Nations Of Debris
Someone smashed a champagne bottle. Celebrating, angry, doesn't matter. A minefield of shards, all sizes. Kicked off my shoes hours ago. Wandering the pavilion, bottle in hand, tie loosened. Did a friend's coke to stay awake. This is why I didn't feel the glass cutting through. Sliced my feet deli style. I keep walking, oblivious.
Another friend's date comes onto me. Cute perky curly-haired brunette. She's good. I believe her. Or I'm that drunk. She rubs against me. Says I'm cute. I love these lies. Moët buzz intensifies. But this is a classic con. She's trying to make my friend jealous. She succeeds. He doesn't leave her side for the rest of the night. He glares at me, wounded. She flutters her wide eyes. A shameless flirt.
I drain another bottle. There's splashing, laughing in the corner. Other guests share a jacuzzi. Guys topless. Girls in wet t-shirts. Walk toward them, losing clothes as I go. Down to my briefs I dive in. Instinctively, my hands shoot out. Keeps my head from hitting concrete. Barely. Later, sober, I ponder what might have been. Broken nose. Broken teeth. Fractured skull. Paralysis. Instead, just bloody water from my gashed feet. The party in full swing.
If there must be pick ups, weigh them down in mud. Bricks, sand, equipment. Whatever's heaviest. Climb wet hills, tires spinning, mud flying. Deliver supplies to construction sites. Make it functional. That's a sane world with pick ups.
In my youth, guys with pick ups were crazy. Usually armed. Their rusting hulks hauled garbage and mortar. They also intimidated. Several parked at dusk at Village Pantry. Guys leaning against tailgates. Smoking, drinking. They'd yell at anyone crossing the lot. Rarely acted. They'd finish their beers and peel off. You'd hear them shooting their guns in the woods. Primal screams under a cloudy moon.
Suburban pick ups are sad jokes. Big polished things. Wide gleaming tires. NASCAR decals. A consumer statement. It's easy to cite Freud here. Marx might fit too. Maybe Henry Ford would retch. That alone would justify the purchase. But I doubt suburban pick ups care. Probably for the best.
Mary returns from LA. Another pilot season without work. I see defeat in her smile.
She cut her hair short. Thought this might make a difference. No takers. She's too small for short hair. She looks like a pixie. Longer hair gives her a naughty Marlo Thomas vibe. Surely there's a role for that.
My friend Dan's in town. He's with me when I meet Mary at the airport. On the bus to the city, Mary and I kiss and grope. Dan sits behind us, annoyed. I like annoying him. Plus, I'm fondling a beautiful woman wearing nothing under her skirt. When we get back, I ask Dan to see a movie or something. I'm a shitty host. But Mary's too hot to resist. Can't wait to dig into her.
Months later, Mary ends it. She's through with marginal life. Given up the cattle calls. Begins seeing a man with real money. I'm devastated. Confused. Lost. Soon I'm the one in LA. There's money in laughtracks. I know a guy who knows.