The bar was packed and struck with a chilled silence as the television played news of the latest chapter in the Great American Tragedy. A High School in
solemnly behind the ticker tape announcing: Boulder, Colorado
Crime Scene – Do Not Cross.
Adding volume to the moving imagery the bartender stands with his arms folded as all eyes fall on the boob tube; the first on the scene dances expertly with rhetoric at a time when all that’s required is the cold hard facts; that sixteen boys and girls would never reach their wedding days.
‘Two students are believed to have entered the cafeteria at today with duffle bags of automatic weapons and opened fired on their peers and teachers.’
The cameraman lingers on the boundaries of the yellow line that flickers harmlessly in the wind as black bag after black bag is wheeled out to the sudden repetitive flash of light as photographer after photographer grabs image after image as though it’s some sort of grotesque fashion show. Kid, kid, you with only half a head…who are you wearing? Forever Twenty-One and Smith & Weston! With the bodies paraded by the world’s press, the ritualistic dive into recrimination begins. Who’s to blame? What went wrong? How could this happen? This and in
! The truth is heartbreakingly simple, too
simple to be desired. The idea that lack
of gun control and poor funding for the treatment of mental health issues has
anything to do with it is laughed at and denounced as lefty queerism. No! Culture is to blame, art is to blame, those
bastards in America are to
blame. The Jews and the Chinese that run
that town, it’s those fuckers who are to blame for the death of your little
‘No, no, that’s not it,’ protests a parent ‘we need better control over firearms.’
be safer if
everyone had a gun?!’ barked another. America
I scoffed supping down on my beer turning to my pal George and wondered how cinema was to blame. How cinema was more responsible for the deaths of children than the bullets that shattered their skulls and painted the cafeteria with their brains. How someone can shoot up a High School, walk to the sidewalk, crack open a Coors Light before eating the shell and WalMart will ban beer. Meanwhile the price of automatic rounds go through the roof as demand swells and middle America prepares to shoot on sight anyone that so much as blinks their direction, especially if they’re of colour.
Ban cinema, ban art, ban Coors Light, photography, rap music, and images of a sexual nature. Showing a man’s head exploding in all its visceral crimson detail is fine but no love making on screen please, that will corrupt our youth. A handgun is fine fully loaded and pumping out hot tooth after hot tooth but a loaded penis hand pumped to expulsion is wrong. We deal in death, not life
your smut to yourself. Ban everything
and damn us all, then the only release we have will be to throttle each other
until there’s one lonely psychopath left wandering the continent. Hollywood
‘You know,’ harped a shaven headed man ‘if you hate
so much why
are you here?’ America
‘You heard, I love my country. I fought for my country’s freedom and I won’t sit here and listen to some foreigner talk shit about her.’ getting to his feet.
‘Oh I’m sorry,’ I spat ‘I didn’t realise your country was under threat of invasion. I’m very glad you love your country, I love your country too but this,’ pointing to the television set ‘this is not what was meant by the right to bear arms.’
‘I don’t have to listen to this in my own god-damn country!’ he shouted.
‘Ok, calm it down.’ advised the barman, reaching under the counter.
‘So what? Is freedom of speech more or less important to you than the right of someone to cull an entire graduating class because it’s easier for him to buy a gun than it is for him to buy a beer?’
‘Freedom of speech?’ he hissed ‘What about my freedom to whoop your ass, pal?’
‘Which amendment is that again? I forget.’
It gets a laugh out of George and angers the skin head enough that he charges across the bar stopping inches from my face as I bolt to my feet. The tattoo on his arm states he’s USMC and I realise that there are two ways to deal with this put up and shut up but the beer has loosened the hinges on my mouth a little too much so we march outside as the bar empties eager to witness more scenes of unnecessary violence. How many of them would tear themselves away from their seats if we were taking to the pavement to fuck each other senseless? That’s the fact of the matter, death sells while love sits gathering dust on the shelves before it’s dumped into the bargain bucket world of the Rom-Com.
Rolling his sleeves up he says ‘Last chance mister, take it back and you can walk.’
‘Fuck you, and fuck Charlton Heston. I hope Satan’s ass-raping him as we speak while Hitler puds his throat good and raw.’
His fist shot out like a cobra making contact with my nose twice before I could even get my dukes up. I was reeling and the Marine was already moving in for the kill. He went for another but I ducked him and barrelled into his chest sending us both to the ground. I clocked him once, twice, then he buried a knee to my abdomen knocking the air from my tank. Falling off him I saw a quick burst as he leapt to his feet before helping me to mine. He caught me twice more in the gut and my legs gave out. Holding me in the air like a doll with its strings cut he put the head to me before spinning me round by the tee collar and releasing me into the night. I landed hard, the circle closed around him as one or two locals congratulated him on dealing with that big mouth. I came charging at him again and made contact with the side of his face with a rock-handed left and again which put him off balance. As I grabbed him by the throat he broke the hold and began pounding my face until the lights reset themselves and I woke on the ground.
He was back in the bar on his stool drinking a beer out of the side of his mouth. Getting to my feet I lifted a brick and drove it into the windscreen of his pick-up truck. Turning his head, the beer still tightly pressed to his lips he watched in amazement as I lift the brick again and thrust it down caving the screen in, little white cubes of glass exploding into the night air. Slamming his beer down he raced towards me, his fists primed and ready to go again. I noticed the news cycle had begun again as the bodies were being wheeled out on screen; girl with the hole in her throat, who are you wearing? Sub-machine gun!
He hit me harder than a semi-truck, I dug my fingers into his eyes and we both went to ground, spewing blood and saliva as our bodies tangled around one another in a gymnastic display of hatred. Punch, punch, punch went his loaded knuckles before eventually three men pulled him from my bones, convinced as they were that he would kill me.
‘Jesus Christ Jeremy, I think you’ve killed him!’ screamed a brunette.
‘Oh good,’ I gargled ‘I got my balls rolled by someone called Jeremy, Christ.’
‘I’m so sorry,’ she cried, reaching down to assist me ‘my brother is a fucking asshole.’
‘It’s fine, really. He hits like a girl.’
‘Fuck kid,’ squirmed George ‘your god-damn face!’
‘Where do you live?’ she asked. ‘Let me take you home.’
Carrying me back to the motel Lucy set me on the edge of the bed before heading to the front counter for the first aid kit. She cleaned my face up while I smoked a cigarette and when the bleeding had stopped and all the wounds were tended to, she stripped down to her bra as I had covered her floral blouse in a healthy dollop of my heme. Running the warm water for her I let Lucy grab a shower as I laid out a fresh white tee for her and stuck a virginal sheet of paper in the typer. I needed to get it down while it was still fresh, still raw, still bloody and happening.
When she emerged from the bathroom her hair had curled from the moisture and she stood naked before me. Big round hips, large full breasts and areola like pinky-brown saucers. A playful little patch of bush sat looking at me in an otherwise trimmed garden.
‘I couldn’t find a towel.’ she said, crossing the room taking me by the hand and leading me back to the bed.
My body was broken so she did all the work. Riding my pole she fucked me for all I was worth, for all the pain and suffering in the world before I filled her up with my warm white.
After breakfast I met up with George and gave him the new pages for the movie we were working on. Examining my face he asked why I’d bother to fuck with a psycho pistol-happy bastard like Jeremy.
‘The world’s gone wrong,’ I said ‘sooner or later someone he loves will end up on the wrong end of one of those
and when they do he’ll remember
me. He’ll remember the night he stood up
for guns and death and the falsity that violence is somehow more moral than
screwing and when he does it’ll hurt him worse than anything he dished out to me
last night.’ Boulder
‘You really are an asshole.’ George said smiling and I smiled too because I already knew that.