Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Girl Talk


     Doing seventy on Highway 13 toward Marion because Megan says it's as good a place as any to continue with this ridiculous game she's playing. Crazy bitch keeps flipping through the same six radio stations like there's something worth locating, but it's radio. Asked her about that and she just keeps on keeping on about probability, chaos theory, and some guy I've never met as if I care. She and the rest of these clowns show up at my parent's house and now we're heading north in my dad's Dodge Durango with the passenger side airbag deactivated because Megan said it's superfluous. Who says that? And what the hell was up with that idiotic story she fed my folks? Who does that? She's insane, but she's here. So.
     Jenny and Jackie are following us but they're falling behind, only going sixty-five or something like that. They don't know where we're headed besides Marion, and Marion isn't big but it's big enough to get lost when nobody seems to know the final destination, Megan included, no doubt. Brooke's in the backseat, not saying anything because she's ripped on ecstasy. She takes a bite from a Snickers bar; Megan reminds her that the candy is for children like we don't have more than enough to go around. 
     Bitch keeps rambling about this or that; no sense in paying attention since she's psychotic. Just pick a goddamn station, would you? Been stuck with the parents for two years. Can't hold a job. Can't sleep at night. Can't sleep at all without the Ambien, which gives me headaches when awake. Can't get a date besides Marika's boyfriend, Brendan. Can't take showers, only baths, but I'm not sure why. Can't seem to get out of the house often enough. Can't get a straight answer from this lunatic. Can't do much of anything. 
     A Daft Punk song pops up on the radio and Megan mutters some garbage about a convergence of variables, whatever that means, and from the flicker of light in the corner of my eye, I can tell she just lit a cigarette. "You fucking bitch!" I scream, looking that smiley faced freak right in her painted, blackened eyes, "I said there's no smoking in my dad's Durango!" She responds by saying I should keep my eyes on the road and

102.9 KZIA. Breathe Carolina, Blackout. Wrong place, wrong time. 
     "Fate? Chance? Neither, actually, and this is important, Devin, for He never once claimed to discern the future, as it doesn't exist, per se."
94.1 KRNA. Dio, Rainbow in the Dark. Not in the mood. 
     "The thing is, He was, quite simply, astoundingly adept at assessing probability amidst interactions and butterfly effects, though not necessarily in the mathematical sense, given that humanity and its associated scientific pursuits were scarcely his forte."
100.7 KKRQ. Rick Derringer, Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo. Fuck that shit. 
     "It would be disingenuous to associate said ability with chaos theory, all things considered, for although the results could be viewed as similar, albeit exponentially more effective and reliable, it isn't as if He understood, let alone employed recurrence plots or Poincaré maps to arrive at such conclusions."
96.5 KKSY. Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone. Adorable, but lacking a certain something. 
     "Think of it as super-intuitive meteorological skills, to the max. A silly analogy, sure, but nevertheless appropriate."
104.5 KDAT. Men Without Hats, Safety Dance. Not enough room to get down. 
     "As stated previously, this is significant, Devin, because what keeps you up at night is your inability to accurately perceive and process what had been glimpsed at the end. To do this, you need to understand Him -to an extent, at least- and for one to grasp that concept, so to speak, a person must come to grips with what had been required to break Him."
107.9 KMFW. Tool, Stinkfist. Close, but not quite. 
     "The trick to breaking Him had less to do with the potential inaccuracies of His forecasts, for lack of a better term, than preying upon His pathological incapacity to sort out the unforeseen emotional responses of others to whatever transpired, anticipated or not."
Back to 102.9 KZIA. Daft Punk, Get Lucky. Figures. 
     "Having said all that, Devin, His artistry cannot be overstated, and if one were to consider that we're barreling toward Marion at just over seventy miles per hour, me without a seatbelt and the airbag disengaged while a song like Get Lucky plays on the radio, it stands to reason that an event He once mentioned, however casually, is more or less bound to occur. Convergence of variables and such."
Inhale smoke. Exhale acquiescence.
     "You might want to keep your eyes on the road," I suggest, because safety is merely an accident waiting to happen. 

Nameless (as translated)
     Two have gone ahead, while another lags behind. That one is hesitant to cross the concrete streams, as it has seen others fall prey to those clumsy things swimming both up and down the otherwise still waters much faster than we can sprint. The danger is real, yet so is the need to cross, for what lies ahead is superior to that which has been seen before. It wavers, quivering with trepidation. The success of the two that went ahead has done little to assuage its fear, thus the fawn awaits my lead; I am the eldest, and my antlers have grown so very large since my youth. One must lead by example in this world, and the time has come. May the lights avoid me. May the lights avoid me. May the lights avoid me.
     Sometimes I feel as though existence lacks momentum, but right now, I feel strangely content about being strapped, albeit comfortably, into the backseat of what is most likely a 2012 Dodge Durango. I've been watching the moon for some time now, though I can't really be too sure about anything, exactly. I seem to think that I recall my doing so began with the onset of Pale Flesh, which has since given way to Sad Eyes, however long that's been. I feel at once distant from this reality but find myself wondering whether the earbuds and I have become one, producing a new form of life, one detached from those occupying the foremost portion of this vehicle; this shared space between the three of us may or may not exist in the traditional sense. Next to me sit bags upon bags filled with smaller bags, all plastic, of individually wrapped candy, all sealed.
     I ponder, possibly aloud, the meaning of the phrase fun size, or for that matter, fun sized. Peeling the wrappings apart, I seize the opportunity -whatever that means, as well- to pop an unknown substance into my mouth and discover the parameters of fun as well as size. The darkness filling up the passenger seat shifts, and the radiant smiley face gazes upon me; the woman beneath or behind it speaks, although what she says is lost somewhere within the space and sound separating the two, three, or all of us. Sad Eyes becomes Insulin just as the smiley face recedes, returning to the darkness whose shape might belong to Megan. Like, profound.
     Strangely, we've stopped, sort of, and now we're rolling, turning, or spinning, of which I'm not quite certain, let alone how or why. The moon appears, disappears, and reappears yet again. Crystal Castles has been supplanted by a cacophony of thuds, scrapes, screams, and Daft Punk. At some point, the world stops shifting and I find myself upside down, looking up -or maybe it's the other way around- at an array of packaged treats and broken glass alike. I may or may not be bleeding, as this has yet to be determined.
     A voice I'm pretty sure is Devin's curses the sad, sad state of one 2012 Dodge Durango. I don't know what to say but feel like speaking anyway. I opine that it's good to be alive, regardless of what that actually means, to which profanity ensues. She instructs me to quit fucking around. Given the context, I propose that it's rather difficult to do anything but fuck around. After some fidgeting, Devin begrudgingly concedes the point, thereby granting me a moment of serenity.
     "Oh, hey," I begin, just now noticing a particularly glaring discrepancy, "so where's Megan?" 

     Normally, I'm not one to exceed the speed limit because there's so often no hurry in arrival whatsoever and speeding tickets aren't my thing, but tonight, on an especially dark, partly cloudy evening, my Dodge Stratus has officially exceeded the limit by two miles per hour, which means Jackie and I are now traveling at sixty-seven in an attempt to catch up with Devin, who must be going at least seventy. Ironically, she's in the right lane, while we're on the left. For me, it's because the asshole we passed thirty seconds ago has halogen bulbs installed in his car and I'll be damned if I'm going to have that shit blinding me via the rearview mirrors. Traffic is sparse on Highway 13 tonight, and the only thing scarcer is secondary illumination, as traffic lights and street lamps are virtually nonexistent on the stretch between the interchange and Marion proper. 
     "I'm beginning to regret buying this Barack Obama mask," Jackie states with minimal affect. 
     "No shit?" I respond, half-laughing. 
     "Well, so far, at roughly every other house we've visited tonight, people either complain that I'm a racist or they chastise me for endorsing a socialist dictatorship. I can't win."
     "I tried to tell you." Although she sometimes says and does the dumbest things, Jackie and I have gotten along quite well since high school, which comes as a surprise to more than a few of our classmates, but it makes sense considering that we attend the same community college, reside in the same apartment complex, and lived through the same traumatic experience. To that last point, we have a rule: I never ask why she agreed to handle the flare gun, and she refrains from inquiring about my decision to put on that goddamn t-shirt. Silence has served our relationship well. 
     "Still better than that stupid pirate cap, sword and eye patch you got."
     "Oh, please. That's a stylish ensemble and you know it." 
     "I know you don't mean that, Jenny. You found it in the children's aisle, after all."
     "Okay, now you listen here," I say, playfully reprimanding her with a wag of my finger, "it was on sale, and at $6.99, I don't give a damn if it was meant for a prepubescent boy."
     "Hell, I bet you're proud of it," she declares, pausing briefly to pop a miniature Twix into her mouth, "and...holy shit!" she shouts, spewing chunks of the only candy bar with the cookie crunch onto the dashboard.
     Ordinarily, I'd give her considerable flak for desecrating my car like that but holy shit is right. Even at the distance between us on such a dark night, it's readily apparent that Devin's Durango just hit something, and before I get the chance to echo Jackie's apt exclamation, the Durango's left end has spun forward; in the time it takes me to hit the brakes, the Durango is rolling, rolling, and rolling some more into the grassy median which separates us from opposing traffic. Like Jackie said, "Holy shit."
     We're in the median at the moment; Jenny's grabbing stuff out of the trunk and I'm sitting in the driver's seat, too spooked to exit from the passenger side and too shocked to wrap my head around the preceding events. Jenny reappears, hands me some road flares, and instructs me to get a few on the road. I'm all like, "You keep road flares in your trunk?" but she's too busy running toward the upturned Durango with a first aid kit to pay me any heed. Anyway, road flares, yeah.
     Get one flare lit and let it fall to the cement. The Audi with the halogen bulbs nears, pulls over to the other side of the road, and much to my bewilderment, the lights go out. Dickhead emerges and asks if he should dial 9-1-1. Get another flare lit and bawl, "What's that, fuckhead? No, you should call Papa John's instead. Get the fuck back in your car!" before lobbing the second flare at his Audi, hitting the front tire. Asshole gets back into his car. No idea who will be called, if anyone.
     The third flare has been lit, and that's when a noise from the darkness on the road ahead catches my attention; scratching, sliding, and heaving intertwined, but I can't see anything. Might be someone from the Durango. Drop the third flare and light a fourth, the last one in my possession. Move toward the unseen disturbance, flare held high.
     What the hell am I looking at? Still too removed from the flickering red blaze, the unidentified object is a quivering, misshapen mass that looks somehow...rearranged, even amidst the darkness. What appears to be a spindly appendage kicks into the air spasmodically; a second gangly limb, meanwhile, juts out in the opposite direction, rotating more than kicking. Upon inching forward, the light reveals something akin to the frame of a deer, but it's all...twisted, to the extent that I can only assume it had been a hoofed creature of some kind. I then drop the flare and slowly back away because the thing, whose head remains partially obscured by its mutilated trunk, is beginning to rise, and that's...impossible.
     From a distance, Jenny's yelling at me for some reason or another, the specifics of which can't be processed immediately, for everything has been drowned out by the animated object; the first thing that comes to mind, though probably not the correct thing, is the sound generated by taking a bite out of a hard shell taco, or maybe a Whopper loaded with ostensibly fresh vegetables, followed by gratuitous chewing. Shadow overlaps shade, crunch gives way to fracture, and the head emerges, free from its trunk, which sinks back to the glimmering concrete accompanied by a sloshy slap. Jenny's words have begun to make sense.
     I get it now. She was stuck, quite literally, in a buck pretzel but that's no longer the case, barring an embedded pair of antlers and the head to which they remain attached. Happy Halloween, right? The shadow with the severed deer head stuck to it gurgles a request for a cigarette, and I'm all like, "You stay classy,

     Once upon a time in a wasteland not so far away, I found myself traveling westward on Highway 30 toward an irrelevant destination. In the darkest of hours, when ruminations are brighter than headlights and cemeteries are encountered as often as oncoming traffic, one is apt to focus upon anything deemed out of the ordinary, and to confuse such sights with those of an extraordinary nature is understandable yet the distinction must be made. What I beheld that evening is merely happenstance of the nocturnal variety, decidedly less than preternatural in both appearance and significance but a thing of the utmost beauty nonetheless.
     I'd been hurtling down the road with the high beams of my rusty Beretta doing their best to illuminate the blackened Earth when movement at the ever-shifting edge of darkness drew my gaze to the side of the road, toward an object far enough to be free from danger yet near enough to arouse one's fearful curiosity. Amidst the brightened weeds and vacant plains which characterize numerous segments of Highway 30 (which is to say that for all intents and purposes, Highway 30 traverses, more often than not, a grassy void) I observed a coyote, and a particularly scrawny one at that, feasting upon the partially-dismembered corpse of a doe which had, in all probability, been the unfortunate victim of vehicular cervicide. For a moment, the ravenous canine paused to observe the automobile, its eyes flashbulbs returning the unwanted light. Momentarily illuminated, the gore smeared across the coyote's muzzle was almost cerise, glistening like a cherry atop a sundae and before the light had completely passed it by, the coyote returned to its quarry, burying its face in the belly of the broken beast and I said to myself, Now that's what I call love.
     Funny how things work out.

M83 - Kim & Jessie

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