Why I Lost My Soul
Every day seems to meld into the next without me having any idea how I got here. I have no idea when and where I am at until I wake up in the street on in the back of my van if I can remember where I left it. It is the dreams that that give me hope. It is the people that drive me to hate. I go to my world and everything is right and I feel good.
I’d been following her for days and needed coffee to keep up this pace. I never knew when we would be together. Her brilliant blue eyes burned in my soul. I stopped on the corner of Boston and Queen Anne Avenue across from the Starbucks, and slid into my dream world where I felt her arms reach from behind, and I imagined her long bronzed fingers sliding up the nape of my neck and into my long curly hair. As her touch soothed me, I slid on my headphones and cranked up “I Can’t Get Enough of You”; no one was going to break into our world. She consumed me, and I rocked to the beat and her touch, missing light after light. People stopped and stared. I didn’t care. I’d open my eyes now and then and smile at their alien faces. I was with Marlee and nothing else mattered.
a mad rush
across the street
calm in my headphones
hatred in their eyes
fear in their walk
madness of the mind
roaring to a stop
panic in the park
freedom in our violently voluptuous affair.
When I closed my eyes, Marlee slid around front and her tongue gently caressed my chin then slid along my neck as her hands slid teasingly down my thighs. I tingled with excitement when she unbuttoned my shirt and sucked on the hairs surrounding my nipples. I wanted to fuck her hard. As I grabbed her arms to kiss her cruelly on the lips, a blaring car horn shrieked at me, and jerked me back into reality. I tripped on the curb and fell into the crosswalk. Their laughing, sneering faces blurred by me as they streaked north with a pair of hairy asses hanging out the rear windows roaring at me.
“You fuckers,” I screamed, on all fours before jumping up and madly running after them for half a block yelling more blistering obscenities at the top of my lungs for everyone to hear, “Fuck you, you fucking cock suckers. When I get you mother fucking pieces of shit…”
When I couldn’t catch them, I stopped running, jerked off my headphones, and stood in the middle of the street spitting and cussing and yelling at every car that drove by me. “Watch where you’re fucking going you goddamn, mother fucking, assholes.” I grabbed my crotch and yelled, “Why don’t you fucking suck this you fat ugly whoring bitch.”
I kicked at a few more cars as they slowed down to avoid me, but nothing worked. When those assholes drove her away, I’d lost her forever. Still seething, I stomped towards a green Taurus that was parked across from the Video Isle because I saw a broken bottle hiding underneath the left side of the car. I crawled on my belly and grabbed. You never knew when you would need to protect yourself. If I had had this just a few minutes earlier, I could have hit one of those fuckers that fucked with me. As I stood up, I put the bottle in my jacket. Standing there staring at that nasty piece shit Taurus gave me another idea, so I unzipped my pants, and pissed all over the driver’s side window and door handle. I felt better as I zipped up and walked to the video display in the window. I stood there pretending to stare at the empty boxes while laughing to myself about the guy who was going to get one hell of a shock when he grabbed that door handle. A bigger smile slid across my lips when I heard a couple leave Cafe Ladro just south of me. I decided to shake them down for some booze money, to hell with coffee.
It seemed as if I had to wait forever for them to get to me. They had to stop and look in each shop window before they came my way. They were walking arm in arm. I hated them for that. I waited. Hate seethed from my clinched fists. If they refused me, I’d kick the shit out of them. With each step they were getting closer and closer to their destiny. I wanted to turn around and stare at them, but I knew I had to wait for the right moment. As soon as I smelled Marlee’s sweet, citric perfume, I whirled around and blocked their path and held the bottle in my right hand pocket ready to attack, but that fucking asshole beat me to the punch because I could not take my eyes off her. It was Marlee.
“Forget about it asshole. You ain’t gettin’ shit from us today,” and he grabbed me by the front of my grimy collar and jammed me into the display window and spit out, “Go crawl back under the rock you’ve been hiding so we don’t have to see or smell your sorry ass.”
I tried to pull my right hand out of my pocket, but he was leaning his upper body so hard against it that I couldn’t move. I gave into him to save me as I always had with Dad. As he jammed me harder into the window, I could smell his hot acidic breath on my face. I started smiling to myself because his breath made me want to jam my tongue down his throat and kiss him hard, but I lost my will when my Marlee, piped in, “Can you believe that someone could let themselves get like that? It makes me sick, when they stand around begging for money.”
Looking through me, he said, “They should be rounded up and put away somewhere so that decent people don’t have to see them. I’d be happy to pay more taxes to keep them locked away like we use to do with lepers,” then he spit in my face, and kneed me in the balls. I dropped to the ground and played possum. He’d missed. Laying there playacting, I still wanted to kiss him hard on the mouth to see what he’d do. I’d done that once to an intake bull at King County and had the shit beat out of me so bad that they’d shipped me off to Harborview.
I opened my eyes just enough to see him put his hand around her ass as she said, “That’s a great idea, honey. I wonder what kind of parents would raise something like that.” She turned her head to the right and sneered at me as I looked up and stole a final glimpse of them together.
“They should be put away.” He said that as he opened her door to a green Taurus, and I laid there numb. The more I heard their voices rattle in my head the more I hated them, and I squeezed my eyes tighter and tighter wishing I was dead, and at the last second opened them wide to see Marlee as she drove away with that asshole.
Fuck, I thought to myself. I missed him getting my piss all over his hands. I rolled over on my back, stared at the flaking white paint on the ceiling more aware that her eyes were empty vessels of hatred and fear. I heard the hollowness of her giggles ringing in my ears as I remembered her suffocating lust hurling me out of my house. Without her I would die. I pushed that idea far away, put my right hand into my pants, and pretended we were lying together with Reverend Soul Saver.
I hit the play button with my left hand and cranked up the volume when a painful thud snapped my head to the left. I opened my eyes and saw this angry face screaming at me. I watched his lips move, but I had no idea what he was saying. I closed my eyes and pretended he wasn’t there. I thought by ignoring him he’d go away. He refused to go away and kicked me in my right ear a second time. When I opened my mouth to scream, “Knock it off,” the fucker kicked me in the ribs. I jumped up and pretended to chase him into his store where he locked the door. I watched him as he ran to the back counter and picked up the phone then started to dial. That really pissed me off, so I started to pound on the door. He yelled at me some more. I took the bottle out of my pocket and showed it to him. He turned around and acted like I didn’t exist. I started yelling, “Fuck you,” over and over. He still refused to turn around, so I did the only thing I could to get back at him. I pushed my left sleeve above my elbow, and I made a long slice from my palm to my elbow and let the blood flow. When I had enough, I smeared it helter skelter all over the glass door. Before I ran for freedom, I wrote FUCK YOU in block letters across the door. I didn’t stick around to see what he thought of my art work. I had to get out of there quickly or I’d end up back in lock-up, and I had no desire to be back there with the ceaseless lights, constant noise, and hard-assed bulls.
I had to get to my van before the cops pulled up and hauled me away. Getting locked up is okay when you’re hungry and cold and freaking out. I was angry. Today, I wanted no part of those sadistic bastards and their dumb-ass rules. I wanted to make people feel bad, to gross them out, and feel out of place. For once I was in control. I ran down Queen Anne Avenue through the Pizza Hut parking lot to Galer, then headed west until I hit First Avenue West where I turned right threw open one of the side doors tossed in the bloody bottle and jumped into my van. When I felt safe, I sat up on my knees and closed all the curtains then curled up on the back floor, rocked in ecstasy, and waited for all the sirens to go screaming to the top of Queen Anne and leave me in peace.
It’s cool when you can get Seattle cops on edge. While I was lying on the back floor, I looked over and saw my arm covered in blood. I hadn’t cut myself too deep, just deep enough to make a mess. I liked the way that it was cracked and dried like a dried up river bed the farther away it got from the wound. It gave me an idea. I picked up the bottle from the left side of the van and reopened the wound to get some fresh blood. I squeezed my left arm to milk it and I took the blood and covered my face in it. I wanted to cover my hair, but that would take too much blood, so I made sure that my face and neck were completely covered. I lay there listening for more sirens. There were none, so I got up on my hands and knees and peeked out the from behind my curtains to see if it was all clear. The street was as quiet as it usually was on Saturday afternoons. Before I crawled into the driver’s seat, put the key into the ignition, and fired it up to head to the burbs, I took off my jacket and cleaned off my arms and hands with a jug of water I kept in the van. To get water, late at night I would go from house to house filling my 5 gallon jugs from people’s hoses. This was not tough to do in the summer, but the middle of winter was another story. You can get all fresh water you want for free just watch out for dog and motion-sensitive lights. I didn’t stop there. I rarely paid for gas. When I needed some, I’d use a 5-foot length of hose to fill a five-gallon gas can that my dad gave me when we christened the van right before I was suppose to graduate. Over these past four years I have gotten use to all sorts of things and the taste of gas is one of them. It can be a bit dicey out here, but I know how to take care of myself.
I loved driving from Seattle across 520 to the Eastside, with its incessantly ordered homes, shiny cars, and well-maintained lawns. Each new visit reminded me of my parents’ need to order and control their meaningless lives. Fear of chaos drove people to these faux oasises safe from the mistrust and anxiety of the city.
As I headed down Westlake for Mercer and the entrance onto I-5, it was unusually congested on Denny for a Saturday afternoon. I took my time. I had nowhere I had to be. I liked sitting in my van because I could look down on the chicks and check out their tits. For me this was the best part of driving. As I sat at the light on the corner of Westlake and Mercer, I looked down to my right and spotted this hot, bottled blonde in her forties. What made her so hot was her bra. It made her tits come to a point and stick straight-out. The topper was her fully erect nipples that were fighting to get out. They almost touched her steering wheel. I sat there grooving so much on her nips that I almost missed turning on Mercer and heading towards my parents’ development. When the van headed up the ramp to Mecca, I slipped on my headphones and cranked up Smash Mouth. Entering the chaos of I-5, I navigated all those crazy assholes that were flying to nowhere in particular. I hated this entrance because you have to cross five lanes of traffic in half a mile to exit onto 520. Without looking back, I cranked the wheel hard to the right and in one fell swoop, made it across safely while horns blared all around me. I stayed in the right lane and cruised to the exit for 520 and over Lake Washington.
There is nothing better than driving 55 miles and hour and forcing people to pass me. The drivers I loved the most were the ones who flipped me off as they flew by. It was such a beautiful day that I almost turned around when I hit my exit at Medina and headed back to the Seattle-side of the lake to smoke some weed and wade in the waters off Seward Park. Not today. I couldn’t lose sight of my objective, so I turned right at the light and drove by the country club my parents could never join, but always envied. It was all I could do to stay on the road and not drive onto the fairway and greens that meandered beside me.
Driving through Medina always put me on high alert. My old man had spent the better part of his adult life as a part-time cop here. Cops rolled through looking for people like me. We were seen as waste that needed to be carted away from their delicate sensibilities. There was no need for me to test myself this way, but I felt like I was getting away with something every time I made it through here without being pulled-over. When I hit the 4-way stop, I knew that I was home free. I turned left and headed for Bellevue proper and my parents’ neighborhood: Lake Hills.
At one time, Lake Hills was the essence of middle class flight, but it had hit on some hard times, and you could tell because scattered here and there were houses that needed paint, or lawns that needed mowing, or worse, they were overrun with dandelions. When I grew up, this would never have been tolerated by the neighborhood elders, one of which was my father. I can remember my old man getting into a fistfight with our next-door neighbor when he refused to water and mow his lawn. He never forgot to keep up his lawn after that day. You’d think my old man would have gotten in trouble for his behavior. No way. He and his buddies laughed their asses off when he told them the story at their weekly barbecue. He spent most weekend evenings playing cop in Medina, so his ass was covered if he bent the law a bit.
Behind the wheel of my van, I was safely veiled from those phony people, until they stopped watering their cars, and mowing their lawns to stare at my traveling wreck. As I traveled down one street then a second to arouse the neighbors’ attention, I felt satisfaction as their eyes tried to bore through the back of my head and I became aroused with each new stare.
I loved fucking with those islands of phonies who pretended that there was nothing wrong with their lives. Those assholes who tried to drive out any unwelcome visitor who didn’t fit their idea of the right person, especially one rumbling through their oasis in a restored '69 VW micro-van billowing oily blue smoke ready to set fire to their safety and security.
To scare them more than usual, I drove down to the park behind Tillicum Middle School. When I got there, I drove through the basketball court scattering people left and right and then onto the play field honking and laughing and cussing at all the tired old men trying to catch me with their spindly legs propelling their beer-bellies after me. I laughed so hard behind the wheel that I almost crashed into a tree, but I managed to miss it and escaped through right center field and back onto the basketball court leaving behind iridescent blue smoke as a reminder that their safety was merely an illusion.
Man that felt so good that I forgot about Mom and Dad. I drove as fast as I could away from that desolate community down 156th Street to I-90 and back into the comfort and security of the city, where I could reinvent myself daily, surrounded by a faceless sea of humanity. I headed to Seward Park and the lake where I could wash up before the pot high I needed to sleep in peace.
What made my trip worthwhile was the fact that my old man would hear about the story either on his police scanner or from one of his buddies after he got back from his latest trip. He’d want the cops in Medina to catch me so that he could beat the shit out of my useless ass when I was in custody. He’ll never get me in that stupid trap. I know how to avoid him and his dumb-ass buddies.