“Ay watch it, asswipe!”
Pedal to the metal, rolling out at sixty in a forty-five. Speed is only getting faster as the drugs start to take over my system. What drugs were those, you ask? To put it simply, it was the chemicals in my own brain. They were firing left, right, up, down, around, here, there—all over the fucking place.
First, a hit of “I'm a goddamn moron”.
“Learn to fuckin' drive!”
My thoughts go back to the Speedway station. Those motherfuckers saw my face as clear as day. They heard my voice—seen my car. It was only a matter of time before they saw the police sketch and reported me to the cops. They'd spout all sorts of bullshit opinions about my “bizarre behavior” and then probably send in my license plate number. The cops would pull my record out and see all my past offenses. They'd immediately know that I was guilty and have me sent to Rikers faster than you can drop a pen.
Next, a shot of “Fuck my life”.
Even if the bozos at the gas station didn't say anything, there were plenty of other people who could rat me out to the NYPD. Jacob Summers went to the same high school I graduated from. No, I wasn't on the football team or anything, but don't you think for a second that that blowhard coach didn't know who I was. Lord knows I got in more than enough fights with his boys for the name “Genghis Boy” to be permanently etched into his long-term memory. Though, to be fair, even people who don't know me would have a very hard time forgetting a name as ridiculous as mine. I'm just being brutally honest here.
I know what you're thinking.
“You're twenty years old, Genghis. You doan even know if he's still employed with the school.”
Unfortunately, you'd be wrong.
The ol' meathead loves his job more than he loves his own kids. The school pays him well, gives him all the benefits he needs. Plus he apparently only lives a little ways from campus, so the commute everyday is convenient for him. He's one of those guys that will one day be ninety-three years old and still be screaming pointers at his team. I can see it now; his voice will croak every time he attempts to scream and, for every time he's able to raise his voice by about ten decibels, he'll shit his adult diaper. But fucking A he'll still keep his decrepit ass on that field! Unless he gets caught with dirty pictures of his quarterback or something, he'll never lose his job. And one year ain't gonna be enough to make that man quit, no matter what kind of changes are implemented to the athletics department.
Yeah yeah, I've only been out of school a year.
I got expelled once word got out that I was a junkie and a murderer. The school refused to let me back in until I was “clean”, so to speak. Naturally, I lied my way back into that dump, but I was forced to repeat my sophomore year. I graduated from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School at the age of nineteen. Needless to say, not nearly enough time has passed for me to become a mere memory to those who thought they could rule over me.
Meaning my name was at the tip of a lot of people's tongues.
Soup kitchen staff.
Cashiers at various locations.
That police officer that Paul talked to the night of the murder…
That fuck saw me, too.
And he spoke to Paul.
That boy scout doomed us both.
There ain't no way I can hide now.
Not with that picture perfect sketch of me on everybody's television set.
But don't you think for one goddamn second that I was gonna throw in the towel.
Give me that huge injection of “It ain't over 'till I say it's over”.
Gritting my teeth, I crank the volume on my radio as high as it will go to tune out the other drivers. A roaring guitar riff courtesy of Metallica hits my eardrums. I ain't got time to apologize to you faceless drivers. I'm too busy protecting my ass from your lawmen.
“We’re scanning the scene in the city tonight! We’re looking for you to start up a fight!”
The drivers in front of me are too slow, so I drive over onto the motherfucking sidewalk to pass the whole line of them.
“There’s an evil feeling in our brains, but it’s nothing new—you know it drives us insane!”
I brush my fingertips under my chin at all the drivers honking their horns and flipping me the bird, letting them know I give zero shits about their anger.
“Running! On our way—Hiding!”
Cue the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror the second I get back onto the road.
“You will pay—Dying! One thousand deaths!”
A part of me wants to kick my own ass for drawing attention to myself. Another part of me has no regrets. These bastards are gonna figure out who I am regardless of how well I drive. It's better to get it all out now rather than make it drag out longer than it already has been. Even nutsos like me need a break every now and then, you know? So I remove the hood from my head, exposing my handsome face to the world again, and speed away from the cop car.
“Running! On our way—Hiding!”
Even with my Jeep's booming sound system, I can still hear the sonuvabitch's siren go off.
“You will pay—Dying! One thousand deaths!”
He speeds up to catch up with my bumper, probably taking care to memorize my license plate number.
“Searching...seek and destroy!”
I start swerving all over the road, literally attempting to shake the motherfucker off my ass.
If I have any ounce of luck, maybe I can make him ram into a streetlight or something.
“Searching...seek and DESTROY!”
We go like this through a couple of traffic lights, one passing through an intersection with incoming traffic.
“Searching...seek and destroy!”
I attempt to lean a little close for comfort to the line of cars, hoping he'll fall for the bait.
“Searching...seek and destroy!”
My Jeep side-swipes a white van. This results in my side mirror breaking off my driver's side door and cracking my window. However, my trap works and the stupid officer ends up colliding head-on with the same vehicle. “Hell yeah!” I yell to nobody in particular, pleased with my success.
“There is no escape and that’s for sure! This is the end—we won't take any more!”
Unfortunately, my victory is short-lived once another cop car starts blaring his siren at me. “Oh for fuck's sake!” I shout, beating my hands against my steering wheel. I continue running, hoping I can find a good cut-off point to finally ditch these dirtbags.
“Say goodbye to the world you live in! You’ve always been taking but now you’re giving!”
As the chorus repeats, I continue my impression of a drunk driver by purposely swerving like a jackass on the road. This cop, however, ain't having any of my shit and he rams into my fucking bumper. “Shit!” I utter through my teeth. This guy was gonna avenge the probable death of his fellow officer, even if it meant totaling his own ride. It amazes me that the NYPD is so willing to hand out badges to suicidal psychos. If I had known cops were this unstable, I would've considered joining the force immediately after graduating from high school. I would've made a killing—maybe even got promoted to detective within my first year!
The guitar solo hits and there is only one sure way I'm gonna get rid of this bozo. I reach under my driver's seat and grab my most trustworthy partner of all time. Rolling down my window, I cock Myra and poke my head outside. Watching the pig following me, my left hand brings the gun to join me outside the car while my other hand holds onto the steering wheel. Aiming for the prick's front wheel, I fire once to get past the empty shot and then pull the hammer back down.
I pull the trigger.
His tire explodes, making his car spin out before ultimately rolling a couple of times in the road.
Before another squad car can show up, me and Myra both retreat back into my Jeep. I nearly miss my intended turn and almost spin-out trying to make it in time. The sides of my car scrape against the brick exteriors of the two buildings I'm squeezing in-between. Imagine gaining weight and then trying to fit into a pair of slacks that you ain't worn in a year. You manage to get into them after struggling for ten long minutes, but the waistband is so tight that it's cutting off circulation to your lower body. The feeling of suffocation only worsens when you finally manage to pull the zipper up. After the button pops off not long after fastening it, you're rendered motionless by your temporary state of self-loathing. Why did you let yourself go like this? You have a gym membership, but you ain't been there since the day they gave you your membership card. All you did was waste money, and for what? An excuse to make people not think so badly of you when they see you buying six bags of Cool Ranch Doritos at the grocery store.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what it feels like trying to cram my Jeep into this tight alleyway.
Around the time I reach a good point to stop, I kill the engine just as James Hetfield's voice comes back. A part of me contemplates burning my vehicle registration papers, but what's the point? The cops will still get all the dirt on me by looking up my plate number, considering I ain't got a screwdriver or drill to remove the damn thing from my car. And Myra ain't loaded with any kind of special spread-shot ammo, so that ain't gonna help me any. As much as I want to at least try covering my ass, I know damn well that I ain't got the time. So I take only my gun and car keys, climb out of the car, and sprint through the alleyway, straight into the backstreets of Brooklyn.
“You're quite the impulsive one, aren't you?”
Nonono, not this shit—not now!
“Leave me alone, you prick!” I shout loudly, stuffing Myra into the front pocket of my hooded sweatshirt.
“Do you think I like having to talk to an insipid fool like you during my spare time? Please.”
I cover my mouth with my right hand as I bolt down the street towards home.
“Then why do yuh fuckin' do it?!” I say aloud, voice muffled in my palm.
He sighs loudly in my head.
“Because, you overly forgetful cretin, it's my job. I'm required to scout out unfortunate souls such as you and ensure they find their place in Casa do Diaño. And, judging by your situation now, I'd say you're left with no other options other than maybe just sticking the barrel of that .45 into that big mouth of yours and ending your misery now.”
Sirens blaring off in the distance suddenly makes my legs move even faster.
Even though my lungs feel like exploding.
I don't need this conversation right now.
Zombie Bastard can wait until I get shit under control.
“Oh how cute; the mortal is going to ignore me.”
That's the plan, you sonuvabitch.
My hand drops to my side and I notice my apartment building is in sight. “So...close!” I rasp out, breathing heavily from all the running. I know, I know—I need to quit smoking. Congratulations, you're the three hundredth person to tell me that. Here, take a jar full of all the fucks I give; it will make a nice dust collector for your living room.
Hopping over a group of bushes, I make it to the apartment and burst through the entrance. My index finger pounds into the “call elevator” button. Luckily for me, it opens immediately. The moment I step in and hit the “6” button, I fall back against the wall, chuckling slightly. Relief swallows me whole, though I know it's just gonna spit me back up in the next hour or two.
But it's still something.
Some kind of saving grace for me.
As I tried to get my breath back, he returned.
“So, what's it going to be? Are you going to finally listen to me and accept my offer?” I sighed. “I know I need to get the hell outta Brooklyn—outta New York, even. Ain't nothin' left for me here. If I stay, I'll just end up in prison or shot down on the street.” He chuckled, pleased with my answer. “It's about time you—” “I didn't say I was goin' to Casa do Diaño, pal. I ain't got a plan—ain't got time to plan. Let me get out of this first and then we can tawlk about plans.”
He growled loudly, but didn't say anything else.
Good; about time he shut up.
Once the elevator reached my floor, I rushed to the door and unlocked it. Upon entering, the empty living room reminded me that Dad had left for work that morning. At least I was spared from that interaction. Heidi also wasn't storming up to me to slap me in the face. So things were looking good so far.
Of course, that was before I heard Roy's voice.
“Oh, hey—he just walked in! Lemme get 'im for you, my man.” I swore under my breath as Roy popped his head out of the kitchen. “Ay Genghis! You got a phone call. It's Paul.” Of course it's Paul. Who else would be calling me and leaving Roy sounding this chipper? Especially after what all's gone down today?
“I'll take it in my room,” I mumbled, looking away from Roy. He chuckled. “Must be serious; this is the second time he's called in the last hour.” I didn't respond to the redhead as I entered the bedroom. I guess I should've considered myself lucky that my family cared more about paint drying than they did the news.
As soon as I closed the door behind me, the realization dawned on me that Roy must've been home alone. Dad was at work and Heidi wasn't chilling out in the bedroom. And the muscular carpenter himself was never a big fan of vegging out on the couch unless there was a game on. So while Roy clearly didn't care, Dad and Heidi simply didn't have the means to care. Can't watch the news when there ain't no TV around to watch it on, right?
However, it was clear to me that Paul did watch the news.
What other reason would he have to call me?
Especially since he apparently called for me twice, very likely waiting by the phone while standing in a puddle of his own piss.
I didn't have time for Paul's whining; I was on an important mission.
Time to make him fuck off so I could fuck off.
I picked the phone up by Heidi's bed.
I cleared my throat, trying not to sound too rattled. “Yo.” It was silent for a moment, but then Paul's wimpy voice spoke up. “G-Genghis? Is that you?” Unfortunately. “No, it's Heidi. When you comin' over for some lovin', big boy?” I joked, though delivered the line with a very flat tone. He didn't think it was funny.
“Say, Genghis...have you been watching the news today?” Keep calm, Genghis. You're just trying to make this asshole go away so you can pack. “Yerp.” He swallowed hard enough for me to hear it over the phone.”Crazy, huh...those...those people at the Shell station think...think we—” “I know, Paul. I just said I been watchin'.” He made a sound that I mistook for a laugh at first, but then it became obvious that the herb was crying over the phone. “My family is threatening to kick me out, Genghis! I told them—over and over again—that I didn't do this! They told me to turn myself in and “prove” I didn't do it. How can I do that, man?! I don't know what I could possibly say that would get the police off my back!”
I dunno why you're so fucking tense.
You didn't have some lard-ass bluntly point the finger at you on live TV.
“Your record's cleaner than a baby's ass, Paul. It would take a major catastrophe for them to send you over to Rikers.” He ignored my rare words of encouragement in order to keep bitching. “What if Heidi sees this?! Oh man...she'll dump me so fast...no, man. Just no...”
And she'll dump me, too.
“How did this happen, man?! I-I didn't do anything! I barely even set foot in that bathroom!” I rolled my eyes. “How do you think I feel, Paul? The retarded witnesses seem to think I did it without question.” He sniffs for a moment, now lowering his voice a little over the line. “Well...to be fair—” I bit my lip. Here it came; the first accusation.
He swallowed hard again.
“You...you were in the bathroom for a while...and you were fairly angry.”
My brow furrowed.
“You know what I was doin', Paul.”
“But, was that all? For as long as you were in there, it seems odd that you spent the entire time...you know...urinating.”
Now this bastard was pissing me off.
“I coulda been doin' all sawrts of things, Paul. I coulda been jerkin' off, takin' a shit, or—you know—fuckin' tryin' to calm the goddamn hell down?!”
He was quiet for a moment.
“But what were you doing?”
I bit my lip again.
“Breathin'. Tryin' to get my anger under control. And then I took a piss. You already know this shit, Paul.”
More brief silence.
“Why are you so angry at me Genghis? I'm in just as much trouble as you are!”
I was on the verge of screaming at this motherfucker.
“Because I'm bein' fuckin' accused of murder, you dipshit! This ain't all about you, you snivelin' cuck! I doan care if your family kicks you out! I doan care if Heidi breaks up with you! The NYPD is pointin' the finger at me! Me! Not you! Boy Scout Sadler will get off fuckin' scot-free while the mentally deranged psychopath who's had multiple run-ins with the NYPD will get the axe immediately! Do you understand, Paul?”
“Did you kill that boy, Genghis?”
“No. And you can go fuck yourself for even askin' that question.”
I slammed the phone down on the receiver.
I knew he knew.
Even if he didn't know for sure, he was absolutely gonna sell me out to Heidi.
Get her on his side.
I guess that's the end of me and Heidi's relationship, as well.
“I...I don't know you, Genghis. You're not the boy I grew up with.”
And I'm sorry.
Ignoring the quiet tears rolling down my face at that memory, I snagged her notepad and pen from the top of her dresser. I didn't want to waste too much time here, but I didn't want to leave her with a half-assed goodbye, either. I wasn't like Paul, who would spend hours trying to compile some cheesy poem that she'd end up secretly hating. I preferred the more direct approach with my love letters; much easier to write because it's more natural feeling. And with the minutes of freedom ticking away, I needed natural. So I wrote a short, but meaningful message:
“I broke your promise, Heidi. After I swore not to. I don't know why I did it, but I did. There's nothing I can do to fix it now. What's done is done. So this is goodbye...for good. I don't know where I'll go, but I'll find a new life elsewhere. You're better off staying here with Paul. He'll treat you much better than I ever could. I just want you to know that everything we went through together was real to me...probably the realest thing I've ever experienced. You're the best friend I've ever had and I hate myself for not showing you the amount of appreciation you deserve. Be strong and carry on, mio amore. - G.”
I wiped the wetness off my face as I folded the note and placed it under her pillow. Then I grabbed my old, blue backpack from high school and set it on my bed. After taking Myra, my wallet, my pack of cigarettes, my lighter, and my now useless car keys out of my pocket, I removed my hooded sweatshirt and tossed it against the wall. I kicked off my shoes to remove my belt, and then my blue jeans as well. The pants also got tossed against the wall and I walked over to my closet.
I yanked out a couple of shirts and pairs of pants, ultimately deciding to wear a pair of black jeans and a forest green long-sleeved shirt. The rest of the pulled clothes got stuffed into my bag as well as a couple of boxer shorts and pairs of socks. Next to get packed was my two boxes of hollow-point ammo that I kept hidden at the bottom of my underwear drawer. Next to the ammunition was my bottle of oil hanging out with its pals, oil rag and cleaning rod.
In the backpack they went.
Owning a gun is like having a girlfriend.
You treat her right and take care of her and she'll do things that will blow your mind.
So remember, kids; firearm maintenance is important.
I didn't bother with personal hygiene items like my toothbrush or razor. They were dirt cheap to buy and small enough to smuggle outside of stores for free. Plus, I wanted to avoid interacting with Roy as much as I possibly could. So that meant all I needed to be done with packing was some time-wasters, things to keep me entertained during my off-time. So I grabbed a couple of VHS tapes, CDs, and my November issue of Hustler from under my mattress. I considered packing a book or two as well, but there wasn't enough room in the bag to hold them. And I didn't have enough time to sort what would get replaced so they could fit, so I didn't bother.
I stuffed my wallet, smokes, and lighter into my pocket. Due to not owning a proper gun holster, I stuck Myra into my pants with her stock pressed against my lower stomach. I know what you're thinking. “Genghis, what if you move a certain way and you end up shootin’ yourself in the balls?” See, that ain't gonna happen. Revolvers ain't like your typical automatic pistols that just needed a button pressed for the safety to be turned off. The hammers on .45s? Those suckers don't go down easily. You have to put a considerable amount of pressure on them for the gun to cock. Plus, as long as you don't pull the trigger like a dumbass, you'll be just fine.
So I think I'm safe.
But thank you for your concern.
After sporting a black New York Yankees cap and my pair of black aviators, I was all set to hit the road. And, right on cue, I heard my old man come home. “Ay, Roy! What's fawh lunch?” he called, followed by the sound of his car keys being tossed onto the coffee table. I grinned wide.
Car chases with the NYPD ain't gonna stop this driver.
I had a set of wheels anyway.
I put my left arm through one of the straps of my backpack and lifted it to my back. I cracked the bedroom door open just enough to see the situation out in the living room. Dad and Roy were looking at each other, talking about shit that wasn't relevant. He wore his blue oil-stained mechanic uniform, which told me he decided to come home for his lunch break today. Either way, I hoped he wouldn't hang out in the living room for his entire break.
Two minutes passed.
They were still talking.
They were laughing over some story Dad had about this lady 's shitty car that he was servicing.
I began tapping my foot, quickly losing my patience.
Oh my God, fucking eat your goddamn lunch already!
Finally, after ten fucking minutes of shooting the shit with Roy, Dad walked away while announcing that he'd be ready to eat as soon as he finished taking a monster dump he'd been holding in for almost two hours. Roy made a playful “disgusted” noise and stepped into the kitchen. Now was my chance to escape. I had to make this count or else I'd be spending my evening in the back of a squad car.
Opening the bedroom door, I stepped quietly toward the coffee table. I looked over my shoulder every now and then to make sure Roy wasn't watching me. Upon getting to the table, I snatched Dad's keys gently as to avoid them jingling together. Without a second thought, I rushed to the door and left the apartment. As soon as I was out, I bolted for the elevator.
The elevator was far too slow at coming to my floor. “C'mon you fuckin' machine—hurry!” I growled under my breath. As it opened, I hurried inside and waited to reach the first floor. Upon getting there, I ran outside to Dad's Trans-Am.
I entered the car, putting my backpack in the passenger seat.
My hands shook as I stuck the key into the ignition.
Shifting into neutral and pressing my foot against the clutch, I fired up the engine.
I escaped the parking space and re-entered the streets, this time keeping my head down.
I didn't know where I was gonna go, but I knew it was gonna be a long drive.
So I called up an old friend.
“Alright, tough guy. Why doan you kindly explain how going to Casa do Diaño is gonna suddenly fix all my problems? No cryptic bullshit this time. Give it to me straight.” I said aloud.
Zombie Bastard laughed wickedly.
“It will take a while to properly explain, Genghis Boy.”
I looked onward at sights of Brooklyn, knowing this was the last time I'd ever see any of them.
“I got plenty of time, pal.”