Moving Day

30 Jul

I moved from my estate in Waxahachie this past Saturday to a beautiful one-story, two-backyard, three-bedroom, four-unmarked grave home next to the beautiful University of North Texas.

I load all my things into the back of my father’s truck and go to my parents to say goodbye.

“Goodbye, moth3r,” I say, making sure that she knows I substituted the “e” for a “3” in order to sound more with it.

“Goodbye, s0n,” she says, making sure that I know she substituted the “o” for a “zero,” but since they both look alike I hardly notice.

My mother reaches out to hug me and I hug her back. I turn to my father.

“Goodbye F4th3r,” I say, but before I can explain myself, he punches me in the arm really hard.

“Don’t do that weirdo Denton shit to me. Now get on. I’m makin’ steaks and there’s not enough for three of us.”

“I love you too, dad,” I say, a single tear welling in my right eye because, after the “accident,” that’s all my mangled interior can produce.

I turn and get into my father’s truck. I’m using my father’s truck because my Civic is super shitty at carrying desks. The drive to Denton is smooth and uneventful–for the most part. About twenty minutes south of my destination, a yellow Volkswagen Bug swerves into my lane, almost hitting me. I honk in time to alert the driver, and throw an empty beer bottle in time to smash through the Bug’s windshield.

I reach my house in Denton. It’s lovely. Just as I imagined it. There’s a lawn, a front door, and a guy I’ve never met before sleeping in the hedges. He looks terrifically uncomfortable.

“Home,” I say.

My friend, Patrick, comes to help me move my stuff in. The first thing we take off the truck is my desk.

“This is the desk where I craft my masterpieces,” I say to Pat.

“What?” he says, struggling with the intense weight of the oak desk. I had stopped carrying my side because it was making me sweaty.

“I do all my writing on this desk.” I look in the direction of the house. “I’m going to go see what everyone else is doing.”

I enter the home. In front of me are my two female room mates, Alex and Courtney. Alex is weeping bitterly, Courtney is consoling her.

“What happened?” I ask.

“Chris told Alex that all girls are made of poison and that that’s the reason her cat died when she was a kid.”

“Ah,” I say. “Well, Chris is a smart guy. Sorry about your cat, Alex.”

I smell smoke and walk into the kitchen. Inside the kitchen is Chris Brown, the man I will be sharing a room with. He is tall and bearded and clearly bleeding from somewhere on his body.

“Trying–” he says, frantically moving from one burning station to the other, “–trying to make you a–welcome meal.” Chris coughs and I see a few drops of blood fall to the floor.

I’m going to have to mop that up later, I think to myself. Biohazard.

I look behind me nervously, hoping someone is there who can make sense of this chaos. Someone who can possibly hand Chris a napkin or something.

“DONE!” I hear Chris scream. His back is to me, but I can tell he setting up a plate for me.

“What is it?” I ask, my voice tremulous and wary.

“I made you some delicious move-in food!”

He extends the plate. I prepare my gag reflex; but when the food makes itself apparent, it’s beautiful. It’s the most beautiful plate of food I have ever seen.

“Chris,” I say, almost breathlessly, “This is magnificent. What is it called?”

“It’s called three shots of whiskey and a bologna sandwich on a plate.”

“Magic,” I say, and feast.

When I walk back out into the living room, Courtney, Alex, and Derek are all lounging on the couches.

“Derek, when did you get here?” I ask. Derek looks at me and shrugs his shoulders.

“I drank four Five Hour Energys this morning. My short term memory is pretty shot. For a while, I thought I just materialized here because one of you thought about me. Then Courtney showed me where I crashed my car into the mailbox out front.”

Derek immediately starts doing jumping jacks.

Courtney and Alex both complain of boredom.

“You could help me move some stuff,” I say, motioning out the front door.

“We’re bored Kyle,” Courtney says. “Not slaves.”

I don’t understand this remark, and make a note to mentally beat the shit out of Courtney in my quiet time later. Alex and Courtney continue to debate who is more bored.

“All right, well, me and Pat need to go pick up a few things. I’ll be back in an hour.”

An hour passes. I get some groceries ‘n shit. I take Pat home.

As I approach the door, things seem notably off. It’s as if a gossamer veil has been pulled over my vision, lending to everything a somewhat darkened and hazy appearance. I reach out to the door knob and hesitate for just a moment, then turn it and push through. Alex waits for me at the door.

“What do you want?!” She asks–her voice sharp and cutting, like a knife tied to a razor blade tied to the sound of a trumpet being sexually assaulted.

“I want to put my groceries away.” I look over her shoulder. “Where is everyone? Where is Derek?”

“I don’t know where Derek is,” she says, and begins to shut the door on me.

“Hey! I want to see Derek and you’re going to show him to me. He’s somewhere in this house and I need to see him.”

“Five dollars.”

“What?”

“Five dollars.” She holds out her tiny, she-devil hand. I put a five in it.

“This way.”

I set my groceries down and we walk down the darkened hallway. The sound of screaming permeates the air. A scurried frenzy of greed and risk. Alex knocks three times on a door at the end of the hall, in a distinct rhythm. The door opens slightly. In the opening, Chris Brown stands.

“He wants to see Derek.” Alex says.

Wordlessly, Chris steps back into the room, shutting the door. A moment later, it’s open again. Chris tells Alex that if I want to see Derek, I’ll have to pay five more dollars. I do so, begrudgingly.

When the door opens, the scene revealed is one which I have never seen before. Two men sit opposite each other, a small table between them. They are both wearing red headbands and white, button-up shirts. Their eyes are glassy and their faces like slate. A man in a suit stands over them. He loads a single round into the chamber of a six cylinder gun, spins the cylinder, and hands it to one of the men at the table.

As if being pulled by strings, the man lifts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger. A dry click. No shot. Everyone screams in a mix of celebration and anticipation. He slides the gun across the table.

“Where’s Derek?!” I ask Chris, yelling to be heard over the crowd. “You told me I could see him, now where is he?!” Chris motions with me to follow him. I’m taken into what used to be a foyer leading to a bathroom area. In it sits Courtney and a few small, leathery Asian gentlemen. They’re making arts and crafts.

“Here,” Chris says, handing her the ten dollars I had given. She looks at it, scoffs and hands it back.

“Not enough,” she says. I can’t believe this. I hand her ten more. She looks at Chris and nods.

Chris leads me back into the chaos. The first man who pulled the trigger is being dragged from the room, a trail of blood in his wake. My mouth gets dry and my hands very sweaty. A small bead of sweat slips into the crevice of my butt cheeks. My southside cleavage is dampening with anxiety.

Then, from the closet behind me, a door opens. Derek steps out. He is very pale. His hair is slicked back and his visage shares the same vacancy as the men at the table. He wears the same headband and button up shirt.

He walks to the table and sits down. I’m motioned to sit in front of him. A gun is placed between us. I pick it up and hand it back. The man puts it back on the table. I hand it back. The man puts it back on the table.

38 minutes later.

I’m forced to play.

“Derek, let’s go. You don’t need this. Let’s go home.”

“I am home,” Derek says.

“Fine,” I say. “You want this?” I raise the gun to my head an pull the trigger. Nothing. Derek takes the gun and does likewise. Another dry click.

“Listen, Derek. Don’t you remember the gay bar? Remember Carlo Rossi? Remember all our good times together?”

“Carlo… Yes, I remember Carlo Rossi. I remember all that Carlo Rossi.” With that, Derek raises the gun to his head and fires. A mist of blood, bone, and brain matter sprays from the opposite side of his head.

“Derek!” I scream, getting down on my knees and cradling him like a man cradles the lifeless corpse of his buddy who just shot himself in the head in a game of Russian roulette. Just then Derek coughs and lightly touches the hole in his head.

“Well, shit,” he says. Years of abuse through chemicals and loud music have made Derek’s brain a useless husk–a stiff, lifeless mass that rattles in his head when he dances. How he lives on a day to day basis is beyond comprehension. Most likely, his mind has taken refuge in the one organ Derek uses least–his heart.

“Derek! You’re alive!” I cry. Courtney comes out of the bathroom, Alex enters the room, and Chris tells all the mysterious, smoky Asian men in attendance that if they don’t leave, he’s going to call the cops. Before long, the gun’s loaded again and things get messy.

Happy move-in day!

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4 Responses to “Moving Day”

  1. Austin July 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Wow. Things got real extremely quickly.

  2. Patrick July 31, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    Solid.

  3. Petra August 5, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    “Most likely, his mind has taken refuge in the one organ Derek uses least–his heart.”

    that made me laugh. a lot.

  4. Michael August 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    I like how the ending became The Deer Hunter.

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