Friday, May 27, 2011

untitled as of Now

The Grip

Slight twists of Big Brother’s vascular forearms excrete minute beads that glisten, as they slowly grow and fall, following veins to a plastic armrest. With high noon approaching, every glowing car on the block with dark paint could cook a steak. Inside his midnight blue sedan items were coming to rise like cup cakes in an Easy Bake Oven. Just one more hour parked without shade, thought Big Bro, causing him to turn in his seat and shield his face from invisible bon fire winds.

The white part of his eyes burned from perspiration magnifying radiant sun beams bursting through the ’88 Durango windshield. He blinked rapidly in attempts to activate his tear duct. Soothing tears roll down his face as he takes the bottom of his worn and holy Mall of America T-shirt stretches it out even more stretching the cotton material over his face smearing down a mix of perspiration and tears. His squinting brow could not block out the harsh light projecting odd shapes against thoughts of Jim Bean and vomit. Closing his eyes again Big Bro focuses on the thin layer of skin pumping networks of cascading blood cells. Gazing inside his mind he recognizes the familiar “floaters,” a word he made up for the hardly visible clear strands of protein making up pupil tissue. This had to be the most brutally sweltering day in the history of earth Big Bro said to himself in a low whisper as he recollected a truck stop television mentioned something about the sun being closer than normal. That was the last he had seen or heard the news in a little over forty eight hours.

The upper middle class suburban neighborhood resembled something out of a magazine article pertaining to futuristic utopias. Everything about this current moment contrasts the bottom bucket town he and his brother grew up in. Mansions on the street contained three or more levels with high walls tucked two feet from the sidewalk. There are only a few dwellings on the freshly paved cul-de-sac without these walls and Big Bro was nestled next to one. It had a babied flower bed striping with inviting mix of vibrant colors leading up to the front door. The door contains hand blown glass mounted in its’ cherry oak stained finish.

Determined to remember what street they were parked on he uses his thumb and middle finger to rigorously message a hammering hangover from his temple. It was a long haul across the panhandle fueled with Yellow Jackets and Fourloko. These legal doses of speed came in the form of pills and cans purchased in a Gun Barrel Texas gas station. Yawning, Big Bro casually fills his lungs with the syrupy odor of evaporated Fourloko stuck on pennies lining the cup holders. This sweet aroma slid up his nose accompanied by a heavy waft of some rotten elixir. The ingredients coursed through his mind; chili cheese bean burritos, onion dip, mac salad and cheap booze plastered on both sides of the passenger door. The orgy of scent conjured memories of the night before which bubbled to fruition an epiphany, the street’s name: Edgefield.

Proud that the wheel in his brain finally started turning he smiles glancing at Lil Bro who’s exuding auras of supreme tranquility. His faint whispering breathes let Big Bro know he’s still fast asleep. Avoiding any sudden sounds that would disturb the little guy’s slumber he slowly slides back in the driver’s seat and listens to peculiar sounds. He could’nt quite put his finger on it but was positive that the distant back and forth tweets echoed more like a whistle. The pattern of noise continued in occasional steady repetitions for two to three minutes. The whistling intensified like a distant approaching train and this perplexed him because there were no birds anywhere in sight. Forty eight hours behind the wheel, Big bro was convinced he was either hallucinating or mistaking insects for birds. Any noise was better than the loud siren of a cop car. To Big Bro a cop was just a reminder of what he was, poor and on the run. Somehow this always sounded better than where they were coming from.

That was exactly the state their parents left the brothers in after they passed. There was nothing left to take after paying bills that had piled up. The house was auctioned off to the highest bidder. They took what they could from the childhood home and watched as recollections disintegrated to a highest bidder. California was the promise land and in his thoughts exactly where he would find his new job and hopefully he would be able to afford a low rent apartment for him and Lil Bro to share. He knew for a fact the child protective services in his state would end up shuffling a troubled child’s paper work into the wrong hands again. The people designed to protect the brothers only had the great idea to separate them until Big bro warned that he would runaway if they where taken to separate homes. They spent a year in the wrong hand of a state run foster home and there was no way in hell him or his little brother was going back.

The brothers were not going to jail and sure as hell not heading back to that halfway house for children. Big Bro knew he couldn’t lose the only link to his past. Little bro had been through it all with him. They were together when they heard of their parent’s death the shit house they were heading to. He suffered the same beatings under the hand of Charlene’s circle of biker boyfriends. He’d been planning to get out west ever since Billy, a former foster brother, sent him a letter leaving him elated about nights on Venice beach. He was absolutely convinced that Lil Bro was better off with him.

Deep in his gut he had a certainty that they were going to make it once they got out there and yet, there was a thought something was missing. He had climbed over the thoughts of his mother’s death like a precious mountain examining each rock with every step until reaching the peak of that mountain with the mental images of his mother’s open casket. That thought was quickly shunned as he descended the mountain of bad memories with blizzard winds that morphed into a howling Harley straddled by piss filled leather wearing demons. He ducks reminiscing about being beat and feeling helpless with now where to go. That was then this is now he thought. He was a man now and it was time to put the nightmares of the past aside and try to focus on a better life and live in the moment.

These houses enchanted him in a way their run down foster home never did. Anything was better than that garbage dump. After the death of their mom the state placed him and Lil bro with a foster mom who was already housing five kids some with mental disorders. Their foster mother’s name was Charlene, and her two front teeth were missing leaving a large gap in the middle of a mouth consumed with brown and green teeth that noticeably showed as she spit words out with a lisp. Any kid living in that shanty pig pen he knew this because she kept no positive influences hanging around her. The selfish woman was using adopted children for benefits then spending what she got mostly on herself. It was so bad at her place they couldn’t sleep many nights due to loud pipes and shouting. Bikers liked to climb up the stairs when they were pickled and antagonize him and Lil Bro for sick sport. Most of his years at the foster home were spent roaming the streets at night.

Big Bro rolled his neck feeling a ripple of pops explode as flashbacks takes over. The two shared the same room with four other temporary siblings and a leaking roof that dripped on Big Bro’s twin size mat on the floor by the room’s only small window. He remembered the first night and having to share a bed with his brother. Their nights were restless and clouded with moans of mentally challenged foster brothers unable to express his bad dreams. Many of the nights’ sounds were drowned out under the heavy thundering motorcycle engines and drunken fights. The two peaked through curtains and watched as a brutal shooting took place. The biker gang ended up beating an undercover cop hopelessly to death and had to leave state.

The day the gang left he started lifting weights. He vowed no man would ever touch him or his brother that way ever again. They associated with at Charlene’s ghetto orphan shack. That was the old rat’s name, Charlene and he vowed every Charlene would have her same Karma. The place they lived in with her sat on a block was mischief prevailed and shadows of addicts and pimps occasionally formed under street lights. Reaffirmation of his past situation was enough for him agree twice that this would be a better life.

He hadn’t been to church in a while but still believed and liked to think If God would help them live like two thieves on the run until he could meet up with his L.A. buddy with a living room where the two could crash until he found a job that would let him get his own place. He was now more than ever convinced this must be the promise land they would make a new start.

Big bro had just turned eighteen and his fifteen year old brother he dubiously calls Lil Bro, stands six foot which at the age of fifteen towers over most his peer. They were the definition of boy-men, old enough to know but not know better than. A phrase his father would say and one of the few things he could remember about him. He would say that after they did something wrong. Wrong and right are often blurred by what is socially normal. Currently he felt they were far from anything socially stereotypical. He thought they were a couple of boy-men with so much to learn just yearning to be free.

They had robbed a grocery store to stock up before their road trip and Big bro wasn’t too proud of the fact that they had looted through two states because it was the only way to get to the final destination. The remainder of funds had been spent on gas and food to get them by for now. They walked out the store with a total of two hand held baskets stuffed to the brim with lunch meat bread and cheese. Lil Bro managed to fit some beer in the basket as the two casually strolled out of the front doors of a gourmet market in Downtown Dallas Texas. That was their first stop on the way out of the bayou state.

Big Bro explained to his smaller sibling that stealing from major corporations is not the same as stealing from a mom and pop’s store. These store where multinational with billions of dollars and could afford to lose some food. It was insured he told Lil Bro and that just meant that money was set aside for lost or damaged goods. He explained the company expects to lose a certain amount of food due to contamination and most the food will rot before it is even eaten. He didn’t think this was true but it helped Lil bro go along with the plan and it worked somehow justifying the obvious wrong.

Their close call came in El Paso when they nearly escaped arrest after pulling away without paying the large gas tab. They were on half a tank and now he guessed the needle rested on the last peg below a red dash designed to tell when one was running on pencil fumes. Big bro concluded they had a mile and couldn’t waste it until they knew exactly where more could be easily stolen. The rations were low and this extended road trip was near its end and they both knew it. Lil bro starts to rustle from sleep and yawns with a quick bicep stretch.

Big Bro returns the yawn innately and sinks deeper in his reclined grey leather. He watches Lil Bro and wonders if he feels the drop of perspiration rolling down his adam’s apple and settling in the soft dip between the clavicle bones. He turns his head to gaze at mechanical water sprinklers popping out of the earth to shower perfidiously edged St. Augustine matted yards. They had made it to Arizona that he was positive but, something about the current surroundings looked nothing of the sort of neighborhood one would associate with L.A. residents. It was different in the since of having more room to roam and safe for residential for suburbs. They were out of L.A. that’s what it is he thought. Failing to make contact with his friend who promised a couch to crash Big Bro decided to head north and find a secluded place to park. He must have driven further away from the city than he previously thought. To him the community was like a swimming pool full of chlorine in the middle of a desert you can walk to the edge but it wouldn’t be worth jumping in.

“I want to stand under those sprinklers,” Lil Bro surprised his brother with the sudden out loud thought. “We better not,” Big Bro responded ardently. You awake bro? Lil bro asks from the lowest voice he could muster in the heat. “You got a smoke?” Big bro,”We’re out.” I feel like shit. I’m so hung over. I need a cigarette right now so bad me head if fucking pounding. Big Bro shared the same ringing in his head and didn’t want Lil bro that squares were on the list of things to lift from the last truck stop. They were both just glad as hell to have gotten the pigs off their trail after the last heist. He knew that now there ride had been compromised and there would be no major more frivolous spending if they any hope of reaching LA by the end of the week.

The two glanced up at the sun and realize the desert of America was the back drop to suburbia they found themselves in. Big Bro, “better find a place to get cool or they’ll cook for the rest of the day. Well we got about a few miles left in the tank. “Where the fucks are we?” “Phoenix but, I’m not sure what part.” The two decided to drink every beer in the two thirty packs they had boosted the night before. This was their belated reward for a night of instant gratification. “I can’t believe we didn’t get arrested last night. I don’t know how that cop did not spot us.” In truth big bro didn’t know the cop had to have passed right by them and make his way out of the dead end road.

“God Damn it I’m burning up!” Lil Bro rustles and adjusts his chair. “So you’re awake now? You passed out pretty hard last night” Lil Bo looks around him then in the back seat were the cooler sits. “Is there any booze left?” Big Bro adjusted his seat to a driving position. “Yeah, three more bottles.” Taking off his sweat soaked shirt Lil bro reaches back and opens the cooler. “Say How about a little hair of the dog?” Lil bro pulls out a bottle of beer from the cooler. “Its still cold.” He watches his brother pull a floating bottle from the still chilled water. “You need a shower, you’ve been sweating in that shirt for three days.” “Do I smell that bad?” Your starting to ferment I think it is time to change shirts.”

Little brother had slowly awoken Easter Jesus arms above his head's and breathes deep then lets a yawning sound a we have got to get in some shade the hell is this suddenly a knock comes in on the window.

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