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BECOMING-VEGETABLE:

TOBACCO

“Invasion of the body snatchers was on TV again last night. That’s the third time this week it’s been on and it’s only Wednesday. Yeah, well I was all spread-out on the sofa, vegetating, as usual, chain-smoking and talking theory at the kids. Well, to cut a long story short I had so many cigarettes while I was watching the film I started hallucinating, didn’t I, and, err, that’s something I didn’t anticipate to tell you the truth. Now, my dreams are constructed from very discreet modular blocks of feelings which, though discontiguous, are interchangeable at will and are on the whole reliably informed and, on a personal note, are also very precious to me. So you will understand my terrible dismay to find that my dreams have been condemned by the local Council and are due to be redeveloped into luxury flats.

Now, I think I’m a reasonable kind of a bloke. I know I aint got nothing in the way of manners or that shit, and my face is crooked ‘cause of lying, but in the end those dreams are mine and very soon they are going to be bought up by foreign investors who won’t even use them. I know they’ll look like real dreams on the outside, but on the inside they’ll be cold and empty and inhuman and useless. So I decided I gotta get away, get out of New Town, get out into the horizon and hide myself where I’ll never be found, before the… before…

...Excuse me while I just… have a smoke...

...So this getting away business… [sigh] ...yeah, I gotta get away. Maybe. Perhaps I’ll take a short holiday with the family, Italy or something. Lay on a beach. I’ve been busy at work and there’s always so much to do at home… [sigh] ...so, like I was saying, I was spread out on the sofa, vegetating, and I was thinking about how, essentially, by smoking tobacco all the time I am, little by little, becoming-vegetable. I mean, I really can’t get through the day without this plant, and this has been the case for about, say, 27 years or so now - which is one hell of a trip if you think about it. And I’ve starting thinking to myself, what if it actually changes the way you think? What it I’m actually becoming vegetable in a non-metaphorical way? And what if my entire understanding of reality is completely distorted? Well, maybe it was something to do with watching that body snatchers film ‘cause it makes you paranoid, don’t it? Paranoid that everyone around you is a vegetable, and that you’re going to become a vegetable, too? But maybe that’s just the effect of the poisons, fucking with your head? Hard to tell unless you stop, and how can you do that unless you get away, get away completely from New Town, where they’re bound to already know all about you, they’ve been gathering intelligence all this time and there’s no good but to cut and run and get out past the hills, beyond where it is reasonable to look…

...Excuse me...I’ve gotta have a fag [sigh]...

...so yeah, I gotta have a look at getting back already. I’ll see you around, I expect? Adéu…”

by Ethel Alcohol

Juny 16-th 2017