The Tracks, by Blue Sleighty
Blood streamed from the new hole where Jay had forced the dull, spurred point of what should have been a disposable syringe into the frequently tapped vein in the pit of his elbow. When he pushed the worn and dulled point through the scar tissue that had developed over the years of violation it had endured from his constant need to feed his soul the life sustenance he had grown to worship, he and the nameless random woman who was laying near enough to him when he delivered his dose could actually hear the crackling, ripping sound of the pencil lead sharp needle tearing through the thick calloused fiber of his being. And then, temporarily, all was good.
He could have gotten a new syringe. But, aside from being lazy- he didn’t want to share his drugs. Jay had found that most women would rather not shove a nail up their arm to get high. And- if they didn’t mind doing it- Jay found new company. He didn’t share dope with his female companions unless they bought it in the first place or they had an income. The women he met rarely had much in the way of initiative or life management skills. These were the ones that clamored around Jay, wanting him to love them at any cost. Jay preferred the weak, emotionally disturbed ones.
Jay was a very handsome and talented entertainer. When he was in high school, he wanted to be Elvis. Maureen dyed Jay’s hair ‘midnight blue’. She wanted him to be Elvis, too. He was a very good guitarist, and singer and he worked hard in his teen years, practicing every day with the other boys that he knew who shared similar dreams. He had taken drama courses throughout his academic years and had become a very good actor, speaker, musician, liar, exhibitionist and womanizer even before he graduated from high school.
The Vietnam War era found Jay coerced into joining the Marines. However when the completion of boot camp saw him faced with being shipped overseas to actually see combat, he decided it really was NOT for him. On the day Jay was to be shipped out, his weeping mother kept him company at the airport awaiting his flight out. Jay slipped into the men’s room as he and his mother, Maureen had planned and cut both of his wrists with the government issue knife he wore per regulation on his belt. The cowardly faked suicide attempt earned him a dishonorable discharge and a rather negative psychological evaluation. As his momma’s only son, however, he remained free from duty and was not incarcerated.
His handsome features and sculptured body certainly had their advantages. Jay was able to stay employed without much effort. As his professional career developed and he learned the ropes of the entertainment world through experience- he chose to be second rate. It afforded him the choice of being excellent or not. It was much less pressure that way. No one expected much- and he surely did not intend to at that time and never would- give much. Jay was conceited and arrogant. He had become very muscularly toned and of a pleasing physique in boot camp. He was NEVER at a loss for company- sexually or otherwise. Jay grew far too fond of and secure in his more superficial attributes. For, alas- male or female- physical beauty fades with years.
In late 1960’s America- life was pretty simple for Jay. It was black and white. He had at a very young age simplified his life and his manhood to a manageable list of needs that would cripple him and his development as a human forever. His drug. His music. The company of a beautiful woman. If he had those three things- the rest just fell into place, including oxygen, water, food and lastly- love. Because even though it was the so called “Summer of Love” – Jay loved no one as much as he loved himself. But- he had little choice. He was raised that way.
Jay’s mother loved him as much or more than any mommy could love her boy. Maureen was proud of Jay from the day he emerged slimy, blue and screaming from her womb. Every day he grew more handsome, and with the development of each of Jay’s fine features, mother Maureen fell deeper in love and became more proud of him until soon he was the light of her life and her reason for living.
Jay was not her only child. She had first her daughter, Lenore, and before her daughter, she had a husband that she may have loved once- until Jay came. As Jay grew up- Maureen lost interest in all but him. Her daughter was forgotten along with her husband.
Jay’s father found new love and happiness without much difficulty. Jay’s sister did not fare so well and became one of the names on the long list of casualties in the wake of the evilness of Jay’s existence.
Maureen looked in the mirror. She could see Jay’s reflection beside her. Everything that she loved about herself she identified in Jay physically, and as she manipulated him, even her character began to personify herself within the boy. There were times when Jay was like a puppet, repeating the wisdom, wit and charm that Maureen imparted to him and Jay accepted it like a warm enema- infusing the intruding concoction that was his mother into him like embalming fluid – absorbing her into his tender tissue from within – while anything that was ever really him was thoroughly rinsed away and flushed down the toilet.
Soon no two were ever so alike. Maureen had no other men in her life. The women in Jay’s life rarely stayed long. The competition was too fierce and as there was little to begin with, there was no love left over.