Monday, February 21, 2011

Jesup, Part the Fourth (a re-write)

ron johnson who just this last year walked into the dorm one night

he and his friend hoss big old hoss

the pupils of their eyes wide open and bouncing glimmering flickering oh so slightly in the overhead incandescence

walked into the dorm up the stairs to find chrono kevin eddie sitting idly in their room an album cover sitting on the bed double album unfolded a number of seeds sitting in the crack of the fold some loose shake and tight dry seeded bud decorating peter frampton's blondish tresses casting him further into some sort of three dimensional jesus wearing the crown of thorns

chrono bong in hand he said looking up he said click click clicking his bic he said hey click click clicking his bic he said taking a moment to gurgle up some smoky salvation he said

hey want to play a little twenty one we're about to put on a little lou

ron and hoss they smiled they grinned twenty one being the number of minutes a certain lou reed song would steal from the clock start to finish twenty one being the number of bong hits a participant was expected to complete to execute before that last audible downbeat of said lou reed song

ron and hoss they smiled they grinned they answered with a deafening nervous silence looking from chrono to kevin to eddie glancing and grinning at them at each other

they stood in the doorway shivering two days of freshman growth on their faces faded black swashes of grease or ash or dirt streaking cheek throat hands clothes kevin said what the fuck happened to you where the fuck you been they shuffled they rubbed their hands together on their pants into their pockets then together again ron he said

wiping a sleeve across beneath his nose sniffling back a phlegmy run for the border

he said

we hopped a train

eyes wide eyebrows raised lighter poised above the bowl

ron and hoss they said hoss he said so don't you know we were walking back from dinner just having scarfed down a couple of dagwoods feeling good feeling nice and full and happy lighting up a jay when some sort of premonition came over us like we had been thinking about it the whole time like we were cassidy and kerouac with an ethereal plan with a command from elijah

ron he said yeah there we were all soaking in this evening love when here comes this fucking freight train

the train slowing down as it rounded the bend coming onto campus down near the old depot this old rust colored box car just kind of cried out to us to me and hoss with its big yellow letters declaring


might as well have been the yellow neon out front of the plaza theater tempered by a bottle of codeine or a handful of disco biscuits

hoss he said looking at ron like whoa where did that come from hoss he said its big sliding door already open like an invitation to some sweet sixteen spread her legs party we me and ron we thought we'd just jump on go a couple of miles down the track then hop off catch the next one coming back toward campus maybe a couple of hours next thing we know we're fucking rushing through the west fucking georgia countryside cold air streaming through the slats the smell of ratshit catshit hoboshit gagging and choking us as we traveled through the night the train not stopping until we were somewhere the fuck well into alabama

and hoss he said nodding at chrono for a cigarette chrono tapping out a marlboro tossing it over with a lighter hoss he said lighting the cig inhaling he said

yeah and ain't neither one of us too comfortable that far down in alabama

got so cold in that fucking train we hugged each other grabbed hold to each other like two midtown fags

ron he said now returning the what the fuck glance back at hoss ron johnson he said yeah fucking cold he said if i had had a knife i would have slit him open and crawled inside i would have got all call of the wild with his big ol' loving self

ron he said and the goddamn train so fucking loud rambling down through those woods and fields we screamed at the top of our lungs couldn't hear a thing couldn't hear ourselves think just the clackety clack and squealing of metal on metal the whistling of the wind

for hours and hours forever it seemed

hoss he nodded hoss he said fuck we stumbled out into that goddamn next day frosty dawn when that fucking shit stained slave ship finally slowed to a squealing crawl smack dab in the middle of a bunch of tracks all coming together in the dull morning light we had no idea where we were trying to figure out from whence we came trying to figure out which track led back to atlanta

the only hint that we were in alabama really the only clue was this glimpse of an empty bama state patrol car parked fifty yards away over by some depot looking shack

ron he said yeah some slim stream of smoke or steam sliding out of and up from a rusted pipe snaking out of kind of nailed to its ashen wooden side

some old black man wearing two sunday coats a brown felt bowler and boots with no strings came out between two trains popped out like hamlet's fucking daddy of a ghost nearly pissed my pants scared the shit out of me but old hoss he asked him he said ha he was we was so fucking cold he had his hands tucked deep into his pockets his shoulders all hunched up around his ears he said excuse me he said hey can you tell us which train goes back to atlanta

the room burst into laughter stoned giggles bursting into guffaws hoss he said what the fuck else was i gonna ask he didn't seem to be in a small talk mood

ron he laughed he pointed at hoss ron he said old hoss he looked at that old black man old hoss he said hey

which way is home

hoss he blushed turned red shrugged the room it shrugged its agreement hoss he said well this old black man

he stopped he looked around he looked at us two pitiful souls standing helpless there in front of him he looked at the direction from where we had just walked he rubbed his chin in that well let me just take out my trig book i'm sure

the answer is right there

in front of me

but he didn't say a word he thought maybe a full-count minute he shrugged he started walking again

me and ron we're like what the fuck but then the old black man

he stopped he pointed

at the train we'd just departed then he walked on his way never having said a word we me and ron scrambled back into our goldkist cruise liner and hunkered down

ron he said with a little bit of after shiver he said

that was yesterday we just got back

chrono he shrugged he flicked his bic he fellated the bong he looked up he said his words flowing into and out of a cloud of ganjaesque concern he said

whoa well welcome home glad you didn't get raped i mean i hear that there's all sorts of queer hobo rapists riding the trains

ron he said where the fuck did you hear that

chrono he shrugged he said i hear things don't you know

ron and hoss they each took a turn on the bong before wandering out of the room and down the hallway the stench of rodent feces hobo piss dinty moore lingering behind perhaps permanently on chrono's comforter on the faux hippie tapestry that hung in the doorway

the taint meandered behind them as they turned the corner past the bathrooms one guy walking out all freshly scrubbed and nattily if not preppily adorned in his ess ay ee monogrammed terry cloth robe scrunching his nose turning pale saying what horse you been fucking

they ron and hoss they ignored him they walked away from prep boy he in the opposite direction walking upstream into yesterday's adventure its stain neutralizing the hai karate

ron he looked over at hoss he said so hoss man we had a big idea we just couldn't figure out how to get there hoss he said what do you mean man we made it there and back ain't too many can say that

don't you fucking know

ron he paused and then he went on into his room

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