Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You have Beast to blame for this

BEAST. He made me do it. I didn't want to but oh no he encouraged me. Actually it was more of a threat. Yes. Really. I was scared. He said "Post and be damned!" So I posted. And now I'm....


Remember how you wanted to see what happened to the people in that first story....?


..that one. Yeah, you were just asking to be nice. I know.
This is what happened to those people.
Be careful what you wish for.

1. Star of Bethlehem
(brownie points for anyone who can name the movie the girls are quoting from.)

I always enjoyed visiting Susan. There were never less than two extraneous people wandering around who didn't pay rent; and they were usually wearing lots of leather and doing something interesting. Today it was throwing axes at the side of the garage.

Susan and I did our business, and then got to talking, and I got to sampling, and pretty soon I'd joined her on the floor by the metal suitcase with the triple beam on top.

I was supposed to be helping her make gram twists. When I heard Roth ride up I just laid back on my elbows and watched him from the moment he came through the door.
"He's like a beautiful little woodland creature,"Susan murmurred to me. "Like a deer. Like Bambi."
"Makes no nevermind to me; I'm just in it for the sport," I replied, grinning at her. "Fuck, are you that old?"
"Now bitch," she said.
We slapped five and giggled.

All he was doing at present was walking around the pool table, idly chalking a cue, playing the remains of someones forgotten game, just banking shots, not paying much attention.

He paused to light a cigar. He looked at me from under his eyebrows as he bit down, cupped flare of the lighter on his face. Blue smoke rose in ribbons and arabic from the ember. He smiled, pocketed the lighter and turned away.

"Come on over and grab a cue," he said.

I got up and came over, leaned against the wall nearby and watched. "Show me something," I said.

He fired the 6; it caromed off the side, caromed off the end, angled up the opposite bank and went in the side pocket. Hit the bottom of the pocket and hesitated, then rolled to the end of the rack and clacked against the ones already there.

"All carefully plotted out beforehand," he grinned around his cigar. "Really."

I just kept smiling.

He took a puff off his cigar and looked down at me for a few moments.

"You ever been to Stevenson?" he asked. "Up in the mountains, just over the pass from Bucoda."

"Is it a ski resort?" I asked.

"It's a town." He put the cue back in the rack. "Nice place. A lot of the the filler shots for Capote were filmed up there."

When he looked at me then the room filled with the hum of something vast and hazardous building a charge far in excess of load.
The lights flared, then dimmed.
A long crack appeared in the wall.

"I might head up that way this weekend," I said quietly.


The Greyhound stop in this town amounted to a rusted corrugated awning from which the beige paint lifted in the breeze. Three advertising benches sat in a line beneath it, the pavement around them greasy and black from years of high-test wino piss. I got there at 8:55 and stood shifting my duffle bag from hand to hand as I tried to keep it up off the ground.

At 9:10 the bus arrived. The driver examined my ticket, then I walked down the aisle to a seat. Everyone who was still awake eyed me curiously.

About 2:30, 3 am or thereabouts a guy coming back from the bathroom slipped into the seat beside me. "Hey look," he whispered.

I took my hand off the Stanley knife laying on top of my leg. "Hey look," I murmurred. He got up and continued down the aisle, bumping from side to side as the bus swayed through the darkness.

I tried to go back to my homework, but after that, somehow 'American Odyssey: The United States in the Twentieth Century'* just wasn't doing it for me anymore. I turned sideways and looked out into the dark.

There was a lot of it. More when I turned off the small reading light.

I had the oddest fantasy, looking out into the night: I wanted to get out here and stand alone at the side of the road while the bus rolled away. Right in the middle of the corn, just stand there in the quiet and let the night fly over me and the earth turn in space. I thought about it for awhile.

I could do that, if I wanted.

Knowing that made me curiously content.

Corn gave way to patches of forest and those moved together and finally closed overhead. It opened back out to reveal the indigo sky once we were well into the higher elevations. Fog was falling, tumbling down through the pines in grey billows lit by the moon.

We summited the pass and drove into the early morning clouds. The switchbacks took us from from lighter to darker shades of morning around the curves and then came down through the cloud layer into Stevenson, where it was still high summer and morning was well under way.

The bus let us off in front of a small pharmacy. As we drove up the pharmacist himself walked out and opened the glass doors wide, setting a candy machine in front of each one to hold them that way. I let myself roll on in behind the rest of the yawning passengers while I bought a paper. A yawning waitress poured everyone mugs of coffee.

Someones cat wandered in and collected its tribute in bus passenger pets from everybody. I shook out the pages of my paper and folded it back into the way I liked to read it, then reached for my coffee and took a sip while the smell of sagebrush and pine blew in through the open doors on a long warm breeze.

Right around the time I'd reached the Classified section the waitress asked me quietly if I wanted anything to eat. I asked could she make me a grilled cheese on white please.

It was in this state of perfect bliss that I looked up and saw Roth come in and take a seat next to me at the counter.

Just outside the pharmacy doors sat a wooden park bench, the kind that curved, with slats.
I was waiting there in the sun when Roth walked out and sat down next to me, carrying the largest to go-cup they had full of coffee in his hand. The bench settled and creaked. He sipped his coffee and looked calmly at nothing in particular, condensation still darkening his leathers. I closed my eyes and watched the orange fade to red. Sunshine warmed a long steady wind that rose up blowing the smell of baking stones down from the mountains and then sighed back down to stillness. High overhead a bird threw a shadow across my eyes.

We leaned against each other and let the morning pass.

2. the king of the funky people

Aside from one jarringly modern Schucks' Auto Supply store, Main street was one strip of old commercial buildings, either brick and ironwork or wooden and false-fronted, each one with its own awning built out over the sidewalk. Five blocks of this and 'town' suddenly ended and the open country began.

You could stand at the top of west Main and look down and see two last buildings tacked on like an unfinished thought; on the left hand side there was an empty lot, then an abandoned gas station. A corral collapsing into ruined angles sagged into it's windward side.

Across the street from that a long dirt driveway lead back to a quonset building off by itself in a field, the corrugated metal sienna with rust. One four-paned window looked out of the peak, three across the middle, and a barn door rolled shut across the bottom. Several layers of painted advertising were weathering off the front. The newest sign was a sheet of delaminating plywood that leaned against the wall near the man door; it read 'Naismuth Motor' . Thats where we headed.

"The lights on." Roth indicated a tin lamp mounted high up on the side of the building. "He's probably home. We'll see how far the analogy holds once we get inside."

Next to the man door was a steel tractor rim with a fat dog draped over the edge. It's eyes opened. Then it gradually drooped down over the side until it fell out. It waddled over to be petted. That accomplished, it returned to a little crater in the dirt nearby and flumped back down.

"Exhausted," Roth explained.

Like the shop dog, Naismuth pretty much represented the breed standard. He swam around in mechanics overalls that had once fit an ordinary sized person but now drug the floor in strings blackened with grime, and moved in a personal cloud of gasoline and old machinery stored on dirt floors. His beard and moustache were oddly even. When I got close enough I saw that the ends were uniformly frazzled off at what was probably the boundary between what his welding mask covered and what it didn't. Obvious too that he haggled his own hair off with whatever sharp object came to hand. What remained hung lank as a wet rag down the center of his back, all the way past his waist.
I had found the ancient father-god of the mullets: Naismuth, king of the funky people.

Roth and he exchanged ferocious slapping hugs in the gloom. I looked around at the astounding layers of bizarre shit he had arrayed around his desk and cash register. Doll heads with faceted glass blue dots for eyes. A tattered arrow through a deer skull showing signs that its owner had survived for quite some years after the shot had pierced it. Ancient flyers and advertisements and posters. Rank nudie pictures torn from hardcore magazines decades out of print. Emblems and insignia, chrome trim, giant knives, headlights, taillights, a cheap coat of arms, a picture of a cute baby...

"What do they call you?" he said loudly, turning to me as an afterthought. Super welterweight; junior middleweight.

"A bitch, mainly," I said.

We looked at each other for a few moments. Roth had wandered off to look at some old shop manuals molding in a filthy glass case.

"Hey Roth," he called. Roth glanced over. "I'd fuck her."
"Yeah, if she had a dick," Roth said.

Naismuth gave me a look. "I like his aftershave," I explained.

He picked up a stack of Utne Readers and sat down on what turned out to be an overstuffed armchair carefully preserved beneath years of newspapers and rags, reached into the breast pocket of his overalls and produced a lighter with a turquoise dope leaf on the side. This was curiously similar to watching one of those 'recipe for disaster' fire safety movies they used to show in grade school. He looked from me to Roth. "Well? Who's got drugs? I don't! I don't!" he said brightly.

I tore the end off a sherman and handed it to him. He ran it under his nose. "Nothin like a blonde," he said, obviously satisfied. He twisted it into a spliff. "Leave him and come cook for me," he added. He disengaged an earring that turned out to be a roach clip, fit the twist into the pincer and snugged up the stay. "You ever seen one of these? That's what they call a spindleshanks. I used to make'em. Buy a roll of brass wire and a bunch of those big pretty beads, and you get a pair of needlenose pliers and a cheap little hammer to flatten out the ends with, carry it all in your saddlebag wrapped up in a cloth or something. I'd twist up a shitload of them and sell' em at concerts. Make ob SEEEEEN money."

He torched off and hit it all the way down to his shoes, then held it until I thought he'd died sitting right there in front of me. Stone, stock still like a mummy. Suddenly he exhaled. Clear.
I realized I was in the presence of a master.

"I'm serious" he continued. "I'd let you do my cooking. Of course I don't chew rug but give me a kosher dill and I'll blow your mind all night long. Can she cook?" this directed toward Roth.

"Ask her to make you a tuna salad sandwich," he said, giving me a long look.

I took a hit and handed it toward Roth. "He's talking a good game here, Roth. He owns his own business too," I squeaked.

Roth shrugged. "Go for it," he said. "Rule over his vast empire of rust."

"That'd piss off the dog," Naismuth said, nodding. "Cool."

The rest of the afternoon went by and I learned a lot about how not to store wrecked motorcycle parts. A prime example of that was the ancient delivery trike I found under a stack of fiberglass fairings, its Coca-Cola advertising peeling off it like cigarette ashes. When I opened the cargo box it was full of greasy brown water.

The fat dog waddled up and started drinking it. I pulled him away and shut the lid.

In amongst a dusty chrome heap of old headlight buckets, high on a shelf made of scaffolding and scrap planks, I found a robins' nest lined with black feathers. Inside was the perfect skeleton of a mouse, its ribs collapsed neatly into a stack of curved needles, curled up in its last sleep like a shell. I handed it down to Naismuth, who received it like a letter from home and carried it away.

By 7 that evening Roth and Naismuth were loaded for bear. They were going to rebuild every vehicle on the property. They attached old lengths of chain from the yard truck to God knows what in the weeds alongside the building and made me drive while they hollered unintelligible instructions, waved their arms around and walked backwards. The fat dog sat alongside me on the bench seat and put his head in my lap. The fat dog smelled very bad.

We went to dinner at a bar in town. Roth and Naismuth ordered prime rib.

"Bitch Mainly' ll have a dinner salad," Naismuth informed the waitress, who looked at me pityingly. "He's not housebroke," she explained. "We try to keep him out but the kids keep letting him back in."

"Bitch Mainly would like a filet," I said.

She noted that, then looked at me. "Bake? Fries? "

"Fries. Blue cheese on the salad."

"And how do you want that steak?"

"Black and blue, please," I said. "Really."

"Oh, I believe you", she said. "You're in the country now. I put a fried egg on that for you if you want too; lotta people like that."

"You're making my dick hard," said Naismuth. "Fuck the prime. Give me what Bitch Mainly's having. With the egg. See if she'll marry me."

"God don't," said the waitress as she walked away. "Hes one of them wears womens' underpanties and a bra."

I lost my shit. I'd have fallen backward out of my chair if Roth hadn't grabbed it, which started him in.

"Fuck you both, man, I'm leaving," Naismuth said. "No seriously, and you know what? I'm going to fucking wire your bike, Roth. You stay here with the piece of shit shovel and ol Bitch Mainly there. Suck my ass."

Roth just shook his head and kept on laughing. I continued to whoop like a tard with an empty toilet paper roll.

On the way back to Naismuths he ran over a rattlesnake lying in the road. We had to stop and wait while he went back and cut off the head and rattles and wrapped them in his handkerchief.

As soon as we were back at his place we followed him back to an outbuilding behind the shop. It turned out to be a smokehouse kitchen; it made the night smell delicious for yards around. He turned on the overhead and showed us a saltbox where various other unfortunate victims of the highway, or their parts, anyway, were slowly mumifying. The rattlesnake leftovers joined them. He sold them online for what I was assured was an obseeeeeeen amount of money. "Really. You'd be fucking shocked how much the shit brings in," he said. "Theres some sick motherfuckers out there in this great nation. Still, the market exists and I don't ask why."

"Speaking of which, did you get any jerky put up?" Roth asked.

Naismuth had bear. I tried it; it was excellent. I didn't ask if it had been road-killed because I didn't particularly want to know.

Roth headed outside to take a leak. I admired the string of rattlesnake heads that hung in a neat row along the wall, each one with a paper price tag attached. Naismuth ambled around lost and pretended to rearrange things, scoops made of cut plastic gallon jugs, bags of Morton kosher salt, spice mixtures with pictures of fat men on the bag.

"You know, if this was twenty years ago Ida said fuck Roth and made a play for you," he said suddenly.

I stopped dead. Looked at him and felt genuinely stricken. "Man, don't," I said. "Don't hit on me."

He shook his head. "I'm not. No, no, no. What I meant to say is that-"

"You know what, fuck what you meant to say," I snarled.

Roth ambled in chewing on a piece of jerky. "Get him yelling. He turns all red and starts hyperventilating."

"Hey Roth; now just keep out of shit. I was going to - you know what, screw that. The jerky's in the refrigerator. Knock yourself out. I'll go get some bags. Bitch Mainly can come help me." Naismuth left.

I looked at Roth.
"Go," he said. "It'll be fun. You can put each others hair up in curlers and listen to Frank Sinatra records."

Naismuth lived in a converted schoolbus. That was inevitable. The tin hatted stack of a woodstove held its elbow out one of the center windows, now riveted over with sheet metal, and that was inevitable too. I tripped over God knew what in the tall grass before I found the skinny path that lead to the door.

When I looked inside Naismuth had one of the bench seats up and was rustling around inside the storage base. "This is like a little ship in here," I said, pleasantly surprised. I'd been dreading a squalid freak nest. What I found smelled faintly of napthalene and gleamed with spar varnish and Brasso. "It's amazing. You do this?"

"Oh hey, you like it? Thanks!" He took several large zipseal bags out. They'd obviously been used before and been washed and folded away afterward. "Me and my partner did this years ago back when he was working for Heisler marine yard up in Canada. All this is marine fitted. Sit down, sit down."

I sat down. In the drivers seat, in fact, behind a giant monster of a bakelite steering wheel. The glass and nickel coinbox was still in place and so was the nickel plated handle that worked the door. "This is tight," I said delightedly. "I could live here."

"Well, Roth gets it when I die so who knows," He said. Then he watched me turn red and laughed at me. "You pissed off or embarrassed?"

He rolled up the ziplocs and put them in an old bread bag. "All I was trying to say was that the last time he did bring a girl around I did hit on her; which was the year before I met Allan, which was twenty years ago. Wait that makes it twenty ONE years. Fuck it." He paused, rolling the bags over and over in his hands for a while."Yeah, Roth never brings girls around," he continued, back on track for the moment. "Never. So yeah now here he pops up with a girl with a blue tongue like a chow dog. I'm like, whoa."

"It's not a medical condition, I promise." I said. "I like raspberry."

"Oh yeah, I figured. Hey, remember that liquorice ice cream Carnation used to put out? That might of been local. Man, that shit was wicked evil. I'd turn the whole inside of your mouth black. Used to freak kids out. I loved it. "

"Blue has a similar effect," I said. " They might not print my senior picture in fact. I've been called in for retakes twice now."

He was quiet for awhile.

"Finish that garbage online," he said finally. Very quietly. "You understand me? You don't know how short life is."

I found myself so suddenly so close to tears that I had to look away and collect myself.

He put his hand on my arm for a moment and then left to go give the bags to Roth.
Naismuth and Roth started a fire out in front of the shop in the dog's tractor rim. It was unnecessarily large and they kept it that way, enthusiastically feeding it with oak chunks sawn from old machine pallets, the intent being to make the whole rim glow red all the way up the sides. At the same time they steadily worked their way through a quarter ounce and passed a maple syrup bottle that held something Naismuth claimed was home-made absinthe. Most of what they were talking about was long ago and far away from where I was, so I took my duffel bag off the back of the bike and headed out into the field.

I walked out into the grass until the shop was a dark shape in the distance and rolled out my sleeping bag. The dog laid next to me and snored, dream running cowardly cats and talking in his sleep.

A few hours along I woke up and saw the constellations that I recognized had wheeled down into the trees.

Naismuth and Roth were down to the last inch of the weirdness in the Aunt Jemima bottle. Naismuth had drug a stand chop saw out onto the dirt and was busy cutting up scrap oak into burnable lengths. Some time during the proceedings Roth had undone his braid. He was staring into the fire with his arms resting on his legs, hands clasped. I watched for awhile, filled with quiet. Watching Roth.

Morning woke me. I carried the snoring dog to the front of the building and put him in his little crater. Then I went back out and shook a million dog hairs out into the breeze. It was already beginning to heat up, although the grass still glittered with dew that soaked me up to the knees as I slung the bag over my shoulder and walked back to the quonset, looking for a place to spread it out. Decided on the shop truck. Stuck my head in the shop and listened for voices. Nope.

They were arguing inside the bus out back.

"Well you know what, though, you kinda dug your own grave, man. You got the Airstream because you wanted the Airstream. I got the property. You were all happy to have the Airstream."

"I wasn't talking about-I was talking about her," Roth said. "Where did the Airstream come in? How'd the subject of the Airstream suddenly come up?"

"Well you'd have brought it up eventually," said Naismuth

"Do you even know how to maintain a linear train of thought any more?" asked Roth.

"I'm just saying you shoulda taken the fucking property," said Naismuth. "Because all you have now is that big fucking pop can and you can't ask some chick to live in that."

"Jesus, I'm not asking her to live anywhere. Shes a kid."

I sat down in the grass more abruptly than I 'd planned to.

"No, she's young," said Naismuth. "You know who she reminds me of?

"Yeah, no shit. I know. She's certainly got the same mouth problem Allan had."

Oh fuck this. I grabbed both sides of the bus door and let myself in. "Don't mind me!"I announced" Just pretend I'm not here."

Naismuth was pouring a cup of coffee. "Allan made a good life for me, Roth. A damn good life. You're telling me all this shit about how shes all cool and lives by herself and goes shopping and goes to school and shit and I'm like 'Well there you go! ' Shit! You just either don't see it or you don't get it! Or, no-" he handed me the coffee- "No, see, you get it. Thats it. You just don't want to get it. Quit being such a god-damn asshole."

"It's what I do," he replied, one eyebrow raised.

"Yeah, well, its old, " Naismuth snapped.

"The subjects closed," Roth said.

"Tell him, Roth, " I said. "You go."

They both looked at me.

I shook my head and took a drink of my coffee, which was coming back up to a rapid boil in my hand.

Naismuth spread his hands out wide. "I gotta apologize. You'll learn to make allowances for him. He had to wear a special little boot on his head like Forest Gump till he was nine. Had a big gearshift thing sticking off the side. He'd start in chewing the walls and whippin off like a monkey and shit, Mom would just rack on it a couple of times; he'd calm right down. "

I snorted coffee, which was hot. Roth just snorted.

Naismuth looked pleased with himself. "So how the fuck did your karma get so goddamn crunchy, Mainly?"

"I wonder that every day. Your dog gave me fleas, too" I replied.

"Thats because you slept out in the field. There's elk that graze out there," Roth said. "I can guarantee you that dog has no fleas. Naiz feeds the thing raw garlic. No flea will get within a mile of that animal."

"I give him a quid of tobacco every few months too to kill the worms," Naismuth added. "Not a whole lot, you know; that'd kill him. Man, does it work. Cleans the old boy right out. It's fuckin' disgusting."

I drank my coffee.

We reached the summit of Griers' Pass and stopped to bundle up. A few semis hammered past, but other than commercial rigs the highway was empty. While I pulled on a spare pair of his gauntlets Roth stood with his hands in his pockets and looked out over the valley, breathing fog.

I started to cry.

He walked over and just held me for awhile. "Are you going to tell me what this is about?" he asked.

I looked back toward Stevenson. "I have to call the bank. I have a lot of phone calls to make," I said. "I'm fine. I don't know."

"Can I try and explain something?" he said. "You're not...the only reason, shit." He sighed. "OK. The only reason....shit."

"Don't make me laugh. I'm trying to be miserable," I laughed.

When Roth rode up I was lying under the trailer section of a wrecked log hauler helping the fat dog. It started out as me with a shovel trying to free the rear wheels, but it ended up being the dogs project; I just helped keep the dirt from going back in the hole.

We grinned out at him. "How'd you find us? Did you see our dust?" I asked. "We're making a big mess here."
Roth looked under the trailer at us. " You know, I didn't want to push it, right; I figured I 'd give you some space; then someone happens to mention oh by the way she moved, didn't you hear," he said. "I didn't appreciate that. Would you like to explain?"

I came out from underneath the trailer and brushed the front of myself down. "I didn't want to make this your problem, OK? This didn't have anything to do with you. I figured if you wanted to be here you'd get here."

Roth wasn't buying it. The fat dog sniffed his boots and went back under the trailer.

"Hey, I'm learning how to do bodywork," I said. "Come check it out. I'm ruining the fuck out of this poor truck fender back over here." We walked around the side of the building through the dead tansy. "Naiz set me up a bench out behind the building. It's awesome. Sucks when the wind blows a certain direction though because I'm right out by the smokehouse and I'm always hungry. I've got power and everything, though. Check it out."

The rear equipment doors stood open and swallows made long figure eights overhead, into the building, back out the door. I had a cable that ran back in to the main with a bunch of outlets set up for me, and a bunch of Naismuths fucked up old power sanders and grinders to make sparks with. I held one up and struck a pose. "Miss piece of shit Makita, August," I said. "I love this grinder. If you do it right, things catch on fire." I indicated the burned patches in the weeds. "I'm told that isn't the point of the endeavor. You know what, though, a guy brought an engine block in last week and I ground off a bunch of broken off stuff on it for him. Hell yes I did."

"He's got you working?" Roth looked around.

"Yes he's got me working. I'm the clone. I sweep, I make stupid fucked up decaffeinated herbal tea, I soak things in coffee cans full of Marvel Mystery Oil. I are a trainee."

"He's paying you?" He continued to look around. "He better be -shit." He strode off to the schoolbus. A short while later I could hear them arguing. Naismuth really did turn red and hyperventilate when he was upset so I was happy right where I was. No, I was happier under the trailer; it was shadier there and the dog was probably sick of waiting for me. I walked back.

Roth came back and squatted down on his haunches. "You can come to me and ask me for things," he said. "I wish you had. I wish you'd have said something. I'd have been happy to help out. Get you moved and shit."

I stopped heaping dirt to one side and looked at him. "Really? You think so? Your brother gets it. Your brother got it right away. Do you? Are you sure you might not have just said something condescending like that 'kid' comment of yours? I didn't want to hear it, ok? Fuck that. I'm already shit up to my neck with the guy at the bank and his 'older and wiser heads' attitude. I don't need being pissed off."

"You're pissed off anyway, though," he noted.

"It'll pass," I said. then I smiled at him. "Thats the beauty of this setup. Thats why I'm here."

*a real high school textbook, it makes the assertion that Sputnik was a nuclear powered missile among other egregious errors. your tax dollars at work!

respect due Neil Young and Tim Dorsey for the titles.


  1. Thank you for letting me crawl around in your head to meet your people. Once again I truly enjoyed your writing.

  2. I felt all Hunter S. Thompson-ish and please tell me how the hell Utne Reader got there? Allen probably. Thanks!!

  3. gale: the trike was just for you.

    retro: all old hippies read Utne. Naismuth is a real person. well, three real people i know.

  4. Anonymous9:42 PM

    what don't we blame beast for?

    i got confused at first, but all is better now. i'm still confused, but that's just my normal state.

    i can't imagine how long it took you to write this, much less come up with the stories.

  5. Marvellous
    I really enjoyed it
    Naiz the hyperventilating poof is my new hero (on condition he gets his hair sorted out ).
    I want to know what happens next :-)

  6. I got all the way to the end and saw the footnote and couldn't for the life of me figure out where the fuck the first asterisk was in the text. Never ever saw the fucker.

    (See how reading your writing affects me? Good writing does that. You should hear me talk after I've read a couple Jane Austen novels.)

    Awesome story, btw. I'm feeling pleased with myself for actually knowing what a quonset hut is.

    How much of this shit is biographical, if I may ask? That's the mark of good writing. It's so vivid that it seems utterly impossible that you didn't live every second of this narrative exactly as you've described it.

  7. CB I couldn't find the asterisk iether AND I dont have any idea what a quonset hut is
    ****hangs head in shame ***

  8. I cannot read this post until Beast apologizes for the bicycle incident.

    He is Persona non grata to me now.

  9. pink: one week.

    beast: thank you, my darling *brandishes dust people sceptre*

    cb: by the textbook title. the only thing in this that is 100% real is the waitress at the bar and what she says. word for word, that really happened.

    beast: next to the title of the book shes reading on the bus. a quonset building is a big huge building that looks like half a culvert lying on the ground, semicircled over with corrugated metal. you guys had them all over the place during ww2.

    mj: see, i hold a noodle incident against him. now i gotta go see what this is all about.

  10. Aha a Nissen Hut.

    MJ is making SUCH a fuss

  11. Utne reader - man, haven't remembered that for years.

  12. i love you mama, but my attention span does not. installments, next time? like old timey radio? otherwise i feel like a "tl;dr" asshole.

  13. everyone: too long? well then i guess i'll have to leave it up for a nice, loooooong time so we can all enjoy it. over and over again. oh god nations still has that story up. i wish she'd just stick to humor pieces. the fuck, man; if i wanted this sadass fanfic shazizzle i'd visit a trek site.


  14. I've printed it off and I'm up to page 10 of 31.

  15. this was a uj on paul!?!? nice!!

  16. When does the audiobook version come out?

  17. I read this one "chapter" at a time. I savored it and came back for another later on. Then I read it all at once. And then, once again. You are a writer woman. And a damn fine one too. I love your stories. Always. Yay for stories!! More stories with more chapters, that's my vote!!!

    I think I'll go read it again.

  18. Who said it was too long???
    ***peers around accusingly***
    Ha !I bet its the sort who move their lips when they read.

  19. no I don't beast, but my ass cheeks do flap a bit. Not just when I'm reading though. I am cursed with a Gen Y attention span O NOES

  20. As its your Ma SSA your allowed to carp . You could try gaffer tape to secure those flapping cheeks , it will make walking up stairs less risky at least :-)

  21. I am officially jealous.

    You talented dugong you.

  22. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Well, you sure as hell were never in one of my classes! Maybe you read my diary? Whatever! Good piece. Publishable, with a little editorial tightening. If you wanted to know.

  23. tick: one word each page? what? you wacky welsh mofo you. XX!

    voices: this is what i meant when i said that the characters were running away with the story. its weird.

    mj: when I can get vincent Price to agree to record it. *strides off with shovel*

    joy: *uberblush*

    beast: see below.

    SSA: a BIT? just a BIT? ya think so, deflate-o-girl? have some more onions. yes, do.

    beast: superglue, a cork, patch cement, latex adhesive, isolation, relocation, relocation to another PLANET...

    garfy: I am officially the cow of the sea, also known as the man-a-tee. *swims up, yells 'DUGONG' really loud in garfys ear and swims off again*

    Dinah: you're hired. think Im joking? oh no, little artist woman from the future, i am not.

  24. Anonymous2:48 AM

    No not too long! Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

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