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A loud love story

There was a drive-by shooting here this afternoon, three quick shots as a car went past. When I looked out the window, there was nothing to see except other people looking out their windows, but as I watched, some lady found fresh holes in a wall and on the sidewalk, and pointed, and shook her head.

All this is routine, though. The cops didn't even come 'round. Gunshots aren't noteworthy when nobody's hit.

♦ ♦ ♦

Another trip to Kinko's, to run a few dozen copies of some early issues that have sold out. And here's a moment:

A pretty woman came into the copy shop, and walked past me. I'm ugly and fat and she certainly didn't notice me, but I didn't think twice about that, or even once. I was standing in line, waiting to talk to someone at the counter, and something was baking inside me, so I mindlessly shifted my leg a little and passed a long, silent, onion & sauerkraut-fueled fart. It smelled awful even to me, and probably I smiled, proud of myself.

Then I noticed that the pretty woman was standing directly behind my behind in line. She made a face as if she was might pass out, and indeed, it was chemical warfare. It had been a silent rippler, though, so I looked around like she was looking around. What the hell is that smell?

♦ ♦ ♦

Checked my messages, and somebody had called, wanting to pay me money for nothing — to reprint some stuff from Pathetic Life. Didn't catch the name of the publication. It was some on-line thing, so I'll never see the words. I'll see the money, though.

It's not the first time I've been paid for my writing. I'm paid three bucks every time I open the mail, and I thank you sincerely for that.

But fifty bucks all at once? Dang good money for a day already lived and written about, words plucked from my brain on some afternoon mostly forgotten.

♦ ♦ ♦

"Where's Terry?" I asked Pike when I got home, after he and I had a few minutes of meandering conversation.

"I'm sure she's on her way," he said, sounding none too happy about it. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, I miss her," I said, sarcastically, but with a straight face and sincere tone of voice.

"So do I," said Pike, and I think he said it just as sarcastically.

I've wondered but haven't asked, why those two even pretend they're together. From what I've seen, they're apart, way apart, except when they're fucking. The walls are thin so I hear the sex, and also every word of every argument. They argue over everything — the food, the errands, their friends, what to watch on TV. Everything.

When Pike is alone in his room, reading or listening to music, or when he's talking to me, or when one of his friends comes by, he laughs loud and often. When Terry's here, though, which is most of the time, he and she never share a laugh. All they do is scream and tell each other to go to hell and occasionally screw.

Terry laughs, but she laughs alone, with a screeching shriek that makes the cat run under the bed. You can never guess what's funny to her, and she won't explain what she's laughing at, not to Pike or anyone.

Every morning she gets up while he's still asleep, makes a hell of a racket in the kitchen, leaves the bathroom floor watered from her shower, sneezes a lot, laughs at her mystery jokes, and has a loud conversation with herself until Pike yells at her for waking him up. Then she yells at him for being lazy ("I at least have a job!"), and then she goes to work, and it's sweet to hear the door click shut, and I have to believe Pike likes hearing it, too.

Afternoons are as peaceful and pleasant as possible here in the slums, until she buzzes the doorbell (thankfully, Pike hasn't given her a key). He lets her in, and the screaming is underway almost immediately. When she walked in a few minutes ago, her first words were "Fuck you."

Even Maggie & I at our worst moments never screamed at each other like Pike & Terry do whenever they're in the same room. That's love, eh? That's why I love being alone in life.

From Pathetic Life #12
Tuesday, May 2, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Addendum, 2022: If it matters, I'm pretty sure the publication was HotWired, which used to be the online extension of the magazine Wired.

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