Sealed With a Kiss 16

We are only about a block from the ship when they stop and surround us, all three of them.  At first I politely try to go around them but they move to cut us off.  We are cornered.  They’ve been drinking enough to make them mean but not enough to be impaired.  They say nothing.  If they were crowing at us I would be a little less worried but they say nothing while they work themselves up to do whatever they want to with us.

I was trained that when someone is holding a gun on you to start making small movements to get them used to movement.  I don’t see any weapons but it really doesn’t matter much; when three of them jump you, you’re in trouble no matter who you are.

Hey, you, I say, walking up to the one on my left.  Don’t I know you?  I say, carefully walking up to him.  I’m pretty sure I do.  Take off that stupid ski mask.  I want to see…

And I quickly yank the ski mask off, sink my teeth into his cheek and yank my head away and with it most of his flesh on that side.  When he screams I hit him low to take his wind.  I turn around just in time to crush the second one’s windpipe.

Usually when this happens the third one will run away but not this one.  They are determined.  I get a metal trash can lid and as  he dives for me I raise the lid and hit him hard in the face with it.  He falls to his knees and as he does I get him by the collar and smash his face into the ground over and over, full of homicidal rage.

Virginia has just stood there thru all this but now she panics and starts to bolt and I just do catch her by the upper arm.  It pulls me off balance and i slip on a patch of clear ice  and fall to the ground and hit my head so hard I am temporarily knocked stupid but I keep Ginny’s arm in a vise grip.

When I come to my senses I get her by the shoulders and shake her hard and say, Listen to me!  Cops will be out looking for drunks and if you run down the street like a drunk injun going after more liquor I guarantee a cop somewhere will sense it and be on top of you before you know it.  If that happens I cant help you.  I’ll leave you here and go home alone, ya heah?  If they find those stiffs back here they will be all over the place.  Understand?

Yes, she whimpers.

The ship’s less than a football field away.  Take my arm and walk with me.  Briskly but don’t run.  We’re almost there.

I kiss her hard on the mouth.  God but she smells good.

Let’s go then.

I am scanning the street for hiding places and am right by a walk down apartment where we could hide if we had to when I see it.  Just a faint glow of headlights on ice and I know it has to be a copcar.  They say that a man’s vision for movement at a distance is even better than a dog’s.

I incline my head toward the walk down and whisper, We gotta hide.  Down there.

She is hanging all over me there in the dark.  I kiss her and whisper, Don’t be afraid, my love.

She squeezes my shoulder in reply and I hug her tight.  And it dawns on me that I am falling very hard for a slut but what she is I don’t care.  When we get home if they don’t stop me i’m taking her to a motel and do nothing but fuck her for two weeks and see if I still feel that way after that after getting all that trim.  If so i’ll just have to deal with it.

I mean, why am I so afraid?  I have a military taser and a fully loaded firearm and could handle two cops that aren’t expecting it.  I guess i’m afraid of losing her.  Finally the police car turns the corner and goes out of sight.

Quick!  I say.  To the ship.  I think they’re coming back!

And we make it there and I close the canopy.  There are no prompts to sing.

Ginny, we’re safe now.  Relax.

We’re safe?  RU sure?

We’re completely invisible, I say.  And there’s a force field that will repel anything up to a tactical nuke detonated right on top of us.  Before we leave I need to tell you some things.

Okay, she says with reluctance and suspicion.

I don’t like the ship not prompting me to sing.  I wonder if that means they planned to strand me here once the job was done.  But that makes no sense.  Leaving me back here could undo everything I’ve done.  Maybe there’s a booby trap, an explosive that will detonate when I push the stick.  But that doesn’t matter.  I’d rather they did that to me than leave me here.

Listen, I say.  There’s good possibility I may die soon, maybe in a matter of weeks from radiation.  It was from a design flaw in the ship.  But if everything has changed back in my world they will have advanced far beyond what they were and they might have a cure.  I’m betting they will.  RU okay with that?

I guess I have to be, she says.

No you don’t.  You can get out of this ship and walk away.  Last chance.

I’m coming with you, she says firmly.

Okay.  You will be in agony like nothing you ever have for about 30 seconds when I push the stick.  Don’t be afraid.  It wont really hurt you.

Did you kill Vince Lombardy?  She says.

I answer by ramming the stick forward.


Letters From Indiana 5


Sometimes when I go to bashing Indiana it is clearly because I enjoy it.  Others it’s because I am just stunned and have to share it.  This is one of the latter ones.  I still find it very hard to believe even now, years later.

My ex had a couple of friends at work.  Both were Hoosiers.  Both went to college in the late sixties and early seventies when all that flower power business was going on.  But get this:  neither one knew who Bob Dylan was.  Neither had ever heard of him.  I swear it.

How could they not have heard of him unless they’d lived in a cave in the mountains of Wyoming?  But they didn’t.  They went to school.

And I guess there’s not much else to say about that.

View original post

Letters From Indiana 5

Sometimes when I go to bashing Indiana it is clearly because I enjoy it.  Others it’s because I am just stunned and have to share it.  This is one of the latter ones.  I still find it very hard to believe even now, years later.

My ex had a couple of friends at work.  Both were Hoosiers.  Both went to college in the late sixties and early seventies when all that flower power business was going on.  But get this:  neither one knew who Bob Dylan was.  Neither had ever heard of him.  I swear it.

How could they not have heard of him unless they’d lived in a cave in the mountains of Wyoming?  But they didn’t.  They went to school.

And I guess there’s not much else to say about that.

Letters From Indiana 4: Austin, Indiana: Ground Zero

Holy Moses I have been removed

I have seen the specter

He has been here too

Distant cousins from down the line

Brand of people that aint my kind

Holy Moses I have been removed…Elton John, The Border Song

The older I get the less tolerant I am of stupidity.  If someone’s stupid they cant help it but i’m not talking about that.  I’m talking about cultivated stupidity.  Ignorance and self righteousness compound each other into an awful stupidity that just makes you want to cry.

Of course I am talking about Austin IN, because it has made the national news.  I live in Scottsburg, just about five miles down US 31 from there. Just a fit’s throw away.  A couple of weeks ago I went thru Austin on my way to Indianapolis.  Austin is a dingy, horrible place full of old, fucked up people walking around with no apparent purpose.  It is a terrible blight not just of HIV but ignorance and fear and loathing and poverty and all is compounded by the smug, self righteousness of the locals that aren’t so fucked up.  Their attitude is deplorable and it is part of what is keeping this fire burning.

What set me off was when I looked thru the local weekly newspaper.  I saw a headline that Austin had decided to fight the HIV epidemic by fighting drug abuse.  I didn’t even read the article.  I didn’t have to.  I knew what it meant.

I want to say to them, Hey, Sparky.  You cant fight drug abuse and HIV.  Not at the same time.  You really cant fight drug abuse; just look at the record.  But you can stop this plague and contain it.  All you have to do is one thing: give the addicts clean needles.

Nobody seems to get that all is appetite, and an addict will always shoot up and they don’t care if the needle is infected with HIV or the Bubonic Plague.  Just give them clean needles.  They’ll use them.  And the plague will stop spreading and you can think about what to do next.  On humanitarian grounds, on public health grounds, on pragmatic grounds, it is the only thing that will work.  Do it any other way and you will lose and the plague will spread.  Of course you wont because you are too arrogant and ignorant.

I heard tell that part of the problem is that prostitutes come down there from Indianapolis but why in god’s name IDK.  Most of the people there are too fucked up to fuck.  I can just see a zombie and a prostitute rolling around in an alley where feral cats roam under the high, bitter moon.

If I had my way and some money i’d buy a new van, load the cats and everything I have and go.  As far as I could until it was safe.  And then i’d call in the biggest nuclear strike ever just to cauterize the filth and disease in this place.

Today went south early.  I am a little drunk on GI issue white wine, and I almost never drink but they don’t give me enough medicine to keep me calm..  Early this day I heard Donovan doing Catch the Wind.  When Dotty bought me a guitar for my birthday I played this song for her right in the guitar store. Hell, it’s just three chords.  I am very glad there are no firearms in this house.  I wouldn’t even trust myself around them.

This is Troy Eriksen.  Good day.

Letters From Indiana 3

The only thing I have that could kill me is high blood pressure.  It gets up to 160 in the afternoon and that is much too high.  My grandfather Miles had it.  Sometimes it would get up to 200, but in those days all they had was Diuril, just a glorified diuretic.  I take Lisinopril, a much advanced treatment and in the mornings it gets down to 140, and that’s still too high even though i’m taking the max dose and running my ass off on the treadmill three times a week.

I tried to get my grandmother Mattie to lay off Miles because we all depended on his salary.  I tried.  My mother tried.  Miles’ doctor tried.  I think even Mattie tried but she just couldn’t do it.  Something about the devil in that old bitch and I am just like her.  We all thought he would stroke out in the night and be dead in the AM.

He was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk.  Those of you who were with me when I wrote Destiny Road, or the last chapters of Househusband know this story.  This incident prepared me for a life where all was just white noise with no rhyme or reason, only a kind of arbitrary, blind capriciousness.  Vengeance with no purpose except to kill.

But there’s more.  And I cannot be silent, not the way this place haunts me in the night.  It might as well be a 19th century castle full of vampires.

There’s an awful secret.  And the truth is she killed that man as sure as if she shot him.

Mattie would sometimes have fits right before Miles left for work.  She had one that Sunday afternoon in late March when the robins were back in the deep swales of north Georgia.  She delayed him leaving just long enough that if she’d picked another day to have a goddamn fit he might have lived to be a hundred like his mother did.  I was the only witness to that awful row and I never told a soul.  They would have used it mercilessly against her, and I needed her to be as sane as possible, even as she slowly was losing her mind to aging.  But they’re all long dead and nobody’s around who would have cared.  There.  I’ve said it.

Jean Paul Sartre believed we define ourselves by significant acts of the will.  In other words, it’s what we’ve done that makes us what we are.  I used to believe that, fervently, because when I looked around I saw people making bad choices and suffering for them, but that’s mainly because for most of us there aren’t any good choices if we don’t have $.  So that’s all but irrelevant.  I now believe what Hannibal Lecter told Will Graham: That we don’t get to decide who we are; that’s issued to us at birth along with hearts and livers and everything else.

The poster of Che Guevara adds some class to these barren walls.  On the other side of the room I will put up posters of Barack Obama and FDR.  And one of Bob Marley smoking a joint.  They all symbolize hope, and perhaps freedom.  That there’s always a reason to get up in the morning even if you don’t think there is.

And on the wall directly in front of me I will tack up a rug that has a 400 pound Bengal tiger on it, the most lethal predator in the modern world.

And cats are all so beautiful.

Don’t you think?

Letters From Indiana 2 (non fiction) Whining

Do you have the time to listen to me whine?  I hope so.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 will be the first annual Plymouth Rock Day.  Do you get the allusion?  It’s from Malcom X, who said, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us.”  A year ago that day my wife told me she wanted a divorce.  A day that really will live in infamy because of that Hochverratur.

We all have our calendar of holy days, and we are all Marxists in the sense that we constantly rewrite our own histories.  The day when we were baptized and joined the church is replaced by the first time we got laid in the back seat of a car as the defining moment in our lives.

There is a dreadful moral/existential problem with this divorce. When it comes to marriage I am very conservative, almost Catholic.  Not quite, but almost.  And even though we are legally divorced, as far as I am concerned we’re still married and the divorce is bogus.  That means I couldn’t have a gf even if I wanted one because that would make me an adulterer, and adultery is a game I don’t play, not ever.  This is a Gordian knot that I cant untie.

I have only loved two women my whole life.  Dotty, my ex is one.  Sherry is the other.  I will always love these till I am dead.  I cant help it.  I guess Dotty knows this because she suggested I try to find Sherry on Google.  I told Dotty this action had two possible outcomes.  One bad, one worse.  But I did try unsuccessfully to find her.  She could be dead.  If she were here i’d have a new nickname for her.  I’d call her One Per Cent, even though I don’t think she was ever that rich.  She may even be dead.

Women who really like me want to mother me and give me things.  This isn’t what I want from them but hey.  I’ll take it.  Maybe I can see one reason it happens just by looking at my profile pic.  I look like a lost little ten year old boy who has grown up and is just as lost.

Dotty’s sister tried to fix her up with this guy.  He’s 70 fuckin years old.  This is an insult but it’s so much like Mabel that it was actually unremarkable.  Mabel’s younger than Dotty but her guy is pushing seventy and is a white supremacist.  Whenever anything goes wrong it’s always the Jews’ fault, or the niggers’ fault, and so on.

A year ago I estimated I would probably still be alive a year later.  When I look much past the end of the second year the odds of survival become nonzero.  Personally I don’t think i’ll live out the summer.  There are just too many things wrong.  Maybe i’ll be here the first week in September when along with many others I will say, Thank God for the NFL.

Philip Roth said that when a man is dying he wants his mother but if she is not around any woman will do.

Anyway, think of me Tuesday if you remember.  I will probably fast and meditate all day.  And i’m starting to bore even myself so i’ll stop.  A tout a leur.

Sealed With a Kiss 15

I go straight to a barstool in this beer and pizza joint.  The mood is as nasty as youd expect after the GB loss.  In this culture i’d expect a live band doing polkas but maybe theyre getting drunk too. I will learn later that in coming years that in this timeline there will be conspiracy theories about how this game was rigged by the government or aliens and the same stories will be exploited by the idiots on ESPN.  I guess some part of the heart just knows…

I order a pitcher of beer, which could be a mistake because I could be loaded by the time the food gets here.  I always believed there was no such thing as bad pizza but I was wrong.  But IDC.  I gnaw the stale bread and cheese and tomato paste thing they bring me and order another.  After my blood sugar and alcohol go up i’m in a better mood but I still feel awful.  When i’m honest with myself I know it was this hit.  I’m not getting over it the way I should.  Maybe I should retire.  Imagine that.  Feeling remorse for cold blooded murder.  What’s surprising is that saving the timeline from WWIII doesn’t make me feel better.  Not a bit.

I sip a second glass of beer and think about getting to the ship and going home when there is a feminine little tap on my shoulder.  When I turn around I see a blond girl but the light’s so bad I cant see much.

Do I know you?  I say irritably.  Go away!  I killed Vince Lombardi this morning and I don’t want to be fucked with.  I almost said that.

I think you do, she says warmly, whoever she is.

When I squint my eyes hard enough I see it is Virginia who fucked me by the river.  Ginny, I say.  I never expected to see you again.

What RU doing here?  She says.  I thought you went home for good.

No.  I said I was going back to the future, which semantically makes no sense.  I’m getting a little drunk before I go home, I say.  Hey!

She has taken a seat beside me and put her hand down my pants and is stroking my cock.

If U touch me there again, we’ll have to get married, I say.

There’s a hellish crash in back of this place and someone is pulling a guy who has passed out up and carrying him to the door.  Then the drunk is unceremoniously tossed out into the snow.  He will almost certainly freeze to death.  I am spoiling for a fight and decide i’d much rather be with Ginny than here.

Honey, we can get a room, I say.

No we cant.  There’s nowhere to get.  All the rooms in town are taken because of that stupid game.

Don’t you live alone?  I say.

Her eyes lower and she says, I had to move out and move in with guy that…

Say no more, I say.  If it weren’t so fuckin cold i’d take you in the alley out back and make you give me head, I say, and bury my face in my hands.  Get your coat.  Walk with me.

I put my arm around her waist and hers goes around mine and it feels better than anything I’ve done all day.

Outside and and past the sleeping drunk and into the glassy cold. Sounds carry in exquisite detail.  A dog barks.  And anyone who lets their dog stay out in this ought to be shot.  This is not a great part of this town I guess.  Architecture degenerate hissing back thru the works of man delineating disorder and madness.  Walls of old dark brick.  Tin panes among the glass ones smothering a weak light from a naked bulb within.

I thought Ginny was just a college girl who was a little loose but i’m sure now that was wrong.  She’s not that far from being out on the street pedalling her ass.  And with that comes an outrageous inspiration.

Ginny, come home with me, I say.

Back to the future?  She says. This summer I would’ve given my right nut to live in this time but I think my own has changed drastically.

That’s right.  Back to the future.  What do you have here?  When…I go back the whole place may be different.  Technologies beyond imagination.   That summer I was here I would’ve given my right nut to live here but…but right now all this has a different face.

Can I come back here if I don’t…

NO!   U cannot come back here ever.  Get that out of your head right now!  If they even suspect you’ll try you’ll end up in a gulag.  Even if things are as good as they should be they’ll be paranoid about someone hijacking a timeship and escaping.  That’s why if they’re smart they’ll destroy this technology because it isn’t needed and will be nothing but trouble.  That’s what i’m going to recommend.  And if things are no better they might just take you out and shoot you.

What if things are so bad we cant go back there?

Then we have a timeship at our disposal and can go anywhere/when.  With you it wont be so bad.  Think fast because once we get there you can never go home.

That is to say it’s always better to have a slut along because you can have her do things you couldn’t.

Unburdened by the convoluted intelligence I labor under she says, Sure honey.  There’s nothing here.

Then let’s move faster.  The ship’s a block away and I have never been cold before in my life.  Until today.

We just have turned a corner when three guys abreast in face masks are in our way.

Excuse us, I say politely.  They stink of beer and I hope this isn’t what it could be.

It is, though.  Whenever we try to go around them they block our way and I know I am going to have to fight all three of them.  Ginny has my arm in a deathgrip and I have to yank it away and think of how to deal with this.