Episode 99: The Death-Proof Lord Genocyde
Author's Note: This is the story of one wild night in Shreveport. I ended up cutting parts of it out because the entire post took over ten pages in Microsoft Word in 14-point type. Rather prolific, I'd say. Still, after cutting it down to the highlights it still ended up being rather prolific. Read this thing only when you have the time or print it up and take it with you.
It probably wasn’t the most brilliant thing that I’ve ever done. Then again, when is it ever? I’d had this trip planned for two weeks and I really looked forward to it. The thing that I’d wanted to do was get the hell away from my hometown for a bit. After getting the truck, I figured that I deserved that much, if nothing else. The trip itself was brilliant. In fact, at the time of this writing, I’m still on it.
The past week had been hell on me. Not only did I have to work on my day off but I’ve had to deal with the roomies bickering back and forth. Then there was the surprise. One on which my own consultation had not even remotely been asked…another roomie is coming. Great. Suffice to say, I’d become irritated with the whole damned mess and I just wanted to get gone and stay gone for awhile.
First, I had to have a new windshield put into the truck. Watching that was quite the experience. I never really knew just how much of the truck had to be taken apart just to pop in new glass. That’s when I was hit with the really bad news. It seems that whoever put the first windshield in didn’t do a good job of it. It seemed hastily done. There was hardly a seal at the top at all. That explained that little leak when it rained or I washed it that would leave my ass damp the minute I sat in the seat. As the first windshield was removed, it cracked even further. I winced as I watched this event. My truck was being used like a set of monkey bars at the park as this man removed the windshield and scraped away the remnants of the urethane adhesive. Once the new glass was popped in, I paid and left noticing something. I could have kissed the guy for ordering the windshield that he did. My original had no tint whatsoever on it. This new glass had the blessed strip of gradient tint at the top, which would provide me with the beautiful buffer against the sun.
After this, I headed into
The next project was to find polished stones for the runestone-making project. Now, you’d think that in a city as big as
My return trip home was marked by the truck’s rear-end shaking slightly. I initially thought that perhaps the tires were slightly out of balance until my dad, my little brother and I spotted something. The swing bearing is slightly dry-rotted and needs replacement. While it’s not that big of a deal right now, I’m going to eventually have to have it replace or my drive shaft will suffer for it. Better sooner than later on that. I headed home and awaited the roomies. We were supposed to go out for Chinese. Didn’t happen. Why? They were arguing again with Melissa having to attempt being the voice of reason. By the time the whole thing was over, the place was about 20 minutes from closing. There was no way in hell we’d make it in time. To say that I was disappointed in the most extreme would be an understatement but, for lack of a better term, I was. I was looking forward to this trip more and more by this time. The last thing I wanted was to be home if work called. I’d ended up dropping out from exhaustion at roughly …again. Misty awakened me at some point in the morning via phone but I still couldn’t tell you what it was she said to me other than, “Are you there? Hello! Babe, you’re falling asleep again.” I’d kept falling out asleep while I was on the phone with her mostly from just high-grade exhaustion. When I woke up a few hours later, Izzy was laying next to me. She was curled up against me and sleeping her little life away. If I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom, I’d have stayed there right next to her. Seems that she didn’t see me anywhere around but understood, Daddy was sleeping and would not mind the company. She was right on both counts.
I woke up and got myself dressed. There was one thing still that needed to be done. The bi-weekly grocery shopping trip. We’d initially planned it to come after Chinese but since we didn’t go, I’d procrastinated. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to get what we needed. It wasn’t much at all. I got home, put it all away and began getting ready. I began packing clothing into the duffel bag. Packed the computer into the backpack. I thought that perhaps I’d brought my charger for my phone. The problem is, I’d grabbed Melissa’s by mistake. Seeing as how I’m not on the battery that has a good strong life to it, I may want to conserve the battery until I get home. Once packed, I grabbed a bite and decided to leave early. I wanted to get my truck on the open road and blast away. Time for a well-deserved road trip. No more bullshit. No more worries for awhile. Just me, the open road and a new little adventure upon which to embark. Besides, it was going to be a long four hours.
On the open road I’d not settled on music playing on the iPod jacked in to my stereo. I wanted to hear one of the many Coast to Coast AM shows that I’d missed out on hearing. It’s interesting the things you can learn about the Mothman sightings and reports during a three and a half to four-hour road trip.
Finally, I’d arrived at my destination…Black Dragon Tattoo Shop. There is nothing like realizing how completely devoid of promise your job is like walking into your sibling’s workplace to find that they wear what they want and not only are piercings allowed…they’re encouraged. It’s an interesting breed of people that work in a place like that. They’re not there to put on a game face…they’re real people with real problems, real personalities and real tastes. It’s sorta like walking into that first AA meeting. No one’s there to impress you or anyone else. By that time, people have been taken right down to the core. The difference is, these people come self-decorated in some primitive form, turning their bodies into living canvases. In a sense, there is a real essence of personal freedom here and, you’re invited…no matter which tribe it is from which you hail.
You might think that there are people within this shop, aside from those that work there. You may imagine a few chairs with different people undergoing this primitive right of passage. Sadly, there weren’t.
“You’re lookin’ at it,” a bald tattooed man with a long, red goatee said to me, “we’re doin’ it. This is what we do.”
His name was Mike and he was the proprietor of this rather reputable establishment. Still, the place did acquire a few customers shortly after I’d entered. Lyn’s job mostly consisted of filing all the necessary paperwork; to ensure that every “t” was properly crossed and every “I” dotted. The time at this place was passed mostly by frequent trips outside to smoke and the occasional dick or fart joke thrown when a fart wasn’t genuinely issued.
Through my time there, I spent it sitting behind the counter, my own adornments being limited to the three piercings in my ear. I realized how conservative I must have looked in comparison to the company that I was now keeping. Never in my life have I felt both completely immersed within and insanely out of my element at the same time. At the time, I sat in a very comfy chair doing nothing but playing God of War for the umpteenth time and talking cash money shit to the various assortment of creatures sent by renegade gods to kill me while Mike sat at a computer playing some casino game.
Close to closing time, I became thirsty. I needed water or green tea and quickly. I stopped the game at a save point and headed out the door to a store just around the corner. As I walked in, a completely familiar scenario occurred. Granted, I’m used to odd stares as though I’d just stepped off some alien starcraft and greeted the humans with a, “Hey everyone, I’ve come to give all of you anal probes!” Still, this particular series of stares was for a different reason. At the time, I’d only concerned myself with whether or not this particular place had water or green tea. I felt like Indiana Jones in a world where bottled water or green tea was some rare artifact that was on display at a museum. This place was loaded to the gills with only two things: sodas of varying variety and enough sugar to send a diabetic hurtling toward certain death or enough energy drinks to make a methlab look like some child’s chemistry set. I opted for a Pepsi. It wasn’t until I began to make my way toward the register that I understood why people were either staring at me or relating a story about a shoplifter who’d come in only moments before. Aside from one cashier, I was the only white person there. You’d swear that they’d never seen a white guy. Or maybe they’ve just never seen one as pale as I tend to be. Then, I got the other part of the cosmic joke. These people apparently thought I was a cop. I really need to find another line of work.
I was greeted with a, “Dude, where the hell did you go?” when I got back. The looks of slack-jawed surprise I received were no surprise to me. I had a feeling that I was in store for some of the secrets to the
Soon, we’d packed up shop and left. Back at Lyn’s place she’d told me to get ready, we were heading to the bar.
This is both good and bad for several reasons. Bars and nightclubs are places where I don’t go looking for trouble. Normally, I can be smartassed and humorous over many rounds and still be effective. In these two settings, however, there is always someone who is just taking things the wrong way, hence the reason I turn into the silent type. I grabbed a few items, hit the bathroom and when I was done, I was ready to go.
“Ummm, you got some jeans you want to change into?” Lyn asked, looking questioningly at my choice of black BDU pants and combat boots.
“Nope,” I said.
“You’re actually comfy in that?” she asked
“What can I say,” I asked, “I’m turning into my dad!”
“Well,” she added, “That look just reeks of cop and we’re going where Banditos hang out…and they despise cops.”
Oh shit, boy had I forgotten about that little association. Big Cities equal Big City Gangs.
To me, this was more a utilitarian thing. Big damn cargo pockets tend to hold lots of stuff and it never fails, sometimes, there will be a person or two that don’t have pockets and you’re gonna need all the pockets you can get because you’re going to be the pack mule. I was beginning to think that, had I worn desert camo, I might have been mistaken for a man who’d just returned from
From the highway, Lyn could see that Coyotes was packed and that a band was going to be there. Naturally, I went right into promoter mode and kept the mentality that I was going to be there soliciting my ass off to whatever band was there. Once we arrived (heavy with a close friend of Lyn’s that I’d just met) I walked in to find The Alan Fox Band playing one of Tom Petty’s hits. To say these guys were good would be an underestimation. It wasn’t as packed as we’d initially thought but it certainly was on top of it’s share of customers. The way these guys played, you’d have thought that it was a packed arena. These guys ran the gamut on rock. One minute, they’d be pounding out some classic rock song and the next, wailing out some blues that had one girl dancing like the woman who gave Kurt Russell a lap dance in the movie Death Proof. My time at Coyotes was spent meeting people of various walks of life. Bikers, Vietnam Vets (each of whom I gave a deep heartfelt Thank You…they deserve it), Tourists, Old street fighters and, most certainly not least among them; members of the elite social drinking order The U.M.F. aka The Ugly Motherfuckers. I spent the first part of the night (about a solid hour) silently drinking and watching things. The last part of it was when my promoter side and comedian side came out in full force depending on who it is I was dealing with at the time. Not only was I getting laughs, I was making contacts and some of these old street fighters and Vietnam Vets showed me some of the dirtiest fighting secrets that have pulled them out of various scrapes. I can’t wait to put these into the new Cry HAVOC! Section of my messageboard on our website.
Still, one of the stories I’d told led me down a dark, dark road. I was telling an old tale from my teenage “Born And Bred To Rip And Shred Death Proofed Death Metalled Death Wish” Days. These were days where you didn’t do two things, bet against me or dared me to do things because you’d not only lose but I’d end up doing them in such a way, the lesson would stick. I’m surprised I’m still alive as this trait follows me even today but is only tempered by my sense of self-preservation. It was mention of this trait that Lyn’s friend mentioned two words and Lyn vehemently objected: Nuclear Rainbow.
“What the fuck is that” I asked
“You’ll love it!” she replied but never would answer my question. Once the place closed, we hit Sully’s where the Nuclear Rainbow awaited me.
I must say this right now…there is no reason…NONE…for you to ever try this. This should be listed as a qualifying reason to be on the show Jackass or listed as the many things to only be attempted by heavily trained and heavily insured professionals with a severe death wish. There is nothing in this world more helpless, irresponsible, depraved and insane as a man with his mind in the grip of this drink.
The bartender’s name had been dropped several times and I called him over,
“Cameron!” I said, extending my hand, “Damien Cross, how the hell are ya? I hear things…rumors you see. There’s a drink you guys supposedly have that nearly no man can take.”
His eyes became wide as to suggest disbelief.
“The Nuclear Rainbow, I think they call it,” I said.
“I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone,” he said.
“How much to set me up with one?” I asked.
“Fifteen bucks,” he said, “It’s the cheapest nine shots you’ll take down.”
Jesus Jumped-Up Christ! I thought. Nine Shots!? It’s suicide! It’s crazy! It’s full-blown insanity! The War In Iraq makes more sense than this drink!
I peeled out the cash and dropped it onto the bar.
“Let’s do it, my man!” I said.
“Holy shit!” Lyn’s friend said, “You’re serious!”
“No one gave me a clear and detailed warning as to why not,” I said, “Gotta run to the bathroom, I’ll be right back.”
Once inside the bathroom and business finished, I looked at myself while washing my hands.
I hope to hell you know what it is you’re doing, I thought. Maintain, focus, yes…become one with everything…it’s Zen Time, Baby!
I splashed water onto my face, breathed a bit and then ventured back out lighting up in the process. As I made my way to the bar, people suddenly looked as though they were about to attend a funeral. Then, stepping up to the Martini glass which bore a spectrum of colors, two straws and an empty pitcher sitting next to it, Cameron addressed me.
“Alright, my suicidal friend,” he said, “First, understand that there are nine shots in this glass, each of the shots have varying densities, hence the reason they layer so well. The two straws are there because you want to get this done quickly and the pitcher is here for if you have to yak. Puke on my bar or my floor, I don’t give a damn how big you are, I’ll feed it to you. Got that?”
“Got it,” I said, “Though I’ll warn you right now, I won’t be needing that pitcher.”
“Famous last words,” he said, “Good luck.”
With that, the words “Lord Genocyde is going radioactive” were uttered to the bar. I’m not sure whether I called them out or not. I began sucking this thing down until I heard the ever-famous sound of the straws slurping for the final remnants of it in the glass. I stood, took in a few deep breaths and closed my eyes. It burned going down. This is a burn that could be compared to sulfuric acid being dumped down your throat and it continued to burn well into the stomach and the best thing for me to do was what I did next. I closed my eyes and tried not to think about the words “burn” and “sear”. I kept my mind off of alcohol as I’d ingested so much already. I put my mind into my little zone. I visualized some type of radiation emanating from me and continued breathing until I heard someone say, “30 seconds…he’s already gone way past the time.”
Then I felt the pitcher shoved into my sternum. I took it and placed it back on the bar. I let out the last deep breath I’d taken in and opened my eyes. Music…that’s what I wanted.
“I’m headed to the jukebox,” I said, smiling.
“No more booze for that man for twenty minutes,” Lyn’s friend stated to Cameron as I left. Lyn intercepted me.
“D, that shit’s gonna hit you all at once later on so be careful,” she said, a look of genuine concern on her face.
I smiled again, “I’ll be alright.”
I hit the jukebox and selected three songs from The Crow soundtrack and shot several rogue balls from an unfinished game into respective holes.
“Nice shots!” Jason said. He was a man who made different types of jewelry and had been hanging with us since Coyotes. I’d officially lost all track of time by then and there’s no telling how long I’d been drinking and I’d also lost track of how much.
“Thanks!” I said.
“Hey man, look,” he said, “It was nice meeting you and all but I gotta head out.”
“Alright,” I said, “Don’t do anything I would do…obviously but if you do, name it after me.”
“Not a chance in hell,” he said and both of us laughed.
From there, I’d seen the movie Equilibrium was playing on one of the many flat-screened TV sets and many different conversations seemed to steer around the basic premise of the movie which was government control over information.
I sat, listening to a rather intelligent man named Vince talking to another man named Mark as his friend, Keith listened. During the conversation, their attention turned toward me.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m just particularly interested in what he’s saying.”
The conversation resumed until I was asked for my opinion.
“It’s all fear-based,” I said, “Look around you. Everyone around us seems to only want one thing…protection. Our government has legalized extortion for themselves, cowing us time and again and the only reason these people do it is because we represent a threat to them. So, time and again things like…that (as I pointed toward the TV) tell us to continue to spend on things that further separate us. I’ll give you all a little tip, conservative, liberal, black, white, Jewish, protestant, catholic…none of this shit really matters. It only matters to that…the people that run that machine and every machine that we don’t have in our possession or control over because, somehow, I’m being told, Vince, that you and I have to remain separate because of one reason or another. Truth is, I don’t even know you enough to fear you. So what logical sense does that make?”
“It doesn’t,” he said grinning.
“But somehow we keep holding onto these very things,” I said, “We’re clinging to them for dear life, jumping through hoops, hopping from one foot to the next, fistfucking this planet into the next millennium and we aren’t even aware of the old rule, the first rule of combat.”
“What’s that?” Mark asked.
“Divide and Conquer,” I said, “We’re little more than cattle to these people now and we have done a damned fine job of dividing ourselves.”
Once I mentioned Bill Hicks’ famous quote on reality, talk of revolution began.
“We can go with that,” I said, “but isn’t it time we Evolved rather that Revolved?”
“Or Re-Evolved?” Vince added. I must admit that Vince’s intensely sharp mind really came to the fore with that rather simplistic remark. How simple would it be to just take ourselves back to our origins and rethink our entire structure. Sure, maybe it wouldn’t work, maybe it would but he made me think of one question…the one I had to honestly ask myself…is it really working now?
The conversation ended, a real sense of progress and empowerment accompanying each of us. I wished them all well and bid them all a very fond farewell.
A few minutes after that conversation ended, we ended up in this upstairs club known as
Our final destination was a place known as The Black Tiger where I was drinking water. I knew I was in deep deep trouble. I felt the warmth of the Nuclear Rainbow wash over my brain. I also knew that it was only one thing…dehydration in the extreme sense. I ended up bullshitting with one of the bouncers, a hulking mass of a dude I wouldn’t want to jack with unless I absolutely had to. Nothing really huge, there, mostly small-talk about hockey and what our picks for this year’s Stanley Cup would be. I’m still hanging with my favorites for the Eastern Conference Finals; The New Jersey Devils and The Philadelphia Flyers.
Finally, we’d gotten back into the suburban that had carried us to these locations and through the driver’s whipping around, I found that my choice to sit in between the two women sitting with me was not a wise choice at all. When we finally hit the parking lot of Coyotes, I uttered what I thought were going to be my last words indeed.
“Steph,” I said, “make your exit quick!”
She hopped out and I hung out of the doorway, well away from the interior of the suburban, the contents of my stomach left me in such a way that I’m almost certain will leave an indelible mark on the city of
Once I was done, that’s when I began to stagger rather than walk. From there, it was back to Lyn’s joint where the only thing I wanted was water. I knew I was in trouble and the only way to keep from continuing my downward spiral was to rehydrate myself or die trying.
Finally, I fell to my side on the large couch and fell asleep. Six hours later, I’m feeling as though my body is made of lead. My head isn’t really hurting but my throat’s as raw as anything. I’m sitting here in Lyn’s kitchen as they sleep and, even though I’m going home tonight, I know one thing…goddamn…what a rush!
“This is the noise that keeps me awake
my head explodes and my body aches…”
- Garbage “Push It”