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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Dead Mouse Dioramas

I was fully missing my class. My own fault; I knew I had to be out of the house by 7 but somehow spaced on it until 7:25. I made a mad abortive dash for the bus anyway, and by the time 8:00 struck I'd be defeated at West Portal, hopping off to catch the one in the other direction.

I'm not a tall guy. 5'6" on a tall day. Shorty McShortShort is probably only about 5 foot, but he can be a tall order if you're having a short day. He was dozing unpeacefully on the sidewalk in the lee of a parked car, snugged into his parka, hat pulled down around his ears. His legs might have been under the car's actual tire, and I'd just begun wondering what would happen if the car's owner showed up, when Jolly Fellow distracted me by staring at me.

I knew what was coming. Jolly Fellow had been waiting at the stop for the ten minutes that I'd been there, asking anyone who went by, "Hey, do you know (song I can't remember the title of for the bloody life of me)?

"Aww, come on! It's, like, one of the classic San Francisco Songs. And most people don't even know it if they don't hear it," he lamented fiercely. I knew he was going to ask me this. I didn't give a shit. I was still stewing that half of Crosswinds' servers had slid into hell, taking Chamber and all my stored photography with them. "Buggery-fuck this man and his songs," I was thinking ungraciously. "I have a lot of uploading to do. My DATA is INSECURE! HOOOWWWWLLLL!" My technocratic heart wailed and gnashed it's teeth. And yet, he stared.

So finally, I looked at him.

"You know (song)?" he lisped, predictably. "Not a clue," I answered. "Isn't that a shame?" he asked the world at large, emo-glasses a-flutter.

"Motherfucker SONUVABITCH." Shorty announced, struggling to his feet like a prizefighter after his second knockdown. Jolly's stunted danger-sense kicked in, and he began backing towards the wall I leaned against, muttering, "Aw man, aw no," as Shorty began a gimpy beeline towards him, muttering, "I WILL KICK YOUR MOTHERFUCKING ASS."

This is how I know I am not a nice guy. I should have headed Shorty off at the pass. I've no love for the dude, and can remember having flung him nearly into a wall after he attempted to latch on to me and hack up his much-abused lungs all over my jacket one crisp fall evening. And I don't like to see people suffering needlessly, and I should have stepped in to alleviate that. But I did not. I watched Shorty, despite being half his size, belly-push Jolly backwards into the wall, and the only thought in my head was, "Oh, this is gonna be good."

Jolly tried to get rid of him with pleas, tried to buy him off. He turned his neck to heaven and his belly to the sky and groveled. "Don't hit me, man, okay? Just don't hit me. Somebody already broke my glasses, okay? Can I give you a cigarette? Just don't hit me, alright?"

Shorty, who I sense is under the dominion of a higher power, was having none of it. He took the profferred cigarette and continued to smoke it in the man's face. Despite being belligerent and on the offense, his mantra was, "I'm scared. I'm scared, dawg. I'm scared. Don't fuck with my family. I'm scared." He repeated this over and over, in response to all of Jolly's half-hearted remonstrances, occasionally working in another, "I will kick your ass," for a few extra debate points.

"What are you scared of?" Jolly finally asked, trying to buy time.

"Life," was Shorty's succinct answer.

Jolly Guy finally squeezed out of his tight spot, moving away from the wall and closer to the curb. Shorty trotted over to lean up against the wall, elbow to elbow with me. He once again hollered at Jolly, "Don't fuck with my family, dawg. Don't do that shit," but without much steam. After a moment, I felt an elbow dig into my side. I turned to regard the little warrior.

"I'll kick your ass," he spoke, conversationally.

"Mm-hmm. That's what you been telling everyone up and down this street, man." I reply.

Shorty nods, looking away for a bit, studying Jolly, who still won't leave the bus stop even though there's one every two blocks, but won't make eye contact either. And then he turns back to me.

"Kill me," he says, gravel in his voice, but not really gravity. Just a certain stillness. A waiting.

I look back, truly this time, taking the measure of this man. He is not slumped. There is something utterly defeated about him, but uncompromising all the same. I see a sick and crying animal in his brown, bloodshot eyes. But not a dead one. Not by a long shot.

"No thanks, man. I'm on probation," I reply.

A second ticks by, two, and he nods. As the bus rolls up, Shorty heads around the corner to relieve himself, though the corner is one on an intersection, the building is a busy apartment, and daylight is still looking over our shoulders. As he does, releasing water to the ocean, he yells at Jolly Fellow, "Don't fuck with my family, and don't bother me! Be a man, motherfucker, behave like a man! I'm not bothering you, don't bother me! (I was not, Jolly spits bitterly, but way under his breath). Don't bother me! And be a goddamn man!"

When the bus doors close, Jolly slumps into the nearest chair, and I feel guilty again. He was really scared. "That guy's really harmless, but you can't say anything much to him or he'll go off. You'll be fine," I venture as I'm on my way down the aisle. "I just wanted to hear (song)," the guy murmurs petulantly. And he is so like a little boy sulking that suddenly I'm angry again. There's no reason for a grown man to be so damned helpless. There's something wrong with it. You shouldn't play outside if you can't at least say "No" when you're uncomfortable, at least try to push somebody back who's pushing you. The wolves will come, and your parents will cry when they find your swingset empty. Why are we all so domesticated, clawless? The Machine runs more smoothly when we can't do or say anything for ourselves, doesn't it?

Ahh, my rants are falling down. My hypocrisies will soon be visible, if I don't pull them back up.

The adhesive safety layer was bubbling up from the windowglass on the bus as I rode back. I would push it down, or make streaks across it with a fingernail, and after a while, with a little snap, it would always pop back up. It gave me something to occupy my mind with, something other than jobhunting. For some reason, April always brings me layoffs, like a proud kitty leaving dead mouse dioramas on the doorstep.

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"The wolves will come, and your parents will cry when they find your swingset empty."

favorite line. well told man, and it's god's honest truth that i would have done{notdone} the same thing... i think that makes me a good person. so which of us is the better person, the one who has clarity, or delusion?

anyway. nicely done.

one more: "april always brings me layoffs, like a proud kitty leaving dead mouse dioramas on the doorstep."

This was my favourite line: " Why are we all so domesticated, clawless? The Machine runs more smoothly when we can't do or say anything for ourselves, doesn't it?"


Because as I was laying on my face, bucket near at hand, yesterday I couldn't help but think that it's the inside job that gets you every damn time.

On that note I'm mailing you Brave New World tomorrow. Tomorrow damnit. It will flesh out more of the Machine for you. And I still can't believe you completed a degree in philosophy and never read this.

Cherrio Ninjakitty.

If you are sick of the toothless, imagine your joy at 180,000 battle hardened shell shocked PTSD veterans again joining our population and recieving benefits from our loving government, then subsequently going insane and killing in orgiastic buckage.

I am glad you did not kill crazy-who-sleeps-at-the-stop because the human animal is wonderfully resilient. His story might begin (again)with the day he asked someone to kill him who refused, so casually, as though his life was worth something.

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