Wednesday, October 17, 2007

* strays *


"goddam that motherfuck'n' motherfuck'r, i'm gonna kill him!!!" hyatt was raging through the gallery space, and stopped right in front of his newly sold artwork. "he took my fuck'n' keys and has my truck and won't answer the phone, and i'm gonna fuck'n' kill him..."

eyeing the fragile floor piece, he circled around it, sizing it up, as though looking for a weakness, some place to land his foot in one tour de force death blow. suddenly he came to a standstill, force gathering momentum, about to reach critical mass.

it was then, jamie bolted in: "where's my fuck'n' shit, hyatt thrush?"

"it's in the motherfuck'n' truck, and chase won't answer his phone!!!"

"that sonofabitch, if i get my hands on him..." she reached out and gave hyatt a hard push.

the artwork, a louis xiv replica chair made of styrofoam sat there, oblivious to the ensuing chaos.



chase walked in, paint besmirched tattered hoodie zipped and stretching over his belly, black frame glasses taped together, studious and chill all at the same time.

he looked down at hyatt's piece, now boxed up in cardboard. "hey guys, how's it goin'...sell anything?"

"actually, yes. say, hyatt's been tryin' to get ahold of you."

"yeah, i lost my phone. i've been hangin' out with my friend matt. he drives a forklift, we met at the bar last night."

"the exhibition organizers are throwing a party right down the street, you wanna go with me and m.f.?

we closed shop and walked outside the large exhibition hall, heading with the other hipsters toward the searchlights waving randomly down the street. queing up, we moved steadily toward the door. now at the entrance, security pulled out a flashlight.

"let's see some i.d." we flashed him our drivers licenses as chase fumbled through his pants and hoodie pockets.

"i can't find mine. will you take a school i.d.?"

"hell no."

"let's just go eat guys," m.f. chimed in. we left the line and headed to the pizza pie house.



"i'm just existing...existentializing my existence in this space and time, drifting...peace, not looking for trouble. an animated protoplasm of energy and matter, looking for something..."

chase, wasted and high, rambled on in the back seat of the cab as we looked for his hotel. "it's right over there, oh yeah that's the one."

m.f. threw the driver a twenty and we piled out into the cold stiff wind coming in off the lake. scrambling through the entrance, the night manager gave us the eye as we looked for an elevator.

"you gotta use your keycard to work the elevator," m.f. observed. chase fumbled the card out of his pants pocket and held it wavering in his hand.

"lemme help," i grabbed the card and slid it into place...nothing happened. then the night manager appeared, looking over our shoulders. "can i help you?"

"we're tryin' to get our friend to his room," m.f. said as the man eyed us suspiciously.

"i wanna take a look at that card," he grabbed it from my hand. "that's not our hotel, you need to go a half-mile up michigan avenue," and gave us an extra stern look as he handed back the card.

"alright, thanks." we high-tailed it out of the hotel lobby back into the night, looking to see if security was onto us. m.f. hailed another cab, and five minutes later we were in front of the right hotel.



up in their room on the seventeenth floor, i flopped down on the carpet and started flipping through channels, looking at nothing in particular. chase sat next to m.f. on the bed and started fumbling with his shirt. "you gotta label on there somewhere?"

jamie and hyatt tumbled through the door in from the hallway. "chase, where the fuck'r my keys?" eyes half-closed, chase reached into his hoodie and tossed the keys over the bed. "my clitoris gave birth to your mother," he trailed off into nonsense.

hyatt dove behind the bed, grabbing the keys, and went into a frenzy, pulling open drawers, then leaning into his suitcase and throwing clothes into the air. "where the hell's my glass pipe?!"

"shut the fuck up you lost it, you sonofabitch," jamie yelled back.

"give me my fuck'n' glass pipe," hyatt yelled in reply.

i leaned over and whispered to chase, "say, we'll catch you tomorrow." m.f. and i waded through the pile of empty bottles, dirty clothes and tools on the floor, and pulled the door shut behind. as we moved down the hallway, jamie's voice cut through the early morning haze: "hyatt, you fuck'n' idiot, i got your glass pipe right here..."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

johnny rude (indian summer dream)

it began on the side of a dirt road, late afternoon, leading down into the valley. he was a young girl hanging out with three others, all of them around eighteen. the thin brunette, andrea, peeled off a wad of bills and threw some to each of them. "there's your cut...four-hundred fifty each, y'all have fun."

he pocketed the cash and headed down the road to the little tavern at the foot of the valley. walking inside, the warm, familiar glow of wood paneling and blood orange shag carpet welcomed him.

now a guy, he sauntered over to the side bar and leaned over the cute girl in front of the mini-jukebox. "lemme have a play at that," he whispered as he pushed into her, sliding a quarter into the machine and pressing his selection.

saxophone music rattled out of the blown speakers and followed him across the tiny room to the gambling machine. he pulled a crisp twenty out of the wad, fed it in and the game came to life.

"say, this is kinda like that space shoot 'em up that i used to play," he thought, except the reaction time was really slow. he would press two, three, or four times before a shot would squeeze out at the descending alien ships.

suddenly the lights flickered and someone yelled "closing time!" the game started to shut down and he turned to the door. just then his friend nicki threw a bill at the juke box and yelled to the attendant, "play me that song!", and pushed open the wooden revolving door, stepping to the street outside.

he followed after his friend, walking out into the young night air, neon flickering around him, and started down the street, walking with a fancy cane now. suddenly from behind, the tavern keeper, a middle-aged loser with slicked down hair, ran up and said, "hey you lost your money in the machine!"

"yeah, i left eighteen dollars in there when it shut down."

"well here's your money, johnny rude," said the man throwing a twenty his way. he screwed open the top of his cane, and pulled out a gold ingot from a hidden slot, handing it to the man in a move that surprised himself.

then, reaching down to the ground he picked up the bill, along with the rest of his cash, which had fallen there. shoving the wad into a recognizable stack, he stuffed it back into his pocket. "i'm gonna let my friends play their hands, me i'm buryin' my talents," he thought and commenced to walk away.