MODERN AMERICAN GYPSY: BY DAVID MCWANE PAGES 21-30

Each day a new section of David McWane’s Modern American Gypsy will be posted

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*

Scotland 

            Our hangovers were sin given.  Heading to Scotland, the seven of us men tried desperately to sleep pain away.  Some of our splitting heads banged against the windows while the others retracted their heads fully back leaving open mouths and protruding Adam’s apples.  Ben blasted loud punk, oui, ska and mod rock music.  His favorite styles.

“Right, wake up, wake up, wake up everyone”, said Ben as he drove. “There is something of interest you lot have to see.”  We all stretched and rubbed our faces loose.  I wiped the moisture off the window and onto my face, arms, stomach and chest for a bath.  “Right, you all sorted?  Right, okay.  So this bloke, yah, he owns all this land coming up, just up here, and all that there, fucking all that shite, loads of it, long time ago, long-long time ago, like dukes and kings long time ago.  And some Lord cunt or whatever, takes his land.  Just takes it over.  The guy’s pissed, rightfully so, so history has it, yah, that he planted all these trees on this coming hill over, um, up there-ish.”

Ben takes a hard turn and without power steering he must really lean into Duff for her to make the turn.  We all shift into each other and put our hands out for support.

“Just about a couple more kilometers.  It’ll be over there; up there.  So yah, he plants all these trees in the shape of a massive cock and balls, to piss off the Lord cunt.  Massive, fucking massive, it’s just a massive cock and balls.”

Ben puts his elbow on the wheel and with his hand shows the size against the distant hill.

“It’s a laugh, get your cameras out gents.  Right, here we go.  Yah-yah, right up there do you see it?  Yah, there it is!  Yah!  Cock and balls!  Just there!”

We all sat at attention, wiped the rest of the moisture away from the windows, squinted, raised our cameras and there it was, atop the side of a steep hill, pointing downward, impressively pruned, the largest and most organic art installation of a perfectly shaped “cock and balls”.  We drove on laughing; it helped calm the hangovers.

*

Once in Edinburgh, we pulled into one of Ben’s favorite pubs.  It’s a vegan record shop that sells beer and has small concerts.  Ben goes there for the vegan cheese cake and eats it like it’s a cure.  The waitress was of marginal beauty, but her accent made us all fall in love.  And she could tell.  Long brown hair that reached her thighs, big eyes, big lips that smirked and she worked as though she could tend the shop blindfolded.

We drank and swore and laughed and moaned.  I decided to head out on a solo mission to find the spot my grandparents met and find the bench my parents had engraved to forever note their love.  I also had to get out, because my headache was so splitting that I didn’t want to be a dud around the men.

My father had made me promise to snap a photo of the bench and I was determined to oblige.  As I approached the center of the city where the bench was supposed to be I was shocked to see that all the sidewalks were lined with benches.  My headache squeezed my brain tighter.  There must have been hundreds of benches.

I searched for over an hour and never found it.  One bench after another, there was no plaque to be discovered.  I took a tired right on to Princess street.  It started to rain.  I sat down outside the New Caledonia Hotel, rubbed my head and waited for the men to pick me up.  When they arrived, Ben snapped a photo of me from the driver’s seat because he said I looked defeated.

Later on, after this excursion, when I was back in Hamilton, Massachusetts sitting with my parents, I told my mother and father that I never found the bench.  However while my Dad flipped though my photos, he came across the one Ben snapped and said,

“This is it boy, you’re sitting on it, that’s the bench there.  Wonderful.  Look honey, it’s their bench.”  Then he looked back at me, “This is where my father met my mother.”

*

            A ‘Rider’ is what a band sends ahead to the clubs to have ready for when they arrive.  Usually that starts and ends with a case of beer.  However, chips and salsa have also become a nice treat to find after a twelve hour drive, when you’re broke, un-showered and starving.  Some of the more famous riders would be Van Halen’s only green M&Ms, or Maria Carey’s, ‘must have a bed covered in small stuffed animal bunnies’.

One of our men got excited when we realized that if you are booked to play a college show, you can have a big rider and they will actually get you everything on it, because their budget is so large.  We started adding things like socks and underwear, batteries for guitar pedals, fruit, cold cuts and two cases of beer.  For this tour we added for a laugh, an elephant and a midget in a bikini.  Leave it to my homeland to come through.

After loading into the venue in Glasgow, meeting the crew, setting up, sound checking and having a quick rest, the show started.   The promoter of the show, a big Scot, with curly red locks and a booming voice burst into the basement green room.

“G-t evr-ding den, ya?”

“Yeah, thanks man, everythings great.”

“No, n-t evr-ding, na.  Som dings mis’n.  Fillow ma.”

We followed the booming promoter up four flights of stairs to his office / personal bar room.

“Epen dat, der.”  He handed our biggest man a wrapped present.  Inside we found male underwear.  The front of it was a face of a blue elephant.  And I don’t need to explain what fills out it’s trunk.

We all boomed out in laughter.  The promoter headed behind the bar and started slapping glasses down and filling them up with a scotch he was very proud to offer us.

“Dlrrank, dlrrank, s’propa loc-kill sc-tch.”  It was smooth, smoky and tasty.  My heart warmed.  Each time one of our glasses hit the bar it was refilled with a roaring laugh and, “Gon, gon, dlrrank.  Ye g-t ta be gud an’ dlrrank fer ye neex geeft.”

Just then a little person in a bikini came out, laughing and twirling.  She went over to our 6’2” man with the elephant underwear and said, “Ye gat tu p-t dat un. Goo-on den.  Dant bee shie.”  And he did.

I stood there thirty minutes until show time, whirling and spinning, laughing and coughing, staring at one of our men in elephant underwear dancing with a little person in a bikini and the promoter smashing glasses down and roaring with laughter, screaming, “Dlrrank, dlrrank.”

                                                                        *

her choice night

it was the kind of night

that no one cared about a thing

all of us louts

dancing in a carefree disco-tech

still sweaty from our own show

this would be our only night in Scotland

and we were gonna milk every hour out of it

it’d be a simple trade for hours of pain

the next morning

when we were back in England

 

she had platinum blonde hair

the porn star kind

wearing a white furry jacket

and kept a seductive eye locked on me across the crowded dance floor

one that made it hard for me to continue acting the fool with my friends

before I knew it she was dancing with me

my friends laughed and leered

they knew I knew not

what to do

with

such a loose woman

as was she

while dancing

she moved fast

hands

looks

the things she said in my ear

she moved real fast

she explained to me

that we were going back to where I was staying

and we were to leave now!

I was like a 5th grade student being seduced by his sexy chalk smoking teacher

 

we crashed into an old fashion black taxi of Edinburgh

the cab driver’s eyes looking weary in the rear view mirror

the girl knew the way

and told the cab driver in Scottish

her voice ‘clacked’ harsh in the dialect

I stared out onto the old cobblestone road

whipping by

and at

ancient churches

clay shingled roofs

and park benches where I was told

my Grandparents met

feeling my drunk

move

through my shoulders

 

we burst into the youth hostel

the old man at the desk’s

eyes looked weary

we crashed into the room that I had a key for

she scanned its layout

the beds were bunked

so I tore the top mattress off the top bed

and tossed it to the floor

and we…

oo la la

 

she was skilled

had a pace

moved in a rhythm

that only dance instructors have mastered

she liked me

she liked me lots

and would smile during times

when one usually doesn’t smile

 

later we heard a scream from outside

it was her pissed friend from the disco-tech

smacking into walls

as she tramped down the hallway

looking for her platinum blond friend

hollering like a drunk witch

I put the pieces together

this witch had come with my friends

they had no choice in the matter

Ms. Platinum blonde and I said our goodbyes

and

she left

but not before

staring deeply

into me

smiling

smiling a bit sadly

but warmly

 

putting the room back together

I found a business card under the desk

it was hers

I read it

and learned

she was an

off-the-clock hooker

a call girl

and I was her

Good Old American Saturday Night

or should I say

Good Old Scottish Thursday Night

the cabbie and

the old man behind the desk’s

weary eyes

made sense now

they only saw a hooker with a client

they couldn’t tell

she was

off the clock

out with a friend

having fun

I continued putting the room back together

and then went to my friend’s room next door

where they had some beer

I asked them about their night

but thought

to myself

sipping

while they answered

I never knew that

when

the working girls

are off the clock

they still

have

the

want

to

get

close

to

someone

who is

their choice

*

It was the night Ben was to leave us and Dale our new driver / tour manager was to take over.  We crossed the Scot border, back in England two minutes to midnight, driving deep into the night, finally getting to the small muddy road we were destined for, just a few miles from the Dover Peaks, where a good friend of Ben, Buzz, an older tough geezer with a throat full of jacks, was kind enough to open his home up to us for the night.  Buzz waved us into his driveway, back lit under his porch light, with his glasses reflecting white from our headlights; rain poured on us all as we shook hands and pulled our bags and all our equipment and merchandise boxes out of Duff and into the small flat – the rain soaking us and what we carried, as we trudged back and forth, from the Sprinter to the flat, coughing and spitting up unmentionables.  None of us felt well.

Wet, we sat around the kitchen table with bottled beer.

“How long you lot been with this dozy cunt?” Buzz laughed.  We told stories, stories that keep the traveling man strong.  We told the stories that make strangers friends and kept bottled beer popping late into the night.  Stories of blood, women and beer, stories of fights, near death experiences and who has had it rougher.  But Ben had to move on, had to be in London before sun up, had to be beside his warm girl, crawl into her bed before her alarm sounded.

We said our goodbyes, one at a time, hands on shoulders, smiles with kind eyes.

Then the men went to bed, laying on blankets that sat as close as the finger in a hand ready to slap.  I stayed up with Buzz for one more hour, but even Buzz retired; it was late and our clothes were still wet.  We were quietly miserable.  But happy to be out of the rain.  The house was now silent; everyone was asleep.  Not me, I had a job, I had to stay up for one more hour.  Our new driver was someone called Dale from Leeds, England, with one working eye and was said to have the demeanor of James Bond.  He was to knock on the front door at 5:00AM.

I sat in the dimly lit kitchen, with my legs up on an empty crate, spinning a flaking onion with one hand and combing my hair with my fingers with the other, while I continued to attack the crate of bottled beer by my side.  I inspected new cuts and bruises as I glanced at Buzz’s family photographs on the walls; he seemed to be close to a younger curly haired sister.  Then turned my attention out the window.  My eyes passed the first laundry line to the second, watching a thin white blanket, left out to dance and ripple in the spirited wet wind.  Finally a distant light, behind the neighbors’ barn, illuminated through its loose boards, a cautious light that moved tentatively toward me.  I stood, pulled a new beer from the crate and walked quietly on creaking boards down the hall to the front door.

And at 5:00AM Dale knocked on the door.

Drenched in a black leather jacket and wet slicked back black hair Dale shook my hand.

“Right, hello there, I’m Dale.”

“David, nice to meet you,” I handed Dale a bottled beer.

“Awe.  Brilliant,” he said.

*

The Netherlands

            Dale has the luck of the Irish, but he’s a Brit.  His motto is, “Hey man, relax, it’ll sort itself, I mean c’mon…I’m Dale.” And it always was alright and you began to think it was because you were with Dale.

Heading to Den Helder to perform at a heavy metal motorcycle bar, we stopped at a petrol station for a stretch, a scratch and a smoke.  Some men went inside, some smoked by the door even though you could inside, and I stuck by Dale by the pump to get to know him better.  I liked chatting up Dale.  His simple philosophy was endearing and something for me to live by.

“Can yah blame the cows for mooing, the birds for flying, the politicians for lying?  Just let the smokers smoke,” Dale would say when a person would glare at him for lighting a fag.

A calm man, who exudes a calm scene – wise, smooth, an in the trench philosopher who could walk through a war sipping an over filled scalding cup of coffee and not spill a drop.

Dale — a King without a Kingdom.

                                                                        *

            “Any rules Dale?” one of the men asked as we drove through the Netherlands.

“No mate, actually yes, one, it’s that there is to be no rules.”

Then Dale looked into the rear view mirror and changed lanes with a smile.

*

            After the show at Mike’s Bar we sat with Mike – at his bar.  He loved having eight Americans and a Brit there to get lousy with.  He poured us massive goblets of beer, that would over flow frothy from the tap, and he would scrape the head clean with a knife splashing suds behind him.  Drunk hags, with knotted grey hair and blue cheese breath, barked at us mocking, teasing our accents.  They’d repeat our words and barrel over with laughter when we spoke.  Our idea was to drink as much as Mike would pour, since our sleeping accommodations were the cigarette graveyard floor of Mike’s bar.

Upon locking up, or I should say, locking us in, Mike gave us a bottle of whisky, in exchange for a promise not to drink anything expensive behind the bar.  He hugged us all like a hairy bear, with wet whispers in our ear and sealed us in.

We played cards at a table; Piedro is our game, it’s half poker, half hearts.  Some of us men did laundry in the bathroom and bar sink.  We would hand the gift bottle from Mike around rather then separate it into glasses.  One of the men got the jukebox playing – Roy Orbison took to the room.  I scrubbed my clothes with a bar of soap I  found under the bar’s main sink and proudly rinsed and rung them clean again.  Us men working on our laundry, quickly nicknamed that night for a razz – the Laundry Men, set up chairs beside the front windows to lay the wet clothes out for the morning sun to hit.  We knew there would be no morning sun in The Netherlands, but we did it anyway, while the other men quickly nicknamed to retort the razz, the Waitresses, sorted out turning the beer tap back on.

The Waitresses did well and we all sat around with new frothy beers talking about anything anyone wanted to bring up – what makes a good dog, favorite old motorcycle, favorite old car, skydiving, scuba diving, Elvis, music and the good women we messed up with.  The last topic being the only conversation that men talk about, where the other men just listen and nod and no one gives advice and the conversation is over once the last man speaks.

Eventually we decided to talk of the future and what it held for us.  Tired now and spinning, we laid our blankets down on the beer soaked, cigarette discarded, vomit smelling floor and closed our eyes.  But not before talking about warm food, money and Ben while passing and finishing the bottle from Mike.

Spinning sleep.

*

In the morning the Sprinter was gone.   We searched and searched Den Helder looking for it.  We found a policeman and asked him for advice.  He told us that he and his men found it parked in a spot where they needed to clean the street that morning, so they picked it up and moved it.  He brought us to the van.  It sat in a small patch of grass, with yellow flowers, beside a canal.

*

After the show in Alkmaar, just south of Den Helder and north of Amsterdam, the spindly promoter with dark earth tone clothes that were two sizes too big for him, long bleached dreadlocks that reached his knees, a closed mouth smile and bouncing shoulder laugh, with pleased black eyes that were somehow warming and trusting when he listened, and who always seemed to be carrying a full slender glass of beer, even when he was outdoors, had us follow him to his friend’s squat down a cobblestone road, that was having an electronic music party that was in mid swing; the squat would second as the place for us to sleep.  On the way there he took us through a gate that glowed red from lights hidden under bushes, where short stocky men who smoked cigars wore their hats low, all styling long tan coats, full mustaches and sunglasses, passed back and forth and back and forth in an unsettling way.

It was Alkmaar’s red light district.

However, this was not like the red light district you may know about in Amsterdam where women lure in store front windows sitting and waving, or city streets of the States, where girls walk and talk through passenger side windows of stopped cars.  No.  This was three full blocks of a structure that can only be described as a red and blue glowing space station.  It was an endless maze of turns and twists showcasing girls in human aquariums, room after room lined with neon plastic edging, rounded smooth to the walls.  It was as if you were in a futuristic pet store for women.  Slender or plump, blond and pigtailed, long black haired with chopped bangs and a whip, fat, old, young or dwarfed, two girls in one room, three in the other, Asian, white, black, Indian or transsexual; they had it all.

I asked the promoter about it as we walked and he told me the price for a woman here worked out to be twenty-five U.S. dollars.  One girl off the clock rolling a cigarette came walking along side us, chatted me up.

“Are you American?”

“Yes.”

“I am Russian.”

She explained as she motioned to me to light her cigarette, that most of the girls are promised new lives before they come over from Russia, but find once they arrive they are now working girls.  The men drug them and break them; desperate, with no one, they find no way out.  Sex slaves.

“Some just do it for money.  Addicts.  Some have children they need to pay for.  Some girls stay or some travel from one place to another, like here.  They can work all across Europe.  It can be good money compared to working in a shop.  Do you understand me?”

“Do they rent the rooms?”

“Yes, you rent.  Some nights you only make enough for the rent.  It’s hard job, pays more then a shop job.”  She stopped. “You tell your friends you talked to a Russian girl, yes?”

“Sure thing Ms.”

“Bye American boy,” she waved with her fingers, winked, blew a kiss and walked off smoking in the pink neon glow.

“Goodbye,” I said and watched her walk into where short stocky men who smoked cigars, wore their hats low, styled long tan coats, full mustaches and sunglasses, passed back and forth and back and forth in an unsettling way, until she was gone.  She was young, I’d say 22, slender, and a beauty.  Tragic.  Lost.  Alone.  And gone.

The squat was new, meaning that all the windows were broken and everything electrical ran off power strips that were strung up everywhere and plugged into a secret source down the street.  Some squats you find are quite nice, like a semi posh youth hostel combined with a rock club, but this one was far from becoming that.

We were taken to the party of three-hundred drunkards dancing to house music, drinking and doing a cornucopia of drugs.  We walked in a line through the party.  People stopped.  People stared.  We had a different style than the party people and stuck out.  The party goers were unsure of us as we passed.  No recognizable emotion, they just stopped and stared.  The promoter stopped at a bar made of sheet metal, that was crafted into an enormous open jaw with sharp bladed teeth.  He ordered a round of beers and whisky shot.  The wad of dosh the show brought him was healthy and he liked showing it off.  We toasted and moved on.

The stairs were fragile and dusty.  The railing was just for show and was not for touching.  We had to spread the power wires into manageable openings as we walked up the steps, as if we were all daft enough to walk up into a spider’s cave.  Once at the seventh level, the attic, you had to watch where you put your hand, for if you touched the wrong brick wall the entire wall would topple over, crashing down.  And one of the men did just that.  Crash.  Dust.  Frowns.

The attic was where we were to sleep.  It was freezing up there.  Wind from the broken windows blew dirt and dust around combined with the spray of the rain outside, glued the dust and dirt to your face.  If you smeared it – then you smeared it.  After we dropped and hid our belongings we headed back to the party.  We spent the evening drinking in a dark corner, under a hanging black light.  A two inch candle in front of us.  People were uninterested in talking with us and we were uninterested in talking to them.  It was loud and uneventful.  Annoying actually.  Many of the men and women had such similar body types and clothing style that it was almost unisexual.  We were simply too tired for an electronic music party.

The men and myself decided to have an early night, we headed back to the attic and all lined up on the wet wooden floor with new glasses of beer and blankets with the intention to try to pass out.  I wore everything I had, shirts, sweatshirts, jacket, pants, socks, shoes, but still could not fall asleep.  I just lay there as the rain blew in, whirling the dust around, with my eyes closed, trying to remember what the one that got away used to feel like.

                                                                        *
Fin

Thanks for reading! I will post 10 more pages tomorrow. You can find Modern American Gypsy here: http://www.davidmcwane.com/store/

And check out the bonus Poems & Audio Poem below.

Take care,

David McWane

*

*

Bonus Poem 1 of 2:

Us Wild Ones

Humanity

Keeps you in its grid

With their—

Laws

Religions

Social expectations

Adverts

Healthcare plans

Retirement threats

High rents

Low wages

With

The fear of local news whispering to you loudly

And most of humanity

Locks up in this grid

Of today’s society

But not all

Not the insane

Not the crazed

Not the drug users

Not the entrepreneurs

The artists

Intellectuals

Or the fortunate

No

Not all

Of humanity

Is tamed

‘Us Wild Ones’ is from the book ‘The Gypsy Mile’ which can be found here: http://www.davidmcwane.com/store/

 

*


Bonus Poem 2 of 2: 

keeping the pin-up hostage

I was jamming

my orange-plaid pullout bed

back into a couch form

when I heard

johnny trouble scream,

“oh my god, no! no! No! NO!

THAT BITCH!”

johnny trouble busted into

the living room

shouting a story about how

he had come home from

the bars

with

a girl

the night before, but

when he awoke, she was gone

and all of his belongings with her

 

a Lower Allston girl

had cleaned him out

while he was sleeping

she had taken

his rent money – $350.00

his super nintendo,

some cds

his ipod,

and some other

odds and ends,

she even took his transformer – sound wave

swearing,

passing,

helpless and confused

johnny trouble

lit

a cigarette

and

opened a can of beer

 

I just stood there

looking sleepy and dumb

I wadded my sheets and put them

in the trunk,

sat down

and listened to johnny trouble curse the girl out

this sort of scenario was

introduced to me in stories

I’d heard traveling around questionable areas

but I didn’t know girls

really did that sort of stuff

I began to

console him

and ask him questions

about the girl

he didn’t know her real name

he only knew her pin-up name

 

you see…

…in the early 2000’s a couple smart cookies

convinced the alternative girls of America,

that if they posed nude,

spread their legs

and sold sex on the internet,

it didn’t count as pornography,

that is…

…if you had tattoos and piercings

somehow the ink on the skin

made them not as naked

as the other girls in pornography

 

young girls should be reminded that

the devils always herd sheep to hell,

with kiss sounds

and a smile

a smart idea

 

I decided to put on

some music

to smooth out the

tragedy

but I couldn’t find my

cheap

mini disc player

it was missing

the tattooed bandita

had taken it

so

now

I was involved

 

 

a word of advice for you

it’s not a good idea to steal

from people who have

less than you

 

I went on johnny trouble’s

computer

and searched

whatever her

pin-up name was,

betty-who-gives-a-shit or something

with words like

tattoos, porn and Boston

and what do you know…

johnny trouble screamed, “THAT’S HER!”

I now knew what she looked like

I checked to see the name of the

web master

for future knowledge

her profile said where she worked

so I called up

and asked in a cool friendly voice,

“do you know if betty-who-gives-a-shit is working today or was it monday?

“you mean, anna”

“yeah, sorry”

“what’s her last name again, I can’t read it here,”

and then I pretended to start to sound something out

“anna whatever-it-was, no, she is coming in tomorrow;

she’s got today off”

 

now

I knew her real name and her work schedule

I went on some web site

johnny trouble suggested

and got her phone number

I called it

she answered

“is anna there?”

“this is anna”

I hung up

then I plugged her name and phone number

into some other web site

and, voila, johnny trouble and

I had her address

 

 

you may be thinking,

‘yikes, he’s crazy,’ well, no

I had never done anything like this before

but like I said, you don’t take from

those who have less than you

 

understand,

I did not have enough money

to get myself another mini disk player

and I’d be damned before I let

some tramp rob me

 

 

the plan was to head over to her place

at midnight – for effect

I was going to be the good cop

johnny trouble the bad cop

and two of our friends came along for

intimidation / look out

 

we did not drink before

we sat quietly in the car on the way over

we knew if we weren’t careful

we could see cops or bats

 

the four of us pulled up

I walked up the broken wooden staircase

I knocked on her door

I took a deep breath

“who is it?”

“I’m a friend of (web master’s name)”

the pin-up opened her door

I discreetly put my foot at its base,

to block her from closing it

“yeah, what do you want?”

“I want to leave,” I said

“you what?”

“I want to leave, I want to go home”

“what, what are you talking about?” she was cautious now

“I want to just

leave

go home

but I can’t…

 

…I can’t until you go get all the shit you stole from my house last night”

 

the pin-up went white

she looked like she needed to sit or be sick

I then said,

“look, anna, johnny is in the car and he’s really mad,

I asked him if I could give you a chance,

a chance before he comes up here,

up here, for you”

she just gulped and stared

I entered the house

“I, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t have any…”

“no, no you don’t understand, this is your chance

you’re last and only chance

you don’t want him to come up here

he’s…

“WHERE IS THAT BITCH?”

screamed johnny

from the bottom of the staircase.

three men

stomped

their

way

up

I just looked at the pin-up with a

‘you should try and listen when it’s important’ look

johnny exploded into the house

he immediately found

half of his stuff on her bed

he screamed

and screamed

and banged about

all four of us were now in the house

the door was closed and locked

one of my silent friends stood by it

the other silent friend stood by the phone

 

calmly my old friend nicole came out from

a second bedroom

“hey, dave, what’s up?”

“oh, hell, hey nicole, how are you?”

“better than last time you saw me.  what brings ya here?”

“oh, your roommate there anna

stole a whole bunch of things

from my house last night

and we’re just here

to get it back”

nicole rolled her eyes,

looked at her roommate and said,

“yeah, she does that”

 

nicole and I sat at the

kitchen table

and caught up with each other

the boys were working on interrogating

the pin-up

she said that half of the stuff,

including the cash and my mini disc player were with

a guy friend of hers

johnny trouble

allowed her

to use the phone, to ring the man up

he didn’t answer

the pin-up thought that got her off the hook

it didn’t

we sat her down at

the kitchen table,

with the phone in front of her

she was told to,

“find him”

and she eventually did

the boy denied having anything

which made the pin-up nervous

I got on the phone and asked him if anna was

his friend

he said, “Yes”

“well your friend is in a lot of trouble right now,

this would be the moment where you help her”

I said

he agreed

we waited in a fear filled room;

four wolves circling a bunny

it was very quiet

nicole and I added to the eerie’ness with our

light positive small talk

nicole knew the score

and was helping things along

we were all living an

alfred hitchcock episode

two friends chatting

two silent men guarding

and johnny trouble sitting across from

the pin-up staring at her with dead eyes

 

the pin-up looked spoiled inside

 

one of my silent friends asked

the boy’s name

and started to call around town to see who he was

we found out

he ran with a serious group of men

ones that we were no match for

 

the boy called us from his bike

he was a block away

unsure what was next

we hid our silent friends

in the shadows

with bats

just in case he was smart and brought friends

which would have been the thing to do

but for some reason this connected kid

didn’t bring friends

maybe he couldn’t rally them at 1:00 AM

maybe this kid realized this race was over

that’s respectable

he finally said on the phone while riding his bike,

“okay you win, you got me, I’m pulling around”

when he came inside the house

he was calm

and respectful

he handed over the cash

he handed over the mini disk player

without

any

attitude

 

as johnny trouble counted the money

I lectured the two that you don’t steal from struggling people

and by the looks of it

these two were much better off than

johnny trouble and me

I hugged nicole goodbye

we walked out backwards

we got in the car

and drove to the

the model

our local bar

for many beers

and a lot of loud talk

johnny trouble

sorted

the entire bill

Keeping The Pin-Up Hostage is from the book ‘Biting Lightening, Bloody Marry’ which can be found here: http://www.davidmcwane.com/store/

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