I'll come up with something in a minute.

I can smell fear, and it smells like Drakkar Noir

Once upon a time, I knew some rich people. Not 1% rich, but 5% maybe 10% rich. Trophy wife and private school rich. Yacht and second house bigger than most people’s first house rich. So rich, but not mega rich. Rich enough that they’ve become terrified about their relative postions.

I was 15/16 and a friend of a friend introduced me to a friend and I was informally adopted for a couple of weeks during a couple of summers when someone was home from school. The details are unimportant and hazy, and I’m not interested in talking about that right now anyway.

The story I want to tell is when I was chosen as an escort to some… thing or other. Someone was getting an award and there was going to be a dinner afterward and I wasn’t told I would be in a room full of suits until we were on our way or I might have not worn purple sweatpants. However, I did, and I’m not ashamed of that fact because I’m not ashamed of much at all.

Shame doesn’t get you very far in life kids.

So I’m sat at a table, while the girl who in retrospect had a crush on me the size of Mt. Rushmore and was aching for me to make a move, went off with her mother to talk about something. I’m not entirely sure what they were talking about, but she wasn’t getting in trouble for bringing me because I think her mother was hoping to pick up a bit on the side when she was done with me. Also, she would have mentioned if her mother had been annoyed because she was reveling in annoying her mother that year. I do believe, I was part of that, but that’s not important right now.

As a result of her being called off, I was sat at a table with seven other guys. Five of them were employed by the company that was giving someone an award, one was their boss and the last one was a college kid who was interning with the company, but because of college he didn’t have the full suit but only a shirt and tie. The boss was one of those silvering haired jackasses that likes to be an executive, and likes to tell people he’s an executive and has been an executive so long he has truly forgotten people like me exist.

So we’re sitting there, and it’s a no-booze do because of all the college kids and people like me. So the executive orders a Slice with “lots of ice” requesting the waitress to “fill the glass” and I can see a couple of the guys sort of squirm. They hate Slice, but they’re going to drink it because Bossman drinks it. I’m not joking, as she goes around the table it’s “Slice, lots of ice.” “Slice, lots of ice.” “Same for me.” and my heart is filled with contempt for these people. I can tell damn well that one wants a Pepsi, that one wants some root beer and that one wants a needle filled with heroin and a line of cocaine to chase it with.

It’s about this time that I start to notice that unlike most places I’ve been, the colognes of the men aren’t mingling into a strange mixed scent. It’s only Drakkar Noir at table five, no other scents prevail, perhaps mine. But my scent was a faint hint of shampoo and not much else because I hadn’t even shaved. It’s about this time that I realize the thing that separates me from everyone else.

I’m the only person at this table who isn’t terrified.

Everyone else, even the bossman, is afraid. They’re afraid of not being on the right track. Sure, they all drive Fords, but are they driving the right Ford? Does a winner drive an Explorer? Surely, only a looser drives and Escort. What about a Mustang, or a Thunderbird? Can a winner really be seen driving those? Remember this is the early 90s, when neither car had any balls to speak of. Is this the right shirt? Should I have an oxford collar? What if only a loose uses a Windsor knot? High School is merciful, compared to the management track. There is as much information to understand as there is in the geekworld, it’s just the rules aren’t written down and you have to be smart in a different way. More about that in my next post.

And then there was me…

I don’t care how these people view me, I don’t care if they like me or not, I’m not thinking about anything they can do to me or for me. They can’t do anything to or for me. Even if they could, I don’t much care. I’m not worried about it, I know what I need and I know what they need and I get things done. I am, in a few words, the man without fear. I have never been concerned with the stupid little things that need to be done, should be done, ought to be done. I have no respect for social levels, or how much someone makes, or if I’ve impressed so and so. Ask Syd how easy that makes me to live with sometime. Weddings are a chore because “fuck wearing a tie, I don’t give a shit about those people” and so on. The thing is, the lack of fear mixed with the not giving a good god damn, makes other people want to sit next to me.

A lack of fear might be a sign of psychosis, but it is also perceived as a sign of being big dog on top.

When the waitress came to me, I decided to buck trends and stick to my guns and stay the course and not actually think about it and just order like I always do. “Coke no ice.” Oh how easily the words tumbled from my lips. Nothing major, not for me, but conversation at the table stopped. Someone put on a record, just so they could do that sound of yanking the needle and making a record scratch sound.

“Really?” one of the scared dogs men at the table asked. I looked at him for about two seconds longer than I needed to before smiling and saying “Yeah, I don’t like my pop watered down.” He looked at me, and I looked at him and he broke eye contact first and nodded, which caused the Bossman to laugh. He actually threw his head back and laughed. One single solid “HA!” and that was it. Now, I’m not sure my dears, my darlings, what I said that was so funny. All I can figure is that I’d stared down a guy who had perceived himself as a sergeant at arms and given him an answer that couldn’t be balked in a polite setting. I’d worked out a way around him and no one could do anything about it. His only real reaction was one of fear and bluster, and I have no fear to react with so he broke first.

As a result of this, the bossman started talking to me. Instead of talking about my plans, what school I was going to, where I would work, and what road I would eventually take to get from here to there, I spoke about what interested me. I told him about a documentary I’d recently seen about the evolution of mankind and how we pertained to apes. By refusing to talk about what he wanted to know about, and only talking about what I wanted to talk about, I managed two things. One, avoiding boredom. Two, and this would have been important if I’d had any use for it, which I didn’t, I established for the table which of us was the bigger dog. I was on top of the conversation, I was leading the bossman around the room with my fresh knowledge about human behavior being like that of chimps, and I was holding the table.

You could see it in their eyes, I was clearly a bigger, more important dog than their boss. Their boss was the biggest, most important dog they knew, and I was dominating him. I could see a couple of guys, particularly the one who wanted a root beer, thinking that maybe turning their loyalties toward the kid in the flannel shirt was the way to go. So much so that when the waitress came back to freshen drinks, the root beer kid did the bravest thing he’d ever done in his life. He ordered another Slice, but this time without ice! I wanted to berate him, I wanted to bang the table and demand he order the root beer he wanted, but I couldn’t. That would have been pack behavior, that would have been showing concern for another member of the group, and I don’t have pack behavior. I’m not a group member, not of any group, but I am pretty and fuzzy and will let the right people pet me while biting everyone else.

I’m not a dog, I’m a cat.

That’s what they didn’t understand, that’s what almost no one ever understands. I’m not looking to be the top dog in the hierarchy, I’m looking to be the most honest cat who just doesn’t give a shit and will tree a bear if provoked. My wants and needs are so far different from everyone else’s that while they might try and act like they get what I’m saying when I say this, their actions prove that they haven’t the first notion what I mean.

I can’t honestly suggest this to you as a career path, because it doesn’t work for al people. You have to be smart enough, strong enough, interesting enough, and pretty enough all at once to pull it all off together. Also, you have to understand the difference between tough and mean, between clever and cruel, and most of all between honesty and douche baggery. Hang on a second, that needs to be a bigger point, it’s far more important.

You have to understand the difference between tough and mean, between clever and cruel, and most of all between honesty and douche baggery.

Also, don’t use Drakkar Noir, because it smells like fear.

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August 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Twins in Death: Chapter Three – Part Five

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Three: The End of Captain Scourge

 

 

February 12th, 1935

11:15 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo leaned back in the chair, and looked at Jack and James. The dance was still going on around them, but they felt detached. Tommy and Amy danced on the floor, looking like the perfect couple. Had they been five inches high, they could have been the cake toppers. He had worn the tuxedo she liked and she had found the perfect dress. They were still cavorting around the dance floor, along with the other hundred or so people that were called friends of the household.

 

            The large round room echoed as people threw confetti from the second floor, which ringed the dance floor giving the feeing of a stadium or the old roman coliseum. The second floor was really only a small ring around the ballroom of course, not a seating system. It gave one the ability to look either out on the city, or into the second floor through the glass doors. The floor of the ballroom was made of marble and it was three stories high, as high as the rest of the house in fact. The entire north wall was made of glass, and looked out on to the grounds. The east wall had a staircase made of crystal. The long pieces of clear stone seemed to grow up from the floor and become progressively longer as they reached up to the second floor. It was on the second floor that the trio sat, watching the happy couple.

 

            “She looks beautiful.” The Weirdo said, watching the both of them.

 

            “He looks happy.” Jack muttered.

 

            “Of course he does.” James Death’s voice was the long drawl of a cowboy whose day had passed. “He’s got a woman who can dance.”

 

            “Dancing skill is important.” The Weirdo said. “I think they might be together for more than just that though.”

 

            “But if she couldn’t dance, they’d never get to the other stuff.” James said. “He’s got priorities. Dancing first, talking second.”

 

            “Maybe.” The Weirdo conceded and took a pull at the root beer he had been drinking.

 

            “They say where they’re going yet?” Jack asked.

 

            “Acapulco.” The Weirdo said. “Two weeks, and then back here.”

 

            “They gonna live here?” Jack wondered

 

            “Why wouldn’t they?” The Weirdo asked. “The place is big enough for ten families to get going.”

 

            “She might think that we’re a bad influence.” Jack said.

 

            “Well we are.” James drawled. “Always have been.”

 

            “She might not want to raise kids in such an environment.”

 

            “Nah.” The Weirdo said. “It’ll be fine.”

 

            He had a feeling it probably wouldn’t be though; she wouldn’t have time to get angry about the late nights. He could feel the ticking time bomb just under his heart. He knew that the time was coming when he and James Death were both going to be gone. The time was coming very close in fact; he figured they had six weeks, tops.

 

            “Don’t they dance?” Amy asked Tommy as he spun her around the dance floor.

 

            “I don’t know.” He said. “Jack does, but maybe he’s just keeping the other two company.”

 

            “The Weirdo looks like he’d make a good dancer.” She said. “Should I ask him?”

 

            “You could I suppose.” He said. “He’s not always as friendly as he could be though and might just do it for forms sake.”

 

            “I could ask.” She said. “If we’re all going to live together, I’ll have to get to know him.”

 

            “Go try, sure. I’ll get him actually.”

 

            Amanda Grace Jones had become Amanda Grace Gunner earlier that day, and when her new husband had sent his best friend down to dance, she watched as he sat down with the other two men. The Weirdo came down the stairs, looking relaxed and quite good looking in his gray suit. She asked him to dance as he came closer enough to hear her.

 

            She had been right that he was a good dancer. Though she sensed the stiffness of formality between them. She kept watching Tommy as they danced through another three numbers, feeling her partner loosen a little as they did. He smiled and kissed her on the cheek when the last song played. She wondered if he was worried about her new place, if he might resent her.

 

            When he kissed her cheek though, she realized that what he was doing was saying goodbye. She suddenly knew that they were going to come back and he was going to run his end game. She looked up at Tommy as he stood and began to walk back towards the stairway. She knew that Tommy and Jack would be okay, but James and The Weirdo were going to have to go. Something was going to happen and the two of them would be gone. She could only think that they were going to be killed.

 

            Then Tommy took her in his arms, and everything was all right again.

 

 

April 25th, 2002

11:49 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo stood out in the back yard, looking at the sky. There were only a hundred thousand stars visible in the sky, more or less. Most of them had been burning and churning away since before the rise of human race. The light of one had left the star on the night that King Babars died and it had just gotten to the earth. There were stars out there, billions and trillions of them. They were gathered in clusters and galaxies, clinging together by the loose threads of gravity. Holding onto each other in the night. It suddenly occurred to The Weirdo that there was a place called Jantal out there, orbiting around one of those stars. That idea made no sense, but he knew it to be true.

 

            Judy came out and stood with him for a moment. They both looked at the sky, and marveled. It was as if The Weirdo’s home was exempt from the problems of noise and light pollution. The stars were visible in the night sky here. It was very odd, because Manhattan was close enough to be connected by a bridge, yet you could see all the stars here.

 

            “I keep waiting for it to go back to normal.” Judy said.

 

            “Hmm?”

 

            “Well I mean go back to the way it was, before ah.”

 

            “Before Shannon died?”

 

            “Yeah.” Judy blushed at making him say it. “It’s not going to though, is it? We won’t have that feeling in the house again, will we?”

 

            “I don’t think so.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “I’m really sorry about it.” She wrung her hands together. “I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I am.”

 

            “Thanks.” He said.

 

            “You really loved her, didn’t you?”

 

            “Still do.” He said.

 

            “Oh.”

 

            “You love Tommy?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “I wonder what kind of good thing I ever did to deserve him.”

 

            “And Sheila?”

 

            “I love her too.” Judy said. “Is that wrong do you think? To love two people at the same time?”

 

            “Love is love.” The Weirdo said. “Whether it’s with one or a hundred. I don’t think there is such a thing as wrong love. I mean really, in a world so filled with hate, love, any love, can’t be the wrong choice. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what love is.”

 

            “So you’re okay with us?”

 

            “If I weren’t, you would have found out by now.”

 

            “Okay.” She said. “I just always wondered if anyone would accept us.”

 

            “Don’t worry about it.” The Weirdo said. “You three are in love, that’s all that matters. Any one gives you guys any trouble and the rest of us will be there to back you up.”

 

            “Thanks.” She said as she went inside.

 

 

April 26th, 2002

1:45 a.m.

 

            The Weirdo was watching the water lap in and out onto the shore of the island. There was a lot of water between them and he looked south at the ocean beyond. He could just see it around between the two points of land. There was a lot of water between his little island and Europe as well. He knew there were giants out there, massive creatures. The biggest animals that had ever yet lived were out there in the deep waters. The whales were the biggest mammals and the biggest animals ever known, and yet they lived on the smallest.

 

            The Weirdo knew that the tiny crustaceans known as krill lived in the oceans and made massive great clouds of red, which were then eaten by blue whales, a million lives could end at one moment. He looked out at the ocean and wondered if maybe the krill thought of blue whales as a god of some kind. Did they think that they were being accepted by their God by being taken in to become part of that god? He didn’t know.

 

            He looked over at the city, and felt nothing towards it at the moment. He had always hated and loved it, and he felt odd at his sudden ambivalence towards it. He couldn’t define this feeling. He wondered if there would be ever again be a feeling for the city. He almost felt that now it was his enemy. There had been something to keep him grounded before, but now she was gone.

 

            All there was left was the city; it wasn’t a prospect he welcomed.

 

            “Certainly I must persevere though.” He said.

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

 

August 5, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment