Archive for the 'brattleboro' Category

Synchronicity In Drunken Motion

I have a friend. speedWay readers know her by the moniker Absynth Eve. My friends in Vermont know who I mean. But seem to not understand why me & Absynth Eve hang out.

Absynth Eve is my friend.

My old friend; we met in 1994. I was selling beer & Jagermiester shots from a cooler on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King adjacent to the Glenn’s Falls Civic Center arena in upstate New York.

It rained torrential that Halloween night. But I was sheltered by the part of Burger King’s roof that hung out over their sidewalk. The Burger King management had seemingly no qualm with the unlicensed vendor who boisterously hawked booze on their premises. They were too over run with their own customers to care.

A giant digital clock above us kept revelers assiduously aware of the time. The revelers were duly appreciative; lest we become inadvertently too drunk or stoned or spun kookie on shrooms to keep track of the time for ourselves.

Phish would play at 9PM sharp. And it would be legendary. So no one wanted to miss even the first notes of the gig.

Sometime after dark — maybe around 7 — a young lady approached me. She was soaking wet and looked a bit shaken.

“Everything OK?” I asked.

“No!” She explained. “I just got into a car accident!”

“Oh shit. Were you drunk?” I queried.

“Shit yes I was.” She assured me. “Good thing I wasn’t actually driving!”

“No kidding.” I agreed. “I try not to drive drunk. Though I do so enjoy a cold behind-the-wheel brew!”

“Me too.” My new friend winked. “Except I like to have a beer in one hand & a shot in the other. You know. Smoke a joint maybe & pop a few shrooms. Steer with my knees…Which is exactly what I was just now up to. But someone crashed in to me! What should I do?”

Like is this girl for real? I wanted to know.

“Hold on!” I protested what appeared a hole in her story. “You said you weren’t driving.”

“Not actually driving.” She corrected me. “I was in the drivers seat. Beer. Shot. Bong hit. Popped a couple shrooms. Dig? All of the sudden I needed to use my knees to steer because my hands were full and — even though the car was parked — the shrooms made it go vroom!”

Ah yes. I could see it happening.

“Shit girl.” My voice filled with admiration. “You got so lit up that you crashed your parked car?? That is WAY cool!”

I gave her a beer and a shot. And — having been slooped on booze myself at the time — forgot about the whole encounter. Until a half-decade later. When I made a new friend at the Bar back home in Loserboro, Vermont. We chatted about some things and got drunk. At some point I mentioned something about the time I sold beer in the rain outside the Burger King at the ’94 Halloween Phish show.

“Underneath the huge clock?” Absynth Eve asked, eyes widened with surprise.

“Yeah. Right there beneath the clock. Freezing cold out, but no one gave a fuck. The beer business boomed. Oh yeah,” I added. “I sold liquor too.”

“Jagermiester?” Sophie asked.

“How did you know?”

“You gave me a shot.”

“No shit?”

I wasn’t surprised. I’m not shall we say profit savvy with fun things. I like to give fun things away.

“No shit.” Said Absynth Eve at the Bar in Loserboro while we chatted & got drunk when we thought we’d first met back in 1999. “Don’t you remember me?”

I wanted to. It’s always good to remember things about a new lady friend like their names and when you first met. I strained mentally until the words flew like snarfed beer from my mouth:

Oh shit, I exclaimed. “You’re the girl who crashed her parked car!! Yo I got mad respect for you.”

It was all over after that. In the near-decade that has passed we have been some things. Tremendous allies. Near mortal enemies. Fuck buddies. Ex fiances. Sages. Fools. Healthy advesaries. Petty rivals.

Kindred spirits.

Partners in the crime of survival.

Friends.

To this day & always.

And if you don’t like it you can KISS my fat black ass.

Bur probably you won’t get the chance; you probably won’t see me around.

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ADD + CIA: the Connection

When I see one I know it — and this is a Very Good Bet:

America will soon experience an absolute hissy-fit explosion in crystal meth use.

I know, I know. I know what you’re saying: “Soon? But Mike E — I heard crystal meth is already the Scourge Of The Nation!”

So they say. But if crystal meth is the Scourge Of The Nation I ask: How come I’m not on it right now?

Why indeed? After all I just bought four 30-milligram extended release Adderalls for $5 a pop from some jerk off the street. I call him a jerk because he opened two of the capsules and scooped a third of the speed out from each. When I confronted him a few minutes later he basically said “Tough Shit.” And only a jerk would say that to the dude — a friend — who just payed a premium price for the pills to begin with.

But I didn’t call him a jerk to his face. Why? Arithmetics. The law of Supply & Demand.

I didn’t want to piss the dude off because Demand is high. Supply is low. Brattleboro is in the midst of an Adult ADD epidemic of historic proportions and we plain old don’t got enough medicine. It took me two days to hunt the jerk down as it was; piss him off and I’ll be shit out of luck the next time around. It’s a Seller’s Market for Adderall in this town — and in Seller’s Markets the Jerks call the shots.

Especially when the Buyer is more addicted than Jane.

Sad fact is — from the addicted standpoint — I’m real close to shit out of luck already. I will be completely, not long from now, when those few paltry pills wear off. So I ask again: If crystal meth is the Scourge Of The Nation why didn’t I instead spend my $20 on that?

Why indeed? A twenty sack of meth packs roughly a billion-proof stronger punch than even a smashingly good $20 deal on Adderall. Twenty dollars worth of good meth will keep you up for 3 days; whereas 120 milligrams of Adderall practically puts me to sleep.

I need 150 milligrams to actually fall asleep.

So why not go for the meth? One could propose Good Reasons. Mostly having to do with the overall evil-ness of crystal meth. You know, like the shit kills you & all. Even I may be inclined to agree that — from a general health standpoint — I’m better off with the type of speed doctors prescribe. And you, dear reader, may be inclined to pat me on the back for choosing so wisely.

Fuck you.

I want some meth.

Why? Arithmetic reasons. Meth is cheaper plus it lasts longer.

Total no brainer dudes!

But the fact is you can’t get crystal meth in Brattleboro.

Why?

Part of me thinks it’s because — for reasons of good conscience — people who could bring meth to town don’t want to. And the fact is that people who intermittently may wish it were — people like me — do not in actuality want it around. For obvious reasons.

I took my first Adderall in 1999. I thought it was awesome dudes. I took to pharmaceutical amphetamines with literally uncommon zeal. I like them little buggers so much that if I had had steady access to crystal meth — for any prolonged time-stretch since — I bet money I would be something quite like dead.

In the late 1990’s America experienced a near hissy-fit explosion in OxyCotin use. So-called the “Hillbilly Heroin,” these legally prescribed painkillers introduced widespread swaths of rural America — where heroin is scarce — to the opioid in its’ crush & snortable (or injectable) form.

Recently, on the heels of a multi-million dollar class-action settlement, the makers of OxiContin admitted they had deliberately encouraged doctor’s to over-prescribe the drug — to reap profit windfalls from the illegal resale of the surplus.

Whoa.

Surplus of OxiContin? Way.

Excellent!!

OcyContin has two major advantages over heroin. It’s better. And it’s better.

But when the Feds crack down on doctor’s who over prescribe Oxies — bogus! — and all of the sudden you can’t get one to save your life, heroin — typically available in the nearest medium-sized city — is the next best thing.

A huge difference between O-C’s & heroin is the ability to measure your dosage. OxyContin comes in pills containing a precise number of milligrams. The largest, 80 milligrams, will very likely not kill even a first-time user. Two 80 milligram pills pose a mortal danger to even seasoned junkies.

So now you know.

But you don’t know how much heroin is in the bag they sell you. So when your town gets strung on the Dirty there’s a very good chance that soon a friend will die.

Hasn’t happened around here recently. Mainly because — most of the time — the bags are small & the dope is cut. That’s why people do so much of it all at once. And that’s why people die.

Another major difference between OxyContin & heroin is that the CIA sells heroin. Etc. So when the Feds crack down on the doctors for getting millions of new heroin customers addicted to opiates — and your friends die because you suddenly can’t get an OxiContin to save your life — the CIA laughs all the way to the bank.

Almost like they planned it that way.

Same way as They plan to get the population of Brattleboro, VT hooked like a guppies on meth.

Look: This blog is twitchy & lengthily jabbered proof that doctors over prescribe Adderall. Not that they prescribe enough exactly. Not for me. But my own habits are a different story. This one is about how soon the Feds will crack down on the doctors for over prescribing speed.

Then the CIA will dump a whole wazoo load of the bomb meth in Brattleboro.

Heh heh.

That’ll way rule!

My First Trip To Brattleboro

Brattleboro is a little town by regional standards. We’re 200 miles north from New York City. 100 miles northwest of Boston. Between these two major cities there are many big suburbs, some smaller cities, their smaller suburbs, and a smattering of even smaller semi-rural townships. Most, perhaps nearly all, are bigger than Brattleboro.

But by Vermont standards Brattleboro is somewhat of a monolith; third largest town in the state, behind Burlington & Rutland. The state’s capitol, Montpelier, is I believe the 4th largest town in Vermont. Brattleboro is the only town in the state, besides Burlington, to have three exits off the Interstate highway. Burlington has 4 or 5 exits off the Interstate.

The Interstate highway doesn’t run through the state’s 2nd largest city, Rutland.

Brattleboro is an odd town by any standard.

One odd thing about Brattleboro is the Brattleboro Retreat. The Brattleboro Retreat is located just past the end of Main Street.

The size of a small college campus, the Retreat is one of Brattleboro’s defining landmarks; a thread through the local fabric; a swig of Kool Aid from the punch-bowl of town lore.

It’s been here since 1834. Back then it went by a different name: the Vermont Asylum for the Insane.

I spent my first year of high school two hours north of Brattleboro at a school called St. Johnsbury Academy. I had a teacher there at the Academy named Mr. Thurston. Mr. Thurston taught freshman algebra. Or, more precisely, he was paid to. I for one learned no arithmetic skills from him.

He was about 6 feet tall. Middle aged. Sported a cop-wannabe crew cut. Real dumb looking jerk. Taught girl’s basketball. Screamed louder than a constipated hyena.

“TOBIN!!” He would bellow at the beginning of class each day. “Did you do your homework last night??”

Now there’s a dumb question! Did I ever do homework? No.

Why?

I am an exceptional student. I learn eagerly. Plus I think the mathematical language is a groovy way to meet aliens.

But I never did a single homework assignment in Mr. Thurston’s algebra class.

Why? Because he was a gigantically lousy educator.

Dude couldn’t teach an ape to fart smelly.

When I told him I didn’t have my homework Mr. Thurston got ugly. Uglier than vomit – bulimic cannibal vomit. That’s how I felt when he screamed at me. A thousand watts of shame.

Why did he scream at me every day? Not to goad me into doing homework. Contrary: his purpose was best served when I didn’t.

His purpose?

Just to be an asshole. To make life perceptibly more miserable for his fellow human.

Because it made him feel off-rocked jolly.

“What I need,” I thought to myself, one morning soon after I’d turned 15, when I profoundly needed to not be screamed at, “Is a good Excuse to miss algebra class today.”

Yeah. I thought of a wicked killer one too.

“I tried to hang myself last night.” I lied to the school nurse. “I need emergency therapy!”

2 easy.

I was whisked without delay to the psychiatric ward for adolescents at the Brattleboro Retreat. The doors locked behind me. Splendid! I need tight security. Or else Mr. Thurston screams cruelly & hurts me poor brainz – especially in the mornings.

But not when he gets locked out of the cookie jar by nice people on my first trip to Brattleboro!

Crazy. Yet effective; I was released in early summer from the mental institution formerly known as Vermont’s Asylum for the Insane. Never went back to St. Johnsbury Academy. And never saw Mr. Thurston – that nut-less slug humper – again.

superstar love revisited

Dear Batya,

Remember how we thought we could sell a short book of our emails? My old & fiesty friend: we were On To It! Which is why I no longer fuck with email much even; just slap this letter here, my first to you in 5 years, straight on open container speedWay!

Where everything is for sale.

+$!

They were on the counter. Flowers. No one had — or has since thank goodness — ever fired me up a bouquet from afar. Dudes: bouquets suck! In Lieu of Flowers just replenish my online gambling account. From now on. Thanks!

But one thing about these flowers was so good it changed me.

Probably I cruised up to the Godz Club — the old place to be — to smoke pot in the walk in cooler. Hits from a carved parsnip bong. Cauldrons of Alien Turd Tea. Stirred with giant chocolate speed-dipped sporks. Yep. First they got the sporks banned. Then outlawed hallucinations altogether. What next? The dreaded ‘nuclear option;’ the US Supreme Court upholds a Texas verdict outlawing possession, manufacture or distribution of make-believe. Whoa!

Did they really?

For sure they banned smoking pot in the walk in cooler. Ask anyone — the place has gone sharp down hill since. Plus they changed their name: they’re the Organo Plug Butt-crunch Restaurant & Pimphouse now.

This! After all the hard work you & me put into that hell hole?

All a friend can say is ain’t it a Shame!!

+$!

Last time I seen her Batya wore a tank-top with 2 words — Oui on her right & WIN! on her left — emblazoned with a green Sharpie across her boob-flesh. The upper & meatier parts of each. Exposed brilliantly when flashed from her tank top; a creme colored affair with miniature lace whips, dangled like hells bells, where her spine curved crater-like into the small of her back. Two words were embroidered in scorpion-apple red across the back pockets of her vintage cut-off Sergio Valenti jeans.

Bitchen Dinero.

I always thought she meant her stack of cash was bitchin’ — Super cool.

But before I got the chance to ask off she go — amid a wild chorus of woohoOz! — with whoever says they’re sober to drive, on a daybreak airport run.

Absynthies says: “That’s the coolest thing about being Batya — must be! She comes. She whoops everyone’s asses, parties harder & harder every second until she leaves — then wooshOO! Gone. Like a hundred dollar bill on a drug run.

Fuckin rock star that Batya!!”

Hero. She does the stuff of heroes.

One time Batya emailed me a few hours after her latest stunning daybreak departure. Said she jumped a straight-shot taxi ride to her workplace’s front curb. About 10AM Chicago time. To cook food for the health conscious People. Except she inadvertently switched the blender flip on while she dislodged a root of ginger with her fingers from the industrial strength high speed blade.

It was just me & her on email back then. She fired off a detailed ‘still drunk’ missive of the incident moments later from the computer at her work. I replied: “Batya: I’m proud of you!!” Then jumped on the phone to tell all our friends! Gossip? No — this is news.

“Yep.” I said. “Last thing said was she planned to commandeer OJ & Champagne for Emergency Room Mimosas. And trade lesbian sex for loose doses of opiate pain yummiez!”

Who does that? Seriously. 2 cool!

I remember another time.

“A’right you guys I just bought every Beastie Boys cd ever made.” She commanded. “So look out.”

It was awesome after that.

Awesome but like all the good things in this world — not for long. I don’t remember when Batya left town exactly. I just remember, protestation aside, I admitted I couldn’t blame her.

Batya lives in New York City and I like the way New York City moves me.

I hit the top stair and swung to my right & into the once epic hangout now known as the Plug Butt-Crunch.

“Whose got me birthday doobages?!” I blurted.

“Right here,” Absynthies proffered the boquet Batya sent me. “Smoke up Johnny!!” “Shit yes,” another concurred. “Smoke ’em way the fuck up!!”

“Give it to Mike E: He’ll smoke anything!” Absynthies said of the daffidol or whatever the shit was. She picked on me, of course, but with deliberate kindness — it was after all my birthday.

“You should smoke the card Batya wrote you dude!” Absynthies assured. “For real. That will get you high. Like Mike E likes it!!”

That good? I thought. Someone else In The Know said, “Read it.”

It read:

Superstar Love!

GollygulpWe’eheeez!!!

It was — & very much is — among the coolest well wishes offered me by anyone ever.

I read it again. Thought about it ever since.

Back at yooz like a boOmSlang 180. Batya: I’m proud to be your friend!!

From one superstar to another: Dang. We superstars gotz to stick together these days!!

Oh..an entire medium-size Vermont town wishes you happy birthday Batya!

The crowd goes wild.

Superstar Love (spiked with XXX make-believe),
Mike E

the Warning Shot

“You guys,” I asked. “What’s going to happen to all the people who live there when God flicks the entire state of New Hampshire off the face of the Earth like a booger?”

“Who gives a fuck??” Mommacake demanded. Mind you: this is the same Mommacake who gathered 50 friends into a circle at her 30th birthday party and sang us “You Are My Sunshine.” Solo. Just so we all knew she cared.

Mommacake does genuinely give a fuck. Just not about people from New Hampshire.

Can you blame her?

I leaned back into the cool early morning dirt and downed a fat swig of alien turd tea. Offered it around to the half-dozen friends who were still up with swerves still on from the previous night’s party. No takers: so I downed another. And popped a Dexadrine for good measure.

We sat on the bank of the river — the Connecticut — which forms the border between Vermont & New Hampshire.

vtnhmap1.jpg

That’s Vermont on the left, New Hampshire on the right. Brattleboro, where I live, is in the south-east corner of Vermont — so close to New Hampshire that we’re forced to look at that dumb lump of lousy bull every single day.

There’s a joke told in these parts:

Q. What’s the best thing about New Hampshire?

A. The view of Vermont.

I gazed across the river. But quickly covered my eyes & turned away; so blindingly did the mere sight offend me.

“I know, I know. I hate them to!” I assured Mommacake. “But…is it really their fault that they’re so stupid? I mean — we know that the southern part of their state is a polar ice cap flood plane. Why don’t they?”

“Because we’re smarter than they are!” Said Mommacake.

“And faster!” Someone said.

“Better looking!” Said someone else.

“YEAH — and we have more fun then they do!!”

Suddenly everyone eyed me with suspicion, there on the banks of the Connecticut River.

The whole New Hampshire thing is a running joke sort of deal we have around here. Like this one other morning. We were at a party on the 4th floor of a warehouse. When the sun came up we noticed that you could see New Hampshire; so Mommacake drew a middle finger sticking up at it with a sharpie marker on the window.

That kind of thing.

Why?

Besides the mentioned reasons — we’re smarter & better looking etc. — I’d say it’s because we’re bored. Maybe we’re trying to cheer ourselves up about the fact that it ain’t so great in Vermont, either. And it would be a gigantic improvment for us personally if New Hampshire was covered by seawater. That way the Connecticut River would be part of the Atlantic Ocean. And the riverbank we lounged on, all looped out of our skulls on drugs that summer morning, would be the Beach.

A very popular idea on our side of the river.

And god wants Vermont to have New Hampshire’s beach because we’re incontestably superior.

Not everyone agrees. Like right wing jerkoff Bill Oreilly from the Fox pretendaNews channel. He loathes us passionately. Hell we pissed him off — yet again — just this week.

It’s awesome when we do that dudes!!

“I feel sorry for Vermonters.” He said, after my hometown newspaper proposed in an editorial that George W. Bush was the worst president in American history. “They’re being held hostage by a bunch of extremists who put ideology over the safety of children and the good of their nation.”

Bill Oreilly is on New Hampshire’s side. He thinks the state “Gets it.” Says the people who live there are the “Stars of New England.”

Plus he kidnaps children and sells them to al-Queada for money to buy crack rocks. Yep — I know for a fact.

I’m Bill Oreilly’s crack dealer.

So obviously God made us Vermonters better than the New Hampshireites. But is that their fault? I’m just wondering…

“HEY!!” Mommacake shouted & roughed me up with her glare. “Whose side are you on, anyway?!”

She wore cut-off fatigue shorts with a wrap around belt. Doc Martin boots. And a tank-top that said Ass Grass or Gas in money-green glitter across the chest.

“Yo I’m on God’s side!” I swore. “But…I dunno. Maybe there’s some people over there worth saving?”

‘Dude.” She corrected me. “Those people are so dumb they teach their kids that babies come from Wal-Mart!”

It’s true. I was shoplifting at the Wal Mart just across the bridge in Hinsdale yesterday — and saw a New Hampshire youngster try to exchange himself for a PlayStation.

But he was a human being of sorts and I am a humanitarian.

“I think we should fire them a warning shot.” I insisted. “Yeah. It’s the right thing to do. They can take it or leave it — stay or go, don’t give a hoot — but they have a right to know.”

Mommacake’s eyes threw a spark.

“YEAH!” She exclaimed. Whistled & simmered with controlled combustion like a fresh-lit pyrotechnic fuse. I mean — should we??”

I looked in her eyes and saw she was laughing — silently, at the joke only she knows.

The rest of our early morning riverside party crew laughed helplessly out loud though we weren’t yet certain why.

Mommacake stood, hands on her hips, directly between the river & me. Stomped her foot twice and turned her back to the crowd. Her tattooed angel wings unfurled from beneath the tank top, spread over the width of her shoulders. The back of her shirt was emblazoned with the words: nobody rides for free!!

Then in one unreal motion she unloosed the wrap-around belt from her cut-off shorts. Shrugged her shoulders. Laughed wildly. Dropped her shorts half down to her knees. Bent over, swung out, wheeled round & wagged her freshly bared ass in a seismic Fuck Off to New Hampshire – and all the dumb shit it stands for.

Kaboom.

Guts rupture.

Bodies hit dirt.

“Oh we hate them that fucking much!!” I gasped.

Then our early morning party crew choked gleefully near to death on hairball spasms of laughter.

Some time passed before we could breathe. When we could, finally, Mommacake rolled to her feet, shook her fist eastward & said:

“There’s your Warning Shot ASSHOLES!!!”

Chernobyl, Vermont

A local yahoo from around here has put together an impressive display of photos he shot inside the Chernobyl “exclusion zone” — proximal to the doomed reactor, where radiation levels remain too high for human safety for any amount of time — combined with pictures of the eerily similar landscape here in Windham County, Vermont (smack in the Vermont Yankee evacuation zone).

bread.jpg

Freaky shit. Much respect to the yahoo. Please check it.

Beer Go Up

Ray wears a T-shirt that says Beer Is The Reason I Get Up Each Afternoon. That’s because Ray makes the beer at Mcneil’s Brewery. Ray enjoys the beer he makes at his brewery. So much that he long ago hired other folks to actually brew the beer — so he can better concentrate on enjoyment.

The man is a drunkard. But not a fool.

Ray is divorced with grown children. He takes milk thistle for his liver and rides his ten speed bicycle to stay trim. Ray plays cello — sometimes with a jazz band. Sometimes with a symphony. An admirably fair employer; On my first day working for him, years ago, he said “Mike E: I don’t mind if you drink on the job. As a matter of fact I encourage it!” He fired me, of course, but only after I didn’t show up to work for 3 weeks.

One time Ray’s daughter suggested that he had drank more than plenty already. Ray was very, very drunk that day. But — as evidenced by his prodigious swigs from a fresh-poured 4-pint ale pitcher — he disagreed.

Ray thought in fact he had yet to drink quite nearly enough.

An age-old struggle ensued: between a drunk and the daughter who wanted him to hang his beer-pitcher up & call it an afternoon.

Going for the daughter was the fact that he didn’t have far to go: Ray built himself an apartment right upstairs from his bar. Going for the drunk was the fact that he is far too large for his daughter to carry.

“Dad.” Said daughter. “It’s time to go home.”

Drunk said “But I am home!!”

“No dad.” Daughter corrected him. “All the way home.”

“Close enough!” Drunk slurred.

“Not for me.” Daughter insisted.

“Yeah — but who the hell are you?” The drunk asked.

She answered. “I’m your daughter.”

“No you’re not!”

“Am so.”

“Prove it!”

“No.”

“Well but.” Ray looked bewildered for a long moment. Until he remembered. “You don’t have to prove anything to me! Do you?”

“Nope.”

“Because you’re my daughter.”

“Exactly.”

He put down the pitcher. Dejected. The drunk knew he was beat.

“I have to go home now.” Said he.

“You have to go home now.” Said she.

Everyone in the crowd who gathered to watch nodded their heads in agreement.

Ray threw his head down and wrapped his arms in a giant bear hug around the bar. Like a protester fearlessly hugs — and often chains their self to — a soon to be felled redwood tree.

“I’m not going.” He defiantly cried. “You can’t make me!!”

His daughter reached toward him. Ray gripped the bar with all his might. But her hands passed straight over him. Ray gritted his teeth for the Showdown that never came. He assumed his daughter would forcibly ply him loose from the bar. Instead she skillfully un-plied his mind.

She grabbed the half-full beer pitcher. Ray opened his eyes. She raised the pitcher up in front of her own eyes, slowly. Ray followed the beer pitcher droopingly, first with his eyes, then he raised his head from the bar, stood wobbly, stared hypnotically deep into the beer. And held his hands out to Receive it.

She stepped back. Ray stepped forward. Beer steps back. Ray step forward. Beer step. Ray step. Beer go Ray go. Beer go up stairs.

Ray go up stairs!

The crowd goes wild.

Beer is the reason.