To my pal Joey,
It’s true. All of it.
It was Matrix movie marathon night at Lil Bro’s crib. He couldn’t believe I never watched The Matrix 3 and was visibly irritated when I told him I hadn’t seen any of them, not even the first one.
Lil Bro wasn’t Lil and most certainly wasn’t my Bro. Just some forty year old weirdo that sold E pills to high school kids like myself, but I agreed to attend his movie night because he promised free samples of his new Redd & Blu batch.
“Take Redd and Blu together and it’s an intense contradiction,” he said. “I call it the Paradox.”
Lil Bro’s backyard was a makeshift theater with a half-functional projector he must have stolen back in the 90s, a discolored screen, and three lawn chairs.
I sat down between two guys already seated.
To my left was some scumbag twice my age with greasy hair and a crusty five o’clock shadow. I could tell he was already rolling by the bright red flush of his skin.
To my right was a different type of dirt ball. Gold teeth and a fake Rolex. His skin was pale, almost blue. He didn’t respond to my greeting, just stared back with eyes that didn’t blink. It struck me he could have overdosed on Lil Bro’s new batch and was possibly dead.
Lil Bro pressed play. He stood next to the screen and quoted every line of dialogue like some nerd at a Rocky Horror screening. I thought he’d give me the Redd & Blu before the movie began, but he withheld the goods until Morpheus appeared on screen with his own set of pills.
He paused the film.
“So what’s it gonna be?” Lil Bro said. “Redd? Blu? Or do you want the Paradox?”
“I want the Paradox.”
No sooner than I could finish my sentence both men next to me seized my arms and bit deep into my wrists, enough to break the skin.
I hollered in pain. I stood up and cursed and fell onto the ground and wrapped my blood soaked arms into my shirt.
“What the fuck is this!”
“My bad,” Lil Bro said. “I forgot to introduce you to Redd & Blu. Believe it or not these guys have done so many drugs in their lives their saliva is goddamn hallucinogenic! It’s a miracle from God himself.”
I couldn’t respond with anything but more howls of pain.
“I discovered it last week when Redd accidentally got some spit in my eye. Motherfucker gets too close to your face when he talks, you know?”
I wrapped my shirt tighter around my arms and began to pull myself off of the ground when I noticed the grass beneath me was no longer grass but an endless scroll of green textual code. The men who bit me were no longer men but rather two giant anthropomorphic pill capsules.
They both laughed at me.
“Now of course I have yet to mainline that shit like you just did,” Lil Bro said. “I needed a guinea pig before I tried that.”
The thing about guinea pigs is they can’t fight back when things go wrong, and if he actually used one instead of me, neither of us would be serving life sentences.
I wanted, needed, the trip to end. Morpheus had said to consume the blue pill to return to the world as we knew it, so I leapt up from the ground and tackled the blue capsule right out of his lawn chair.
Lil Bro and Redd tried to pry me off him, but the adrenaline rush was too intense. I saw the security camera footage during my trial. How I stripped Blu’s face clean from his skull with my teeth and swallowed it.
I appreciate you writing me, Joey. No one, not even my own family, has spoken to me since my arrest. I know we’re complete strangers, but our brief contact has shed a little light into my life which has since been eclipsed in darkness.
God bless the Pen Pal Program.
So yes, Joey, it’s true. It’s true that I killed a man. I maintain my innocence, however, with the knowledge that it was of their own doing. That isn’t a paradox, either. I would explain further, but the warden is showing a Matrix marathon in the recreation area that I don’t want to miss.
I still haven’t seen them.
– Your pal Jonathan