took us a little while..
    It was when you were like hold on a second..
    What the fuck happenned dude…Cause we were confused…(I think we even tried sleeping to no avail)
    You were like … I was going to win money..I want to go back to the track..I am driving!!
    So I was like fine fine…you win…
    then I felt bad because I could had sworn that we were going somewhere..
    So we switched seats and I got out of the drivers seat and then then poof it fell right out!!!
    It was like magic…I found my wallet and more importantly the money..
    And then as soon as i saw it I remembered it all…
    That’s what I call putting your brainz together….
    With a little help from the Rock!! Am I right?
    Then we were back New York City Bound!!
    Yeah…I know we did not just lose it though we looked forever…
    I thought that would happen- those dudes had second thoughts and put the wallet back!! They knew we would be back!!
    Yeah I think about it now…
    I do not think LSD and the race track was such a good idea!!
    Maybe when it is raining..?
    I think that was a bold move on our part!!
    But I am so glad I was called back to the rock..
    There is magic at that graveyard …
    And who says there aren’t places to go for free that are fun?
    And did you know after that day I was banned from the Putney library!!
    Not for dancing of course…
    But for hanging out in a library I didn’t belong too..
    I didn’t have a library card..or a place to live…or the two bucks or however much it cost!!
    How can you have an address when you don’t have a home!!
    They also were also quite annoyed that I was looking at the books..
    Everyone was on their computers…
    Yeah they are like the country club of libraries…I don’t know why…
    I found much better dance floors than in the Putney library.. Like the graveyard!!See the library is one of those places you need money to have fun!!!

    Shit man you can erase this one too… I am sorry about the legnth..
    After you read it….If you want…I just get to writing and it was all relative…wasn’t it?

  5. 5 othersideofthemirror March 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    eve – miss ya – I love when you write

  6. 6 Absintheve March 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Hey thanks..I really appreciate that!!
    I really feel like it is hard for me to know when to begin and to end…
    My life is like one run on sentence…I just let it all out!!
    And how bout you..You seen any horse races lately?

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