Archive for the ‘Nihilism’ Category

At 1:52 I struggled to force a stubborn key into the broken lock of my front door, slamming my shoulder in futility against the oxidized copper in an attempt to loosen the lock from its nest. Nothing gave. To the front door I shambled without care for the irises, crushing a terracotta statue beneath my feet. The back door did not yield to my key; a different lock. I stumbled to the back gate, pushing it to the side without a care and scraping past the loose bits of free weights left behind by a forgetful housemate and a rusted out old bicycle; I rounded the cobbled-together stones of the walkway and jumped up the steps of the wooden deck. I tried to squeeze through the thin opening of the back sliding door left open a crack for the cat to come and go to no success. Contemplated the costs of a broken window.
No matter. Try and try again. The door gave way against brute force and my determined knee, smashing inward with a resounding crack that left me shocked and still for a moment, standing in the moonlit doorway without much thought for my next move. My uneasy steps guided me to the bedroom; my cat looped around my ankles in a somewhat delightful figure eight as I removed my clothes.
Naked, I attached myself to the greasy leather of the chair with all the ease of velcro, edging the shuffle button on my iTunes to start a Rolling Stones song. Honky Tonk Women, I think. I left the whimsical button on; I love to live dangerously.
My browser started in a fever, flickering onto a porn site. Curious as to my stamina under alcohol’s numbing hand, I reached for my penis and clicked a particularly promising link marked “fucked HARD” with no other guide. I tugged at my cock for several minutes to no avail; iTunes gives me Gogol Bordello. I start to fantasize about previous sexual conquests, soon noticing a scab-covered wound on my arm. Taking advantage of my numbed nerve endings I claw the wound open until it gapes and yawns at me, blood welling up as generously as oil.
The video’s getting into full swing. Sex floods my mind as the wound pumps more platelets out of my system. Music resounding is Cream; it ends suddenly and returns to the Stones. Mick sings along to the beat of my hand as my eyes roll heavenward to the sound of a faceless woman moaning.
The blood tips down my arm, snapping over my eyes and drawing my tongue to the spill. I know I am affixed permanently to this chair. I lap the copper red onto my tongue, focusing on the bent form on my computer screen.
I come without much sensation thanks to the vodka, yet I feel a sense of accomplishment; I beat the drug at it’s own tricks. No whiskey dick here.
My hand wipes itself sullenly on a tissue, reluctant to part with its achievement. I flick the tissue into the trash can and am startled by the sudden furry feeling around my legs; the cat is back.
Modest Mouse, what the fuck? No. Switch.
Sublime, Slow Ride. Yes.
“She takes her time when it’s time to get ready…”
I am naked and soaked in sweat and semen, epoxied to a chair and clearing the vestiges of Russian ice from my head. The drums drill themselves into my head like burrowing insects searching for protein.
“Maybe just the way you move so slow…”
Switch.
Lady Gaga.
Switch.
Queen.
Switch.
The White Stripes. Okay.
This is what I sleep to.

Three Days Part 4
Some people, when they see a pen and paper, they think of writing, maybe drawing. Me, I’m thinking of a knife and kindling.
I guess I just interpret things differently from the way that normal people do. It’s always been like that, from that first glorious day when I was seven, the day that I bashed a deer’s head open with a large chunk of basalt rock that I found in a field.
I still have that rock, or rather a small piece of it, still speckled with dark deer blood from my first play date. I keep it near me all the time, the memory lying quiescent in my pocket and reminding me how much I love what I do.
There are subway tokens in my pocket and I’m thinking about how lovely they would be shoved into the eye sockets of the bum slumped on a stoop to my right, but today I need those little circles of bronze for my trip.
Normally I live in the country, away from the prying eyes of humans and close to animals that no one will miss. But not today! Today I come to the big city, with the big people and their big ideas and the big opportunities and the big fat kills that I get to enjoy for three glorious days of fun fun FUN.
So I keep the tokens in my pocket and try to fight down the urge, one that I will give in to soon. I reach past the coins and feel the rough stone ridged with little hard bumps of black beast blood; my fingers tremble in anticipation and the thrill of memory.
Some people, when they see a chunk of rock covered in dark drops of blood, they think of death, maybe murder. Me, I’m thinking of release.
In the city, THE CITY, there are endless advantages and chances and weapons, beautiful gory weapons that only I can see.
Dreamily running my fingers along an old chain-link fence, I’m thinking about how good it would feel to smash someone’s face into the metal, smash and smash again until their face is pockmarked by bruised black diamond-shaped scars and bleeding sores.
This city is a maze, and I feel like a rat sniffing for cheese as I navigate these wonderful avenues of destruction, looking for the entrance to the subway. I don’t like vehicles; I prefer to trust my own body for transportation, but here in the big city it’s not smart to go anywhere without a metal shield protecting you from the world.
From the subway I can get downtown, to the visitor’s center. That’s where most of my coworkers pick up supplies and lovely weapons for the upcoming slaughter. Oh wondrous word, slaughter, such a versatile term that describes the Three Days so aptly.
I won’t be purchasing any lovely weapons; waste not, want not, after all. I do need food and water that will last me and be otherwise unreachable during the fun that approaches like a speeding train. Guns and knives and bombs and things I won’t need. Just a stray rock, perhaps a pen, maybe an aerosol can and a lighter. Who knows?
And now I feel lost, like a sheep that’s lost its way in the big city. I feel nice, though. There are weapons here, there are people that can have those weapons end their lives. Contentment fills me at every step.
A bar comes up on my right, a little tavern. I like bars; one night at a bar, I remember how I waited until closing time, then took the bartender and broke his nose with a pint of some delicious dark lager. I threw him on the pool table and pierced his heart with the cue stick, watching fascinated as the wooden pole slid in between his ribs and brought forth a geyser of brilliant arterial spurts.
Seeing this bar makes me happy, brings back the memory. I move to open the door only to have it swing out from the inside.
It’s a tall, somewhat obese man in his late thirties. His shoulders are slumped and his hair is thin; overall a pale, paunchy and unhealthy-looking man. His head, however, appears to belong to an entirely different body. With skin at least two shades darker than the white claws emerging from his wrinkled coat’s sleeves and a pinched, almost gaunt cast in stark contrast to the beer belly constrained by ill-fitting clothes, his head gives the impression that something is very wrong with this man.
Yet I know those eyes, completely black orbs spinning in milky pools like they can’t be bothered to stop moving around his skull. Restless, toneless, dangerous.
Some people, when they see a man like the one in front of me, they think of violence, maybe a mugging. Me, I’m thinking that this is a friend.
Good memories are stirring in their beds, as I stare at this man. Good splashy VIOLENT memories as I remember exactly who this person is.
A smile begins to crawl across my face like a thousand newborn spiders emerging from a sticky egg sac of condensed webbing.
“Hi, Simon!”

Three Days Part 2

The ice cubes in my glass clink together as I push the remnants of my drink away. I get up. My shoes squeak against the wet floor. Simon’s predatory gaze follows me to the back door and out.
I can’t believe that an evil bastard like him is out in broad daylight, walking among all those innocents that could be his victims at the drop of a hat. If only I was able to take him out before the massacre begins. But no. There are rules. No matter how many lives are at stake, I’m still bound to play the game. Fortunately, Reeps and the other freaks are bound as well. There won’t be any killing, raping or destruction a week before the anniversary of conflict.
Coming out of the back door, cold hair rushes against my face, ruffling my hair and obscuring my vision with dark strands. I shiver, pull my coat closer. I brush the hair out of my face.
The red light of an exit sign stains the barren alley before me. Nothing stirs; not even rodents scurrying in between trash cans. In the center of the alley, I can see something glinting in midair.
It floats steadily towards me, a circle gleaming underneath the rusty lighting. I reach out to grab it, but the coin shoots into the air and my fingertips graze nothingness.
“Call it.”
A calm, self-assured and pleasant voice. I remember it.
I glance up to see Ellen as she glides down. She’s crouched low on a flattened trash can lid that hovers about six feet above me. It smoothly descends to the ground where she walks to meet me. Her right hand covers the coin sitting on her left.
“Call it.”
“Why?” I’ve never liked gambling without knowing the stakes.
“It’s just a coin flip.”
“But for what?”
“Stop overanalyzing and call it.”
I’ve missed Ellen. I really have. Not that I can let her know that. I look down at the slender hands that cover each other. “Heads.” I always go with heads.
She laughs. “You always pick heads.”
She moves her hand. A steely red eagle calmly glares up at me.
“You lose.” She smiles at me, and I feel like a winner.
I step back. Focus. That’s what I need to do. No need to reawaken old feelings this close to such a dangerous time.
“What do you want?” My tone is brusque, more so than I had intended, and she looks taken aback.
“I just thought I would say hi. Bad time?”
“You could say that.” Seeing Reeps so close to the Three Days Massacre has put me on edge, given me the same itchy, uncomfortable feeling that I always get when I see him in his true form.
“About time to be dragging the emblems out of the closet, eh?”
“I don’t see how you can be so cavalier about what’s coming.”
“You’ve been in this city for too long, Drake. I’ve just never understood why you need a symbol for the Three Days.”
“It can give people hope. They’ll be needing plenty of that when freaks like Simon Reeps come knocking at their doors.”
“Reeps is still alive?” Even in the bad lighting I can see the shock evident in her face. I nod.
“He works here.” I jerk my thumb back to the bar.
“Doesn’t he…attract attention?”
“No. Looks like someone’s made prosthetics or something for him. A suit maybe? Better than living in the sewers for ten years, I guess.”
Ellen bites her lip, and I suddenly wish that I hadn’t brought Simon up. She meets my eyes.
“How did you know it was him?”
“You kidding me? Who else has such a creepy voice?”
“Right.”
We stand there awkwardly for a few moments, silence hanging heavy like a shroud, before she throws her arms around me. My arms fall around her more from surprise than anything else.
“I’ve missed you, Lucas.” Her voice is muffled, buried somewhere in my shoulder. Almost of its own volition, my hand floats up to cup the back of her head. She’s still wearing her hair the same way, short and dark. I’d always liked it like that.
Damn it. This isn’t supposed to happen.
“I…” I can’t say it, even though I want to. I should have pushed her away by now. I can’t afford this.
I carefully disengage myself from her arms. She looks crumpled, like something’s missing, something that I hope isn’t called Drake. There’s a hard edge to her as she looks at me.
“I don’t get you.” Her eyes are accusing and melancholy. “Why do you always push me away?”
“I’m sorry. I–” I clear my throat, wanting to stay, wanting to hold her. But I can’t.
“I’ll see you in a few days, Ellen.” She’s silent as I turn away from her and head down the alleyway.
The street is a welcome respite of open sky and streetlights, a nice departure from confusion and a red exit sign. I press the bronze button for the crosswalk and take in a deep breath.

This is a new series that I will be posting in lieu of Brawl updates. Enjoy.

Behind me, I can hear familiar music: cheap electric horns and drum rolls. I stop wiping the counter and turn my attention to the television across the room. A newscaster bares pearly whites at his invisible viewers, and I snort derisively. The old man watching the news looks sternly back at me, then back to the screen.
I’ve never understood the purported charisma of such people. Their expensive suits, their good hair, their high-paying jobs. It always amounts to the same pompous attitudes and self-assured posturing. Though in these crazy days I suppose it’s better to be informed by an asshole than by no one.
“Our top broadcast tonight– the events surrounding the approaching ten year anniversary of the Three Days Massacre. The atrocities committed over the course of those three days are still burned into the minds of citizens who resided here during that time.”
My lips curl into a half-smile. Soon the festivities will begin.
There’s a younger man sitting at the bar, cranberry juice stewing in front of him, shaggy dark hair obscuring his eyes. He’s one of the players.
“However, some residents of Scorpi City are doubting that the activities of ten years ago will repeat themselves. This is due to the recent influx of families that have not lived in the area for very long.”
Good. The more idiots here, the more fodder for us to play with.
“Regardless, quite a few have decided to leave the city before the three day anniversary begins in anticipation of the danger that may or may not come. Here to bring you an up-to-the-minute report on the traffic situation is…”
I grab the rag again and it circles about the table. My eyes sing the tune triumphant as I think about what the upcoming events will hold for us all. There’s killing to be done, rampages around a city playground with no rules to strap us down.
“Stop grinnin’ and close up shop.”
Rudy. The young man with the black hair turns from his drink, watching my boss come from the back room to berate me. His green eyes flick over me. My boss is tapping a foot against the stained wood floor.
“Did you hear me? We’re closin’.”
“Sure thing, Rudy.”
I toss the rag behind the bar and smile up at my boss, my fat, aging bastard of a boss. I may pay him a visit when the party starts.
“So Rudy, are you leaving before–”
“Before what? Ain’t nothin’ makin’ me leave my town.”
I go into the back room and retrieve the mop. I place the yellow bucket underneath the faucet and watch as the water falls, as it surges up into a soapy mess.
“I mean, weren’t you here about ten years ago, Rudy?”
“Nine.”
Pulse quickening. Good news. He’s staying. The old man in the corner is getting up, lumbering to the front door as Rudy flips the sign to ‘Closed’. The guy with the black hair isn’t moving.
“So you weren’t–”
“You a real freak, Reeps, you know that?”
Pardon me for looking into my boss’s welfare. Next time the apocalypse comes up I’ll be sure to keep the subject off of the table.
A rustling from the back, and Rudy emerges with his coat. Nights have been cold lately. Odd for a California city.
“Lock the door when you’re done. And kick the guy over there out.”
“Sure thing, Rudy.” I plop the mop onto the bar floor and swash it around carelessly. Behind me, Rudy closes the door.
The guy with the black hair is still sitting at the bar. His glass is empty.
I ignore him and the mop continues to travel in a circular motion. I don’t do this job well and as a result it’s a dingy little shit hole. There are dark parts of this bar that have never and will never be truly clean, even with industrial strength cleanser and a stringy mop.
“How are you doing, Simon?”
I pause and lean the mop against the wall. Drake’s always been a pain in the ass around these times.
“You going to be enjoying the next few days? The anticipation, the waiting…”
“Of course. Who doesn’t?” I smile at the do-gooder. He can be quite the nuisance come the time of massacre, but he can only be a thorn in the paw of the few that he is near.
“I don’t.”
“You never did.”
“I just don’t see why this appeals to you so much. To all of you.”
I turn to this peacenik, this hippy, this fucking faggot shitting on the face of the fun that awaits me. I smile, polite, nice. Easy to deal with. I open my mouth.
“Get out of here before I bite your fucking head off.”

I’m not asleep… but that doesn’t mean I’m awake.
And that’s never been more true than now.
My eyes are bloodshot with a lack of sleep,
Yet I’m wired like a ticking time bomb.
The light glares at my face as though I’ve given it a rude awakening,
Like I’ve disturbed its peaceful slumber.
Eight fluid ounces of monotony rush through my veins, reminding me that
Torment is the best canvas.
So I surf the television waves with a gray board and I am
Bored and caught in a net of “I’m not there”
That halfway house between sweet pipe dreams and bright sunlight.
I could clean my room;
I could clear through all the shit that coats the floor like
So many pieces of rotting fruit.
Or I could not do anything.
I could sit here,
And turn off the light
And forget everything.

“The first thing you gotta learn, Jack, is that if you get away with it, it never happened.”
So says my mentor, my crack-slinging teacher. The best education in Brooklyn stands right in front of me, wearing a wifebeater that used to be white and a steaming cancer stick drooping from his lips.
“And trust me, we’ll get away with this.”
Cold sores on his lips, sunken cheeks and one helluva fat chin with a big-ass crack in it. That was the way you recognized Danny Boy from a distance, from his ass crack of a chin. Danny Boy’s his name cause he left New York for about ten years after “college”, fulla way too many goddamned ideas and his pockets filled with drug money.
“No one’ll even be there. The lock’s easy to smash open.”
Not that the drug money lasted long. Guy like Danny Boy’ll be flush one day and poorer than the dirt under his fingernails the next with jack shit to show for it. The poor man’s curse, I call it. Forever staying down no matter what you got.
“So, you in?”
All you want is a lookout, I ask, that it?
“Yeah, yeah. You just yell and we all run.”
Yeah, right, is what I should be saying. But shit, it’s damned hard to resist the tug of easy money while the streets decay around me.
“C’mon, Jackie. Don’t be a pussy.”
As if calling a kid a pussy is anything new for Danny Boy.
So, yeah. I’ll do it, I say. I wish I could tell him to be his own damn lookout but shit’s complicated. When you’re sixteen and a skinny motherfucker built like a starving cat skulking around back alleys, you listen to the guy who’s six feet tall with trucker arms.
So where was my choice in the first goddamned place?
Danny Boy grins, he’s happy. Infected lips split and ooze nasty shit into that damn ass-crack chin shining with a vertical smile below him. Bastard gives me the creeps.
He claps a hand on my shoulder and I try not to wince.
“Knew you’d come through!” He’s grinning, he’s good. I’m good. I’m safe.
For now.
—————-
Two weeks later, I’m screaming and shooting blood out of my nose as the ground rushes up to meet me just as fast as the pipe hits my face.
Fucking faggot, that’s my name. “FUCKING STUPID FAGGOT! I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!”
Boom.
Crash.
Crunch crunch crunch crunch.
There’s nothing but pain and fucking faggot being spewed as quickly as my blood can flow.
I never thought that being gay would bring this much shit down on me if I never told nobody.
Stop, I moan, stop, please stop.
I don’t think I have a nose anymore.
“Stop? STOP? So you can run to the fucking cops and tell them who BROKE YOUR FAGGOT FACE? Fuck you!”
This time the pipe cracks into my ribs and I hear snapping, taste blood, feel several bones break. Shit; now I know I’m done for.
This room looks like a pretty damned good set for a slasher flick; nightmarish streaks of blood from my face, crimson puddles and the dead body slumped halfway underneath the bed.
Yeah.
The dead body.
Mine.
—————-
Stop.
Take a deep breath.
Count to ten.
I’ll wait.
This is what I say to the panicking store owner of the Best Bargains pawn shop.
You gotta be calm, I gasp.
I need a deep breath myself.
Breathe deep.
Deep.
They’ll be done getting the money soon, I say. You’ll never see us again.
“Never?”
“Never.”
But I don’t say this.
Danny Boy and the gorilla he hired for the robbery. Danny Boy raises the pistol I thought he wouldn’t have. He grins.
That damned ass-crack chin. Beaming like a goddamned second mouth.
Danny, what the fuck are you doing? This ain’t right, I say.
The gorilla’s one of those big fucks that you find on the street looking for money and kicks. Jobs with Danny Boy, well, they pay out both.
He holds the wrench that broke open the money box.
I glance at Danny Boy. He’s wearing gloves.
The first blast from the gun cuts down the owner of the Best Bargains pawn shop with a sharp snapping cracking booming sound. His brains become a fresh coat of paint along the back wall of his shop.
Jesus.
Danny Boy doesn’t stop there. He shoots shoots shoots until there’s no more bullets left in the gun. The gorilla grabs me roughly and Danny Boy forces the gun into my hand; my fingerprints are linked to a murder weapon.
“I never liked you, Jackie. You never seemed to show the proper amount of respect to me. Don’t you hate not being respected? When you’ve got nothing, absolutely jack shit, you want some respect from SOMEONE. Even a runty little fuck like you, Jack.” Danny Boy snorts suddenly and spits a thick wad of mucus into my face. I don’t move.
Danny, I plead, don’t do this. You can get rid of the gun.
“FUCK YOU, JACKIE! Fuck… you.” Danny Boy lays the gun down next to the dead shop owner. He draws a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket.
“Now search him. Get his wallet. Hey, Jackie, give him your fucking wallet.”
I scramble into my pocket and whip out the shitty wallet I bought from the thrift store down the street from my house, hand it to Danny Boy. I don’t even think about it; I figure I’m fucked now.
Flipping though my wallet, Danny Boy quickly finds the cash and stuffs it into his jacket pocket with his smokes. He rifles through the piles of receipts and suddenly freezes.
“What the fuck is this, Jackie?”
He holds up a card for a gay support group. He bursts out with laughter.
“I don’t fucking believe this, Jackie. You a fucking faggot?”
The gorilla’s eyes have narrowed down into piggy excuses, little black beads.
“You know, Jackie, Bruno here hates faggots. Fucking hates them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop him, buddy. I just don’t know.” The goddamned ass crack chin widens and smiles at me.
With that, he leaves, the bell hanging over the entrance tinkles, and Bruno smashes his fist into my face at a hundred miles per hour.
He drags me across the ground by my hair. He drags me to the back and tosses me into the bedroom at the back of the shop. The place is shitty, a real rathole. Pipes thread themselves across the wall at awkward angles, skewed and dented.
Bruno wrenches one of these pipes from the wall.
He advances towards me.
Raises the pipe high.
For the first time in seven years, I close my eyes and pray.

Requiem

Posted: October 30, 2007 in Church, City, Dark, Death, Drama, Life, Nihilism, Religion, Ugly

The mahogany doors of the church swing open with a creaking grace and I feel the familiar mustiness descend upon me like an old and once-loved blanket from early childhood.
It’s strange to be back in a place far past from where I am now, and I gaze up at the high ceilings where dead souls still flicker amidst bright bulbs.
I’m gripped by a wracking cough and my hand tightens on the pistol hidden in the pocket of my trench coat; I can’t wait to finally let go of it.
The chorus swells all around me and the congregation finally notices me from the cough. They turn back to the singers and I shuffle to an empty pew in the back.
The service is mind-numbing and I can’t stay focused on the words coming from the pastor’s mouth, yet I can’t fall asleep either; the cold metal burning an imprint into my hand is too distracting.
I’ve had the safety off for far too long.
I’m caught in a sort of insomnia in the back pew, drifting in and out of the real world, ignoring the hymns and the preaching until it’s time for Communion. I stand, zombie-like and with difficulty, to join the line stretching to the front.
I make sure to be last in line, as my unkempt and slightly trashy figure might upset those more properly dressed in front of me.
Finally all that lies between me and the priest holding the Body of Christ and the altar boy grasping His Blood is an old, blue-haired lady, one that you wouldn’t have expected to be able to make it out of her front door without help, let alone to church.
The octogenerian passes me by and the gun nearly explodes out of my pocket.
It’s only got one bullet.
The priest begins to notice who I am, who I once was buried beneath a hard and desperate character. My lungs hack out another deep cough, right into the priest’s face; he barely flinches as spittle lands on his face.
Resignation is deeply etched into his face; he stares unblinkingly into my tired eyes.
He nods to the altar boy and the kid takes the Body from the priest’s hands and scurries off. The pastor turns sharply and I follow him to the back.
Darkness.
The area behind the preaching pedestal is cool and quiet, yet still musty and as delicate as a dark, wooden web.
The priest and I talk for a while, and I tell him why I’m here. He shows no outward signs of discomfort, yet what I’m saying is enough to disturb even the most battle-hardened soldier fresh from service. As my final proposal is thrown upon the table, we fall into silence. Before long, he steeples his fingers and opens his mouth to speak.
I can hear the finality in his tone before he even says anything.
“if that’s what you’ve got to do, then do it. But not in the church. Don’t burden us with your pain.”
“Burden?” My voice is cold and steely, much like the gun in my pocket, and the priest begins to sweat. He has no way of knowing how many bullets I have.
“Don’t worry, preacher.” For the first time in weeks I smile and feel my chapped lips crack and run with blood. “One person’s gonna die tonight, and only one. I’ll let you know if it’s your time.”
He closes his eyes in fear, and with a swish of my coat I leave the room, walking quickly to the back door, behind the church.
Our Father.
Who art in heaven.
I close the door behind me and slide down it to rest on the steps. I cradle my head with the cold steel still clutched in my sweaty hand.
Hallowed be thy name.
For the first time in three weeks, I can remember my name.
Keith.
Don’t do this, Keith.
I remember my brother’s words.
Thy kingdom come.
And now the answer to his plea comes crystal-clear and the single bullet is destined for only one brain.
Thy will be done.
I slide the barrel into my mouth, glad that the safety’s still off.