Noah Praxton’s Journal
September 14, 1999. 7:32 PM.
I arrived here in the afternoon, so I guess that’s nice. I found the right place...this is it: Apartment 46, 3 Dark Avenue. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I know..very little people here and I still have some more unpacking to get done, but what I have thus far is sufficient, my mattress is all set up, blanket and pillows..a Chinese food menu, water and Coca-Cola..and some books. I’m way too fucking tired with driving and all that, so I’m thinking of selling down a bit. I start my tenure at the good ol’ Dark Lamb come Monday’s dawn. I’ve heard chatters about it, but its like some kind of mix of French cuisine, some decadent haute cuisine charade, with a bistro-style atmosphere. Shouldn’t be too strenuous by my standards. Got it under control really. And what I plan on doing from here..instead of scribbling away in this notebook, is really up in the air at this point. The walls are bare, still with a slight smell of decrepit iron or something. Outside in a parking lot, some old guy just got into his car, pajamas and all. The walls are an earthy green like a kind of Cezanne and my bed is in a corner of the room. But there’s really nothing else for me to do except maybe order some food and then fuck off to sleep. I think I actually might get to that right now actually. Anyways, prayers to the fall and let the cradle unfold as it may.
The Dark Lamb
Seared Foie Gras - $11.99
Scallops with Caviar and Garlic Sauce - $15.99
Salmon Tartare with Caramelized Onions and Apples - $12.99 Cheese Fondue with Croutons - $8.99
Escargot - $5.99
Green Salad with Italian Dressing - $6.99
Carrot Salad with Chopped Garlic and Almonds - $8.99 Bacon Salad with Crispy Lardons and Tomatoes - $10.99
Salmon Poached in Chicken Broth and Butter with Chopped Garlic - $15.99 Louis’s Lamb Chops - $18.99
Chicken Au Jus - $13.99
Filet Mignon - $22.99
Custard Quiche with Sautéed Vegetables - $16.99
Coq Au Vin - $19.99
Au Gratin Potatoes
Caramelized Shallots and Carrots Green Beans
Wine (Red or White) - $4.99
Water - Free (including refills)
Soda (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Sprite) - $2.99
Cheesecake - $5.99
Blueberry Souffle - $4.99
Custard Pie - $6.99
Noah Praxton’s Journal
September 21, 1999. 11:27 PM.
Service yesterday was a trip. But that’s the way it is in kitchens. “Listen up, pricks.” Louis had short semi-spiky hair and a Dali-like mustache giving him a cartoonish yet menacing look. Some brown eyes and hair like wretched black rust complimented his metallic totalitarian presence. “Fucking clean service. Everything out. Perfectly. If any one of you...fucking smartasses FUCK. this. up......I’ll set your fucking life on fire, do you understand me?” “Yes, chef.” That’s what you say. That’s what you always say. I stand there and just go with it..ready to be thrown to the wolves. Behold: I am the punching bag of the kaisers of dirt, humbled by maggots, caressed by rats. ...Fortunately, service went relatively well. For some hours, Jacob was king when he cooked the lamb chops perfectly and nearly dodged Louis’s wrath. Dinner at 7. Finished by 10. Home by 11. Perfect.
September 25, 1999. 3:16 am.
I had this dream...I am some towering monarch set to conquer the world and crush it in my palms like a grain of salt. I am dressed in gold and purple and I wield a mighty sword to shatter the sun and obliterate the sky. And although I am screaming ash and crimson and partaking in the art of decapitation, I still wake up in the dark. Green walls. And I’m not a mighty king with a castle of stone. No more blood. And no all-devouring sword. What did it all mean?
Sticky Notes on Louis’s Apartment Wall
October 1, 1999. 11:47 PM.
￼￼Vicious light rains down
Upon scorched blossoms and trees
Burn it to the ground
Ice torches the weak
Freezing and burning alone
Frozen death returns
Adrenaline seeds a spawn
The forest grows in ruined vines
Remorse flies upon
Battered wings of steel and scorn
The crash manifests
￼ October 3, 1999. 10:16 PM.
With shields and axes
I carve out the skin and bone
Absolute fucking death
Grinding the weakened
Consuming the blackened tar
Bury you alive
Prancing on the frost
And piles of shattered black glass
Just to destroy you.
October 5, 1999. 1:19 am.
Triumph like the sound
Of hordes of screams and whispers
Fading into voids
October 7, 1999. 12:09 am.
Demolished blue flames and ash
Blood soaked birds of prey
Fall through liquid time and space
A disastrous crash
￼ Noah Praxton’s Journal
October 10, 1999. 2:32 PM.
Today is one of the few days of the week in which I do not work. And when that happens, I just sit here, I guess. Still thinking about that dream I had though, the one about the conquering monarch. It’s still itching around in my brain like a splinter yet I try and not pay it too much mind...until it scratches back again. Can’t ignore it too much. I mean think about that...you have some spectacular vision of some barren scorched landscape and you’re harvesting the bodies of the unholy weak. Adorned in some royal gold as you slash against the wretched cackle of the wind. Decapitating men, women, and children. An apocalyptic dream etched in neurological wires of the curse of a thousand sleeping tigers. And then you wake up.
And I didn’t and haven’t spoken to anyone about it. But all I know is that I do remember it. Memory is a strange friend. And sometimes a very unreliable narrator.
October 13, 1999. 4:33 am.
“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.” - Bram Stoker, Dracula
October 14, 1999. 11:53 PM.
After work, it had...well it was service, what can I say? No one got set on fire. Though James, our relief cook, got a bit of scold treatment from our menace in command, Louis, for fucking up with one of the mother sauces. Bechamel, white like Everest. James fucked up when he accidentally used the béchamel sauce on the foie gras instead of the usual sauce. To make matters worse, he spoke out of turn. Thank some almighty higher power that that dish didn’t go out.
Bechamel sauce could probably work on foie gras but Louis uses a wine sauce instead. James wasn’t paying attention and I don’t know what the fuck our saucier Luke was thinking but he wasn’t watching what James was doing. And James got his ass handed to him, honestly Luke joined him too on that doomed train ride. A swift verbal scolding by the gastronomic dragon himself...Louis. Louis motherfucking Pierre Rouge Vautour. Those last two words mean Red Vulture in French.
“It’s not even remotely the fucking same! Hey fucking prick, get the-fucking come here!” Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to gastronomy. “You put the goddamn Bechamel over the foie gras when it cals for wine sauce! That’s gone. Blasted off to fucking Venus. So thank fuck Luke’s bitch ass was over there or else you’d lose your fucking head, motherfucker.” “What is Bechamel? Tell me. Now.” Lectures brought to you by a Parisian warrior of food. “It’s made from flour, butter, and milk cooked in a pan, chef.” “Right. Now does THAT look ANYTHING like fucking wine sauce?” “No, chef.” Then Luke fucked up. “I got one-“ Wrong answer. “Hey!
￼I’m talking to your little pal over here and you want to run your little mouth, Oh no, actually..heh, I like that. Like your little attitude, you can read me some nursery rhymes while I fucking stab you to death. Cause that’ll happen if you don’t SHUT THE FUCK UP! Got that, pretty boy?” “Yes, chef.” “I’ll start agai-“ Your turn, James. “Listen.” Hello undergraduate art sculpture...meet hand. “LET’S see if your HAND gives way to relief! That’ll teach you to not fucking speak out of turn!” Louis cut an incision in James’ arm like some malicious cobra prescribed some aggressive cocktail. Protruding like blisters. The proper dish got sent out and then James probably learned not to fuck with Louis. End scene.
More menace. My never-ending existence.
October 20, 1999. 5:12 PM.
The archaic furnace of forgotten dreams
Beyond the rivers, beyond the streams...
A mortal star, foretold by the dead
Someone fix the nails in my head.
October 26, 1999. 6:02 am.
Blessed be the lovers without ice in their hearts and eyes of overflowing light.
Those whose hands run angel hair across valleys of skin in the hours of darkness. ...And these two lovers, are they secure in their disposition of nature or are they not?
Let them hold each other in their arms
as blood pours out of my eyes onto the floor.
Blessed be those who coil forests of legs and sprinkle dewdrops of hope on the eyes of the mass lonely and the lips and cheeks of the unfortunate hermits of sorrow. What fortunes and misfortunes solitude must bring.
October 27, 1999. 2:21 am.
My exterior shell is that of a sous chef who works at a Pennsylvanian restaurant but my interior wires belong to those of some mighty Roman general. And this general leads a bloodthirsty army of damned warriors into battle as if its the last battle on Earth. I am the all-conquering savage, blood-drinking lion, and the most ruthless man ever seen by the eyes of unfortunate mortal men, women, and children.
Inside me there is some carnivorous plant with horrible mangled vines and teeth that shine like rubies...growing. Changing. Evolving inside my psyche. Perhaps that Roman general takes care of this carnivorous plant as well, feeding it newborn babies and cats whilst he stalks the halls of his malevolent lamp-lit palace like some nocturnal panther ready to attack at any given moment.
￼ A Scrap of Paper Nailed to Louis’s Apartment Wall
October 31, 1999. 6:16 PM.
“Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” - George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Dr. Herve R. Starek’s Notes
November 2, 1999.
Patient: NOAH PRAXTON
I met with a new patient today named Noah Praxton. Noah Praxton is a 26-year old Caucasian male who lives at Apartment 46 on 3 Dark Avenue in Philadelphia. Patient lives by himself. He works full-time as a sous chef at The Dark Lamb restaurant, also located in Philadelphia. Today he discussed with me things which I suspect could be symptoms of psychosis. He discussed delusions of grandeur such as believing that he is the reincarnation of Julius Caesar, that he is a king, and that he is, as he put it: a “messenger of annihilation sent by Mars incarnate.”
Patient also experiences extremely vivid dreams involving things such as conquests of war, murder, and all-around violence. Patient also suffers from occasional insomnia. He had a tendency to become slightly agitated as he was speaking to me and sometimes spoke random sentences. When asked about his occupation, he told me that he enjoys his job although recently he has been feeling more unrestrained in his behavior, feeling as if he has lack of control over his body, and feeling more hostile, temperamental, and aggressive. Patient recently told me that he sometimes sees “things” such as a black cat standing on its hind legs with red eyes, outside of his apartment. He told me that he also sees vampires walking around his apartment complex at night.
Patient is not currently sexually active although he told me that last night after work he met an escort named Veronica Steel and they exchanged numbers. He stated that he has no history of past mental illness and that he started experiencing these symptoms out of the blue. Other symptoms consist of hypervigilance, racing thoughts, mania, and anxiety. Patient does not drink or do recreational drugs. I am prescribing 200 mg of Chlorpromazine to be taken orally once a day. I am also suggesting he try and take over-the-counter diphenhydramine ( Benadryl) and melatonin to help with the insomnia. I have scheduled a follow up appointment with him next weekend at 1 pm.
￼￼￼￼ November 7, 1999.
Patient: NOAH PRAXTON
￼I met with Noah Praxton again in my office today at 1 pm. Patient continues to take Chlorpromazine as he should and takes 50 mg of diphenhydramine and 5mg of melatonin. Noah told me that his sleeping has improved although his vivid dreams have persisted. Patient experiences mild side effects such as dry mouth and mild weight gain. His anxiety persists and although his mania is less intense, it still persists. His anger and aggression are still present. I plan on seeing him again in a few weeks.
Noah Praxton’s Journal
November 12, 1999. 11:37 PM.
Mark’s a commis here. He’s relatively new, joined a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, tonight the noose snapped and his tenure came to a wretched end. No, not the noose. He just...fucked...up. The most grinding of glass into the final realm of a dark end, falling into absolute charcoal oblivion. Iron vultures swooping down to feast on the carcass of the unfortunate so-called cowards of this existence. Out of the realm of the living he goes, into the black sea of his infinite end.
Louis fired him cause he overcooked the lamb chops and chicken. Threw pans at him, all that shit. I think Louis lurks inside the corridors of my brain, chanting the songs of bloodthirsty hyenas.
My life is a warzone.
What did I do to deserve this vile gift?
Mark Avery Baines’ Obituary published in The Venus Times
November 16, 1999.
Mark Avery Baines, 20, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, died Saturday, November 13, 1999 at his apartment, Apartment 37, in Darby. When his body was found, he had cut marks on his legs, arms, chest, and his throat had been slit. Next to his body was a serrated knife, covered in blood. When police and forensics arrived on the scene, the fingerprints on the knife were confirmed to be his own. The cause of death was confirmed as suicide caused by blunt force trauma resulting in exsanguination.
Mark was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on March 16, 1979 to Heather and Alastair Baines, whom he leaves. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1997. He leaves behind his parents, Heather and Alastair Baines, his two grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a few close friends. A memorial service will be held in Mark’s memory at Lancaster Cemetery tomorrow night, Sunday, November 17, 1999 in Mark’s hometown of Lancaster. The service will be conducted by Herbert Schultz and is at 6:00 PM.
￼ Noah Praxton’s Journal
November 20, 1999. 11:14 PM.
Veronica came over after work last night. Why not. Veronica Steel stole the stale keys of my
steel-ridden mind of stretching shattered glass. If there was an ephemeral elixir to a phantom mind, I would name it Veronica. The most heavenly of a ricochet, dressed in a black and red skirt, with brown eyes like nocturnal midnight deer. A white tank-top. Obliteration of all eradicating dust with her presence.
Dr. Herve R. Starek’s Notes
November 21, 1999.
Patient: NOAH PRAXTON
I saw Noah Praxton yesterday and I am starting to get a bit concerned. He told me that he briefly stopped taking his Chlorpromazine and began experiencing some hallucinations again. he also told me that his dreams have become more disturbing and involve necrophilia and depictions of vampiric figures. He had slight tremors and showed physical signs of discomfort. He continues to spend time with Veronica , mainly after work. I am reducing his dosage of Chlorpromazine to 150mg.
Sticky Note on Louis’s Apartment Wall
November 25, 1999. 12:02 am.
If you could slit God’s throat and get away with it, would you?
Noah Praxton’s Journal
December 1, 1999. 1:06 am.
I have discovered a new conglomeration of darkness fuses lit in the hours of the night. I had a dream..I was with Veronica and we were together in some dark room, littered with dead cats on the floor with steel walls and aluminum pillars of shining malice. Let’s call it..a..limbo like infatuating ash. Next to me is an axe. And I can’t believe I do this but I take the axe and I bash Veronica’s skull in . ...Soon I am walking in a dark forest wearing a black cloak of the likes of some incarnation of death, and I’m carrying a body bag and a shovel. I dig a hole and take Veronica’s body out of the bag and although I rape this nonchalant corpse and watch rigor mortis cultivate its inherent game, I am still not too fazed by this. I drop her body in the hole and cover it up with dirt. But..then...I see....Louis standing behind me. He has red eyes and is holding a kitchen knife, he gives me a malicious look of patronizing terror that Thanatos would adore.
December 5, 1999. 2:22 am.
￼“There she stood in the doorway...
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell ”
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way... There were voices down the corridor...
I thought I heard them say...” - The Eagles - Hotel California
December 16, 1999. 12:07 am.
A Slip of Paper Slipped under Noah’s Door
December 21, 1999. 10:37 am.
Do you understand it all NOW ...Praxton? The vile truth of the always hungry belly of power. Victory like the sound of evanescent rattles of chains. The near orgasmic pleasure of trampling over others in the pursuit of goals. The ethics of what we are sometimes: Creatures willing to go to great lengths to accomplish our goals even if it means sacrificing others. Betraying some fuck just to get ahead. Who’s dangerous now, you fuck? You can never come into work and rest in a pool of your fucking vomit, I don’t care one fucking bit. You’re not a fucking man. Beware of those who snicker like foxes with daggers. What now, Praxton? What’s it gonna be? You have no idea who you’re fucking with. Fuck you. Your move.
- Louis Pierre Rouge Vautour
Noah Praxton’s Journal
December 26, 1999. 12:00 am.
... Veronica came over again last night for Christmas. A lonely Christmas filled only with the
likes of Chinese food, walls devoid of memory, and finally, Her. That’s it. She’s all I have left for the most part. And with all that I have massacred in my relentless pursuit of power, the atrocious nightmares with that nameless Roman general, and the vampiric eyes of Her , what did it all mean? Actually I have more than Veronica. Sorrow and an unrelenting sense of a chaotic mind damaged by some French asshole who liked to burn people for the fuck of it. I find myself disappearing into the black mist of the psychological sea...a sea haunted by sharks and poisonous coral reefs...lurking with sirens to rape me and whisper poems of sweet malice...and I still watch myself in the mirror dissipating further into the waves...all for an ideology of standards in the name of haute cuisine. I can feel Louis now, tickling, dismembering my brain and screaming words of fire and blood. The screaming, the sexual torture of her body...and so this doomed empire sinks beneath the waves and crumbles to the black earth.
What I do from here I’m not sure. But I hold myself, with dreams of Veronica’s arms shielding
my mind from the rattle and decay of that haunted Pennsylvanian bistro and the tyrant lurking inside...where horror does bring infinite masochism..followed by a disturbance and a scratching in the brain. And that was the hymn of some ferocious man in an apartment down in Philadelphia...........................
“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.” - Stephen King, Pet Sematary