Wednesday, November 1, 2017


John was alone these past seven weeks, his wife Betty gone to El Salvador with game-show host Bob Barker. He now had the heart of a killer, but thankfully the manners of a civilized man.

In a seedy bar in a supposedly dangerous district on an early Friday night, John studies the jukebox while cops battle winos out front and inside opiates and cash are exchanged and everywhere a noise---his songs having played John exits into the park, pretty pointless park, and eyes the bright lights of downtown. High on noise, John walks like a zombie toward the pretty lights

The sight of a bank of payphones wakes him to the fact that he could use allies. After a number of calls he convinces comrade Paul to show up at some stupid disco-overdrive club in an hour. Receiver back in its cradle, stripped of his zombiehood, John stares at a blank wall while he searches his pockets. Finding some pills, he gratefully pops them and drifts toward the river, waiting for the buzz or whatever.

Later at the disco, John drinks cocktails and stares around at the girls and their dresses until Paul is at his side, muttering who-knows-what, but John is glad for his company.

Now it is late on a random Friday night and John is intent on finding a face, a voice, a dress like Betty's and this is hopeless, he muddily reasons, she's in El Salvador and Ohio can't compete with that, so let's find a fresh-faced girl we can lead astray in a couple hours or--- or--- John is standing by the DJ's booth while a robotic sex song plays so loud---John takes the live microphone and all of a sudden he's a 2002 Beatnik---
In a combat zone/Called "I'm-So-At-Home"/Line up for cheap rates on your very own grave!/Pretty faces, pouty faces, worthless farces/Yet you pay and you pay/For the right to fall into this bed!/No, that bed!/This nightmare won't stop/So I guess I'll walk away
Then, shockingly, the frail-looking DJ throws an effective punch at John's jaw and the wasted young man collapses into Paul's arms. Later, driving north on the Interstate, Paul asks tentative questions about Betty which John answers. Paul announces that they are going to drive all night to Cleveland and John falls asleep happy and calm.