Dust – Part I



Author’s note: I’m not entirely sure what this is. The makings of a short story? Self-indulgent crap? You be the judge.

‘I’m sick of all these hipsters – indie kids, or whatever the hell they call themselves these days.’

He huddles further into his green surplus parka, an array of obscure third and fourth wave anarcho-hippy hardcore buttons flashing in the moonlight as he hunches his shoulders and runs a tattooed hand across the four-day stubble of his chin. He takes a drag off the cigarette wedged between his calloused, yellow fingers nestled in their fingerless gloves, inhales deeply and looks up at me, trying to gage my mood. He must like what he sees.

‘Tryin desperately to forget about that once-cherished Matchbox 20 album by dancing to undanceable music, wearing unwearable clothes. Bunch of posers. Thinking they’re so goddam individualistic. Thinking they’re so smart, so ahead of the curve. So clever. Well guess what? Most people are dyed-in-the-wool sheep and this infestation of would-be nouveau new-wavers are no different, just doing what they’re told by the mass media. Doing what’s expected of them.’

He exhales violently for effect, smoke and vapour shooting from his mouth and nose like a cranial blow-off valve pushed beyond its capacity for disgust. A flick of his wrist sends the cigarette butt bouncing off the opposing wall, up into the swirling wind currents of the alley. It’s January, but we’re brave and inside it was worse.

‘Aw, give them a break, they’re just kids. How do you know what they’re thinking and honestly, why would you care in the first place?’

But he’s on a roll.

‘Oh I care. It’s like year zero for these little amoebas. They’ve consumed and regurgitated the signs of my scene thus stripping them of all meaning outside of an iPod commercial or an American Eagle ad. They need to learn and I’m more than willing to teach. The other day I was wearing my Lizzy shirt and one of these scarf and blazer-wearing motherfuckers comes up to me and complements me on it, all snickers and shit-eating grin — he thinks I’m being ironic. “Oh, you like the Lizzy” says I, “You appreciate the subtle genius of Phillip Parris Lynott?” Nothing. Same stupid grin. “You revel in the twin guitar pyrotechnics of Scott Gorham and Brian “Robbo” Robertson? Gary Moore?” Still nothing. “Ok, fine. Eric Bell?” He’s just staring at me like I’m speaking Latin. So I smack him on the side of the head – open fist, understand – just a warning shot. And off he runs. Absolutely terrified.’

This tale seems to warm him to the core, but I’m getting cold. Despite any and all of the hot air being expelled on this most festive of Thursday nights, it’s still January.

‘So let me get this straight, being a bully and a Thin Lizzy fan are the only prerequisites to achieving this fantastically idealized notion of individuality that you hold so dear? Lets go back in.’

He sneers at me like a Sid Vicious poster and pushes off from the wall, heading back towards the door. He always denies it, but he loves Sid – I’ve caught him practicing the sneer on more than one occasion. He’ll go on and on about how poor old Sid was the embodiment of everything that went wrong with the second and third wave of British punk, a self-mutilating drug casualty cliche of little worth and questionable moral fiber. But he doesn’t really mean it.

We cross the threshold, sucked back into the dark red heat of the club and my brow is instantly glazed with a film of dank airborne sweat, getting in my eyes, blurring my vision. It’s the weekly indie dance night, which is fine by me, but admittedly more dangerous than most other theme nights. This is not due to any elevated threat of violence although there is always a more than passing chance of that with my doppelganger in tow. Our current problem is scarves: we’re neck deep in them at every turn, offering ourselves up, laying ourselves open with each step like a pair of unwitting human maypoles forging ahead in the face of textile burns and stubbed toes. One hand in front of me and the other mopping my face, we emerge unscathed into a small clearing against a wall nearest the secondary beer bar. An oasis if ever I’ve seen one.

He settles in and continues, surveying the crowd with sneer intact.

‘I’m no bully, but yeah. Those are the prerequisites. Plus, you have to lose your name. Only through anonymity can one truly and finally assert their individuality, free from the shackles of inherited traits and familial conditioning.’

He’s reading this last part from a tattoo on the palm of his right hand. This empty phrase is his mantra. I never let on that I know he’s reading; it is much more fun to watch him squirm, keeping his hand out of sight as best he can. The ubiquitous cigarette usually did the trick, but indoors is a different game since the smoking ban. At first it didn’t faze him, but eventually the bouncers stepped in.

‘Ok, granted – anonymity is a pretty hardcore move, Mr. Nobody –

‘Don’t call me that. Do not assign any sort of nomenclature to my person. Understand? And really, a “fantastically idealized notion of individuality” – take a deep breath, son, and keep that Gilmore Girls shit away from me.’

‘Or what?’

‘Or maybe I’ll teach you something when I’m done with these scarves.’

‘Fuck off. I’m getting a beer.’


2 Responses to “Dust – Part I”

  1. 1 thestaplegunkid

    This has all the makings of a sweet graphic novel… and I could ink it.

  2. 2 arsebundren

    Dude. Sounds like an idea.

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