“Mr. James! Wake up Mr. James.”
“Get out of here you ugly bitch and leave me alone. Who the hell do you think you’re talking to? How many times do I have to tell you it’s not Mr. James. It’s Morrison, Jim Morrison. That’s Mr. Morrison to you. I don’t let fat and stupid old broads get familiar with me.”
The words rang loud and angry in his head but when they reached his million-dollar throat they came out as a long noisy gurgle of phlegm sputtering from his tracheal tube. He didn’t remember how he ever let anyone do something stupid like that to him. Cut his throat and there was a good chance he’d never sing again. Wasn’t it only yesterday he’d been sweating his ass off, on a stage in front of his band shouting down at the little girl faces below him. “Come on baby light my fire!!!” Yeah, their fires had been lit, all right. Those European chicks were OK. But that tall one in Detroit, that was one he’d never forget. Smooth as silk and screwed like a mink. Gave him a hard-on just thinking about the way she ground her ass.
He looked down at his body lying straight and stiff under the bedclothes. Whatever it was, it wasn’t his body. No hard-on. He tried to swing his feet out onto the floor. Nothing happening. Tried to lift his hand. Fuck all. This body under the covers couldn’t be his. It didn’t seem to be attached to his brain. He wanted to scream “What the fuck is happening to me!” but all that happened was more gurgling under his chin. The fat broad in the white uniform asked if he wanted his plug in. He looked at her as if he had no idea what she was talking about. She fiddled around with something at his throat and the gurgling changed in tone. He felt the air brush his vocal cords. “I am Jim Morrison,” he screamed, “lead singer of the Doors!” but it came out whispery and whistling.
“Now, now,” said the woman leaning over him. “Your name is Eldon James. You were born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and lived here all your life. You have been here in the Hillcrest Lifecare Center ever since you had an accident at work three years ago. You can’t be Jim Morrison. Jim Morrison died in Paris, France, in 1971. You are alive in Flint, Michigan, USA. I am your health care aide, Margaret. Today is the tenth day of January in the year 2001.”
Goes to show how much these fools around him knew. He didn’t remember anybody named Eldon James, had never been to Flint, Michigan, and was for sure not dead and buried in Paris, France. Jesus Christ. Why were they trying to confuse him? He was confusing himself just fine, thank you, not being able to remember who had done what to him to get him locked helpless in this place, in this position. And if he was in here, where was the band? Where in hell were Ray and Robbie and John? They wouldn’t let anyone get away with playing games like this. Their livelihood depended on him. Without Morrison, there are no Doors. He tried to wipe his hair off his forehead but again the arm wouldn’t obey.
That aide broad was tapping at his mouth with a spoonful of something. Whoops. The mouth seemed to open automatically. It looked gray and lumpy and had no smell or taste. He started to gag but swallowed and the next thing, there was more of the stuff in his mouth ready to go down. Fuck. If they were going to feed him, feed him pussy. A hell of a lot more satisfying and less fattening. He had to get his ass out of here, phone his agent and apologize, find out where they were supposed to be playing next, except his ass didn’t seem to be his ass any more and he hoped some friend or lawyer would spring him from this joint.
All this thinking, trying to talk and move, even just swallowing the crap they were pushing into his mouth was making him tired. He closed his eyes and wished everyone away.
Coming to life, being born, that kind of trip must have been something like this but, from what he had heard, wet and slimy and a hell of a lot more painful. It was that lasting sense of fear and frustration, of being propelled into an environment not in your own control, somewhere alien. Strange to come to as if from a deep sleep and find two women fussing over him. Not strange that there were two women, that he took for granted. Not strange that they were fussing over him, that was expected; not many women got the chance to touch Jim Morrison’s body. It was just strange that he didn’t remember how this started. He didn’t feel hung over or crashed from a trip, it just seemed that every thing he needed to know or remember was lost in a black hole, sucked out of the universe. “You know who you are,” he told himself. “Now just be cool and find out where and when you are. That’ll give you some sort of handle on this dilemma.”
Right. The air stinks like a hospital. The broads touching and fumbling with him are dressed in what looks like white uniforms. The bed is hard and straight, folded a little because the head can be raised. Ergo. This is either a hospital or the set of a bad movie. One of those broads looked good, tall and blonde and a decent set of knockers; the other looked vaguely familiar but he couldn’t place her. She was short and dumpy, not one he’d let into bed but if she was enthusiastic enough? Down on your knees, open your mouth, worship the body! Shit. That was what was wrong. He couldn’t feel his body. Women had their hands all over him and he couldn’t feel a thing. “What the hell is going on here?” he tried to shout but a hissing whistle is all that came from his throat; his throat, not his mouth. He felt something that might be a touch of panic rise like bile, a disgusting taste he couldn’t keep down, an internal worm from some cheap horror movie.
“Just be patient for a few more moments, Mr. James,” the tall good looking woman spoke at him as if she wasn’t expecting a reply. “ Margaret has gone to get your wheel chair. We’ll get you up and set you in the sun room for an hour or so. Won’t that be nice for a change?” No shit. She had called him Mr. James so that must be the alias he was using here. He momentarily wondered if it was Henry or Frank. He knew better than to try Jesse. Anyway, it never did much good; he was so recognizable. He couldn’t have been here long. Word must not have leaked out yet because there was no sign of security and the nurses were still using his alias and holding back from calling him Jim.
When the other nurse-type person returned with a wheelchair, reclined and nicely padded, both of them moved him to the edge of the bed in preparation to lifting him in. Damn. This finicky maneuvering felt so dreadfully wrong. He wanted to shout, “I’ll do it myself. Don’t treat me like a cripple,” but no sound came from his mouth. He couldn’t feel their hands and arms under him. He could do nothing to stop them from doing whatever they wanted to do. He couldn’t even express his displeasure and his anger. Damn frustrating. Damn damn damn. When they lifted his helpless, worthless hulk of a body into the chair, the taller, younger one took the top part of him. From behind her arms held his crossed on his chest, his shoulders against her rib cage, his head resting in the hollow between her breasts. Surprise! He could feel sensation through the skin on his head and shoulders. He wanted to make some smart-ass remark about resting in the peace in the valley but words wouldn’t come from his mouth. He grimaced. Could feel that too.
In the sunroom they tucked a blanket around his waist and legs and left him to sit there. Behind his back he heard the fat one talking in low tones to the babe. He couldn’t make out all the conversation but did recognize his name, Jim Morrison, mentioned several times by the older one, as if clueing the other one in to the secret. Hell, he must look a mess if a good-looking chick didn’t recognize the brooding face, the pouting lips, the hooded eyes of the Lizard King. And what mother had wrecked his throat? He hoped he’d be able to sing again. “Come on baby light my fire.” Yeah. He would light fires all over this country again. Even in Florida, despite its cops arresting him for pulling out his dick on stage. Bigoted bastards, the lot of them. What was needed now was a plan to escape from this place. And for that, as usual, he needed Ray’s help. He couldn’t remember if the guys knew where he was and when visiting hours were. God, he needed a friendly face, someone to take charge. Ray, get here quickly! This is no place for the evil prince of Rock and Roll. Beside him, an old twisted man slept while belted and strapped into a wheelchair. In front of him at an angle, large windows let in bright light through venetian blinds. Directly in front stood a large television set playing what must be some kind of game show, all gongs and whistled and phony screams and laughter. He pushed his head back where he could feel it against the headrest. Lord, get me out of here. He closed his eyes tight. Slowly the noise and light began to fade, to become the darkness and silence of peace and joy.
He was lying sort of seated on a contraption that seemed to be a hospital bed. Squinting through a thin slit in his eyelids, he saw a female type person waving a spoon at his face. With a figure like that, she should be stripping that white dress and climbing all over his body. Something is wrong here. A woman near him and nobody mentions sex. “O. K. Leave the gear on. Wrap your sweet lips around my bone.” The unnatural hiss at his throat made him cough and his whole body jerked. The stupid spoonful of goo went flying onto the floor. Once again he could only feel his head bounce on the pillow; what should have been his arms and legs, his chest and belly, did a spastic danse macabre without his control, as if it was a marionette dancing on a string to some inaudible song. God, where am I? No, more important, what am I? Listen to me scum, I am Jim Morrison!
When the storm had passed, he remained propped up, eyes shut tight. The tip of the spoon pushed at his lips. The voice wheedled with an infantile whine. “Open up for dinner, Mr. James. I know you’re awake. If you don’t cooperate the doctor will have to put a tube directly into your stomach. Again. You know how you hated the last one.” No shit. Maybe that’s how he got the hole in his throat. Why didn’t they give him a slab of beef and be done with it? He reached up his hand to shove the spoon away and he had no hand. The world has gone crazy and left me behind. Surrendering to the inevitable, he closed his eyes and opened his mouth. I’m a freaking baby bird. Let me fly. Let me sing. The world turned itself off.
He opened his eyes and a sweet young thing was sitting there on the side of the bed jabbering away like a parakeet. Young. Got to be about sixteen, sweet and innocent and impressionable, just the way he liked them. Thank you, whatever fate had brought this into his life! He reached out to grasp her hand, to stroke her arm and slowly bring her closer. First you smell her. Then you taste her. Then you get naked and screw each other’s brains out. That’s the way the world works. Trouble was, the hand wouldn’t reach. Not that she was too far away, the goddamn arm wouldn’t move. He tried to curse and even his fucking throat wouldn’t move, not the way it should. All it did was squeak like a squashed mouse.
And the little school girl kept on babbling about her daddy and mommy, as if those people were supposed to mean something to him. Daddy did this and then mom told him to … and yadda, yadda, yadda. How could she look upon his face and not feel her reason for living. Even if she was a virgin, she should feel the urge to tear of her confining cotton undies and set herself FREE! No woman between the ages of fourteen and forty could sit there and treat him like, like a grandfather for god’s sake.
He tried to focus his gaze on her face but her eyes wouldn’t meet his. She prattled away at a space above his head, as if she was on a mercy mission to some dying old fart. Show me mercy, he whispered in his head. Spread your sweet thighs and show me mercy! The girl took his hand in her own and held it, but it wasn’t his hand, he couldn’t feel it, it wasn’t attached to him, and it looked ancient and withered like it should be reaching out of a grave in a cheap horror movie. And then again, maybe he did feel some pressure, some warmth generated by that vibrant young body, flowing up that arm to his brain. Imagination is a powerful thing. He could feel the energy seeping down to his cock, felt it twitch. He concentrated on the sensation in his fingertips and the connection to his most precious belonging. Aside from his lost voice, that is.
Somehow the hand seemed to have a mind of its own. It slipped from the young visitor’s grasp and fell onto her thigh. Whether through some movement of hers or its own maliciousness, it came to rest underneath the pleated, schoolgirl skirt. It might have been that, when she jumped up in reaction to the unexpected incursion, she moved the wrong way; it certainly couldn’t have been a willful act by her grandfather lying paralyzed and helpless and looking so weird in that hospital bed. Somehow his fingers came to rest where they didn’t belong, between the gusset of her panties and her most private place. She couldn’t help herself. She screamed loud and long and tore herself away.
In the fraction of the minute before he died, Jim Morrison again reached heaven. His fingertips knocked at its gate, the delicate fleshy portals surrounded by soft silk. A familiar roar of blood surged from his heart to his cock and up to his brain. There it exploded in gold and blue and burning crimson before existence turned black.
An aide gathered the weeping, sobbing girl to her, took her to a lounge to soothe and comfort her while the medical staff did what was necessary in the case of a sudden but expected death. Only one of the nurses mentioned in a report the “lascivious” grin on Mr. James’ face at his passing.