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MERRY SKULL BITES: Poseur Imprint

"To kill time, I was spray-painting the logo of my band on the walls-the biohazard symbol. Paz tried to wrestle the can out of my hand to write the anarchy symbol. A cop car turned the corner so I chucked the can into some shrubs. The cops found the empty canister in the bushes and wrote me up for it."

by Derek White

COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


We had plans to blow up the neighborhood Safeway with a homemade bomb. Not that I particularly wanted to or knew why we were doing it-there was a certain detached momentum involved. It was decided and we were doing it. I'm sure impressing my girlfriend Darcy had something to do with it-especially being that her ex-boyfriend Paz was with us, along with a few of his punker friends.

To kill time, I was spray-painting the logo of my band on the walls-the biohazard symbol. Paz tried to wrestle the can out of my hand to write the anarchy symbol. A cop car turned the corner so I chucked the can into some shrubs. The cops found the empty canister in the bushes and wrote me up for it. I laughed at the irony that we were given a ticket for such superficial "vandalism", when we were well on our way to bigger and better things. I pushed my luck and asked them if they had anything better to do, like arrest drunk drivers and rapists. Officer Randall replied in the negative and we were back on our way.

Paz was from Israel and had a 3-foot Mohawk. We were all somewhat privileged suburban kids except for Paz. His only extravagance was putting honey in his instant coffee. I knew Paz before Darcy knew him. That was actually how I eventually met Darcy. I also knew him before he was a punker, but Darcy only knew him as a punker.

When I met Paz in my Sophomore gym class, he was a rocker with long hair and sleeveless t-shirts that listened to Def Lepard and Ratt. I turned him on to the Dead Kennedys and the Circle Jerks and he was hooked. All he had to do to become a punker was shave the sides of his head and buy some extra-strong dippity-do, which I reluctantly lent him the money for. He spiked it three feet into the air, but let his bangs hang in his eyes. As a consequence, he constantly had his head tilted at a peculiar angle and was always flipping his bangs out of the way. I took this as a sign of low self-esteem, but the punker girls thought it was sexy-especially when he had a cigarette dangling from his lip.

Despite being weak and impressionable, Paz was a nice enough guy. His name meant "peace" in Hebrew. But his friends were sleazeballs. After our minor setback with the cops, we ran into three deathrock girls that were riding horses naked down El Camino. They were causing a scene and backing up traffic. Paz's sidekicks decided they needed to be "saved"-as if we didn't have enough to worry about already. The girls got off the horses and shoed them off, despite Darcy's pleas. They had a truck and a horse trailer with some mattresses. We all piled in. It made it feel more criminal, but at the same time gave us a sense of camaraderie.

We waited in the horse trailer while Darcy planted the bomb in the frozen food section. This was the original plan-she went in by herself because she looked the most normal of the group. Once the bomb was detonated we would have ten minutes to get out. While Darcy was in Safeway, the horse girls started feeling up Paz and his punker friends. One of them tried to grab my ass and I told her to get away. They all laughed at me except Paz. But he wasn't exactly defending me either. We were all losing focus. I curled into a ball and waited. I must have fallen asleep.

I woke up to a flash, but it ended up not being the bomb. It was just stars twinkling in the evening sky. Everybody else was asleep in the horse trailer. I told them all to wake up, and noticed Paz and Darcy weren't there. One of the deathrock girls said Paz went to check on Darcy a while back. I got out to check up on them. Then I saw a real car bomb come around a corner. All the Safeway customer's emptied into the parking lot, including Paz. I tried to ask him what was going on and he yelled, "don't ask, just run".

I waited for Darcy. She was the last person to emerge, but then she ran right past me. I yelled out her name, but it came off sounding stupid, like I was trying to be the hero. She kept running and I couldn't keep up. I jumped in the horse trailer just as they were taking off. Then Darcy hugged me. It felt genuine. We were all out of breath and flushed. Paz flipped his hair out of his eyes and smiled at me. Then he sang a line from our favorite 7-seconds song, "I've seen a lot of changes in my time."







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Derek White was once a musician, but now is a wanna-be writer. "Poseur Imprint" is part of an unpublished collection of dream-inspired flash fiction entitled "Poste Restante". Other work of his has appeared or is forthcoming in Del Sol Review, CrossConnect, Diagram, gestalten, Aught, perspective, xtant, Snow Monkey, and you are here. He works for pressplay (an online music subscription service) in New York City and can be found on the Web at www.sleepingfish.net.






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