your cache of stolen instruments brought in just enough, well, cash, at the pawn shoppe to make for an interesting afternoon. what can truly be said of this kind of bartering? well if you've gotta ask then you ain't invited, friend.
rock and roll of a different sort. your fingertips are blackened, the preexisting calluses now resembling the stark, dead surface of sun-scorned Mercury. but physical appearance is the least of your fucking worries.
there's things to forget, obligations to flake on, expectations to fall far, far short of.
none of you care for what's been set out before you. it didn't make sense 10 years ago and as you draw nearer to the finish line, it still doesn't mean shit.
you watch X as he prepares his kit and it is fucken amazing! his preparation man. the focus. he doesn't even blink! his boney fingers load up the rock with the hurried determination of a revolutionary soldier loading his musket, fervent redcoats bearing down on him, drawing ever nearer, ready to run their bayonets right into his chest cavity.
for god, for country, for spinal bliss. your central nervous system will thank you later.
Y is just as fascinated by X's skill and focus. he spends extended slices of time watching him, half making sure he doesn't fuck up on account of the speed bumps, half waiting in anticipatory silence, like a Nazi doberman awaiting the shrapnel-laden scraps of American war dead. yeah. he's really chomping at the shit. he has a drug test next week.
as for you? you've got your rights and you plan to exercise them.
rock's in. your turn. you hold the pipe at a 60 degree, your knuckles caressed by the sagging headliner of Y's piece of shit Cutlass Supreme. the car reeks of dick, Doublemint, and now, drug smoke.
none of you wear seatbelts. that way if you crash, you'll be more certain to go. take the mystery out of things.
and the way Y is air-drumming on the steering wheel (Hot For Teacher tends to do that to people, especially when the neurotoxins start flowing), a crash seems about as certain as certain can be.
you worry, as you tend to do. but, in a moment of inspiration and genuine goodwill, X throws another rock in.
"Yeah?" he asks, as though you wouldn't approve.
"i'm HOT FOR TEECHUH!" screams Y at a terrified Arab couple in a hybrid. a role reversal of sorts.
baby on board! baby on board! baby on board! baby on board! baby on board! bright yellow beacon fucking your world up.
little do they know that given the state of things, their cargo's gonna end up riding in the Cutlass Dream Supreme someday, blasting rocks and punching hookers in the stomach with the best of 'em.
and oh boy, oh henry, the best of 'em are in that vehicle. that raggedy showcase of post-oil crisis American craftsmanship. Buy American, Bleed American, Blow American.
this is the 7th straight day you've been at it. you're a real hero, you know that? i wasn't sure about how to go about this, so i'll just ask. do you want to be the godfather of my kid? actually, don't answer now. i'll give you some time to think about it. this is an important thing this. wouldn't wanna RUSHIT.
the world streaks by, seemingly in as much of a pre-mortem daze as you. the windows are filthy, but the streets are filthier. best-week-EVERRRR!
no food, not much sleep. just a healthy regimen of heart-stoppingly wonderful amphetamines to keep the day away. in that plush backseat, you feel like your respiratory function is being compromised. fight through that shit.
Y is going on about how flashing your high beams at traffic lights changes them from red to green.
"it's called Strobe Alert. 911 amberlance trucks use it and shit. for EMERGENCIES."
given that you're all walking, talking, living, breathing emergencies at this point (and at all corresponding points), the word resonates in the hollow cavities not occupied by toxified grey matter and strained muscle, bouncing around like a SuperBall made of pure adrenochrome. you all laugh in unison, tickled pink at the thought of your earth-shattering lunacy.
head thrown back, eyes closed, Y tears through the next interjunctionsection, not really bothering to test his Strobe Alert theory.
you've never heard so much horn-blowing, nor have you seen so much finger-throwing.
he pushes that whip to its limits and it gives as good as it gets baby. the Blue Banshee powerslides into Number 1 Liquors, but not many are in the parking lots to be appalled. you can't fathom that it's 10:17 a.m. doesn't bother you though.
makes you feel like some sort of fucking WarMachine, some sort of nutso, fucked-though maniac jumping out of a plane and slitting like 50 throats before banging out every horizontal cunt in Khe Sanh. then you know what you gotta do right? burn that motherfucker!
yeah that's right. you are the harbingers of a new era. an extemporaneous thing whose sole purpose is to destroy the psychological (and physiological) constructs of homo sapiens sapiens. a nuclear anachronism that, to be entirely honest, couldn't be more timely.
along with a staggering X and Y, you sidle up to Number 1 Liquors, telepathically agreeing to approach the place like you're going to rob it. but when will you stop pretending? will it be at the wheelchair dip in the curb? will it be the sound of the ding-dong at the door that snaps you out of it?
before YOU can decide, X is holding his hand, in a gun-shaped fashion, no more than one inch in front of the asian cashier's face. screaming at her. not really "gimme the cash" screaming. no. more like, "gimme that log of peach skoal" screaming.
you try to stop him, to get him under wraps, but then he points the thing at YOU. what the fuck?! i thought you were my boy and now you point a fucking gun at me?! fuck you dude! you whip out your strap, tom cruise-style and point it at his heart. you've seen a lot of movies. you know what you're doing.
"MOTHER-FUCKER!" Y comes into view, crushing on a bag of pork rinds and drinking an as-yet-unpaid-for beer.
startled, you both train your weapons on him. he drops the beverage and bag of pork snacks, both of them hitting the linoleum at the same time.
the objects hit the floor in that sick, slo-mo fashion that the kids seem to love so much these days. but while you and X were focusing on how cool that fucking looked, Y managed to grab his gat from his leg holster.
the three of you. the best of friends. now all heated and tense and enemy like, guns aimed at vital organs, silence broken only by the rotation of the poorly maintained ceiling fan overhead.
tension. drenched in sweat. most likely on account of the standoff, but that second rock might also have something to do with it. it was pretty big.
the room is spinning, but in your fucked-up headtrap, it feels more like one of those crazy, Jerry Bruckheimer-esque circular tracking shots where like 80 dudes have guns on each other, each one telling the one next to him to drop his weapon.
not til you drop yours man! then the skittish methhead has a miniature seizure or some shit and 80 people get their brains blowed offffff.
"you guys are weird." she's not afraid anymore, though she should be. because this just isn't "normal." she's cute. asian. blonde hair pulled back like a real k-pop superstar. probably gives terrible head though. awkward. you'd have to finish yourself.
she repeats her observation. perhaps because you're all still standing there, stone-faced, panting in uncertain desperation. or maybe it's because you're all still wearing those ridiculously large bras you stole from TJMaxx yesterday.
"are you gonna buy something, cuz if not, you gotta go!" look at her. trying to sound authoritative. "you-guys-are-weird." under her breath, but not entirely inaudible.
like a fucking organic version of the Blue Banshee, X breaks the tension of the standoff, springing up on the counter in an incredible display of athleticism given all the crack he's smoked in the last week. he nearly knocks over the lotto machine, but somehow has the presence of mind to grab it just as it breaches the precipice, preventing a fall.
this is gonna be good.
"WEIRD-" he stammers, adjusting his bra but keeping the gun trained on her. straight-faced, straight laced. all wrapped up. great support. a really beautiful pattern. i can't believe it was on sale! free.99!
he composes himself.
"WEIRD is a dastardly word madame! WEIRD has committed many young, brave souls to their ultimate demise! WEIRD has enslaved entire races and it has burned pre-teen girls at the stake! for its own sick enjoyment! WEEEEYYERDDD, young lady, is a vir-u-lent thing, so i suggest you exercise extreme caution before deciding to USE IT!"
the gun is shaking violently by now; like the rookie cop facing down the FBI's 5th most wanted fugitive at Penn Station.
"so you're not robbing me?" asks the Asian calmly.
"haha fuck no!" you assure her. during X's oscar-caliber mini-soliloquy, you and Y have loaded up on enough grain alcohol, bourbon, and Beast Ice to cause a billion drunk driving accidents. you hoist your haul onto the counter beside X. "fuck no. i don't gets down with dry anal rape. and i hear there's a lot of that in prison."
she feigns understanding.
you carefully pull X down from the counter, taking care that he doesn't slip on one of the scratch offs. none of you have insurance. you urge X to holster his weapon, and he duly complies. atta boy.
the asian popstar rings you up and as you leave, shouldering your load of booze, cackling like hyenas, she wonders if she'd just born witness to something ethereal.
fallen angels? time travelers? crossdressing alien bounty hunter club promoter pornstar activists? or maybe it was just your imagination baby. bad dream. now go back to sleep. we'll figure it out in the morning.
as the poem goes, the world may never know.
all that can be sure is that you're just gonna try to be as weird as you can be. because your best is all the world can ask of you.
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