chapter 17:

goin out

Oh, the yugo, it lookd like somebody took one of those pinewood derby cars and made it bigenough for people to fit in. it started, on the third try, and it never went faster than twenty because, D explaind, yugi preferd not to shift past second.

lastime i took yugi to the shop there were pieces of metal floatin in the trannypan, c-fouls was like dam D, howlong you been drivin it like this?

al, if anyone besides D drove yugi, the transmision would disinnigrate.

not just the tranny dude, the whole thing’d pull a remidios-the-beauty and float right up to heavn.

they went on like that the whole ride, most of it i dont remember, but one thing i do recall was the way they talkd about athens. like it was a difrent country almost. for example, the conspiracy nut at the chevron wasnt a nut after all. athens was jamming 3-G signals. that was one of D’s job, aparently.

sometimes you gota remind yourself who’s in charge ⋞ andy ⋟

it is possibl to say no ⋞ D ⋟ not that youd know it by the way they run things [ flip ] over there.

caplandia i think is the technical term ⋞ andy ⋟

altho you [ she found me in the rearview ] probly know it as ‘the world’.

what, are you not capitalist? ive seen people use money.

we’re workin on that. we’re postcap.

morelike CapLite™ ⋞ andy ⋟

how can a town not be capitalist? ⋞ me ⋟ i mean, you haveproducts.

good point a-l, we do have products ⋞ D ⋟ and we shall discuss this further in the near future. but we dont wana put the cart aheada the horse. lissen up now, pay atention.

D turnd up the radio, and out of the speakers came the voice of an old chinese man, or vietnamese. he spoke gently and deliberatly, it put me imediatly at ease.

breathing in

i know, that i am breathing in.

breathing out

i know, that i am breathing out.

evrything starts with the breath ⋞ D said ⋟ when in doubt, always comeback to it.

breathing in, i smile to evrything,

even to my suffring.

breathing out i release.  i  l e t  g o .

this is the practice of freedom.

is this thich nhat hahn? ⋞ i askt ⋟

you know tick-not? ⋞ they both said ⋟

ive read some stuff.

dont know why youd bother ⋞ D ⋟ readin ticknot’s like sniffin a rembrant, its in his voice, lissen

she was right. i dont know why i’m writin down the words, he could be reading off hockey scores and youd understand.

breathing in, i go back to the present moment.

breathing out, i know this is a wonderful moment.

the moment when i realize that i am alive.

Not suprizingly there was a pitstop, daily groceries, the co-op where andy was the manager. seems he’d left in such a hurry that he forgot to make the deposit.

Daily was at the bottom of odd street. i’d walkd past it twice already and hadnt noticed it. it had a sign tho, they pointed out, a mozaic done by this chick krysha who acordin to D was responsibl for half the shit that actialy got done in this town.

the mozaic was enthusiastic in the way of someone who’s willing to forgo all irony. not entirely practical in terms of street vizability, but a definat work of art

Daily Groceries

It was well after midnight by the time we made it downtown, probly closer to one. there was plenty of street parkin, but D eschewd it all infavor of the lot nexto the forty watt.

andy said

fortywatt lot!

who the hell parks on the street?

suckers do, D.

as soon as i stept outa the car, i pickdup on the energy. you could feel it in the airsomethins gona happen tonight.

andy saw some dude who use to be in his band, or who he wanted to be in his band orsomethin, and he loped off after him. i dont like to run after people, so it lookd like i was stickin with D.

we didnt make it very far. infact we were walkin in the wrong directiontowrd lowyoyo.

D puld out a record and flashd it in todds face

kriss-kross? is that realy what you want battin leadoff in your hiphop crate? notice i use the singular crate. hiphops not a joke dude, even if it is funny. what happend to all that late nineties underground you sposedly got in the warehouse?

d,dyouknowhatitslike to own a hunnerd

i dont care how many records ya got, your still a music racist. juslike evrybody else in this town.

i hav all kinds a stuff by black people. i hav jazz, funk, r & b, ssoul you never even heard of. not to mention african. i got evrything miles davis ever putout.

miles davis? is that the best you can do?

he’s black. have you seen the c,covera tutu?

todd disapeerd behind the counter.

but he popd up empty handed.

sorry, its the promo. d,difrent cover.

i know he’s black dude. but black people dont lissen to im.

sure they do.

maybe old peeple. but let a blackdude between the age of fifteen and twennyfive walk in herehas a black dude ever even been in here todd?

the trumpetplayer for snowglobe was inhere lasnite.

he barely counts. dude if rasco walkd in here youd prolly call the cops.

sounds like a muppet, what is he, rrrasco the grouch?

D turnd to me.

todd’s afraid of the proletariat. its part of his capitalist denial.

capitalist? whered you learn that, c,college?

i dropt outa college.

but you went.

right then a man walkd in [ it kinda suprized me, i’d forgoten we were in a store where people could just walk in ] he lookd like grizzly adams if he’d stopt by the bar on his way to the woods and never managed to leav. his glasses were so thick i dont know how anybody could see thru em, but he musta seen o-k, cause he was makin a beeline for me.

dont bleev ive seen you round before, you new to town?

i’m just here for the day.

then welcome to athens, georgia, the classic city, seat of clarke county since the day it was created by an act of the georgia genral assembly december fifth, eighteen-oh-one, whatcha lookin at there?

he reachd infrontof me and pulld out a record at random.

now that is a very fine recordopal oh-oh-one, danny motes, ‘lonesome’ and ‘done ya wrong.’ danny started that label himself y’know, named it for his mama. he grew up just sixty miles westa here in the riverside section of atlanta along bolton road, which came into the city in the massiv annexation of nineteen-fifty-two, he went to high school at west fulton. now lonesome was supposed to be the a-side, but bob mckee of w-a-k-e radio [ before he moved to w-a-o-k ] playd the bejeezus out of it, both sides! danny was gettin mighty busy shovlin copies out of his trunk into record stores, includin capitol record mart on capitol ave and mayo radio shop on cascade. enter mac daviswhose mama still calls im scott

then something happend rather quickly, tho it might take me a second to describe.

D walkd up to the man and started pushing him, not like she was tryin to start a fight, morelike she was basicly sweeping him out the door. it kinda reminded me of that scene in groundhog day, when phil pushes ned ryerson out of the way, a lot like that, actualy, cause the man took it in stride, sayin things like

woops, hey there, i dont bleevwu-HOAH!

as soon as he was out the door, D lockd it.

i cant handle ort right now, sorry. youll get plenty more chances to talk to im, dont worry.

todd was bent over the recordplayer like a mad scientist. i heard the tell-tale crackling of vinyl, then dissonant electric guitar, and then a raspy-voiced guy started singing, sortof.

trout mask replica? ⋞ D ⋟ todd if i wanted mainstream i coulda gone to wuxtry.

you couldnt handle beefheart that isnt mainstream.

cuz its unlissenable. why waste time on shit thats unlisnabl when theres so much greatshit out there?

look whos talkin, miss brownfrown.

have i ever bought a brownfrown record?

do they even have a record? ⋞ todd ⋟

i told you, its not about the music its about the spectacl.

n,now evrytime a drunkguy witha guitar vomits on the audience we’re sposeta clap?

lets blow this popsicle stand,

D said, and she left.

we left.

and made our way

hove, as bloody old cormac would say

tword the music and the peeple and the lights.

tword life.

chapter 18

happy our

West washintong street was just like it was this morning only moreso, peeple evrywhere drinkin and smokin and definatly not keepin their drinks inside the railings.

we walkd past a bar and almost went in, but when D saw who was tending the bar she said

i piss on cocktailnazi,

and kept walking, a full dozen paces before we came to the next bar. this one was calld the angina room, or thats what D calld it, evrybody else calld it the engine room, altho thats not tecnicly its name either, but nevermind.

the engine room was easily the rowdiest bar on the block. D hated it because they were constantly blasting heavymetal. but it had cheap drinks and a huge patio where the metal didnt reach.

the patio gates were lockd. your sposeto go around thru the bar and get in that way. but when we reachd the gates you could already hear the metal.

D said


and kickd the gate open

the lock went flyin off.

evrybody on the patio lookd up. tho more in amusement than alarm.

D grabd me by the arm and presented me to the nearest table

hey you fackers, meet a-l.

she shuvd me towrd the table.

hey, sory we missd you earlier ⋞ dave said ⋟ we swung by bluesky after lunch but youd already left. i see D found you, tho.

max found him actialy.

that was D, pullin up a chair. two chairs, one for eachofus.

there were a lota people at the table, most of whom i’d met already. dave and kathleen, and the bartender who i’d askt about places to eat, the one with the necktatoo. and this cowboy-lookin guy i rememberd from bluesky, the first person i pulld a shot of espresso for.

cowboy dude [ he introduced himself as doctor shit hammer ] said i pulld a prety good shot for a firstimer. necktat bartender [ his name was also Al ] rememberd me too. it was nice, i’m not the kind of person people usualy remember.

kathleen was breathless to know what i’d been up to since i last saw her. i made it halfway thru the story before she got distracted by somebody else and i ended up getting into an intense convee with dave about how on-edge our mothers made us in childhood and how that makes us afraid of women now. but before we had a chance to go too deep, kathleen told dave to go buy two pitchers of p-b-r and a drink calld a slutcup. dave invited me to go to the bar with him.

Inside the engine room, the music was punishing. but just cause it was metal, dont imagine a metal crowd. it was just indie-rockers and their girlfriends and a few crunchy punks. there was a long bar that peeple actialy sat at, evry stool was ocupied and peeple were squeezin themselvs between peeple to order drinks. i saw one guy step away from the bar and fall flat on his face, then get up and keep walkin to the bathroom. which reminded me...

the bathroom was suficiently nasty. sory, but its not a good bar unless the mens room’s atleast a little bit gross. there was a burly guy standin at a urinal, he lookd over his sholder at me and said

somebody threw our flyer in the urinal, i’m pissin on it rightnow.


the faceplant guy shouted from inside the stall.

then he added,


you could heard the splash. sounded like atleast he got it in the toilet.

now you can drink more,

said urinal guy, zipping up. he walkt out without washing his hands.

i found dave at the bar, tryin to carry two pitchers and a pintglass full of fizzy pink liquid. i took one a the pitchers and folowd him to the patio, tho we were waylaid by this guy who tried to persuade us to use the phrase ‘the dick’ like you would ‘the shit.’

you know like, engineroom happy our is the dick.

soon as we got to the table, kathleen took the slutcup from daves hand and gulpd a quarter of it straitaway.

wuaaa! ⋞ wiping her mouth ⋟ i am gona be a slut tonite, dave, your inluck.

whats in it? ⋞ i askd ⋟

razberry vodka and redbull...

[ kathleen held her fingers sixinches apart ]

half, and half. thats why they call it a slutcup.

is it any good?

she turnd up the glass, gluglugg.

its fuckin delishus.

the engineroom patio was gettin chaotic. there were more people than there were places for them to sit, but they were tryin to sitdown anyway, it was like fullcontact musical chairs out there, evrywhere little melees were breakin outpeeple pushin eachother and puttin eachother in headlocks,

at the next table over, some dude threw a pitcher at a chick. she dove across the table and tackled dude, prety soon the whole table was involvd in what lookd like a cross between a group hug and a rugby scrum.

ammachers ⋞ D said ⋟ its still happy our.

she said it happy our, like our happy but reversd. evrybody said it like that. and i heard a lota people say it cause it actualy was happy hour, it ran from midnight to two.

dave took the pitchers around the table and refilld evrybodys cup. when he got back, kathleen heldout her cup.

dont think you can skip me jus cuz you got me a slutcup.

there was just enough left to top her off, then the pitcher was empty. both pitchers were.

where the hells johnson? ⋞ D ⋟ or jondavies for that matter?

i saw em at flicker earlier ⋞ kathleen ⋟ infact, they said they were spose to meet you there.

they know i refuse to do bi$niss with cocktailnazi.

D walkd to the fence and shouted in the direction of the flicker


she sat down.

jondavies’ll be here in less than a minute, mark my word.

fifty seconds later, a meek, balding, british-looking man was standing at the fence. he wore metal-frame glasses that were just big enough to be out of fashion, but not so big that they were cool again.

i thought we were meeting at flicker,

he said, without a hint of complaint.

you know i refuse to do bi$niss with cocktailnazi, did johnson hear me?

oh, he heard you.

then where the fuck is he?

he said he wasnt gona come like your g-d dog.

but you came like my g-d dog, heh-heh.

you askd me to come.

and you had to because of your god. jondavies, if all christians were like you, i wouldnt pray ceaselessly for their extinction.


jon davies has an amazing laugh. it starts like a cackle but then he throws back his head and out from between his teeth comes this soundlike a laughing hyena, if it was drunk, and you were ticklin it. the kind of laugh where you look around to see if people are staring, and they are staring, and you dont care. your kind of happy about it actialy.

jondavies meet a-l.

its nice to meet you a-l. i’d shake your hand exept for this fence.

the gates unlockd ⋞ D ⋟

but D

i talkd to your god, jon. he said it was o-k for you to break this one rule. he said it was a bullshit rule.

but you have to show your I-D. its a bar.

they dont give a shit about your i-d jon, they only make you come in the front so they can assault you with testosterock. plus youv been here like a hundredfifty times.

they still ask for my i-d.

because you look like you wantem to ask. jondavies i’m about to lose patience, just go the fuck around.

he went around. and showd his i-d. one thing you can say for jondavieshe’s got integrity.

Jondavies made his way to our table and reintroduced himself, we shook hands, he has a soft handshake, which is suposedly a bad thing, but whatever happend to blessed are the meek? i like meek peeple. they tend to be sincere at a much higher rate than extroverts.

jondavies also had the ability to pull himself out of the craziness and hav a normal conversation, even bordering on mundane. it was actialy a relief to have a mundane conversation. and evry so often he’d burst into that great laugh of his, and if you were the one who made him laugh you couldnt help but feel good.

we talkd for a good ten minutes about the fate of friendster. it still existed, aparently. and jondavies was in the process of sendin out a friendster request to evryone he knew. he was, i gatherd, a champion of the underdog.

how many’ve you sentout? ⋞ i askd ⋟

jondavies took a notebook out of his pocket and flipt thru it.

a hundred and six.

and how many people’ve responded?


he laughed, cackled, hoo-haa’dsuch an unmeek sound to come out of a meek person, kinda like daffy duck when he goes insane, tho to tell you the truth jondavies’ laugh isnt like anything. its an archetypal laugh. if you ever come here i’m sure youll hear it, and then youll know what i’m talkin about.

jondavies was writing somethin in his notebook.

whats the notebook for? ⋞ i askd ⋟

this one? its for peeple i run into.

you keep track of evrybody you run into?

its not that hard. before i moved here, i use to be able to fit a whole year in a notebook. tho now i go thru one a month.

can i see it?

if you want. its not very exciting.

let me be the judge of that, jon.

he gave it to me.

he had to, as D would say, because of his god.

he realy does log evry single person he runs into, evry day. plus he makes notes by each name to indicate if they had a conversation [ c-v ], if they made plans, the date of their plans, and if he sent them a friendster request [ F ]

i opend to a random page and started reading

jon davies' notebook

did you finely stop capitilizin em? ⋞ D ⋟

yeah. i kinda like it. it saves space.

whadoes the line thru the date mean? ⋞ me ⋟

it means they canceld. or didnt showup.

alota these dates have lines thru em, jon.

peeple are prety unreliable.

i flipt thru.

like, most of em.

it works out to a seventy percent cancelation rate. which is a good thing. if i had to go thru with all those plans i’d never get any writing done.

your a writer?

well, i write. but pretymuch evrybody here does. or theyre in a band, or theyr crazy. or all three, hoo-ha-h@-HAA!

About that time, johnson showd up.

i saw him lurking on the other side of the fence, like a giant teddybear with a touch of angst. or hagrid on acid, johnmadden but nerf. somehow i knew he was johnson before i heard his name.

he lookd at an imaginary watch.

right on time, as usual D.

johnson you know perfectly well the perils of punctuality, get overhear and meet a-l.

is the gate open?

why dont you see for yourself? he’s a question-asker just like you a-l, youll getalong famussly.

johnson tried the gate and found it unlockd.

what happend to the lock?

it has been vanquishd.

johnson walkt up to me.

i stuck out a hand, but he said

get your ass outa the chair

and treated me to an embrace twice as sweaty as andys.

goodta meetcha, a-l!

its just al, actialy.

oh. you hadnt figured it out?

figured what out?

[ my heart beat. i thought he was realy gona tell me somethin ]

the best way to get athens peeple to do somethin, is to askem not to.

johnson proceeded to tell me all about when he useto live in athens and was roomates with D and andy. he and andy were in a band together, elaphent supermurder [ which i was already a fan of just causea the name ] and altho they were not tecnicly still together, they were playin a show tonite. when i askd what time, johnson gave me that lookyour new, arent you?

dont worry a-l, you wont miss it. we wont letcha miss it.

johnson, by the way, was the single most enthusiastic conversationalist i’d ever encounterd. or he was right up there with kathleen. he had a big sweaty whiteboy fro that would drip on you when he leand in to emphasize a point, which was prety often. the thing he was most enthusiastic about was athens.

athens, fuckin-g-a, theres no place like it. where else can you wear your pajamas downtown and not be makin a statement?

[ johnson was wearin pajamas pants. hadnt noticed that before ]

so why did you move? ⋞ i askt ⋟

yeah johnson, why did you? ⋞ that was D, swooping in ⋟

you promisd you wouldnt keep askin me that, D.

i didnt keep askin, i just askt once.

portlands actialy a pretycool place. not that any a yall would know. you know howmany athens peeple’ve come to visit since i moved?

zero i’m sure. i already know whats there, ironic mustaches and bartenders with atitudes and grey depresing

its got alot more goinon than athens.

such as?

like, how many good restraunts are there? two?

you can only eat one meal atatime, hate to breakit to ya.

i’m jussayin theres stuff to do besides just drink and go to shows.

like what, the opera? all youv said so far is restraunts.

its a city, D. a real city.

whadoes that mean? sorry but ikea and trader joes do not culture make.

you dont see the same people over and over. and evrybodys not up in your shit all the time.

so now alienation’s a selling point of urban life?

theres other reasons.

[ pregnant pause ]

you look like the cat that ate the canary dude, spit it out.

but he never got to anser. cause thats when andy walkd up

altho not in the usual fashion.

chapter 19:

standard rotten

Andy was walkin on his hands, doin the wheelbarrow, his legs held up by a guy who lookd like a bouncer exept he had a baby face. it was the dude from the bathroom, the one who was pissin on his own flyer.

i thought they were kiddin around atfirst, but it quikly became aparent that andy was not a willing participant in this bit of jollity. the bouncer pushd him across the patio, weaving rapidly between peeple and doing circles around tables. it lookd hard as shit to walk on your hands that fast, but andy was hangin in there.

they came to a stop nexto D.

ask her,

said burlyman, still holdin andys legs.

D can you please close the gate? ⋞ andy, upsidedown ⋟

if you want your friend to regain the use of his legs youll do as he says.

[ dont imagine a sinister look tho, he said it with a cornfed grin ]

i laughd, noncomitaly.

thats andrewprater, he aint jokin ⋞ D ⋟ he will walkim till dawn if necessery.

then why dont you close the gate? ⋞ i askd ⋟

your closer.

i got up, with a groan that i think i pickd up from andy, and closed the gate. as soon the gate was closed andrewprater let go of andys legs.

thanks for playin walkthedog!

Andrewprater loomd over D, tryin to intimidate her. D wasnt intimidated tho. or she was doin a goodjob of pretendin not to be.

gotta keep the gate closed D, its legal. dont know if you heard ⋞ said as if there was no way she couldnt have heard ⋟ but mike had to go to jail lasnight.

yeah, townie jail. all he did was get drunk with vince, hows that difrent from evry othernight?

and do you by any chance know what happend to the lock?

quit trying to be responsibl and stickto what you get paid for dudegettin drunk and kickn ass.

actialy, i’m not workin tonite.

your not?

[ sevral peeple said that at once ]

you didnt hear?

[ Andrew was pleasd to know something we did not ]

brownfrowns playin titepockets.


Andrew nodded.

but isnt that band playin? ⋞ D said ⋟ the one all the teenagers like?


Andrew radiated devilment.

i thought madi said no wiskey if there were kids ⋞ D ⋟

she did.

[ if he had a waxd mustache, he woulda been twirlin it ]

theres gona be liketwelve year old kidsthere.

yes, there will.

Andrewprater took a swig from a handle of earlytimes, turnd on his heel, and walkd off.

say what you will about andrewprater yall, that was an impressiv exit.

peeple are gona be scarrd tonite ⋞ johnson ⋟

permanently ⋞ andy ⋟

we should probly be there to see it ⋞ kathleen ⋟

oh we’ll be there ⋞ D ⋟ my only concern is how did we not know about this sooner?

they probly just foundout ⋞ andy ⋟ i bet some outatown band canceld at the lasminute.

i dont know andy, what if we’re slippin?

we’re not slipin, D.

you do realize that titepockets is in punktown ⋞ johnson ⋟

so whats yer point?

youll hafta leave townieville.

i’m fine with leavin townieville, yallre the ones who never wana leave this block.

uh-huh ⋞ andy ⋟ and howmany times hav you left townie-ville?

cant help it if theres nothin to do out there.

excuses D, your full of em tonite.

Peeple kept stoppin by our table to say hi, including the entire staff of bluesky minus marko, i eventialy stopt tryin to explain that i wasnt realy gona work there. jesse whosevrywhere made good on his promise to buy me a drink. when i toldim i didnt drink it seemd to confuse him, but eventualy i think i made him understand. after he left D said

what was that allabout?

he wanted to thank me for talkin to his mom.

what, are you gona be friends withim now?

no. but if i livd here i might.

thats freeky.

i think its cool ⋞ andy ⋟

whatever dude, jesse whosevrywhere’s for seein, not for bein friends with.

then doctor shithammer rolld a blunt. it lookd like the good stuff, the kind i never woulda rolld, but with all these folks i guess it made sense. i didnt partake [ i quit pot when i quit booz ] and i wasnt the only one to pass it up. jondavies and kathleen didnt touch it, and dave considerd but then said it would make him too antisocial.

the conversation got prety random and tangential and was pepperd with names of people i didnt know and words i’d never heard before so that i was often lost, tho evry now and then D would stop and explain something. i was treeted to a few lectures. for example, somebody had grafittied the side of the engine room

grammar's fascist

and it wasnt the firstime i’d seen it, so i askt.

D fielded that one.

grammers fashist ⋞ D said ⋟ whats not to understand?

i dont see how grammar can be fascist. its an inherent property of language.

not de-scriptiv grammer. pre-scriptiv. youknowstandard rotten english.

how is that fascist?

they took control of the language away from the peeple that speak it and they force evrybody to write in their bullshit made up language

who does?

the boujies.

why would they care?

thinkabout it. lifes good in amerka but theres only so much room at the top. you taut english, you knowthe poorer the kid, the worse his grammer. the blacker the kid, the worse her grammer. you want statistics? cause i can break ya off some.

but clarity is important. we have to be able to understand eachother.

if you cant tell the difrence between you’re and your from context you dont need to be teachin english.

but its important to know what the difrence is.


because its language.

standard rotten aint a language, hate ta break it to ya, not a natral one. you are familiar with the term ‘natural language’?

i think so.

i dont know why i’m havin this convee with an english teacher, its like askin a millionair to be a socialist. language evolvs dude. thats the nature of language. if the cappers’d been in charge in shakespears day we’d still be sayin thee and thou.

just agree with her, al⋞ andy ⋟ itll be easier in the long run.

I did not agree, so D decided to start me a reading list. she scribbled a buncha shit on there, most of it under the heading hiz-mats [ historical materialists ] tho i noted a few buddhist texts mixd in, and sartre, and a david foster wallace article about roger federer. she handed me one  a the books right then, reachd inside her purse and pulld it out from beneath the sleeping fermina, a little black paperback with the title in red


folded inside the book was a single piece of paper which D brought my atention to directly

item number one, M’s preface to ‘a contribution to the critique of political economy’ ⋞ D ⋟ the best introduction to M– is M–.

she was lookin at me.

you want me to read it now?

its only a page.

D, chill ⋞ andy ⋟ he just got here.

thats no excuse for coddling. this’s the en em aitch, get with the program.

whats the N-M-H? ⋞ that was me ofcourse ⋟

nobody said anything.


its just a nickname for athens.

as in, neutral milk hotel?

andy and D exchanged a look.

pretymuch ⋞ D ⋟

basicly ⋞ andy ⋟

is this another one a those things your not allowd to tell me?

not another one ⋞ D ⋟

whado you mean?

i apeald to evrybodyandy, johnson, dave and kathleen. jondavies. the other al and doctor shithammer.

we already went over this ⋞ D ⋟

you keep sayin you cant tell me. thats not goin over it.

silence from the peanut gallery.

yall act like theres some big secret, but you knowhat i think? i dont think there is a secret. i think this is just somethin yall do to fuck with people from outatown.

think in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first ⋞ D ⋟

i will think.

i know ya will.

then, kathleens voice: i never knew a whisper could be piercing, but it can

taylor! HIDE!

chapter 20:

doin battle

Evrybody hit the deck.

exept me.

i dont see im ⋞ i said ⋟

dont look downhere ⋞ D hisst from under the table ⋟ he has to think your alone.

i still didnt see him. course there were alota people around.

whatre yall gona do to im?

knockim out. whado you think we’re gona do, kill im?

thats when i saw taylor. he was makin his way tword the table, pretendin not to see me.

as he walkt by, he ‘happend’ to notice me. i could almost see the stage directions.

Oh hey i didnt see you there, mind if i sit down a sec?

um, sure.

c’mon, i’m not that bad am i?

no its not that.

i didnt wana betray my new friends. but neither did i wana hand over taylor like i was judas.

taylor could tell somethin was up, tho i think he interpreted it as me tryin to get rid of him.

well i hope ya dont mind if i atleast sit here a second.

taylor flopt down into a chair and put his backpack on the table. there was a bulge in it that lookd suspishusly like a camra.

actualy, you gota minute? i may go ahead and shoot some test footage.

would i hafta be in the test footage?

well you wouldnt have to

they must of grabd him then, cause all of a sudden taylor lookd at his feet and tried to push his chair away from the table but was unable to do so.

the table lifted up

pitchers and cups went flyin

i thought somebody was stuck under there.

until i realized that D had aholdof the table. she was infact lifting it over her head.

whad i do? ⋞ taylor askd ⋟

time for words is past, taylor ⋞ D ⋟

D threw the table

Taylor caught it.

now that they were out in the open, i saw that andy and doctor shithammer each gript one of taylors ankles.

can you atleast gimme a reason?

you know perfectly well the reason taylor, quit trynta distract me.

Taylor threw the table

D just barely duckd it.

Taylor squatted down

punchd shithammer’s nose.

shithammer let go of his ankle.

D advanced.

Taylor kickd andy’s face.

shithammer grabd at Taylors ankle.

Taylor kickd shithammer shithammer in the face.

D came at taylor with her wedge attack.

Taylor brushd it aside.

Taylor yankd his foot, but Andy held fast.

D took a shot at Taylor’s chin

Taylor duckd.

she hit the top of his head. thwoklike punching concrete.

she tried to play it tuff but it clearly hurt.

Taylor kickd andy in the face.

Andy got tired of bein kickd, he took a swing at Taylors balls

crack! [ he musta been wearin a cup ]

Taylor yankd his foot free.

D turnd around. pickd up a chair

threw it

Taylor dove outa the way

went into a roll

popt up nexto his backpack.

D moved in for another strike.

Taylor reachd into his pack. came out with somethin weirdone  a those triangle aerobie boomerangs.

Taylor threw it

D dodged

it saild past her

back to taylor.

Taylor caught it. threw it again

D pluckd it outa the air. tossd it aside like a broken toy.

Taylor grabd an empty pitcher. threw it

D tried to block it but it got past herlike one of those wild goals in soccer.

crick! right on her forehead.

Deidra saw the look of alarm on my face. she gave her attention to me, jus for a second

which she shouldnt of done, i now realize.

tho i did apreciate the gesture.

dont be afraid a-l, we’re just doin battle-

SMACK! - -   -

a roundhouse kick to the face!

you could hear it hit, like somebody puntin a football.

D stood there, tottering, her face a blank. if she was feelin pain it didnt register, but she musta been.

i dont know how she was still standing.

Taylor couldnt believ it either.

he lookt around. he was clearly set on incorporating a prop into the knockout blow. but his bag of trix was nowhere to be found.

[ i think andy snagged it ]

Taylor leapt across the patio

grabd something off the ground

D’s purse!

D sudenly realized the threat to the sleeping chihuahua.

Taylor had no idea. he swung the purse…

Noooo! [ evrybody gasped ]

Andy dove

D threw up a hand

pop! [ on her chin ]

yirp! [ that was fermina ]

Taylor had the oh shit look. i think he just realized who was in that purse.

you fuckd up.

[ cant remember who said it, we were all thinkin it ]

taylor backd away.

i didnt know fermina was in there.

she lives in there ⋞ andy said ⋟

how was i sposta know that?

hirr. hir-hrrr...

it sounded likewimpering!

Taylor lookd at the purse.


D flipt over

spun around

swept a leg under taylor, hookd her foot behind his heel.

Taylor fell backa look of suprize on his face.

D’s trailing leg swung around and caughtim on the jaw

his head snapt back, his face went slack

he was out before he hit the ground.

hrr. hirr, hrrrrr.

a-l, can you hand me my pruss.

i was still stund from how quick the fight ended.


i handed her the purse.

luckily for fermina, taylor swings a purse like a girl ⋞ D ⋟

what about him?

i glanced at taylors still form.

dont wory about taylor, he’s taken alot worse than that and lived to film again.

hr, hirrrr.

D removd the chihuahua gingerly. she had little hobbit fingers that were perfect for this kind of work.

fermina trembled. her eyes rolld like a horse in a barnfire...

til she recognized deidra. that calmd her down.

she’s fine. mightof even dunner some good.

D held fermina up to her face.

i’m so prouda yooou. you distracted that mean ole taylor so i could kickim in the face, yes you did lil darlin. here, hold this.

she handed me fermina.

fermina’s mouth fell open during the transition, and it stayd open. her breath envelopd me in a cloud of foul. i was tryin to decide if it was bad form to close her mouth for her.

D started rootin around in her purse.

the thing about doin battle that you always gota remember, a-lits not who strikes most that wins, or even who strikes the hardest... its who strikes last.

D found what she was lookin fora box of cold medicine. you know the dayquil/nyquil variety pack? it was one  a those, but generic.

she popt two blue pills into her palm and pried open the slumbering taylors mouth.

you hafta be firm with taylor or he’ll walk all over you.

she forced a pill down his throat til his reflexes tookover.

its just nyquil.

oh, i know ⋞ i said, as if that explaind things ⋟

she fed taylor another pill.

itll make it easier, trustme, we wont have to tie the knots nearly as tight.

This was the point in the night, i think, when i decided it was easier just to pretend evrything was normal.

speakina knots ⋞ D ⋟ andy can you go get kathleen?

you go get her,

andy said, then he went to get kathleen.

[ she was inside, gettin more drinks ]

D lookd at me.

why’re you holdin fermina?

you gave her to me.

just while i got the nyquil, not forever. take some initiativ.

i put fermina back in D’s purse.

she lookd kinda uncomfterble. so i took the initiativ to make a nest for her out of some bar napkins. fermina burrowd into the napkins and slipt off to dreamland.

andy came back, sans kathleen. he pickd up taylor and threw im over his sholder, like one  a those giant bags of dogfood.

wheres kathleen? ⋞ D askt andy ⋟

she on her way.

i need her now.

then go get her now.

i took a serius blow andy, dont even start with me.

i got kickt in the face, D. twice.

so? i been knocktout by taylor multiple times. ive lost teeth. thanks, by the way, for hangin onto his ankle.

[ she said that sarcasticly ]

i had a clear shot at his balls.

he wears a cup dude.

i realize that, now.

well, bygones be bygones, lets gettim shackeld.

andy carried taylor over to the table [ which dave and jondavies just finishd settin back up ] and laid him out like a fish they were fixin to clean.

get his hands first ⋞ D said ⋟

i thought she was talkin to me for a second. but she was actualy adressing kathleen. she’d just walkd up behind me.

kathleen said

gimme some room.

we gave her some room.

she sat down in front of taylor, tookout a crochet hook, and went to work. first she made a little band of light-blue, it lookd like a scarf for a baby. then she wrapt it around taylors wrists and stitcht it closed.

soft handcufs, minus the key.

she set about reinforcing the little band until it wasnt so little anymore. kathleen was intense with that croshay hook, it was hard to take your eyes off it.

at some point in the process, taylor woke up in a panic

wheres my camra?!

your camras fine dude, dont worry. hold is legs yall.

andy grabd one leg, johnson the other.

taylor seemd to considerfight or lie down?


lie down.

whad you give me?

dont freakout, its just nyquil.

no, i like it. i feel kindawoozy.

isnt it nice not to hav to pace about franticly?

yeah. i dont even wana film.

somebody write that down ⋞ andy said ⋟

i wrote it down. i think jondavies may have as well.

you know what i feel like doing?

this aint fantasy island, taylor.

lissening to electric ladyland. on headphones.

does anybody have an ipod? ⋞ andy calld out ⋟

with electric ladyland on it? ⋞ johnson said ⋟

the whole album ⋞ taylor added ⋟

taylor nodded off.

nows a good time to get is legs.

kathleen started crocheting shackles for taylors legs. her fingers were a blur. you could actualy watch the bonds grow bigger. change colors, too. she was working with a blue pallet.

The only problem with pretending evrything is normal, is that eventualy you start to believ it. here they were in the process of shackling taylor like it was bisness as usual with no reaction from the resta the bar aside from a few compliments on kathleens needlework, and me, rather than be like, peace out yall buncha freaks orwhatever, i thought, good, thisll keepem busy for a while, i can try claire again.

i grabd a phone off the table, i dont know whos it was. i didnt realy giv a fuck.

took it to a dark corner of the patio. flipt it open.

1:26 a.m. shit.

she might be up. better try one more time anyway.

8 1 7


was i seriusly forgetting the area code?

deep breaths.

817, 664, 5091. SEND.

we’re sorry, the number you are trying to reach is nottin service.

[ have i been dialing the wrong area code all along? no, cause i got her voicemail. i even got her, once, sortof ]

the other way, justin case.

871, 664, 5091. SEND.

we’re sorry

back to the first one

817 664 5091 SEND.

[ silence ]

[ silence ]


a new lowit didnt even ring.

I gotback to find taylors legs bound, knee-to-ankle, in what lookd like a giant legwarmer.

taylor sudenly jerkd awake, his eyes wide with horror

wheres my camra?!

your camras fine ⋞ D ⋟ remember?

oh right.

taylor tried to move his legs. faild. tried to move his arms.

i think he was only now realizing that he’d been shackeld.

you didnt hafta do that ⋞ taylor ⋟

your not filmin im tonite ⋞ D ⋟

but i wasnt how was i spose to- i just ran into him.

and you happend to have your camra on you?

i cant leav it in my car, its a two thousan dollar camra.

maybe in nineteen eighty six it was ⋞ andy ⋟

you can untie me. i promise i wont film im.

sorry taylor. you only get one firsday, and he aint spendin it in your movie.

can somebody atleast give me a sweater to lay my head on?

why the eff would we have a sweater ⋞ D ⋟ its june?

ive got an extra shirt ⋞ johnson ⋟

johnson untied a flannel shirt from around his waist.

johnson you been livin in oregon too long ⋞ D ⋟ it aint gona be cold enough for that til october.

taylor lookd concernd.

is that clean?

is that clean? ⋞ johnson mockd ⋟ your our prisoner, take it or leav it.

taylor took it.

he laid back and lookd at the sky.

do you by any chance know where andromeda is?

yknow what my father would say? ⋞ D ⋟

whats that? ⋞ taylor ⋟

if it was up yer ass youd know it.

did you drug me?

dude weve been over this already, i musta kickd you harder than i thought, your not havin double vision, are you?

i might be.

D tookout a flashlight and shined it in taylors eyes.

your fine.

i mustof been lookin concernd again, cause D said

dont frett, a-l. this is how we show taylor we love im.

i laffd. but at the same time i suspected it was true.

Kathleen croshayd like a grandmother on meth. she already had taylors arms and legs secure, and now she was goin back and addin decorationsa smileyface for his wrists, and for his legs a flower. it was the firstime i’d ever lookd at an instrument of bondage and thoughthow precious.

as soon as she fastened the button in the middle of the flower, kathleen put down her hook.

done. unless you want me to felt it.

nah, this’ll suffice ⋞ D ⋟

hey, whada yall say we make like shepards and get the flock outa here? ⋞ andy ⋟

taylor lookd distraut.

your just gona leav me here?

no way dude, keep your friends close but your enemees closer.

your takin me with you?

it nearly broke my heart to see how excited taylor got at the prospect of hangin out with us.

even if it was as our prisoner.

chapter 21:

cantaberry tailin

There were a ton of people millin around outside the engine room. seems someone was driving on the sidewalk. or atempting to drive. they couldnt get anywhere cause nobody would move outa the way.

it was a police car, dukes of hazzard-era, but they spray  painted over the logo

the po-po

this was the style of car that woulda had the lights on top, but the lights were gone and someone made fake ones outa cardboard.

a disheveld-lookin man leand out of the window with a megaphone


[ he was sayin that, he didnt actualy have a bwooper ]

nobody moved, so he tookout his spotlight and shined it in peeples faces.

when that didnt work, he went back to the megaphone.


isnt it illegal to impersonate a cop?

thats vince dude ⋞ D said ⋟ he is the cops.

we were only a block from the car. but it was not a quick block. they were constantly runnin into people they knew. sometimes literaly running into them. they have a word for it here, the way we made our slow inexorable progresscantaberry tailin: verb. to proceed in the manner of the pilgrims of canterbury tales. as in, we cantaberry taild it to D’s car.

D was leadin the way, turnin around evry five seconds to tell us the proper way to do somethinfrom what time to showup at an afterbarty [ four at the earliest ] to the ethics of farting [ your butt should be closer to your own face than to anyone elses face ]

Andy had taken a likin to walkin on his hands and was now atempting to make it the whole way to D’s car without the use of his legs, tho without anybody holdinim up he was always falling. he insisted we include him in convees, but when we adressd him he’d say

my eyes’re downhere.

Johnson was runninaround like a kid at sixflags. on a dare from andy he sang song against sex all the way thru, he even did a kickass mouth-trumbone solo.

Kathleen next, workin on a double slutcup, makin sure evryone knew she had already reachd sixpointfive on the slutscale [ dont get too excited, shes only a slut for dave ]

Bringin up the rear was me dave and jondavies, carryin taylor over our sholders like a canoe altho due to the nyquil he wasnt actin like a canoo, morelike a giant fish. he didnt seem to mind tho, he was fond of telling passing girls that he was king of townieville and tonight he would be holding auditions for queen.

Fermina even made an apearance. stuck her head outof D’s pruss and tried not to choke on her tung. did a pretygood job of it actialy.

Course nobody mentiond where we were goin. til jondavies finely brought it up

are yall goin to that de-ville concert?

whadaya mean yall? ⋞ D ⋟

no, i’m going too.

and its not a ‘deville concert’ jon, its a poolshow. quit actin like your from outatown.

ive only been here ten months.

thats basicly forever.

i waited til D was distracted to ask jondavies what a poolshow was.

he shrugd.

a show in a pool, i guess.

We made it to the car eventialy. which meant decision time for me.

i mean its onething to come downtown, when i could leave at any moment and walk back to the hotel.

entirely another to get a ride to god knows where, to put myself at the mercy of these athenspeople i doubted i’d get back before sunrise, then there was no way i’d make it back intime to pickup claire, even if it was just the battery

who’m i kiddin? there already was no way. i made that decision a while ago, by puttin it off until it was too late. this is a common tactic for a certain type of human being of which i am an exampl, maybe you are too.

i wana say that it had a sobering efect, thinkin about claire. but that conjures a metafor which i’m not sure is in order because the claire issue [ as i’d begun to thinkofit ] was not like sobriety, more like reality, like wakin up from a dream, but athens wasnt like a dream so i’m gona drop the metafor and get back to me at the yugo, hesitating

but i call bullshit on myself. i didnt realy hesitate, i just pausd long enough so that i could say i hesitated. how bout this

i jumpd into that carful of crazy peeple. i couldnt wait to see what would happen next.

D was drivin ofcourse. andy rode shotgun. i was in the back with jondavies and johnson. and taylor was in the hatchback area, happily dozing. but where were dave an kathleen? ohright, they took llamas.

so outside the fortywatt there was this hippie hangin out with two llamas. it musta happend fairly regularly cause evrybody knew the llamas by nameliggle and ulp. we held an indepth convee with the fellow and his llamas, who couldnt talk but were adept at expressing delite and revulsion thru facial expressions.

but kathleen, as soon as she saw the llamas, she knew thats how they were gettin to the poolshow. this was not cool with llama man. not at first.

but kathleen, understand, is a persuasiv girl.

the yugo wasnt exactly thrilld at the prospect of all this extra weight. as soon as D shifted into second, it cutoff.

D patted the dashboard

c’mon yugi, make yer mama proud.

yuggie started up.

D shifted into second, gave it some gas.

the transmission engaged

and we were outa the parkinlot.

the first thing that happend was we almost ran over this guy who was standin in the middle of the road with his hand infront of his face. D stopt the car so jondavies could hop out and move im outa the way like you would a turtle.

as soon as jon was back in the car, andy turnd around to adress him

whats your anser jon?

my answer to what?

to the question.

what question?

oh rightthe question. do you promiss, to stop doin whatever peeple tell you to?

but if do that, andy

i dont care what your god says jondavies, i’m your god now!

jondavies finaly agreed to atleast try not to do whatever people told him to. tho that wasnt enuf for andy, D had to forcibly change the subject, she elbowd andy in the breadbasket and said

jondavies i cant believ your breakin the sabbeth to ride in a car.

i can ride in a car on the sabbath. i just cant drive.

but you drank a beer. doesnt the baby jesus cry when you drink beer on the sabbeth?

you said you were gona pour it on al if i didnt.

i bet if i d threatend to pour it on you, youda let me ⋞ D ⋟

probably. i need to wash my hair anyway. hoo-hyA-ha-h@!

the street we were on was calld plasski. it cut a dark path between rows of crumbling victorians with ancient pecan trees in serius need of pruning. creaky limbs hungout over the street, threatnin to snap at any moment and takeout a power line or a car, there were alota cars, evry third house was havin a party it lookd like.

eventialy i gotaround to askin if any of them had been here when neutralmilk happend. johnson spokeup

saw evry show in athens and atlanta. that includes house-parties as well as clubs. and the broadriver thing.

and who told you about the broadriver thing? ⋞ andy ⋟

says the guy who slept thru dougs haloween party.

i’m gona askya a question johnson ⋞ andy ⋟ and i want you to anser it strait, without any caveats. and you have to be completely honest, and you cant

spititout andy.

who do you like better... guided by voices? or neutral milk hotel?

johnson lookd like he’d been punchd in the gut.

you mean total career? or...

your stalling ⋞ andy ⋟

oh is that how it is? ⋞ johnson ⋟ then who do you like more, neutralmilk or bobdylan?

andy drew in his breath.

now whos stalling? ⋞ johnson ⋟

for one second j-man. you stalld for like five.

in that case ⋞ i interjected ⋟ i gotcha both beat.

johnson and andy lookd at eachother.

andy said

he cant help it.

no excuses, sorry a-l ⋞ johnson leand into my personal space, a drop of sweat rolld off his nose and landed in my lap, plop ⋟ you cant be a superfan if you never saw em live. its o-k, we still love ya.

i respectfuly disagree.

yall hush ⋞ D ⋟ i want a-l to hear this part.

D turnd up the ticknot.

when the baby, is crying,

he needs some atension.

he needs his mother to hold him.

if the mother is thinking of other things

the baby will not be comforted.

the mother has to put aside other things

and just hold her baby.

i didnt know you were into the self help, D.

[ taylors voice wafted in from the back ]

aint nothin wrong with a littl self-actialization taylor, y’know what terry-e said.

the point is pointlessness.

thats not the only thing he said dude, didyou atleast read the conclusion?

i skimd it.

if you even read the paragraph that comes from, youd know this onea-l pay atension, its on your list, terry eagleton the meaning of life and he’s not bein ironicself realization but only thru a loss of self in the whole

D-marxy ⋞ andy ⋟

thats what led him to conclude the point is pointlessness, or more acurately what we need is a form of life which is pointless and so is free to delight in itself, which is exacly why i been tryin to warn ya, a-l ⋞ she eyed me in the rearview ⋟ be on the lookout for anything that tries to hijack the pointcapitalism, the god metaphor, standard rotten english, you must be vigilant!

more ticknot, less propaganda ⋞ andy ⋟

play greeting pain with mindfulness ⋞ johnson ⋟

greetingpainwithmindfulness! ⋞ andy ⋟

aright, aright. holdon.

D fastforwarded til she found it.

he was talkin about how he deals with depression. even ticknot has it, its not the enda the world. this is what he says when he feels it comin on, and i’m quotin verbatim cause i wrote it down, tho ive pretymuch got it memorized now

hello. goodmorning my little depression.

i know you are there.

you are my friend.

i will take good care of you.

it works, too. try it.

chapter 22:


We came to a sign sayin ‘DE VILLE’ and turnd in.

it wasnt a club, it was an apartment complex. a two story thing from the sixties, or whenever it was they were makin shit outa yellow bricks.

there was definatly a swiminpool. i couldnt see it yet, but i could already hear the telltale scream-splash combo.

at the car nexto us, there were some dreddy kids smokin a bowl, dressd in full hippie regalia, including fancy hats.

forgot to warn ya a-l, its gona be way hip tonite ⋞ D ⋟ we’re practicly in hipeetown.

whatre you talkin about? yall are hippies ⋞ i said ⋟

we’re townies dude, we are not hipees. if i ever say right on and give you that creepy-vacant smile you hafta shoot me in the head, i dont care if you dont gota gun, you can borrow one from vince.

the pool’s in the middle of the complex, surrounded by apartments with balconies overlooking it. to get there you walk between two of the buildings and theres a fence but its not realy a fence cause its been knockd over and partly burnd.

it was prety segregatedhippies in the pool, and townies around the edge and on the balconies. the hippies were packd in tight. naked, mostofem. or almost naked. someofem still had on their hats.

hipee soup ⋞ andy ⋟

shit, their multiplyin ⋞ D ⋟

it seemd like a buncha random folks atfirst. but i started pickin peeple outa the crowd, ones i’d met at bluesky or downtown. i saw jesse whosevrywhere, he started to walkover, but he ran into somebody else and i didnt see him again til the next place we went. then i spied julien, on the other side of the pool waving us over.

Julien had a picnic blanket spread poolside, it was some prime real estate.

so this is why you werent downtown ⋞ D ⋟

you gota get here erly if you wana good spot ⋞ julien ⋟

julien i love the shit outa you, i take back evrything i said before.

julien slicedup a watermelon he’d grown himself. it was an airloom, the yello kind, he’d thought ahead and chilld it. i hadnt enjoyd watermelon like that since i was a kid. we had a seed spitting contest but instead of distance the object was to land it in the dreds or hats of certain hippies.

taylor, still woozy from nyquil, was comin up with a new movie idea evry five minutes which, since his hands were tied, he enjoind us to take down for him. i wrote down the first one before handin over the reins to jondavies

Luke Skywalker in alternate universe. He didn't meet Obi-Wan. Instead, he got really good at martial arts. No, he learned to read minds. No, he discovers earth.

a variety of peeple wanderd into our picnic and some of em endup hangin out with us, like the Polish guy, piotr, i dont wana forget him. he showd up with two shotglasses and a botle of some traditional polish elixir whose chief draw was that it was eighty percent alcohol. piotr had a deal goin where he would match anybody who did a shot, which was evrybody exepfor me and jondavies.

when it was down to us, piotr said

if you two guys dont split the resta this with me...

he slapt the botle in his palm. i guess that was the end of his sentence.

then jondavies came to my rescue. it was prety smooth and i never gotaround to thankin im, what he did was he grabd the bottle and turnd it up, probly did halfashot but he pretended he was chugging. jondavies is not exactly practiced at the art of deception so it didnt fool me, but it was enuf to fool piotr

heyheyheysave some for me!

oh theres plenty left ⋞ jondavies ⋟ more than you could drink.


jondavies said the magic words.

piotr snatcht the bottle

draind it in two hard swallows

wiped his mouth


i’m drunk!

join the club ⋞ andy ⋟

no no no no, you dont understand. i’m drunk. not ‘american drunk.’ polish drunk. real drunk.

whats the diff? ⋞ D ⋟

youll see,

piotr said, and we would see

but not til after the poolshow.

All of a sudden evrybody got quiet and the hippies started gettin outa the pool.

as soon as the pool was clear, a chick waded in, wearin a modest brown one piece swimsuit and holdin a little guitar, it lookd like a toy, or maybe a kids guitar.

i recognized her. from the manhatan.

i left that part out, but while i was lookin for jesse to givim back his phone, i went into a place calld the manhatan and got into a convee with this guy named pete, and he introduced me to the bartender. thats who she was, the girl in the swimsuit. her name was madi.

madi climbd into oneof those inflatable pool recliners, like benjamin braddock woulda had if he’d graduated in the eighties.

somebody gave her a push

she floated out to the middle of the pool.

cleard her throat, and said in a little voice that was somehow also loud

this is my first... poolshow.

somebody shouted

vool pirgin!


drown her!

madi said

well here goes.

she made that litle guitar sound huge. i almost wana callit folky, but there were obvius punk influences in the way she beat the strings. and when she started singing, it was exuberant. urgent even. not earnest, mind you, cause she wasnt afraid to laugh at herself and the ridiculus figure she cut floatin in the swiminpool with that little gittar. she seemd a little embarasd actualy, that evryone was payin atention. but they were payin atention. evrybody. even the hippies who were givin eachother backrubs.

and dudes if your wondrin as i probly would be, altho it seems beside the point to me nowyes she was pretty. but for some reason i wasnt atracted to her, maybe cause i was so taken by her art. i wouldnt be at all suprized to find that therein lies the key to my problems with women.

D leand into me

shits tite.

i allowd that it was.

D and andy held a wisperd convee, but only when there was a break between songs or an instrumental part. so this took place over sevral songs.

she cant fight for shit, but shes shure got a pair of lungs.

. . .

would you call this postneutch, D?

. . .

i would. but only in the sense of ‘inspired by.’ next tank of gas she started makin music causa the record.

. . .

no thanks. you can take your sucker bet to al.

you in, a-l?

for what?

she waited till the song was over.

a frendly wagernext tank a gas says madi started makin music causa the record.

suckerbet ⋞ andy ⋟

which record?

aeroplane. catchup.

how would we know?

we’ll ask her. whado you think, wikipedia?

i took the bet, i dont know why, maybe to shut her up.

I could say it was a good show, or even a great one. but it wasnt just that. it also made me think about music in a slitely difrent way. it was like she’d figured out how to take all the energy of the nightthe crazy debaucherous insanity, and the yearning beneath itand spin it into gold.

when she was done, i swear you could still hear her voice echoin off the walls of de ville.

as soon as madi was outa the pool, the hipees got back in [ D was right, they were multiplyin ] and started smokin pot and doin tai chi and maybe even havin tantric sex, some of em, altho i tried not to look tooclose.

the hippie vibe mixd with the booz was makin the townies surly. not fightin surly, but definatly talkin-too-loud-throwin-p-b-r-bottles-in-the-pool surly. piotr had to be lockd in a room after he lit a couch on fire and threw it off a balcony, nearly crushing one of the hippies and doing irreparable damage to sevral of their hats [ tho he eventialy broke out, i heard. but thats a story for another day ]

johnson said

this’s about to get ugly.

or beauty-full, dependin on how you look at it ⋞ D ⋟

yall ready to bounse? ⋞ andy ⋟

we bounced.

chapter 23:

the tree that owns itself

We cantaberry taild it to the yugo, seven of us now. julien took jondavies spot in the backseat and jon squeezd himself quite cheerily into the thin slice of hatchback that taylor hadnt already claimd.

yugi started on the second try.

D said

prepare to leave townieville.

we almost made it outa the parkinlot.

thats when we ran into dave an kathleen, atop llamas.

when they saw us, kathleen exclaimd

thank god you can still drive a lama drunk!

there was a goodbit of fanfare associated with this meeting, we nearly persuaded them to come with us, but kathleen said theyd find us later. for now she needed a drank for me and a drank for ulp, and i’m sure she got both.

D turnd left on plasski. north, by my calculations, tho i wouldnt necesarily trustem.

when was the lastime you left townieville, D? ⋞ julien askd ⋟

[ pause ]

member when we all peed on the tree that owns itself?

yeah ⋞ andy ⋟ like two years ago.

i’m sure there’re times i’m forgetin ⋞ D ⋟

you remember evrything D ⋞ johnson ⋟ its your defining caracteristic.

jondavies prolly hadnt left townieville, ever ⋞ D ⋟

ive left townieville.

jon pulld out a difrent notebook and flipt thru it. this one was a list of evry place he’d been since he moved to athens.

lets see... i went to titepockets right after i got here.

is that where we met? ⋞ andy ⋟

i think so.

jondavies scand the page.

yep. and ive been to the tree that owns itself.

who took you? ⋞ D ⋟

i walkd.

thats like two miles ⋞ D ⋟

oh, no waitthree times. i saw elaphent supermurder march twelth. that was at andre’s house, in punktown.

a show wich you missd, D ⋞ johnson ⋟

cause you couldnt bear to leave townieville ⋞ andy ⋟

i was tired ⋞ D ⋟ some of us actialy hafta be at work in the morning.

johnson smiled.

i think she’s scared.

andy put an arm around her sholders.

dont worry D, we’ll protect you.

i dontknow what yallre talkinbout, i dont even live in townieville.

oddhill is so townieville ⋞ andy ⋟

its in the middla nowhere ⋞ D ⋟

how far are you from downtown, a mile? ⋞ julien ⋟

its all townies now ⋞ andy ⋟ the lasta the muggls just moovd to oconee county. theres barely any hipees left.

dude theres republicans.

there are not republicans.

what about that dude with the ross perot yardsign?

he was bein ironic.

scuse me if i hav no patience for irony. its just another excuse not to give a shit. start bein all ‘ironic’ about evrything and nexthing you know its back to the way it is ⋞ flip ⋟ over there. d-f-w was right, its our generations tragic flaw

your not distractin us with your marxy bullshit ⋞ andy ⋟ just admit that you havent left townieville since we took ya to the treethatownsitself.

first we hafta agree on the definishun of

admit it.

but we need a working def

admit it, D.

IF you define townieville loosly ⋞ D ⋟ which i am not agreein to, mindyou.

so this is a special ocasion ⋞ johnson ⋟

its so special i could vom, whats yer point?

we have to stop at the treethatownsitself ⋞ johnson ⋟

that would be killer ⋞ julien ⋟

come on, D! ⋞ all ⋟


We came to a stop sign.

Stop leaving townie-ville

you know whats on the other side of that road, D.

whatever andy.

well you shure are takin yer time.

i hafta check for traffic.

aint no traffic.

you still gota check.

there was no traffic.

D took her foot off the brake...

yugi rold back

she threw it into second

gave it some gas

the engine died.

D yankt the emergency brake.

you did that on purpose ⋞ johnson ⋟

you know yugi dont like no hills.

hill my ass ⋞ andy ⋟

D turnd the ignition. yugi started up.

she revvd the engine.

cmon little yooger ⋞ D ⋟ you can do it.

she patted the dashboard.

its not that bad, its just punk town.


aright, andy.

D took her foot off the brake,

we rold back,

she popt it into second

stepd on the gas

yugi shot forward

out into the street

and across.

and we were out of townieville.

whatever that meant.

We imediatly ran over some rubble. or thats what it felt like. actualy it was a cobblestone street. a steep one, at that.

yugi attackd the hill, vibrating like the tincan on wheels that it was. julien and andy started doin that thing you do on a bumpy road where you go


and the vibrations make it go


can yall atleast wait til we get up this hill to freekout?

whats that, D? louder?


lookyou woke up fermina.

the fuzzy crown of ferminas head emerged from D’s bag, followd by two goggly eyes, which for a blessed instant detected no iminent threat to her life.

then she achievd sentience, and began to quiver.


already on it.

from D’s purse, andy extracted first fermina, then ferminabarbitol.

he filld the syringe with red medicine and stuck it in her mouth. andy had a better tecnique than me, he fed it to her like a bottle. insteada fightin it, fermina suckd on the syringe like it was her mothers teat. you could actialy see the tension drain from her body. it made me thinka what all i carry, all that shit you learn to ignore, but that doesnt mean its not there. i could hear ticknot softly in the background

breathing in, i am a flower

breathing out, i am a cloud.

i tried to be a flower, i tried to be cloud.

but like yoda would say

there is no try.

At the top of the hill, we came upon a huge oak tree, right in the middle of the road. the road actualy went around it.

D pulld over and cut off the car.

turnd around to adress us

lissen up. titepockets starts early. twenny minutes. then i’m out, with or without you. that includes evrybody, even you a-l.

The tree was on an island, of sorts, surrounded by a stone wall, somewhere between a traffic circle and a miniature park. it was an ancient oak, the kind with drooping branches, some of em hung low enough you could sit on em if you wanted. or you could hangout on the wall and hassle passing cars, which is what evrybody did exept me and jondavies.

at the base of the tree was a bronz plaque, like youd find at a historical site

This is the tree that owns itself, so back the fuck up.

athens is weird ⋞ i said ⋟

it does take some gettin use to ⋞ jon ⋟ have you seen the books?

D gave me one.

i puld ethics outa my cargo pants pocket. there was a subtitle i hadnt noticed before

an essay on the understanding of evil

oh badiou ⋞ jon ⋟ yeah, he’s good. but i meant books that were written... over here.

whad ya mean, jon? its notlike we’re in a difrent country.


its just a town jon. its just athens.


jondavies, you are bein intentionaly obtuse.

i supose i am.


i cant tell you that.

cant tell me what, jon?

you know: what the bleep is goinon?

but jonwhat the bleep is goinon?


does evrybodyelse know besides me?

well no. not evrybody.

is it bad? ⋞ me ⋟

not necesarily.

is it about me?

sortof, i guess. but not just you.

jon you are fucking with my mind.

if it messes with your mind, maybe you should stop askin questions.

i took his advice. i mean, if you cant get anything outa jondavies, who can you get it out of? and besides, all it did was pull me outa the present moment as tick not hanh would say, or the sandselighed as K would hav it. which i already had an issue with. remember or maybe i havent told you yet, i was raisd catholic, my brain was built for guilt. evry time i started to get caughtup in the flow of the weird athens night, my conscience would engagehow can you have fun? you should be more concernd with finding your way back to etcetera. my mother use ta say i cant makeya feel guilty, if you feel guilty it must be for a reason and i think she mighta been right

i needed to talk to claire.

i wouldve calld her, on jondavies phone. but jondavies doesnt hav a phone. i wouldof askd somebody else, exep that the rest of our party was curently, if i wasnt mistaken, engaged in a sockpuppet fight with some dudes dressd in orange prison jumpsuits, altho i dont think they were prisoners. it was prety clear i’d get suckd into that if i went over there.

jondavies was busy writing in his notebook. which left me alone, with no phone in my hand, for the firstime in awhile.

i sat under the tree that owns itself, leand back against the trunk, lissend to the crickets and the treefrogs and tried to make my brain shutup, but it wouldnt do it, there were just toomany questions.

i finely started makin a list.

Is Claire okay? Is she mad? What's wrong with my car? How am i going to get home? What is going on?

thats as far as i got before somethin splashd on the page. it lookd like a raindrop exept it wasnt rainin.

a second one hit. thats when i heard the sniffle.

i lookd up

legs. girl legs.

bein cathlick i averted my eyes and felt shame, and then i took another peek.

and you know who it was? the girl from the coffeeshop. i neglected to mention her, didnt i? when i first got downtown, i was walkin past a coffeeshop thatd just closed, and there was this girl in there cleanin up. she set down a bus pan and with the back of her wrist she brushd a piece of hair out of her eyes, and thats all it took for me to fill her delicat little features with my ideals of womanhood, the hopes and dreams of a lifetime, dudes you knowhat i’m talkin about and ladies you probly do too.

this time, she saw me lookin.

are you o-k? ⋞ i askt ⋟

[ she’d obviusly been crying ]

depends on whatyou mean by o-k.

whats the matter?

well i fell in love, and i got in alota trubble.


wana hav a drink?

[ she had box of wine up there. tho i didnt see a glass ]

i’d love to, but no.

youd love to? or no?

well both.

cant be both.

i would like to. but i dont drink anymore.


[ she squinted ]



she almost fell. i woulda caut her tho.

you knowhat the problem with this town is?


evrybodys toocool to be in love.

i’m not too cool.

you boys are all the same, i love evrybody equal, we’re all comrades, fuckin proletariat, fuckthat i’m tired a boys, where’re the men?

i’m in love.

then where is she? or he?

she’s in newyork rightnow, but shes flyin back to texas tomoro, thats where we live, i need to get there too but my car wont start, i dont know whats wrong with it but i probly cant afford to fixit, i heard nobody in athens takes credit cards, but i sorta got this job at blue sky

you work at bluesky? great! now you wont call me the coffeeshop girl, cause your the coffeeshop guy. it boggls my mind anybody would think that would work, you knowhat they say about athens boys?

whats that?

smart at the s-a-t, stupid at love.

i hafta go.


i am a boy.

you bout ready?

D said that.

then she noticed the chick in the tree.

sup kayla?

D! i love you, D.

i love ewe too kayla. sure yer not too drunk to clime a tree?

i’m never too drunk [ hic’up ] to clime a tree.

fraid i’m ona hafta steal a-l from ya, we gotta get movin chopchop.

where yall goin?


isnt nana grizl playin?

yeah. but guess whos after em.


brown. frown.

but madi said

dudnt matter dude, we saw andrewprater earlier and i’m heer ta tell ya shits gettin destroyd at titepockets tonite. litrally and metaforicly.

can i come?

the more the merrier.

We now had a problem of physics, in that you could only fit so many bodies in the yugo. jondavies said he’d walk, but D wouldnt hear of it. but there was another solution [ leave it to jondavies ] he offerd to ride on the back bumper.

i took jons spot in the hatchback, we opend the back window, jon stood on the bumper, i held his waist, taylor grabd his sholders, D promisd she wouldnt go too fast, and she didnt. and thats how we made it to titepockets.

chapter 24:

titepockets massacker

Titepockets is a nondescript brick shoebox of a building, sittin there bald in the middle of a dirt yard on a shady street corner. it use to be a pool hall, thats where the name came from. a neighborhood poolhall. back when neighborhoods use to have shit like that.

we got there as they were tappin the first keg.

it was a quarter to four.

D said

its gona be a massacker tonite dudes, mark my word.

so to get into titepockets you walk thru this one little room thats hot and crowded and smells like piss beer cigarets sweat and mold, and you push your way into this other, bigger room, it smells the same but its not as crowded or as hot. or it wasnt yet anyway.

at the far end of the room, a screamo band was playin to like a dozen fans. it wasnt realy my style but i kinda liked the singers voice. he had a lisp, which you almost never hear in a singer come to think of it. it took me in enuf to get into the jaunty beat.

you dont haveta pretend to like it ⋞ D ⋟ lookatem, they dont giva shit.

she was right.

i stoppd fakedancin.

lookd around.

felt old.

alota the fans were teenagers. some of em maybe not even teenagers. i cant believ someones parents would lettem come to a place like this. altho i gues its no worse than a mall.

when the song was over, the band walkd off. evrybody but the singer. he sat down and started fingerpickinmeditativ, ernest, pretty.

then he started singing. and now that he didnt have to compeet with the amplification you could hear the suttleties in his voice. it was almost like you were witnessing somethin you shouldnt be. even D was transfixd.

after the first verse, the drummer came back up but he didnt start playin yet. then this chick walkdup and started singing backup. it framed the vocals so had to you pay attention to the lyrics, which i dont normaly do the firstime i hear a song but this time was an exeption, i even wrote down a line

cynicism isnt wisdom, its a lazy way to say that youv been burnd.

seems if anything youd be less certain after evrything you ever learnd.

then a trumpet blared and the drummer went nuts, a guitar joind in, and a whole horn section totterd up there and threw itself into the melee, and nobody gave a damn about anything exept makin some noise. kinda reminded me of guess who? not in a derivativ way, justlike they pickdup on the joy and decided to run with it.

it ended abruptly. left me wishin it wasnt over, the way a great song will do. the band put down their instruments and started hanginout with peeple, acceptin hugs and beers. i wanted to huggem too.

A buncha peeple musta come in during that last song cause it was gettin prety packd. punks townies hippees and other varius ruffians and ne’er-do-wells, all cramd together in this hot smelly shoebox. i wasnt sweatin that much myself but i was already coverd in other peeples sweat, peeple kept bumpin into me or getting pushd into me, there was a lot of pushin goin on, and a few skirmishes, tho it was good-natured skirmishing, i mean they smiled while they skirmishd eachother.

i’d forgoten all about taylor til i heard a voice like a carnival barker

TAYLOR THE ONE-ARM BARTENDER! step right up mam, what can i getcha?

i forgot to mention there was a bar. it was just a card table with some licker botles and mixers and plastic cups and a sign sayin

no teenagers

but taylor had installd himself behind it, and inspite of his shackles he was mixin drinks and hittin on girls with impunity.

somebody came up behind me, liftedup my shirt and jabbd me in the back with what felt like an ice dagger.

i snatchd away the ice dagger.

it was a can of p-b-r.

you took it ⋞ andy said ⋟ now you gotta drink it. house rules.


house rules. if you dont crack it open in tenseconds, i will crack it open on you.

[ i dont think it was an empty threat ]

nine. eight.

i took preemptive actionopend the can.

he’d said nothing about drinkin it.

seven. six

but i opend it.

gotta drinkit, four, three.

luckily, somebody got pushd into andy. it was trish from bluesky. as soon as she recognized him, she shouted


and started scratchin the shit out of his face.

all andy could do was cover his face, so she went to town on his arms.

D’s jaw dropt.

that chick can freakfight like a mutha dude, i had no idea.

Andy got his hands around trish’s waisti dont know how he did it, it was like grabbin a feral catand lifted her up.

he threw her across the room, she landed on an amp.

she leapt off the amp and ran strait for andy.

D waited til she was within range, then... tang! she kickd her

but trish came flyin back

D threw up her hands and trish began shredding. but insteada freakin out, D relaxd, started doing that wedge attack [ its calld wing chun ] all the while talkin to trish

but what would you do…

[ jab-claw, jab-claw ]

…if i was wearin…

[ pop to the jaw, slash to the forearm ]

…long sleeves?

i’d claw thru em!

and as she said it, trish drew blood.

but D kept up her wedge attack,

she pushd trish back and back til she tript over some other peeple who were fightinthere were alota other peeple fightintrish was imediatly absorbd into the other fight but then she recognizd one a the guys she was fightin, tylerhappy dwarf, my first customer at bluesky.

for a second they were fightin and talkin. then they were just talkin.

where were you lasnight, trish?

why do you care?

cause i heard somethin.

what? dont make me clawit outa ya.

i heard, that you and marko drank some robitussin, and

MARKO?! i’d sooner sodomize the pope with a baby kangaroo.

D, clearly moved by trish’s linguistics, hurld herself at trish.

she gave up her centera gravity for the first time i’d seen.

then, as jackerouac wouldsay, their energies met head on.

i had to turnaway eventialy. but there was no turnin away, evrywhere i lookd peeple were engaged in shoving matches or jumpin on eachothers backs or puttin eachother in headlocks. it was seemin more and more likely that i would be drawn into the melee. didnt D say i wouldnt have to fight tonight? god i hope this isnt like fightclub.

But thats when brownfrown showd up.

wafted in. on a magic carpet of wiskey fumes. four scruffy dudes led by andrewprater, pushin peeple outa the way and passin around a handle of jim beam.

Andrew took the stage.

hey robbie you forgot your flooglehorn!

he pickd up a batterd tuba and threw it at this blond guy.

where the fucks the micrafone?!

a microphone came flyin at him.

he grabdd it, lookd at it like it was a bat and he was ozzy ozborn, and started talkin into it.

i heard… there were gona be teen-agers here tonite. are there any teen-agers here?

the three teenage girls who had not fled smiled weakly up at him.

yall are in highschool right?

uh-huh ⋞ said the bravest of the three ⋟

you gotta read books in highschool, dontcha?

she nodded.

you ever read that book, Lo-lita?

shouted protests from the crowd, i.e.

prater dont know howta read!

who wants to talk shit to me?! ⋞ andrew ⋟

nobody did, aparently.

never said i could read. i was just gona ask one of these ladies if they could help me out with the book. incase its on the s-a-t.

some peeple shouted at prater, but they did it hidden behind other peeple and andrew ignored them.

how old, was lolita spose to be?

Andrew turnd up the jim beam, gluglug. you could see the level drop. he wiped his mouth and threw the botle at his gittar player.

it bounced off him, but he caught it before it hit the ground, took a swig, and threw it to the bass player.

do any a you young ladies know?

the young ladies didnot know.



somebody said. somebody else said,


andrew said one more thing that i wont bother to repeat, then i guess somebody had enuf, cause the band started playin over him. i mean the show started.

it was abrasiv. and drunken. and thats puttin it mildly [ tho i spose it did rock, if your into that ] the hi point was when the guitarist, andrews brother nathan, in the middle of a solo he leans over and starts vomiting. not a quickie either. he puked the entire solo, and never missd a note.

between songs, andrew taunted the girls mercilessly.

eventialy madi went up there and heckeld andrew and danced with the girls.

now madi ran the punkhouse, remember, and she was a prety kickass musician. those girls were psychd. it definatly helpd them ignore andrews taunting. tho it did nothing to discourage it.

they ended with an obseen cover of naomi

i’m watchin NAOMI get screwd,

i’m hopin she will screw me too

thats as far as he got before somebody tackled him.

as soon as Andrew hit the ground peeple started piling on top of him. evrybody dropt their instruments exept nathan, who was lyin on his back still playin even tho peeple kept steppin on him. the drumkit was dismanteld, the kickdrum fell over, the drummer crawld in there to passout.

then a whole herd of peeple rushd forwardlike one of those brawls in baseballjulien trish andy johnson jesse-whosevrywhere and abuncha other peeple i knew and didnt know all runnin into eachother and tryin to knock eachother down, i even saw jondavies give somebody a little christian shove.

in the middle of it all was D, the eye of the hurricane, whenever anybody came at her, she’d rotate her hips and sendem flyin off like somethin outa crouching tiger hidden dragon, exept the peeple whose asses she was kickin seemd to enjoy it.

At this point, the only ones who werent fighting were me and the teenage girls, and they were even startin to push eachother a little. i felt like the last kid at the middle school dance, that one song when even your nerdiest friend found somebody to dance with.

maybe i could do it. i mean, justlike punch one person on the sholder. or if it was somebody i knew, maybe even bightem lightly on the cheek.

then i did see someonejohnson. he was stumblin along with three peeple clinging to his back, like a harried kingkong, like godzilla. it kinda reminded me of the way my dad use to play with me. his face was totally exposed. i could imagine my teeth sinkin into his cheek. i could almost taste the facemeat.

i took off my glasses and ran right at him, i tript on somebodys foot went sprawling hit my mouth on this girls knee tasted sweat and skin then blood hers or mine i dont know, some random guy came flyin at me [ i think he was thrown, i dont think it was on purpose ] his sholder hit me square on the nose my eyes teerd up tho somehow i didnt get a bloody nose, the girl whose knee i hit tried to tackle me but i slipt out of it, i was slick with sweat, evrybody was [ and the smell, my god ] somebody grabd me from behind, i thought i recognized the monkey arms, my suspicion was confirmd when my mouth was pried open and i tasted, along with my blood, the sweet-sick caramel of cuttysark.

i spat it out.

like a whale spoutcheap scotch and blood, an efectiv combination, andy letgoa me, i elbowd him in the jaw without even thinkin about it unless my elbo itself was doin the thinkin, he lurchd back and collided with another guy, i ramd into him, he got samwichd between me and the other guy, we all went down, i saw a flash of pink like when i ran into the tree but this time i didnt fade to black,  i opend my eyes and what should i see, mere inches away from my teeth, but andys face

i bit him.

got a mouthful of hairy sweaty cheek and you knowhat?

it tasted like chickin.

Andy winced in pain, then laffd, then there was nothin i could do, he lifted me over his head and started lookin for somewhere to throw me, and this time it wasnt gona be somewhere soft

or actialy it was, cause he threw me into D.

she absorbd me, let me plopdown nextoer and rest while she continued to fling peeple in all directions, at one point she lookt over at me and said

if i’da known this was gona turn into a dance party, i woulda brought my dancin shoes.

somebody tried to pull me back into the melee, but D sentem sprawling with a jab kick while she simultaneusly clotheslined a huge dude in a dress.

how are you doin this? ⋞ i askt ⋟

low centera gravity. its my power move.

Andrewprater emerged from the bottom of the pile like the creature from the blacklagoon, armd with a squirt gun which i’m pretysure had wiskey in it, actialy i’m realsure cause i got hit with it, tho mostly he was squirtin the teenage girls. they atempted to flee but there was a big ass melee between them and the exit so andrew cornerd them and please do imagine the bigbadwolf but drunk and slitely more evil.

Andrew gatherd up the girls like the judge did the kid at the end of blood meridian, said,

drink sluts, drink! this’s a brown-fuckin-FROWN show!

was a brownfrown show ⋞ D said ⋟ now its just a titepockets party. dude dudnt even know when his shows over, its sad. you wana get wile the gettins good?

your not worried about them?

we lookd at the girls. andrewprater was holdin their heads back by the hair and squirting wiskey in their mouths like he was pourin a row of shooters.

D shrugd.

good for em. makem growup big an strong.

i dont know bout that...

well watcha gona do about it? cause i’m heer ta tell ya, all the concern in the world aint gona do those girls a bita good right now.


i dove at Andrews legs, grabd him around the ankles, knockd him off balance, almost brought him down, he had to let go of the girls to keep from fallin over, i tried to bite his calf but i missd [ my teeth made a clacking sound ] he kickd me in the throat, not as hard as he could but definatly hard enuf to put me outa commision.

the girls took off.

peeple got outa the way to make room for em, but when Andrew tried to run afterem he got swarmd like the red sea.

i lost track of him for a second. then he popd up at the far end of the room, pants down around his ankles with the squirt-gun wedged up his ass.

Andrew fought his way thru the crowd. he caught up to the girls just before they reachd the exit

then out of nowhere comes Johnson.

he didnt try to hit Andrew oranything, he just roard in his face


it knockd Andrew back

which gave the girls some runnin room, and friends leme tell you they ran.

Andrew was momentarily disapointed.

but he quikly turnd his atention to Johnson.

johnson tried to run, but Andrew caught him by the ankles. he lifted him up and started swingin him around like a scythe, clearing a path to the stage.

Nathan, meanwhile, regaind control of his guitar guitar and put it next to his amp. he mounted the amp, pulld down his pants and started pissin on the guitar. he may have been mildly electrocuting himself, the guitar was definatly smoking or the amp was or somethin.

D ran at him, sweating, all kinds of ecstasies goin thru her head.

she knockd over the amp—

nathan fell to the ground.

D jumpd on top of nathan and proceeded to beat the everlivin shit out of him, it was punishing just to watch [ tho the smile never left his face ]

you sexy bitch! ⋞ nathan shouted ⋟

you beautiful manbaby! ⋞ D rejoind ⋟

i’m gona slice off your cheeks and fry em up like country ham.

if yermama was here i’d pulldown her pants, spreader legs open, and shove ya back in there.

it got prety detaild and much more obscene, trust me when i tell you i’m sparin you the worst of it.

Andrewprater made it back to the stage. he flung johnson off into the crowd [ taking out a number of peeple ] and found the micrafone. he didnt even pretend to sing this time, he just screamd random obsenities








RE- P U B L I C A N !

even D raisd an eyebrow at that one.

you were right a-l, i’m glad we stuck around for this.

then somebody shouted


and there was a rush of bodies, i think evrybody from outside ran in at once, and maybe some extra peeple too, it overcame me like lava, i ended up on the bottom of a pile, it was hard to breathe, i felt the panic comin on, but i took a deep breath, relaxed

and bit somebodys leg.

dude got the fuck off me. then i punchd somebody and elbowd somebody else and pretysoon i wasnt at the bottoma the pile anymore.

i didnt run for cover, as had been my original plan. it was pretycool to be at the edge, you could just grab anybody that came by and flingem onto the pile and chances are they would become partofit, especialy if you threw somebody else on top of em which i proceeded to do whenever i was aforded the oportunity. eventialy there was no more room to throw peeple on the pile cause the whole room was a pile, so i punchd a cupple folks in the sholder they punchd back, i even popd kayla on her litle button nose, she jamd her pinkie in my nostril it was an efectiv attack, i heard jondavies’ brayd laughter and saw his teeth go flashin by, lunged for him got within an inch of bighting his ear but endedup hittin my teeth on the backa nathan  praters head, it knockd one ofem out tho i didnt notice it at the time or i didnt care, but i definatly have one less tooth than i use to.

ive been told it makes me look hardcore.

then allofasudden i was hearing, if i wasnt mistaken, communist daughter, backwards.

i dont know where it was comin from, but thats what it was, and damn if it wasnt evry bit as haunting backwards as forwards. i was almost overcome. ok i was a little. i felt like i was gona floataway, til someone puld me back to earth, it was andy, he said

lets make like a hipee and roll this joint.

this time i agreedthere was nowhere to go but down.

Fresh air was nice.

we had about five seconds to enjoy it, when

kuh-FFOOOM- - - -   -     -       -

like someone shotoff a canon. all the lights wentout. not just in titepockets, but the whole block.

peeple started pourin out like roaches.

D lookd at us and said

calld that one didnt i? total fuckin massacker.