The Train

“Be careful, it’s quite slippery.”

“I will. You taking photos?”

“Yeah, you?”

“Nah, i’m hoping to see a ghost.”

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Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The man’s camera flash echoed through the tunnel.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, I’ve been here before, but didn’t see anything. How long have you been in here?”

“I only just arrived.”

The abandoned train line was still and quiet.  It was beautiful in the day and ominous at night. People often came to take photos or go on guided ghost tours.

“Why do you want to see a ghost?”

“Because I’ve never seen one before.”

The flash echoes down the tunnel.

“What will you do when you find one?

“Probably run away.”

“Ah, so you are just thrill seeking.”

“Maybe…”

The flash echoes.

The woman slips on some mud and grabs the strangers shoulder to prevent herself falling down.

“I’m sorry, it’s so slippery.”

“It’s okay. How far down are you going to go?”

The darkness was thickening around them as they walked.

“As far as I have to to see a ghost.”

The man stopped in his tracks.

“Well, you had better stop walking.”

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Old Helensburgh Railway Station – Original Vile Mint Photo

The tunnel was silent but for a few drips of water. The mancontinued:

“This tunnel used to have trains passing through every hour full of different people. People in the rat race on the way to work, old men on their way to see their granddaughters and young children on their way to school.”

Darkness.

“For a time they were all together in the same carriage passing through the same tunnel. On late mornings they would have to run to make their train and on late evenings they would rest their heads agains the glass window and stare out into the darkness of this tunnel.”

The man turns his camera off.

“We are the only ghosts in this tunnel.”

This is The Vile Mint.

Joshologue #2

There are too many elephants in my room.

I’m talking to myself again. The fact that we have two ears and one mouth means that what we say about ourselves is amplified exponentially until it explodes in our minds. The feedback of actualization.

Part of the reason I talk to myself is to hear my own voice. I know that must sound strange, but that’s how our voices sound when we hear them; Strange. Haven’t you ever heard your voice on a recording and asked, ‘Is that what I sound like?’

I bet you can’t even remember the last time you heard your own voice when no one else could.

After listening to myself I realized that my voice doesn’t belong to me.

The voices are coming from the elephants.

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The speak on my behalf as I rush to cover them with hay. The more I hide them, the bigger they become.

When I try to hide things about myself I become like a drunk man trying to present himself sober to enter a bar. What I’m hiding becomes obvious.

But then the people watching ask the most important question of all:

“Why does he want to be in the bar so desperately?”

This is The Vile Mint.

The Little Man And I

Drip… Drip… Drip…

“What is it now?” A shadow passed across the face of a tiny man. He lifted his head to see a demon perched by the window.

“A lying tongue, my good man.” The demon smiled it’s sharp, stained teeth. It smiled because of the little man’s face. He pulled the face of one who was suppressing an unannounced internal pain. Oh, how beautiful it was.

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The little man picked up his sharp little quill and started to write onto the soft, warm surface.

“Work’s been busy?” Asked the man, trying his best to hide any emotion from his voice.

The demon opened his wings to reveal another mouth protruding from his stomach.

It spoke.

“Don’t you want to know what he said?”

The man was only half way through carving ‘lying’ when the bleeding started.

“Or are you running out of space? I know another little man who ran out of space only yesterday.”

“Oh?” The little man’s poker face took up valuable vocabulary space. He finished off his second word, pulled a little handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped his bloody hand.

The demon closed his wings and spoke from his sharp teeth.

“Work is easy. I hardly have to do anything. It’s almost like delegating without delegating. They are all under his employ now.

The words reflected on the little man’s eyes as he shut the doors of reaction.

“Oh?”

The demon smiled.

“At least it keeps you in a job. I’ll se ya.”

And with that, the demon departed. The little man breathed a sigh of relief. He sat down, wiped his hands free from blood stared at the bleeding heart in front of him. A giant heart, stained and scared with evil.

It was afternoon now and the light from the window was passing along the floor as the day came closer to an end. The light never reached the heart.

The man sat alone in the dark and began to cry.

This is The Vile Mint.

Reflection Distorts Desired Delusions

I lay awake as the silence takes hold.

It gets louder and louder.

I beg for a distraction.

Reflection distorts desired delusions.

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What time is is? I’ll check my phone. I’ll check my notifications. I’ll check my newsfeed. I’ll check my email.

I’ll check out.

My mind is a rapid when it should be a lake.

If I let the waters settle… They might begin to boil… They have to keep flowing…

Reflection distorts desired delusions.

How many years has it been since I left school?

Why haven’t I achieved what I thought I would.

I remember saying that I would have a family by 23… At 25 I can pass that one off as naïvety.

What time is it?

Things will get better… I know they will… I just know it…

My mind is an ocean when it should be rain.

Every drop that hits the ground is acceptance of reality.

Every drop that falls fills the bucket labeled ‘Failure’.

I’ll staple my eyes shut if I have to.

Reflection distorts desired delusions.

It’s about travel… that’s it… And… Experience! Sadness is an experience none of these people can fathom! They don’t know pain! They don’t know suffering! They are just sheep! Sheep living in their digital playgrounds! Never thinking! Never feeling!

What time is it ?

What time?

What’s the time?

The silence is loud. My mind is sleepwalking when it should be in asleep.

It’s all ok. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m going to live for me and be free.

Reflection distorts desired delusions.

 

This is The Vile Mint.

Painting Light

While reading this, remember that you are subconsciously decoding written language into thought patterns that are comprised of imagination, memory and experience. The words by themselves mean absolutely nothing.

“What do you see?”

Josh takes a step back from the painting and simultaneously places his hand upon his chin (the way people do when they pretend to be deep in thought).

“I see…”

The painting on the wall showed a blind man watching a sunset.

“Well, it’s all about experience. You don’t need to see the sunset to experience it.”

Bree tilts her head to one side like a dog hearing a strange noise.

“Huh…”

Josh smiles to himself.

A man sitting on a chair behind Josh and Bree gives his opinion.

“Bullshit!”

Josh and Bree turn to face the man.

“The painting is about illusion verses reality.”

A little rude, but a good point.

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

The old man smiles.

“No, you didn’t. You said it was about experience when It is about illusion. Let me explain it to you this way: you have never seen, nor will ever see, this painting.”

Hand to chin.

“Light does not exist in your brain. We decode light through our eyes and ‘see‘ it in our brains via chemical reactions. You will never, and can never see, light. Therefore, everything you see is an illusion. Including this painting”

Josh turns back to the painting and looks at it for a few seconds.

“Very interesting…”

He then throws a friendly smile to the man and tries to walk away with Bree as casually as possible. He makes it a few meters before the man shouts out to him.

“Oh by the way, the art gallery doesn’t start until you pass through the doors at the end of the corridor.”

Embarrassed, the couple hurry towards the real art gallery and two others take their place.

“Bullshit!”

This is The Vile Mint

Evil Eyes

The man washed his face at the bathroom mirror. The water dripped down his cheeks as he took a deep breath.

***

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“Why do men stare at themselves in the mirror when they do wrong?”

The old man pondered a moment. “They are asking themselves a question. They are asking, ‘How could I?’”

The boy sat up in his bed. “Maybe they expect to see something change, like the painting in the story.”

“You see”, said the old man, “Evil isn’t shown on the faces of men, or in the picture of Dorian Gray.”

The boy stared into the fire.

“Then how do you know if you are good or bad?”

The old man smiled.

“You ask yourself without a mirror.”

The boy closed his eyes.

***

The boy in the mirror had long been forgotten, but the man in his head haunted his brain.

This is The Vile Mint.