21 April, 2008


There comes a point at which even I can't stay in bed feeling sorry for myself.

...But then I came into my office and got behind the computer and knew I couldn't write anything. Not even something completely worthless.

So the best I can do is copy a story I wrote a while ago at a friend's place when I was feeling write-tastic.

...However, this one kinda sucks. Best I can do:


"Fuck. If we don't turn off we're getting mugged."

"Calvin? CALVIN, COME ON!"

V had already crossed to the other side of the street, which I wanted to avoid because there were two teenagers leaning on Section Eight fences at 3:30 a.m. there.

"V, come here" I seethed through my teeth and across the road... But he already had resumed walking.

"Goddam you forever V -- stay close to me."

I crossed the road at a run to wrap his sleeve around my hand, trying to keep him close while he tried to control his legs and walk the straight line of the sidewalk.

I let go of him for one second as I hopped across the gutter, just after we passed the two kids ("What's up?" "What's up."). Then one of the kids was in front of me.

"Gimme your wallet."

I was straddling the yellow lines in the middle of the road.

Where the fuck was a car, even at 3:30?

Oh yeah, not in this neighborhood. Not even a cop car.

"I'm sorry -- What?"

The kid couldn't have been more than fifteen. He shoved a box-cutter (if fucking terrorists caused 9/11 with them, it stands to reason someone will fork over a simple wallet when faced with one) into my stomach, only enough to press in the skin around it.

My eyes, of course, immediately examined the tool, and I immediately saw that the possible cause of my death -- the blade -- was rusty and dull.

If I was to die it would be from infection... Possibly sepsis... The medics would have hours to put Humpty together again.

But fuck -- what did the other guy have... What was he threatening V with... How could I have let him go for that one goddam moment...

"Gimme your damn wallet man."

He wasn't acting calmly enough -- and was too young -- to convince me he had the balls to slit my throat. Only my stomach was in danger... Then again, maybe everyone who dies choking on their own blood in the middle of DC roads thinks this a few spoken sentences before their windpipe feels the wind...

"Look, that's not gonna work out."

"The fuck did your say?"

He pressed the box-cutter harder into me. At that point it still wasn't even cutting the cotton I was wearing.

...Still... What does the other guy have on V? What is my stalling accom--


V came rushing across the street, oblivious to what was going on with me and the kid. He bear-hugged me across the street to the other sidewalk.

It was over. The kids made no effort to follow as I dragged V by his collar as fast as I could.

I made us walk a few blocks out of our way before we came to V's English basement, while trying to explain to him the danger we had been in. When he asked "What?" in utter incomprehension for the fifth time I knew his drunkenness saved both our asses.

I talked to V after I woke on the sofa and he came out of bed. I was happy to discover that he didn't recall anything that had happened past one o'clock of what was technically the same day.

It reminded me of the relief and surprise I felt when, as we shared a bottle of Shiraz before passing out after our encounter, the wine glass didn't shake in my hand.

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