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chapter 25


- - –-  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n w o r k i n -– – - – - -  - -  – - - – - -   -   –   -    -     -      -        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


There was a little scene out infront a titepockets— some people standin around a double parkd golfcart and that fuckt up policecar.

shit. kryshas here D

and vince andy what the fuck?

id haffa  mind to say   what person in their right mind wouldnt (underlined)
call the cops?
  even if the cops were vince.

vince sat on the hood of his car drinking from a bottle of cuervo gold. when andy walkt by, he pointed an acusatory finger—

your under a rest.

for what? andy

for not givin me a hit a that doobie.

i refuse to smoke up anyone who says doobie.

vince stared andy down.


andy pastim the joint.

puff, puff, puff. . . give.

vince said

who wants to do five shots with me?

why five?

cinco de mayo.

cincodemayo was like a month ago dude.

then saint patties day  who cares, its all phony anyway.

peeple lined up to do shots—andy kayla johnson julien jondavies [ altho i think he just liked standing in line ] dave, kathleen, liggle and ulp [ theyd rold up just in time for the massacker ]  evrytime somebody did a shot, vince would handem his gun and makem pretend to shoot in the air and ‘say somethin mexican.’

i followd D over to the golfcart, where madi was talkin to a wild-eyed redhead, had to be krysha. she lookd kinda crazy but the good kinda crazy i think, the kind that gets shit done.

we join their conversation already in progress.

tecnicly it still is krysha

but i thought madi

nope krysha we decided not to.


they were doin us a favor. they coulda calld the cops.

krysha lookt over at vince.

vince said—


did a shota tequila, and pretended to fire his gun.

i mean the real cops krysha

want us to shutter down? D askd

dontcha think the splosionll do it? krysha

madi shook her head, supressing a smile.

i wish it was that easy.

D. madi. krysha. i began to suspect that a small number
of athenians pictup the slack for the great majority of their fellows.

madi was right tho, the splosion hadnt shut anything down. somebody dragd the bar outside and peeple were hanginout in the yard. a truck rolld up with a piano in the back, there was a dude backthere bangin on the keys and singin, and he had him some pipes

and i ’m runnin out of patience!

to be fuckin with you  now!

he didnt seem to care that the cops might be on the way, or that nobody within a two block radius could carry on a conversation without raising their voice.

oh cool D micas heer.

maybe if we ask evrybody to be considerat  a the neighbors.

krysha worried her brow. she didnt wana be the heavy.

you better blieve me when i say   thiiis  now!

and if we could get mica to sing a little quieter.

its mica, he dont got a volume knob D well make im stop

after this one. quit while your ahead, thiss the en em  ee of

the state.


nuthin, i m just bein absurd.

you think theyll dispers, if we shut mica down? krysha

if we makem dispers madi

who all do we hav? krysha

see that line a peeple doin shots with vince? D

krysha checkd out the line of peeple doin shots with vince.

is that—  taylor? krysha why is taylor in handcufs?

not handcufs, he can get outa handcufs. shackels.


its a-ls firsday D

i see.

D grabd me by the arm and yankt me into the convee.

krysha thiss a-l, a-l krysha. al, if it wudnt for krysha this town woulda

burnd to the ground a long time ago. litraly and metaforicly.

welcome to athens, a-l.

krysha gave me a smile, she has a welcoming smile. and
a southern way of clasping your hands. you can tell she takes her
welcomin seriusly, and it pays off. she could welcome you to hell
and youd be happy to be there.

thanks i said

so krysha askt can you fight?

i did the deer in headlites.

not smuch yet D but he sure can bight the shit

outa somebodys face, checkout andys cheek if ya

dont bleev me, how drunk is vince?

vince was tryin to pour tequila in ulp s mouth.

ulp didnt want any tequila.

too bad, ulp.

krysha calld over—

vince are you too drunk ta fight?

im never toodrunktafight, bitch!

hes not toodrunktafight.

you sure?

if he dudnt call me cunt, he s not toodrunktafight.

were gona need evrybody we can get madi

andrewpraters on the warpath.

yall didnt endup gettin that tazer, didja? D

krysha shook her head.

we had the money, but the insurance was reedick-yullus

k  e  r  -  b o o m 

you could feel it in your chest. like the earth was a kickdrum and somebody just kict it.

evrybody ran around tryin to figure out where it came from.

someone shouted—


and peeple started runnin tword the explosion, or gettin in their cars to drive there, like the exodus from a gatsby party cept the cars were alot shittier, there was even a car stuck in the ditch, i helpd get it out, there were six of us it was easy.

The only people left were the mellow ones, and they were just quiet shadows of chatter and cigaret smoke.

problem solvd D

madi shouted in the direction of some circus kids hanginout by
the door—

nothins on fire, is it!?

i dont think so! shouted a guy in a porkpie hat

did anybody check!?

[ silence ]

can somebody please check!?

well check dude, me and a-l D hes sober, hes good

for shit like that.

your sober?

madi said that, but it got the attention of krysha too.

for three an a half years.

that could come in handy madi yeah, would yall mind checkin?

the breaker box is on the backporch.

hey while your in there couldja do the glass? krysha

krysha handed us each a black garbage bag, a flashlite, and a pair of work gloves.

We went thru evry squareincha the place—it was bigger than it lookd,
there were secret  rooms—makin sure nothin was onfire [ it wasnt ]
pickinup broken glass [ there was alot, but not from the explosion ] ,
checkin to see if anybody was hurt, which they were, but not too bad,
we gottem outside and into the hands of their friends or atleast people
that knew their names. the worst was brownfrowns drummer. he was
pastout when the splosion happend, when he woke up it was dark and
he thought hed gone blind, we found him in the bathroom splashin
water on his face—

i cant see. i CANT SEE!

yeah we got a p-b-r in im and he was fine.

i pretywell enjoyd the massacker. but this, i hafta say, was my favrite
part. trish was right— its better on the other side a the counter. workin,
i mean. cause thats what we were doin. as in, on the clock. dont know
if you realizd that, i sure didnt, but if theres one thing i learnd at
burning man, its life is best when work and play start to blend into
one another

globecap sure stampd that one out, didnt it?

well atleast we got jersey shore.

we found the source of the explosion. the wall was charrd black around this one outlet— the outlet into wich was plugd a powerstrip that supplied the power to all of brownfrowns equipment. it was sittin in a puddl a water. or . . .

i wouldnt touchit a-l. i can tell from here its piss.

sniff test proved her correct.

id like to see the tipa that dudes dick, heh=heh D

a-l, wouldja mind turninoff the breaker? we gota get

this shit unplugd.

[ ive never been here before, im useto dealin with electricity

thats been updated since worldwar-two, etcetera ]


i chopchopt. it wasnt hard. i had a flashlite. evrything
was labeld.

when i got back, D was already unpluggin shit. i guess she
assumed i wouldnot fail...

As you can see, there are paralells between my life here in athens
and the one back in texas, and i was beginning to realize—tho i wouldnt
admit it yet, even to myself—that i belongd over here, not over there. i
dont mean that as a judgment of either place or as an excuse for the
responsibilities i obviusly had, which i obviusly was not gona ignore
just cause i liked athens just cause i belongd here, there are more
important things than belonging

orso i thought.

By the time we finishd cleanin up, most evrybody had cleard out, even
some of our crew. it was sad i didnt get to say goodbye. julien. jondavies.
dave an kathleen. they were already like friends.

D had a drink at some point in titepockets, which raisd her total for the evening to two. one too many to drive, she maintaind, despite sevral opinions to the contrary.

who s gona drive yugi? andy askd

nobody D we can take booty-ds van.

booty-d? i said as in booty dharma?


the guy who useto do athens quotes?

howd you hearbout athensquotes?

on the internet.

seriusly, how?

D andy


he useto do it over there.

he did?

over where? me i thought he was from athens.

face gettin cold   scalp tinglin

he is dude, relax. your visage is pallid.

what is goin on?

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andy caught me before i realized i was falling.

breathe in your a flower, al. breathe out your a cloud.

i tried

but i didnt have control over my breath

over anything.

keep scrolling

heart racing head spinnin

blood swishin around a hundred miles an hour

my body understood what my brain couldnot

fade to black

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ext. titepockets. nite.

i’m lyin on my back, lookinup at the sky.
sevral peeple stand over me, including a
realyshort giantess.


you awake?


did i passout?


jusfor a second y’did. its nuthin to

worry bout, happens all the time.


what happens all the time?

peeple passout D said when they

first get here.

that doesnt make sense that doesnt make sen$e that doesnt make sen$e that doesnt make sen$e

blood drainin from my head,

had to lay back down.

taker easy dude, taker easy. open yurself up

to the world around you.

but D—

[ i was havin some crazy ideas ]

evrythings fine, al andy

not thinking, not thinking

were here for ya D we love ya.

not thinking about not thinking

you love me?

is that so hard to bleev?

but we just met.

so? you just met max and you

already love him.

whadoes that hafta do with it?

its human conection D it has to do

with evrything.

we all we need, we all we got andy

M wudnt worried about money, a-l,

he was worried bout geist D write

that down in your little notebook.

i wrote it down. in my notebook. i could
show it to you if you want.

Next step wouldof been for me to try standin up, and if that was ok, maybe walk.

to booty dharmas van, i spose.

course it didnt go that way.

cause see andrew prater was still around, but the teenage girls were not. he was on the lookout for his next target.

he found it.

i tried not to look deer in headlites.


andy pickimup! D

andy threw me over his sholder.

sorry al, no time to explain andy

get evrybody loaded up and ready to go D

Andrewprater took a hungry step towrd me.

D stept between us.

andy sprinted towrd the van with me on his back.

when we got there all he said was—

andrew prater!

and id never seen athens peeple move so
fast, they loaded into the van in ten seconds flat.

andy threw me in afterem, somewhere soft—
pillows, there were only pillows in the backa the van, no seats just pillows.

johnson said—

most people get worse at fightin when their drunk.

but andrew prater jusgets better the drunker he is.

andy said—

when i say STEP ON IT, step on it.

the driver [ booty dharma, i assume ] got ready to step on it.

andy squatted in the open door, ready to yank D aboard, it was some milenium falcon shit. the restof us watchd thru the back window and this is what we saw—

D had settled into a defensiv crouch.


rusty bumper

Andrew was runnin at her, nostrils flaring.


right at her.

D lowerd her centeragravity. lifted her hands slightly.

somethin had to give.

it was terifying to think what it might be.

prater was closin in on D—

his mouth was open

it lookd like he was gona eat her


D leg


he hitter with his powermove johnson

andrew gave her a head fake—

changed directions—

headed for the van!

D threw out a leg—

prater went flyin—

hit his head on the rusty bumper of a pickup truck, and im prety sure it made a dent.

Andrew didnt appear to be gettin back up. but we werent taking any chances.

D D started runnin for the van.

her legs were so short it was like she was runnin in slow motion.

andys arm hungout the door, ready to grab her.

Andrew satup.

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hes gettin up, booty-d andy better start rollin.

the van rold forward. . .

D, runnin as fast as her litle legs would taker—


Andrew prater was on the move.

you can move faster than that, D! andy

D, runnin in slowmotion, barely gainin on the van.

fuck allyall.

prater closin in.

cmon, hes right behind ya!

he was.

when i get [ pant ] on that van. . .

legs pumping. she was almost there.

you better watch your solar plexus!

prater graspd—

D reachd

andy stretcht

grabd Ds hand

flung her into the van



booty dharma's van andy's outstretched hand

which booty dharma proceeded to do.

We lost him. we got away. i mean we were in a van.