chapter 14


-  - – - - - –- andy -–- -– -- - - - -  - -  -   -  -   -    -    -     -


I followd the comotion into the yard, where a tall bearded man was hoppin around like a cartoon spider. he lookd like if you took the mountain dew guy

mountain dew guy

and putim in will oldhams band.

will oldham's band

Als here, Max! Als here!

max shouted back—

aroof– ROOF!

and D was dancin a little jig.

they were so excited
seemingly for no other reason than that i was here.

thats fuckt up.

but its also prety cool.

welcome to athens, al!

andy reachd out with these hairy
gorilla arms and rapt me in a sweaty hug. i had no choice but to hug
back. by the time he pulld away i was soakd.

thanks i feel welcome. tho i don know why.

there is no why, were heer thats what

matters, its a cotdamn murkle, we hafta start

celebratin now, it cant wait til we get inside.

andy produced, from somewhere on his person,
a bottle of scotch with a familiar label.

i see you lookin. you love some nadura, dontcha?

oh man, i use to.

whadaya mean use to? aint no outgrowin na dura.

i dont drink.

this took him by surprise.

at all?

not anymore.

disapointment flickerd in his eyes— but only for a moment.

well see how long that lasts.

i totaly suport his decision [ said D ] it ll be refreshing to hangout

with somebody i dont hafta carry home at the enda the night.

i suport it too. right up to the moment i pour scotch down his throat.

hes not bein hyperbolic a-l. if you dont wana drink tonite your gona

hafta fight im at some point.

probably [ andy ]

dont worry tho— hes easy to knock down once hes got a few in im.

if by a few you mean twenny.

thats what i said, a few.


somethin r a m d r a m d r a m D r a m D r a m D  my l e g 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

i   s t a g g e r d i   s t a g g e r d i s t a g g e r d 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 *     but i didnt fall down.

tho i did end up in a bush.

D  r  i v  e   b y !   [ D ]

andy laffd—

here, lemme show ya howta do it.

he slapt his leg.


max lookd up from the spot he was sniffin.

max, gimme driveby.

he stood there, considering.

gimme driveby max. gimme DRIVE-BY!

max lumberd over to andy,

put his head down—

rammd andys leg

[ it wasnt realy a ram, more like an agressiv lean ]

andy braced himself,

and with a bum 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 of his hip—

sent max

bouncing  off

course its harder if your not expectin it.

[ andy said ]

you must be vigilant.

it was D who said that, and you could tell
by the way she said it she relishd the word.

Andy came in for another hug, i thought.

til he pickd me up and threw me over his me over his me over his me over his me over his me over his sholder.

dont be scared.

im not [ i said, because i wasnt ]

i promise ill throw you somewhere soft.

your gona throw me?

yeah, but somewhere soft.

he carried me to the porch. up the steps.

stay relaxd.

he h e f t e d   m e class="hide" h e f t e d m e h e f t e d m e h e f t e d m e  up in the air and g o t   u n d e r neath me. 1 2 3 u n d e r * 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 * 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 *

power cleand me, basicly.


calm down, max. im not gona hurt im.


couch or lazyboy?

you mean where to throw me?


the couch i guess.

ok, the c o w c h c o w c h c o w c h

he t o s s e d   m e 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

onto the C o u c h . 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

He was right, it was a soft landing. i ended up on my back, like i was fixin to take a nap. which sounded like a great idea actualy.

the porch was basicly their living room, from what i could tell. half their furniture was out there, and thats where they spent most a their time. i was campt out on butter [ that was the couchs name, cause it was like sitting on butter ] andy ocupied the lazy boy, and D was in a gnomish rockinchair, there was somethin strange about it, it was so low to the ground that at first i thought it was a childs chair. but the top half was normal size. it was the bottom that was weird. somebody had sawd off the legs, it lookd like, and attachd the seat directly to the rockers.

andy said—

i heard you stopt by the hotel. how was hotelnazi?

he was fine. he helpt me move my car.

total sociopath [ D ejaculated ] hasnt left the hotel in two years.

dont let her words fool you [ andy counterd ] D has a crush

on hotelnazi.

never thought of it that way before,

etcetera, they went back and forth for awhile with me
watchin em like a pingpong match, til finely i couldnt hold it in anymore—

So yall— seriusly. whats goin on?

nothing [ D said ] and evrything.

this thing [ said andy ]

is this one a those deals like where you pretend its

a strangers birthday orwhatever, am i getn punkt?

no way [ andy ]

this shits for real [ D ]

but yall re actin like were friends.

why is that a problem?

we just met.


thats weird.

so were weird.

yeahbut that doesnt explain it.

we cant say it [ D ] so you mightaswell stop tryn ta get us to.

cant say what?

how re we spose to say it   if we cant say it? [ D ]

D-nazi [ andy ]

i am not bein D-nazi.

i gave andy my desprate face.

dont worry about it man [ andy ] its nuttin to worrybout.

then why cant you say it?

member what we said about questions, a-l? [ D ]

its not a-l, its Al.

idnt he preshus, andy? hes wetter behind the ears

than yer mamas

that wudnt my mama D, it was your

gramma, you need to get some new glasses.

andy comenced gloating.

D tookout his legs with a sweepkick

and p i n n e d   h i m 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 * 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 *

 to the ground.

she lettim squirm for a second before lettin im up.

andy stood there gasping for breath. defeated,
but glad to have control of his body again. i knew the feeling.

i know you love me D, but did you hafta show me

so hard?


andy e l b o w d e l b o w d e l b o w d e l b o w d D D D D in the ribs. prety hard
i think, but D absorbd it, it hardly seemd to register at all exept as it
required retaliatory action which she presently comenced— quick,
controld jabs without givin up her center, a w e d g e   a t t a c k w e d g e a t t a c k w e d g e a t t a c k

andy swatted away her jabs and

came back with his own jabs—

s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k

b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e

[ it was like they were dancing ]

s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k

b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e

[ D lookd realy relaxd ]

s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k

b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e b l o c k s t r i k e

[ andy not so much ]

let go andy.

i am lettin go.

no your not, your still holdin on to it.


Andy tried a r o u n d h o u s e r o u n d h o u s e r o u n d h o u s e r o u n d h o u s e   D D D duckd it,

used the opening to p o p   A n d y p o p a n d y p o p a n d y p o p a n d y  on the chin.

but he shook it off,

cameback with a flurry of strikes—

this time, his face was a blank.

see how easy it is when ya let go?

D spoke as if they were sittin there talkin over lunch, tho they

were fullon sparring, like a kungfu movie but without the soundtrack,

just the soft patting rhythm of flesh on flesh.

but D had that low center of gravity,

she kept p u s h i n A n d y p u s h i n   a n d y p u s h i n   a n d y p u s h i n   a n d y  back with her wedge attack

like she was darth vader and he was luke skywalker.

eventialy she backd him into the lazyboy.

he l o s t   b a l a n c e l o s t b a l a n c e l o s t b a l a n c e l o s t b a l a n c e

f e l l   i n t o f e l l l i n t o

 his c h a i r . c h a i r . c h a i r .

where he flopt down and stayd down.

prety good rollin andy.

if the chair hadnt been there

chairs in the realworld dude. praxis. like M– said,

shits no good if it sits on the shelf.

[ when she said ‘M’, she drew a dash in the air ]

max was lookin at me like—

wasnt that a great fight?!

it was a pretty good fight. i got so absorbd in watching
that i started to actialy enjoy myself—  until i realized thats what i was
doin. then it went away, like it always does, i think K was right about

penny fer yer thoughts a-l.

oh nothin.

dudnt look like nuthin.

well im concernd.

bout what?

a buncha shit.

such as?

like whatever it is yall sposedly cant tell me. and plus,

i have to be in texas tomoro, but my cars fuckd up,

i dont know whats wrong with it, and i cant get

in touch with

you shuld talk to c-fouls about yer car.

do you know if he takes credit cards?

[ we had one for emergencies, i think

this qualified ]

do the lines even come here? [ andy askd ]

tecnicly. but lets keep that on the d-l.

theres gota be somebody wholl take a creditcard.

good luck [ D ] not that cashs your only option,

what kinda skilz you got?

im a prety good editor i guess.

looks like your payin cash.

i only have like fifty bucks.

aw, dont fret a-l. if it takes more n that, we can getcha a

job! no pressure oranything, but if you wana job, jussay

the word and its yours. its a good job too. slingin coffee

at bluesky.

so your the one who did that.

did what? [ D ]

told em i workd there.

howd you know bout that?

i went there.

you did?

[ it was nice to see them speechless ]

yeah. and this guy named marko made me go

thru orientation, but why did you get me a

job there?

you know orientation is optional [ D ]

thats what i heard. so yall— im not movin here.

nobody said you were, al [ andy ]

then why did you get me a job?

we didnt [ D ] we just reservd it, incase you wannit.

thats realy weird.

im tellin ya, its a kickass job.

im sure it is. but it doesnt matter cause im not movin

to athens.

dude you can go back to texas this second, nothins stoppin ya.

exept maybe your car, heh=heh.

dont worry, al [ andy shot D a look ] well help ya find somebody

to fix your car. and in the meantime, you got a free place to stay.

thats a nice offer yall. but i cant stay.

what else you gona do? [ D ]

i could take a bus.

shitybus? goodluck gettin past the hotel. plus, what re you gona do

with your car, abandon it?

andy draped an arm around me.

there are worse places to be stranded than athens.

he speaks the truf [ D said ] what re you so hot to get back for anyway?

i hafta pickup my partner at the airport.

you mean your atheist wife [ D ]


thats a nice name. i can tell you lover by the way you say it.

i do love her.

thats awsom.

you dont seem like you think its awsome.

no dude, love is awsom, its the awsomest thing there is.

its what we do with it thats the problem.

do you know somethin about her?

no, i never met the chick.

well i need to talk to er.

what re you yakkin at me for then? get to callin.

she threw me her phone.

i will,

i said,

and i went to call claire.

a reasonable move right?

so why did i feel like i was throwing a fit?