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“Rebel, Rebel” – Fiction by T. Mazzara

ChargerBe warned: T. Mazzara‘s “Rebel, Rebel,” one of the short stories from our Spring 2014 issue, contains some extremely salty language. But beneath all that salt there’s also tremendous tenderness. 

{ X }

for Shawn

I GOTTA GET TO NEW YORK BEFORE 3 AM or Big Meanie, Jimmy Dread, is gonna fuckin stick-rape me with a broom handle and feed my bones to his bulls, gonna cut off my ears and chop off my head. I been driving this route and driving it drifted for two years now, trying to buy the ticket on dad’s ranch house. Buy it back from my sunk-headed Moms. She’s got not a marble left and they’re gonna take the dump from her, she don’t get square with the bank. I been driving this route since Jean Genie bit the big assfuckin farm on it. That’s my cousin, Jean Genie.

Jean died when his box truck launched off this elevated road (that’s Route 17 East to New York-fuckin-Shitty). Jean buried truck and driver in the woods just betwixt Beaver Kill and Roscoe. And that’s Roscoe “Trout Town USA.” Upstate. He buried Jean Genie good too. Fucker was a mess of blood and knotty, greasy hair and white meat and wood and red meat and metal splinters, buried in bark and sticks and branches, cloaked in wet red and steam and smoke and brake lights. Twisted metal, twisted Genie. Twisted sister. Jean Genie. Ziggy Stardust.

I’m carrying a load of H (and some blow on the side). All packaged neat in 50 pound bags of organic flour. Genie still talks to me. I’m the Jazz. It’s something I do. It’s something I do for the Dread. It’s something that’s done.

I’m passing Slaterville Springs, now. Bug zappers zapping and flashing and it’s 35mph thru here so they’re easy to hear over this godawful loud engine. I’m still on east 79. It goes up to 55mph after here and then I’ll be headed thru Richford and past Robinson’s Hollow Road and there’s fuckin nothing out there.

But there is a red Dodge Charger here now and he’s been behind me and beside me and I’ve passed him real careful-like, twice now, and he’s weaving like a motherfucker. There’s drunks at night out here. Small town, not much to do at night. Day too. Not certain if this one’s a drunk. Can’t never be certain of anything, really, Jean Genie used to say. But Dodge Charger keeps slowing and I pass him and then he’ll waggle in my rearviews and he’s in and out of lanes and I lose sight of him around a bend til he guns it and smashes past me, suckin wind and shakin the Bigtop.

You never can be sure of much. Jean Genie used to say black holes was planets that had evolved some species into machines that needed to eat and needed power to eat and they then went off and e’en everything. And it wasn’t like astronomers said and what the hell did astronomers know? They had theories and observations. Hell, we could make theories and observations. We could make observations and theories all we fuckin wanted, but unless they could magic his ass up to the center of the galaxy and let him stick his finger in a supermassive black hole, he didn’t believe in black holes and thought the center of the galaxy must just be filled with unicorn farts and marshmallow fluff.

He always said that the world as we know it was coming to an end and that everything that is just now, even as I say this sentence here, is now the past and everything back then is questionable and every configuration of us was different from one moment to the next. Or some shit like that. I think I said it right. I don’t know. He was a confusing shit and I was faced when he told me that.

Never seen you so faced.

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