The #TrippyContest2 Brief
This is my entry for the second TrippyContest hosted by @cannaweedness.
You are elected rep, in a coalition government. You have campaigned on approval of recreational use. Today is the final reading in the House and the law is expected to narrowly pass.
Before the final vote takes place, you have to plead in its favor one more time... just one issue: you are high as a kite.
Still waiting for that day indeed. One day, I swear it's gonna come off, some kind of acid rain may be the cause, don't know what the artist was planning. There sure is a message behind. As soon as the black fades away, stock still in our office chairs we'll feel the violent message burning on our tired eyes.
"I screwed you over! You started it!"
That was the artist's idea. Something of that nature.
"May? Have you finished?"
Hanna, wearing the sun on her shoulder like the virgin in the sky. Welcome to the age of Aquarius!
"Are you with us?"
"Somewhat. Hanna, something else: What was the price for this artwork?"
I take a deep drag from my joint and offer it to her. She doesn’t even say no or shake her head. She just stares at me. I point at the dark wall, Hanna follows my finger, then looks back at me as if I had lost it.
"I don't think that's supposed to be art."
"Yes, very clever, Hanna. However, look at the inscription."
“Yes, she’s responsible for that. That’s the artist. So, it’s art. And it’s on our homepage.”
I grab my phone, and read out what I had just found online:
“The same black rectangle can also be seen on the outside of the building – here featured as a recess in the façade – on the central pillar at the top of the steps. This second rectangle extends over the corner edge of the pillar. In this way Mangold has cleverly invented her own game of positive and negative, round and angular form, on the basis of Stephan Braunfels’s geometric architectural concept.“
Hanna hasn’t changed a bit, still gazing at me:
“Yeah, I am glad you still can read.”
“Can I, though?”
“All I know is you’re being late. To your own favorite poll.”
“Finish your freakin’ doobie, let’s do politics!”
I stand up from the bollard I was sitting on, almost falling back onto it. Hanna, quick as usual, grabs my arm and holds me up. She’s such a good assistant.
“Darn, May! Are you serious? Couldn’t you just pass on this one?”
“Every not smoked joint on this planet is a vote for a dictator somewhere else.”
“And in this mindset you’re going to-“
“Crack it!” I interrupt her. I’m gonna’ crack this freakin' poll!”
“One can only hope.”
She makes a follow-me-gesture with her index finger in front of her face. Be my white rabbit, Hanna, lead me through the hole. I follow. Two faces like blank walls behind safety glass. Robot people that force us to identify ourselves. Showing my ID, proving my existence … I’ve done this so many times, I can’t say if I am even there as my mind starts wondering along the glass walls, hitting the ceiling – has it ever been this high? Brief giggle for it is seemingly as I high as I am. It has never felt this high! What am I doing here again? I’m a representative! What do I represent? This house? My party? Myself? The people?
My speculations are harshly interrupted by a push.
“Who gave you that crap?” her cold whisper cuts the air. I can’t tell what we’re talking about. Wasn't she behind me a second ago? Hanna the Hurricane. To my left, to my right, facing me, I think she’s too close.
“May, I really need you to focus! Can you pull yourself together?”
“I kind of feel like you’re pulling yourself together and asunder, my pretty thunder.”
I giggle, she doesn’t.
This is exactly how I had imagined it. My laughter echoes through the wide corridor and I wonder what came first: A reason to laugh or just the laughter itself.
“Who gave you the weed, May? Was it yours?”
I shake my head, realisation beginning to dawn on me.
“That was Daniel.”
From the Opposition.
“Are you kidding me?”
“He’s gonna vote for our case.”
“If he hasn’t taken some of his own medicine, I guess …”
“Look …” I don’t really wanna say anything. I simply raise my voice for I know she won’t allow herself to argue in the reverberative entrance hall of the German Bundestag. However, I am the one who is frightened all the sudden. My voice, is it still creeping among the walls? What was I going to say? I think everyone is looking at me. Hanna grabs me, pulls me along with her. I am swirling around in her hurricane, letting go, stumbling over my own feet, trying to get myself under control … wondering under what? Control is an illusion, I have to laugh again but it frightens me to hear the sound, trying to get a glimpse if anyone’s looking at us whilst already somewhere else, letting go again, stumbling across Hanna’s feet now, losing it, grabbing on, laughing, frightened. Until a heavy door closes behind me and I am facing a big mirror in a cold bathroom. Washed-out concrete, cold light, eyes can see how quiet it is.
“You’re high as an U.F.O., May! Are you at least aware of that?”
I see my face nodding in the mirror. The movement is faster than my recognition of it. Like super 8, with not enough frames for a smooth display.
“Do you have the speech I wrote for you?”
Did I stop nodding before I started again or am I still nodding? Is Hanna making a lot of sense or am I making none? Yes, she asked about the speech. I think I was still nodding. So, do I have her speech? I check the pocket of my jacket, my fingers touch folded paper.
“Have you read it? Have you prepped it?”
There’s a following question to that. I have to stop nodding.
“Is there any part –“
“I haven’t finished my question, yet.”
“I haven’t read it. I trust you.”
“Well, too bad then!”
She checks her phone, clicks her tongue, lets out a deep sigh and then nods to herself.
“Too late. We have to get in there now. It’s your turn to speak in two minutes.”
Wait, what? Not even taking the time to adjust to the energies of this freaking room? I need a house-of-rep-prep. A cold rush of blood strikes through all my veins and for a second I am fully present, but only to sense the full power of my anxiety. My heart is thumping.
“I think, Daniel has played a trick on me
“Sure as hell he did.”
Hanna grabs me again, she should grab my job, what am I even doing here? How have I become such a mess? Not the weed, the government! What’s wrong with people? What’s wrong with me? I never noticed the architecture of this building before. The walls are screaming at me. YOU ARE WORTHLESS! Which wall was that? Come here, you crappy piece of concrete! Do you think that you are so worthy? Am I dying? My heart is racing to thoughts about my existence. Is that what people describe when they say they saw their life rushing in front of their eyes? Eye.
All the sudden I am in the eye of the storm. Another door closes behind me, a dull energy captures my heart. I think I feel my cardiac valve flapping. This is the house of representatives, Hanna ducks a little, darts over to her chair, vanishing behind the representatives of this house. I take a deep breath. ”There's really nobody here”, I convince myself. Heads are sunk into notebooks, pads and phones. I can do that. Nobody ever listens. Who cares? We are only physically present here. What we do, think and say here is not of interest. Just being. That is Buddhism, I guess. Pure being! If I weren’t so scared right now, I’d probably deem that a funny thought. My eyes turnes to the monitor showing the speaker’s time. I am up next. Someone from the opposition is speaking. I forgot his name, check the monitor again, but it has already vanished.
“Ms. May Benevolence, representative of the smoke.io-party, the floor is yours.”
My rubbery legs are trying to make sense of those much too steep steps while I make my way down to the gallow. I fish the paper out of my pocket, start unfolding it. Where did I get this?
I reach the lectern as the words leap out at me. Handwritten. Is that Daniels writing?
“I screwed you over!” it says. I turn it around, hoping to find Hanna’s speech.
“You started it.” it says.