copyright Tim Anderson 2012
A novel based in True Events, Covered in a Glaze of Fiction to Save the Guilty. There are no Innocents.
Part one. The setup.
How the fuck to I get myself into this mess time after time?
Boredom on an behemoth level. An intense feeling that everything is going slowly down the drain, there are only a few days left at a time, and each week alive is another victory over a voice inside my own head I am unable to control.
Lets call it “Bob”. Just to give this little demon a name. Doesn’t like this farce of a society. Not that I do for that matter. Seems so futile, bland. Devoid of color and noise. The noises this planet does make seem to be dissonant and chaotic. Nothing really that peaceful. War, gunfire, and horrible breaking news segments that hurt the eyes, the ears, the soul.
“So let us have ourselves a little FUN!!!!”
“Okay Bob, what you got in mind”
“Colorado Springs huh. Get in the car. DRIVE”
It feels like there’s a gun to my head, not just in my head. But off I go, laws, cultural codes, control constructs be damned. Filling a pipe with some bud, driving west, to see an old friend. Still have a job lined up, and this will be cake. The car itself, small, loaded with my entire life, drug paraphernalia, clothes and computers, across 3 states, towards the belly of Colorado Springs.
Sixteen hours later, I get to the soon to be dreaded Acacia Park. Only about the size of a block, and central to Colorado Springs, I’m about to find out what I’m in for. As I’d soon find out, a lot more than I bargained for.
“Hello Tanderson welcome to Colorado Springs, party favors abounds”
“Hello, I am Maggot, eat this”
And there is the beginning. A little lavender bit of paper, ingested, which amazingly set the tone of the next crazy month. However, it did take the edge of, and in a few hours, put a new edge on. Just what I needed. While I watched the trees of the park melt away, and the setting sun drip down towards the horizon, some words were spoken to me that I couldn’t at the time comprehend, or even hear. I just saw the lips move and the colors drip out. Odd that they were greys blacks and dark blues, but I took no notice.
Getting in the car, finding out where I was to call home was another experience all together. Glad i’m wearing this new lavender mental suit though. Make all this easier to swallow when I come to in the morning. Although it does seem at times, during this hellish trip, I may never fully come to.
A tiny 2 bedroom apartment. Nine to eleven people at all times, some of whom never seem to sleep. What is this then? What’s going on here? What the fuck just moved over there?
A cat. What the hell do you call it? Oh Schiz. That is lovely. Why is everyone wearing black? Yes I would love a hit on this bong. Hold on, gotta pee…
What is this strange place? I know, it’s an apartment, but it seems like something else is going on here. There is something called a Juggalo in the back room. He seems, ok at times, but mostly angry. Ah the bathroom. Good. What the hell is going on here. Constant shadows, I don’t know if that the drug, or are there more people here that I think. Trying to get it all together, trying to see when it will make sense. Then I finally notice the floor. Many things can be figured out by looking at the floor. Broken glass, empty bottles of all descriptions, and something intriguing going on with this carpet.
Count the colors.
FOUR? THIS CANNOT BE RIGHT. I’ll check that out in the morning. Something is wrong here. Something is very very wrong here. Who just puts down more and more carpet in an apartment? Is it the maintenance people? Is it these tennents? How long has this place been going on.
I need to get some sleep. Great. The Juggalo’s room. He’s yelling and screaming about something. I don’t care about what it is. I’m just tired. Been driving all day to get to this place. It’s 4am. I think this is starting to wear off. Good night or good morning, whatever. I gotta call the job.
Well, it was a good 4 hours of sleep. Because this house is buzzing, or at least the tv is. Some insipid talking heads. Whatever. I get up from this matress, find the bathroom again, and count the carpet. I hope I just imagined that from last night. GODDAMN IT! This is not a drill. Something odd is going on.
“hey Linda, just what the hell is with this 4 layers of carpet? What the hell is going on here? What kind of place have you brought me to?
“It is going to be ok. Calm down dude!! Here, let’s go get some coffee in you, coffee is good for you”
Once outside and away from this burrow of nightmares, I’m told what’s been going on. It’s basically a squat. Rent hasn’t been paid in who knows how long, it’s easier to just put down more carpet than cleaning us the stains, and no one has a job. Eviction notices are burned and laughed at, and the cops come around regularly. Hearing this, I wonder what other bad news is in store. Once inside I call the job.
“Hi, this is Tim. I’m a transfer from the store in Oklahoma City?”
“Hi Tim, we were wondering about you. We’ve actually got you scheduled for morning shifts, iis that ok? You were supposed to work this morning but we figured that you got here pretty late last night.”
“What!!!! I thought my transfer stated I was a night closer” I don’t do mornings very well!!! But ok, what time do I work in the morning”
“We will see you at 5:45am. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding”
You’ve got to be kidding me. Bad omens since I got here. Nothing but disappointment. First I live with 11 people in a tiny apartment, with no working coffee maker, a kitchen littered with the remnants of seemingly thousands of parties, or one continuous binge. The stench of a cat who shits in an uncleaned out cardboard box, what I think is some kind of lizard hiding in a cage, and nothing more than a matress on the floor to sleep on.
“Something tells me I need a drink!”
“Store’s not open yet man, but here smoke this”
At this point and time, I could care less. A couple more tokes, and I’m a little more level headed. But what the hell have I gotten myself into. Well, let’s see what this town has to offer. Start unpacking a little from the car, it’s overloaded anyway, save some gas. Bring a little bit up, find a little space between the back of the couch and the screen door, set up camp more or less. This will be ok. This will be fine. Just keep telling yourself that.
“Tim we have everbeer!”
Do I even want to know what that is.
“Here’s a 40oz, clear the top. Damn what’s wrong I didn’t mean that quick! We’ve got a live one here”
Various cheers from the spaced out peanut gallery.
“Now here, lemme see that, the ever part of the everbeer”
The motherfucker is filling it back up with everclear? One hundred ninety proof alcohol?
“That sir, is everbeer. When you are broke, that is what you drink. Tastes like beer, just a bitchload of extra kick.”
Ok, this isn’t that bad, and he’s got a point. I am broke. No food, not much cash, and I’ve gotta eat something. Killing a black cat is bad luck. Well, I guess I can live on beer for today.
“Dude don’t get too comfortable, it’s Sunday! That’s underground night!”
The Underground I soon find out, is a weekly goth club. Ah yes, pretentious little fucking goths. That explains the black clothing. I will not fit in for long here. Gotta do this the only way I know how. Finding the brightest colors I can, and figuring that these people are the joke they are stigmatized with, let’s head back down to Acacia and see what this is about.
It’s a shithole, but it’s these people’s shithole. Stereotypical in all senses of the word goth. Skinny little strung out people everywhere swaying back and forth to crappy tinny music, or some kind of generic industrial. OK, I can deal with this. Even though I look about as out of place as a minority at a Klan rally. But no one gives me shit, and actually some respect the hippie in the goth club. No worries. Handed a drink, and walk around looking at all these people. Interesting is not the word.
Then I see what no one could have ever prepared me for. Two dudes at a half destroyed booth. I think it was two dudes, although at this fucking place, you never know. Bleeding from the wrists. I try and getting a better look, secretly walking by this table, as if i’m going somewhere else. Yes, that’s blood. I’m not afraid of blood. But when I see these two start drinking each others blood, wrist to mouth, I head straight to my friend.
“Linda! What is going on here!”
“What is wrong with these people, and where have you taken me?”
“It’s ok Tim, they just think they are vampires. There’s a lot of them here. You do know the Church of Satan is about 5 miles away right?”
No, I did not know that. But the crazy carnival that is Anton LeVey’s Church of Satan does not excuse this. This is just straight out of crazy stupid. This is a mess. No amount of drugs, delusions, alcohol excuses drinking blood. I mean the disease factor alone makes this just plain wrong. I was not prepared for this. Yes, as a lover of all things decadent, of depraved acts, this sort of mess was just something of fiction. I turned my head back to these monsters, thinking nothing had prepared be for this.
“Linda, I have to be up at a stupid hour, I need to get some sleep. I’ll see ya tomorrow afternoon.”
Leaving, somehow remembering where my car is, I eventually find my way home. Or at least to my camp. I’m not sure how much of a home it is, given that eviction day could be any day. With no lock on the door, I find my little matress, and fall asleep, setting an alarm clock so I can wake up at this ungodly hour.
Work, which after the last 48 hours should have been a sanctuary of normalcy. Had I taken the omens of the last 48 hours, I would have learned that nothing in this town is normal. At least I could leave early. Slow day, slow mind, and burning anger. I didn’t want to go back to the stoner den, but hell, I didn’t want to be here either.
Starving, and there is only one place someone starving and poor can get fed. 7-11, you are a godsend. Coffee, donut, and the quiet sanctuary of my car. Wondering what I’ve got myself into, taking a deep breath, back to this hellhole I call “home”. Something better have changed. Although from the noise last night, I doubt it.
“Roaches I’m Home”
That’s one hell a way to announce a mood.
“Sorry, this place is too nasty for roaches. But I guess we do need to clean up a bit”
A bit? Clean up a BIT? Granted I am in no way going to win trophies for cleanliness, I am far from this goddamned messy. True, roaches would not live in this purposely forsaken mess. But hell, lets at least clean it up to the point a roach would maybe consider making this it’s humble home?
The kitchen. I assume there is a sink in here somewhere. Is that the faucet. Holding my breath, and moving some of these dishes around, I locate a faucet. And soap. In an apartment with this many people, this many drugs and four fucking layers of carpet, this is an accomplishment. A faucet, that works, with hot water, and soap. Scared, but in need of a sponge or rag, I tempt fate and look under the sink, expecting something to jump out at me.
Nothing does, but at least there is a sponge. At this point, I have never been so happy to clean something. Finally, after all these dishes are done, I call bullshit on the coffee maker. As a caffeine junky, fixing coffee makers is tantamount. It does work, just needed to be cleaned. After the ordeal of the kitchen and getting who knows how many months of trash out, there is no surprise in this place. Coffee brewing, I can finally sit down and relax.
In doing so, I have actually become somewhat the bitch. None of the 11 people in this hovel feel they have to do anything. Eventually, the only thing kept clean, is the coffee pot. Why bother with anything else. There is never any food, we live on drugs. This went on for weeks until one morning.
April 20th is supposed to be a stoner’s holiday. I had the day off, some unknown slut next to me, and just woke up from losing my virginity. I felt pretty good about life, I guess sex has that power. I had a plan to get out of this apartment, a pretty good job waiting tables at a good restaurant instead of some corporate chain. Life was going to be ok. The eviction was coming. But also something worse. The same insipid talking heads morning show, only their voice was a little more odd. They sounded very very intense. Very intense. Reaching for the MD20/20, pushing the slut off, I poked my head up over the couch.
“What’s the hell is going on?”
“Shut up this is important”
Oh god. What I saw would impact every single person in this room.
“Yes, I am live in Littleton Colorado, where it appears the 2 students have opened fire inside and have taken a classroom hostage”
Yes, I can confirm that these students have opened fire, killing students and teachers, and have now help a classroom hostage. The room is barricaded shut. The students names are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, And we are at the Columbine High School”
I couldn’t listen to it anymore. Except one thing did perk my ears just a little bit.
“It appears these students have a connection to what is dubbed the “Trenchcoat Mafia.”
Trenchcoat Mafia. What the hell? What is that supposed to mean? As those two words were said, I saw a few jaws drop, and a few people move slightly. As if there were immediately uncomfortable. Maggot left the room. Huh. This isn’t going to end well. The phone rang.
“Hello, yes I understand.”
“Everyone we have to go to the hospital. Raven is in intensive care”
Ok, nothing to worry about. In a place with this manny drug users, of course someone is going to the hospital. There’s a few wild cards about this though. Some drugs were sold. I knew them to be bad, almost experimental drugs. Begin slow stage freak out.
“It appears she took something that was supposed to be ecstacy. Fortunately, she had a little of it left, some kind of white powder. Anyone know what that was? Anyone know what Maggot was selling?”
“I think it was called DXM, pure dextromethorphan or something why?” I offered, somewhat knowing what was next.
“It almost killed her, and there are a few other people in the hospital. Everyone outside”
Outside, after a brief conversation, these drugs and these poor sould were victims of what Maggot was selling. Being that Maggot was Linda’s boyfriend, it was explained to me that I had to leave Colorado Springs in 48 hours. Otherwise wait for the eventual death sentence. Knowing full well what kind of blood drinking freaks these people were capable of calling in, I started packing my stuff up, lading the car and waiting.
“Tim, we know this wasn’t your fault. You had the foresight to warn people, you are not in trouble here. However, we can only protect you for so long. Linda left this number for you to call, so please, call her, you are going to Columbia Missouri. She said just get on I70, and head east. Ya can’t miss it. Get some rest, and get out of here asap. Here is something for the road. Good Luck”
At least I had some pot for the road. Driving across Kansas is the worst thing imaginable. And Linda has some fucking explaining to do once I get to where ever this place is. Missouri? Are you kidding me? What the hell. What the hell.
I left as soon as I could. Fuck sleep. If people are out to kill me, then fuck it. I need to get out now. I’ll call Linda from some payphone, just got to get out of here. But not across Kansas! Cornfield after cornfield, the plains of wheat, and billboards of God this and God that. And after what happened in the space of this month, driving through a state of Bible thumpers did not sound like my idea of a good time.
Fortunately, Kansas was uneventful. Stop for gas, keep mouth shut, get coffee, food I could eat with one hand, and keep moving.
Got a hold of Linda just outside this town called Columbia. Seemed like another boring city surrounded by highways, like an afterthought of some developers. Whatever. At least no one will try to kill me here. I hope.
“Is this Tim? Hold on.”
Well, there’s an adult of some kind here. That’s good. At least there might be some sanity. Maybe.
“Hello this is Linda, ok, we are kind of on the outskirts of town, yes, Maggot is here, everything is going to be ok. This you could get that old corporate job back?”
“Yea ok, I’ll be there when I figure out how.”
Another 10 miles till I get to a bed. This had better be good.
“Not now Bob. We can’t go crazy here”
“You’re in fucking Missouri for fuck’s sake?”
“Give it a rest Bob… Here eat this”
Assuming the best thing at this moment is another bowl of herbal goodness, putting the demon to rest, coffee, and back on the road. Twisting roads through the wilderness, but no more godawful snowcapped mountains to deal with. No more fucking goths, hiding in corners, drinking each others blood. Fingers crossed.
By the time I get in, everyone is asleep and Linda is out front.
“Shhhh… turn the car off. Everyone is asleep. Just grab what you need, and get some rest, you have to be tired.”
A few steps in the doorway, I am shown a room with a bed. My own room as it were. I crash out, and get some sleep. Tomorrow, something has got to give. Or do I keep traveling like this, one tragedy after another.
Feedback appreciated to email@example.com This is a life’s work, and a true story. Will be a novel, a true story. 12 years in the making.