IAN SANTORA

is an undergraduate student double majoring in English and Philosophy. He is 20 years old and likes music and writing. He has done his best to uphold the law as it is written with meticulous attention to detail. Rumors that suggest otherwise are purely hearsay and should be treated as such.

The Sun

and honestly it’s not easy to come by around here on account of the weather, at least in the winter anyway. People like to feel powerful, and they’re not, so at the end of the day they turn upwards to something greater, and they feel nothing greater under grey skies since the oldest something greater is the sun. No one likes hallucinating when it’s all despondent outside and they’re expecting it to go down by 5 o’clock. 7, maybe 8, you can wait for. But 5 is unacceptable. Anyone who drops in Alaska is an idiot. They deserve the bad visions, vampires, minotaurs, Palin...but I digress. See a 5 o’clock sunset still looks like a sunset but it’s decent-human-being hours and you only realize this when you’re on The Drug, when it’s Too Late. People are still out living lives that matter, still in their day to day routine. And by people I mean good average people. The Real Americans they keep talking about. The first ten people you see on tinder who attend decent universities and have decent jobs and the bio about loving dogs, maybe he’s holding a big fish. Profoundly innocent. So they can accept seeing a derelict after a late night at O’Malley’s (or some like minded American Sports Bar owned by Bill who can trace his lineage back to the Mayflower) because they know hypocrisy by instinct, they’ve dipped their feet in and deserve to see some of God’s least favorite fish.

     But you don’t want to go out looking like a sweat drenched Orangutan in front of these business casuals at 5 because their blood’s still hot until at least 6:30, sundown or not. It’s their time and you let them have it, just like how they let you have yours, those sweet golden summer hours when you get to go outside dressed Like That. Like a goddamn User. And they don’t even call the cops to gun you down in front of families on Main Street just for looking the part! Saints I tell ya - but should you interrupt their daily run of the parables you’ll waste your time thinking of a way to justify it in your head, how exactly you’d word it to every old couple you see, how it’s a spiritual experience and you just love Jesus Christ and all he stood for. You think of all the scripture you ever read; Job had it coming, and Jesus didn’t come to bring peace but a sword, so maybe all those Bush detractors really are the ones who should actually read the damn thing, or some bone deep pandering of the sort. Or maybe you hook them into you; like...and if he was around today...if you really think about...he would support...I really think I know….he would think...Jesus was truly...all that stuff that I think...but kinder...and with brimstone. 

     You end up blowing your high thinking about the goddamn desert. And not the fun desert with gambling (The American Desert™️). No you think about the Other American Desert™️, sandals, and how unbearable people must have smelled when the messiah came, and how the best argument for his true generosity is his choosing in his infinite wisdom not to just wait until showers were common to spread the word. Now that is how you waste a psychedelic trip (not spreading the word, talking to decent people, jury’s still out on showering). Not ideal. And realistically they won’t even ask you about it or accuse you of anything or even begin to dial 911. They’ll just vote red again unconsciously hoping some divine mixture of healthcare cuts and side effects of your particular lifestyle will do you in. It’s easy not to get mad when someone’s poorer than you (and they know damn well you are) since you can leave all your bile in the ballot box (but manage impressively to still remain enraged). So you both line up to trade punches and you lose teeth and tongue until voiceless but they can take it, hell theirs are supposed to do that. They have extras. So it goes, you can’t expect things from people. But don’t ever miss dusk and dawn. You gotta see that change from night to day or day to night. The eternal monotonous shift, yin and yang, darkness to light, all to nothing, the great rising and fading glow forever. Yeah. Ever wonder why people who wake up at 6:30 to run are so insufferably content? They see the rising glow and conscious or not they engage in the immutable cult of beginning and ending.

So naturally if you want to get it in the first place, you want to not get superfluously scammed or tricked into doing research chemicals cooked up by some deranged fucking hypebeast who wears sunglasses indoors and spends sober days preparing his entrepeneureal pitch to Kanye West. Because if this absolute unit got caught cooking up he would get life for the drugs and death for his outfit. I guess they haven’t heard about the last guy who tried cooking meth in Supreme. Bad times. And if it’s the My Bloody Valentine Supreme you’ll be dead before you get to court. You wanna dress like Walter White, now that’s a good TV blueprint for real life crime; if you look like you could play the old man in the live action Up no Jury on God’s green Earth is condemning you.

     So you need the right guy. The kinda guy who can reassure your friend who would rather do shrooms because they’re from the Earth, unlike other things that are on the surface of that planet. It’s usually someone a bit sketchy. You know. He has morals, he’d never steal from you, but man...he just...that’s his sister right? Like he wouldn’t hit anybody or rip you off intentionally. And Jesus Christ he wouldn’t drive on that stuff right? So he hits up an old friend, who hits up an old friend, who hits up an old friend, and so on. If you’re lucky one of these old friends is of a preferred sex to another so on both ends of them people respond quick. So everyone gets a notification, Dex from highschool is typing! And it’s been too long so there’s excitement and chat apps are opened and it’s for drugs for someone you don’t even know and they don’t even know or maybe met just once at a party and said hey man nice fucking Yeezys or oh you like Tame Impala too but like you know or did you know it’s just like one guy, right? And no one ever calls unless they fucking want something, and it’s 3am and they don’t owe them shit. But maybe they wouldn’t live like this if they weren’t so insecure and they wouldn’t be so insecure if they got more attention and they’d get more attention if they could buy some new Yeezys and they could buy some new Yeezys if they just sell these fucking drugs. And mom keeps saying to get out of the house (not quite what she had in mind, God bless her). 

     So they all do the deal anyway and they add a couple bucks to make a profit off the next old friend on the chain to bring the stuff to you partially so it’s worth their time, partially as a courtesy, partially to buy clothes, and partially because fuck you for snapchatting me at 4am after all this time to ask about a drug connection. And the ethereal entity that actually makes the stuff must have the biggest tax of them all, or the smallest. Maybe they just make the drugs for fun fuck if I know. But the others all wished the message said please come back I miss you I need you and I respect you and other more excruciating validation. That’s just what folks want to hear these days, nothing else - let alone that you need drugs for a random. Especially when you don’t need them, you want them. And not even that. You’re just passing them along for two dollars, a high five, thanks bro, and a potential felony you miserable idiot. How deep are you in this useless cult? Is this casual to you? God, you’re one of those.

 So after casting a tornado of awkward nostalgia and feeling like a proper Rube Goldberg mastermind of hyper modern misery you finally get the stuff and the whole thing costs 30 bucks with the passive aggression taxes. None of the drug trade conga line of ancient acquaintances really get together in a human way but two of them touch hands in the exchange and then cry about it later (but really about other things [but really about it]) and it’s all very tedious and other people are eating takeout in eternal other rooms the whole time, no cash changes hands, and the Venmo transactions all get a pizza emoji by pure coincidence or maybe Providence except for the one guy who, in response to and escalation of one of these instances, pasted the entire Wikipedia article for deep dish pizza into the transaction description and then erased all the commas when he went over the character limit but he was still over the character limit, somehow even further now, how the hell do other people stay under the character limit? So he erased reference numbers and parentheses and just managed to fit. There is no doubt, that was definitely Providence.

     What yeah I was just telling him yeah it was great yeah but like you really don’t really like see anything that isn’t like there you know, yeah/no yeah I was stupid the first time I did it/it kept me up all night/no yea you can’t sleep on it/my landlord showed up that morning asking for a screwdriver to fix the door and I was still too high to register how weird it was not to bring one/managed to find one under my desk despite seeing in fucking claymation/yeah I tried reading your text it was like 8 different languages, no yea I think it’s the best but it’s not the big thing anymore

NAME Magazine UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO 2020