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The train takes a heavy toll on a man. There is some discussion to be had about it, but having just crossed the threshold of the West, I feel changed. Nausea and preoccupation with both intake and silence have prevented me from writing, just as I supposed, but here, in this barren wasteland, I feel both alien and changed. Liminal transitions. I believe that is the correct terminology.
Little can be described of this place, a mere saloon, but I am finding an odd comfort here. The host is kind, if short, and the accommodations are meager and welcome. Opulence has drained from me long ago, and the simple idea of only a bed with sheets and possibly stale rain water to slack my thirst is a good one. Sleep hit me hard, and was dreamless: a welcome reprieve from my time on the train.
A hunger aches in me that I can’t sate until I have completed my task, but mostly because I am so low on rations. I have but one cube of hash left, a mere ounce of heroin, and my standard prescriptions are at their dregs. I will have to occupy my time with activity and lots of food. A different hunger, less subtle, but all the same, satisfying. Also, the atrocious wall decor has shaken something lose in me, perhaps. I can’t quite pin down whether I am a victim of too much travel already or if the strangeness of this place is really that true.
I have stared into the visage of a beast of hell, and have found it pleasantly unsettling. Gagging would not suffice as a reaction, and neither would simple staring. I cannot decide whether I will be able to face it, or if I should take up crossing myself in the hopes it will either be gone or be improved. I should inquire about that beast.
I should also inquire about this Farragut man, who remains, as yet, a mystery in plain sight.
I am headed for Arizona by way of train. I am sure I will be forced to travel through many cities that are not anywhere near Globe, but I suppose that is how it will be regardless of my destination. I am fortunate to have a budget that I can use at my disposal. Jonathon was gracious enough to speak to the department for me, and this has alleviated my mind in some way. If I must be homeless, I might as well be so while on the road. There is little left for me anyway. I must seek out Farragut.
I have become befuddled in my situation. While thinking closely on how I managed to get where I am, I realized that my dependency on the outer world has turned me into a monster, a true Hyde to my Jekyll. I want to be rid of my desires, and to set my feet alight on the path best for my health and sanity, but I am a weak man. As I write this, I am smoking the beginning of a hashish cube I have been able to procure through unusual channels. It is a refreshing air for a man once clean. I wonder if my soul calls out for filth.
I have been perusing several titles that are unusual, even for me, and have found no evidence of Farragut being anything more than a cattleman. I dearly hoped to find some shred of ill-repute about him.
Dear journal, my train leaves in a matter of hours, and I am not certain that I will be in position to write once on-board. I remembered too late that I can rarely do anything while traveling but sleep without suffering the woes of a queasy stomach. All the books I am carrying with me will simply have to wait until I arrive.
Research is hardly work for the verbose, except that I have not been afforded the use of a graduate assistant to copy down passages that are useful for my notes. I am long awaiting such a day, but while I am juggling a life of showering in the teachers’ dormitory and wandering the streets in the evening looking for cheap housing, I am forced to take my own precious notes and spend my own time pouring over tomes of events not related to my current field. The professor of Post-Civil War history, Jonathon Gromley, a once dear friend, has been kind enough to take me under his wing at Dean Duncan’s behest. Duncan, having moved me to a purely research position, had Gromley ask me to do his research personally.
Johnathon is a wonderful man, to whom I owe much. He helped me secure my position here, and has stole me away into the dorms so that I can remain clean and presentable. He even allows me to do my laundry with his. I am more indebted to him than any other man on the planet, and if I am able to pay him back in recompense, I shall.
Pardon these ruined and blotchy pages. I am losing my composure and crying as I write this. All the stress of living out of my office, and the awkwardness it creates amongst my colleagues is too much to bear for any man. I am shamed, and I am worked to the bone. I have only managed to secure this small fraction of time to write now, as I have been given a day off to sort out personal affairs before the semester ends. I fear I will not be employed here after May, and am so uncertain of the future. No nightmare compares with the fear of the future I harbor in these cold days.
Finally able to reach you, dear journal, after being in the hospital all this time. It didn’t take long for the withdrawals to hit me with full force. I was quite paralyzed. My landlord inquired about missing rent and called for medical attention when he found me. He tells me I was writhing on the floor in a puddle of my own vomit and piss. I don’t know how this happened. I am more accustomed to the nervous sweats and lack of eating and expulsions of fluids by other means. I also remember little of my time away.
There was a veil over my mind until a week ago. Part of that was the fog of medicines they had me set on. I am quite better now. The sounds that plagued me at night are gone. I haven’t seen Her in days. A reprieve after so many months of dreaming.
I am now homeless. My landlord helped me pack my things, and I am now taking quarter in my office until I can afford another place to live. William & Mary’s has offered me a dormitory to live in until I can get my feet under me, but only if I pay them monthly. I have no money. I will not be paid again for a bit, and have already borrowed against the money I have. I will be hard-pressed to figure this situation out, but I know I will not have long before I am relieved of my position here. There is a way about Dean Duncan, the rotted soul. He would have me gone. He would have be removed from my post with no chance at redemption.
I have written on the last holiday, and finally have been able to gather my strength enough to write on this one. It is just after midnight, my belly is full of wine, my blood full of joy, my apartment is empty of people. This is how I prefer to spend my holidays. People just muck it up anyway.
The first admission I want to make is that I have spent the last of the remainder of paycheck. I will not be paid anymore for another month. I am out of pills, out of heroine, out of booze, out of food. Something in the back of my brain tells me that the next few days will be difficult. The weather is bitter here. Yesterday, we had a foot of snow to go atop the thirteen inches we had previously. The snow pack is hard, and the cold weather hasn’t truly begun yet. I doubt I will be leaving the apartment much.
Another streak of dreams plagues me, just as I am about to reveal the truth behind the previous set. In this one, I find myself in a library, reading a book in a strange language that is oddly familiar. Each glyph looks archaic, seems to glow darkly. I speak the words silently in my dreams; it feels like stabbing my nail-beds with needles. The pages are glassy, the air is thin. I feel transported or drowned, interchangeably. These dreams have been the same from night to night since Christmas. I don’t understand them, but thinking on the trials to come in the next week or two, I shall either learn much much more, or lose myself to psychosis. I am sober enough to be lucid, drunk enough to be nonchalant. Whatever gods might exist, I call on your assistance now. My soul is shaking.
Just returned from the hospital, having lapsed into something of a coma last month. My physician says that it was an overdose. I laughed at him, naturally. He spoke to me as though I was some common drunk or similar on the street. In confession, I have consumed far more illicit substances in my life than that. I suspect that my good friend sold me poor product, or worse, that he damaged in hopes of harming me. I can’t imagine why, but he is a guarded man with guarded means.
Dean Duncan has allowed me to remain on the faculty, but has reduced my position to purely research based and interaction with the graduate students. I am not their supervisor, but I am allowed to consult them on their papers.
I’ve cleaned up the broken glass in the bathroom, but I now have no functioning mirror in which to make myself orderly. I shall have to inquire about acquiring one. I am not a sloppy man.
The one consistent nightmare plagued me this last month. I am not made uneasy by it now, simply curious. I have almost witnessed the truest version of the ritual this last week, but I do not feel I am getting all the details right. I must try to control these images.
Again, I do not call my mother today, nor any great nieces or nephews. This holiday is sickly. It makes me unable to eat, so I do not.
*these pages are torn out, but have been pasted back together with care*
Fuck that bloody Duncan and his fucking policies i will take a hot poker to his face next time he insults me so telling me i have no business in a classroom. The chair! It moved!
No need to explain yourself quinn you are good as gold! brown betty has got you now. you will rest easier now with brown betty.
*this section scratched out messily. ink bleeds through the page*
I am not sleeping, but I dream and i report this to you as you read. Faithful audience, here the tale of Q.A., good ole Q.A., who ever did see a minotaur in his own house. A greek tragedy in my own apartment. How it raises the axe! How it cleaves the flesh! It drinks deep from the bloody fountain of wisdom. I see words spilling out of the woman’s breasts, now gone! Lorraine! They have killed you at last! Me and GODS declare your death wonderful.
I am lapping at the blood, taking in the moment there has been no greater joy
Dear reader, know I am not in my mind. I am not me. This dream is taking me over and I cannot escape. beat down walls I will with her bloody arms
she was the only woman i loved, but those years are foggy to me. how did she die? I don’t know, but she has plagued my soggy brain for years since. I cannot forget her, no matter how hard I drink her away. no flood will wash her.
god, why this? you show me things I want, yet they hurt so deeply. I beg reprieve. take my mother and father away from me, i beg thee, holy father.
To my dismay, I came across a book in my office that I have long thought either discarded or destroyed. “Effigies of a Murderer,” by Eugene Pevancy. This book was an abomination when it was conceived and, after perusing the pages for nostalgia’s sake, an abomination now. It is not quality writing to collect the driveling stupidity of so many lovers of a serial murderer. Women, men, children, all writing to the Dispatch in St. Louis to shed fountains of tears over the death of a beloved minister Hardy. He was a pervert! Depraved man, and when I search for further records on his case, there have been a full total of 140 deaths at his very hands! All from the same church!
God is not righteous to let such a monster remain in such a position of communal authority!
As disturbing as the book is, it does not compare to the bookmark that I had between pages. A photograph of Hardy as a boy. It never dawned on me back then, but he bares a shocking resemblance to Her, and I am embarrassed to think that still attractive. I am still suffering shivers and have been forced to finish off a carafe of whiskey. I hope I can still read this in the morning.
The dreams continue to plague me at night. I have lost little sleep, but I never feel rested. Mostly, I am in the same chamber, during the same right. Sometimes, she is a beast with fangs, sometimes a long tentacle claiming my body for its own. I often wake screaming.
The gentleman who lives across the hall from me, Mr. Ersatz, has promised he will call the police if I wake him any further. He claims to sleep early in the evenings, and I have had such nightmares just after dinner when I fall asleep with a book. I am embarrassed, but cannot control them, no matter what I do. No drunken stupor or drug-addling will make them stay at bay, and I feel I am at wits end.
I did research this afternoon regarding the nature of such dreams and the way I might control them. There is a mention of lucid dreaming in one Carl Jung’s texts, but the idea of such a thing eludes me.
The one detail that seems to get me is how persistent all the voices are that I must continue, no matter my reservations. There is even more familiarity in the dream than before, but that is not from sheer repetition. I feel like I am learning more and more, and something aches in the back of my mind to tell me secrets I have long not known, or long forgotten.
Halloween Eve. I had the most peculiar dream last night, wherein I was leading a rite of summoning against the Beasts of the Dark. She was there, red hair flowing like I remember it. I screamed words at her that came out of my mouth like soot. She was covered in it, caking, and it formed a cocoon on her. After the rite was done, she burst from the shell, a grotesque humanoid with fleshy, discolored wings, covered in a thick, viscous oil that dripped from her lips and face. She stared at my with large segmented eyes and screamed my name over and over. I was startled, both at the sound of it and at the depth of her horrible appearance.
The queer thing lay in the the familiarity of it all, the realness of it. I could hear the granite beneath my feet and feel the heat off the sweltering sexual bodies surrounding me. Some orgy, some fantastical role-play. Some Kinseyan debacle. I woke up in a sweat, and nearly knocked my still burning pipe onto my papers. What a shock!