follow me on Twitter

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Wizard Part VII



    Part VII

    The interior of the van solves another problem. It's converted to live in. Small but utilitarian, and less dated than the exterior. If anybody planned on looking for me, they'd have to think beyond the norm. No doubt the van would stand out in motel parking lots, but whoever looked for anyone in KOA campgrounds anymore.

    I stuck the key into the ignition and the Van growled, then settled into a gutteral purr. The tank was full and the dash even had an inset GPS NAV system. I pulled out of the storage facility and headed back to the motel. I needed a loose plan, something I could tweak if I needed to.

    I spent the next two hours slowly moving the stuff I'd taken from my Uncle's trailer into the Van. I arranged it as best I could. One of the cabinets became a library and the spice jars got a new home under the small sink. The bed in the back had a series of pull out drawers and I filled these with my cloths. Pulling out the last drawer though I almost hit my head on the roof as I stood up in involuntarily to what was already in it.

    The skull smiled at me like it knew me somehow. It was bleached pure white and looked to have come from some poor bastard who'd been around my age when he'd died. Whatever had killed him hadn't been a headshot. The skull was perfectly symmetrical with no signs of trauma.

    There was no way to tell though whether my Uncle had acquired the skull first or whether it had been picked up as it was now, encased in a perfect sphere of clear acrylic. Well, it wasn't a perfect sphere. It had three smooth holes bored in it's surface just above the crown of the skull. I slipped my thumb, middle finger and ring finger into the holes and dreamed of bowling a perfect game.

    Man, what a way to live on. I put it back into the drawer. I didn't know it at the time, but that bowling ball was going to become a integral part of my life.

    Feeling confident I'd finished everything I could, I hoped in the van and drove around looking for a bar. I needed a drink. I needed to be surrounded by people, people who didn't care who I was. I needed to think long and hard about what I was about to do, even though I knew I was going to go through with it anyway.

    Roosters was a small dive with a gravel and dirt parking lot. There were more motor cycles than cars, so I instantly felt at home. People in these types of places hated strangers, but they usually ignored them if they kept to themselves, which was exactly what I was planning on doing. The other great thing about bars like this was that if something got started, it could be finished without interfearence. That's the thing about tribes, they have a built in code of honor, even if it's the kind of honor no one else can understand. It's insular and integral to the group dynamic. One might even say it's the glue that keeps the whole thing together.

    As I parked the van and hoped out, two bikers came out of Roosters swaying like the front porch was encountering rough seas. They looked at me for a minute, sizing me up, then saw the van. It seemed to overwhelm them with nostalgia, that quickly got the better of them and made them choose poorly.

    Who the fuck are you? Han Solo?

    He looks more like the Princess.

    In there own minds, they'd summoned images of themselves as comedians and laughed.

    I kept my mouth shut and plied my way through them, heading up the stairs. I knew they'd take offense at my lack of interest in their challenge even though I hoped, for their sake, they wouldn't. I almost made it to the door.

    Hey, I'm talking to you Princess.

    I turned around and the one who'd said that came for me. It was probably unfair, I could most likely have taken them in a fight, seeing as how they were both stumble drunk, but I'd run severely low on patience.

    I mumbled under my breath.

    The biker doubled over at the foot of the porch stairs and vomited a steady stream that lasted long enough to make him realize he was throwing up more than he had in his stomach. His friend backed away, scared to help him. Somehow he knew I was responsible though and went for a gun in his waste belt. Before he could draw it I let him have a taste of what I'd given his friend, only this time I chose a different orifice.

    I went into Roosters and let the door shut behind me. Luckily for them they'd suffer nothing more than dehydration and embarrassment. As I sat down at the bar I cocked an ear and took great pleasure in the sound of the motorcycle engines revving. Gravel smacking the outside wall of the bar made everyone look up as the sound of the motorcycles speeding away faded fast.

    In a split second everyone was back to what they'd been doing two seconds before. The bartender came over and I looked squarely in her eyes and ordered a scotch. She paused a second licking her lips then turned around and stretched up to grab the bottle off a shelf that was almost out of her reach. She'd done this on purpose, since there was another bottle already on the counter behind her. I didn't mind though.

    After she poured the scotch I thanked her and took a sip. It rolled down my throat like fire then settled warm and comforting in my stomach. I polished off the rest and while she was giving me a refill I asked her what time she got off work.

    I was too tired to make a plan, even a loose one.

    No comments: