The night bus seemed like the best option. I was supposed to visit a gorgeous town with beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, jungles and plenty of wildlife to see; everything that I was interested in!
So, I bought my ticket at the station. There must have been five thousand freakin people in that place. Every type of fried food was available; filling the air with a tempting aroma. Screaming babies, kids running around like maniacs, and adults acting like typical adults, patiently waiting for the buses to come in, listening to the call of the conductor’s assistants yelling and naming off the various destinations. And there I was, with my few bags, my slacks, my spectacles, my panama hat. Everything I needed to begin this new adventure.
I put my stuff in the bottom storage compartment of the bus, boarded the beast and we were off…
“If we can’t sell this stuff in pawn shops, then we can sell at a flea market.”
“That’s even a better idea, Sir.”
So, that’s what we did. We rode down to Jersey, to the biggest flea market in the country and offered our wares over there.
“No one knows us in Jersey. We’ll blend right in with all the other hawkers. Christian, this is brilliant. You are brilliant. We’re going to make a fortune, I’m telling you!”
We continued to march along… after they found out I was a scientist, they didn’t treat me like such a scumbag anymore.
“Where you from?” asked the old man, who was marching by my side.
“I’m from the states and I am the best damn scientist from my country. So good, in fact, that I had to escape that place. Everyone was trying to kill me and steal my ideas. I have knowledge in my head that very few possess. The problem is interpreting this knowledge and applying it to practical and functional usage. Put it this way, only one of my patents or designs could be used as the subject of an advanced level college course. Most people have no idea of the possibilities my friend. Sorry if I call you friend, but at this point, there’s no one else out there for me.”
“That fine, call me what you want.”
“Thank you, so how did you learn English?”
“I learn in a school. About fifty year ago.”
“That’s good. English is a good language to know. It’s the language of the world, it is. I’m surprised more people don’t speak it here. What the hell do they teach you all anyways?”
He was about to open his crooked old mouth, when, just then, a kid fell off the roof of a building. And out of nowhere a huge mechanical arm reached out, grabbed him, and placed him unharmed in front of the soldiers. They immediately put handcuffs on the poor kid.
“Holy shit. What was that thing?”
“Ohh, that what they use, prevent the suicides. They bring them along every campaign. Not everyone want join army. So they invent machine to get more kids. It work very good. It no hurt or crush kids. It reach out and grabs like big King Kong, when he capture beautiful blond lady. You know?”
Holy – Shit – Fuck
I was surprised,
They had quite advanced technology. I hadn’t noticed the contraptions earlier, but now I see them riding along the side of the ranks. They have four over sized-wheels, with a driver who sits on the top exterior of the machine. The arm seems to fold in and out of it like a fucking stretch-armstrong doll. It doesn’t hang out, but contracts back into the main body of the machines compartment.
“I see you have scientists here as well.”
“Yes, we have a few, they like you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean they collected on the way. All type of the peoples, collected and recruited to army.”
“Oh Really? What’s your specialty then?”
“Me. I is interpreter.”
“Holy magnifying glass shards, this is gonna be epic Christian!”
We were situated towards the front of the market. All our goods were laid out. There was nothing like it. I’ve never seen so many vendors in one location before. There were people there from every nation in the world. I heard languages, for the first time. I saw skin tones, that I had never seen before. We were in the biggest flea market of the country, with the most advanced scientific instruments of our day.
“Sir, do you know how to sell?”
Suddenly, I felt a strong violent jolt. The seats were bouncing around like hell and the luggage was flying in the air. One solid-looking box smashed into the woman sitting in front of me, knocking her unconscious. She slid into the aisle. Her dress flayed all out, and I jumped up into the upper compartment where the luggage is stored as fast as I could! I figured that was the safest spot in the whole bus. I held onto the metal bars as tightly as possible. The luggage and other passengers flew about the space like a bunch of monkeys in a zero-gravity test tube. The driver must have had a heart attack or an aneurysm or something cause I saw him passed out, way up front…
“Of course, I do. There’s nothing to it. Just start high and get as much as you can!”
“Okay, I’ll follow your lead then.”
“Yes, that’s exactly what you’ll do Christian.”
I went to the back of our booth to take a few swigs from the bottle. I wasn’t going to work sober. Screw that! It’s hot out, and dealing with the public is stressful enough.
“Hey mister, what’s this?” asked a tall pimply faced kid.
I quickly tucked my liquor in my back pocket and got into the act:
“Listen here sonny boy, this is the best instrument for measuring voltage in the country. You see this diometer? Do you know how precise the reading is on this? Do you know what you can do with this? Do you have any idea of the potential, of the power that sits in your hand right now? I guarantee you that this and every instrument here works perfectly well. You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure. Its current value is over ten G’s, BUT I’ll give it to you for a thousand!”
Haha, this kid doesn’t realize that it’s actually worth only three hundred dollars!
“Well mi mister, this does look like a guh good one,” stuttered the clueless kid. He looked around at our stuff a bit more and didn’t end up buying anything, unfortunately. Cheap fuck.
The day went on like this for a few hours. I ranted and raved, about all the gadgets and gizmos, and most of the laymen and laywomen looked at me as if I were speaking in an ancient Semitic tongue. But then when we were starting to get a little discouraged and my bottle was beginning to dry up, a man wearing a sharp looking suit came up to our booth. He looked at everything. Painstakingly lifting up and analyzing every object we had. Mentally measuring the weight and value of each piece. After his thorough study and wiping some beads of sweat from his brow, he said, “I’ll give you a hundred grand for the entire lot. Do we have a deal?”
“One moment,” I said and turned to Christian, whispering in his ear. We rapidly discussed the value of everything.
I turned. “I say you have a deal my good Sir, now put it here!” I said, extending my palm to the wealthy man.
“Christian we are rich!”
The man took out the cash from his jacket, paid us, and collected everything with a few of his associates.
“What the hell Chris, that was easy! I guess you’re gonna go back home to your girl then?”
“Well, yes Sir, I think so, or what did you have in mind?”
Another time, when I was quite young, I found myself walking on the side of the road. I got off the school bus and was on my way home, but I didn’t go the direct route. It was such a nice and sunny day, that I got off one stop past where I usually got off and I began to walk back towards my home.
I said goodbye to a few of the other kids that I knew, and then began to march on alone. We lived on a road where many cars would pass and one of the cars that came by slowed down as it moved forward.
It stopped right in front of me.
“Hey, where you going kid?” asked the passenger with intense eyes and a funky shaved haircut. He had on a black t-shirt, with some big letters stamped on it. I couldn’t make out what they read, cause the angle he was sitting in, but I assume he was promoting some type of a cult or death metal group. The tone of his voice and the looks of the other passengers were definitely – not – friendly.
“I’m just walking home. Why? Who are you guys?” I cautiously asked.
“We are looking for someone like you today, that’s who we are. Go get him!” he screamed.
Out came the two kids that were in the back seat. They swung open the door and were on top of me in seconds like a couple of rabid wolves. They hooked their fingers into my back and chest and pushed me up against a tree.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” asked the boy. He was older than me by a few years, his breath reeked of stale dorito chips. His other friend kept poking me in the ribs with a metal pipe he held in his hand.
“You want to get your ass kicked today, don’t you!”
I said nothing. I didn’t know what to say. When I saw that pipe I thought they were going to kill me right there on the side of the damned street.
“You’re a piece of shit, you know that kid. I don’t like your hair. It’s greasy as fuck. Don’t you ever bathe you disgusting faggot?”
He grabbed my hair and pulled it hard, the pain penetrated through my skull.
I wanted to defend myself, but I was paralyzed by their overpowering presence. It was like a bad dream and I couldn’t move my body, no matter how much I wanted to. I couldn’t speak or yell or fight back or do anything to better my situation. I was afraid that whatever I would do, would piss them off even more and worsen their mood, which was a terrifying thought!
He squished my cheeks with his disgusting mitten, opening my mouth. Got about an inch away from my face as if he was going to kiss me, then he snorted up as much flem as he could and spit it directly into my mouth.
They all burst out laughing!
“Look at this kid, what an idiot! Come on guys, you gotta try this!”
He held my cheeks as they took turns kissing me and spitting in my open mouth.
Up unto that point, it was the grossest experience of my life. I would have vomited or pissed myself right there, but the paralyzation wouldn’t allow any of that. I barely even breathed, as they projected saliva deep into my throat. It hung in there, gurgled by my faint periodic breathes.
They spit a few more times, jabbed my ribs, pushed me around, insulted me, humiliated me, laughed, poked some more, and finished off the twisted affair with a sudden smack to my testicles. Then they jumped in their car, grinded their wheels against the pavement, which lifted up noxious smoke and fumes into the air; with a high screeching sound. Leaving me alone amidst the glaze, the smells, the tastes, the shock, the gut-wrenching pain in my nuts and the pure humiliation.
I never saw those assholes again. I didn’t know who they were, or where they came from. But the memory remains. Of course, it does. How the hell could anyone forget a thing like that?
I toughened up after that incident, going deeper into myself. Not long after, I commenced to study science and chemistry, more than any of the other students in school. I would have been a prodigy if I had gotten the proper support from my school or parents, but that didn’t happen.
They thought I was mad when I came home with a new project or experiment, most of which failed, like the time I tried to develop a laser weapon, when I was only thirteen years old…
We ended up at the bottom of a steep mountain, in the middle of god-knows-where. I was the only survivor of that horrible wreck. We turned dozens of times, and most of the bus was in crumpled pieces, except for the one spot in the middle, where I had situated myself. What a mess! I have never seen so many bloody carcasses before. Most people’s brains, weren’t even in their heads. They were just ripped apart vessels, and the luggage was strewn about the place like discarded rubbish. I salvaged whatever I could. Filling my bags with food, drink and anything that could be used to survive in the hot jungle terrain…
“First, we need to celebrate, here, take a swig!”
“Sir, I don’t know, maybe we should drive back home now?”
“HELL NO, I’m never going back. Come on, let’s go to the bar!”
We drove his station wagon to the nearest bar which was a real Jersey dive. There were posters of Bon Jovi, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Def Leppard, and Dire Straits on the walls. The bartender looked queerer than a…
“Hello, what can I do you for?” he asked, as soon as we stepped in.
I was already a bit tipsy, cause we finished a few bottles on the ride over…
drinking and wondering
I dedicated my life to drinking and wandering, and when that got boring I would instead wander and drink. So it went for me, in those days. Just a simple retired scientist, living on the fringes of society, until something happened, which it never did. It won’t. It can’t. I mean, why would anything happen to me? As I walked down that lonely, exhaustive road I looked about and saw a store.
A typical store. Nothing special. Filled with typical goods. And what do you know, a sense of malice and adrenaline filled my gut. I’m going to go in there and start trouble! I said to myself.
“Ring – Ring – Ring,” the security bell announced my arrival as I entered the mom and pop establishment.
“Hello Sir, what can I do you for?” asked the little middle-aged lady behind the counter. Her lens were thicker than plate glass and her body was as unattractive as, well, whatever you think is extremely unattractive, that’s what she looked like! Besides her miserable physical appearance, she possessed a heavy depressive spirit. I sensed it. I don’t know how, but I did, and it instantly changed my mood.
I wanted to reach over the counter and squeeze her tightly. Only for a moment. To fill her with life. She looked dead inside, dead I tell ya.
Most people were starting to resemble zombies to me. They went about their business without life or emotion. I wonder if I look just as much like a zombie as the rest of them, and I don’t even realize it?
She resembled a stale worn out old shoe. I did not want a life like this…
What’s it really like to be alive? I’ve always wondered this, but, unfortunately, I have never truly experienced life. Without worry, without always looking over my shoulder, to see what kind of catastrophe is behind me. I mean, if I could know what that feeling is like, well, I’d give everything to know, even if it was just for a few days or weeks. That would be enough. Then, I would at least know what inner peace feels like…
“Sir, what do you need?” she asked, with her emotionless voice.
She looked at me again, with those eyes, those deep dark hollowed-out eyes; framed by cheap makeup and brittle lashes. My idea of starting trouble evaporated into the thick air of the shop. She was surrounded by magazines of beautiful naked women, condoms, cigarettes, lottery tickets, chocolates, candies, and random (useless) gadgets. Everything which supposedly brings joy, excitement, and contentment, but I didn’t see an ounce of contentment in those eyes of hers. No, they burnt with a joyless existence, which was almost too much to bear. So, I went to the back of the store.
“One moment, ma’am,” I said.
I grabbed myself some beer from the fridge. What else could I have done to drown that feeling? It’s as if she had transferred her pathetic state to me with that one look. Just one look. I felt it through my bones, into my marrow. I did. And that was enough to send me to the bottle. Perhaps, more now, than ever before!
“That’ll be $12.99, Sir,” she said.
Her husband stood behind her. I didn’t notice him there before.
“Are you alright?” he asked, standing up. He was taller than a professional basketball player.
I can’t get up. What the fuck? You know what? I don’t care anymore. I’m just gonna stay here, because, why the hell not? It’s not like I have any place to go, or anyone to see, or any special appointments to attend to. It’s as simple as that. I’m going to lay here like a snail; drooling all over this bench, and if people pass me by, and see my miserable state, who am I to, to…
I don’t know? How did I arrive here? How did I become so pathetic? I had potential, I had a future, I could have changed the world