Saturday, August 21, 2004


It's smoking under the old paint rags in the basement. It's making the combustables rattle in their glass containers alongside each other in the cabinets above the work bench. They want to get together. They want to mix it up.

At ringside and in the cheap seats, it looks like the real action is going to be in the crowd. There's the ozone smell of crackling electrical fires in the air. The gloves have come off and the knives and brass knuckles are catching the light.

You can hear the taunts, smell the spoiled wheat testosterone and the sour sweat of fear. Half of the man wants to lunge into his prehistoric race memory, half of him wants to hide behind the couch. Can he afford to back down with everyone watching? Rodney King has left the room. Rodney's done the smart thing by himself, he's gone to get a few drinks. He can't drive anywhere the way he feels right now. Rodney doesn't care if you all get along any more. And Dave? Dave's not here man.

It's been coming for awhile. Even I've had dreams of sticking a shiv into the soft flatulent underbelly of that outatown gin-soaked, Palm Beach GOP SWAT team of impotent blusterbots. I've wondered what it would feel like to gut me a few.

They stole my country. They stole your country. Well, it was never my country. I never had a country. As hard as I ever tried to play act myself into belonging, I never did. You might have though.

There's a kind of anger that comes like a long freight train, coming down a ten percent grade across the desert. It's been hauling a hundred and fifty cars of assorted injuries and non-specific insults to its quality of life. It's got a monster load of accrued resentments acquired week after week, month after month. They've been building and building, room is getting tight and the heat of close contact keeps increasing. It's keeping pace with the trains acceleration.

A whole lot of people are beginning to feel like the school bully has been sitting on their chest for a long time and relentlessly slapping them in the face, back and forth, back and forth; laughing and making jokes about their sister and their mother.

The shame! The looks from your classmates, how they snicker when you go by. They make jokes about how you believed all those lies, how you got scared every time you got told another story about towelheaded zombies sneaking into your bedroom window. They laughed at you. They stole your lunch money. You've been a punk and you know it.

You were taught to play nice. You were taught to talk nice and be respectful. It didn't count for much did it? When you gave your measured opinion; when you talked about all those things no one was interested in, when you were reasonable and studied so hard and submitted your reports and then the teacher laughed too and then the class laughed after. Nobody is interested in that shit. You should have known better. You're a punk. So what are you going to do... punk? All of you punks that don't understand about just taking something cause you want it.... what are you gonna do?

You're learning to hate everybody but yourself most of all. You're thinking you'd rather just kill somebody, maybe even kill yourself than to just go on like this. You're in a crowd of people who got slapped and fucked and mocked and pissed on and laughed at. And what did you do? You! What? You tried to play fair? ah hah hah hah ha!!! You really are a punk. Now you're all close together, pressing on each other, hot and stinking and no room. That can't be no kind of a life.

All this shit and it wasn't enough to provoke you? The shit kept getting more and more outrageous and you just tucked your head into your neck and Casper Milquetoasted your way to cubicle 36. Your wife is probably doing every tradesman in the area by now. God knows your kids hate you; the shame you brought on them.

And the worst part, the very, very worst part is that you know the guy who's been doing all of this to you is a bigger punk than you will every be. You know you could kick his ass, but some kind of inexplicable restraint just keeps you standing there. Is it good breeding? Is it some kind of conscience? Is it fear or just confusion; because you have this weird tick that keeps making you ask yourself if you even have the right to stand there and be confused.

Maybe you know and maybe you don't know that a whole lot of other people feel just like you do. You can't talk to them though. You don't know that much about their shame cause you've been too busy feeding your own.

I don't know if you got to go see Buford Pusser operate his stick again. I don't know if in lieu of any personal reservoir you got to go siphon a hero off of the screen and hope the transplant takes. But I know you got to do something and you know you got to do something and if you have to get angry and lose all that veneer of civilized good behavior and get together with all the other put upon punks until you are one howling mob screaming for blood marching forward or backwards; just as long as it brings you to wherever those porcine clowns that marched on Palm Beach are living, or headed, or holed up in... whatever it takes to head out and beat them into a shaking, pants fouled, Jello of submissive, cringing, un-masked, ass-kicked, former bully boys transmogrified into your previous self- and now occupying it...

...whatever it takes to get there and get that done, wherever these creatures, real or metaphorical are got to get it done. And you better get it done soon cause the time will come when you can't get it done at all.


Anonymous said...

Hey Les, I finally looked up your blog. There´s some good reading on them bones, I´ll be coming back.

Brewski aka Bjarki from Iceland



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