diary of a professional antagonist
Tag Archives: Alcohol
Selina was standing outside my front door, pressing a shotgun against my chest. Barb, Barbrilla, was on her knees in front of me, undoing my flies. A camper van full of what looked like rednecks was parked by the curb and, inside it, some old bastard was filming the whole thing. Worst of all, my parole officer was coming to.
Selina’s tongue ran across her upper teeth as Barbrilla snapped what looked like a flying saucer-shaped department store security tag through my foreskin. I squealed until my voice gave out and the stars on the ragged flag over my door took flight then burst into a thousand more. Selina whispered in my ear – “miss me, baby?” Next thing I knew I was following the disappearing stars into darkness.
The day before I’d been released from county; broken record, I know. I got a year of hard time after some cop decided my driving wasn’t too hot when he found me completely hammered, mercilessly grinding the gears and revving the last living shit out of my Chevy, which was tipped upward and balancing precariously on the window ledge of a grocery store.
A new man, I’d returned to the world with a fresh perspective, a decision made to get a solid nine-to-five and I was gonna do all of this after I’d gotten myself a brew and blowjob. When you’re in the joint they do all they can to reform you, try to steer you in the right direction and some of that shit can stick, but what they don’t do, and should, is a frontal lobe lobotomy to stop creatures of impulse from taking the first dumb-ass step toward repeat offense.
Hot off the bus, I jogged down to the West Valley Motel and a couple of minutes later I was out back with a working girl trying to convince her I was good for the balance of the cash. Her bigger, burlier buddy – read pimp – wasn’t half the conversationalist she was, which is saying something. After taking the few dollars I had, he did the bulk of the talking with his fists. So, fresh from my first broken nose of the month, no biggie, the year in prison had more or less flattened it out anyway, I figured I should get some cash or things weren’t exactly going to go so smoothly.
I robbed the 7/11 just around the corner a few minutes later with a bag of dog shit. The CCTV wasn’t gonna have a hope of ID’ing me with the amount of lumps and blood on my face, and after taking one look at the little old lady cashier I knew she wasn’t gonna want a pile of dog shit in her mouth.
Admittedly it wasn’t my proudest moment, or my best robbery. My total haul amounted to $23.20 but I did grab a pack of Trojans on the way out and after jacking my load into one of them in an alley across the street, I figured I’d head home and see if anybody had been squatting in my shit-hole house.
Nobody. Even the rats and woodlice had abandoned it. The swelling had gotten worse on my face and my head was throbbing so I pulled a couple of floorboards and retrieved my hidden alcoholic stash, and so, ten minutes later, with a fifth and a fifth of vodka working its numbing fingers over my aching body, I passed out.
The door was pounding like a jack-hammer bouncing around in an echo chamber when I woke. I crawled to the door and wished I hadn’t opened it. My parole officer didn’t think the beat-down I’d managed to pick up or my barely intelligible state was quite as funny as I did and decided it was going in her report.
She started to ask me a whole bunch of questions I couldn’t answer, or understand, then started to quote the law as if that was gonna help, so when her head suddenly snapped forward and she toppled to the ground beside me I was initially relieved, that is until I looked up to see Selina standing in the doorway, a drop of my parole officer’s blood sliding off the butt of the shotgun in her hands.
It was a confusing moment in time for me… my balls were running for shelter and my dick was trying to get hard… then Barb said “heya there, Chuk, uh huh huh hee, I gotta gift for ya”. Selina leveled the shotgun with my chest. Barb dropped to her knees and clamped my cock. I blacked out.
I woke in absolute agony. I’d pissed myself, that is, into and onto myself and through my open wound, and experienced a pain so severe that the thought of passing large gall stones was a luxury I couldn’t afford myself. Selina, her mind drifting further out onto the reservation by the second, explained that my new junk jewelry was the only way she could protect me from the ‘frequency’ – which made a ton of sense.
She introduced the rednecks as her family. Most had the mental capacity of a peanut if they were lucky, and I’m pretty sure I’d seen some of them on America’s Most Wanted over the years. I still can’t piece together how Selina had emerged as a result of two or more of them bumping uglies… Barb kinda made sense, but Selina was a ten, even if she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. This fact became more obvious the more she spoke about why they had picked me up and what they were planning.
Selina said that three hundred miles south of Salt Lake City some guy had proof of extra-terrestrial life. For only six hundred bucks he would give her the location of a UFO hiding beneath the Earth’s crust, which had been transmitting an undetectable frequency that was responsible for global warming, the sole purpose of which was an attempt to slow cook the human race and have them ready to consume when the alien overlords arrive.
Naturally when we met this prophesier of doom he greeted us by pissing on our legs and rolling around in his own feces. I was the only one who found this troubling and wasn’t surprised when I was the only one who recognized the location of the UFO. Five hundred miles further south by south-east lay our destination… the city of Roswell, New Mexico.
According to this deluded space cadet, the UFO was in a highly fortified base protected by aliens who dressed in US army uniforms. Selina naively asked him how they should proceed, to which his response was, “with extreme force”, as he handed each of them an ‘alien ray-gun’. These were rusty gun barrels wrapped in tin foil, sellotaped to plastic statuettes of Jesus Christ which were subbing in for the missing grips.
Back on the road, Selina revealed that she had been following me since I was released from jail and had witnessed my 7/11 gig, after which she decided I was a thief of some skill and would be the perfect candidate to join their gang and steal the weapons they required for the attack from a high security gun shop. Hence my abduction. She then handed me my ‘weapon’ and I realized just how much I had impressed her, because clearly I was about to try to take down a gun shop armed only with a bag of shit.
I don’t know which was worse, the five-mile journey to the gun shop thinking about the hail of lead that was likely about to fly toward me, or being stuck in the back of the camper van having to listen to the old bastard saying, “U-fo”, “now we go u-fo?”, “I see U-fo!”, “when is u-fo?”.
I prayed that we would find an angry alien race characterized by a complete lack of sympathy for stupidity as the camper pulled in outside the gun shop, the sight of which quickly returned me to my natural place among the semi-sane of the world. I settled for Gramps’s head being blown apart by .44 Magnum fire within the next few minutes as I walked through the doors. The odds were stacked in favor of that outcome and I found it difficult to hold onto my little plastic bag of shit as sweat began to pour out of me.
As I stepped inside the owner handed a jacked up looking overgrown teen lunatic a pump-action shotgun then said, “take him out back to the range there, Jeb, let him give her a whirl.” Jeb, a backward, dangerous looking man-beast led the way and they disappeared out back. Then the owner noticed my mashed in face and the doubt about whether he was just encouraging another nut vanished and was replaced by suspicion as I tried to look like a casual gun shopper.
I noticed that the security tags on the hunting jackets were the exact same as the one weighting down my masculine gland and, in my rattled state, I figured it would be a good way to start-up conversation. “Excuse me, sir”, I said as I put the bag of shit on the counter. He frowned then his face creased in disgust. “I was hoping you could help me.” The second I reached for my crotch he tasered me in the neck.
I fell into a crazed dizzy nightmare and tried to keep up with the room as it spun around my head. The owner tried to drag me toward the door when, suddenly, it slammed into him. He screamed, “JEB!” The rednecks rushed in, all carrying their alien ray guns. Selina and Barb weren’t far behind. Then, the door to the back room opened and overgrown teen with the pump-action shotgun raced out, racked his new toy and opened up.
The rednecks, all stunned by the noise, stood still and exploded one by one like retarded piñatas, much to the joy of the deluded solider of fortune. Selina dragged Barb to the ground just outside the door and one look told me that a crumb of sense had found its way into her head. Shotgun Psycho had turned his attention to me when the old guy fired the taser at him.
It wasn’t enough to put him down and with the barrel pointing directly at my face, and his finger about to squeeze the trigger, Jeb came to the rescue and wrapped a steel shovel around his head. Selina and Barb were gone in a trail of dust. The hunt for UFOs was officially over.
Once things calmed I cut a deal with the owner and Jeb. They would remove the security tag from my penis and I in exchange would not prosecute them for tasering me and placing my life in danger without just cause, seeing I didn’t even have a weapon, was clearly in need of medical care and was carrying a bag of shit which was obviously a cry for help. I’d even back up their story that a bunch of lunatic rednecks carrying guns burst in and they were left with no choice. They thought about it for a second then Jeb set about wiping the security cams.
After I’d done my duty I hit the road, thumb out praying for a lift that’d take me anywhere that resembled civilization. Two hours in my face had proven itself a major deterrent. Night closed in, masking my fucked up features and finally a pick-up tooted its horn and slowed to a stop. Wearily, I thanked the driver as I opened the passenger door. Of course Selina and Barb were the occupants.
Selina said she was sorry, that she’d made a mistake and that they were about to start off, start fresh on the straight and narrow. “Baby, your family are dead”, I said, “doesn’t that bother you?” She shook her head and smiled that beautiful bat-shit mad smile and said, “you and Barb are all the family I need, Chuk.”
I had one last act of stupidity left in me, so I got in, and as she drove us off into the darkness I somehow felt at home.
Guess I’m just a sucker for romance.
Standing over his coffin wasn’t the hardest thing. Putting him there was. Despite my success, something felt wrong, didn’t add up and as my presence as a mourner began to cause a disturbance, the pieces began to click together.
A week prior I was on my way home from another failed script pitch I’d made to a barely C-list production company, to a bottle of cheap label whisky with the power to pile drive my consciousness into a dark abyss for at least three days, when a young lady approached me. There wasn’t anything remarkable about her, a bit dumpy, a bit needy looking and it seemed like she had tried to make an effort to spruce up, though the lipstick on her teeth and the mascara in her eyebrows said she didn’t know too much about how. She slapped me in the face then screamed that a man like me had fucked her life up completely as she attempted to claw my face. I was in no mood to take the blame for some other fucker’s mess and even if I could turn the situation around into a quick lay against an alley skip I figured that considering the day, there was only a case of something itchy at the bottom of it. I cut my loses and gave it to her straight and hard.
“Fuck off back to the Crayola box you fell out of.”
As I walked away, the reality of just how bad the studio rejection was had begun to fester. Feeling like a hooker who offered a free one to a convict on death row and got a “maybe next time” response, I continued on home, slammed the bottle back and fell into another, warmer world, though that was likely down to having periodically pissed myself while out for the count. I woke up smelling worse than a chemical attack and while this wasn’t unfamiliar, the slender, if slightly stubbly pair of crossed legs a few feet away, were.
As the deep set crust on my eyes dropped off and blur gave way to focus, I followed those unkempt pins upward and it soon became clear that they belonged to the young lady from before. She hadn’t figured out how to paint her face during my downtime but with half a skull-load of old brain cells continuing to slide out my nostrils onto the solidified remains of their already departed cousins, my sharpness was back and I figured I knew her face from somewhere. Then it hit me, she was a pretty damn close fit for my wife, Selina. This was not necessarily a good thing but, considering the neurological gene pool, it made the lack of make-up expertise and the incompetence with a razor make a lot more sense.
Last I’d heard Selina was trying to fight her imprisonment seeing as she’d been locked away on testimony taken from one of the motel employees who was under heavy sedation at the time of trial, and as her lawyer argued, was therefore susceptible to being coerced into telling the truth the jury needed to hear. It was bullshit but she had nothing to lose and a new date had been set for the plea three months down the line. Judging by the facial ticks and the inability to retain gas, or at least pass it silently, the unshaven ‘babe’ before me was her sister. Somewhere inside me I felt responsible for her, which says a lot about my own mental function. In an effort to bond, and at least have something to defend myself against Selina with, and buy time should we ever cross paths again, I struck up conversation.
“What’s your name, honey?”
“No, just Barb, y’know, like, Barbrilla.”
Fish in a barrel. She admitted the kinship with my ball and chain and told me that Selina had said that if she was ever in trouble to come find me. The heat of the moment had gotten to her three days earlier and just finding me had given her hope that her nightmare was about to end. Some guy she’d been banging had slapped her around and tossed her out on her ear, and he’d taken the last bit of cash she had – fifty bucks. I couldn’t understand why the idiot would put any amount of time into a tray of nuts like Barb and was about to throw her out myself but then she mentioned that ‘Ol Garth didn’t need her cash and it began to make sense.
He was relatively new in town, had moved from a more tropical climate, and was loaded. A payout from an accident at work had left him crippled and somewhat deformed. She didn’t get into details, I didn’t care enough to ask. All she said was that once his bosses cut the check he severed his ties and decided to move back to his old stomping ground. But ‘Ol Garth had been reduced to Barb after he was ripped off by a couple of hookers who got wise to his fortune and were tag team bleeding him dry until he shot one of them then claimed it was self-defense after having been broken in to by two prostitutes. Naturally the cops found enough at the second hooker’s pad to lock her away and ‘ol Garth went looking for a more long term, reliable female. Enter Barb, fifty bucks in her purse and kinda dumb – jackpot. Turns out she was the penance he had to pay for his previous wrongdoings and after a month he’d had enough and pitched her out of his house with two black eyes and an option to visit the dentist. It’s a shame his crippled ass didn’t think to look up the family tree online.
Brass tacks, the guy had close to a quarter mill at his fingertips and kept a lot of it in his attic. We cased the house over a couple of days, she showed me the ins and outs, his favored places to watch T.V., and most importantly the routine of the meals-on-wheels he had going. In all fairness, she had the vengeance thing down and even had a nine millimeter of ‘Ol Garth’s with a full clip, with which he was to be killed. It was damn near poetic. I was still debating whether to get involved but Barb’s instincts proved similar to those of her sister’s and she blew me stupid me for the guts of two hours before draining me dry through the night. Sperm nor scruple was left when she put the nine milli in my hand and told me that I had a five minute window to get in and hide while the meal man was on site. I hobbled across the road, a big stupid fucking smile on my face, as if the twenty four hour bout of coitus was somehow going to make everything run smooth.
Once inside I settled on upstairs as the best place to find a hiding place, seeing as the meal man wouldn’t be going there and ‘Ol Garth wasn’t about to jog up any time soon. It was, of course, a mistake. I settled in a wardrobe on some rolled up linen and before I knew it I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my car horn blaring outside like a fucked alarm clock. All over the place, I staggered out into the bedroom where Garth was sitting, buck naked, using one of those elderly person can openers to twist the last bit of jizz out of the remains of his fucked up looking johnson.
“What the fuck?”
“Who the fuck are you? What the fuck are you doing in my fucking house?”
He’d heard enough and smashed me in the face with the can opener. Garth was spry, there was no getting away from that, and he quickly sent the nine milli flying out of my grip before cracking two of my ribs and loosening a few teeth for me. I had mobility on my side though and in my panicked state, shoved him out the door to buy time. What followed was the sound of springs, something rolling then crashing down the stairs. Garth was lying at the foot of the steps, a wheelchair wrapped around him, the can opener in his hair and a pool of blood growing larger by the second. I found the attic, the shoebox with the cash, it was going to work out. I opened the box, there wasn’t a quarter mill, more like five grand. Why was I even surprised? Then the doorbell rang and instead of biding my time and making a clean escape, I jumped through the bedroom window into a hedge and compounded the damage to my ribs. Back at the car, no sign of Barb – then she came running, from the house.
“Where the fuck were you?”
“I rang the doorbell to create a distraction.”
“Fucking idiot, get in.”
“I don’t know how to drive.”
“Is that the cops?”
“Gimmie the fucking keys, you clown-faced cretin!”
Somehow we made it out of there. Two hours later after I stopped shouting at her for exaggerating the truth about the amount of money in the house I felt very ill, remembering that I’d neglected to collect the nine milli before leaving. The cops would have it, I was a goner. Reluctantly, I turned on the news. There wasn’t too much coverage then the story of a local man found dead after an accident in own home started up. No foul play was suspected, the victim seemingly died during a sex act. Turns out the quarter mill wasn’t an exaggeration but ‘Ol Garth had blown the majority of it on hookers and porn. I figured I was off the hook and wanted to let it go but knew a gun with my fingerprints was still in the house of a deadman and it wouldn’t be long before his kin started to pack up his things.
The funeral was scheduled a couple of days later. An open house for mourners to pay their sympathies. I had Barb iron my suit. She made a complete fucking mess of it, but all I needed it for was a half hour so let it slide. Barb said she was going to stay home and count her share of the loot – fifty bucks, that’s all she wanted. Honest. I didn’t argue seeing as I was secretly hoping she’d be gone when I’d get back so I wouldn’t have to actually use the gun. That said, I wouldn’t get the chance if I didn’t find it. Into the lion’s den I walked.
I furled my lips together, nodded sympathetically, raised my eyebrows, all the cliché body language as I made my way through the mourners toward the coffin. I closed in, noticed a few odd looks, some whispers but paid no mind. Of course I was the stranger in the crowd and would draw some attention, but all I had to do was fit in then slip upstairs. I looked down at ‘Ol Garth and couldn’t help thinking that the mortician had done a pretty decent job to get all the cum out of his hair. The murmurs got louder then I thought I heard my name. I looked around, saw a picture of ‘Ol Garth from his heyday and something sank deep inside me.
I wish I had been on acid and that it was all a fucking insane flashback, but I was clean and this was a legit memory kicking in. ‘Ol Garth was a face from the past, a past I’d tried to distance myself from but one which Barb had clearly been trying to force back into my life. Selina was the accident that left ‘Ol Garth deformed and crippled, he was the motel employee whose testimony sent her down. This wasn’t about fifty bucks, or a quarter mill, this was about me in the house of a dead man whose violent past I and my wife were very much a memorable part of. I’d been set up. As if figuring it out wasn’t bad enough, or the fact that everyone in the room had simultaneously tuned into the same frequency, the cops had also just walked in and I knew then that Barb had made the call, and had done the same on the night when they showed up just as we were leaving, far too soon for anyone to have known.
They found the gun in the linen. Chance had landed it there. Barb was nowhere to be found, the money was gone with her and I knew that in three months Selina would likely be free or in a facility with much lower security and far more options when considering an escape. As for me, I stooped to a new low in a desperate attempt to maintain my freedom. When asked what I was doing there I said I was hired by ‘Ol Garth to strip for him. I mentioned my lack of success as a screenwriter and having been reduced to giving hand and blow-jobs out the back of a 7/11, which is where he picked me up, I agreed to go back to give him a private show.
The gun I had was his and ‘Ol Garth wanted to whack off while I threatened him with it. I also felt it necessary to tell them that he wanted me to pretend I was the hooker he shot when he caught her stealing from him. Naturally this didn’t go down too well with his surviving family members but the gun checked out and every studio in town wholeheartedly backed up my inability to get a writing job. They had no choice but to let me go on condition that ‘Ol Garth’s story die with him and the family be allowed to move on. Dignity, reputation and self-worth all flushed down the fucking toilet, I agreed.
I decided to ‘celebrate’ by buying a bottle of pile driver and driving home at speeds which would normally result in a fatal collision with a wall, or into an embankment, but no. Of course Barb was there, waiting for me when I walked in. A thin trickle of piss leaked down my leg as she kissed me, then whispered in my ear:
“Selina said to tell you that she’ll pay you back when she gets out.”
She left me with the bottle, my sorrows and a bad case of the blues. Penance, it would seem, was only just beginning.
There’s something comforting about a dead body. A few years back I took a job in a morgue out of necessity. They needed security and didn’t care much if I had any sort of ability when it came to handling myself. They also liked that I didn’t care that they were scrimping on the electric bill by shutting down the fridge overnight. Why would I? It was Christmas, and if the dead weren’t cold enough already they weren’t likely to complain.
The job paid enough to cover the bare essentials, and after arriving early one night only to catch the boss fingering a cadaver I was free to bring my own booze, was given a small black and white TV and enough coupons to keep me in vending machine snacks for the night. Ideal and all as that sounds, the morgue can also be a pretty lonely fucking place, and the first couple of months were only made bearable by an unhealthy nightly cocktail of bourbon, vodka and whatever lukewarm tab cola shit was in the machine. And so, morning after morning as I fell onto the mattress on the floor of the 12×15 ‘studio’ apartment I was renting, I wondered if when I woke up I’d finally have been checked into the funny farm. Luckily enough, after a major pile up on the freeway, I arrived for the night shift, semi-suicidal, at the end of my tether, only to find a familiar face lined up to work with me in that empty, damp, dead-zone.
Kristy, an old-flame, had fallen on hard times and was drafted in by the owner to push through some general admin that came with the freeway crowd. Boy it had been a while since we’d bumped uglies. My six pack had been replaced by a keg, some of my hair had committed suicide and a bite mark scar adorned my dick; a jack russell the perp, don’t ask. Kristy hadn’t faired so poorly and though her hair was stuck to her head and her tits were sagging a bit all I really missed was the glint in her eyes that drew me in all those years before, but I guess life will do that. She acknowledged me with a jaded look as I held up a Styrofoam cup then her head bobbed. Some people you just pick up where you left off and get on with it.
We didn’t talk much, we’d said it all before. Truth be told, back then we just got drunk, shouted at each other then fucked until we were sober and didn’t know what started it. Neither of us had any interest in working then or in our current positions, this was a strictly ‘collect the check, vomit once outside then fall asleep in a sticky mess with a bottle of malt liquor’ type deal. Thing was, having Kristy around that night probably kept me from unloading a bullet on my brain. The little I said to her was uncharacteristic, my God-damn memory was bringing up shit I’d long forgotten but her presence had now sparked back into life and I guess I wanted to say sorry. For once she listened and I felt a weight lift off of me. She didn’t refuse when I followed up by asking if we could do the bad thing to seal the make up deal like old times.
It was just what the doctor ordered and I knew I’d turned a corner, even though she was tired and didn’t really get into it that much. I figured she’d matured in the years in between and taking pole was no longer the glory ride it once was. Fuck it, at ninety, if my gland is willing and able, I’m betting I’ll still be grinning. This time, though, I was exhausted and the smile soon slid off my sweaty, panting face. I knocked over the last of my scotch trying to light up a cigarette while trying to keep my head on Kristy’s mammaries and before I knew it I was out for the count. Time passed, however much I hadn’t a clue, but I was brought back to consciousness by a piercing siren.
Horror invaded my senses in the moments following my waking. A red light was pulsing through a thick plume of smoke, water was falling all around me and a harsh white light was darting through it all, ultimately settling on my face. The morgue was on fire. The fucking scotch and cigarette was enough to set it off. A firefighter suddenly accompanied the white light and grabbed my arm, then he quickly let go, looked down, then looked back up at me. A couple of more firefighters joined him and stopped dead in their tracks. I looked down. Kristy was lying under me, butt-ass naked, she was unconscious. Scratch that, she was dead, and by the looks of it had been for a while. The firefighters roughly took a hold of me and dragged my naked bod out of there into the street and planked me down in front of the onlookers. I admit I was somewhat confused and may have made a move on a fifteen year old Puerto Rican girl before being battered around the temple by a crotchety old cop. I woke up in hell.
Hell is communal cell B in the fifteenth precinct when you’re brutally hungover, have no clothes and are desperately trying to convince yourself that you fell hard on your ass when that cop knocked you out as you John Wayne it toward the wall with a cacophony of whistles and laughter your only soundtrack. The arresting officer informed me that I was being charged with drunk and disorderly, arson, indecent exposure, necrophilia, – the list went on a bit, and in short I was looking at a ten year stretch minimum. My instinct told me to plead ignorance, so I worked that angle hard enough until they put me through a few psych tests and determined that I was mentally unbalanced.
After consulting with the lawyer assigned to me, a total ball-busting prick looking to reclaim his professional name by embarrassing the cops – his practice crashed and burned after he was caught getting blown by a hooker and the arresting cop refused to play ball – I followed up by playing the good old reliable coward card and blamed it on the morgue owner, that I’d not been given any orientation and that I was driven to drink given the smell in the place when the fridge was turned off at night. Once I knew they thought I was nuts I went whole hog and claimed I was following the bosses lead by fucking a corpse, seeing as I’d witnessed him doing similar.
When they learned that I had a legitimate history with Kristy it tied a neat emotional bow on the whole package. Kristy had unfortunately perished in the freeway pile up and they assumed I’d been so traumatized on sight of her that I temporarily lost sense and reason. My lawyer made it look like they’d tried to pin the charges on an incompetent, semi-retarded innocent rather than pursue due process. He claimed that the press would need only one look at me and it’d be over. I was out in no time.
The great thing about happy endings is that the moment you acknowledge them karma usually steps in. In typical fashion I developed complications in a sensitive area as a direct result of my behavior at the morgue. I pissed puss and razors for weeks, and it nearly fell off a couple of times after turning colors I’d never seen before, either in the rainbow or the Dulux catalogue. Years later, though, I can laugh about it. Time is a great healer and I’ve adapted to the challenges posed, eventually finding my own natural motion once again. Let me tell you, these days, I don’t even think twice about it. Pissing sideways is a breeze.