Tzvi's Trees: Stories About Weed

 

 

 

#11 Minister Mister

by Tzvi Peckar the Third, 2015

 

Plentiful children of adult ages piled in by the hundreds to hear him speak. Massive amplifiers have been set up along the open grass field, golden and crisp from the drought in the dry heart of the city. Mick Jagger and his Rolling Stones recordings blasted from the speakers, Sympathy for the Devil, Miss You, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, speckled with other tunes like The Who’s Amazing Journey, Journey’s Wheel in the Sky, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky, AC/DC’s Who Made Who, and obviously Jimi’s Purple Haze, but today’s grown children were that of the late 21st century.

                The songs were carrots covered in caramel for the masses. Psychedelic posters that lined the city’s thin wooden boards surrounding construction sites promised a day off from the grind, a way to get to reality, a door opening to their perceptions. The masses were taken by surprise when their medley of drugs had been confiscated at the park entrance in a bizarre exchange. Security guards, clothed in modern metallic knight armor barring machettes and uzis stood stoic at the gates, patting down pants and reaching their hands into pockets, emptying the consumers various unlabeled zip lock bags, pill bottles, vape pens, and edibles into plastic biohazard boxes, offering to give a strange substitution—bags of weed for money, acid for blank checks labeled from offshore banks, and shrooms for gift cards for Walmart, Target, etc.

 

                The baffled crowd impatiently waited to hear Minister Iah speak—scratching themselves, making a ruckus, spit fights, titty-twisters, melvins, charley horse play, and general hysteria because of having to part ways with their goods, even though they were all now a little richer, some more than others.

*

The morning hours passed without anyone taking to the podium. Most of the audience has taken a seat on the dry, brittle grass by this point. Their legs were exhausted, the heat was getting hotter, the sky was muggy, and the loss of goods had turned from annoyance to need. “I have to get a hit or two to deal,” a sweaty young man dressed in rock n’ roll regalia might have said to his hippy skirt girlfriend of the year.

                Once the music turns to smooth jazz, the natives were perspiring too much to become truly restless. Their stomachs ache from hunger, their bodies are weak from dehydration, their migraines seem to appreciate the Kenny G, none-the-less they are all very rich in their pockets. “The bouncer gave me six hundred bucks for the one joint I had,” the girlfriend says kissing her boy, just a peck. She’s too ill to be truly romantic. “I’m not in the mood,” he says, and she concurs. “Me neither actually. Look,” and points to the podium in the middle of the surrounding peoples. Minister Iah, sporting the average white-collar, black priestly garb, has taken to the microphone to speak to the tired, the sick, and the now spiritually poor. He’s too far to see, but can easily be heard.

*

“I have made a trade with you to hear me speak. I have lined your pockets with gold, money for poison, and how do you feel?” the Minister began.

The crowd can barely rumble with joy, they are all too ill.

“Equally as pitiful? Or eager to learn?” he continues.

*

The crowd doesn’t understand. Why is he doing this? We must know more. Some begin to stand up to get a better view. Those who stand, stand with the assistance of the others as a cane of balance to enable themselves to hear his words a shy bit clearer.

*

“For those who are hungry here I assume you are always hungry, starved from abandoning your greater dreams for the mortal accomplishment of trying—Dreams of getting higher, up there, not here on earth.”

Scattered through the crowd, a few begin to applaud, those who had snuck carob and toast in their socks.

*

There is still a mass of people curling around the circumference of the park, but the security guards are distracted. A tall fat man clothed in the finest of suits, diamond cufflinks, one of a kind leather shoes, and a weathered, torn top hat, is negotiating with security; he’s bartering something, something they already have, for something they have been buying for the Minister—the goods.

*

“This hunger will buckle your knees at the sight of your friends who are too weak to stand. Your stomachs turn from the weeping pain of your cowardly bodily existence. You ask for aspirin, you ask for a drink, maybe a smoke. Some of you turn to relationships, others stretch with their Yogis and think you forget, but soon enough the sickness returns. Can’t you see that in your neighbor? Look at them, look into their eyes. Not your mates, but your strangers, and know you feel for their soul, their spiritual illness. Now try to laugh.”

*

The head of security approaches the tall fat man, lifting his facemask and demanding, “What is so important that you are holding up the line?”

*

“Never turn your eye from your faults, for your faults define you all. Your faults are the candy canes your Lord and Savor eats away from your souls. The devil here on the lower land fills you with priceless chocolates that melt, the Savior upon the highest peak cures you of the disease.”

*

From under the tall fat man’s top hat he retrieves a single loaf of bread, handing it to the commander of security brutality, “Bread?” the guard asks. “My suit is stuffed with various kinds of leavened bread,” the man says. “Is that why you're so fat,” the guard asks with an ungrateful grin. The fat man reaches into his shoes and pulls out stacks of money that he hands out to each and every guard. He becomes a little shorter with every stack of money that he hands out.

*

“You wander through your days stuffing yourselves with flowers and booze. You fill your minds with worry and sorrow for what may never come tomorrow. You are no more than sick, and that death will be reborn, unless you come with me to the summit of earth, the highest peak, where you survive with your body, soul, and spirit fused.”

*

The line outside the park has been barred from entering. They are waiting for their handouts from the fat man, but he has moved on inside the venue to feed the lost and dying audience of the Minister.

*

“Your spirit waits for you on the highest peak. If your spirit is there atop Eden, then your earthly vessel here is empty; your spirit is far away from you. Your creator has separated you from yourself. You think you must search deeper, alone, within yourself to find salvation. You believe verbal prayer will unify you, but only silence prevails. Your spirit yearns for you to silence yourself and to climb, alone, for that is what you all are—alone. Your punishment is to climb without ever reaching the summit, where success dwells. There is nothing to admire here below, there is no reward for an arduous climb with no end. I will help you fly into death that greets you at the top.”

*

A strong male with muscles that fill two attendee spaces, can barely stand any longer, and has fallen. His face pressed deep into the now soaked and muddy grass filled with the starving audience’s tears. The strands of planted lawn have turned green from the tears. The grass has begun to grow with empathy and creep into the strong man's lips and yet he does not gnaw. Someone has begun to strum a real electric guitar, stringing out Johnny B. Goode, a tune that might resonate in the ears of those who just want to be something, somewhere, somehow, and without remorse. “It’s the fat man,” pronounces a young boy of twelve. Still entranced by the Minister, the audience has no strength to move aside. The fat man has no option but to, step by step and chord by chord, shove his bulbous body around the spiraling crowd, knocking every other brother to the mud, without missing a single live string.

*

The Minister is deaf to others and continues to speak his troubling word.

*

The fat man begins to thin out, redistributing the indigestible goods back to the fallen people. In order to get assistance, the fat man feeds the strong man first. Once the fat man made his way to the center podium, the Minister, so enthralled with the spirit of himself, has gone blind and cannot even see the now thinner short man move along outward of the spiral, knocking over the rest of the audience.

*

And the Minister sneezed, and everyone said, “Bless you,” as the human spiral has risen once again, but now with its back to the podium, ignoring the Minister’s word.

*

After consuming the fat man's bread, the crowd is able to rise with their eyes toward the earthly world, the one breathing planet in this small galaxy that, despite our efforts, suffers from our neglect, yet still sustains both itself and them. They have abandoned the Minister, still ranting in the center of the podium, to walk in a mass back to their homes, to start a new line of work—a work of outer-sight celebrating their epiphany of post-inner worth. Yet there will still be the downtrodden, the poor, the lonely, the haters, the fighters, the killers, and the thieves, but no one will be left behind upon the grass addressing the Minister as higher than thou.

*

And now it was good.

*

The former tall fat man, now shorter than a mailbox and thinner than a twig, returned to his home North of the city, where temperatures were always below zero. He lived passed the projects on the desolated motor-homes fields, in a skyscraper designed by an independent contractor coerced by the glass, gas and electric companies to build homes for the dying. And this home was painted in rust.

                Upon entering his beloved apartment, he found the heat and power had been turned off, the place was gutted, and the windows were broken through from the inside, so he sat upon the toilet and read his memoirs. In time, he froze on his toilet, looking down at his feet that had trudged through the snow to the summit moments before. He remembered the final song he performed leaving the park behind, Carry on Wayward Son, only after leaving a joint upon the Minister's podium. The man, by error, or maybe by fate, yet unfortunately for himself, did just as the Minister had advised when he walked to the park and redistributed the traded goods. This giving man had reached his summit.

*

Now alone on his throne the Minister stood sad, unable to find a mountain to climb, stranded on a plain, with a joint and a match—And the wind cries Mary.

 

Tzvi’s Trees: Stories About Weed - are original short stories inspired by the culture, people, music, scene, and existence of marijuana in the lives of Human kind. Much like all of Peckar’s writing, Tzvi’s Trees teeter on a fine balance between Absolute Fiction and Personal Memoir, and yet Mr. Peckar himself will admit that to him they are one of the same and cannot exist without each other.
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