Posted: August 6, 2011 in Fiction
Tags: ,

     The people of Kingsville are cursed. I mean this in the best sense of the word, too. They are burdened by a thing outside themselves; a longing for something more, an abiding spirit for elsewhere. A small town can do that, you know. It’s in everything, in everyone. It drips from the pores like sweat on any given day. And to quote R.P. McMurphey, “it ain’t up to [us].” It’s beyond us. And yet we make do. How you ask? By developing culture and communal good times? No! We are a non cultured folk. For as much as we want something “to happen,” for as much as we want something “to do,” when it comes down to it and something does happen, the turn out is nil. Just ask any musician, or any artist or an event coordinator, the turn outs are nil.

We thrive in the individual spaces where by we drink and, often, drug ourselves into intimacy. Dawn-lit restaurants where folks drink their coffee and eat their food, night drenched houses where friends engage each other, the incessant car culture: that hallowed space in which we cruise our lives away. And most especially at work. These are the truest expressions of life in the Ville. The places where utopian moments of the face-to-face are created to endure the mundane life of our town. We are forced rather “to be” than “to do.”

Our first tale comes to us from roofers, those all important souls envied by none. A tortuous job in stifling heat, a job had by a lead “strongman” with experience and authority and the young-uns who take orders and try their best not to get thrown off the roof.


Lucas looked up suddenly, holding his gaze forward just above the horizon. He placed the shovel on the surface of the roof and said aloud:

I’m taking a break, yo, I’m feeling titular.”

–You have gained a lot of weight over the last few months, you should be feeling the weight of them bitch tits you got going on, Erasmo retorted annoyingly,

–this is the fifth time you stop working.

With all the petulance of a spoiled child he could muster, Erasmo mocked him derisively:

— “it’s hot,” “there’s sweat in my eyes,” “I’m losing my footing,” “My hands hurt,” “I’m thirsty.”

Real funny, retard. Why don’t you try reading a book, yeah. Titular: I just got inspired with a title, yo,  for a song. And I ain’t about to work through that shit – I’ll forget”

–Inspired by what kid, the blazing sun?! We gotta finish this shit before Clifton gets back. This section of the roof’s got to be ready by tomorrow! Be inspired after work, homie, he cautioned with all the concern of an older brother he could muster.

It ain’t even lunch time yet, dog, we got all day for this shit. Check this out, I got a title for a song: Quaalude Kerfuffle ”

–You’re on Quaaludes, man, what the fuck does that mean?”

It’s about an argument right, an altercation between two lovers while on Quaaludes but because they’re so bombed they can’t do anything but laugh about it, yeah – I got a beat for it an everything.”

–And that’s what you don’t want to forget?! You trippin’ man, let’s get back to work already!

— I ought to kerfinkle you off this damn roof, motherfucker.

Lucas, by now begrudgingly persuaded, picked up his shovel and began tearing into the roof again, stopping for momentary breaks to wipe the sweat from his brow and to shelter his eyes from the powerful sun. About five minutes passed when he asked with feigned curiosity:

“Is it almost lunch time? I’m hungry like a wolf”

–Dude, stop again and I swear to God you’re working through lunch! I ain’t got time for this shit!

Relax, dog, it’s just a question, damn. Why you gotta get all Rosanne Bar on me”

–One hour man, that’s all we need if you shut the hell up already and work. O-n-e. H-o-u-r!

Ayight man, cool. Where we going for lunch?”

–Bitch, we ain’t “going” anywhere, didn’t you bring your lunch?

Uhh, no!”

–Well, guess who ain’t eating then…

What?! That’s fucked up dog! But you know what, I’m cool with that. I’ll work through lunch- but my work, Not this wetback shit. I’m gonna write lyrics for my song, yeah.

–Do what you want, bro, Quaalude Garfunkle my ass.

Kerfuffle. Get it right: Ker-fuf-fle!”

And so Lucas began. Mentally mapping various rhyming schemes, hooks and catch phrases. Hi-hat patterns and snare blitzes.  He’d often break into melody and dance on the spot sending Erasmo into fits of laughter.

–Dude, you ain’t right, he’d say.

Time flies when you’re having fun so before he knew it, Erasmo informed him about lunch.

–hey Snoop Dog, it’s time to eat. And I got your lunch right here, he said, holding on to his crotch.

I always knew you went that way Assmo! I just knew it, dog.”

Finding a place under a tree they sat under the blistering sun to eat.

–Here, I happen to bring extras today. You’re lucky!

Shit, you alright man. I’m hungry as fuck”

–yeah, yeah – like a wolf, I know

But I’m still gonna work on my lyrics though, if you’re lucky I’ll include you!”

They laughed with each other as much as at each other and began to eat their lunch. Raising their tacos to each other they shared in a moment of rest:

Cheers, dog”

–Cheers, man!


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