Blue Country #3

WOOOOOAHHHH


Joe

It’s New Years eve, and I’m thinking about going out, but really I’m pretty tired from last night (all night in somebody’s tree house of all places just drinking cheap beer, bought by somebody Derek Heaton works with or something like that) and not sure I even want to go out, instead I think about calling Hannah and having her come over here. Her phone rings about three times before her message comes on and it’s something pretty standard but undeniably her voice makes it a little too cute. “Hey, iiiiit’s Hannah, leave me a message and I’ll get back to you, love ya.” I could leave a message but it’ll show up that I called anyway and it seems like a waste of time, plus I think a little mystery is better.

Instead I hang out on my bed naked and I turn the TV on, start flipping through the channels, I see on Fox News that an Armenian kid shot up his school with an arsenal that one wonders how he was able to get, but you know… Wal-Mart right? So I keep flipping more explosions in deserts far away, somebody found a kid stuffed into an inflatable pool toy, apparently cause of death being 12 inch sewing needles inserted through the temples, the walrus faced sheriff pledging to search and destroy until the killer is apprehended and burned alive with hydrochloric acid. A white girl’s been kidnapped by a circus strong man, and a 94 year old man was found half rotted and being eaten by an opossum inside his living room in North Carolina, plus in the house next door to that one a three armed Cyclops had been living between the walls and feeding off the fish he robs from the giant aquarium the family keeps well stocked with exotic tropical flounders, and it’s all just so boring, so… typical, so I stifle a yawn and get up to brush my teeth with my Sensodine, whitening toothpaste.
 
I’m right in the middle of flossing a bicuspid, and my phone starts vibrating and I know it’s Hannah without even looking, so I let it ring six times, and I answer it.
 “Hey Babe, what’s up?” I ask floss still hanging out coated with a little blood from my gums.

“Nothing much. We’re at Nathan’s dad’s house, not really a whole lot going on, but we’re gonna go meet up with this guy Stephanie knows, I think she wants to buy some mollies, and after we were gonna go get some food and maybe wait out the New Year at…” and she pauses not quite sure. “My house? Anyway you wanna meet up somewhere?”

I debate, not entirely sure what I want to do, not exactly not wanting to go, but not real excited, the main temptation being the mollys Stephanie’s picking up. “One second babe, I’ve got another call.” I say to buy some time while I think. I put her own hold for two minutes and I decide I’ll meet her at her house in an hour or so, relate this to her and hang up.
 I’m back on my bed now pulling on some clothes, and the TV’s still on so I change the channel again until I come to sesame street and for old times sake I leave it on; it looks like Bert and Ernie are fighting about sharing, and the counting vampire is helping them get through it. I can’t help but imagine the weird purple skinned vampire devouring the two puppet roommates’ whole, but I don’t dwell on it too long and I’m at Hannah’s house within the next 45 minutes.

Sitting on the ground outside my car I look out over the neighborhood with all it’s houses and lawns and I don’t see any real order to the set up, the way people describe the small town design of sameness. Instead I see tall houses in some places with plastic toys left out from the day, and I see some houses with blue paint, some with red paint, some with yellow, and even the driveways look different though all are made of concrete or asphalt.
 Hannah’s house, which I actually have to slide over to the other side of my car to see, appears almost to be a giant robot face, the windows like horrified open eyes, like some old man who knows that something evil is going on in all the other houses, and the door like a tall mouth elongating some word that I just cannot hear.

Even though I have been waiting for what I think is 45 minutes the girls haven’t shown up yet, so basically I decide to eat half the bag of mushrooms that I bought from Eric Allen two nights ago, and I lie down on the hood of my car waiting for it to kick in, and rather predictably as soon as they do start to kick in and I can feel my head raining down to my feet in ten distinct pieces made of ice cold glass, and bouncing off the ground pinging like an Eskimo’s xylophone playing on my back teeth, Hannah’s blue sedan pulls in. “Hey, babe.” I say as she comes closer slipping into the kiss hug routine we’ve practiced. “Have you seen these houses, the ones across the street, and…” I’m gesticulating a little wildly trying to point at all the houses at once with one finger. “Just all the… blue houses on the west side of tha Strizeets. It’s just awfully … it screams Indian mystical sweat lodge to me babe. You know… beauty rushing out your fingertips. I love it.” I can’t really make my self understood, my words staying on my plane of existence sailing over her like an ocean hanging over a sea, and she looks at me a little strangely, but I’m not slurring my words and when you think for a second I’m actually making a lot of sense, so she ignores the observation but steps away from the hug which I now see I’ve enveloped her in pretty tightly, her head pushed directly against my chest and kind of grinding around while I sashayed around in my excitement.

“Joe, I’m sorry we like took so long, we did not want to stay in that, like, drug den as long as we did, or at least I didn’t.” she say’s glaring playfully at Stephanie. “But… well you know how those people are, not exactly together, and it took like forever.”
   I nod, not exactly paying attention but not ignoring either, and I notice for the first time since she showed up that she’s wearing a blue tank top that say’s “Girly” over the left breast, and the dot over the eye is a yellow swirly vortex, and for some reason I’m almost depressed by this but I smile anyway.
  “I’ve only been here for a few minutes anyway, I wasn’t … too bored. I ate a few, you know… shrooms.” I say. She narrows her eyes a little, like an accusatory look sort of, and her shoulders drop in a way I think is kind of bitchy. “Are you serious Joe?” Her voice tinged with weariness or… something. “Yeah babe.” I say. “I ate some crazy shit, and just decided to like, you know… just freak out for a while.” I say.

“Oh my GOD, Joe.” Hannah says, and punches me, actually kind of hard, in the chest, but she’s smiling a little and I can tell she likes that I’ve done this thing, that I always do this, and for a second I love her a little, and I can see her aura, gold but flaming a little purple with her excitement and it moves something in me to kiss her shoulder and all the girls are laughing now, and I surprise myself by offering the rest of the bag to whoever wants it. I’m not even feeling the cold.

It’s later and me and this girl I’d never met who I think said her name was Melanie, a little fat, freckled face, green eyes and nice designer clothes, not too attractive, and Stephanie, Hannah’s I think BEST FRIEND, (smoking hot too by the way) are coming inside from the porch having finished eating the rest of the mushrooms. The fat girl (Melanie? Melinda?) is saying that she’s “looking at some rainbows” but I know for a fact that they do not kick in that fast, and I’m slightly disgusted that she needs to fake this. “Taste the rainbow.” I say, not sarcastically, to Stephanie and she cracks up for some reason, and I think she may be laughing at me for a minute and I feel the black snakes of panic my snapping at my balls.
 
“What’s funny about that? SHE’S TASTING FUCKING RAINBOWS!” I scream and Stephanie stops giggling, looking a little freaked out now, and now I start laughing. I drop to the floor and slither around like a vacuum cleaner; I’m half way to the fridge (and the Tropicana waiting on the shelve inside the shelf on the inside of the door) when I remember the ball munching serpents and I want to kill them, so I start thrusting my pelvis, to crush their heads, and I’m laughing hysterically when I get to Stephanie’s feet and I start pushing on her shoes with my chin. She looks down and I’m surprised again that she’s not finding any of this odd, she’s doubled over laughing crazily, acting nuts.
 “You’re a freak, Joe.” She says between laughs, but it sounds affectionate, so I don’t freak out, and I think she thinks I’m trying to be funny so I just roll over. “Yeah.” I say … wistfully? For a second I’m worried again but I get up now, to my feet and get the Tropicana out of the fridge and for a minute all is right in the world.
Peter
In town, I stop off at three different stores with Eric Allen. Eric shoplifts a Spin magazine, three Snickers bars and a package of light bulbs. He takes these same items from every store. He doesn’t hide them under his jacket or stuff them in his pockets he just picks them up and walks out of the store with them, lingering outside even while we talk and he smokes a cigarette. He gets calls on his cell-phone and I can make out the voices of younger kids that were a few years behind me in High School, asking if he has any cocaine. He tells some of them that he does and tells others that he doesn’t do that anymore, or telling them he’ll call back and forgetting about them.

The rest of the day is a series of stopping in at different stores across the county, driving fast in Eric’s Acura, waving at the girls riding four to a car, visibly smoking out of glass bowls, they’re dyed blonde hair unmoving in the breeze of their open windows. A girl with pigtails looks up from the backseat, with these incredible fuck me eyes, licking her lips, half smiling at us. Eric laughs and says “Craziness.” He barely looks at any of the other cars on the road, only taking his hands off the wheel to ash the cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth.

We stop off at Dunkin Donuts and Eric talks to a girl he knows that works there, a chubby red haired chick, with bloody looking eyeballs. She smiles widely when he walks in and they hug over the counter. I see a girl that I fucked last year but she doesn’t recognize me, or at least she pretends not to, so I don’t approach her either. I don’t think I ever got her phone number.

“Who’s that girl?” I ask when Eric sits next to me at the booth near the window, carrying a bag of bagels and an ice coffee.

“She owes me three thousand dollars.” He says. “I heard she stole a pound of cocaine from somebody.”

“Whoa.” I say, impressed.

“Apparently she’s going to get her legs broken, real quick here. Her and her boyfriend.”

“What? No way.” I say.

“I know, it’s crazy.” He replies.

“And this girl owes you money?” I ask.

“Yeah but…” He starts to say.

Neither of us says anything for a moment, and I stare over at the Red haired girl. She’s smiling at the people she has to serve, but theirs something wrong with the way she’s looking at them. She seems more dead than alive.

“Maybe, I’ll lay off for a little.” He says.

“Yeah.” I say.

We drive back to his house and start drinking his whiskey. He’s only taking moderate sips every few minutes, but I’m pulling down long deep swallows, one after the other after the other. The room starts resembling the inside of a kaleidoscope and I’m fiddling with my cell phone, calling everybody I know. I get in touch with Hector and he agrees to meet Jonny and me at Crankee’s, which is this crappy little venue for local punk bands.

“Just, let’s not hang out there all night this time, ok?” Hector says.

“Hector, don’t worry.” I say. “Let’s not make plans so far ahead, Allright?”

“Hey man, I’m comfortably numb.” He replies.

“That’s fucking…special as hell.” I say.

Eric says he’s going to chill at his place, so Jonny comes and picks me up and we head over to Crankee’s.

I’m inside, searching the crowd for some fucked apart slut who I can bring home and bang into oblivion, and there before my eyes is Hannah Tepes, Joe’s girlfriend. She’s standing on the sidelines watching the dazed out hardcore kids dancing around and smashing into each other. I walk over to her and attempt to make eye contact, finally connecting and when she see’s me she smiles and walks over.

“Peter, what’s going on?” She asks.

“Just…perusing the crowd.” I say, smiling, leaning towards her. I’m trying to keep her face in focus, picking her chin as a fixed point to look at, so I can retain the face-to-face contact, but remain standing. I know that she’s not oblivious enough to miss the fact that I’m out of my skull crazy intoxicated, but her face show’s no sign of registering this fact.

The blur named Hannah asks me if I’m here with anybody and I tell her no, that I came alone, even though I think she might have seen me come in with Hector and Jonny.

“What have you been drinking?” She asks.

“Umm…scotch.” I say under my breath.

“What?” She says. “What are you thinking? Did you say swatch? Like… a plastic watch?” She asks.

“Oh what am I thinking?” I say, looking her in the eye, smiling widely. “Why?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” She says. “It looked like you were thinking something.”

I think about saying that I was thinking about what kind of faces she must make when she cums, which isn’t true because I wasn’t thinking about anything except how drunk I am, but instead I just decide to keep things light. “I wasn’t thinking at all.” I say.


“Really?” She asks, leaning in too now. “ You must have been thinking about something.”

“I was thinking that there’s way too many people in here.” I say.

“Everybody just wants to get fucked.” She yells.

“Then why are they here?” I yell back, pointing at a fat girl smashing her way through the crowd, the look of a starving animal in her eye. The fat girl is working herself into fervor, pumping her arms like a marathon runner. Her batshit crazy dance ends when she trips over the wiry-looking punk kid with the shaved head that she’d axe handled to the ground a few seconds earlier.

“Shut up, I know her.” She says laughing, eyes wide in amusement.

“She seems well-bred.” I say.

“She’s an artist. She only paints pictures of her own asshole.” She says.

I’m trying to imagine the type of person that would be interested in something like that. The fact that they’re could be a market for insane self-portraits of insides of assholes, really uninviting assholes, makes me lose my shit completely.

“What?” I ask.

“Don’t be …old fashioned.” She says. “I simply will not stand for any old fashioned ideas.”

“…But she’s so…fully figured.” I say.


We’re both looking over at her now, she’s laying on her back catching her breathe, staring at the ceiling, seemingly unaware of the flailing arms of the guy she’d trampled upon her fall, sticking out from under her, making wild figure eight like movements.

“She also paints parakeets sometimes.” Hannah adds.

“Para…keets?” I ask.

“Yeah, like…she paints pictures of parakeets, like…having sex with each other. It’s…avante garde.”

“Um…” I start. “Like the birds?”

“Mmm hmm.”

“She’s… enormous.” I say, watching her rise from the wreckage, teeth bared.

“She’s totally talented.” Hannah says, pretending to be offended.

“She…looks like she charges at random. She looks like she …could snap a horse’s spine with a pile-driver.” I say.

“She has a name.” Hannah says, making a dumb face.

“Is it… Giganto Wolfkiller?” I ask.

“Fuck you, man.” She says, sighing and rolling her eyes.

“No, really. Is that the fabled Giganto? Master of the western mountains? Tamer of the Horse people?” I ask, sincerely.

“Her name is Rhianna Sparks, for fuck sake.” Hannah says, punching me lightly on the arm.

“Ah.” I say like I’m realizing something. “The Rhianus Sparksus. Known to charge at random. I could tell, there was something about her that told me she would be one to charge at random.”

“Oh my god, shut up.” Hannah says, looking a little pissed for the first time tonight.

“You can’t stop science!” I yell, drunkenly, slurring the S’s.

She narrows her eyes, looking at me differently then she was when she first spotted me. “Have you seen Joe?” She asks.

I recall seeing him earlier executing a picture perfect Irish Whip maneuver, followed by a flawless German-Suplex on a wildly gesticulating Kevin.

“No, I haven’t seen him.” I say. “Did you… come here with him?”

“…Yeah, sort of.” She says, losing interest suddenly.

I go outside to smoke a cigarette, and Jonnie comes with me. We’re staring out at the parking lot, and we see a girl with dreadlocks and this boy with a stud through his nose, and they’re arguing about something. Theres a nice breeze coming in from the east, and even though I can’t function normally at this moment, I still end up going home with this girl that bums a cigarette off of me.

“I was adopted.” She says and I’m drunk enough to tell her that I don’t care.

Joe

“What do you think?”

Theres four girls on the other side of the theatre that I’m trying to look at but it’s hard to see them in the dark, the only light coming from Angelina’s big glowing head on the big screen, and for a second I think one of them is returning my stare but, again, it’s hard to tell.
 
“What do you think Joe?” Kevin says to me, but I haven’t been listening to him at all, or really to a word he’s said since maybe … 1998, so I just say, “yeah, go for the gold.” And from the face he makes, slightly confused but attempting to interpret, I decide it may not be a great response, but that it will do. “Ok let’s get out of here.” He says, and I realize I just agreed to walk out of the movie; I’m a little disappointed, not that the movie was great, it was shit, but I’ll never know now about those girls on the other side of the theatre, but really whatever, and we get up and make for the exit.

 Kevin gets a call on his cell phone, the ring tone sounds like “Don’t Stop Believing” (hold on to that feelin…) by Journey and it’s Hector Glassier; the volume on Kevin’s phone is loud enough that I can hear him “Hey, man we’ve got like a couple thirty racks and pizza’s, you wanna play some poker…” and so on, Hector sounds a little I don’t know… dumb, but theres not a lot else to do really right now so Kevin asks me if I wanna go and we accept the invite.

I’m feeling very tense as we pull into Hectors driveway, my throat feels like an hourglass, I pretty much just want to get out of there from the get go, but there really is just no graceful way. Theres people playing quarters in the corner, a girl with novelty sized red beads around her neck and clean looking dreadlocks, two guys both wearing shorts, striped collared shirts and sandals, and I can hear them making jokes about the beads being… anal in nature. The group laughs but it’s so forced, the joke so obvious, completely inevitable, somebody was going to make that joke, and the girl with the clean dreadlock’s boyfriend, a kid with black hair and this … barb through his nose, he’s offering to let her fuck him with a turkey baster.  He kisses her, he wants her to know that he’s kinky but it really comes off gay, I feel like I should laugh at him, make fun of him somehow but I really don’t know if it would take in this climate, and my mouth is so dry right now, all I can think about is how much I wish I had a Xanax, I’m counting the exits (2), thinking of different movies I want to see, my eyes feel huge, my tongue gigantic, my gaze is constant and fixed; I see the wallpaper. It’s pattern: flowers growing into each other all interdependent, swirling, (maybe ivy?) it circles the room, it’s like all consuming, it’s… really not that interesting, and yet I will at this moment focus on anything but where I am or how I got here.
 
I smell sex wafting from upstairs, I smell dirty clothes and I smell sweat and I also smell rubber and a lime-scented candle. A Picture of two desperate clinging naked girls flashes into my mind, and it triggers a memory of a book I used to read in the second grade. It was a picture book of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and now I’m telling someone whose name sounded like “Ronald Black” but could just as easily be Donald Slack or Reginald Pewter, all about it. I hear myself saying “How much different would that story be if the emperor had a tremendous penis?” I’m sweating and gnashing my teeth but I can’t help it and Ronald doesn’t miss a beat and replies, “It would be a different story.”
Now were on the same page, were riffing, “The emperor has no clothes on!” I mimic in a little English boy’s voice, “Yeah so what maaaaan?” I finish, but his eyes don’t betray the slightest hint of amusement or recognition or anything other than a perfectly practiced deadpan stare, “You’ve just got to embrace it. Lifestyles can be different all over.” He replies, a reply I like very much, and I’m suddenly aware that the air is just afloat with … witticisms “The problem with blanket statements is that they’re always wrong.” Some boy sharing a pizza with a slightly overweight girl says. “A good bowel movement can save you’re life” from the couch, and “who was the first person to drink milk from a cow… I mean who… with the udders…” but that one’s not so good, and even though it’s coming from a very fuckable girl, it still only gets a few strained smiles.
 
The competition ceases for a second, one voice rising above the others, all attention on a tall kid wearing an orange Hawaiian shirt, slick backed blondish red hair and khaki shorts. Everyone wants to hear his story, he’s talking but I can’t hear anything except guttural screams mixed in with pompous laughter, a picture flashes through my mind again, this time it’s a vision of everyone in this room decked out in 19th century fashion, bowlers and monocles, long green velvet dresses, bonnets, lace, more monocles, and everyone’s sitting on long green chairs arranged in a circle, cigars in everyone’s hand, a black man walking around serving red fedoras off of an hors doeuvres plate and when they laugh the tops of their heads lift off their jaws, the difference between the two halves perfectly symmetrical, like a Russian egg woman split at the lips.

I’m seriously beginning to wish I hadn’t smoked all that PCP yesterday, and I’m wondering why it won’t wear off, and also: What does PCP stand for?. “What?” A girl yells at me, dancing to some music I don’t actually hear. “I didn’t say anything.” I say back and it’s the girl with the clean dreadlocks dancing from side to side, grinding in close, her hips pushing against me. “I can’t hear you!” she yells at me. “Really”, I say in an even, mild voice. “I can hear you… just fine.”

“I can’t understand” she says, really moving now, hips pushing farther into my belt. “You need to speak up!”


I look away a little, fiddling with my cell phone in my pocket, thinking I could probably fuck this girl, but not sure if she’s well… real or a hallucination of the girl with the clean dreadlocks superimposed over maybe a fatter uglier girl.

“Speak up!” She shout’s again.

“I, uh… I prefer to use my indoor voice.” I say.

“I really can’t hear you!” She repeats. Then she abruptly stops dancing, the grinding ceases, she’s standing in front of me, the PCP making it seems like she’s standing next to herself and also behind me, and she’s smiling. Her smile is wide and friendly, the kind of smile that never becomes a smirk and looks like it was carved out of the surface of the sun.

“There that’s better.” She says. “Man, that was some loud music.” Then giggling, really sexy she leans in “What were you saying to me anyway?”

I look her in the eyes (Brown) and I don’t smile back, I just arch my eyebrows, trying to seem intelligent and think of something witty. “Do you think I should grow a mustache?” I ask, sticking my finger under my nose horizontally, simulating a handlebar or perhaps pencil thin mustache.

She looks at me like maybe I’m crazy, but smiling. “If… if you want to.” She replies, but the exchange is followed by a long stretch of awkward silence and I can feel my heart pounding hard, really working for it’s money, ready to leap out of my chest right onto this girls flower print halter top.

“Is that what you were yelling?” She asks. “Is that why you were yelling?”
 I’m thinking to myself that I in fact wasn’t yelling at all, that she started this, but instead I say “Yeah, I was just trying to get a feel…for how you felt about mustaches.” I finish satisfied with my quick thinking. Wait. Why now do I not remember when exactly we smoked the PCP?

“Do you want to go have a smoke?” I think I hear her ask, and I reply that I would go, that it sounds cool, “We should definitely… do that.” And she’s leading me outside by the hand towards the nearest exit, none of it is really happening.

Who was I with? Where did I buy Angel dust around here? Who sells it? I have so many questions and exactly zero answers, I can’t remember anything, is my brain fooling itself? Am I like a poison toad, secreting PCP into my own synapses? Am I tripping on my own chemicals? Am I “rolling” Joe Moore? Suddenly everything is nothing, and all the stars exist in one single point, nothing means anything, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t smoke PCP last night. “You can’t be sure.”

“What?” The girl stops looks at me, “You can’t be sure of what?”

“What’s your shoe size?” I ask, grasping for something to say.

“Why can’t you be sure?” She says eyes narrowed playfully, before adding “Five.”

“Shoe sizes can be…very deceptive.” I say. I’m clenching my fists so hard my fingers are drawing blood from the palms of my hands and I wipe the trickles of blood on my pants.
“In case… maybe I wanted to buy you some slippers.” I say thinking it sounds kind of plausible coming out, but adding, “I mean you never know” for good measure and “In this crazy world.” Just to finish off the sentence, you know… round it out.

We sit outside on a marble bench, smoking her cigarettes, some camel unfiltered, and she’s telling me about how much she “actually enjoys school quite a bit.” And how her favorite color is mauve, and she starts to say something about how much she feels like a slave in her own home, but stops, I think maybe she’s tearing up, I’m thinking that Hannah’s not home tonight, and I think her parents are out of town again. I wonder if I could take this girl to Hannah’s house and fuck her on her parents bed, but I decide against it, just not sure if I can pull it off.

 I’m really not saying anything clever, or funny or interesting, but she’s laughing and listening and keeping eye contact, pretty much no matter what I say, it’s more or less ok. We talk more, she tells me her boyfriend is a “macho idiot.” And that she “really loves peaches.” Crisscrossing topics getting from point A to point C without going through anything I recognized as a point B, me peppering the conversation with “wow” and “Oh.”

“He’s just such an asshole, always has to be the Alpha Dog.” She says pronouncing Alpha Dog ridiculously kind of like Al Phadog, and I feel like a response of some kind is warranted so I go into one really without thinking,” Yeah, you know there’s always some guy, who’s way… too macho.” I say looking over to see if she’s following me, and I’m surprised to see she’s listening, that I’ve actually got a hold of her “you know, he has to prove just how tough he is, a guy walking around… a party…” I look she’s still listening “With a gun stuck up his ass.” I say, not entirely sure where I’m going with this, but she’s still with me “like… barrel first, you know daring people to pull the trigger.” I say. “Go ahead,” I say mimicking somebody … macho I guess. “Pull the trigger destroy my rectum!” I actually scream this last part, I’m off on a tangent, I know this is going nowhere, that I’m rambling, “and you know your just like… “what on earth?”, Cause…ya know” I pause, thinking when is this going to stop?. “That’s a … I mean then you realize that the guy’s been walking around the party bottomless with a phallic object stuck up his ass…” I say, a little confused, still unsure of what my point is, but I’m thinking maybe I’ve found some kind of thesis statement here amidst my own gibberish.
(note this bar isn’t supposed to be here)
She’s still looking at me seriously, like I’ve actually been saying something here, and I realize she’s on like her third cigarette. “So you think Scott’s gay?” she says, seeming like she kind of likes this idea, like maybe she’ll bring it up around Scott the next time she… I don’t know, sees him?

“You think… macho guys are masking their homosexuality?” She asks. “Is that what you’re saying to me? Joe?”


I’m lost in my own thoughts and her responding to my idiocy, although maybe it was
kind of inspired and sort of came together in the end there, snaps me out of it, and I’m
just glad she was able to pull some meaning from a complete lack of any, feeling like
maybe she’s filled some void that’s been looming over me this entire night, and I say,
sighing “Yeah, I’m just saying… it could be.” Suddenly I remember the kid with the barb through his nose telling the clean dreadlock girl that she could sodomise him with a turkey baster if she wanted to, and it all really does come together.

We eventually go inside, and she kisses me on my mouth in the corner while some slow song, I think it’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is playing and there’s like maybe fifty people all swelled into this one little house now, but we don’t end up sleeping together, instead she gives me her number and tells me we should “chill sometime” and she leaves around 2:30, when I realize I don’t know her name, so I just enter her number into my cell phone under the name “Amy” and I go home, but not in Kevin’s car.

“I just really don’t know if I can handle your bullshit tonight Kev.” I say to him, but not meanly. “I mean you really fuck everything up.”



Peter

“Paris Hilton is totally awesome, I write. “She’s rich, and hot. I would love to suck on her titties. She’s accused in this article of breaking into an office building because she needed a place to sleep. I would like Paris Hilton to know that if she ever needs a place to sleep she can stay in my house. She can rest her head on my balls. They are like pillows.”

All these people on this Internet site are fucking bashing Paris Hilton. This one asshole writes back immediately to everything I keep posting. His name is Loveable01dRapist35M.

He writes “Paris Hilton is the reason that the entire Earth sucks. She is a testament to unearned wealth. The fact that she’s famous for being rich, and getting richer from being famous, makes her a piece of crap.

(Her feet look weird also. Has anyone noticed how her arch is way bigger than her heel?”)

I think that’s total bullshit. Paris Hilton has sex all the time, she’s totally rich, she’s famous just for being herself and she does drugs. How is this not cool?

“What’s up with all the outrage?” I write. “Why does everybody have to bash on Paris? She’s rich. She can afford to act the way she does. The reason it’s ok for her and not for you is that she won’t go broke if she stays out every night and does drugs, and you will.
Paris get’s paid a ton of money to do almost nothing. Her name makes her millions of dollars. People pay her to come to their parties. All of you Paris Haters, are jealous. Nobody even invites any of you to any parties. Your names also are worth nothing. The name Hilton is a universally known symbol of wealth and glamour. Your last names are known symbols for you all sucking on each other’s balls.

I defend Paris Hilton for a little while longer, but these assholes won’t see reason, so I give up.



Jill

“She’s been missing for like two weeks.” That’s Kristin talking about this girl we know, Cindy Allen, who disappeared a little while ago. They found her clothes in a trash bin, along with some of her hair. I remember how I used to stare at her hair sometimes in Gym class, thinking how it was just this perfect shade of blonde.

“Did you hear about the guy they found with his spine wrapped around his legs?” Stephanie asks.

“No.” I say. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Oooh what about that um…that girl they found over in Weston?” Kristin says, ignoring me.

“Or the baby they found ripped in half on the playground at North Bedston elementary?”

“Jesus.” I say, rolling my eyes. “Where the fuck did you even hear this shit?”

Stephanie looks at me like I’m a lost child. “It’s going around.” She says.

“It would be in the paper don’t you think?” I ask condescendingly. “If babies spines were being ripped out? Think that might make the nightly news?”

“The baby was ripped in half Jill.” Kristin reminds me.


We drive around for an hour or so, smoking cigarettes mostly, before Kevin calls and asks if we want to hang out for a little.

We don’t.


Joe

I’m sitting at breakfast, at our big kitchen table, eating a bowl of corn flakes that I’ve mixed in with some nice creamy fruit on the bottom yogurt; licking the spoon making sure I enjoy the entire meal. My head hurts, not from anything I actually did last night, since I didn’t even go out last night, I haven’t gone out in three days, I’ve just been lounging around my house, sitting outside maybe in a lawn chair, or playing super smash bros, so my headache while indeed pounding, is just a natural occurrence, and not a reaction to my …better living through chemistry.

My parents are at work, my brothers are all out doing who knows, (fucking various girlfriends, riding ATV’s, smoking weed?) and so only my sister and me are in the house. I look out over the day logically extending, thinking about what I might do today, almost sure that I probably have to go to work today, but thinking about calling in sick, just unable to rouse myself, not actually requiring anything, or feeling any real need.

The days could so easily turn into weeks and then years, I think, and I’m not sure this idea bothers me as much as it should, I can actually see my life all laid out neatly in front of me: Lounging, sunburns, pools, staying in the warm weather, calling out for Chinese food, becoming a shut in. Hermit…ism? Hermitdom?  “I’d do that.” I say out loud. More images pass through my minds eye, me sitting on a raft floating down a river, a big joint hanging from my lips, thirty years from now, fat happy, bald. Maybe strumming a banjo, looking like Buddha, or that 1000 pound Hawaiian guy who sang Somewhere over the rainbow so beautifully, before he keeled over, (probably from a massive coronary, or maybe he choked on a McRib.) and though the prospect of dying alone or never marrying does bother me somewhat, this scenario seems ok with me, it seems like a goal I can accomplish.

It’s Later now. My sister is sitting on the other side of the other side of the living room; I’m attempting to watch MTV (My Sweet Sixteen) but it’s hard to hear over her chattering on her cell phone, and though it pisses me off somewhat, I just. Don’t. Have. The energy to say anything. It sounds like she’s talking to a friend, but she actually keeps her phone volume low enough that other people can’t hear it, so she could be ordering a hit on some old lady in some discreet code for all I know really. Doubtful, but …in a universe of infinite possibility…

“Joe, change the channel.” I snap out of my daydream, old ladies running for their lives from black masked psychopaths, and hear my sister.

“O.k.” I say. And I flip through for a little while before throwing the remote at her and going upstairs, where I call Hannah. She doesn’t pick up so I leave a simple message. “Hey, babe, it’s Joe call me back. Love you.” And I try to take a nap, but after ten minutes I give up and open my cell phone to Amy’s number and I stare at the LCD screen, not sure if I even really want to call it, or if I even care at all.

 I do call in sick at around fourish, (it’s hard to convey a bad headache over the phone) but it turns out I wasn’t even scheduled today, so I say “Oh. That…sucks.” Without much enthusiasm and hang up the phone, snapping it shut, and suddenly fascinated by the spring action of the phone display, I flip it open again, close it, flip it open, close it, flip it open. I’m lounging, this is… the life of luxury, and it’s easy to find a million things to do and somehow the boredom stays back at the edges of my mind like it’s scared of me, a beaten dog, never even enters my line of sight, knows it’s place at the peripherals, and as I drink the orange juice I’ve brought up from the kitchen I say out loud “Life is good, but could be somewhat better.” I’m so fascinated by this phrase that spilled out of my mouth, I don’t know what it means exactly, or why I said it so I say it a few more times, and then I stand up and get in front of my mirror “Life is good.” I say and I adopt a different pose, a James Bond holding up my gun with both hands pose “But could be better.”
________________________________________________________________________

Hannah


There are times when we’re in bed that I’m just about sure that he doesn’t know who I am. He’ll say things to me, ask a question that there is no answer to. “Do you want to take sips of the sky through my straw?” He’ll ask, tripping balls.

“Do you like the orangest juice there is?” He’ll ask.

“Do you know what it means to lose your love?” He’ll ask.

If he’s getting coked up in my bedroom, half the time he won’t offer me any drugs and when he does he expects sex immediately. Sometimes I think that he’s looking off into another world, like he can see a rip in space that’s invisible to the rest of us.

“Joe.” I say to him. I just want to talk.

“Babe?” He answers.

“What are you thinking?” I’ll ask.

“Babe, you look like you feel awesome. How awesome do you feel right now?” He’ll answer.

I’ll sigh and roll over onto him. Inches away from his face I ask again, whispering, “What are you thinking Joe?”

He’ll look at me for a second, tilting his head to the side, smiling this knowing grin.

“I was thinking about …”

He’ll pause and I’ll wait. The wait will go on and I’ll repeat. “Joe? What did you say you were thinking?”

That smile just hangs there, un-breaking. “You look so good tonight, babe. You look so cool. Don’t worry babe, you’re so cool.”

And I’ll sigh again because all in all he’s not a bad guy to hang out with, and I wouldn’t know what to say to him anyway now. He’ll eventually pull out some cocaine, which admittedly I’ve started doing with him on a nightly basis. We’ll do most of it, and we’ll have sex again.

“Do you think I have a pure heart?” He’ll ask because he’s high enough. He’ll have dropped acid before coming over and he won’t have told me.

“Do you think Paris Hilton likes Pastrami?” He’ll yell from the bathroom, which he visits in almost precisely ten-minute intervals.

“She probably does.” I’ll answer.

“Your fucking nuts.” He’ll say.

Sometimes I’ll think he’s going to show me something amazing, that he’s going to pull the rug out from under me and show me that it was all just an act. Sometimes I get to the point where I’m sure I’ve figured out what his game is, that I’m inches away from understanding this person. The lights finally will look like there all on in that head, his stare, which is usually focused on something far away, rests on me for a moment and in these seconds I feel like it’s all worth it.

Then he’ll reach into his pocket and throw me his pipe and a bag of weed and ask me to pack it.

He’ll wake up and he’ll be shaking. I ask him what’s wrong but he’ll just say, “I’m fine, I’m fine.” over and over. He says that he has to go. He won’t even look at me he just needs to go. He’ll say, “I love you Allright.” And he’ll get up and not say a word other than that.

Later I’ll see Stephanie, who I sometimes suspect has had sex with Joe, and maybe we’ll go to the mall. She’ll have weed too and we’ll match and get stoned on the ride over. My phone will ring and it will be Joe again and he’ll say “Hey babe what’s going on?”

We’ll talk for a little until I’m pretty sure he’s not listening and we’ll agree to meet later.

“Joe’s something else.” Stephanie will say. “It’s like sometimes you think he’s not all there.” She’ll say.

“Yeah… tell me about it.” I’ll answer.

“And then sometimes…” She’ll say and my interest will be genuinely piqued and I’ll say, “Yeah?”

“Well sometimes…I don’t know.” She’ll say and I’ll sigh and look away at the street.

I’ll try to think of reasons that I stay with him even though I know exactly why. He loves me, and his love makes me love him. He never seems like he loves me, but I just know. I just know he loves me because he just has to.

Then he’ll call back and I’ll be excited for a minute and I’ll say hello.

“Babe?” He’ll say.

“Yeah honey?” I’ll ask, almost shaking from this little show of affection.

“Do you think you could taste my funky beat through the phone lines?” He’ll say.

I sigh and say “Sorry Joe. Tunnel coming up.” And I’ll hang up, counting the minutes until I can see him again.



Joe

-Theres a man creeping up over my blanket, eyes split down the middle like a misshapen insect, and it’s singing at me, sounds like maybe some Motown old school, but it sounds recorded like it has an old gramophone concealed between it’s cheeks. I crawl back, jump really trying to get out of the bed, I look over at Hannah but she won’t wake up, her breasts are rising in even breaths. The man looks over at Hannah and the singing gets louder and louder and louder even, it’s nudging Hannah’s face smelling her, shooting blood out it’s slit neck like jets in a hot tub, shifting it’s weight to the legs. It stands up almost but like a hunchback, it’s skin dropping off, clumps of hair and blood and puss and long strands of arteries and veins uncoiling, wet and slippery, shining in what little light is coming through the window, and I notice the look on it’s face, half smile, half flat, like depressed but almost enjoying it, but instead of running out of the room I crawl into the corner telling myself it’s a hallucination, that none of this is happening, despite the smell and the rather obvious visual clues, that I’ve been doing a lot of drugs lately, and asking when was the last time I remember going to sleep? I can hear the singing still and it’s getting closer, but I won’t look I refuse to look, it’s only real if I look, and I can just feel it there standing over me. I just cry and cry and cry until morning and it’s gone now, leaving no evidence that anything has happened at all, and the only thing that matters to me right now in the whole world, the only thing I know for sure, is that my eyes are so sore and red, I need comfort and I go over to the bed and I look in Hannah’s bedside drawer, fishing around for the coke from last night and I do it all, sniffing, grunting like a pit-bull, and I sit down on the bed not caring if I wake her.

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