Don’t make Me take You Out For Pizza

Posted: July 31, 2010 in Short Stories, Uncategorized
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Don’t Make Me Take You Out For Pizza

There’s only one place in Columbus to go after you’ve had a rough few nights to unwind and that’s Bernie’s. It’s sort of our headquarters around this time. It’s the greatest dive bar in the history of dive bars. The floors have layers of grime dating back to the founding day of business. The air is alive with the foul scent of stale booze, cigarettes and raw sewage. As Copywrite put it “It’s the only place in the world and you can be perform a show and piss off the stage at the same time.”

Verbs, Slimmy, and I are off in the corner sipping rum and cokes and doing key shots of speed in a dimly corner as par for the course.  I catch the bartender approaching us at an alarming rate of speed. Fuck, some cock sucker has narced me out. Probably that bastard I’d just denied a bump to a few moments earlier. I’ll have his family jewels in a mason jar before I leave for sure. One look into Verbs eyes and I can see he’s on my wave length and we’ll be taking home a testicle trophy in no time.

“Hey, you guys need to come to the bar!” The bartender screams at us. His eyes are alive with a sort of puzzled fury.

“What’s the problem we’re all paid up, aren’t we?”

“The tabs fine, some asshole is covered in blood trying to order a drink!”

“Isn’t that what the bouncer’s for?”

“He says he knows you and to come get you.”

What the fuck? Figures, this is just my luck. We make our way through the crowd towards the bar. We find Bern covered in blood from head to toe.  I take one look into his eyes and I know the fuckers deep into the back of beyond.

“Bern what the fuck is going on?”

“This cock sucker won’t give me a drink; He can fuck his mother’s ass! You hear me? Go fuck your mother’s ass faggot!”

Jesus, I can’t have him causing all this drama this is like the only place in Columbus that we actually like hanging out at or hasn’t banned one of us for life.  Slimmy sets about the task of apologizing to the bartender and Verbs and I start making our way up to the street level entrance from the basement.  Bern’s slinging blood all over everything the whole way. His arms and legs look like he’d been tickled from head to toe by Edward Scissor hands.

There’s no need to try and transcribe the actual conversation here, it was virtually incomprehensible. So I’ll just get to the heart of the matter. It turns out Bern had been arguing with Sidro. Sidro happened to be Bern’s boss, as well as he and Slimmy’s roommate. Sidro’s a douche bag to put it in simple terms, an ego maniac, and a drunken asshole with a taste for woman beating. He can sling ink though and he’d been teaching the art to Bern for a few months now.  They’d had one of their infamous arguments about why he treated Bern like his bitch, why he didn’t pay him more etc. Bern decided to pound down a bottle of whiskey and pop a handful of Xanax to ease the stress of the day. Not exactly the brightest idea. If you’ve ever done this you know what I’m talking about. It didn’t take Bern long to just lose all control and be in the state of blind rage he was now in. It turns out he decided there was no better way to prove his point to Sidro then to punch and kick every window in the house out. Shredding him to ribbons in the process.

Slimmy decides at this point perhaps it’s best if we all just went to Hound dog’s, grabbed a pizza, calmed Bern down, made sense of the whole situation, and called it a night.  We climb into Slimmy’s hoopty. This rolling scrap heap of true American know how made the Cougar look like a Benz. It had a total lack of working struts shocks and breaks. The fucker drove like a boat in a Nor’easter.  Bern’s a Tasmanian devil in the back seat flinging blood and gore all over everything and rambling on in a strange-semi comprehendible-savage-tongue about whores, bastards, and homicide.

We’re soon at Hound dog’s it’s a 24/7 pizza parlor on the OSU campus. The food aint exactly the best, but the spot is definitely overflowing with the masses after the bars close. It’s the usual scene inside; drunken co-ed’s getting a bite to eat after competing in wet T-shirts contests at a bro bar and running up the tab on daddy’s credit card, a few Frat boys there satisfying the cravings one only gets after a night filled with homoerotic hazing rituals and slipping date rape drugs into unsuspecting sorority girl’s drinks. Toss in a couple college Football stars out cruising for groupies up for some late night sodomy and gangbang action. Then you got  goth couples with faces that look like pin cushions and names like Madame Melancholy and Lord Despair dark master of the abyss discussing how their upper class parents are unable to understand their plight. The air is full of the chatter of a table full of pseudo intellectual hipsters arguing about Faulkner and Nietzsche, while puffing on clove cigarettes and sipping café Americano‘s.

They’re all here, even bottom of the barrel dope fiends with wild shifty eyes like us.

We seat ourselves at a large round King Arthur -esque table. Within minutes we’re filling the air with toxic clouds of cigarette smoke and joking about everything from the fat guy in the corner with two pies to himself to Bern and his current situation. A small angry looking waitress with a shaved head and septum ring takes our order without even batting an eyelash at Bern. Shit, he was probably the fifth customer of the evening in this state that she had the misfortune of waiting on. It doesn’t take long for him to start his insanity up again. He’s now turned his rage on Slimmy and he’s flicking his dripping blood straight into his eyes. Before I even know what’s happening, Slimmy blasts him square in the mouth. Jesus fucking Christ, we haven’t even gotten our food yet and already Verbs and I are dragging them outside. Damn, I really wanted that pizza.

Once outside the confines of the restaurant they begin screaming hollering and shoving. Neither of them is much of the fighting type, so Verbs and I decide to just watch this one unfold. After all what harm could they really do to one another?

Their technique isn’t anything to write home about but Slimmy manages to land a right that busts Bern’s eye wide the fuck open. Bern then tackles Slimmy on to the hood of a car, and they’re rolling around on the hood like two young lovers. Suddenly the owner of the car is on the scene. Not being ones for outside interference, Verbs and I intervene.

“Hey buddy, what the hell seems to the problem? Those are our friends we’ll handle this.”

“What’s the problem? What’s the problem? These two assholes are rolling around fighting on my car!”

Verbs blurts out-”Don’t worry this model comes with dent resistant body panels check it out.” He then begins demonstrating this fact by kicking the whole driver’s side door panel in.

“Look what you just did to my car!”

“Whoops looks like I was wrong about that, looks like that’s going to be a bitch to fix.”

The guy goes after Verbs. This is enough to make Slimmy and Bern stop fighting. The next thing this poor bastard realizes the four of us are chasing him around his car trying to beat him senseless. Someone screams something about calling the cops and Verbs and Slimmy break to his car. The guy we’d been chasing then chases them. He’s hanging on the side of Slimmy’s car, as it screams out of the parking lot. I’m left to deal with the rabid Mr. Bern on my own.

He’s quite the sight by now. The split Slimmy caused on his eyebrow looks oddly enough like the lips of labia; his clothes are bloodier than ever due to this menstruating eye vagina, he’s been blessed with. He’s completely and total lost it by this point. He’s speaking in tongues as we make our way across High St. and head towards Hudson to make our way to his house.  The crazy fucker is taking his rage out on every trash barrel, paper dispenser, and lawn ornament within an eye shot along our walk.

I can’t blame the bastard, really I can’t. I’ve been there before countless times, drunk, hopped up on a virtual cornucopia of mind bending substances, my heart filled with a venomous rage. So I might as well let him get it all out of system, I figure it’s good for the soul.  It’s not until he suddenly brings me and what it is I exactly do for a living into the equation, when I decide to take matters into my own hands.

“And you, you cock sucker you’re no better than any of them. In fact you’re the most horrible fucking one out of them all!”

“Excuse me? Exactly what the fuck are you talking about?”

“Look at you, you’re a scumbag Eddie. You fucking cook meth for a living! You poison your own friends; you’re the worst kind of scum ever! EVER, YOU FUCKING HEAR ME? EVER!”

“What the fuck did you just say, you little fucking prick!”

“You fucking heard me you, you drug dealing piece of shit!”

“You’re fucking acting like total trash right now Bern, so I’m going to treat you like trash and put you in your place.”

Now I didn’t mean this figuratively at all. I meant it literally. You see in Columbus they have these giant green trash barrel deals the city provides one to every household. It just so happened to be trash day and these things are lining the street. So I pick Bern up and toss him head first into the bin and close the lid. He’s making some horrible noise and threatening to do all kinds of things if I didn’t get him out right then.  So I obliged him and kicked the barrel over Bern and its rancid contents spilling out into the street. Before he can turn on me, it occurs to him, we’re only a block from his house.

“I’m going to smash that fucker’s turntable for smashing my fucking face! RAAAAAAAAA!”

He’s off like a shot running full speed towards the house. I know this is going to be one hell of a homecoming. I’m sure Slimmy and Verbs are already there.  I can hear the music pouring out of Slimmy’s bedroom window from five houses away. I begin to follow the wounded beast’s blood trail into the house like big game hunter.  Once I’m inside I can’t even believe my eyes. Verbs would sum it up best later by stating “Jesus, this place makes Sharon Tate’s house look like Disney Land!”  There was blood splatter all over the walls, floors, and ceiling. Crude phrases like suck my cock and fuck your mother’s ass written in blood all over the walls. Every window was smashed thick gobs of gore hung from the remaining shards in the frame. The sills are dripping with crimson puddles. It was if the Manson family themselves had stopped in for a weekend visit. Bern had definitely lost his grip on precious sanity.

I can hear Slimmy screaming from the top of the stairs. “Come one fucking step closer and I’ll split your fucking skull!”

“Split it, fucking dare you! Split it you pussy!” Bern, growls.

I make my way to the bottom of the second flight of stairs leading to the second floor. I notice Bern has spared the window on the landing for some reason. But he’s smeared blood on both walls lining the staircase all the way to the top. Nice touch if I do say so myself. I see Slimmy standing in his door way violently swinging at a meat cleaver at Bern. We catch eyes and he begins screaming at me. “Get this crazy bastard the fuck out my house before I kill him.”

Verbs is standing behind Slimmy cackling about the whole situation in between blasts from a light bulb. Now this is typical tweaker behavior, all hell is breaking loose , two of your best friends are seriously trying to at the very least maim one another, and you have no interest in even thinking about putting that pipe down, your busy welding your lips together with. Drug abuse aint it grand?

I grab Bern, and pull him away. I get him half way down the stairs. Then the fucker does the unthinkable. He leaps feet first through the window at the landing. He shoots halfway out and catches himself by the frame, and is now dangling out the window.

“What the fuck is your major malfunction? You crazy fuck!” I scream at him as I grab him under the armpits and drag him in. He’s a horrible mess gushing blood everywhere and rambling on and frothing at the mouth. He truly is a rabid beast.

At this point I should be taking him to the hospital for some terribly needed stitches. But there’s no way I can bring him– in the state of mind either of us is in. He’ll surely start screaming about sodomy, whores, bastards and amphetamines once there, and the Doctors will surely have questions for me about how I came across or know this fucking lunatic.  My head is full of speed and booze. There’s no way I’m answering any questions. Best if I just bring him back to my house and pray he doesn’t bleed out, and if he does, hope I have enough Muriatic-Acid in the lab to dissolve his body in.

These are the terrible choices one is forced to make on the daily when they are far too deep into the festering bowels of the drug culture.  Either option surely will end in contact with the Police and most likely a prison cell. So it’s either take him to the hospital or hope he doesn’t die and if does, hide the body someplace nobody will ever find it. The way I look at it– hiding the body will give me a few more weeks of partying. But hey, he aint even dead yet, he could make it. I’m talking worst case scenario here.

After a few moments of weighing my options, I get Verbs to drop us off at my house. By now Bern has somewhat calmed down and we’re smoking cigarettes on my porch. He’s not saying much. I figure he needs a glass of water. So I get him one. Suddenly without even saying a word he throws the glass into the street. It shatters not only itself but the early morning silence. The neighborhood dogs begin erupting in fits of barking and you can hear them progress to every block in the neighborhood. This is the final straw. I grab him firmly by the neck and explain to him right now I’m the only person who gives a fuck about him, and if he doesn’t cut the shit and so much as makes one more peep, I’ll beat him within an inch of his miserable life and leave him the street to die like a dog.  He decides to play by my rules. I decide its best if I just let him sleep in my bed in hopes it’ll curb him from any more insanity. I take the couch in the living room and slowly drift off to sleep praying he doesn’t bleed to death in my new bed.

My voyage into the world of dreams was a short one, to say the least.  I’m awoken by Bern begging me to take him to the hospital only a few short hours later. As they say– no rest for the wicked. I call a cab and we’re off to the OSU medical center. It’s a fine medical facility were intern’s practice setting bones and tying sutures. The waiting room is always full of people with busted skulls from bar fights, frat house fights, and all other kinds of fights. Then of course there’s the cases of alcohol poisoning, the coeds with raging UTI’s from fucking half the population of their dorm in a week and a half or sharing her pocket rocket and anal beads with her roomie and not even bothering to clean them upon return. This is the medical facility that is filled with the consequences of youth set free with no parental supervision for the first time in their lives. The ones filling the waiting room are the ones who’ve learned –You can only swim in a sea of fiery debauchery for so long before you get burnt– the hard way.

Bern and I take a number and wait.  Of course more than a few eyes are on us and the whispering and pointing has begun. I can’t blame them. The fucking kid looks like he was fighting lions in the Coliseum.  Across the room I see a pair of souls in deep despair. It’s not long before a doctor approaches them and begins telling them some horrible news. I see their faces contort into horrible pain as their eyes well up with tears. I can tell just by looking at them what the news is. They have junky written all over them. Green gray skin and long sleeves in the middle of August always tell the ugly truth, no matter what lie a junky tries to sell.  Their friend has become another statistic in the epidemic that‘s plaguing the youth of America.  My heart would go out to them, but at this point I’ve been playing this game so long, I’ve lost track of the number of friends I’ve lost to the devil. Heroin’s been taking kids for years now on me. So I’m numb to it. It’s just something I’ve come to accept, no more unusual to me then waking up with a hard on in the morning.

Soon it’s Bern’s turn to head out back and get stitched up. He’s gone for at least an hour. Once he comes out he looks like Frankenstein’s monster all sewn together. It only took something like a 150 stitches all together. We’d soon find out Bern was not alone in needing medical attention. It turns out Slimmy had completely shattered his thumb socket and was in surgery having it screwed back together. These two knuckle heads would make peace over the bottles of Percocet and antibiotics they both had prescribed to them by the boat load. In years to come whenever any of us would have a disagreement it was quickly squashed by saying “Hey, don’t make me take you out for pizza!”

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