Tenderloin Ghost

I am a ghost in your world. I have no memory, no definable past. All my potential futures will become manifest.

I exist in a perpetual state of present tense that is immediately forgotten the moment I experience it. A constant stream of stimuli assaults my senses without meaning or context; light impulses gathered by my optic nerves and interpreted in my brain as objects or beings, changes in air pressure that registers as sound, all of it constantly changing and seemingly random in nature. The disconnected images and ideas they represented used to frighten me until I realized they were created by me, a product of unregulated electrical energy in my neural pathways. My brain is an all-seeing eye, and I didn’t yet know how to filter the information to be of use to me.      

During the day I stay indoors to limit my exposure to extraneous stimuli. I intravenously inject cocaine and methamphetamine, which causes my molecules to vibrate at a higher frequency. When I am high my cellular structure becomes diffuse, bleeding slightly into the surrounding atmosphere and charging it with my energy. I carefully remove the hair from my body to enhance this effect. It allows me to move frictionlessly through the physical world. My body is pure white, unmarked by identifiable tattoos or scars, lithe and sinewy from years of amphetamine abuse, starved down to a perfect conduit for my thoughts. The less of me that exists physically, the closer I come to being pure thought.  

I move with singular purpose through the night. I conduct negative energy. I am a spectral impulse or idea more than a human form, taking my cues from the air around me. My mind is empty of awareness, operating in the moment with no consciousness or memory to provide a frame of reference to influence or guide me. Like a shark I move using electroperception, attuning myself to the environment and waiting for impulses to come into contact with my hyper-charged form: a laugh, heels on the pavement, the jingling of keys as they are raised to unlock a door. The drugs negate any notion of free will or pre-meditation. In that moment existence is pared down to a base action and unfolds in real time, a physiological reaction to stimuli as ancient as the tides.

In that moment I am truly free.



James Hippie

James Hippie lives and works in Orange, California. His work has appeared online at Zygote in My Coffee and Horror Sleaze Trash, and his chapbook The Punk Called Rock was published in 2018. James recommends the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 22:12