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Your eyes are Mob Piru red. Beet red. You're tired of using your atrophied muscles to prop them open. Tired of snapping your brain back awake. Just tired. You nod off for about 8 seconds. As you realize what's happening, you snap back awake, momentarily, stiffened by the shock of what almost happened. In a few seconds, you feel yourself slump back into semi-slumber. You snap back awake and dig your rough fingernails into your forearm. Neon green lights dance across the edges of your half-drawn eyelids. You can't go on like this. You order up a bottle of red.
If I have a daughter? She's going to be WELL ARMED. Look at her wrong, she'll shoot your dick off from ten paces. I know TOO MUCH about you fellows. I know what you think and how you think it. Keep it in your skull, friend. When my little pum'kin hits the street, she can do ANYTHING SHE DAMN WELL PLEASES, because you're not going to have shit to say to her. Not with a scotal sac ripped ajar by hollow points. She'll get a Glock 19 for graduation. She'll sense your approach. Fuck with her and feel the burn.
WHO'S THAT LADY? Pulled over by I-85, dirty blonde hair in a bun, oversized jeans and t-shirt, getting patted down by a dispatch from the po-po hornet's nest? BEAUTIFUL, FINE LADY. Parading her kids, 2 and 4, through the mini mall? SEXY LADY. Staggering and swaggering through Buckhead, drunk, at quarter past 2? Or the one on the back of the Natural Wonders video box that looks a bit like a deliriously coked up version of my, uh, unpredictable ex-gal from 2 years ago? GOTTA KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON; IF I DON'T, SHE'LL DO ME WRONG. Here's to the females.
Munn always says a bit less than he, in his heart o' hearts, feels is necessary. Better to leave something unsaid than to say too much. He's like the goddamn Sphinx, Munn is. Speaks in riddles. Would've spoken in rhymes, had he belonged to an earlier era. But speaking in rhymes, these days, would be a tad obvious. Particularly for Munn, master of opacity. I was flattered when Munn took me into his rare confidence and offered me raw sincerity. Didn't seem to be holding himself back at all. Munn won't bullshit you. If he ACKNOWLEDGES your hide, you're lucky.
BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO REMAINS (RELATIVELY) SOBER: THE PARTY IS TRULY THROWN FOR THAT MAN'S ENTERTAINMENT. Bishop remained the relatively sober man these days, more out of necessity than design. After all these years, all these mornings, he found himself exhausted. Tired of sucking down foul-tasting Powerade to keep the brutal but necessary coffee from spewing out of his churning gut. Tired of, in general, feeling WEAK. So, these days he'd grab a can of beer first thing, retreat to the john when it expired, fill it back up with tapwater and watch the party slowly and hilariously deteriorate.
What a cowardly piece o’ shit. Taking it out on his girl. Too insecure to pick a fight with anyone else. Nice bellow, tho’. Makes my eardrums sound like blown out tweeters. Probably shredding that poor girl’s soul. I’ve no fucking clue why she takes such shit off such a man. A man without the fortitude to raise his voice against what’s really annihilating him. A better man would at least strain to see what’s really eating him. Would scream into an inky, unheeding vacuum, if that was the only sincere thing to do. And I am a better man.
Jameson looked ageless. Or, at least, sharp for a man of any age. Sharp. His tie pointed straight at his dick. Which wasn’t where his danger lay. Hadn’t been hard in years. Once sputtered pre-cum, but never got far. Now retired. Jameson’s soul roamed the alleys and sewers in the rough neighborhoods on the outskirts of his skull. Places he’d never take anyone. Places his colleagues never thought could exist. He talked a good game and walked through shitty areas with the curtains drawn. One day, he decided to bring a colleague along for the ride. This invitation ruined Jameson.
No one knows much about her. She looks Italian, and I suppose you could say she sounds it too, but her accent is more that of an urban American mutt. Brooklyn, maybe? She has stories from everywhere that spark intrigue and sound true but, boiled down content-wise, don’t lend much evidence on her personal history. Her parents were either bums or royalty, depending on who you ask, and no one has a direct citation from her. She talks about the Sudan a lot and listens to Dutch pop music, at least when I’m riding shotgun. She’s a MEAN belly dancer.
I'M BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE HEARTWRENCHING SACRIFICE THAT MAKES A MAN BITTER, BUT TOO WEARY TO BE TRULY HATEFUL, AND OLD BEFORE HIS TIME. But I know that time remains to dodge that man's quiet, self-loathing fate. And I know that it's a gradual process, requiring constant adjustment and interrogation of the demons that would sabotage me. I no longer have patience with the self-forgiving cynics of the world, particularly the ones that "misanthropically" hold the rest of us to a higher standard. Nor do I have time or energy for needless self-reproach. I grow, I abide and I rise.
You're a shallow, needy, manipulative drama queen, and I'm sorry I summoned the wrath of the elements by giving you credit for anything greater. No wonder no one pays attention to you now. No wonder you still talk shit on my name at regular intervals, while I haven't mentioned you to anyone I've met in the last two years. I'm more interesting than you. I evolved. I conjured a better man from the ruins of my old life. You just got sour and tiresome. For the last time: Fuck you. You're a tired joke. Unfunny. Now, go do something useful.
DAYS SUCH AS THESE ARE TO BE ENDURED, NOT ENJOYED. On this day, I can't argue. Some piece o' shit hocked a pool of loogeys where my boot now rests. Sad songs are ripe for overappreciation on such a day. Angel, o angel, overexposure sheds cruel light on thy limitations. I often feel as though I'm simply sweating out this life, bleeding it for what little it's worth with no hope or expectation that it'll amount to shit at day's close. I care nothing for the full-tilt suckers of this world. I don't need a sense of superiority, just water.
INSIDE THE TROJAN HORSE. Goddamn it. It's fucking hot in this motherfucker. I wish we WOULD have to fight some motherfuckers tonight. I need to get some AGRESSION out after being packed like sardines with all these other smelly bastards. I hope this loser goofball knows what he's doing. Backhanded power move, they say. Impress these motherfuckers with our obsequious generosity. I guess they think we'll get shredded without this kind of stratagem. So, if we're overpowered, I'm fucked regardless. Might as well see what happens. Wonder where we are right now. Wonder if I can fight worth shit dehydrated.
Proximity to large bodies of water, be they oceans, rivers or lakes, hightens all of my senses and cleans the shit out of my head. No matter how gold you think you are, ASK THE PRICE, even if it's on special, particularly if the bathrooms are clean and free of couplets and there's no cover and no cover band. If you can hear your date's calm banter and your footwear doesn't stick to the floor, you're risking getting only ones back off your ten. Anything called "Apple Pie Martini" leaves only crumpled ATM receipts in the pockets of yesterday's trou.
Your lust for momentary gratification makes you predictable. Your contradictions illuminate your true motives. And your ratchet jaw makes you so, so vulnerable. You lack the honesty to admit your weaknesses, outside giggly reverse boastfulness. You lack the self-awareness to improve, to avoid your own ruin. I may play a small part in that ruin. I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to mastermind it myself. However, you wasted the days when I was a merciful man. I wouldn't cross the street to piss on you. But I'd advise that you cross the street at my approach. And shutdafucup.
Persephone descends slowly back into hell. A celebratory boozehound sails off a trampoline, breaks his neck and dies. When his buddy at last gets up the nerve to hop on a ‘line again, he immediately hears his bulbous teardrops bounce back toward the sun. An ice cream truck flattens a blonde 6 year-old. Two months on, it finds itself rusting on cinderblocks. No one even bothered to scrub the plowed driver's piss off its upholstery. Two worlds collide; one world summarily crumbles. Unfortuitous happenstance. Bad hap. Mala suerte. That unmistakable sensation, resistant to logic, that the finer days lie behind.
I'm an attractive man. So they say. A bona fide looker. Works to my advantage. It's easy as pie to seem dumber than my mark. And it's easier to chat ‘em up. To flatter. To prod. To get in a blow to the back of the head, with a velvet glove. People trust me. Or at least want to. Give me money. Give me information. It's easy to keep my ears to the track. No one's going to ask me to leave. No one suspects me of anything save standing around looking good. Which, theythinks, must be its own reward.
Jeanie was a stay-at-home socialite. Sounds impossible in this acrid, arid age, sure, but I figured it was worth subsidizing with my Big Game winnings. I slid her hubby Ambrose, let's just say, A FEW grand a month. Installments. Would've NEVER given it all to him at once, or I'd've had to bail him out of some gin-drenched hell by week's end. As it was, Jeanie could spend the day decorating their swank, swank digs and entertain family friends in the eve. Until Ambrose nodded drunkenly off and my day truly began. Ambrose sawed as the sun warmed earth's backside.
She doesn't remember the date. Some miserable, sweltering day in July. Or August. Some steamy, sweat-gushing day in the dregs of the GA summer. 2:48 PM. The minute she blew her facade. Hit the breaking point with regards to protocol. Spoke her mind. Dropped the plow. Let everyone know what she'd been pondering for the last 4 years. Heaved a boulder into the placid pool of village collective awareness. No one gave much of a shit. If memory served. Blankness. Business continuted. Much as usual. A few, those that'd regarded themselves as confidants, looked at her with a fresh distrust.
Ah, to be hated. To know that I am loathed, by some anonymous fuck that remains at large, skulking in the shadows, avoiding confrontation. I'll likely never know the identity of the cowardly bitch that did this. It shouldn't bother me. And, truly, it doesn't. It makes me distrust ALL you self-involved cocksucks a smidgen more, which is indeed my gain. Glad to serve as a screen for your pathetic projections. Glad to remind you of your deep, bottomless, eternal inferiority. I aim to please. Whether or not I take revenge (after I obtain the necessary information), It's All Good.
Punk rock is a dumb, destructive joke that's lingered 3 decades without yielding a punchline. In fact, why not consign all MUSIC to Vegas? NOISE is the only sound left with spine-control potential, the only thing dangerous enough to be interesting. Time for a violent coup, Johnny Rockstar. Chuck everything you know and give ‘em migraines. PAIN. Oh, I won't be tagging along, natch. I've tendered enough time, thought and energy to music for one lifespan. I'm moving on to the next concept. But I'll be excited to hear about the leases you break, the suicidal fans and the NOISE.
All Haskins' friends, enemies and acquaintances are dead. So, if only for awhile, before he craps out himself, Haskins is forgiven. Forgiven for taking advantage of all those naive bitches. Well, those one or two naïve bitches. For asking too much from those fabulous few elegant ladies and bugging the shit out of them like a horsefly that won't move along. For terrorizing his ex-gal that one night he was drunk and feeling low. For playa hatin' on the next man for reasons he can't quite recall. For being an asshole when kicked outta the bar. Nowadays, Haskins stays in.
Anton Provost was driving to the local Arby's, with his brother (who was temporarily headquartered in this town; Anton was down here for defensive driving school, paying his man a visit) riding shotgun. Anton explained his plan to split the world wide open. It wasn't particularly detailed or what you'd call SOLID, but he felt he was on to something. Anton had watched the sun come up through some tasty little Bettie Page lookalike's window as her lips sucked affectionately at his aspiring manhood. He did not yet experience particularly grueling hangovers. He was young. An idiot. Life was delicious.
I'm ready to go. I've been ready to go for a long, LONG time. This shit got old in '73. I've been ready to croak longer than you've been alive. I've got regrets older than your parents. But no memories to prove or disprove their validity. No memories, period. Can't remember shit. Can't muster the energy to be the romantic I promised myself I'd be at this stage. Can't feel anything except what's in my goddamn tired bones. Not interested in anything anymore. Just tired. 24 goddamn hours a day. Not scared to die. Too fucking patient to kill myself.
Sara knew she didn't have to take anymore of the hub's whining bullshit. Knew she could now be all the cunt she could be, had always wanted to be. Knew now that this was a training marriage. For practice. Not that the experience had been all bad. Hardly. Living her life beside this graceless, incapable, thankless pussy of a man had given her cause to carve out a quiet place in her soul. The place she now resided. An inner life of richness she never believed in before. So she pushed him away. Let him take the low road out.
YOU'LL NEVER GET OUT OF THIS WORLD ALIVE. Mommy had a job interview today. You don't think she got it. You sidestep a pounding by not venturing home just yet. You could use some fresh air. You and Kevin ride down to the lake, high off some weed that smelled like yard clippings. He's got some chick riding shotgun. She's missing a tooth. He sprays a black swastika on the side of a shed. You crack about ancient peace symbols. You're inappropriately clever when stoned. She shows you a swastika he sharpied on her calf when she was passed out.
I was walking across the green with Aussie Dave earlier when we passed a guy and a gal. I’ve gotten used to manually correcting my automatic assumption that all guy and gal companions I see are couples. That sort of thinking causes more problems than it’s worth. The guy was a tank-built black man, dressed collegiate preppy with a cross round his neck. The girl was your nondescript blonde college hottie. As they passed us, Tank said, emphatically, “Wanna go make out in the bathroom?” Was it part of a story, or a proposition? Did it somehow involve us? Curious.
BLAZING SAND. Comes in a clear plastic bag, with wicks buried inside. Turns any fireproof container into a candle. Became a curiosity at the J&J Flea Market table we were working. Two scents for a dollar. That’s cool, lady; if you’re an asthmatic, I understand. An old, baseball cap-sporting walleyed motherfucker seemed intrigued. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” he commented in a subterranean grumble, “and I’ve been all over the world.” No one wanted the lamp. Everyone already HAD a beat up coffeemaker. The yellow t-shirts sold for reasons unrelated to the emblazoned bands. But blazing sand captured imaginations.
NO MORE FAKE NEWSPAPERS. No more rejected frat boys gnawing at the rapidly decaying carcass of The Onion, slapping together whatever phoned-in snottiness they can gather between flunked astronomy exams. No more jovial slapping of strawman ass. By actually LAUGHING at death, misery, dishonesty and parallax, you’re killing a small part of yourself, allowing the rest of the organism to thrive. It’s painful to look at for all but a few, for whom it provides a salve. It’s no different from tragedy. Anything else is comedy at a lower form. Failed satire. Excruciating mediocrity. Makeshift rebellion for aspiring squares. Bullshit.
IN HER SLEEP. As Candi licked between his toes, she thought of her ideal vacation getaway. As Candi slurped his nuts from the back side, she thought of the most fitting revenge for each of her many enemies. As Candi tossed his salad, she thought of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. As Candi slobbered on his head and sipped his precum, she thought of leaving this town. As Candi softly kissed his chest, she said a prayer for the unfortunate. As Candi flipped him over and rode his prong like a hobbyhorse, she thought of wrongs that could feasibly be righted.
60 cents? Fuck that. Howzabout 20 DOLLARS, friend? Sound nice? OK. Here’s your end. Can you find your way up there and back? Can you be there then? Will you recognize him, he who will arrive there then? Your end: Blacken both this motherfucker’s shifty eyes and bloody his nose. Don’t kill him. Don’t send him to the hospital, unless he’s such a goddamn milquetoast that he caves under the minor pressue you’ll apply. Just fuck him up a tad. Leave him disoriented, eh? Come back here then. Your 20 skins will be waiting. You can trust me. We straight?
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