the weed bull – a short story

“Let’s order pizza. On me,” Nathan saw the expression on Alex’s face as soon as he opened the door.

      Laura leaped over to the computer.

     “Let’s watch something trippy,” Laura suggested. “Oh, we should call Seth and see what he’s doing.”

     She picked up the phone and Alex was amazed at the speed with which she dialed the number. Although they did have enough practice calling the number.

      Seth said he wasn’t doing anything and would be over as fast as he could climb the two flights of stairs.

      “I found this amazing documentary on the biggest things in space. It’ll blow your mind,” Nathan said as he set up the DivX player.

      The opening of the documentary had a series of quick cuts of flying through space, to entering a Black Hole, to jutting in and out of an asteroid belt.

     Alex felt like he was experiencing all of those things and that he was flying through space at ridiculously intense speeds.

      “This was made for people on drugs,” Alex smiled.

      Laura giggled, “I know.”

      “The Cosmic Web,” the narrator began, “is one of the most mysterious and intriguing features of the Universe. Scientists believe that the Universe is held together by a framework of invisible strings of matter with pockets of void spotted throughout. The web is as big as the universe itself, measuring some 14 billion light years across-“

      The image on the screen began panning out from our planet, out through the solar system, and out through the Milky Way, and then faster and faster it raced to finally encompass the entire Universe.

     It did look like a web.

     There were long threads of matter with nothing in the space between.

      Alex suddenly had a crazy epiphany.

Continue reading

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Google Glasses – Never Stop Playing – Ouroboros

Watch these two videos and then watch Ouroboros. Augmented Reality glasses … video games we can take with us anywhere … it’s only a matter of time before we start creating worlds to jack ourselves into ….. and thus: Ouroboros.

Google Augmented Reality Glasses

Playstation Vita – “Never Stop Playing”

And my short film – Ouroboros Season One

‘Magic Mushrooms’ Can Improve Psychological Health Long Term

Via TIME

Image Source: Getty Images

The psychedelic drug in magic mushrooms may have lasting medical and spiritual benefits, according to new research from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The mushroom-derived hallucinogen, called psilocybin, is known to trigger transformative spiritual states, but at high doses it can also result in “bad trips” marked by terror and panic. The trick is to get the dose just right, which the Johns Hopkins researchers report having accomplished.

In their study, the Hopkins scientists were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers, which offered long-lasting psychological growth and helped people find peace in their lives — without the negative effects.

(PHOTOS: Inside Colorado’s Marijuana Industry)

“The important point here is that we found the sweet spot where we can optimize the positive persistent effects and avoid some of the fear and anxiety that can occur and can be quite disruptive,” says lead author Roland Griffiths, professor of behavioral biology at Hopkins.

Giffiths’ study involved 18 healthy adults, average age 46, who participated in five eight-hour drug sessions with either psilocybin — at varying doses — or placebo. Nearly all the volunteers were college graduates and 78% participated regularly in religious activities; all were interested in spiritual experience.

Fourteen months after participating in the study, 94% of those who received the drug said the experiment was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39% said it was the single most meaningful experience.

Critically, however, the participants themselves were not the only ones who saw the benefit from the insights they gained: their friends, family member and colleagues also reported that the psilocybin experience had made the participants calmer, happier and kinder.

Ultimately, Griffiths and his colleagues want to see if the same kind of psychedelic experience could help ease anxiety and fear over the long term in cancer patients or others facing death. And following up on tantalizing clues from early research on hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, mescaline and psilocybin in the 1960s (which are all now illegal), researchers are also studying whether transcendental experiences could help spur recovery from addiction and treat other psychological problems like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

For Griffiths’ current experiment, participants were housed in a living room-like setting designed to be calm, comfortable and attractive. While under the influence, they listened to classical music on headphones, wore eyeshades and were instructed to “direct their attention inward.”

Each participant was accompanied by two other research-team members: a “monitor” and an “assistant monitor,” who both had previous experience with people on psychedelic drugs and were empathetic and supportive. Before the drug sessions, the volunteers became acquainted enough with their team so that they felt familiar and safe. Although the experiments took place in the Hopkins hospital complex in order to ensure prompt medical attention in the event that it was needed, it never was.

As described by early advocates of the use of psychedelics — from ancient shamans to Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead — the psilocybin experience typically involves a sense of oneness with the universe and with others, a feeling of transcending time, space and other limitations, coupled with a sense of holiness and sacredness. Overwhelmingly, these experiences are difficult to put into words, but many of Griffiths’ participants said they were left with the sense that they understood themselves and others better and therefore had greater compassion and patience.

(MORE: A Mystery Partly Solved: How the ‘Club Drug’ Ketamine Lifts Depression So Quickly)

“I feel that I relate better in my marriage. There is more empathy — a greater understanding of people and understanding their difficulties and less judgment,” said one participant. “Less judging of myself, too.”

Another said: “I have better interaction with close friends and family and with acquaintances and strangers. … My alcohol use has diminished dramatically.”

To zero in on the “sweet spot” of dosing, Griffiths started half the volunteers on a low dose and gradually increased their doses over time (with placebo sessions randomly interspersed); the other half started on a high dose and worked their way down.

Those who started on a low dose found that their experiences tended to get better as the dose increased, probably because they learned what to expect and how to handle it. But people who started with high doses were more likely to experience anxiety and fear (though these feeling didn’t last long and sometimes resolved into euphoria or a sense of transcendence).

“If we back the dose down a little, we have just as much of the same positive effects. The properties of the mystical experience remain the same, but there’s a fivefold drop in anxiety and fearfulness,” Griffiths says.

Some past experiments with psychedelics in the ’60s used initial high doses of the drugs — the “blast people away with a high dose” model, says Griffiths — to try to treat addiction. “Some of the early work in addictions was done with the idea of, ‘O.K., let’s model the ‘bottoming-out’ crisis and make use of the dark side of [psychedelic] compounds. That didn’t work,” Griffiths says.

It may even have backfired: other research on addictions shows that coercion, humiliation and other attempts to produce a sense of “powerlessness,” tend to increase relapse and treatment dropout, not recovery. (And the notorious naked LSD encounter sessions conducted with psychopaths made them worse, too.)

Griffiths is currently seeking patients with terminal cancer to participate in his next set of experiments (for more information on these studies, click here); because psychedelics often produce a feeling of going beyond life and death, they are thought to be especially likely to help those facing the end of life. Griffiths is also studying whether psilocybin can help smokers quit.

Griffiths and other researchers like him are hoping to bring the study of psychedelics into the future. They want to build on the promise that some of the early research showed, while avoiding the bad rep and exaggerated claims — for example, that LSD was harmless and could usher in world peace — that became associated with the drugs when people started using them recreationally in the 1960s. The resulting negative publicity helped shut down the burgeoning research.

This time around, caution may be paying off. Dr. Jerome Jaffe, America’s first drug czar, who was not involved with the research, said in a statement, “The Hopkins psilocybin studies clearly demonstrate that this route to the mystical is not to be walked alone. But they have also demonstrated significant and lasting benefits. That raises two questions: could psilocybin-occasioned experiences prove therapeutically useful, for example in dealing with the psychological distress experienced by some terminal patients?

“And should properly-informed citizens, not in distress, be allowed to receive psilocybin for its possible spiritual benefits, as we now allow them to pursue other possibly risky activities such as cosmetic surgery and mountain-climbing?”

The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Bonging with the Bard: Shakespeare Smoked Marijuana?

Via Harvard Magazine

Perhaps the second-most-cultivated plant in Elizabethan England, after wheat, was hemp—Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana. The sovereign herself encouraged its growth. Hemp fibers were fashioned into rope, paper, garments, and sails. “Queen Elizabeth’s navy ran on that stuff,” says Clay professor of scientific archaeology Nikolaas J. van der Merwe, who recently helped focus high technology on fragments unearthed from a literary dig to suggest that the Elizabethans may also have smoked marijuana for its mind-altering effects. One smoker may even have been William Shakespeare.

With colleagues Francis Thackeray and Tommie van der Merwe (not a relation), van der Merwe analyzed scrapings from the bowls and stems of 24 pipes dug from sites in and about Stratford-on-Avon. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust provided fragments of kaolin (white clay) pipes, some unearthed from the garden at Shakespeare’s residence and all dating from the 1600s. “There’s an archaeological dating system for pipes, based on shape and the diameters of the bowl, stem, and stem bore,” van der Merwe explains. “I scraped things out of them—mostly soil—but you could see little black flecks on the inside of the bowls.”

When subjected to a chemical assay using gas chromatography and a mass spectrometer—as summarized in the South African Journal of Science—these flecks proved most interesting. Though cannabis itself degrades fairly quickly, cannabidiol and cannabinol are stable combustion products produced when it burns. (Van der Merwe has detected these substances in 600-year-old Ethiopian pipes.) Eight of the 24 pipe fragments showed evidence suggestive of such marijuana-related compounds.

Unexpectedly, cocaine also appeared on two specimens, including one from the Stratford home of John Harvard’s mother. Cocaine was introduced from South America to Europe during the sixteenth century, the authors explain, “initially through Spanish conquistadors who in turn were raided by English explorers such as Sir Francis Drake, a contemporary of Shakespeare.” Other pipes showed nicotine, implying the smoking of another New World plant, tobacco.

While no one knows whether Shakespeare himself smoked any of the pipes in question, the data of course provide fodder for speculation. The researchers muse on the phrase “noted weed” in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76, which also mentions “compounds strange.” They ask if the “Tenth Muse” of Sonnet 38 might refer to chemical inspiration.

Scholars like Cogan University Professor Stephen Greenblatt, an authority on Shakespeare and general editor of the Norton Shakespeare, are amused but not persuaded. “I suppose it’s remotely possible that Shakespeare and his family were getting a buzz from what they were smoking, but I very much doubt that it played any meaningful role in his life,” Greenblatt says. “Shakespeare never mentions pipes, tobacco, or smoking anywhere in his poems or plays, in contrast with Edmund Spenser and other writers of the period. Alcohol is a much more likely stimulant for Shakespeare’s imagination, and even that is probably unimportant. The seventeenth-century gossip John Aubrey described Shakespeare as not much of a partygoer—when he was invited to a debauch, he’d beg off, saying he was in pain. More likely, he was working on another play.”

~Craig Lambert

Ouroboros – Cylcle One (Novel)

If you’re interested in what the story of my Ouroboros webisode series is going to be like I made the first season (or Cycle One) into novel form.  There will be four Cycles and each Cycle is the same time period, just from the point of view of a different character.  Cycle One revolves around Ava Fields.  Let me know what you think.  

 

______________

OUROBOROS

– Cycle One –

Chapter 1

 

The apartment door opened sending a rush of fresh air down the hallway and into the kitchen where he was sitting; staring forward.

The door creaked lazily closed and Ava Fields entered the kitchen.

“What’s the matter sweetie?” He called to her from the table.

Ava walked over to the kitchen sink and began washing her hands.

Ava sighed.  The bright bubbles sparkled in the dim light. The warm water coaxed the soap from her hands, landing loudly in the metal sink.  The sparkling, red foam circled the drain and finally disappeared beyond the metal grate.  Ava poured more soap into her hands and resumed lathering.

“Is that,” he paused, “blood?”

The thunderous sound of the water landing hard against the metal lulled Ava’s racing thoughts, until she remembered her husband had asked her a question.

“I hit a dog,” she almost couldn’t get the words past her quivering lips.

“When?” He asked, staring forward.

“On the way home.”

“Did you kill it?”

“Eventually.”

“What do you mean?”

She watched the waves of soap circle and blend with the pink water in the sink before it slipped down the drain, into darkness.

“It was still alive when I got out to check on it, but it was bad,” she paused to lather up her hands again, “Really bad.”

She stood in silence for a few moments, watching the light pink, now nearly all white, bubbles as they swirled around the sink, waiting to be devoured by the drain.

“I’d run over its stomach,” she began, “and its insides were spilling out the hole in his skin.  There wasn’t anything I could do.  I had to kill it!”

“So what’d you do?”

Ava stopped the water and watched the last of the now completely white soap slide down into the drain.  There was still the sparkle of a few bubbles at the edge of the drain and Ava started the water again to make sure they didn’t escape.

“I hit it a couple times with the tire iron in our trunk.”

“Nice.”

“Steven!” Ava whipped around to stare at her husband. “That’s awful.”

She noticed her breathing was coming in ragged gasps.  She ripped open her purse and pulled a small pill bottle from the centre compartment.  She downed two pills and chased them with a glass of water.

“I didn’t want to hurt it, but it was already dying and I . . .”

“Did it have any tags on it?  Do you know whose dog it was?”

Ava turns back to face the back of Steven’s head.

“No,” she swallowed. “There were no tags.  He was quite large though.  It was probably an outside dog.  It took me a long time to drag it down to the River.

“You dumped it in the river?”

“What else was I supposed to do?  Leave it there?”

“And you’re sure it didn’t have any tags.”

“Steven, I’m sure,” she tried to calm her rapid breathing and took a few more sips of water. “But I’ll ask around to see if anyone in the building is missing a dog.”
Their dog, Charlie, looked up from his place on the couch.  That was his favourite place; lying on top of the seat cushion with his head dangling slightly over the side.  His big eyes were what did it to Ava.  She began sobbing.

“Hey.  I’m sorry,” Steven consoled from his seat at the kitchen table, still staring forward. “It must’ve been an awful feeling to have to kill that dog.”

“I just kept thinking about Charlie and how I would feel if he were missing and I didn’t know what had happened to him.  Someone’s missing their dog tonight and it’s all my fault.”

“No, it’s not,” his voice was soft and reassuring.  “What was the dog doing without tags or a leash and where were the owners?  It sounds like you hit a stray and if they’re caught by the humane society; a lot of them are euthanized anyway.  It’s not your fault.”

Muffled music began to thud its way through the thin walls of the apartment.  She could feel anger welling up inside her chest.  The dissonant thudding happened quite frequently, and Ava hated it.

“They’re playing that awful music again.”

She wasn’t aware of it, but she was gritting her teeth together so tightly as to be audible.

“Come on, Sweetie. It’s not that bad.”

“And I can smell their incense through the wall.  I bet they only burn those to cover the smell of the pot.”  She walked over to the kitchen wall and gave it two firm raps with bed of her palm. “You’re not fooling anybody!”

“Relax, Ava.  Let’s just go into the other room and watch Leno.”

She exhaled and her body slumped, resting against the kitchen counter. “Yah, okay.”

“I’ll be in right away.”

“Come ‘ere, Charlie.  We’re going to watch Headlines on Leno.  Do you like Headlines?  Yes you do.”

Charlie raised his head in a curious manner, only to lay it back down again, letting it dangle over the edge of the couch.

Chapter 2

      The sound of the thudding dubstep surrounded Seth more completely than the crowd of people sandwiched in around him. Strobe lights flickered and their bodies seemed to move in dislocated, jerky ways along to the poly-rhythms.

Seth closed his eyes, and then realized, he was so stoned that he was closing his eyes in his head.

His eyes shot open and Seth Brock was standing against the wall in Alex Sunderland’s apartment.  They were listening to music while Alex’s roommate Nathan played Dynasty Warriors 4.

Seth closed his eyes again, and he was transported back to the rave. All the people were dancing, and he felt an odd sense of community in that moment.  Of belonging.

      Do I belong in my dreams? The electricity in his brain wondered.

The dancers suddenly stopped and turned to stare at Seth, who was now sitting on a couch in the middle of the dance floor.

They all turned their heads at the same time to a space on the couch, just beside him.  He shifted to see what they were looking at.

It was a dog.

There was a dog sitting on the couch beside him.

The dog opened its mouth but the sound that escaped was not a bark as much as it was a searing pain on the inside of his ears; as though someone were digging their nails into his brain while simultaneously shaking his head from side to side.

“What are you?”

Beneath the dog’s white collar a sentence appeared in white text; and in Helvetica no less.

<<I am nothing, I am everything>>

“What do you want?”

<<Video Games = Porn>>

The dog moved closer to him, and Seth tensed.

“What?”

<<You are a tiny insignificant nothing>>
The pain returned inside his head.
<<You should kill yourself>>

“What?”

<<You’re not going to listen to a dog are you?>>

The white text dissolved away and another sentence blurred itself into existence.

<<Cause that would be crazy>>

Alex’s voice jolted him out of his meandering thoughts.  He was back in the apartment. Continue reading

Ouroboros Script – Episode 4

I’m going through my first draft of my upcoming webisode series Ouroboros, and revising it.  I changed a lot of the dialogue and extended a monologue about the Eternal Return.  Please let me know what you think about it.  Alex and Nathan kind of serve as a Greek Chorus in this series.  They describe the concepts dealt with in the series in more conversational terms; kind of reiterating the points.  But yah, here’s Episode 4 of Ouroboros:

**sorry for the formatting. When I bring it into WordPress it messes it all up.


__________________

FADE IN:

INT. ALEX’S APARTMENT – 501 – DAY

There’s a spark from a match being lit and Alex lights a stick of incense. Nathan is playing Silent Hill 2 and drinking an energy drink as Alex is sitting beside a small table, loading a bowl from a baggy hidden inside an ornate WOODEN CHINESE BOX.  Alex goes to sit on the bed and opens up Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. He pages through it a bit while Nathan plays the game and then he speaks up.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Are we whole beings?

NATHAN LEVY

What do you mean?

(staring ahead, not really paying attention)

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Are we whole beings? Or is it our brains that make us who we are?  And it just controls the appendages from a command centre behind our eyes.

(Beat)

Do we have a soul, or do we just think we do because possess the ability to reason abstractly?

NATHAN LEVY

I’m not sure.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Maybe, in some long ago point in history, all humans collectively thought: “you know, we should probably believe in some higher power, because otherwise this is all we have, and that’s kind of depressing”.  Maybe the idea of a soul came about as an evolutionary side effect of our developing complex brains that could conceptualize abstract things and we just created this warm and fuzzy idea of something more when really

(beat)

we’re just animals like all other creatures on Earth.  Maybe in another 5 million years birds will evolve brains that can conceptualize and they’ll have their own bird deity and go to war with other birds who don’t believe in the same bird God.

Alex takes a drag from the pipe and passes it to Nathan.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

And I mean, what is consciousness anyway?  Are we just a brain trapped inside a larger inanimate machine made up of a torso, arms, legs and a head that wouldn’t be able to function without the brain?  And what about all of the processes going on inside the body?  Involuntary breathing, the Krebs cycle, blinking, sweat secretion, saliva . . . Jesus, all of these things . . . how are we not aware of them.  And that’s assuming we exist to be aware of those things in the first place!  What if we’re not aware of them because we don’t actually exist?

NATHAN LEVY

Yup

He’s obviously not paying attention; he’s too absorbed with the video game.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Yesterday I started reading this book on the Eternal Return.

NATHAN LEVY

What?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

The Eternal Return!  As I understand it, it’s the theory that matter and time is finite and, in a universe, there are finite configurations of matter’s changes in state.  So sooner or later some changes will recur and using that logic, earlier philosophers like the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Greeks thought of reality in a cyclical framework.  Oh, check this out . . .

Alex grabs a book from his bookshelf and opens it.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Sir Thomas Browne said: The world was before the Creation, and at an end before it had a beginning; and thus was I dead before I was alive, though my grave be England, my dying place was Paradise, and Eve miscarried of me before she conceived of Cain

NATHAN LEVY

(In a “bravo” sort of way)

Woah!  Trippy.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

I know!

(Beat)

Although, I often wondered why matter would come back in the same configuration?  Why couldn’t the next time around I be a fish? Or rather than humans, maybe cows become the more evolved life form. And I mean, that could very well be one of the state changes too, I guess.  ‘Cause maybe if given a long enough space of time, we would always come back to the atoms and molecules were are at this moment.

(Long beat)

Nathan is intently playing Silent Hill 2 and doesn’t respond.  Alex puts the book away.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

What did you do today?

Nathan burps.

NATHAN LEVY

(Says as he burps)

Nothing.

(Beat as he breathes in and at the top of his breath he holds it a moment and then as he breathes out he says:)

I polished off a bag of Doritos.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

(Beat)

Nice.

There’s a muffled KNOCK at the door and Alex looks up from his book.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Do you hear something?

Nathan shakes his head.  There’s a beep as Nathan gets a text and he pulls out his cellphone and checks who is calling.

NATHAN LEVY

Seth’s outside.

Alex leaves the room.  Nathan continues playing Silent Hill 2 quietly.

The door opens and Alex and Seth both enter the room. Seth smiles meagerly at Nathan as he sits down on the bed. Seth opens his backpack and pulls out a baggy filled with smaller one gram baggies.

SETH BROCK

The regular?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Are you okay?

Seth sighs.

SETH BROCK

I’ve been better.

NATHAN LEVY

What happened?

SETH BROCK

The regular, guys?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Yeah.

(Cautious and slightly unnerved by Seth’s mood.)

Hey, what’s going on?  Is it serious?

SETH BROCK

It’s nothing.

Nathan pauses his game and turns to face Seth.

NATHAN LEVY

Dude, I’m detecting some major negative energy.  Just chill for a bit.  We have some pizza coming

ALEX SUNDERLAND

And we were just about to start Waking Life.

NATHAN LEVY

I haven’t seen it.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Nathan hasn’t seen it.  And look . . . I just loaded this bowl.

Seth sighs again.

SETH BROCK

Okay, yah.  Let’s chill.

Seth is still looking very detached and preoccupied.  He’s just staring forward.  They pass around the pipe and each take a hit.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

You know, I realized something at work today.

NATHAN LEVY

Yah?  What?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Speech is really trippy.

NATHAN LEVY

Why is that?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Uh! . . . Because!

(In a way that really means: you should know this.)

Speech is just sounds that we group together and a certain amount of people agree to what the meanings are, which is . . . duh duh duh daaa: language.

NATHAN LEVY

Woah!  I never thought of that before.

NOTE: Long pause as the group lets the epicness of that thought sink in.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

And that’s why I’ve never understood censorship.  That annoying beep that “apparently” masks the meaning of the fucks or the cunts.  How is fuck fundamentally different then saying fog.  You shape your mouth a little differently. Oooh that’s so horrible. And, if language is just the communication of meaning, then that beep is obscene as well since we know that it must be a naughty word or else why would they censor it? The N-word being a phenomenal example of this.  News anchors say it all the time on the television.  They say N-word and immediately you think it. So they’ve placed that word in your head without having to say it.  How is that any different than saying N-Word.  You can’t say the N-Word, so you say N-Word which has the exact same meaning as the N-Word.   People shouldn’t be offended by words.  Words are sounds people! You choose to let those words have power.  If someone says something with the intent to hurt or maliciously offend you, then that guy is a fucking asshole and isn’t worth your time anyway, ‘cause if you get upset and fly off the handle, he wins.

NATHAN LEVY

Huh, interesting.  What do you think, Seth?

Short blips of ANIMA come into the shot.  Close up of her mouth whispering into Seth’s ear and she smiles.

NATHAN LEVY

Seth?

SETH BROCK

Huh, what?
(He’s pulled out of his thoughts.)

Both Nathan and Alex laugh, but Seth continues to stare forward.  There’s an awkward silence and Alex suggests:

ALEX SUNDERLAND

We should probably start the movie, huh?

Anima continues to whisper in Seth’s ear.

NATHAN LEVY

Good idea.

Alex grabs the remote and TURNS ON the television.  Alex starts laughing.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Fuck man, I can’t believe you haven’t seen this movie.  It’s trippy as hell.  This movie really changed my mind about a great many things.

(beat)

Actually wait, before we start I need to talk to you guys about something.  I’ve never told this to anyone, cause I don’t think anyone would believe me.  But, I can see the future.

NATHAN LEVY

Fuck off.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

No, I’m serious. I mean, I don’t think I’m clairvoyant or psychic or whatever, I think it can be explained, I just . . . I can’t.  I have these dreams that are incredibly vivid but very mundane, like everyday kind of shit happens. I’ll go to work.  I have discussions with customers, my boss will flip out. And then a week later, sometimes only a couple days later, exactly what I dreamed will happen.  And I mean down to the same words in a conversation.  I mean verbatim.  I’ll see customers in my dreams who I know I’ve never met before and then they’ll be in line, I mean right there, in the flesh, in the exact same order they were in my dream.

NATHAN LEVY

You do too many drugs buddy.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Come on, Nathan.  I’m pouring my heart out here.  This is really fucking with my head.  At first I think it’s Déjà vu, but that’s remembering something that already happened, right?  I know that there’s no way this could’ve happened before. Yet, I remember it.  But how am I aware of remembering that I already experienced these events before? It’s like some kinda circle. I remember something that hasn’t happened but when it does happen I’m aware that I can feel myself dreaming.  Does that mean I’m a character in an earlier self’s dream? Or, I’ve considered this too, what if there are numerous realities that are all parallel to each other but are disjointed at slightly different spaces in time.  Like tons of lanes on a freeway and the cars are going at different speeds. Maybe I’m picking up information while I’m sleeping from a different lane on the highway.  But that means that we never really make any choices because everything is predetermined.

NATHAN LEVY

Well, do you remember this particular conversation?

Alex looks off into nothingness, and sort of sighs.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Yah.

Seth interrupts Alex.

                              SETH BROCK

What would you do if there were no consequences?

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Uh, what do you mean no consequences?

SETH BROCK

I mean no consequences, or if there were consequences they wouldn’t apply to you.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Hmm.  Probably drop kick my boss.  Throw coffee on some of the customers in Drive-Thru.

SETH BROCK

Would you kill someone?

Anima is behind him.  She mouths the words along with Seth as he says them.

NOTE: Half two-shot, half close-up of Anima’s mouth saying “someone”)

(Turns to face Alex)

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Um, I don’t know.  Probably not.  Even if I could get away with it I don’t think I could ever kill someone.

NATHAN LEVY

Yah, me neither.

SETH BROCK

(stone-faced)

No?  You’re not at all curious about what it would feel like to snuff out a life.  To touch something alive and breathing one moment and cold and lifeless the next?

For the phrases “snuff out a life” and “cold and lifeless the next” there’s a close up on Anima’s mouth with Seth’s voice over top.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

I can’t say that I have.

(Beat)

You’re kidding right?

There’s a slight pause and then Seth’s shudders slightly.  His face turns from a serious scowl to a faint, unnerved smile.

SETH BROCK

Yah, I’m just fucking with you.

Returns back to his seating position and stare forward.

ALEX SUNDERLAND

Um . . . let’s watch the movie.

FADE OUT: