Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters (Part 3)

We stepped out of my door and immediately ran into Rory the Mick, returning home from band practice, with his guitar slung over his shoulder and a bottle of Guinness in one hand.  Very brief introductions were made, and I asked him, "So who's playing at Gilman tonight, do you know?  I have no clue."
Rory said, "Ummm.....  I can't remember band names, but at least three I, like, mentally associate with OBHC, so that should give you a clue as to what the show and the music will be like.  I ain't going.  It started over an hour ago anyway."
"Yeah, but with five bands, what's the diff?  Besides, as long as you stay out of the pit, the whole OBHC thing is just plain overrated.  I know some of those guys, and they've always been mellow with me, even when they been drinking."

Rory gave me a sneering smile.  "Shit. Lenny me boy, you could make friends with anybody.  You could talk a Nazi skin into converting to Buddhism."  He turned to Becky.  "Watch this guy, he'll literally charm the pants off you.  A smooth talker, this one."
"Actually, the first time we met, I spent most of the time insulting her job, her personal interests, and I think her friends.  I followed it up with a fairly crude proposition for sex.  Do you remember what my phrasing was?"
Becky said, "I think you said we should go to my place and screw."
"No.....  Not 'screw,' I never use that word.  Oh!  It wasn't that crude, I suggested we go 'fool around.'  That was right after I'd told you my two favorite things were the band Big Black----"
"God help us all," muttered Rory.
" ----and fucking," I said, glaring at Rory.  "Anyway, we better get going."
"You all coming back here?" asked Rory.
"Uuummmm..... Uh, I'm not sure about that.  We'll see how things work out.  Talk to you later."

We made it to her car with no problem, and with me at the wheel.  I knew where I was going, and it just made things simpler.  It was the first time I'd really noticed her car: it was last year's model of a Honda or Mazda or something.  She'd been vague about her employment; all I knew was she was in "the tech industry," which doesn't really narrow things down.  Whatever she did, she could afford a new car and a one-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood all to herself.  These days I'd have assumed "very successful web-cam girl," but this was still back in the age of the 56K modem.  Online porn was all stills, since a thirty-second video clip would take five minutes to download.

It was a mostly silent trip to the club.... Except for Becky asking, "Why wouldn't I be going back to your place?"
"Oh, you mean the place that gives you the heebie-jeebies?  The house full of crazy people?  The house containing a good percentage of people who are in an ass-kicking mood, and it's your ass?  If you wanna spend the night together I'm willing to split the price on a cheap motel room, but --- Look, I'm afraid one of the bargains made to get you out of my house unharmed was that you wouldn't come back.   Either that or throw you to the wolves, dearie, and at the time I'd have helped throw you, that's how mad I was."
Becky crossed her arms and frowned at the windshield.  "Jesus, all of you are crazy.  And this club is probably full of crazies, too."
I chuckled and said, "Maybe so, but at least they aren't boring."
Her head swiveled towards me and she yapped, "Are you saying I'm boring?"
I considered my words.  "I would say.... You must have interesting aspects of your life, but you keep them damn well hidden.  Your music comes off of commercial radio, the bars you hang out at are a snore, your friends seem to do nothing except gossip about the people who aren't there that night, this car I'm driving right now is quite reliable, I'm sure, but it has no personality, your apartment is in a gated complex where everything looks the same, and if you have any sexual kink I'd like to think you'd have shared it at some point during the.... Hold on.... The fourteen times we've fucked.  All I know is you're a fan of the way I go down on you."
She said quietly, "Well....  You're the first guy who ever made me come doing that."
"Are you serious?"
"Holy shit....!  How can anyone get that wrong?  It's basic fuckin' anatomy!  You lick and suck on the clit, it's not juggling chainsaws."
"I dunno, they just.... Well, you did it for a lot longer."
"Oy vey.  I'd go down on you for five minutes, tops, before you ripped one.  Ain't none of these dudes would bother to even try for five minutes?  And more importantly, why the hell didn't you give them some instructions on what to do?  They'd be more knowledgeable and you'd have more fun."
"Well.... I dunno.... In college it was like, if you started telling someone what to do in bed, you were being a bossy bitch, and telling the guy he was doing it wrong."
"Yes, that's because the guy was doing it wrong!  I never asked, what school did you go to?"
"University of _______."
"Holy shit, an entire campus full of people who never come.  No wonder their football team sucks."
"Okay, so they aren't great.... And I am kinky!"
"Um.... How so?"
"You've seen, um, my toys."
"Owning three vibrators doesn't make you kinky.  Especially if they're all the same basic design.  That's like saying I'm kinky because I own a bottle of Astroglide."
"Why do you own Astroglide?"  She looked worried.
"Partially for if a girl I'm with is feeling horny but dry.  Ecstasy and speed will do that.  Also for jerking off purposes."
She was visibly relieved.  "Oh.  Okay.  I was afraid, um... I thought....."
"I thought you liked putting things up your butt."
I chuckled and said, "Oh.  No.  Exit only, please."

We went down Gilman Street past the club --- it looked like a busy night --- and turned left onto Seventh St.  I made a U-turn in the middle of the block and parked.  The car in front of me looked familiar, but I couldn't place it in the dark.   Becky got out and said, "Where's the club?"
"We just drove past it before we turned.  You didn't notice all the people hanging around outside?"
"Yeah, but I thought--- well, never mind."
We turned the corner onto Gilman and began walking towards the club.  About halfway up the block we ran into Seth and his girlfriend Reba, walking towards us.  Seth greeted me like a long-lost friend.  "Lenny!  Dude!  How ya doin', man?"
Seth was a Tough Guy --- all OBHC (Oakland Brand HardCore) shows would have a load of Tough Guys --- but I occupied a special place in his heart.  I forget the exact circumstances, but the upshot was the two of us sitting on a curb for about ninety minutes, talking and listening in equal amounts.  Simply, Seth was tired of "getting all pissed and aggro" over minor things....  Which would get him in varying degrees of trouble, from write-ups at work to time in jail.  I'd listened to him, patiently, and gave him the best advice I could about anger management and having the inner strength to let small annoyances go.  Seth wasn't stupid, but it seemed like I was one of very few people who'd actually just sat and listened to him, then offered sensible advice.  Basically, I treated him with respect and an automatic assumption of intelligence:  I didn't talk down to him on any level.  Seth would introduce me to his other (Tough Guy) friends with "This dude's one smart motherfucker, man, he's fuckin' awesome!"  He truly did have anger management problems, and the advice I'd offered seemed to be helping.... Including going to some kind of peer-led meeting every week.  I was proud of him: for recognizing the problem, admitting the problem was there, and working to do something about it.  He'd never once hit his girlfriend, but was apparently a whiz at patching drywall.

Introductions were made all around ("Lenny, where'd you find her, man?  She's fuckin' hot!" which earned him a punch in the arm from Reba) and Seth grinning his broken-picket fence smile; like a lot of East Bay Tough Guys, he was missing teeth from fights.  I've written about Tough Guys before, so I won't cover old ground.  I'll simply reiterate that every Tough Guy I've ever met swears with all honesty that they never, ever pick fights with anyone.... But they sure seem to have a lot of guys come after them, and a man's gotta defend himself, ya know?  Tough guys collect scar tissue, mostly on knuckles, face, and skull, the way shopping cart winos collect aluminum cans.  Since they usually have hair about a quarter-inch long, all the lumps, bumps, and scars are plainly visible.  And due to their day jobs as warehouse workers, dock loaders, and longshoremen, they are in prime physical shape, have hands the size of shovel heads, and about as tough.

With introductions made, Seth invited us back to his car: "I got a shitload of overtime, so I picked up a quarter ounce of skirt [crystal meth], and it's good clean shit, too, it don't smell cranky at all.  You guys wanna rail up?"
I said, "What the hell, I'm in.  How about you, Becky?"
"Um, what is it?"
Reba answered, "Skirt.  Crystal.  You know, speed."  (Reba was a mix of Irish, Filipina, and Japanese; the result was a woman who was exotic, stunningly beautiful, and with eyes that looked as though they could shoot lasers if she wanted them to, like a Marvel Comics character.  It used to bug some guys that gorgeous women would be in long-term relationships with ugly-ass Tough Guys.  They didn't consider that the Tough Guys treated women with graciousness and genuine respect, were truly in love with their girlfriends.... And with their boyfriends around, the girls had absolutely nothing to be afraid of.)
"Like.... Crystal meth...?"
All three of us said, "Bingo!" at the same time, and also arrived at Seth's car..... Which was right in front of Becky's, no wonder it looked familiar.  Seth had picked up an old Ford Crown Victoria from a police auction, with the 'Police Interceptor' package.  Hot motor, beefed up suspension and transmission, plus it still had the push-bar on the front and the spotlights.  Seth was always trying to get me to join the Longshoreman's Union; when I first saw his car, I suggested he take up part-time work delivering pizza in Oakland.  That car was as close to an Abrams M-1 tank as you could get, which made it perfect for Oakland deliveries.

"Hop in the back.  Sorry about the seats," Seth instructed us.  I immediately understood the apology: before it was auctioned, the cops had taken out the front-rear divider panel, but had left the contoured plastic seats in back.  You know, the seats that have the cut-outs in the back for someone wearing handcuffs, plus the plastic lump that you straddle.  The back seat was generally designed to be hosed out after a drunk pukes back there.
"Yeah, I've been looking for normal fuckin' seats for the back, but the Pick 'N' Pulls never have any Crown Vics at all, and I'd spend almost as much ordering the fuckin' thing as I did on the car, heh heh!"
He reached up and pulled a good-sized bag of speed from under his visor; whoever he'd bought it from had been in a generous mood.  He handed it back to me and said, "Smell that."  I popped the zip and took a whiff: by Christ, this stuff was clean!  I lightly ran a pinky along the top inside of the bag, then tasted my pinky.  If it weren't for the smallest cranky odor, I'd swear he'd gotten a hold of genuine biphetamine.  Becky watched this with her "bizarre looking lunatics are going to try to kill me" face on; I offered her a whiff anyway.  (Hey, for all I knew, she used to snort back a half-gram a day.)  She silently refused.  "Holy Jesus, Seth," I said.  "That stuff looks, smells, and tastes clean clean clean.  I congratulate you."
Reba handed Seth a CD case, a couple of plastic cards, and a crisp-looking $20 bill.  Seth scooped some out onto the CD case by curling a corner of the bill, used one of the cards to push it all into a pile, then used the flat of the other card to crush up the crystal.  Becky watched this with morbid, fearful fascination and Reba and I made small talk.
Powdered and lined up, it came out to four fat rails: fuck sleeping, you gotta go outside and vacuum the lawn!  Seth rolled up the bill, and --- always the gentleman --- handed the bill and CD case to Reba first, who knocked hers back with calm experience.  Seth did his next, then handed the case and bill back to me.  I did up mine one-handed (years of practice), and handed the bill to Becky, holding the case up at a good height for her.
I snorted my line back, feeling the  burn through my sinuses and tasting it in the back of my throat.  Seth had definitely scored well.  The burn was rather mild, there was just the tiniest cranky flavor to it, and the zoom came on fast but smooth.  "Damn, bubba," I said. "That is clean.  Hell, that's practically pharmaceutical.  Where'd you get it?"
Seth gave me a "don't ask stupid questions" look in the rear-view mirror, then pointedly said, "Oakland."
"Hail to Oakland, people," I said, sniffing.
"Land of the free!" responded Reba.
"The town of in-fucking-vincibility," threw in Seth.
I looked over to Becky, expecting her to throw in one, and realized she hadn't touched her rail.
"If you're, uh not too used to the skirt, if you like don't touch it too often, just do half of that.  It's clean but it packs a wallop.  Hoo boy!"
Becky said, "I've, uh, never done.... That before."
Reba told her, "Then this is a good opportunity!  This stuff'll make you zoom without kicking your dick into the dirt, and that's saying something, there's plenty of lame shit around these days but this ain't it."
"I don't know if I want it."
I told her, "Really, it's nothing to worry about, it's only speed.  Like Adderall, only you snort it and it hits a lot harder, but in a good way."  (I had ulterior motives.  I figured getting her spun up would make her more energetic in bed, at whatever dump of a motel we ended up at.  Even if it was a last hurrah, it may as well be fun.)
Becky looked confused.  "I've never taken Adderall."
I said, "Really?  But.... You went to college.... I always thought...."
Reba laughed and said, "Jesus girl, go 'head and rail up!  It don't bite --- not for long, anyways!" and laughed at her own joke.
Seth spoke up.  "C'mon.  If she (*sniff*) don't wanna do (*sniff*) it, don't push it on (*sniff*) her.  Fuck that (*sniff*) junior high shit."
I told Becky, "Hey, it's entirely your call.  I'm the wrong person to ask, 'cos I've used the stuff on and off for years.  But you don't owe anyone any explanations if you don't want it."
She said, "I don't want it," eyeing the speed as if it might jump up her nose of its own volition.
I told her, "And that's totally cool.  I was just, um, being presumptuous."
Reba said, "Sorry, I wasn't trying to be a cunt about it, y'know?"
Seth said, "That's totally cool.  Tell ya what, I'll leave the case under my seat if you change your mind later, right?  Just find me and I'll let you in."

We walked back up towards the club, most of us feeling much more animated and cheerful than we had a few minutes earlier.  I asked Seth who had played so far.  "No fuckin' clue.  I been outside waiting for Reba since about nine."  (It was now just past eleven.)
Reba explained, "Two fuckin' dancers never showed up, so they kept me on the floor.  I told 'em, 'I'll do it, but forget about getting an extra stage fee outta me.'  Shit, they just needed warm bodies up there.  They'd have put Ginger Coyote on stage, if they thought they could get away with her dick hanging out!"  Everyone but Becky burst out laughing, who asked me, "Who's Ginger Coyote?"
"Ms. Coyote is the world's scariest transsexual."
Reba looked Becky up and down and asked, "So, where do you work?"
"I'm a tech monitor at _______ in Mountain View."
"Huh.  How'd you like to make two grand a week?"
"Wow, I'd love it!.... Wait, doing what?"
"Dancing naked in front of a bunch of horny tourists.  It's easy work, short shifts and good pay.  And from what I can tell of your body, you'd be raking it in with both hands!"
"Yeah, and no manual labor, right?" I said.  Reba and Seth both started laughing.
Becky squeezed her eyes shut and said, "What joke am I missing now?"
I explained, as Seth and Reba, apropos of nothing, were leaning against the garage doors and making out.  I sensed a solid fourteen hour tweak-and-freak in their near future.  "Aaahh.... Some of the dancers, um, supplement their income by giving handjobs to the patrons.  Actually, the patrons are truly getting fucked, since the dancers are charging 'em eighty bucks for a jack-job.  Shit, eighty dollars?  You could go to Shotwell Street and get your dick sucked four times for that.  Wait, that may have changed ---- Hey Reba!"
"What's up?"
"How much do the junkies on Shotwell charge for head these days?"
"Twenty!"  (She didn't bother to ask why I wanted to know.)
"Okay, yeah, four different blowjobs, a total of eighty dollars.  Mind you, the girls sucking your dick look exactly how you'd expect a discount-priced heroin addict prostitute to look.  But, like the old saying goes, no woman in the world is ugly when you've got your cock in her mouth."
Becky rolled her eyes and said, "How utterly charming, Lenny."
"Well, you know me, the model of restraint and good taste."
"So are we going inside this club or what?  I could do with a drink."
"Good point.  Seth!  Reba!  We going in, or are you two gonna stand there and suck face all night?
Reba said, "We just might.  Hey, you two should join in!  We can switch off!"
I whined, "But I don't want to make out with Seth!"  Hilarity ensued.  (And now I had the mental sensation of having Reba's tongue in my mouth; Reba could probably revive coma patients just by frenching them.)
So in we went.

We were rather late: the fourth of five bands had just started.  The Oakland hardcore bands played fairly straightforward one-two-fuck-you hardcore, with the lightest touch of metal influence.  That light touch actually made the sound much more interesting than a heavy dose would have.  And at thirty, I was at the age where enjoying the music was more important than spending the entire show in a circle pit.  Even being in the pit for a couple bands would guarantee grunting, aches, and pains for a couple days afterwards.
I greeted many people with lots of hugs and "Dude!"s and "Bro!"s from both the boys and girls.  As a long-time volunteer, going to Gilman had that "Cheers" aspect to it: everybody knew my name.  I'd stopped spending every single weekend there, often sleeping in the office or my car, about a year earlier, but would still informally lend a hand if needed.  I introduced Becky as "a friend from South Bay," which was honest enough.  "A girl I've known for a few weeks and have really mediocre sex with and we have nothing in common but we're still turning into a habit" would be a bit long-winded, and a bit too brutally honest with Becky standing right there.
I then realized Becky wasn't with me.  She was still by the front desk (blocking the path, to the annoyance of others), gawking around her with an appalled look on her face.  I had explained to her about the fashion and method in which Gilman was decorated --- Krylon and Sharpie --- and, just like the Silo, she hadn't believed me.  I grabbed her arm and pulled her forward, unblocking the entry.

We stepped through the double doors into the main room, me moving closer to the stage out of habit and Becky staying at my side, lest someone try to sink their teeth into her neck.  The usual bedlam was going on: the band trying to make as much noise as quickly as possible, the pit was moving in its counter-clockwise circle of bodies bashing into each other, most of the rest of the space all the way to the back wall and sound board occupied by punk rock kids goofing around, bobbing their heads to the music, attempting shouted conversations (before giving up and going into the "store" or outside).... A sight I'd seen two or three nights a week, every week, since 1989.  I was home.
Becky had clamped her hands to her ears the moment we'd walked in.  I wrenched one hand away and yelled in her ear, "THE STORE HAS EARPLUGS!  DO YOU WANT SOME?"
She responded with, "WHERE IS THE BATHROOM?"
I pointed towards the women's room.  She began walking very slowly in the direction I pointed.  She was stopped twice by kids in their party clothes; by the gesturing and pointing it was clear they were trying to be helpful: she still had her hands clamped to her ears, and they were trying to explain you could buy ear plugs at the "store."
She was about twenty feet away from the bathroom and thirty feet from me when I realized: with the house lights down, and all the graffiti, it was impossible to tell where the door was.  I hustled over and guided her to the door.  I waited until she came out, and led her from there to the store, where she could get ear plugs and something to drink.

The store was somewhat quieter than the main hall: you could communicate without hollering.  As always, Brat and Sunshine were at the counter.  Brat squealed and launched herself over the counter to hug me, Sunshine did the same in a more restrained manner.  (Sunshine is a guy.  He picked up the name due to his permanently positive attitude and unending smile.)  Just as I was setting Brat back down on her side of the counter, something landed on my back, wrapped its legs around my waist, covered my eyes and asked, "Guess who?"
I said, "I'm gonna guess it's Ernest Hemingway."
"You're close, I'm a fairly brilliant writer."
"Hello, Lyre."  I reached behind me and grabbed her butt.  "Ernest didn't have as nice of an ass."
"You're fuckin' a he didn't.  How ya doing, Lenny?" Lyre dropped to the ground and I turned to give her a proper hug and kiss.
"Pretty good, pretty good.  Seth from Oakland got me high, and I have a friend from South Bay up to visit.  We're not dating, exactly, but...."
"Yeah, that's about it.  We're not really involved in each other's lives, but we get along okay, and, well, you know...."
"Is she the yuppie-lookin' chick giving Sunshine grief?"
"What?"  I turned around and could just hear Becky saying to Sunshine, "This is a joke.  This is a goddamn sick joke, and I'm fed up with it!  I don't care if it's Budweiser, just get me a drink NOW!"
With his unflappable smile, Sunshine was telling her, "I'm sorry ma'am, but this is an all-ages club.  For reasons both legal and moral, we don't sell any alcohol here.  There's a liquor store up three blocks, if you hurry you can catch them before they close..."  Brat was resting her chin on the register with a smirk on her face, wordlessly conveying her contempt for people who are too stupid to have lived to adulthood, but did anyway.
I stepped up and told Becky, "I told you this was an all-ages club.  In fact, I mentioned it multiple times.  What the hell, did you think we were making pruno in the bathrooms?"
Brat cackled out a laugh.  "Hey, that's not a bad idea.  Should we use Coca Cola or Sprite?"
Becky spun on Brat.  "Who the hell are you?"
Brat stuck out her hand and with an exaggerated smile, said, "Hi!  I'm Brat!"
"Fuck you, Brat."
Brat leaned over the counter, looking Becky up and down.  "Turn around, please."
Becky looked confused.  "What?"
"Please, please turn around slowly."
Amazingly, Becky did as she was asked.  When Becky's ass came into view, Brat muttered, "Woof."
"I know, huh?" I said to Brat.
Becky faced Brat again and said, "Well?"
Brat told her, "Well, you do have an incredible body, and if I was into girls, I'd be on you in a hot second.  Sadly, your offer to fuck me will have to go unfulfilled.  I do have a few friends I can introduce you to, though.  I'm sure they'd do their damndest to make you come like a waterfall."
Becky couldn't decide whether to be confused, angry or terrified.

Any  further banter was interrupted by the house lights coming up and the sound of cheering.  The band had finished their set.  "Woop, places," said Sunshine, and the store began to fill up with sweaty dudes, most with their shirts over one shoulder, in desperate need of cold liquid.  The band stepped to the end of the counter to get water: one each for the guitarist, bassist, and singer, and two for the drummer.
The store quickly became packed.  I gestured to Becky, pointed, and said, "Up on the back of the sofa."  She looked confused, so I stepped on the sofa between a couple of goth-y looking kids, then up onto the back of the sofa.  Out of the way of the crowd, as long as you kept your balance.  I motioned for Becky to follow me.  She did, grabbing my outstretched hand, and I pulled her up.  The goth brats didn't care: their attention was occupied by a small bottle of amyl  nitrate.  Becky smiled at me shakily: perhaps she just felt claustrophobic from the crowd.
"Hey Lenny!" came a call from the direction of the counter: Sunshine, gesturing to me.
"Can you throw in a hand?  You can see where we're at!"
Well.... I'd told her that I had worked the club for years, now she could see what I did.  "Becky --- honey --- they really need my help.  You can stay here, or you can hang out behind the counter, just sit on the big metal storage container.  You won't get crowded there, and you'll have a good view of everything.  They really do need me, though.  And don't worry about Brat, she earned her nickname."
In a surprisingly calm, good-natured voice, Becky said, "Sure, that's fine.  I'll come with you, though, instead of staying here."  Huh.  I was expecting a "What bullshit is this now?" response.
We got off the sofa, I grabbed Becky's hand, and shouldered my way through the crowd.  Once we got behind the counter I picked her up by the waist and set her on the storage bin: a giant metal box about five feet high that locked with a Kryptonite bicycle lock.  All the stuff inside was accessible by a clever arrangement of flat bins and pulleys.  I patted her on the leg.  "There.  Out of the way, and a clear view."
She gave me a smile that was more of a grimace and told me, "I still need a drink."
"Not a problem.  We'll have to drive instead of walk, but there's a couple 2 a.m. places on San Pablo.  Right now I gotta get busy."  The room was still packed.
So, I leaped into action, Sunshine, Brat, and me simply pointing at the closest person, with them yelling what they wanted.  "A Mountain Dew and two Hershey's!"  "Two cheap colas!"  "Bag a' nuts and a water!"  "Two cheap lemon-lime sodas and some Twizzlers!"  I yelled back, "How many is 'some'?  Five?  Fifty?"  "Oh.  Um, twenty."  "You got it."  And Brat and Sunshine doing the same thing, the three of us weaving and dodging around each other, yet somehow never colliding.
At the far end of the counter, two guys in spiked leathers had pulled out a bag of weed and rolling papers.  I walked over and smacked the counter in front of them.  "Hey!  The fuck you think you're doing, huh?"
They both looked up at me with mild annoyance.  "Just rollin' one up.  No biggie."
"Yeah, biggie.  Go to your fuckin' car and do that."
"We don't have a car."
I sighed and said, "Jesus, at least go in the men's room and use the tank lid.  But you keep that shit outta sight in the club. C'mon, you oughtta know that.  What if Bob ("Officer Bob," our local beat cop) decides to do a walk-through?  And you know he does."
"Okay, okay."  They put away the weed.  One said to the other, "Maybe Nate will let us use his car...."
I looked back at Becky, who had watched the whole thing, and gave her a shrug and eye-roll.  "Fuckin' kids, I tell ya."
She frowned and said, "You did drugs tonight."
"Yeah, but not in the middle of the club.  Sheesh, rolling up a joint in the middle of everybody?  You'll make some new friends, but it's totally against club rules."  I got back to work.

Ten minutes later, the store was clear except for a few couples lounging on the ratty-ass sofas we had.  I asked Brat if it had been like that all night.  "Nothing like that.  Yeah, we got hit between bands, like always, but that was just insane.  Thanks for savin' our bacon, Lenny."  She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me, slipping me some tongue when she did. "Two more years, Lenny."  She looked down  Something had grown between us.  "If you can wait that long.  And you know you don't need to."
"Brat, you make life, among other things, very hard.  But you know I won't, not until you hit eighteen.  And I'll tell you again: don't wait around for me.  Go out and have fun, dammit."
She sighed and said, "I know.  And I do.  But shit!  The guys my age are just plain lousy at it.  I'm just getting started and they're already done.  You and your fucking scruples are getting in the way of my orgasms."
"Well.... C'mon girl, you got hands.  And you could try training one of the guys your age to not be such a king of the quickies."
She stuck her bottom lip out in an exaggerated pout.  "Nope.  Still want you."
"You've never told me: why?  Why me?"
"'Cos you're a cool guy, and you're nice, and um.... Um, Keeks was talking about you before she moved."
"Was she."
"Yes.  She was very flattering."
"Jesus Henry Christ.  This is the second time tonight the subject of my penis has come up.  So to speak."

I realized the main hall was relatively quiet and the house lights were on.  I occurred to me that I'd heard the final band launch into their first number, then the sound of guitars and vocals had gone away.... Followed by the sound guy's voice saying in a bored tone, "Technical difficulties.... Give us a few...."  And a chorus of "Aaawwwww" from the audience.  People began wandering into the store, looking for snacks as well as a place to sit.

"C'mon, let's go for a walk around the block."  She whispered in my ear, "I'll give you a handjob that'll make you dizzy.  That's not sex, right?  Just me using my hand to make you come."
"Um, you may have noticed the blonde girl I showed up with?  The one sitting on the bin eating Twizzlers?  I'm with her tonight (for better or worse), and I have a feeling she may object to my wandering off with a sixteen year old girl so we can get naughty in the bushes."
"What's the big deal?  I just want to borrow you for, like, twenty minutes, and it's not like you two are dating."
"What the--- how is it everybody can tell we're not dating?  This is getting weird."
Brat looked at her, then at me.  "Miss Hotbody and you have no connection to each other.  It's just.... A vibe thing.  It's obvious.  You two have sex in common, that's it.  How'd you two hook up anyway?"
"In a yuppie bar in South Bay.  Um, she's a nice enough girl.... Uhh....."
"Then I can't hurt her feelings, can I?"
Brat skipped over to Becky with a big smile.  "Hi!  Listen, I know you're here with Lenny, but I was wondering if I could borrow him for about twenty minutes?  Don't worry, I'm not gonna fuck him --- he won't let me because I'm underage --- but I do want to make out with him, and maybe jerk him off if I can talk him into it.  Is that okay?  I promise I'll bring him back without any dents or scratches."
Becky could have handled it best by bursting into laughter.  Instead, her look conveyed terror --- she literally scrambled backwards on the bin --- then anger.  "Who the hell--- do you say this to every fucking girl you meet, or are you just trying to piss me off?"
Brat, still with a thousand-watt smile, said, "No, no!  Really, I'm not trying to make you mad, it's just that I've had a crush on Lenny for about a year and a half, he knows it, and he promised that when I turn eighteen he'll take me out on a nice date and then he'll fuck me silly.  But I'm, like, really high on 'E' right now, and while I don't feel like taking some random dude home, getting Lenny hard and using my hands on him will at least give me something to look forward to.  Something to keep in my mind when I get myself off later, at least."
If you've never dealt with them, people on ecstasy are known for their brutal but good-natured honesty.
"So, little girl, you're telling me that not only are you on drugs, but the best thing you can think of doing right now is masturbating my boyfriend.  That's your story."
Brat replied, "Yes, conditionally.  First, my rush from the 'E' went away a few hours ago.  I'm still good and high, but I'm not trippin'.  Second, me jacking off Lenny is contingent on him.  Him and his damn fucking morals may not let me get in his pants.  Third, since when are you two dating?  As near as I can tell, you two see each other, but it's not like you have any connection."
"FUCK YOU!"  Becky yelled at Brat.
"We've covered that before.  God, your body really does make me wish I was into girls, even if it was only when I was high --- I'd have spent the night trying to sweet-talk you into the bathroom tonight; seriously, you are unbelievably hot --- but alas, it is not to happen.  Tried it, and it's just not me."
"Jesus Christ, you're on drugs too."  (Sunshine chimed in with, "So am I, but not interesting ones.  I had dental work, and I've been getting gooned on my pain meds.")  "No wonder any of you give a shit about alcohol, you're all on drugs!  You're all on fucking drugs!"

Gilman Street generally attracts a well-tuned quality of smartass.  People began yelling responses back.
"I am!"
"I am!"
"I'm not!"
"I am!"
"I'm not!"
"I wish I was!"
"I'm not!"
"I was, but they wore off!"
"I am!"
"I am, but they suck!"
"That's what you get for scoring at People's Park!"
"I am!"
"It depends on what kind!"
"I'm not!"
"I'm not!"
"I am!  I'm horny too!"
"Who isn't?"
"I am!"

Becky jumped off the storage bin and began heading for the end of the counter to leave.  As she came to Brat, who'd stepped aside to let her pass, Becky stopped, looked at her, and slapped her.  Barely missing a beat and still smiling, Brat punched Becky in the side of the face, hard.  Becky went down on her ass; the room went nearly silent at this little exchange.  I was going to help Becky up, but then I thought, You know what?  She dug that hole, let her climb out.  Besides, Sunshine was between me and them.
Brat was standing over Becky, her arm outstretched.... Offering Becky a hand up.  Becky looked at her hand and said, "What?"
"I'm offering you help off the floor, darling."
"You just punched me in --- ow! --- the face!"  She rubbed her jaw and cheek where Brat had punched her, and wasn't happy with the result.
"Yes, I did.  And now I'm making the assumption you don't want to remain down there, so I'm offering to help you up.  That floor is filthy."
Becky took her hand reluctantly, as if expecting a dirty trick.  Brat pulled her up to her feet, and held on to her hand so their faces were about eight inches apart.  "Really, darling, thought before action.  You have to consider the results of your actions; they can be very bad.  Even I know that, and I'm on drugs."  Then she let go of Becky's hand.  Ah, the power of ecstasy: Brat never stopped smiling once.  She must have doubled up on what she took.

Becky wound her way through the mass of punks, me on her trail, and got outside, where she stopped and looked around.  She'd forgotten which direction her car was.  I stepped up next to her and said, "The liquor store is up at the light, but they're closed.  There's one down San Pablo a bit that's open till two.  I'll drive if you want, it's kinda skeezy."
"I don't want a drink now, I want to go home."
"Really?  But the last band is just starting up.  'Sides, weren't we gonna get a motel room?"
She turned on me.  "Why didn't you help me!?"
"Um, help you what?"
"That bitch punched me in the face!  It still hurts all through here!" she yelled, dragging her fingers across where Brat had socked her.
"Yeah, and what was I supposed to do?  You slapped her out of nowhere.  Sorry, dear, but that was a trench you dug.  I don't know what you're used to, but I'm used to the simple concept that if you hit somebody, you better be expecting them to swing back.  I'd say Brat was damn polite about the whole thing."
"Yeah, but.... Didn't you hear her?  She wanted to take you away somewhere so she could suck your dick!"
"Actually, it was a handjob, which I would have refused.  She's only sixteen."
Becky stomped her foot in frustration.  I'd never actually seen someone do that.  "This has been the weirdest, scariest night I have ever had in my life.  Your roommates are all scary violent freaks, every person you've introduced me to has been crazy or on drugs or both, this so-called nightclub is a goddamn nut house --- even your house is a nuthouse!  How many people live there again?"
"Um.... Twelve, I think."
"Great.  I met four, and the only stable one was the guy with the guitar."
"Oh, he's no more normal than the rest of us.  He's probably doing nitrous balloons right--- shit!"
"I was gonna give Mimi some bread for the Whippets--- oh wait, I did, never mind."
"Oh my god.  The weird girl with the pink hair.  You're used to her?"
I shrugged.  "That's just her sense of humor.  Tell me honestly: you never just act strange for your own amusement?  You never behave like a total goofball to mess with people?  Like Mimi.  She can turn a ride on BART into the most hilarious, awesome time in your life, especially if you join in, follow her lead.  She can have half the car laughing and the other half looking for escape routes.  You've never felt like messing with people for the sheer sake of bein' goofy?"
"What the hell would I do that for?"
"So.... You have fun by convincing others you're mentally ill."
"You don't know much about the mentally ill.  No, it's just being strange; it puts a twist on other people's days.  Fucks with their reality, you know?  Mimi's thing is she never breaks stride.  The world really is a stage for her."
"I never want to see her again."
"Well, since your name is mud around my house, that should be easy to do.  Scarin' Rook the way you did?  I guess I didn't tell you, Mookie fuckin' jumped me when I went downstairs.  She was out for your blood, or at least your vacancy.  She was kneeling on my chest!"
"Wait, which one was, um, Mookie?"
"The dominatrix."
"Jesus Christ!  Does she always dress like that?"
"Naw, only sometimes.  She works as a dominatrix, and sometimes she doesn't bother finding a place to change out of her gear after her last client, so she uh, just leaves her gear on.  I'd think she'd at least get out of those boots she wears...."
"So she'll just wander around like that.  Grocery stores and stuff."
"Well.... Yeah."
"And it doesn't bother her?"
"No.  To her it's just her work clothes, you know?  It's not like she can change in her car, she drives a classic old MG.  Heh, I swear, that's where half her money goes.
"One of the great ideas that all the girls at the Silo had, which would be expensive but awesome to pull off, is for all of 'em to get matching domme wear, then go shopping at that big mall in Walnut Creek, or even just go grocery shopping.  A half-dozen girls, all in identical domme wear, just wandering around.  That would be classic!"
"And they'd do this.... For fun.  For laughs.  Just to mess with people."
"Well, yeah.  Mookie's got enough gear to mix and match outfits, but she's bigger than everyone else.  Hell, Mimi's only four foot ten, Mookie's five ten, one of Mookie's leather minis would fit Mimi like a knee-high dress, if it didn't keep falling off," I laughed.  "I guess if they saved up, and got 'donations' from the guys, they could get it done, but it'd be pricey: Mookie's stuff is almost all custom, from Stormy Leather in The City.  Six matching custom outfits, custom made?  Shit, you'd be looking at about fifteen hundred bucks.  So for now it's a bit of a pipe dream."
Becky said, "I've been wondering about that.  Your house is a wreck, you've got twelve people living there so everybody's rents have got to be low, but it's like you're all broke.  I know you work,  and I guess Mookie works, doesn't anyone else?"

I thought about it a minute.  "Huh.  I guess me, Mookie, and Chuckles are the ones with 'good' jobs.  Both Steves do telemarketing, Glare and Mimi work at a coffee place on Telegraph Ave., um, obviously Rook doesn't work, Rory does bicycle repair but that's only part time just like Glare and Mimi.... Well, you know, everybody pays their rent and utilities, buys their own food, and has some dough to spend on fun.  Buy records and CDs, get high on weekends, whatever.  Our wants are simple.  Chuckles is actually with a temp agency; you'd like him, he does computer work.  I guess they could care less about his piercings, so long as he gets the job done.  As for me, I've got a grand saved up, and it sits there.  Since I'm an independent contractor, if my car takes a dump, I'm shit outta luck, I've gotta get it back on the road ASAP, you know?  Plus my car payments: that's the first new car I've ever bought, and I'm glad I went with a Honda Civic.  I kept track once, and I did just over 1300 miles in a week, without leaving the Bay Area.  Man, you can't kill a Civic."
"So you, Mookie, and Chuckles are the only ones with decent jobs."
I shrugged.  "I like my job, so I'll take deliveries twenty-four-seven.  Mookie.... Well, it really is just a job for her.  She's not into kink in her real life.  It's just a way to make bank and only work maybe twenty hours a week.  I couldn't tell you about anyone else: they work as much as they feel like, and so what if they don't have killer stereos or whatever.  It's only stuff, you know?  I bought my TV in 1993 for twenty bucks, it still works, why get a new one?  So nobody's raking it in.  We're all happy."
"That's just fucking pathetic."
Becky sneered and said, "You're just making excuses for your roommates being lazy.  Two---- okay, two and a half of you work and make decent money.  What do the rest do??"
"They have hobbies, and projects like bands, and more importantly, they pay their bills.  On time.  And on the few occasions someone's asked me for a loan,  they've always paid it back when they said they would.  I mean, so what if my roomies don't have much money?  What's the difference?  I've been broke before myself, like 'eating at the soup kitchen' broke.  Not having money ain't the end of the world, girl."
"So people who--- you know what?  Never mind.  You'll just defend them.  Just like you'll defend your drug addict friends in the cop car, or the various weirdos you introduced me to, or that little green-haired bitch that wants to play with your cock, or those so-called bands making all that noise tonight, or any of your head-case roommates, including that damned little girl who shouldn't be there at all.  Every single person I saw or met tonight is a freak, and they're like that on purpose.  You're all on heavy weird drugs, or insane, or both.  And they're your friends?  You're more insane than all of them put together, because you chose them as your friends."

I looked at her for a minute, and said, "So, I'm guessing the cheap motel room is right out, eh?"
Becky said, "It is with me.  You still have that cunt who socked me, though.  You can take her up on her offer."
"Nah.  Underage.  Not my style."
"Or there's that little girl with the big tits at your house.  I'm sure she'd fuck you just to sleep in a normal bed for a night."
I saw red.  I was suddenly so pissed I could barely get my jaws to work.  "Are you.... Referring to Rook?"
She nodded yes.
I grabbed her by one shoulder: not too tight to injure, but tight enough that she was't going anywhere until I let her.  "Tell me, what's it like to not have a soul?  Does it get cold in there without one?  Does it conflict with your presumptuous nature, or do they go together?  What's it like to be afraid of everyone that's not like you?  You said tonight was weird and scary.  Okay, compared to what?  Who the fuck are you to judge?  You know what?  Where you see 'normal', I see 'boring.'  Drugs bother you?  Alcohol bothers the shit out of me; it's the one thing I can't control my use of.  But I never said a fuckin' word while sitting in those cheesy-ass fern-filled theft rings y'all call bars in South Bay, putting up with the shrill harpies you call friends.
"You got to pass judgement on my friends?  Guess what, it's my turn.  Really, all I want you to do is ask yourself, and answer honestly, 'Would any of my friends be there for me if the shit hit the fan in my life?'  I think I know the real answer, and so do you."
She wouldn't look at me.
"Yeah, all those weirdos and punks and freaks and druggies --- I believe those are your words --- all those crazy people I live with, and hang around with here?  Those are friends, especially my roommates.  We all look out for each other, we comfort someone when they're down, and we help someone when things go bad.  Rook is our friend and also our little sister.  There isn't a thing any of us wouldn't do to help that little girl.  And you think I'd fuck her, just 'cos she's there.
"Right now,  I wish you were a man.  You have no fucking idea how much I wish you were a man."
"Because I'd continue what Brat started, and I wouldn't stop for a long time.  Go home, and fuck you.  Actually, un-fuck you.  Fucking is pleasant.  So un-fuck you."
She trotted down the street, yelling "Fuck you, Lenny!" over her shoulder.  I couldn't think of a way of topping that parting line, so I called "Nighty-nite!" after her, and walked back up to the club.
A moment later I heard a piercing scream.  I sprinted back down the block and turned the corner.... Only to see Becky's car pulling away from the curb aggressively.  I stood there for a few seconds, trying to figure out what had startled her so, when I realized Seth's car was gently bouncing on the springs.
Further investigation revealed Seth and Reba on the hood of Seth's car. His pants were around his ankles, and her skirt was pushed up around her waist; her panties were on the windshield.  Reba's legs were wrapped around Seth's waist like a lock.  Despite the location, it appeared they were having a slow, mellow fuck, no hurry, just digging the physical sensation and the romantic passion of being that close to someone you love.
"Oh, um, hey guys," I said, for lack of anything more intelligent.
"Oh, hey Lenny!" replied Seth.  He didn't seem bothered at all by my interruption; I could have been saying hello to him from across a pool table..  Surprisingly, neither did Reba, who looked like she was getting close to ripping a good one: eyes half-closed, head back, breathing very heavy and paced.  "Hi.... Lenny...."  Reba grabbed Seth's head and said, "Almost.... There, baby.... Yeah...."
Seth, still fucking away, said, "That chick you were with took off.  Haw, I think we scared her!"  Reba giggled distractedly.  I recognized her facial expression: she was "edging," holding onto the very edge of orgasm, right before the explosion.  With practice, you can edge for minutes at a time: an amazing sexual high that can make anyone whimper like a puppy from the sensation.  You can actually grey out from the sustained, intense physical sensation.
Reba suddenly gasped and said, "Can't hold ooouuuttt..... I gotta....."  Seth responded in a gentle voice, "Get it, baby.  Come for me, beautiful.  It's all yours..." and began working on Reba like a steam engine.
Reba's eye's grew progressively wider.  She drew in a deep breath, began to let out a low moan which built into a strange calling sound, and then a loud, high bellow, which could probably be heard on the far side of the freeway.  At the University ramp.
They lay on the hood of the Crown Victoria, holding each other close.  Seth was gently stroking Reba's hair, whispering sweet nothings in her ear.  I lit a cigarette to pass the time.  After a few minutes of post-coital cuddling, they both slid off the hood and lit cigarettes of their own.
"I, uh, didn't mean to interrupt...."
"Hey, no biggie, man.  We actually kinda get off on being watched, y'know?  Hah, and it's not like you were jerkin' yer dick, right?"  Reba giggled lightly.  Her actions and facial expression suggested she was coming down off a high no mortal could even conceive of.
"Uh, did Becky say anything before she left?"
Reba, slowly returning to Earth, asked, "Does screaming count?"
"Okay, that was her.  What the hell did she scream for?"
Seth said, "Shit if I know.  We were on the hood, doin'.... Well, you saw, we were fuckin', and she started to walk past, then she just.... Froze, and stared at us for like ten seconds, and she looked scared and amazed at the same time, like we were gutting a buck on the hood. I smiled at her, then she lost her shit and screamed.  She got in her car and burned out.  You think she never seen other people fuck before?"
"Dude, I have no clue.  She went to college, so she's gotta have seen some different shit.  But I also knows she hates porn, for whatever reason."
Reba said, "Huh.  Fuckin' whatever."  She adjusted her skirt.  "I got an idea about what freaked her out.  Okay, I was purposely working my way up to an edger, right?  Ask him, I make some kinda weird noises when I'm edging as compared to just having a good ol' fuck," she smiled.  "I think she heard those noises --- on a dark street, in a town she doesn't know --- and freaked out.  Especially seeing Seth on top of me, it probably looked like he was suckin' my blood like a vampire!"
Seth was going "Pfoo!" and walking a bit funny.  Reba asked him, "'S'matter, babe?"
"Nothin', nothin'...."  But it was something.
"C'mon, Seth."
"It's just.... Um, a little bit of blue balls, that's all.  It's no big thing."
"Shit, honey, I'm sorry!  That doesn't usually happen to you."
"Yeah.... But when you edge, your kegels tighten up big time, and the way it feels is just... God, it's amazing.  So when you edge, it's like your pussy has a supercharger on it or something, heh!"
"But baby, why didn't you just.... Come?"
Seth stared at the asphalt, then at Reba with a little-boy look on his face.  "I just.... I wanted that one to be for you.  Just all for you.  I wanted you to have that all to yourself.... Y'know?"
"Oh, Seth...."  Reba went over to Seth, and the two embraced.  The entwining and closeness of two people very much in love.
Reba detached herself and gave Seth a leering smile.  "But you do realize, of course, when we get home I'm tearing your pants off, then I'm gonna suck your dick until you come like a fuckin' fire hose, right?"
Seth now had a "Christmas morning" smile.  "Really?"
"Baby, I'm gonna make you make me look like I got dunked in a vat of Elmer's glue."
"Ooohhh.  Nasty little girl....!"  Seth was leering back now.
"Yeah, and you love it."

I waited until Seth and Reba were done with their cum-soaked romantic sweet nothings and asked if I could get a ride home from them: they'd seen my ride drive off.  Hey, no sweat, said Seth, they wanted to go to Quarter-Pound Burger for food anyway, so I was sort of in the right direction.  I was hungry myself, but decided to not invite myself along..... Especially when I realized Reba was giving Seth a handjob while he drove.  I'd scavenge up something from home.  For the time being, I'd grab a couple Snickers bars from the store.

 I walked back into the club and into the store.  Sunshine and Brat were sitting on the counter, talking with Lyre and a guy I didn't know; Lyre and the guy were intertwined like rope.  Brat saw me and asked, "So where's Hotbody?"
"On her way home, and pointed the wrong way to do so.  And Brat, the answer is no.  Foul moods and makeouts don't work well together."
Brat said, "Well, we don't need to make out.  You just pull it out and--- "
My tone registered with her: she was pushing it.  "Okay, I'll drop it."  We both stood in silence for a few moments.
"Tell you what.  For your seventeenth birthday, I'll send you a picture of it, okay?"
"Hard or soft?"
She sneered and said, "What the hell do you think?  Rarin' to go!"
"Right, silly me.  I'll tie a bow around it, too."

I got my ride home from Seth and Reba, who commiserated about Becky running out on me.  I told them to not worry about it, I'd been pushing her buttons.
"Still, fuckin' bitch," said Reba.  "If you want I'll go hurt her for you."
"She's down in South Bay," I told Reba.  "Besides, I learned a bit about her tonight, and I didn't like what I learned."
"How so?"
"Well.... Say you're really boring.  Your whole life has been boring.  Then someone takes you someplace interesting, like Gilman.... Or even my own damn house!  Wouldn't you be interested, or intrigued, or something, at meeting all these different people and new sights and new opportunities to try things?  I don't mean just the skirt --- thank you again, by the way --- but getting in the pit, or at least right alongside the pit?  Or having conversations with people you're not used to, just to find out how they think?
"Becky didn't need to do any of that.  She would take one look at an object or a person or an activity and have them pigeonholed in a second.  I mean, you know Brat in the store right?"
Seth said, "Green hair?  Young but cute?  Yeah."
"She was on ecstasy tonight.  Shit, you know how wild of conversations you can have with people on 'E' can be.  Holy shit.  Brat's had a crush on me since she was fourteen.  That's no secret.  And being high, Brat wanted in my pants, like, badly.  But she's sixteen.  We have an agreement: when she turns eighteen, I'm taking her out for a nice dinner, then we're going to a hotel room and do nothing but fuck each other's brains out for an entire weekend."
Seth said, "Shit, I'll round you up some good skirt, and if she can get good 'E', hell, stay for the week, man!"
Reba chimed in, "Yeah, totally tweak and freak the entire week!  They'll have to move you both out in wheelchairs!  Wooo!"
"Well.... Part of the agreement is that neither one of us is seeing anyone, so we'll see how that goes.  Anyway, Brat walked up to Becky and asked her if she could borrow me for twenty minutes, so we could go for a walk, find someplace hidden to make out and she could give me a handjob.  This is coming from a sixteen year old girl who is high as shit, and obviously so.  Am I wrong in thinking the best response to this looney request is laughter?"
Reba's response was, "I'd tell her, 'Have at it, but you gotta go through me first.'  It is pretty funny though: 'Hi, we don't know each other, but I was wondering if I could jack off the man you're with?  I won't take long, I promise.'  Yeah, that would be pretty humorous."
"Mmm, not to Becky.  When Brat told her, 'Yeah, I'm high as shit on ecstasy right now,' Becky acted like Brat had requested she open up a vein so she could feed on her blood.  The worst part was when me and Becky were leaving: she couldn't leave well enough alone, and slapped Brat."
Both of them made, "Ooohhh, bad move" noises.
"So, Brat decked her.  Solid shot right to the cheek.  Becky went down.... And Brat helped her back up again, much to Becky's confusion.  She's used to yuppie bars, so I have no clue how they handle that sort of thing: probably a lot of screeching and hair-pulling, I guess.  I can't even imagine what a serious punch-up would be like.  Can yuppies take a shot, much less deliver one?"
Seth said,"They can't do either.  I was in one of those shithole bars with lots of ferns and no ashtrays when a couple of dudes decide to fuck with me over my leather.  Just lame-ass comments, shit about how only leather queers wear those jackets.  I finally got up and went over to tell them to either talk to my face or shut the fuck up.  The first guy tries to push me --- stupid, right? --- so I grab his wrist, twist it, and give him three or four good gut shots.  He started puking, so I stepped over him.  His friend jumps up and comes towards me in that stupid John Wayne fighting stance, so I just punched him in the head a few times; I guess it rang his bell, because he dropped to his knees.
"Obviously, it was time to go, so I went to the bar, settled my bill, and got the fuck out.  It seemed like one of those white-bread towns where they actually call the cops for bar brawls, so I boogied for the nearest freeway onramp --- I didn't care what freeway, or where It was going --- and made tracks."
"So I guess even I would be okay."
Seth laughed and said, "Lenny, I know you're no brawler, you're a thinker, but yeah, you could mop the floors with those pussies.  You may not fight much, but I know you got guts, and that is totally lacking down in.... What's it called?  Electronics Valley?"
"Silicon Valley."
"Yeah, that's it.  If you're down there for whatever fuckin' reason, you need have no fear about anyone fucking with you.  You can wipe the floor with any of them.  Whoop, you're home."
I invited them inside for a few balloon hits, but they turned it down.  "Naw man, we got plans for the night," Seth said with a crafty look in his eye.  "Ooohhhh yeah," said Reba.  The way they were eyeing each other, I was actually surprised they both didn't get out of the car, drop trou, and start fucking on the hood of the Crown Victoria again, with Reba bent over the hood for a doggy style bang.

I stood for a minute or two outside, just looking at the house.  It was truly ugly as sin, with the dangling Barbie doll heads, and the mannequin torso and the bad paint job (which actually wasn't our fault).  Inside I would find punk rockers and random weirdos and social malcontents in various shapes and forms, listening to music and talking, doing Whippets, maybe drinking a few beers, smoking cigarettes, laughing, relaxing, eating cheap tortilla chips, knocking out scenes from Monty Python's 'Holy Grail' from memory.... Generally, just enjoying themselves and each other's company.  Rook would probably be with Glare, with Glare holding Rook close, in an absentminded but caring way.

And I knew when I walked in, I would be loudly be greeted with "Lenny!" by people who were honestly happy to see me, as I was of them.  They would ask me how my night had gone, commiserate over my loss of access to pussy (but not the person it was attached to), some smartass would say, "Well, you always got Brat.  Just pretend you're bad at math!" to the amusement of all.... Including me, despite the pelting of empty Whippet canisters the smartass got.

And things would slow down as the night progressed.  Two of three people would drift off to their rooms.  The number of yawns would increase.  Then someone would notice Rook, asleep in Glare's lap.  A couple of us would get her off of Glare, carry her to her cubby hole, and get her on to her bed as best we could.  Rook's crashing out would be taken as a sign that yeah, the day is over.  Time to say 'later' to my roommates --- my friends --- and do some crashing on my own.

Everything was fine.  Hey, I was home.

The Epilogue --- Becky's Summary

"Hey girl!"
"So, where's the punk rocker?"
"He's surrounded by drugged-out weirdos, no doubt.  You would not believe just how scary of a night I had... "
"Ohmigawd!  What happened?"
"We went to his house, right?  I only met a few of his roommates, and he has a ton,  and they're like totally nuts.  One of them works as a dominatrix, and dresses like that all the time.  Then I met this little girl, like fourteen, who's like their pet or something.  She'd just finished shaving her damn pubic hair 'cos there's a boy she wants to impress.  I point out the obvious --- she has to go --- and the leather chick was gonna beat me up!  And Lenny backed her up!  Okay, her dad is a dick, but whatever.  I guess Lenny and another guy are enrolling her in high school by using false names on their part --- and they see nothing wrong with this --- so he, like, abandoned me in his room for nearly an hour so he could talk business about how to break the law for this damn little girl.  Then he comes back up and tells me we gotta go because everyone in the house wants to kill me because of what I said about turning this chick over to CPS.  Even Lenny was pissed off at me... he's all, "We're the only family she's got, and we love her."  Yeah, what-ever...."
"So did you guys go clubbing or something?"
"Oh.  My.  God.  We went to that Gilman place he's always talking about, and I've never been more scared in my life!
"Before we even wen in we ended up sitting in an old cop car doing drugs with two of the scariest people I've ever seen.  They were doing meth, and trying to get me to do it!  The guy had half his teeth punched out, and the girl was just crazy looking, and telling me how I'd make a great stripper in San Francisco."
"I've heard they make a huge amount of money...."
"Shut up, Tonia.  We finally go inside and the most psychotic noise I've ever heard is playing.  I can't even believe people listen to that and say they enjoy it.  And they don't serve alcohol.  No surprise, since everyone is on drugs.
"Lenny takes me into the snack bar, thank god, only he's got these teenage weirdos all jumping on him, happy to see him.  It'd been like that since we went in; I guess he worked there so he knows all these nut cases.  One girl jumps on his back yelling 'guess who?' and he guessed by grabbing her butt.  I so didn't want to know the back story to that.
"Then this little teenage bitch with green hair greets him by shoving her tongue down his throat...."
"What?"  "No way...."
"Seriously.  A sixteen year old girl, high on Ecstasy, starts pestering me to let him go for a walk with her, so she can jack him off!  She asked like if I had  any gum!  When we left I slapped the little brat, and she punched me!  Do I still look swollen?"
"No."  "Not really."  "No."
"Well it still feels swollen.  And we get outside and Lenny defends her, saying what did I expect, I hit someone out of nowhere.  I told Lenny 'fuck you' and headed for my car.... Only I turn the corner heading for my car and that cop car I mentioned?  The scary guy and chick are on the hood fucking!  I screamed and got in my car and split.... And even that was a nightmare, 'cos I couldn't find the onramp.  I drove for like half an hour trying to get on the freeway; I ended up in Oakland."
"No way...."  "You were in Oakland?"  "At night?"
"Wow Becky, you win the 'Date From Hell' competition for the year."
"A teenage girl really shaved her pussy for a date?"
"East Bay is weird, my god."

1 comment:

  1. Another pleasant valley sunday. Carcass on the grill, whiskey in the glass, cigarette between my lips...but I digress.
    I got turned on to Suicidal back in '89 (thank you Thrasher ads), and I never heard of DK until I heard "Winnebago Warrior" in 1991. Social Distortion got on Mtv with "Ball and Chain" and that's about as far as it got.
    I grew up in a town of 10,000 (give or take a few), so I know how she felt.
    Did I have the same reaction she did?
    Hell no. I jumped in two feet first. I'm still catching up today.
    Where am I going with this? Shit, I don't know. Maybe it goes both ways. If the people I hung out with back then hadn't been so inclusive, would I be where I am today? Who knows. I just shudder to think of where I would be without all that I have done.