Just pronounced ex-Navy and having breakfast in a small diner in Idaho, road dust claiming him as much as it did his old Ford convertible gracing the parking lot like an abused antique, he met Maybelle Hustings slinging homemade hash, the air full of morning’s riches. She was tall, neat in her apron for a hash house waitress, wore her hair pinned back severely yet evoking promise in its loosing. Corded movements in her neck, supple and graceful but fully pronounced as a woman’s, brought him early hungers, caught him leaning in the booth. Their eyes locked, gave out announcements, were decoded, and then, so as not to embarrass the other, were allowed to wander. Initial signals had been made, and illustrated; acceptance, of some order, duly noted.
Fergie left early again. He was fed up with the self-acclaimed King Of The Pub. He was a cunt. He was a pumped up insignificant prick who walked about as if he’d shit himself. And the clothes, fuck the boy thought he was a gangster rapper, he was nothing more than a nipple-end with some ‘roid rage.
The motel was distasteful. The wallpaper peeled off in strips, and water leaked from the ceiling into a near overflowing bucket. Everything had a yellow tint as the sun slowly set.
Out on the back patio, sat two men.
June 1st 1990
Sharon walked into the office. She saw her workmate Jim staring into a half empty coffee cup. He looked up. His face was flush, his eyes tired and she could have sworn that there was another line on his forehead.
“Do you know what I caught that kid doing?”
She began to chuckle. Jim had been trying to keep his cool since wee David and his mother had moved in.
“We know that it is the spawn of Satan, but go on…Surprise me.”
I left a woman in bed recently. Suddenly. Left her lying, hips scooping toward something I couldn’t give her.
I’d been mouthing the rungs of her ribcage, climbing higher, an ardent mountaineer, when she shifted and with her, the light. The blue glow of the stereo conspired with the beams of a passing car and her arching spine to reveal the vase, winking in the corner. Her exposed neck bloomed white as the skin on the back of mine chilled.
I could just make out the glint of quick-blinking eyes as she took in the sight of me, hopping away and into a pant leg, then feeling for the doorknob in the dark.
So I only noticed that the door to my tattoo shop had been kicked in after I put the key in the lock. I slid the key into the cylinder and twisted it, but the door didn’t move. Through the tunnel of a receding hangover, I saw that the frame had been cracked near the lock, but the door hadn’t quite been kicked open. I pulled away in surprise, the blood receding to the back of my head, and looked around. A shard of the door frame lay on the ground, cleanly broken away. The glass next to the lock was undamaged. It was too early for this shit.
Rata and Jack made their way down the slimy wooden gangplank set haphazardly into the shittier sections of the road, sections where feet and scooter tires would sink into sludge.
I’m wealthy so it’s appropriate I camp in a Cadillac. Those luxuries! Genuine simulated wood accents, leatherish trim, shiny bits. The exterior paint is nearly unblistered and all glass is intact, except the impact snowflake embossed into the windshield. Despite the daytime warmth I barely detect the previous owner’s carpet-blood.
The only light in the room came from the green numbers displayed on the digital clock by the bedside table. The numbers 3:47 were barely enough to cast a pallid blanket over the nose and forehead of the man sleeping on the bed. The only sound came from his breathing, which accompanied by the slow rising and falling of his chest under the blanket, also provided the only movement in the room. The girl lying next to him was silent and still; her thick black strands of hair spread across the pillow, stretching out towards him. Heavy curtains not only blocked out the orange glow of the city outside, but kept the room undisturbed from the sharp gliding sounds of taxis and the occasional drunken black car against the wet asphalt. The numbers on the digital clock clicked to 3:48. The man slowly sat up, as if he had responded to the ever so slight change in the room. He had been staring at the ceiling, and no longer finding it of any interest, now found himself searching the dark square outlines of the furniture scattered around. Soundlessly, he got up and moved towards the window where he pulled the curtains back to let in the glow of the streetlamp. He should have gone back to the ceiling, but instead turned the handle and stepped out of the cold air-conditioned room, on to the balcony. It wasn’t very high up, but he could see a fair amount of the city. The monstrous skyscrapers loomed over him in the pathetic menace of their palely lit and empty offices, and the great condominium buildings in the distance faded sadly in the background – their inhabitants had long since switched off the lights. He felt his naked body drenched in the humid air, and was suddenly aware of the thousands of windows, the bright and blind eyes taking in the sight of him. But the street was empty below, and the man seemed to exist only in the blind spot of life, and of all that was still awake at this time of night. He lit a cigarette, meaning to savor the quiet and watch the way the purple sky swelled up with each passing minute. He only took a few drags though, before deciding it was too hot, and going back inside.
I was somewhere I had no business being, doing something that I shouldn’t, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.