L A U G H T E R - A N D - S C R E A M S
If words are an act of violence, then this story is literally happening because you're reading it.
In the absence of god, I opened the front door to that flat with the keys
belonging to the dead girl still lying naked on her bedroom floor. Placing
my black duffel-bag on the bed, I walked past the carcase with a gash in her
left thigh. Staring out the fourth floor window at the neighboring building
in the brilliant morning sunshine, I was glad that I had gone home to my own
bed last night. I'd slept remarkably well. Watching the windows across the
street, I didn't spot a single pair of eyes returning my scorn. So turning
toward the naked body, I pulled on some rubber gloves while the sun soaked
into my back. Bark had days like this.
Crouching next to this Olivia Thirlby lookalike, I noticed how dry her eyes were. I was about to lean down closer and spit in her pupils, but noticed the stereo below her flat screen HDTV. Michael Jackson, Man In The Mirror, began filling the white flat as I stood and snapped my fingers and slowly began dancing across the room. When the chorus kicked in, I spun and dropped to my knees. I clapped my hands and then grabbed the dead girl and kissed her pale lips. Moonwalking, I dragged the body into the bathroom where I pulled out my knife.
After slitting her throat over the shower basin, I stood, holding her ankles up as her blood crawled out of her flaccid carcase toward the drain. Her calves were cold, and her dark hair drifted among the pooling blood. The wound in her thigh was deep, but hardly left a puddle on the bedroom floor. I would've been tempted to fuck her, but I'd already shot my load down her dead asshole last night. Never did like sloppy seconds.
Placing her decapitated head in the kitchen sink, I stretched her freshly showered carcase upon the bench. Starting with her ankles, I placed them one at a time on my chopping-block-vice. It was a simple but handy tool. Just a cutting-board with a piece of wood nailed to the bottom of one edge, and another piece nailed to the topside of the other edge. The bottom piece pressed against the edge of the bench, while the ankle rested on the cutting-board, pressed firmly against the top piece of wood, thus allowing you to brace the meat in position as you dismembered the appendages with a dovetail saw. High school woodwork class still had many real-life applications.
Once the limbs were piled up, I carried the torso back to the shower. Slicing open her belly with my knife, I used a pair of big sowing scissors and rendered her entrails and organs into shit-sized chunks that flushed smoothly straight down the toilet. As expensive as it was resharpened these scissors, they were worth it. You got to respect the elegance and efficiency of your tools, unlike those cunts at Esmod. Bitch, your seamstress skills ain't got nothing on my motherfucking mince-meat-making.
Returning to the kitchen, the limbs were then reduced to their bones, which were then baked dry in the oven. Slithers of biceps, and quadriceps were chopped up with the scissors and flushed away. I then carried the torso back to the kitchen and sawed her spine in half through the waist. Then vertically bisected her hips, followed by splitting her ribcage apart. Each rib was cut loose and tossed in the oven. Looking at her two severed tits, I grabbed them in my rubber-gloved-hands and visited the bathroom. Hacking that soft flesh into sloppy blubber, it joining the rest of her carcase in the Berlin sewers. And then the door bell rang! I continued snipping those bloody tits until my palms were empty. The bell rang again! I flushed the toilet and gave the front door the middle finger on my way back to the kitchen. As I sawed the spinal column into individual vertebrae, the door bell remained silent. The last of the bones were drying in the oven, when I realized it was time to clean up already. Washing down the bathroom and kitchen with a sponge, I rinsed the untouched head before drying her hair with a towel. Dumping my gloves, towels, and sponges in a fresh trash bag, I pulled on another pair of gloves, and opened a second plastic bag where I placed her head and tied it shut. Opening a third rubbish bag, I carefully filled it with that cluster of bone fragments. I hadn't left a single bone in less than three pieces. In a fourth plastic bag were packed the chopping-block, saw, and scissors. I filled the duffel-bag with all four rubbish bags, before leaving the flat and locking the door.
Walking down that bright street in Prenzlauer Berg on that gorgeous Sunday morning, I glanced up at the tall green trees lining the footpath. Young couples chatted happily with each other as they strolled on by with babies in prams and pugs on leashes. Pulling out my Wayfarers with an upbeat mood, I smiled and headed toward a nearby Impala cafe.
"Bruce? It's Bruce, isn't it?"
Waiting for my takeaway latte, this voice distracted my scowl from the cop car parked across the street from the cafe.
"Hey, we met on New Years."
"Yes! Friend of Lewis!"
"Yeah! Ethan! What a great night!"
"It's all fun and games till someone's blow chunks out their nostrils."
"So glad I came. Really in love with this town."
"Thought you guys were based in New York."
"I'm opening a bar here. Had to."
"Wouldn't be the first."
"It's right in mitte. That's how you say it, right? Want to check it out?"
"Sure, if my coffee ever arrives."
"Fucking love the carrot cake muffins here."
"Preaching to the choir."
"You live around here too?"
"An ex did, by Eberswalder Strasse. Used to be an Impala down on the corner. If you think the muffins are good here, the girls working there were... Mmm."
"Thought you were gay."
"My honor!" I gasped, grasping my chest.
"No, no! I just assumed. On New Years, didn't you all leave for a gay bar."
"Don't need to be a fag to tear up the dance floor at Schwuz."
"Man, I tell you, that's the difference between here and the States."
"The sausage fests?"
"Make that mistake back home, and I'd risk getting my ass beat."
"Are you hitting on me?"
"No, no! That's not what I meant at all."
"Now you insult my queer sex-appeal. Won't someone defend me?" I smirked, as that good-looking African-America bellowed with that healthy, well-rounded laughter. He was in this late twenties, shaved head, and dressed in business-casual. The girl behind the counter was clearly checking him out with her glad-eye, and in turn, I immediately fixated upon her. Her long fake white hair, heavy mascara, and pale blue eyes reminded me of Abbey Lee Kershaw. I'm in no way a fan of Tinder, but it's a perfect example of how humans instantly sum up a complete stranger upon a split-second visual prejudice. You got to trust your unconscious attraction. It knows what it wants. Women = meat. And despite the duffel-bag in my hand, I was already hungry again.
"Excuse me," came the voice of some nasal American female. "I just have to say, the manner in which you're talking to this gentleman is just disgusting!"
My latte arrived as Ethan turned toward the speaker with a look of confusion.
"Excuse me, sir!" snarled the voice again, and then my shoulder was grabbed just before I could reach for the sugar. "I'm talking to you!"
"Is there a problem ma'am?" Ethan coyly asked.
"I'm absolutely appalled with your attitude toward this nice young man!"
"Sorry?" I frowned with my takeaway cup in one hand, the duffel-bag in the other. "Are you talking to me?"
"Don't know where you were raised, but that kind of intolerance is unacceptable, especially in this city!" came squawking from a chubby penguin of a woman standing all of five-foot-nothing. She was in her mid-thirties, with a black rockabilly haircut, and thick-framed glasses. "I demand you apologize to this gentleman for your utterly inconsiderate behavior!"
"I think you're taking this out of context," Ethan smiled awkwardly, embarrassed by this random intervention from his fellow American. "We were just joking around."
"You don't have to say anything, dear. It's not your fault," the woman yapped, "This prick is the one who should be doing the apologizing!"
Glancing sideways at Ethan, I began pouring the sugar into my coffee. "You know, those jeans are about ten sizes too small for you, honey. Should be careful or they'll give you a bad case of explosive diarrhea. They'll squeeze that shit right out of your ass like it's already gushing out of those ugly cunt-like lips on your hideous fucking mouth."
"What?!" she sneered, "You fucking piece of white shit!"
"Ma'am, please calm down," Ethan cringed. "He's just having some fun. He doesn't really mean it."
"Don't let his white pig speak down to you like this!"
"White pig?" I whispered, "I love a slice of ham, but you're the only fat-ass in this establishment, sweet cheeks."
"What the fuck?!" she snarled. "You can't talk down to me like that, you fucking misogynistic asshole!"
"Hey, just go away, would you," I sneered, stirring in my sugar. "Go on. Trot along, you fucking swamp-donkey."
"What!?" she screeched, holding up her iPhone as if she were about to start filming. "This is sexual harassment! You fucking hear me!"
Grinning, I ignored her existence, infuriating her no end, and then I addressed Ethan directly, "I try my best not to engage with white-Americas. Luckily, I'm a white non-American, so aren't burdened with that cumbersome all-American-white-guilt horseshit. We all know only white-Americans can truly prostrate themselves over a proverbial barrel of self-hatred like masochistic tools completely devoid of self-determination. However, here, in Europe, you, as a black man, and I, as white non-American, are treated like, dare I say it: equals! Fucking white-Americans. They fucking weirdly believe that they're taking some self-imposed moral-high-ground when they preach how racist they themselves actually are. It's this bizarre idea that all white-Americans are exactly the same. Even the homeless secretly hide a silver-spoon up their perfectly white-American-assholes. Just picture that, even a white-American bum living on the street his entire fucking life is apparently just as privileged as Trump! What fucking audacity they have speaking on behalf of an entire culture and race. The balls! Proud of their imposter-syndrome brought on by the fact that deep down they know that they're all in fact the very scum of the fucking earth! Which may seem to the lay-man, as a contradiction. Except, you know, white-Americans understand that victim-thinking really is the only way of gaining everyone's trust. So they bath in endless self-pity, begging for the sympathy of all those who love a good cuck! I want nothing to do with them and their fucking Munchausen syndrome!"
"Who do you think you are?!" the tiny bulldog-faced woman shrieked, as I tasted my coffee. She suddenly threw her slice of cake at my chest! "You're opinion on the matter doesn't mean a fucking thing! Tell me, who do you really think you are?!"
Slowly looking down at the cheesecake residue on my black jacket, I placed my coffee on the counter and picked up a napkin. I could feel the veins in my neck pulse with anger. That smug slut-wannabe began cackling as I dabbed at the smudge of cake. The girl behind the bar frowned as she handed me a wet towel, until that disgusting slag snatched it out of my grasp. "No, I don't think so, you fucking clown! Apologize!"
"Who the fuck do you think you are?! A white-American woman! How dare you fake your fucking empathy for black people! You're a narcissistic-racist who deems black people incapable of speaking for themselves! How dare you put your white fucking words in black mouths! You assume to know how black people feel!? You?! A white-American woman?! You need to go take a good long look in the fucking mirror, review your own skin color and remember to fucking check your own fucking privilege! Who the fuck do you think your are, treating black people like children that can't fucking fight for themselves! Your pathetic fucking hero-complex is as apparent as your lily-white face that's turning red from your own grandstanding-jealousy because you're not as fucking oppressed as those you fucking claim to defend! Shame on you, motherfucker! SHAME ON YOU!"
"You've got to be kidding!" she mumbled, as I towered above. "You're opinion isn't–"
"And who the fuck do you think you are, disregarding whatever I might say on the topic?! Who the fuck are you, dismissing an argument as merely 'my opinion', while praising your own fucking opinion as beyond reproach?! Who the fuck are you to criticize, when you yourself, as a white person are no better than that which you call irrelevant based purely on the fact that I'm as white as you! What the fuck gives your opinion the right to claim moral superiority over another opinion! Answer me! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU FUCKING THINK YOU FUCKING ARE TO ME?!"
The woman suddenly burst into tears. I had silenced the entire cafe. She then sat back down, sobbing like a spoiled brat, "Somebody help. Please. Stop him attacking me. Please, help. Stop. No. I can't. Please. No. This isn't meant to. It's abuse. You can't. Please, somebody do something!"
"Judge not," I snarled, scanning around the cafe with everyone's eyes downcast. "Lest you be fucking judged!"
"I think you should leave," the Abbey-Lee-Kershaw-like waitress whispered from behind the bar. "Please, just go."
"Of course," I hissed, "Typical."
Ethan's charcoal Afro Romeo 2017 Giulia was parked directed outside the cafe, and as I placed my duffel-bag in the trunk, I noticed that those in the cafe window were only watching the young entrepreneur climb in behind the wheel. Standing in the beaming sun, I glanced back at the cop car as two officers came strolling down another street.
"Well shit, that escalated quickly," Ethan roared with laughter, as we drove off with The Prodigy, The Day Is My Enemy, blasting at full volume. "Lewis only had good things to say about you, man, but I guess, now I know what he meant when he said that you had a rather outspoken personality."
"Ah, he's a dreamer, that boy."
"You're a pretty intimating individual. The way you spoke to that chick, especially how loud you got. You think that had something to do with her backing down?"
"Only 7% of communication is in the words. Everything else is voodoo and body-language. I make no apologies for her failure to articulate her unwelcome subjective logic," I stated over the music, as the car raced smoothly through the city streets. "Nothing beats face to face confrontations. Fuck internet gossip! I want face-first, no-holds-barred verbal brutality! Right until someone has a emotional fucking breakdown and needs years of psychiatric therapy to recover from their poor choice of a fucking words!"
"So what is it exactly that you do?"
"Mostly hurt people," was my default answer.
"You're a dentist then?"
The next Saturday, I had a few hours before I'd typically be late for a penthouse
barbeque with friends, so with Molotov, No Manches Mi Vida, in my
headphones, I tapped my shoe to the groove while leaning against a bus shelter
in the midday sun. Another marvelous fucking day in one of those iconic Kreuzberg
neighborhoods, crappy and proud of it. At an ex's house warming party a few
weeks ago, I had been chatting with a doctor from a methadone clinic who'd
mentioned that he never understood how this was the only part of Berlin that
had managed to avoid gentrification since the wall came down.
Checking my phone, it was just after 2pm, and then she stepped out of her front door and headed straight toward the Ubahn. Right on time. Walking along the other side of the street, I followed her and entered the underground via parallel stairs. She never once looked back or in my direction. No one ever does. Dressed in a black, she buried her cute face in a huge scarf and wore massive sunglasses even when she stood on the platform. I submerged into the crowd, only taking my eyes off her once the train arrived, though followed her in the reflections. I already knew which station she would exit, so I casually watched the others packed into the carriage.
With a face like Haley Bennett, I'd first noticed her a month earlier. She worked at a restaurant and had taken forever with my dinner. No tip for her that night. Tips are earned, you ungrateful cunt. However, it was obvious how her looks usually guaranteed her a disproportional bonus. For the next few weeks I had watched the establishment from other bars across the street. Of course there were plenty of days where she wouldn't show up, but either due to her having a day off, or starting the late shift. Soon I was confident of her hours, and followed her home in stages, until I could wait outside her building for her to return. Then I began sneaking inside her building after her. After she entered the front door, I would simply ring all the names, if no one buzzed me in automatically, instead asked who was there, I would mutter something about being from DHL or Telecom, there was always someone waiting for a package from Zalando. Once inside, I stood perfectly still at the bottom of the stairs and counted how many steps she took before I heard the keys and she opened her door. If the girl lived in the vorderhaus, I would then visited to the hinterhaus and mesmerized the names, so that whenever I returned I'd ring the buzzer those in the other building to prevent any of her direct neighbors curiously coming out into the stairs. The next time I came back, I waited on the floor above her landing and peered around the banister when she came home. She had no flatmates and she never locked the door once she was inside. I could hear her switching on the TV before taking a shower. You can learn a lot simply from standing in silence. She had those old double doors that had shallow locks, which, with a strong enough push could easily be shoved wide open without a key. From across the street, I watched her flat until her lights went out. Her weekly habits were the gold-standard of mediocre routines. The few exceptions in her schedule were just as unremarkable as her usual banal events. I stalked her and her friend for one entire Friday evening. They had vodka and laughed like they were drunker than they actually were. Whenever one of them was left alone, they buried their face in an iPhone. Several different groups of guys attempted chatting up the pair, but they were having none of it, mocking your typical twenty-year-old douchebag German jungs. By 3am, she caught a taxi, while I followed in another cab. No need to incriminate myself with the cliched, "Follow that car," line. There's nothing suspicious about someone who knows that he belongs here. I didn't even exist as far as she was concerned. Just another incidental background character passing by in the public arena of mundane insignificance.
That afternoon, while I walked behind her from the Ubahn, I knew that tonight was the night. Her schedule was set. I knew exactly when she'd be home. While she took her evening shower she would be completely vulnerable. I was right beside her just as she turned into the restaurant. Continuing on my way to the barbeque, I behaved as though I hadn't registered her as anything more than obstacle on the footpath.
I didn't really know the couple who lived on the top floor, and wasn't sure if it was really meant to be called a penthouse, but once I entered, the place lived up to the title. The lounge was wide and high, and matched with flat rectangular furniture and an abundance of modern art on massive canvases. No one was there to greet me, but I heard voices coming from a huge balcony. Pausing in the middle of the polished concrete floor, I turned to a laptop connected to speakers. Ignoring the bland as fuck playlist, I hit Electric Six, Drone Strikes, and cracked it all the way up! Stepping out onto the balcony with my shoulders dancing to the drums, everyone looked up from their trivial dribble of polite conversation as I shook hands with the host like we were giving each other a motherfucking high-five! The dozen or so guests appeared as though they spent most weekends on multimillion dollar yachts in the Mediterranean next to cocaine-colored beaches. The guys wore Ralph Lauren Polo-shirts, Lacoste loafers, and Tom Ford sunglasses, the girls dressed in even less but with much more expensive labels.
"Bruce! So glad you made it," Jan, the gray-haired host smiled, gesturing to a table of whiskey and wine. "Please, help yourself. There's plenty leftovers from the grill."
"What took you so long?" asked Anete, my Italian friend, my only actual connection to this group. "Are you ever on time for anything?"
"Hey, I camped right outside on the fucking street since last night! I was making damn sure that I'd be on fucking time this time! But god damn it, once I stepped foot in that fucking entrance, I got fucking lost as shit! It's like a fucking maze of glass and mirrors down there! What the fuck is up with that shit?! Maybe you're unaware, but I'm telling you, I'm like a Gremlin, and shouldn't ever be exposed to a motherfucking side-on-view of my own fucking head in mirrored mirrors. It fucking mesmerizes me, the warped shape of my fat fucking head! But you know, only for about twenty fucking hours before I take a deep breath and tell myself that I need to fucking accept that this is who the fuck I am! Seriously, have you seen the back of my skull?! Either I'm a fucking alien or my mother sneezed while giving birth!"
"Jesus!" Hannah, Jan's girlfriend gasped.
"I mean, come on. We all know what it's like when a girl squeezes while you're fucking her. POP! And she shits your dick out as if she'd just prolapsed her fucking liver out her vagina like a ripe fucking plumb! Come on, don't look at me like that! You know what I mean. Oh yes. Yes, you do. I see you nodding your head back there. She might not look like she's got a six-pack under that tiny dress, but when she sneezes, BOOM! That's the kind of muscle power that fucking Bruce Lee summoned when he did those two-finger pushups. CLENCH DOWN! Now just image that same fucking pressure crushing down on a new born baby's skull while half way out his mother's fucking cooter! Horrific! And now look at this deformed fucking skull presented before you this glorious afternoon. I'm no P.T. Barnum, but even I'd point and scream what a fucking freak I am! Back to the circle, creep! Get in your fucking cage! Think of the children! Oh, the fucking humanity! But you know, I'll always have the one consolation from every flaming heap of pigshit that the world dumps down on my fucking head, that thank fuck I don't have to look at myself! It's a blessing in disguise. A hideous fucking disguise at that!"
"What the fuck is wrong with you?!" another guy laughed out loud.
"Hey, what can I say, I'm a product of the vaginal-hammer of doom!"
"Yeah, well. After being subjected to my frightening disfigurement, I found myself in a wasteland of concrete and confused architecture. I mean, shit! This place looks like some prime fucking real estate, man, but what the fuck kind of entrance is that surrealist fucking nightmare?! Jesus fuck! I mean there's minimalism, and then there's designers not giving two fucks! Don't get me wrong, you've done alright for yourself, but maybe, just maybe, some day you'll live in a place with solid gold fucking walls. Then, just then, maybe we'll know that finally, at long last, after everything, you've really fucking made it big. Till then... I don't know how you stand subsisting in this squalor."
The host chuckled, a few burst into laughter, and others had a look of incredulity at my attitude. My friend was giggling as she gave me a welcoming hug and led me to the kitchen. Opening the huge fridge, she handed over a jug of fresh orange juice. "Fuck, it was like an awkward funeral here before you arrived. Everyone was on their fucking phones. Thanks for coming."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
Opening a seamless cupboard, Anete handed me a glass. "They're all Jan's colleges, and only talk business shit, and their girlfriends don't want anything to do with Hannah or I."
"I love parties like these."
"Why the fuck would you?"
"They've no preconceptions about me, and I'll never see any of their sorry fucking asses ever again. So I'm free to say absolutely anything right to their pretty fucking faces!"
"Actually, I thought you could talk to Jan about your art."
I smiled and clenched my jaw as I poured the orange juice.
"He's big into buying and promoting artists around the world."
The juice was fucking spectacular.
"I think if you approach him in the right way, he might really love what you're doing."
It was a big kitchen, simplicity was all the rage, and not a speck of dust in sight.
"So? Will you? Tell him about your art," Anete said, tilting her head, trying to catch my attention as I admired the view over the sunny rooftops. "Bruce? Are you listening? Could be a great opportunity for you. What do you think?"
"Fill her up," I smiled, holding out my glass. "And let's do this."
Sipping of that pulpy sweetness, I stepping back onto the balcony and patted Jan on the back, "I really admire how you've compensated for the lack of character in your interior design with an exceptionally mundane collection of modern art. What's it worth?"
"All of it."
Jan pouted and pretended to think about the sum.
"While you're calculating the inflation, here's an easier question," I smiled nodding sarcastically toward a fat fuck smoking thin cigars. "Which artist's your favorite?"
"Ah, well...," Jan laughed as his girlfriend, Hannah, who was less than half his age, walked over to our semicircle.
"Fuck, no stress," I ground my teeth, and grinned at Anete and Hannah. "Hell, I forget the names of artists all the time. Fuck it. Which is your favorite piece of art, then? Or not even your favorite, just the first one that comes to mind. Anyone. Come on, man. It's your art collection."
"I love the photo series above the bath," Hannah excitedly stated. "Love noir films. That series always reminds me of winter in Paris."
"Did you buy it?" I asked.
"So why did you, Jan?"
"As an investment."
"I don't get it," Anete frowned, as another girl joined the circle. "What's you're point?"
"I saw an interview with a producer in LA recently, he was saying how often he's confronted by young actors wanting to know how they can make big bucks in the business. Instantly, he got this look of disgust on his face. He tells these kids that they're doing it for the wrong reason if it's only about the cash." I paused, and squinted under my sunglasses as I took a sip of my juice.
"There's a symbiotic relationships that investors and creators must maintain," I spoke directly to Hannah. "Investors don't give a flying fuck about art or the artist. They only care about the returns. The bottom line. The motherfucking profit. Am I right?" My smile stretched wider as the man of the house gave a subtle shrug of smug acknowledgment. "In order for the returns landing in the hands of those who invest in the artists, those very artists must have little to no commercial appreciation of what their skill is actually worth. The cliche of the starving artist doing it for the love of his art, is a perfect reinforcing formula so that the money-men can take advantage of those in a weaker position of delusional belief. The moment an artist wants more than the bare minimum, he's scorned, branded as a sell-out, and shunned for his sudden lack of talent."
"You sound like a communist."
"Fuck the proletariat!" I sneered at that fat cunt behind his cigar smoke, and he giggled in agreement. "Fuck the idiot artist who thinks anyone else ever fucking understands what the fuck he's doing! Artistic exploitation, religious plagiarism, and cultural appropriation is fucking unavoidable in any kind interconnected, dare I fucking say it, 'intersectional', fucking civilization!"
"That's rich," Hannah quipped. "Coming from an artist!"
"My profession pays the fucking bills," I remarked. "Thus affording me the luxury of sidestepping the pressure of having to survive off my art by flagellating myself to the whims of whatever the kids are demanding depending on what's trending on social media."
"That's nice for you. But what about all those struggling to get by on their creativity?" Hannah's voice grew more distressed as she crossed her arms. "You can't just say, fuck the artists and all their efforts! They deserve a fair reimbursement for all of their hard work!"
"Well, if you say so," I said, turning my head, "But what you think, Jan?"
"Ah, you know," he squirmed, then laughed, "It's a risk, just like any business deal."
"But would you risk investing in something that you knew from the get-go wasn't even slightly commercially viable?" I asked, while staring directly at Anete. "Something that's been proven to have a non-existent target audience."
"Like you said with the Hollywood producer," Jan replied, as he glanced away. "They wouldn't spend money that they couldn't make back at the box-office. It's basic math."
"Exactly." And I raised my glass at the anxiety behind Hannah's eyes. I could see precisely how much she was dying to call me a fucking asshole like she always did behind my back, so I quickly added fuel to the fire, "Which is it, Jan? Tell us, which is your favorite piece in your private collection? You do have one, don't you?"
On the following Friday, I walked down a sunny street in dismal district
of Wedding. There was a large cardboard box in both my hands, and a brown
pecked cap over my head that matched my clean overalls. It was going on for
one o'clock when I pressed my finger down on a mesmerized doorbell. There
was no one around while I waited, staring patiently at the list of names and
buttons. A few seconds later, the front door buzzed, and stepped inside. I
had no intention of heading out to the hinterhaus and whoever the fuck had
just let me in. Instead, I went straight up the first staircase to the first
floor. The place was as dilapidated as most cheap apartment buildings in this
Turkish-dominated area. Standing on the landing, I listened to the birds in
the courtyard, when suddenly a door opened one level above! Adapting, I turned
and casually headed up the stairs. An old woman in a shawl muttered something
as I passed her on the way. Continuing up, I finally heard the front door
to the building open and then slam shut. Returning to the first floor landing,
I immediately pressed the door bell of the only one I'd come for.
I had spent the morning at the gym before collecting my equipment from the basement. With Greenleaf, Stray Bullit Woman, playing, I prepared my duffel-bag which I'd thoroughly washed since my last excursion. The chopping-block, dovetail saw, and scissors were placed in the duffel-bag along with several new pairs of rubber gloves, plastic rubbish bags, and a big roll of duck-tape. I went through my selection of workman overalls and had decided for brown today. Initially, I'd thought that in Germany they color-coordinate their labor force. Generally speaking: red overalls were for electricians, black for builders, white for painters, blue for cleaners, yellow for post, orange for garbage-men, and brown for whatever the fuck; but I'd seen many exceptions to the rule, including myself. After neatly packing the overalls in the duffel-bag, I lay a thick yellow A4 envelope on top, and then with a folded flat cardboard box. I then opened Photoshop, I had already deleted the address of the dead meat in Kreuzberg, and now printed out a fake DHL sticker with the current address in Wedding. The name on the sticker was random, just in case the subject who answered the door wasn't alone, then I could simply say that I had the wrong flat and abort. Though, so far, that situation had never occurred.
I happily went off to the studio for the morning, working on the educational animation for a museum. Two hours later, I told my director that I had an appointment at the doctor, and took the afternoon off. It was a lie, but a lie that was covered by the fact that I had already planned to spend the day at the pool with friends. If it was ever asked where I was, and the doctor-excuse was debunked, I could then confess that I'd been with friends who would back up my story with Instagram evidence. Not that such fucking alibis were ever fucking needed. Only jealous girlfriends double-checked my whereabouts. They trained me well in covering my tracks. Some of the best lies I've ever told were when I'd said nothing at all but implied that which they'd already assumed.
At midday, I left the studio, dropped my phone off at home, and picked up my duffel-bag. After the first train, I pulled on the overalls and cap. Once I left the next train, I stepped onto a quiet side street where I pulled out the flat cardboard and folded it into a standard postage box. It was the perfect size to fit the duffel-bag. Removing the roll of duck-tape, I stuffed it into a side-pocket on the cargo-pants. My trusty knife was, as always, sheathed at the back of my belt.
So I pressed the doorbell on the first floor for a second time. She should be home. Unless she had suddenly swapped shifts with someone at the bakery that she worked for. But then I heard bare feet upon wooden floorboards. The light behind the peephole flickered, and I held the decoy-box in front of my chest. The door-chain was pulled back before a blurred-eyed blonde, like Alysha Nett, looked up. She was dressed in nothing but a loose white t-shirt. Smiling, I held out the package as she rubbed her eyes. I saw and heard no one else inside. She seemed glad of the delivery, but then shook her head once she realized the name on the decoy-box wasn't hers.
Less than an hour later, while listening to Butthole Surfers, The Shame Of Life, I was strutting toward the Haubentaucher pool, wearing, my Adidas shorts, black cowboy hat, and green Hawaiian shirt. Better late than never. It was truly the first scorcher of spring, and I put on my cheesiest grin so that the bouncers at the front gate would kindly let this tattooed piece of white trash into the garden of Friedrichshain delights. It was an outdoor pool surrounded by silicon tits, clenched six-packs, and duck-faces all day long. I wasn't one of these beautiful people, but I also wasn't anymore welcomed down on the corner at the death-metal bar. Yet we're all meat on the inside, and I could still feel that little blonde's skin on my palms.
Only a third of my friends who said they'd show up actually did, like at any event. Soon arrived an artist whose asshole I'd broken on her birthday five years ago. She was instantly uncomfortable by the narcissistic class of people at the crowded pool. As she sat on the deck chair, her self-conscious demeanor made if seem as if she'd been stripped naked in front of a bus-load of horny English tourists at a stag-party, and yet she hadn't even taken her jacket off. "I hate these fucking people! Can't stand them. Seriously, what's going on? Where the fuck did all these creeps come from? These are mitte people! I don't know what I'm doing here. I can't stay!"
"What? We were here just last week!" I laughed, sitting next to her as she nervously rolled a cigarette. "Today was your idea."
"Yeah, but it was empty last week!" she shook her head, occasionally pecking up from her tobacco. "I really can't stay here. This isn't at all what I was expecting."
"Just look at the assholes! Perfect bodies and makeup! The girls sitting on the edge of the pool haven't even gotten their hair wet! It's a big show! And look! Everyone's taking selfies all the time! It's fucking disgusting! Seriously, I hate these people! Self-obsessed bitches judging everyone else, while those gross Arab guys in their gold chain are just perving on the girls. Oh, god! It's not even funny, Bruce! These are exactly the kind of people I really, honestly fucking hate!"
"What exactly are they doing that's any different to any other subculture? Self-obsessed selfie-takers. That sounds like everyone I know."
"No, my friends don't have any fucking plastic surgery! Christ, look at the tits and lips on that fucking freakish slut!"
"Says the girls with her entire left arm covered in tattoos."
"That's not the same fucking thing!"
"One person's body modification is another's sacrilege."
"This is art, while their plastic faces are just fucking ugly!"
"Do you really think they believe they look ugly? When they sneer at your tattoos, do you actually think they're faking their own revulsion toward you?"
"All depends where you're sitting. You're mocking them for their self-centered criticism of others, while you're doing the exact same thing to them."
"No, that's not what I'm doing! It's not the same thing! You just don't get it! These people are fake as fuck! My body art is art!"
"Precisely how do you know that they're all fake? That's a pretty broad brush you're painting them in. Have you spoken to any of them? Or are you just labeling all of them with your own prejudice toward that which you deem as different to you."
"Why are you being such a cunt, Bruce! You know that that's not what I'm doing!"
"So what are you trying to say then?"
"Gross people like this don't belong in my neighborhood!"
"Wow," I grinned. "Who said apartheid was dead?"
"Stop it!" she snapped. "I don't go to the Kudamm, because I hate the fucking people in that area! So why the fuck are they invading the places that I have to fucking live! I hate it, for fuck's sake!"
"There's that closet-territorial-bigotry that Berlin's famous for!" I said, taking my cowboy hat off and waving at some other friends as they arrived at the pool. "Besides, if you're so much better than everyone else, then why do you give a shit what the fuck anyone thinks of you?"
"You don't fucking get it!"
She soon left, and after taking my second retarded attempt at a swim surrounded by a gauntlet of Kardashian-like clones, I pulled on my cowboy hat and joined them on the edge of the pool. What a fucking lovely way to waste a day. The water was a vivid a cyan, with the palm trees over head, and the bright sapphire sky above the ruined brick walls of this once abandoned warehouse. The flesh of the humans that swarmed about the water were of every color, while their skimpy bathing suits left nothing to my over active imagination. And their skin held no secrets either. I could see the muscles, fat, breast implants, veins, bones, tendons, internal organs, and the very shit in their bowels. Meat on display. Walking, talking meat-insects. And if you focused on an individual, like tuning into a radio station, and listened to their personal fears and priorities, eventually you could see that their worldview was just as superficial and meaningless as your own fucking bullshit beliefs. Once you allowed yourself to understand their rationalizations, you could fall in love with even the most obnoxious female. If you humanize your enemies, it makes their suffering that much more delicious when you betray them. But no. I'd never hurt the ones I loved. No matter how much I wanted to. Even if I dreamed about their desecration on a daily basis. No. There was plenty of other replaceable meat to project my blood-lust upon. Keep the delusion alive by worshiping the goddess as a fucking whore. Or was it the whore who was in fact the goddess? Either way they were all meat, through and through. Nothing could alter the cold hard fact that they'd all end up cold dead meat! Sitting with my legs swaying in the pool, I ran my hands through the cool water. Feeling the liquid between my long fingers, I opened both hands as I stared at my palms... And then I suddenly cracked up laughing! This was a fucking stoner-moment! Yeah, yeah, I fucking get it already! We're all just fucking alimentary canals with appendages and a fuck-ton of emotional baggage!
Mara then asked if I wanted to go for ice cream.
And we got the fuck out of there.
That evening we met our half-Japanese friend for dinner in Hackescher Markt at a cute little Italian restaurant in the twilight breeze. After dinner, we took a walk and met another of my pregnant exes who lived near by, and took her for a short stroll. While my two exes chatted, Yumi and I followed, as she whispered, "How's this for you?"
"Being in this kind of situation."
"What kind of situation?"
"You mean taking a walk without any underpants?"
"I mean talking a walk with two old girlfriends who seem like best friends, while you and I also have our history."
"Ah, this is nothing. I've been is more hilarious predicaments. After the Kyuss gig, I was on the train with the three girls that I was having simultaneous affairs with at the time. I'd thought my smirk would give away the game. None of them knew about each other. Now that was some real ego-inflating shit right there! But this. Well, you guys all know about each other. There's no secret. So, meh."
"I don't know how you do it."
"Do it? You mean how I put my penis is vagina?"
"No! How you're still friends with all you exes!"
"If it's not my charm, then shit, it's got to be the devil's fault!"
"Seeing anyone new?"
"Had an opportunity on Mayday with Commi-Star."
"Seriously?! How the fuck did you manage that? Isn't she like, famous?"
"We've had this flirting thing for years, and then on Mayday she invited me to a party in Kreuzberg. I wasn't into just sitting around, wanted to get into the thick of it on the streets, and she tagged along. Which was great actually. She teased the shit out of riot cops and danced with the Turks. Was fun. Got us into a private party at Prinzipal where the Jager, vodka, and ecstasy was on the house. There she actually asked your ex what was the best way into my pants! He laughed and told her to watch out, that I'm a fucking drama-queen! Me! A drama-queen? Get the fuck out of here!"
"So she's really into you."
"Then why haven't you fucked her already?"
"I don't know."
"She's pretty cheeky. Probably lots of fun."
"Yeah, maybe. But still."
"Have you even made out with her?"
"Just after we left the bar, she dragged me into the moshpit of some hiphop show, and then into the middle of the street and went to kiss me... But I don't know. I kissed her, but I don't know. I don't really want to make out with her."
"Well, at that point the alcohol and ecstasy was kicking in and you could see it in her eyes."
"Don't like drunk girls?"
"Drunk, that's one thing, but a hot sloppy mess, that's another. Anyway, we ended up down by Moritzplatz, where there was this group of about twenty riot cops in full body-armor standing around some anarchist sitting on the pavement. She decided to get involved and asked the punk what was going on. My patience was already running on fumes at that point, so I stood back and watched her get the cops all agitated. More cops arrived just after us, so I stepped over and calmly pulled her out of there. I was all smiles and friendly nods at the cops. But she had to side with the fucking underdog, and started whining about how unfair the situation was. The punk didn't stand a chance against so many cops. She kept talking to the cops who refused to speak, demanding to know what he had done. We had literally walked in on whatever the fuck was going down. Who knows what the fucking drunk guy had done. But then she flipped on me, and got all aggressive, wanting me to fuck her right there. Saying she wanted me to rape her right there in front of the cops. You could not believe how fucking unimpressed I was. And then she suddenly wanted me to slap her. Now just keep in mind that there were twenty fucking riot cops standing right next to us, and she's now yelling that I have to fucking slap her. Yeah, no. I didn't feel like spending the night in jail with that stinking drunk dude. Then she fucking slapped me in the face!"
"So I dumped her scarf that I was carrying, and walked the fuck away."
"What? You just left her there?"
"No one fucking hits me with impunity."
"But you love violence!"
I glanced suspiciously at Yumi.
"I mean, you're not a violent person, but your art... And you look like a psycho when you're fucking."
"It's a shame too."
"Commi-Star said she loves anal."
"Then you should fucking love her!"
"But I don't."
"But it's you! You're Bruce!"
"Ah, there's the rub. She knows me!"
"I'm not into chicks who already know who I am."
"We knew each other."
"For all of, what, two days before we fucked?"
"But what about Mara? You knew her for years."
"And look how well that turned out."
"But you'll fuck anything and everything!"
"Don't belittle yourself."
"But you're Bruce!"
"Exactly my point. You have this constructed idea about who I am. New people aren't burdened with all that expectational crap based on my supposed reputation. It's freeing to fuck strangers."
"You won't fuck just anyone?"
"I only regret screwing two girls. This beer garden maid who came up from Munich. She was definitely hotter on Skype. At first I was totally into her, until I flipped her over and she got on all fours. While fucking her, I realize how muscular her back and shoulders were. I'm sorry but I suddenly felt like I was fucking a dude!"
"What did you do?"
"Well, I finished myself off, of course."
"Except the next night she wanted to come over again, so I had to force myself into fucking her. Swear to god, it felt like I raped myself. Jesus forgive me!"
"But you finished yourself off, of course."
"Of course! I'm still human after all!"
"And who was the other girl you regret?"
"Kidding. I loved it in your ass while you were bent over the washing machine, flicking me the bird."
"It was fun at the time."
"It was New Years Eve 2013 into 2014. This British vegan feminist who I'd met once before."
"Sound like you're worse nightmare!"
"Well, she was alone, I was alone. What else was I to do on New Years? But we ended up chatting for hours, before eventually finding ourselves in her bed. But it was so fucking awkward. Christ, it still makes me cringe thinking about it. She had this huge bed. Like two double beds put together, and it was dark as fuck. She was covered in tattoos and actually pretty fucking hot, but I can't even remember how we started making out. I was so fucking tired, I just wanted to sleep. Though once I got up behind her and she bent over, I tried to forget the fact that she didn't shave her armpits. For fuck's sake! We had exactly nothing in common. By all accounts, I was the very definition of the enemy of every one of her ideals that she had spent the night preached about. Yet still, there I was. I remember every time I pushed my dick in, she would say, 'FUCK!' I mean, saying it every now and then, sure, okay, but every time?! Come on! You're using up your fuck-quota! It just got fucking annoying!"
"Yet you still finished yourself off."
"Not this time. Maybe that's the moral lesson here: if I'm going rape myself by fucking a chick I'm not into, I should at least blow my fucking load!"
"Have you seen the art of Francis Bacon?"
"You mean Sir Francis Bacon, the philosopher?"
"No. The painter."
"You'd really like his work. Twisted bodies and mangled faces."
"Why the fuck would I like that sort fucking depravity?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was talking to Bruce. The guy who draws himself fucking the throat of a headless girl."
"Yeah, but come on, that's innocent!"
"Innocent as Bacon."
"I love pork!"
"Shut up, dick!"
"You're obsessed with my penis."
"Bacon was this total masochistic. Had fucked up relationships. Loved to be abused. Two of his lovers committed suicide. Looking at his life, you can really see where all his violent inspiration came from. But with you, I can't tell where you get your ideas from. You're like the complete opposite of what's in your art."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"What would you have done if Commi-Star kept slapping you?"
"I had a dream recently that I was getting it on with Kato, the Steampunk pornstar. Except when I got her naked, I found that her vagina and anus had swapped places. So you tell me what the fuck that means? And then, tell me, where do you think I fucked her? Where's Freud when we need him?"
Laughing, we reached a park near the river, where Yumi met a J-pop producer from Tokyo. There I excused myself from the growing flock of females, for I had a late screening of the new movie, Alien: Covenant.
After the film, with pretty pictures of bloody explosions in mind, I caught a train home and picked up my duffel-bag. Then I headed straight back to Wedding so that I could finish what I'd begun this morning. It had been a long day, but that's what I loved about springtime in Berlin.
On Wednesday evening, the girl who reminded me of Golshifteh Farahani, was
leaving her flat just as I was coming up the stairs. She briefly smiled at
me while distracted by her phone. The moment was clear. I slammed the decoy-box
into her back, driving her straight through the closing door and into her
Using my momentum, I pinned her against a wall as I slammed the door shut. She squealed as I applied the leverage of my height, dropping her and the box to the floor. Straddling her, I sat on top, tucking both her arms under my knees, before I slapped her silent! Her black hair flared out from the impact, and my hands clamped about her throat and squeezed while leaning the rest of my body-weight down on her esophagus. Veins bulged around her eyebrows as her pretty fucking face immediately turned maroon. Her feet thrashed out, but my legs restrained her best efforts. Choking a throat is like grabbing your own thigh, your fingers don't really sink in that deep, but they don't have to. I could already see the blood in her frantic expression begin to sour. Her feeble grunts were feral, and her squirming limbs merely slapped upon the shiny floor. Impatiently pressing even more of my weight onto my hands with a growing feeling of get-on-with-it-and-die-already,-I-have-things-to-do, I felt her arms go limp. She didn't look back. She was only meat. Dead and ugly.
Being well aware of how the body can revive itself, with even the shallowest of heart rates, I removed the roll of duck-tape from my black overall cargo-pants, and warped it thickly around her mouth and nose, sealing off her airways. Rolling her over, her wrists and ankles were then bound together behind her back.
It was after 9pm, but the dim light from outside was still enough so that I could make out the color of her non-responsive pupils as I lay on my side next to her and counted the minutes. She was beautiful. They always were. I had impeccable taste for the finest flavors of flesh. Moving closer, I rested the side of my head against her chest, listening for signs of a pulse.
After ten minutes of silence, I made sure the door was locked, and then closed the blinds over this familiar Friedrichshain view. I've really been getting into old Deja Voodoo lately, so plugged my MP3 player into the stereo and did a little Elvis dance to their immortal song, Beers. The music video also, pure motherfucking gold! Kneeling over the dead girl, I ripped the duck-tape off, before carefully stripping her naked. I was right, she had magnificent hips!
Dumping her clothes on the sofa, I then opened the decoy-box and plucked out the large yellow envelope from my duffel-bag. Sitting on her belly, I recalled an online conversation I had after my wasted trip to Southern France. Amelia had claimed that she was intimidate by my constant talk of sex. I grit my fucking teeth and asked if she was accusing me of being a fucking rapist! She had then fumbled tried to apologize, yet didn't actually. Some people have a fucked perception of what they think I'm really like. I'm fucking lovely! And then I pulled out a life-size photo of Amelia's face from the envelope, and duck-taped it over the dead girl's head. I'm not sick. I know exactly how it came to this. With a black marker, I then drew the fourth sigil in the sequence across Amelia's forehead. It's not rape if they're already fucking dead, and you're thinking of somebody else. It's sweet, sweet unrequited-necro-projective-sex-magick, motherfucker!
I was always rather peckish after taking care of business. Heading to the messy kitchen, I fired up the stove, threw a pan on with some butter, and then cut a chunk of meat out the girl's left leg and fried that fucker up.
While chewing on the well-salted human-schnitzel, I stood naked above the spread-eagle body. Amelia's portrait still staring backing at me. She had moved to French Polynesia this week. I'm not trying to sound paranoid, but part of me reckons that she was looking to move as far away from me as physically possible. But that's crazy talk! She's just a young adult leaving home for the first time and stretching her wings. It's got nothing at all to do with me. Besides, I'm charming! I then tore up the photo of Amelia and ate it one piece at a time. Washing down the taste of meat and paper with a cool can of Mountain Dew from the fridge. Delicious!
That left me just enough time to get home, change into my evening suit, and then meet my date at the La Fête Fatale.
Machine Gun Fellatio, Mutha Fukka on a Motorcycle, put a smirk on my face as I approached the Bassy club while reaching into my back pockets. I had received a text from my date saying that she was sitting outside waiting for me. You know, inevitably, I'm going to be late to my own fucking funeral. Marching up to a group of costumed freaks smoking outside the front door, I grinning and tossed two hand-fulls of confetti over the redhead's shock and delight! Remember kids, first impression fucking matter! Make them count! Trudka was a showgirl who I'd briefly flirted with on Instagram, before inviting her out to see some live burlesque. Naturally the conversation began with the subject of dancing. Her roots were in ballet. I talked about my lessons in boogie. And she spoke about how her job sent her traveling around the whole country. From her pics, she was that classic kind of Las Vagas showgirl with a troop of five girls all dolled-up in extravagant feathers of the most gaudy colors.
"Speaking of trolls!" a big fat opera singer then stated, as she joined the guests cuing in front of us.
"No, no. I retired, graduated, and evolved into a goblin," I rebutted, rising to greet her and her entourage. "An ass-goblin, that is!"
One of the hosts then called out my name from the door just as my old friend Burroughs came out for a pre-show cigarette. He was dressed in mirror-ball-like hot-pants, platform boots, and corset. As I introduced him to Trudka, she recognized that his makeup was based on that from Black Swan. Face-palming, I should have known that! What kind of Natalie Portman stalker do I fucking think I am! Being part of the show, Burroughs confessed his actual costume was still in the dressing-room, it was a surprise waiting for the big reveal on stage, though he hinted that it was inspired by George Michael’s video for Too Funky.
While the host found our names on the guest-list, someone else grabbed my shoulder from behind. A smile masked my lack of initial recognition. Parties like these, with gender-bender themes and costume contests, always left you dumbstruck while you attempted to place the voice. Then it hit me. It was Gabi, the big-eyed girl who'd stood me up the day after I'd returned from Romania, and then stood me up a second time just last week. Patting Gabi on the side of her face, I spotted her cunt of an older sister behind, and then I walked into the club with my hands on my date's hips. I've never once spoken with that older sister, but I could tell by her micro-expressions that I was on her shit-list. But that's the cost of the chase. You can't please them all, and you should never try to! Accept that you'll always be seen as a creep in the eyes of some, in order to gain the attention of those whom consider it to be fucking charming. Even those who call you an asshole can still find it exciting on some level, or else they'd never play the Kinesics-game in the first place. The moment you behave like the so-called perfect gentleman, you will get shamed, shunned, and you'll vaporize the moisture from every pussy in your depreciated fucking proximity.
After getting drinks, I introduced Trudka to some of the performers, the DJ, and other friends, while I continued tossing confetti over everyone. We then had our photo taken by the professionals with other friends and stupid props. However, it soon became apparent that once again, my reputation was the topic of conversation with those who chatted with my date. Smiling I excused myself and went to get some air before the show. It's a double-edged sword, other's stories about my past adventures. They can either increase a newcomer's curiosity, or scare them off. But Trudka soon joined me outside, a good sign. We joined a group conversation about their worst travel experiences. Trudka told of having all her bag stollen while in Poland, and I briefed her on my revolution for India, and she was fascinated. Years ago I heard someone say, if you tell a girl one usual story, they'll say that was interesting; but if you tell them ten usual things, they'll say that you're interesting.
Once the show began, I found the voluptuous Commie-star decked out in top-hat and tails, without any pants standing right behind me. I blessed her with confetti, kissed her cheeks, and then spotted the Gabi, her sister, and their dates just to my left in the packed crowd. I've seen more than my fair share of burlesque performances, so I've found the spectacle of onstage sequins less entertaining than keeping track of the multiple meat-targets in the audience.
During the intermission, I made a b-line for the exit from the smokey sauna. While Trudka and I were chatting with one of the drag-queens next to the front door, this giant goth chick and her subservient dipshit metal-head boyfriend stepped right into the center of our conversation and started drooling over the performer's elaborate sailor costume. The lumbering lardass was so amphetamine-enthusiastic, that she answered every questions she nagged my friend with. This whale had literally just met the performer, yet demanded to know sexually intimate details, though paid little attention to anything answered. My friend then rolled his eyes at me as the bloated monstrosity began mocking men in general, indicated how conservative I looked.
"Wow," I grinned toward my quietly listening date. "I've been called many things, but you heard it here first."
"Honey, before you go any further," the performer stated. "I'm a heterosexual husband of two."
"Oh, darling, I'm heterosexual too," the bovine reassured with shotgun-like laughter that instantly made me join in, laughing at her hideous fucking laughter. "You need to keep your mind open and trying absolutely everything!"
"So you're not hetero then," I said, as my friend clearly wanted nothing to do with this one-sided exchange of ideas.
"I just said that I was," the thundering elephant grunted, running her index-finger down my black tie. "A proud heterosexual woman and not afraid of trying anything new!"
"Anything? Anything at all?"
"Anything at all! I'll never put any limits on my sexuality."
"So you're into raping animals, genital-mutilation, and fucking kids."
"You know, forcing yourself onto non-human species, brutalizing sexual organs, and even exploiting children for your own sexual gratification."
"What the fuck?! Fuck no!"
"Then you're neither open minded or into trying everything!"
"You're missing the point!"
"What part of 'ANYTHING' don't you fucking understand?!"
That ended the conversation with uncomfortable laughter as the buffalo and her bitch boyfriend shuffled off down the street.
"Okay, so that's what your friends were talking about," Trudka said, with a smile. "But you're still not as scary as you seem in photos."
"That's my just my resting-Clint-Eastwood-face," I replied as another old social-friend arrived with hugs and kisses.
"Aw, what's that?" she asked, leaning in close to my lapel-pin, "What does it say?"
"This I'll Defend."
"What's it mean?"
"It's my clan motto."
"You know, family."
"You're wearing a clan pin?" she laughed, "You're the most disloyal person I've ever met!"
"Not true!" one of the hosts voiced up. "He's a biggest sweetie, on the inside!"
"Damn straight!" I nodded my head. "Deep down, I'm all snuggles and tickles."
Directly after the second act of the show, my cute young date had to leave as she had rehearsals in the morning, but we all know how that could have been an easy excuse for escaping. The moment I bid Trudka goodnight, I looked straight into the sly eyes of little Gabi who was standing in another group outside the club. So I pointed at her, indicating that she smelt terrible! Her horrified expression coupled with her immediate amusement confirmed my suspicions. I gestured for her to come over. And she did.
"So what's the deal?" I asked. "Why do you keep canceling on me?"
"You know!" she giggled., grabbing my arm.
"No. I don't know. That's why I'm asking."
"You're Bruce! Everyone knows about you!"
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I don't think so."
"You're a scary guy."
"Based on what exactly? We've only met once before, three years ago!"
"Yeah, I know! But you know. I've seen your pictures!"
"Pictures?" At that point I didn't know if she meant photos of me or my art. "So you've been stalking me!"
"I'm just a little girl from the country, and you're, you know!" Gabi said eagerly, until she glanced back at her sister and the other two guys. Grabbing my wrist, she then pulled me inside. "Come on! Let's have shots!"
I arrived with one girl, and now another won't let me leave. But your dick wants what it wants. Don't you love it when you're at the bar where an old buddy is telling you about his motorbike tour, but you're not listening to a single word 'cause your eye-fucking the shit out of the younger sister of a chick who fucking hates your guts. She then handed me a shot of vodka, and respectfully declined to her confused expression. However, she got over the fact that I don't drink faster than most, and said that next time she'll remember. How optimistic of her!
"Why don't you drink?" she asked, as I put my hands around her waist and pulled her slender body up against mine. She had absolutely no tits but made up for it with perfect blowjob lips. However, her watchful sister wasn't going to give us a moments rest. "Tell me. Please."
"For the same reason I don't drive," I said with a smirk, as my erection wanted deep inside this inebriated meat. "One momentary lapse of concentration and I might accidentally fucking kill someone."
On Saturday morning, while still in Charlottenberg, I walked to the riverside
East of the Schloss. There was no one else around in that nice neighborhood
as I emptied another rubbished bag of bones into the quiet waters. Once I
shook out the last fragments, I also threw a set of keys further down the
river. Kneeling, I stared into my duffel-bag at the severed head of the Abbey-Lee-Kershaw-like
waitress from the Impala cafe. She'd been a fucking fine piece of ass, and
I'd spooned with her dead meat all night. The cuddliest corpse in town. But
now look at her. A pasty face wrapped in plastic with wet hair clinging to
purple lips. Glancing around the wide streets, I wondered how many people
were sleeping in behind closed doors and oblivious to my little secret. My
Zipping up the duffel-bag, I popped my headphone plugs into my ears and thought about listening to some Kyuss, they're always appropriate for burning hots days like this. But instead, I suddenly wanted some Hey Satan, Fallon City Messiah, and walked away feeling fucking chipper. Yet even I knew that this recent upbeat mood wouldn't last much longer. After my shit time in Romania, this was my chemistry balancing itself. The good times come and they go. Or maybe it was due to all the fucking beautiful weather that had finally come to town. Scanning the bright apartment buildings on my way to the sbahn station, a woman walked by with her child, saying to him, "The thing is, this is our life." As those worlds sunk in, I had one of those random moments of clarity. This was Germany! What the fuck was I doing here?! It's been twelve fucking years! Of all the places in the fucking world, how am I still in Berlin?! I remembered when I was a kid asking myself the inane question of, why was I born in this time and place? But what fucking choice did any of us have?! We are what the world molds us into and whatever the fuck we make of ourselves! You can't have one without the other. I have no intention of trying to change the great indifference of the universe; I merely wish to better understand the environment so that I may more efficiently navigate the terrain, and then get away with fucking murder in board daylight!
Once I made it back to my flat, I went straight to the basement, unlocked my private storage unit, and then locked myself inside. There was a tiny spiderweb-covered window above my head at ground level that extended almost no light into that two by three meter unit, so I switched on a small battery powered camping lamp in the corner. The walls were the brick foundations of the apartment building. Built in 1908, it had survived the war, then been renovated in 1993 after the wall came down, and ever since 2005 this place had been home to my various developments in depravity. I sometimes wondered if the original occupants had had their door kicked in by Nazi soldiers before being dragged off to some death camp. But then again, perhaps the very Nazis who worked at the camps once lived here too. Who knows what saints and sinner sleep in your bed and walk the very street that you lived on. The door to the unit was made of wooden fencing material with inch-wide gaps, privacy hadn't been taken into consideration when the post-cold-war laborers had subdivided the basement. Covering the door with an old black sheet, I then moved aside the few empty boxes along my old desk-chair. It was silent down there. Quiet and cool. I hardly ever saw anyone else that lived here, and never once ran into another while in the basement. Still, I listened. Making sure I was alone with my duffel-bag. Them I grabbed the wall below the filthy prison-like window and pulled sideways before outward. The fake section of brick came away slowly and revealed a hidden compartment. A meter cubed, I had dug it out of the soil years ago as a shrine to a past meat-whore. Now it was a mausoleum for the desecrated. Picking up a bucket-size glass jar, I removed the lid before opening the rubbish bag and extracting that girl's decapitated head. I kissed her one last time, then housed her within the glass. While filling the jar with turps, I watched her vacant eyes slowly submerge until my trophy was completely soaked. I'd given up on sealing the lids with candle wax years ago, nothing could keep in the smell of turps, but down here it didn't matter. Still, I stretched a few rounds of black duck-tape about the rim. Using the black marker from the yellow envelope, I wrote the final sigil in the sequence on the top of the jar. Placing the heavy glass back into the darkened recess, I knelt back before that throne of five heads, and I knew that my great work was good.
While listening to the laughter and screams from Fail Army videos in my flat, I opened a new envelope from Captain Grant. Briefly scanning the three pages of elegant handwriting, I tossed the letter on the pile of other correspondence on the corner of my desk. I wasn't in the mood for Grant's paranoid conspiracies, so opened Twitter instead. There I found that the Count Dankula, ACQUIT illustration which I'd drawn last night, had become a little bit of hit. Dankula himself seemed to appreciate the sentiment and made it his profile pic. The trial for his Nazi-pug joke was yet another example of how easily anyone can be held accountable for a criminal action if those in power focus enough attention on you. We're all guilty of some atrocity that we personally deem to be normal.
After coffee and cake in the sun with my Mara and her Polish girlfriend, I ran into a tattooist who I kind of vaguely knew. Dennis was a friend of friend's friend. A big dude, real polite, and soft spoken. I was already concerned about getting sun burnt from sitting outside at the cafe for the last two hours, so we walked and talked to his place. The birds singing in the trees like an infinite chorus of shrieking babies.
"Green tea?" Dennis offered from the kitchen, as his teenage step-son yelled at his mother in another room.
"Fuck no thanks," I winced. "Not into drinking reheated piss."
A door slammed shut and we both shuddered as his wife slumped against the fridge. "He won't listen to me! I don't know what the fuck I'm doing wrong!"
With a coy smirk, I enjoyed her distraught posture like I was sniffing a bouquet of roses.
"What's the problem this time?" Dennis asked hesitantly, though keeping his back to his partner.
"He's just not listening!"
"Everything, for fuck's sake!"
Dennis fumbled around the sink.
"He never used to be this was."
"What would you like to do?"
"Why can't you do something?! Why are you always so fucking passive! You're part of this fucking family! Fucking act like it for once!"
"Hey! He never listens to a single fucking word out of my mouth!"
"What kind of attitude is that?!"
"You're his mother! I'm just the guy who married you! That makes my opinion worth less than dog shit!"
"Jesus Christ, Dennis! That's real helpful!"
"Hey! I'm not the–," Dennis hunched his shoulders and glanced at my schadenfreude. "Bruce... What do you think?"
"It's a Japanese joke. A way of mocking stupid foreigners."
"What?" both Canadian's frowned.
"Green tea," I shrugged. "The Japanese never actually drink the shit. It's a massive conspiracy. They're literally taking the piss out of anyone drinking it."
Dennis shook his head.
"I don't want him talking to my son, okay!"
"What else do you suggest then?"
"He's so fucking angry, he won't even listen to me! What fucking good could your fucking friend do?"
"Hey, Bruce. Come on, man. I'm telling you, he'll listen to you. Everyone does."
"No!" his wife stated.
"Got to respect the woman's decision," I nodded.
"Five minutes. That's all I'm asking, man," Dennis pleaded. "Last time he was like this, he tried running away. And hey, you know exactly what that shit leads to."
"Look at him! He's not the sort of person I want talking to my fucking son!"
"My honor!" I choked, while staring at the two tattooed thirty-year-olds.
"Well, I'm not even on his radar. And you're not getting through to him... So what harm could Bruce do? Seriously? What other fucking options are there?"
The frustrated mother stood with crossed arms and frantic eyes.
Opening the bedroom door, I closed it behind and walked across the huge bedroom, past the laptop and its blasting punk music. Not even looking at the kid, I opened the balcony doors and let some fresh air in as I stepped outside. What a nice view they had over the desolate train tracks.
"Who the fuck are you?!" came a squeaky voice from back in the room.
Taking a seat on the deckchair, in my white singlet, black jeans, and Chucks, I pulled on my Wayfarers, and thought of that tiny village in the south of France. A little bit of sadness then fell over me. I'd never get to stalk Amelia there again. A shame. I had such plans.
"Hey! I'm talking to you!"
Looking up at the thirteen-year-old boy in camo pants, boots, and hoody, I eventually grew a toothy smile upon my hateful face.
"This is my personal fucking space, asshole! Get the fuck out of here!"
Not moving a muscle, I continued grinning at the kid, until I finally ran my tongue across my top teeth. The kid swallowed with an expression of utter disgust, and I watched him back the fuck away. He yanked his door open, but his mother was standing directly outside with her hands on her hips. Defiantly, the kid swung the door in her face, and turned back toward the balcony, just as I stepped inside and turned the music down.
"What the fuck do you want, huh?!"
"I'm not a fucking child, dipshit!"
I paused, watching the brat stomp about and kick his bed before dumping himself down on it.
"I'm fucking sick of listening to you old fucks always telling me the same fucking bullshit! Just fuck off!"
"Tell you what. We can just pretend to talk for the next five minutes, and then I'll get the fuck out of here."
"You can't fucking tell me anything, motherfucker!"
Gazing across the bedroom walls, at the posters, flags, and political slogans, I sighed, wondering why the fuck I'd gotten involved. Was this shit really worth the hassle? But then again, Dennis said that I should just be myself. Fuck it then. "So you tried to run away from home."
"Yeah. What's it you!?"
"What's stopping you now?"
"My fucking mom!"
"How old are you, sixteen?" I flattered, and he instantly reciprocated by sitting up and looking pleased with his assumed maturity. "You're old enough to fend for yourself. Why not, you know, discard all these... Bourgeois trappings. I see you're a fan of Antifa. But how committed to the cause are you really? What kind of fucking conviction do you have?"
"Absolutely fucking committed! We have to all stand in solidarity against the fascist pigs ruining the entire fucking planet! There's nothing I wouldn't do to stand up for that which is fucking right!"
"When was the last time you ate meat?! How fucking pure are your goals?!"
Shrinking a fraction, he shook his head. "My fucking mom forces me to eat it, no matter how much I protest."
"Protest?" I shook my head and crossed my tattooed arm. "You don't protest the systematic, enslavement, slaughter, and consumption of innocent fucking sentient beings! You're either with the animals or your a fucking murderer!"
The kid stared at the floor, tilting his head from side to side.
"Tell me. what's your plan once you get the fuck out of this dump? You have a plan, don't you? 'Cause you know, the cops are going to be after your ass the moment you flee from your current incarceration. You've dealt with the authorities before, right? Of course you have. They're working for the state, but you can bet your prepubescent pubs that they're not on your fucking side! And when they find you, they'll fucking drag you off kicking a screaming. All your efforts won't be worth jack shit once they get their fucking paws on you. You're a big guy, but it only takes four cops to physically lift your entire body-weight clean off the fucking ground. And then you're as good as cattle en route for the fucking slaughter house! You'll know it's you're mother who called the goon-squad to snatch you off the streets. Your own fucking mother! You know what I'm saying, don't you. You can't fucking trust their kind! They don't give two fucks about your mental well-being or spiritual health. Don't fucking believe it when they belittle you like you're still a fucking baby! You're a fucking man! Accept no other treatment! If they won't respect you as a fucking self-reliant individual, then fuck them for their lack of the very morals that you hold sacred! You know what I'm saying is truth, don't you. You've known it for years. Most your age blindly accept the abuse of their intellect. If you tolerate it now, you'll put up with it for the rest of your fucking life! Most never snap the fuck out of it and grow the fuck up! Adults behaving like fucking idiots! That's what the government fucking wants you to become! Fuck your identity! Fuck your independence! Submit and be a grateful fucking maggot chewing on the diseased carcass of a dying empire! Is that what you want? Of course not! You know what you have to do. Fight for your fucking unique stance against a flood of clones leeching the fucking life right out of your fucking soul!"
In silence, the kid rubbed his left shoulder as he listened apprehensively.
"But I don't know what the fuck's the deal with these communist flags!" I sneered. "Where the fuck are your loyalties?"
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" the boy snorted, getting to his feet.
"You'll probably have at most twelve hours before your mother raises the alarm," I said, stepping up to the kid so that we stood side by side as I scowled at the big red banners with the hammer and sickle. "The cops will need some bullshit justification for their reports. She'll probably use that tired cliched, that's she terrified you were abducted by organized human-traffickers. She'll fake some overly emotional reaction. Get all weepy and shit. Scream at the cops and demand they get their fat fucking thumbs out of their lazy fucking assholes and do something to find you. Of course she's only really crying 'cause she knows that she'll be the one held accountable for losing custody of you. Fucking typical selfish capitalists. You hear what I'm say, don't you. You know she doesn't actually give a flying fucking what really happens to you. In fact, she probably hopes the cops beat the fillings right out of your fucking teeth. Teach you a brutal fucking lesson. That's what you fucking mother wants from you. Your own fucking mother! She's supposed to be on your side! Looking out for you! Nope! Not any more, sunshine. You're holding her back from getting on with the next phase of her self-absorbed fucking nothing life. Fucking mothers! Narcissistic cunts!"
"I don't know..."
"Is that... You have a poster of Stalin?!" I scolded, knocking a empty guitar case aside, revealing a wrinkle page torn from some old textbook. "I'm getting some mixed fucking signals here, boy!"
"Hey, whose fucking side are you on?"
"The cops, they'll take abduction as a legitimate reason for concern. You're about the right age. Got the right features. I reckon pedophiles would take one look at your pink lips and think they've hit the jackpot. Yeah, they'll probably want to sample the goods before selling your skinny ass to the real dealers. Most likely, you'll be out of the country within the day. End up in France or Italy. You'll spend a good portion of the next five years strapped face-down on some filthy bed where paying clients, with fat guts and stinking beards, will sodomize your fucking rectum inside out! And don't believe the fairy-tail that Liam Neeson films tell you. Don't fucking kid yourself that dealers would waste perfectly good heroine on a worthless piece of shit like you. Reality is, any signs of resistance, and they'll just bash your fucking nasal-cavity in while you're getting raped for the third time that day. Violence is the best form of controlling resistance. Heroine is for the movies aiming to trigger fucking idiots more horrified by drugs than sexual molestation!"
"Who the fuck are you?"
"Fucking seriously? Is that Mao? Are you Antifa or just another fucking communist shill?!" I yelled, punching a black and white photocopy pinned to the wall. "You think the cops are on your mother's side, they're fucking not! She's just as culpable as you! And if they don't fucking find you, they'll fuck her over like just another fucking hooker down at the corner! Like your old buddy here, Stalin did back in the day. They'll take her for a little trip down to the fucking basement for some old-school re-edu-fucking-cation, all in the name of the fucking party! All for the fucking party! It's a fucking party, alright! A party of breaking bones and fucking electrocutions! Seriously, what the fuck are you thinking with this Communist propaganda on your fucking walls?! This sort of fucking shit makes me think you're just as fucking bad as the fucking cops! Is that it, boy?! Are you a fucking traitor?! Who the fuck do you work for, cunt?! I see the Stalin and Mao idols, but where the fuck is your Hitler portrait? You're no Anitfa! You're just another fucking brown-shirt, Gestapo wannabe! I fucking hope the refugees gang-rape you down by the fucking graveyard, you little Nazi fuck!"
"What the fuck is your problem, you fucking psycho!"
"Psycho?! How fucking original, you punkass fuck-stain! Next you'll be saying you fucking believe that the world's flat! Where the fuck are your Pepe the frog memes, motherfucker?! Come on, fucking show me! Fucking admit it, you little Alt-Right, milk-drinking coward! SHOW ME HOW FUCKING COMMITTED TO THE FUCKING CAUSE YOU REALLY FUCKING ARE, YOU PRIVILEGED FUCKING CUNT!"
"What the hell's going on!?" the kid's mother screamed, smashing in the bedroom door, "Get the fuck out of my house, you fucking lunatic! Dennis get this cocksucker the fuck away from us! I'm calling the fucking cops!"
A sadistic smile spread across my spiteful demure, as the kid clung traumatized to his red-faced mother. "Told you so."
Later that night, before heading off to a record release party, I dressed in my Uncle Fingers suite and tie, while listening to House Of Pain, Jump Around. At the end of the day we think we might get the girl, but there's no guarantee that we left a lasting impression on anyone. There's little reason to believe our fucking actions will have any ramifications on the greater world, or even upon ourselves for that matter. Ultimately, there's no way of predicting what capricious concept of karma might come around and bite us in the ass.
Raising my head to the ceiling covered in that white porous mass of nesting serpents, I knew that tomorrow might prove everything learned today was no more significant than a routine projectile-ejaculation across another pair of perky, barely-legal titties – just a trivial fucking distraction from life's exquisite fucking misery.
© 2017 BRUCE STIRLING JOHN KNOX