21 November 2010


I started keeping a fiction journal.

For close to 17 years Tito had a seat at the end of the bar close to the jukebox. He arrived each day before it got dark and the vampires came in. He wore a Dick Dastardly handlebar mustache, painting him as the tie-your-niece-to-the-train-tracks character of the bar, but perhaps more in a tongue in cheek vaudeville kiss from the past kind of way. The image was not ironic, just of itself, it was it.

The opening riot takes stage as the sun disappears, the masks coming out one by one, a dystopian orchestra of gnarls and skids storming in from the wet confusion of our imperfect atmosphere. The office lunatics have changed their ties out for disguises, a masquerade of styles and fashions flooding in, the palm reader and the astrologer share a moment over Jack Daniels. Tito observes, a spy to their conversation, a stranger to their banal forms of contemplation, merit, and value, philosophical in the least, dependent on an opinion on a controversial Chinese diet. He taps his foot to Tom Petty, a staple of his jukebox repertoire. Nickels clang like cymbals in his shirt pocket, meeting to the beat of life's performance.

Tito drowns a Pabst Blue Ribbon, a favorite of Frank Booth and a squadron of Echo Park hipsters. Fife follows the script and grants him another as a stray torpedo reaches the jukebox outside Tito's vision. The coin intake swallows Thomas Jeffersons like bullets retreating back into the gun barrel. A hack melody rings true in ten minutes time and the vampires dance and Tito drinks and the curtain tumbles down.

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