I ate three powerful mystery brownies I’d copped from Glen and sat watching TV and waiting forever to feel the effects and eventually the remote control began to change. Right there in my hand. I quickly tried talking sense to myself but it was fruitless. The remote kept changing. The buttons were wet and squishy, like Jell-O only warm. And then the next thing I knew they were like ice—hard and cold and slippery on my fingers. Somehow I kept holding onto the thing even as it writhed. It became a clump of dry, unruly hair. It felt like a face. I didn’t dare look at it and kept my eyes peeled on the TV screen that kept flickering through channels at a rapid rate. I was still hitting the buttons with a frantic hand. Only now they were eyeballs. And now they were lactating nipples. And then the very concept of the remote control changed. It was a rainy Sunday morning. It was a speech by Hitler. It was a sour taste, a sharp pain, a dull pain, a Mark Twain witticism, a mailbox on fire, an arc of light on a broken toilet seat. Changing changing, the faces on the screen bleeding into each other through a snowstorm of altered images. Whirling confetti—each tiny paper square an art museum. And it just kept going until I thought my brain would burst from the overload. The pressure kept building. I cursed Glen. I tried, again, to reason with myself, remind myself that it was merely the brownies and that it would wear off and things would return to normal but Lyndon Johnson was whispering warm light into my colon and the fear that my bowels might leak occurred to me and I dropped the remote control into the breathing, tangerine shag at the roots of my feet and the TV screeched to an abrupt halt smack dab in the middle of a prison documentary.
A guy with tattoos all over his face was complaining about the food. I wished I could give him one of Glen’s infinite brownies. That would also combat the boredom and claustrophobia of the cell.