"There’s noise and then there is love and then there
are soldiers in Balkan nations staring across old city plazas,
gripping their guns like orchestra batons, astounded that the
limits of their fire power stops with marching orders that tell
them to direct traffic the best they can manage..."
Deke dropped the newspaper he was reading, letting it
collapse in his lap. The pages fell to the floor gracelessly,
a blur of headlines and tire store ads folding over one another.
Sam had his nose in the A through C volume of a supermarket
encyclopedia, leaning against Deke's desk. Deke put his glasses
back on and squinted and then noted that Sam's crotch was only a
rough six inches from his face, a bulge wrapped in sweaty denim
pressing against the zipper.
"You gotta hand it to those Joes in East Europe, they don't
fuck around arguing about constitutional rights, they just grab
a gun and open fire on generations of bad manners. Whattaya think
of that shit, Deke, buddy, pal???"
"Well, Sam, lemmee be as politic as I can". Deke scratched took off his cap and rubbed the top of his hairless pate, and
then removed his glasses, folding them and placing them on a
shelf behind his chair. Then he punched Sam straight in the
Sam eyes widened like bay windows in August, and he opened
his mouth to scream, but he managed only a grating, pinched
whimper the grappled for syllables and vowels with the swelling
tongue he'd just bitten... He fell to his knees and keeled over
atop the newspaper Deke dropped a minute ago.
"I think that you oughta stop coming around my business and
dog-earing my goddamned books and running your mouth like a
busted toilet. "
Sam was gasping, trying to form words, the sound dry,
"And I'd also say that you should mind where you decide to
hang your jewels in relation to where people are sitting, do you
understand? I mean, you've been begging for a shot in the nuts
for months. If you want a blow job, why don’t you just ask?"
Sam was curled up, the newspapers were now unreadable.
"How long have I known you, Sam? Ten years, more? Dog ear my
books and giving me insights as insipid as greeting card rhymes,
all the while hanging your testicles in the faces of men and
women who'd wish you'd go away or die, mostly both."
Deke was standing over Sam. He kicked in the nuts, his foot
recoiling, his heel digging.
"YOU FUCKER, I’M GONNA GIVE YOU A PHILOSOPHY LESSON, BUT DON'T
WORRY, BECAUSE THERE IS NO HOME WORK, AND THIS IS THE FINAL
Deke reached under his desk and produced a tool box, from
which he removed a jar of peanut butter and roll of bagels.
"But first, I GOTTA EAT SOME FREAKIN' GOOD FOOD, YOU BET!!
Want some, Sam?"
Sam stopped moaning and stood up, brushing off his jeans.
"No Thanks, Deke, but say, can I have one of your brackish yet
frosty cans of beer?" Deke had a bagel in his mouth, which was smeared in crunchy
peanut butter. He made a grandiose gesture of the hand.
"Hell, yes, my good friend, have a beer, watch The news,
fuck your self, I DON'T CARE!!!."
"Hey, Deke, when you gonna do the e next cue?" It was Zed,
who'd just come through the front door.
"None of your goddamned business, you homophobe. I’m gonna kick
you so hard in the nuts your screams will shatter the Ipana
invisible shield. How do you like that basket of facts?"
"You're gonna have to wait, I'm getting a rip snorting blow job
in fifteen minutes."
"Then have a peanut butter bagel, you revisionist."
Sam walked back into the room with his beer. Zed looked at him,
"Oh, you're here" said Sam "I didn't expect to see you for
another fifteen minutes."
"Fuck off, service me now "said Zed, indicating his crotch with
a telling finger.
Deke shot up from his chair again and punched Zed in the
"I said have a peanut butter bagel! Now."
Zed's eyes widened as Sam's had done, and tears formed and
glistened at the sides of his eyes like limpid underwater jewels.
Both hands were crammed in his back pockets, and he tried to
pucker and whistle as if nothing at all had whacked in straight
in the lair.
"I'm trying to be cordial host" said Deke, chewing on a large
wad of bagel, his hand of joy wiping peanut butter up and down
the zipper of his jeans, "I want you share my bounty, and in
doing so, you consolidate the years of all of us staring at each
other watching word balloons come from each other's mouths and
then pop when the air of my shop was rendered stale and rare, you
fellows think I'm with out wit. Eat some goddamned food, you
sickly homophobic sissy. DON'T MAKE ME GET Friendly..."
Then the phone rang.
Then the sun exploded.
"Late paying the phone bill, Deke?" queried Sam, poking his
head over a cloud set against the vast tarp of endless outer
"This is a nice slice of shit" Zed said,” not even a can of
beer left over. Hey Sam, gimmee one of your blues harmonicas."
Deke rested his head against a fleecy billow of mist,
holding the phone he picked up before the explosion of the sun,
considering like it were an archeological find who’s anonymous
origins taunted him. He turned it over and looked at the bottom
while Sam and Zed played Howlin'Wolf duets to the roster of stars
and solar systems spinning out of control around them.