The Buck Chronicles # 6
It all kind of comes together eventually I promise.
Sometimes things go very slowly. Pace dictated by the lives of certain people demands that it be so. As things build up to crossing paths, taking on new dimensions, revelatory breakthroughs and so on, these same paths may collide with obstacles sending them careening away from each other. Things that seem to be unrelated become intricately entwined with one another, though perhaps never fusing completely.
Susan understood this without realizing his own insight. He was currently performing a Zen meditation in the locker room of the YMCA. Zero mind.
Other toweled men would briefly give odd glances towards Susan, awed in a way, though also slightly put off by the middle age man with the ridiculous mustache sitting cross-legged in the middle of the stone tiled changing area. “Who is this fascinating Gaylord?” They were thinking.
Completely one with the universe, Susan faded deeper and deeper into communion with forces unknown his soul brimming with ecstasy, light and all knowing sense of truth.
Joe stepped into the CVS and the change in air pressure caused him to blink and slide his
Aviators down over his red and puffy eyes. He reeked of marijuana and axe body spray, which caused some of the other clientele to avoid him, some to merely look at him and very few to feel a sharp but subtle pang of sexual longing. Joe scanned the store, trying to remember why he had come into the place. He robotically approached the counter and stood before the cashier, an attractive though slightly chubby asian girl with her hair in a pony tail. She smiled at him. Joe didn’t say anything; zoned out for a bit, looking at the cigarette displays. He sensed movement behind him and out of the corner of his eye he saw a group of teenaged boys, all with similar longish blonde hair, all with polo shirts and ripped pants. They were standing awkwardly, close together and talking under their breath. All of them had bottles of different soft drinks.
Do you have a CVS card?” The cashier asked him.
Joe blinked. “Uhh, no.” He answered unsure. “Uh, like…Should I?”
The girl looked taken aback. “I mean, no.” Joe said. “I’m…positive.”
The girl started rambling, listing off benefits that came with said CVS card. Joe stared at her , his eyes glazed, still half focusing on the group of kids behind him. One of them was holding a DVD of Apocalypse Now.
“No.” Joe said, slowly. “I’ll just… have some Marlboros.”
The exchange completed Joe walked out of the store and opened the pack of cigarettes. He lit one and leaned against the store, staring into the sun. He could feel the vapors coming off the snow as it slowly melted in the warmish day. He could hear cars coming from miles and miles, stopping and going and idling. The group of boys exited the store and something about the way their hats tilted, or maybe it was something in the way they all spoke in the same causally uninterested monotone, something about these boys caused a sudden rush of panic to creep into Joe’s subconscious, worrying him a little though only in an indirect way and after downing three Ativan he forgot about it and watched the cars go by.
Marc and Tyrone sat behind the cart center at Wal-Mart. They we’re drinking Robitussin and wine, taking a break from their jobs as cart pushers. They had decided after a long rap battle in the flagpole area of their high school, that they should get jobs. “Yo we’re fuckin’ smart as hell, son.” Tyrone says.
“Hell yeah.” Marc says, taking a sip. “We got it maaade, man.” Marc slides across the pavement on his heels and waving his hand in a long smooth motion. “We got money, we got rides, and we have a rifle.”
They had bought an antique rifle at a yard sale back in the summer. It was a hunting rifle once used by a civil war soldier. They bought ammo for it at an antique shop on the Medford strip. They carried it around with them at all times.
“Dude we should get some more beer, ride into Boston and find some crack and smoke it.” Tyrone said.
“You wanna smoke crack, dude?” Marc asked, tipping up his shades. “Seriously?”
“Hell yeah son.” Tyrone replies. “Lets leave this job early, cash our paychecks, get in the car and drive to Boston. We gonna buy some crack cocaine tonight.”
Marc scouts the front entrance, shielding his eyes with his long hands. “How are we going to get away, and get our paychecks.” Marc asks.
“Easy,” Tyrone says. “We walk in, we say we want our paychecks because we need them early for some reason.”
“What should we say?” Marc asks.
“Lets say that we Jewish.” Tyrone says. “Our religion makes us have to get paychecks early and go drive to Boston.”
“Well what should we do after that?” Marc asks, throwing his half smoked cigarette on the ground.
“We make a break for it.” Tyrone says, punching his left hand into his open right palm.
Marc looks at his watch. One minute left for break. “Shit.” He says. “Allright I guess we better do it.”
They walk in through the back entrance near the electronics department. They walk quickly over to the cart center and finish the cough syrup liquor.
“All right.” Tyrone says. “Lets do this shit.”
The town hums quietly as the business of the night slowly comes to a stop. There is a short lull in activity as the night people go to sleep and the day people start getting things going. Buck stands mightily at a Bus station in front of Grews Supermarket. He’s drinking a bottle of scotch and looking up at the sky.
“Goin to Boston.” He says to himself. He smiles and greets a good looking lady as she rolls by with her baby in a stroller. He lights a cigarette.
“Getting pumped.” He mutters.
His cell phone buzzed. It was the school. “Hey.” Buck says.
“Where are you?” A voice says. “You haven’t been to work in three days man.”
It was the principal. “Sorry Chang.” He says. “I have to go to Boston.”
“Boston?” Chang asks. “Why?”
“A kid told me I should.” Buck answers. “He was smart as hell though.”
Chang said nothing. “What? Are you serious?” He finally stammers.
“I have to go.” Buck says. He hangs up the phone. The long blue bus is making it’s way towards Buck and he spots in the distance. “Sweet.” He says under his breath. He stubs out his cigarette and gets ready to relax for a while on the bus.
Susan walked out the wilderness near the ice cream shop on Stevens and Aztec ave. He smelled of honey and fine oils, leaving a certain musk wherever he went that drove the ladies wild and left the men confused and vaguely hostile, though still in awe of the majesty with which he presented himself.
“Look at that Gaylord.” A man on a trash truck yelled.
As he walked the animals followed Susan. At first it was mild, limited to a few caged animals pining lovingly when he came near, but it grown into a full on traveling circus of common New England tree and forest life.
Susan chilled with the lambs in the nights and hustled the horses through the day, fashioning elaborate mustaches for the goats and cats. Throwing Frisbees that hundreds of dogs would compete for. Susan knew somebody from the city ordinances department would arrive soon, so he just worked on his inner thigh endurance.
Joe found himself crying hysterically during a commercial for Vaginal Shower rings. The commercial shows a young mixed race looking girl(some European, some jap definitely African) She raises her arm in the stance of a victorious roman praetorian slayer of a most wrathful enemy, and breaks the stance with a twist hip as a catchy latin rumba muzak song played tonelessly in a repetitive ritualistic bass. With under currents of banjo and even tiamberlines, the song is catchy and fun without over shadowing the product.
“Vaginal Curtains from Fix-u-good tm “
Joe wanders sadly around a house he’s never been inside before, looking at pictures of a nice looking family. He stuffs prescriptions into his pockets like it was spare change, and yet he felt no blame for this. “Its all about pre destination anyway you know, the fact that he was walking around this house proves that the only thing that his last action is doing is performing the role of the bridge to the next instance. either way, it’s divine…comedy, or some shit. It’s… in books.” He would say.
He was explaining this to the tan kind of gorgeous red haired chick at the counter when buying cigarettes, secretly stealing the top pack role of gum.
“Books?” She asks back at Joe.
Marc buzzes Joes phone but Joe ignores it. “Yeah.” He says squinting, smelling some kind of lavender style perfume that usually sickened him but some how seemed alluring.
“What kind of books?”
Joe had to admit he wasn’t sure.