Had me a rage party at the Psychic Vomitorium today. The Psychic Vomitorium is where you go when you can't afford a proper round of the Talking Cure with a licensed therapist. So instead you find yourself outside a small office on the second floor of a Stone Mountain Baptist church. Kill a few minutes in the waiting room flipping through mugshot books of absentee fathers or standard issue bibles. Eventually you get buzzed into the Psychic Vomitorium. By who? Beats me. Been coming here for the better part of six months and still have zero clue. Once inside the door locks, a single bulb flickers the yellow of an ancient page, and you are surrounded by shelves of skulls with all the windows replaced with image distorting mirrors. One part ossuary, one part fun house. In the middle of the room there's a single desk with a built in chair straight out of some high school somewhere. You take a seat. You wait. Eventually one of the skulls will begin to whisper. If you wait a little longer other skulls will join in. Listen. They are the voices of your family's ghosts, your ex's nightmares, your lost friends prayers in the dark. When the moment is right you get up from your seat, select the skull that sings for you, examine it as if you were vamping Hamlet, pop open the jaw, hold it up to your mouth, and then scream.
For as long as you can and straight into its mouth.
When you're done screaming you usually feel - 'clean', 'awake', 'at peace'.
Sometimes it may take two skulls and if you're especially damaged maybe even a third.
Towards the end of my hour I was ankle deep in shattered bones. Fragments of a dozen skulls glowed red with radioactive anger. Black smoke singed the eyes. The remaining skulls on the shelves were silent. None dared risk catching my attention with their song. In the mirror window was a beast with rubber band limbs and a smile straight out of Francis Bacon. It asks me to trade places with it. To let it out. Stretch its legs for a spell and breathe in the light radiating from the other side of the reflection. The other window mirrors are a dwarf version of me with a head you'd expect to see bolts of telepathic lightning emanate and a dashing shadow with a comic book superhero physique. Unlike the beast reflection they don't ask to be let out. The dwarf begs me not to look at him while the perfect shadow ignores me.
"You don't have to let me out," the beast purrs, "all you have to do is step inside with me. Just a quick visit to a world where nothing can hurt you. Become the flame with me and watch your sorrows burn into the silence of ash."
I have zero sleep clocked in the last 24 hours. I have a rough day still ringing in my ears and a sick mom to go home to. The fire sounds tempting but I remind my reflection as well as myself - "Yeah, but I'd watch all my joys burn up as well. Been there. Done that. You had your shot. Now we're trying things my way."
"Suit yourself, kiddo," the beast winks causing one eye to balloon out and snap shut into a scar.
There is a buzz. Then a click of locks. The door swings open. My session at the Psychic Vomitorium complete.
As I step out of the room and right before the door shuts itself behind me I hear the beast shout - "Until next time, Jack."