Something about her changed. Just a second ago she was some whacko talking spiritual nonsense and now she was a fucking gangster. To say a chill went up my spine would be an understatement because it was more like the full force of a January blizzard. The muscles in my buttocks and testicles clenched to prevent leakage and my throat went dry for a second. She was still relaxed but at the same time serious, like if I didn’t sit down it would be my ass–which there wasn’t much left of—so I did what she said. Reluctantly, might I add.
“Alright, I’m sitting down,” I said. “Now what?”
“Cross your legs, rest your hands in your laps, and close your eyes.”
“Yeah, like I can meditate all my problems away.”
“Do it.” Her tone turned serious again.
“Alright, jeez.” I did as she told me.
“This will be a guided meditation, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Together, we will get to the root cause of all of your pain, all of your suffering, all of your lies, and expose them for what they really are.
“Now, imagine you’re in a tropical forest walking through the trees. The trees are vibrant green with fresh fruit hanging and ripe for picking. Monkey’s, orangutans, and other forms of wildlife go about their daily interactions without a care in the world. You come across a small waterfall that flows into a little pond. In that pond, there are rocks lined up that create a bridge, one you can hop across.
“You walk toward the pond, take off all your clothes, and get in. Within minutes, your shoulders relax, then your back, then your pelvis, then your legs, and then your feet. You take a slow and deep breath and clear all thoughts from your head. When any thoughts do come up, you simply let them pass. Don’t resist them, don’t change them, don’t even get involved with them. Let them pass as if your wife were talking to you. You hear them, you see them, but you don’t listen to them.”
I chuckled at that last bit, I never used to listen to my wife. Which was probably one of the reasons she cheated on me.
She continued, “Your whole body is relaxed. You’re sitting up straight. Your mind is blank. And all thoughts pass through effortlessly, not staying longer than they were meant to. Take slow, deep breaths until everything starts to fade away.
“Now, open your mind’s eye. What do you see?”
“I-I see the place you described. Everything. The pond, the forest, the waterfall. I see it all.”
“Good.” She said. “Now, here’s where the real experience begins. You are not alone. There is another with you, waiting patiently for you to uncover its presence.”
“What?” I said with a shaky voice. “Who? Where?”
“The one watching you is close. Closer than you think.”
“How? I don’t see anybody. I’m the only one here.”
“Look within, and you’ll find the other.”
“Look within. . .” I looked down at my reflection in the pond. At first, it was me but a few seconds later it winked and smiled a sinister smile then emerged from the water and landed on one of the rocks.
“We meet at last, Jason.” It said. “Honestly, I never thought you would see me. That is until a certain fortune-teller guided you.”
“Who are you?” I asked. “What is this?”
“Who do I look like, asswipe?” It said. “I’m you. Well, the other side of you. The real side of you that you’ve tried to suppress.” “It continued, “if you wanna name, I suppose you can call me Maslow since I am you.”
“Is it really?” Maslow chuckled. “Alright, I’ll prove it to you. Let’s go through all the times you’ve been reduced to dirt. We’ll start from the beginning.” He cleared his throat in a theatrical manner, “Remember the time in kindergarten when Billy stepped on your slice of lemon cake then put his boogers in it? Remember the time in elementary school when the fifth graders used to give you wedgies and throw you in the garbage cans? Remember in middle school when everyone in class used to make jokes on you and use you for target practice when they slingshot papers using rubber bands? Remember all the times in high school the basketball team jumped and robbed you after school, and the football team stripped you naked and took nude pics and made you do their homework? They said that if you didn’t, they would post the photos all over the school and tell everybody about the little dick you have.
“And let’s not forget college! You thought it was all gonna be better there, didn’t you? Remember when one of the cool guys got you to join the fraternity? Remember the hazing? The streaking? The homework? The clean-up after parties? Your wrecked room? Oh, and that girl you liked. The one who smelled like cinnamon? The only one who was nice to you out of everybody? Remember her? Remember when Willy was laying that sweet dick in all her holes in your bedroom? Yeah, I bet you do. You watched the whole thing, didn’t you? You worthless piece of shit. Remember when Willy winked at you and told you to take notes on how to stroke that pussy? That sweet, cinnamon pussy you were never gonna get because you were too much of a bitch to fight for what was yours–well, what could’ve been yours.
“And let’s not forget your brother, Jody!” He cleared his throat in a mocking manner while my tears flooded into the pond, “The time he broke your mom’s vase and blamed you for it. The time he slapped a girl’s ass in the hallway and made you take the heat. The time he pushed you out the treehouse when you were kids. The time he called all your friends and told them you were gay and that he caught you sucking off a tranny in the back of the school. The time after the bullies kicked your ass and he pissed on you and told you not to tell anybody or else he was gonna get you gang-raped. The time-”
“Shut up,” I whispered.
Maslow flashed toward me and stopped within an inch from my face, the suddenness of his nearness forced me to the ground, “What?! I don’t speak pussy! Unless I’m in it, of course, but, thanks to you, that’s never happened, now has it?” He spat in my face, “Virgin.” He continued, “You worthless bum, you deserve to die in a ditch. Sound familiar?” He whispered in my ear, “You’re nothing but a waste of space, a disgrace to the nature of existence, and mom’s death was your fault. If you manned up and took responsibility like you were supposed to, she’d still be alive today. And you know what else? After I kill you, I’m gonna take over this body and I’m gonna kill every last family member. Starting with that ex-wife of yours.”
“Shut up!” I clenched my fist and punch him as hard as I could. Maslow flew into the cave behind the waterfall and I stood up with labored breathing and a trembling fist, “I’m not worthless, I am not a bum, and I’m not a fucking doormat! No more. No fucking more!”
I heard laughter coming from the cave as it stepped out holding its stomach, “About fucking time you got mad!” He laughed gaily, “That fire! That rage! That fury! Yes!” Maslow continued, “This is the Jason I was meant to inhabit! This is who I’m meant to be!”
“Didn’t you hear me, asswipe?” I said and the laughter stopped, “I said: No. Fucking. More.” I added, “From every and anybody, including you.”
“Oh?” He raised an eyebrow, “You think you can beat me?” He laughed then smirked, “Seems your balls are bigger than your dick. You better calm down before you do something you’ll regret, or is that a poor choice of words?”
“Fuck you!” I said, “You and me, mano on Mano!”
“You’re serious about this, aren’t you?” He chuckled, “Alright, it’s your ass.”
Maslow cracked its neck and stretched as I hopped up on a rock, naked. I didn’t care, my only focus was kicking this imposter’s ass and taking my dignity back.
“Not too late to reconsider,” he smiled, “you can still leave with the slither of worth you’ve gained.” He added, “Let me take over and everything will be fine, I promise.”
“Your promise ain’t worth the shit out a dog’s asshole!” I said, “I’m fucking you up and kicking you out whether you like it or not!”
“We’ll see about that.”
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