Pax Americana: Frankie Felt Fucking Fine
Ok, I'm scouring around for something to read tonight, and I know there will be a rockband there, which is always a tough audience. Something short and punchy, right? I had this idea of finding this very short story of mine from a few years back (2009), which was published in Pax Americana, which is a literary site that is now … a wristwatch site. So, I'm posting it here. Alas, I fear it's too coarse for this evening.
As Published in PAX Americana
Frankie felt fucking fine. A bit of news like that—and Frankie didn’t want to be mercenary about it—but a bit of news like that and Angela would be quivering in his hands. He’d have a smoke at his lips and an ashtray on his crotch and a quart can hanging from his loose fingers, and a little beer would be dribbling off the flip-top like the cum off the tip of a cock—and the suds would be foaming in a sopping circle on the carpet, that red carpet of hers he and Bobby had dragged out of the lot next to the Motel, and he’d be drunkenly reclining with her head on his chest and his arm, tattooed and scaly, draped over her waist and she’d weep and he’d watch tv all night. TV and beers and weeping and sex.
He was running now. Coming out from under the shadow of the old train bridge and imagining how it’d be when he bust open the door and stood there huffing and shaggy with running and sweat and the doorframe and the sky and maybe even the moon behind him looking big from where she sat.
And now there was this news, this big news—and there was nothing like running when you were high. And there was nothing like running with a reason.
He was running in the wet grass, the dewy wet grass. Oh shit, he was barefoot. He’d left his fucking shoes. But that was better. Even better. He’d left his fucking shoes like a man at war. He wished he were bleeding. But all this sweat, that was right. That was righter. Running like fucking Mercury. And hard like Adonis. And fucking Angela just weeping. There in her house with a mattress and curtains on the windows and all that shit he’d never have without going fucking home and weeping in the arms of his mother like a two-year-old and watching his dad crack a beer and say, “Now you can’t have one you faggot junkie.”
But this news was everything; it was the best fucking thing that ever happened to him, he could tell the reporters someday when they wanted to know about all the shit that made him who he was.
He ran past the two stop signs and the four way stop and ran on the wide-open highway where no cars drove anymore. And he ran behind the supermarket that sold unripe tomatoes and the men unloading the trucks looked at him with the bright fluorescent lights behind them—and they had these deaf-mute expressions like “you wouldn’t listen to me anyway you stupid fuck.” And he ran down the alley behind the church and there he was standing in front of Angela’s house. And that old bastard Monroe came out and dumped the diner trash and he didn’t realize how fucking hungry he was and there was Monroe like another gift from God. He didn’t want to run in there hungry. Run in there and go straight for the fridge. He’d end up on the couch or the red carpet—and he’d be lying there, or sitting with his head back, looking up at the black curtains and how the fuck could he get to the fridge?
“Fuck you Monroe.”
“Fuck you kid.”
But he ate. Got some chicken must’ve come off a child’s plate. But he smelled like chicken and garbage so he rolled in the green wet grass of somebody’s lawn—everyone had their fucking sprinkler on—just like the wet grass where he left his shoes, his pipe, and his friend Bobby.
“Hey Angela,” he said, when he burst into the room—she was there, sitting on the edge of the couch and watching tv and still waiting—
“Your boyfriend is dead.”