Thursday, January 20, 2005

Flash From the Distance

The way I see it everyone could use a good punch in the face every now and then. It’s repressing all of this aggression that creates the real monsters. People don’t get into violent movies because they’re peaceful little grass-eating bunny rabbits. Deep down, we’re all killers. We’re all animals.

If it was between you living and me, I could live off of your corpse for a week.

My head is vacant like a retard’s stare. There’s some girl in my bed. She is looking at me like she expects me to say something.

Go away. Leave me alone. I don’t know you.

I need a cigarette and a memory.

I never really had any fantasies outside of ones about relationships that actually work. I’ve had a lot of those fantasies. There are several women who will never speak to me again as a result of my overworked imagination.

Then there’s Audrey. She was everything I ever thought a woman could be, and I was disappointed just the same.

We are walking through the woods at night. It’s pitch black and we’re moving with our hands out, stumbling like two blind people.

I stop for a minute and listen to the world.

Are you there, she asks me

I’m right here.

Don’t leave me, she says.

I am standing at an airport watching her walk away, knowing it will be the last time I ever see her. I’m trying so hard to put this image in my mind so I won’t forget it like I do everything else. All of the things that really matter slip away and I’m left with trivial facts about cultural minutiae.

I wish I could cry for just once in my life, but I don’t feel like crying. I feel like beating someone up. I feel like ruining someone’s day. I feel like driving a car bomb into a mall.

I want to grab Audrey and say to her what she said to me in those woods, but I just watch her go.

She turns around and smiles before she is swallowed into a sea of people.

You want me to cook you breakfast, the stranger says. I make a good omelet.

There’s nothing in my fridge. Go away. Leave me alone. I don’t know you.

I’m not hungry, I say. Thanks. I have to leave for work soon.

It’s okay to lie when you don’t want to be the asshole you really are. The truth is I haven’t been to work in weeks. I don’t even know what day it is.

I watch this girl get dressed. She’s not beautiful, but she has beautiful eyes. She has small breasts and long legs. I can see why I brought her home. She looks a lot like Audrey. Every girl I like looks like Audrey.

I’m sure last night I was telling her everything she wanted to hear, but right now I just want her to leave so I can go back to sleep. I’ll say anything to fuck you, but don’t expect me to like you in the morning. Don’t expect to like me.

You’ll never be who I want you to be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Excuse Me, But What Planet Is This?

I’m standing in T-Mart. It used to be Minit Mart, but they went bankrupt, so now they’ve just dropped the Mini. It kept the new owner from paying for a new sign. You can still see the old letters, covered in duct tape and plastic, like no one would notice. It’s too bad the buyer didn’t have more money. Maybe he could have corrected the fucking spelling and called it Minute Mart.

There’s an old woman in front of me trying to write a check and she’s moving like she can’t remember what name she’s supposed to sign. There’s a young black guy, mid-twenties, with a shaved head bugging the clerk about Lotto tickets.

“What’s the payoff?”

He’s looking around like he wants someone to say the wrong thing to him.

Behind the counter a couple of Indians, a guy and a kid act like they have all the time in the world. They’re moving in slow-motion and talking to each other in their native language. They’re both clean-cut and well-dressed, unlike the customers here. The people waiting in line look like they just stepped out of some homeless shelter with a wad of cash for lottery tickets and cartons of Doral cigarettes. The Indian kid is counting money laid out across another counter behind them. The money is stacked like he’s playing Monopoly. It’s sitting in front of boxes of cigars.

The clerk is trying to run this old lady’s check through the machine and the hostile black guy says in a loud voice, “You gonna give me my change for my tickets, man?”

The clerk says, “You haven’t paid me yet.”

Eternities pass and I’m still just standing here, stuck in this moment in time in this low-rent convenience store with half empty shelves and a bunch of people just staring off into space. It’s like in that episode of the Outer Limits where the pilot got knocked out of time and everyone else became these living statues. It's almost funny.

I always try to make some moments last, but the only one’s that do are always the worst fucking ones.

Some old guy is talking to himself behind me. He looks like he’s about two hundred years old. He’s just a skeleton with some liver-spotted skin stretched over it and he smells like a bedpan. I’m trying my best not to stare.

I’m starting to get paranoid. Actually, I started getting paranoid about two minutes after I walked into these florescent lights and it’s only getting worse. Something is wrong with this place. This isn’t how people act. They’re moving like damaged machines. They’re trying to do their routine but they just stop in the middle of it and reboot.

I just wanted a pack of cigarettes. I think about leaving but now the Indian guy is giving the old lady a receipt to sign. Things are moving along. Soon I’ll have my cigarettes and I’ll be able to get the fuck out of here. But now the old lady is confused. The Indian guy doesn’t even notice because the black dude who’s trying to pull some lottery ticket scam is asking him another question. The old man behind me cackles.

“What’s the most I can win?” the black guy asks in a loud voice and looks around to see if anyone wants to say anything about it.

The kid is still counting money behind the counter. I’m wondering how safe it is to have piles of money laying around when you’ve got a group of homeless people waiting in line and some of them look seriously fucking insane. The old man laughs at nothing again and then coughs like he’s going to keel over and die. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did. A fat white guy with a beard standing at the back of the line lets out a loud “Whoo hooo!” The clerk and the kid stop talking for a minute and smile like his redneck yell makes perfect sense.

I’m thinking about running now. But if I leave, I might have to go through this in some other store. It could be even worse. I wish this was just some random incident.

So I wait.

The old woman is moving. She turns back around, confused and walks off clutching her crumpled check. The black guy says, “Give me six Pick Threes and seven Pick Fours.” He may as well be talking in a different language at this point, the clerk and the kid still are. They’re talking and they’re laughing about something. The kid is still counting all of that money.

I finally get to the counter and the clerk is ignoring me. I say, “Put that money in a sack and give it to me or I’ll fucking kill you.”

He says, “Excuse me, sir?”

I say, “I need a pack of Marlboro Lights.”

Monday, January 03, 2005

A Letter of Concern

Mr. Drunk Redneck Sitting In Front of Me At Donnie Darko- Director’s Cut,

Why have you shown up drunk at a movie you couldn’t understand sober?

Isn’t the Bar With No Name serving your buddies right this moment?

Isn’t there a Home Improvement or Billy Bob’s Great Outdoors rerun on that you could be watching?

This isn’t a movie that was written for drunken assholes who never learned how to keep their big fucking mouths shut during a movie. It wasn’t written for guys in non-ironic trucker hats who snuck in a pint of Kessler and a liter of Big K Cola, who have to get up to take a leak every fifteen minutes and announce it to their significant other and four surrounding rows of people every single time. It wasn’t written for the guy who can’t go two and a half hours without four “smoke breaks.”

This movie was written for pretentious assholes like me. People who know what symbolism means. People who have read Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time. Most importantly, a movie like “Donnie Darko” was written for people who know how to shut the fuck up in public.

Mr. Drunk Redneck, I know after seven shots of cheap Tennessee bourbon, you are under the illusion that you’re in your living room and not in a crowded theater with people all around you. But the fact remains, you’re not.

Sitting directly behind is you is me. I’m what you could call a ticking time bomb. I’m someone who’s just waiting for anyone to fuck up enough that I can pound my fists into their skull repeatedly until they stop moving. And, I hate to say this, Mr. Drunk Redneck, but right now that person is you.

I’m sorry that your mother and father didn’t beat you into submission when you were a kid, because from your behavior, it really seems like it would have done you a lot of good. But I’m not one of those people who believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

So Mr. Drunk Redneck, I want you to know that I’m sincere when I say that I think I could teach you something about manners. Unfortunately for you, you don’t come off as someone who can be taught anything through simple logic, but I will say that you do seem the type who could learn something from being kicked repeatedly in the cranium.

So, don’t hold it against me, sir, when I knock that dirty John Deere cap off of your head to reveal your ten dollar bad haircut from Fantastic Sam’s. And don’t hate me for shoving that forty-ounce of Busch beer that you slipped into the theater right up your corn-loving ass. It’s just that no one ever taught you anything about common fucking courtesy or culture, and I want to enlighten you in the only way you’ll ever be able to understand.

I hope you take this to heart and know that this hurts me more than it hurts you, mostly because you’re too drunk to feel anything and my fists are fucking killing me from pounding your thick skull. I think I might have even broken a toe from kicking you in the ribs so many times.

I only do this because I care.