Musette helps Adam to his feet. His body aches from all the rib kicks he received. His nose has to be snapped back into place and clogged with boxer shorts to clot the bleeding. His eyes are black. He has a migraine and swears that a couple of his teeth are loose. But his heart beats with a bit less effort, believing that his blood is somewhat straighter than before.
He and Musette are penniless. The black man robbed them of Terry’s twenty. They are physically drained and spiritually downtrodden, fully submiting to their fate like broken stallions heeding angelic petition loudly and clearly through now properly humbled ears.
Their defeat is undeniable. Their escape odyssey has come to a close. They raise their thumbs again, pointing back the way they came.
Their thumbs shake at the knuckle, poking into the unknown. Hitch-hiking is nerve racking. They have heard all the stories: depictions of shotgun greetings, exposed penises dripping spermy from too many lonely miles, transvestite traps of free coffee temptation, trap door passenger seats exposing unaware travelers to 100 miles of screaming asphalt, pistol puppies who will lick your face before expelling a snausage fart beneath your nose – read the paper. Just last week there was a story about a lone wandering honey, who with denim jeans fastened tightly round her bulbous butt, entered the passenger seat of a traveling road machine only to find Satan himself sneering sinisterly at her from behind the wheel.
Needless to say those pants weren’t on for long. They were reported flapping tattered out the truck’s window only five miles down the road, hot pistol penis marks poking hither and thither from every tattered orifice. And what’s worse, they say the poor girl was fucked relentlessly, once the dark master had had his way with her, by her own soul, which had been ripped from her, a slithering pitchfork tongue searing a sloppy, smoking brand of three French kissed sixes upon the wrinkles of her country fried forehead.
A thousand pounds of big rig comes grumbling to a stop before the curb. A tide of brake fluid clouds excretes into the air. Adam and Musette are blanketed in billowing fog. They stand like brake men of yore, the glinting chromium of exhaust pipes, bullet proof windows, an angry duck ornament, and the rims of multitudinous wheels are all they can see.
The hairs on Adam’s fingers bristle ecstatic as he wraps his grip around the truck’s shimmering door handle. Electricity jolts through his young man arteries. The pulse strains his eyes as time slows down. His heart beats the bass bumps of a war drum. The remembered sensation of the black man’s knuckles makes him wary of human contact. Serums of blood hunger, rage, and revenge pump through his veins. He almost desires a tricky situation just so he can release some of the fire. He wants to equalize something. No more submissions.
It’s just a regular looking man who greets him from within the truck. The epitome of a hard working father.
“Where ya headed?” he asks.
“Salt City.” says Adam.
“I’m goin’ right through… Hop in.”
It’s a quiet ride. Musette quickly falls asleep in the back seat. Adam stares out the passenger window. He’s wrapped in a preoccupied ‘Leave me alone’ posture. The truck driver can’t help but asking about his black eyes and boxer short nostrils. Adam tells him that he got in a tiff with a black man. This doesn’t quell the truck driver’s anxieties.
They both leave each other to their thoughts. Adam watches the City of Lights fade into thinning factory fields and desert landscape. He keeps his eyes peeled for any remnant of the burnt down circus tent. There’s nothing there. Whoever owns the land had been wise enough to enact a speedy cleanup. The story never made the news.
A radio talk show crackles through the truck’s speakers. The interviewer discusses the details of various wardrobe choices. Adam wonders what other car radios are playing. Inanity no doubt. Steroids pumped into leftovers. Rounded out Tupperware cars gassed with preservatives. Everybody shuffling ever onwards to God only knows where. White noise. An oozing zombie mosh pit. The road a clogged colon. Everybody nestled tightly within their seatbelts, protecting stale life, rushing through locations, immersed in their somnambulant schedules. Dead atmosphere in the cabins. Ice crystals on every ear. Everyone’s either on their break or on the job. The hippie’s time card is crumpled uncouthly in his back pocket. The baby already enrolled in a private preschool program geared towards business leadership. The world rows on in a uniform and metronome pace with the conflicting ideologies of its seamen nothing more than the balancing propulsion of the port and starboard following the orders of a faceless captain hunkered below the deck of skyscrapers.
Adam holds it against America for not truly desiring her own freedom and he’s so upset that it’s kept him from his own. He has been defeated by his homeland. He has run and been captured. The semi-truck is a paddy wagon saying, ‘Welcome Home, Son!’
“Woe be it to the masses…” He says, accidently out loud, seeping the steam of his brain fever out through his grinding teeth.
“What?” Asks the truck driver.
“I said, woe be it to the masses, who translate the pangs of oppression into words of Torah!”
Musette wakes up.
The truck driver’s hand reflexively reaches for his lil’ shotgun.
“I mean… how many figure themselves participants in some painful pre-life prequel? And how many nurture that notion? So many dreamers… All shuffling through nightmare checkpoints, living out unfulfilling lifetime after unfulfilling lifetime, figuring that in due time there shall come an awakening into the full, armor plated consciousness of heroes and angels.
So many dopy, cabin cruising smiles. So many blood encrusted teeth. Everybody’s just swimming in their delusions about this demonic abomination of humanity’s evolutionary strong point, figuring that the Hell created by their own hands is nothing more than an over-loud and painfully squelching sound check. ‘The main event must be on its way…’ they say, ‘Perhaps when God once more walks the Earth we shall then wake up…’
I’m sick of people thinking that this pregnancy can be birthed through prayer alone! I cringe because my personal awakening has been stifled and aborted by this surrogate swarm of blind highway crawlers… It’s disgusting… I’m ashamed to call these people members of my species! They are abominations within a divine creation. Nobody even wonders about escape anymore… Everyone’s being dragged by the crowd through these dark rooms of our illusionary empire, going deeper into the fog of ignorance, sinking into the ghettos of reality.
It’s a grand circle jerk held together by men who have learned to get off on oppression… A collaboration of blasphemers sitting high up in an ivory tower beating the dead horses of our hearts with one hand while the otherstrokes the stockbroker or the CEO or the government official or the foreign emissary next door. Our life force is being jizzed away into a crumpling wad of wasteful trash… Our escape port is shrinking as their dicks rise… The sickness can be birthed almost anywhere within almost anyone. People wearing the same slave faces as the rest of us are handed a horse whip and told they can pass on the beating if they will pass along the message. America’s got a bad case of the devil inside of her… America is a nation flying a huge, invisible flag of burning order and hatred into a world only wanting peace and repose. Nobody can be comfortable because there’s a voice in our radios telling us to fill our calendars with things other than indolence, telling us all to become Nazzis… We have a world of Nazzis. A martial land. Privates and officers in every home. Only the bodiless master, the ruler of Earth, feels the comforts of this terror reich. Everyone else is fucked… Moloch issues its commands, finding everything entertaining, building skyscrapers to its magnificence, trickling his orders down a ladder system of tortured souls, feasting on our woes…
It is a spirit of black madness which has descended upon us… The world which once was our home has been snatched away and replaced by an inescapable advertisement. Christ has been stolen from Christmas. Every day has become a Black Friday. It is a Stanford Prison Experiment without an exit. It is an arena of painful labor. Material objects have become carrots for the rat race. Stocking stuffers, smart phones, high definition television programs, and anal feeding tubes of shit have turned us into untouchables, savages, pigs fattening up for the grand feast, Hansel and Gretel in the candy shack… We are doped up veal bags drooling into the trading pit. Our neighborhood is a Wall Street trading floor. We are the commodity. It’s a grand feast of cannibalism! The ever present managerial staff is leaning its minstrel stand of smiles closer to the line, pondering over dark meat or light meat, blessing the feast with catchy jingles. Critical thinking has gone out the window and been replaced by propaganda paths. The machine is run automatically. Nobody can stop it… Spartacus is getting a knife wheedled deeper into his ribs. He has been taken from his sequel. He is bleeding his guts out with cancer. There is nobody to stand up and proclaim his name. We are left alone without a hero. God is dead. The fingers of corporations are left uninhibited to pick us apart. And we’re whistling ourselves silly scrubbing bubbles over our ball sacks, pushing our testicles further into our urethras, trying to look presentable to the hedonistic stomachs of our demon overlords, everyone wanting a receipt slung around their neck. And try as I might I can’t throw up anywhere, because Anne Frank’s hiding in this corner, and the police are watching every other one…”
The truck driver’s had enough. He pulls his lil’ shotgun up from its under-seat hiding place and rests it on his still piloting forearm, pointing the barrel at Adam’s face.
“Listen here you goddamn loony tune…” He says. “I knew you were trouble when I first picked you up. But I’m a man of my word. I told you I’d take you to Salt City, so that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t really care much whether it’s a corpse or a breather I drop off, but if you say one more derogatory word against my country I’ll blow a hole right through this window with your brain fragments cushioning the bullet. So just shut your fucking mouth and enjoy the ride, you goddamn freeloader…”