Pumpernickel

He had just beaten the shit out of himself when Blake called. “Wanna go see a movie?” “I can’t” he said “I’m trying to write.” “Come on dude! You’ve been at it all day. You need to get out of the house” “yeah but I haven’t done SHIIIIIIIT godDAMN IT!” He was almost crying now but he remembered all those kids in Africa who really had something to cry about. So he got mad at himself and just stared at the jacket cover and wished he knew how to fold em all nice and neat into themselves like the Master himself. But different. His own creation. Something unique that only comes about when you stop trying to create it. But that was years away and Blake knew that Alex needed to get out of the house tonight. “Listen to me. I’m in the car now. I’ll be at your house in 20 minutes. Don’t pussy out. Pussy in. You know what I mean? Know what I’m sayin’?” And he did because for the first time today Alex smiled. “Alright” he said and his fat clubbed thumb came down on the magic red button of the Blackberry. Blake always knew what was best for Alex. Even when he didn’t know it himself. Sometimes Alex would think he knew what he wanted but then Blake would come in and make him understand that that’s not what he really wanted. Like one time on Saturday when Alex thought all he wanted was to chill at home alone by himself with a hot cup of summer tea and a thin joint and the open windows and the crickets and the passing fire trucks. He was real excited about the night too. But then Blake texted to say that he was coming by to pick him up because the girls were already waiting for them at Drai’s at the W. And when Alex told him that he just didn’t want to go out tonight, Blake beat that fucking sense into him like Yoko into John. “You have your whole life to chill! Stop being anti-social!” “I’m not being anti-social!” He was always defending himself. “I just don’t wanna go clubbing I hate that environment it’s not fun for me. I dunno… I just don’t wanna go out.” But Blake couldn’t unclench his jaws. “No dude. You need to go out! This isn’t normal!” Alex laughed. “Ok but I don’t wanna be normal, why don’t you understand that I don’t care…” But Blake was already a step ahead. “Ok. Alex. Stop! Stop! That’s bullshit and you know it.” A pause. How do you defend against that? “Stop being a little bitch and come out and get laid! If there’s one night you go out it’s TONIGHT. I’m telling you, there’s 6 girls just waiting for you… I’m sure one of ‘em will like your weird shit. Come on!” Pause. “I’m telling you you’ll hate yourself in the morning if you miss out on this!” He was sort of right. Alex knew he’d hate himself in the morning if he had in fact missed out on something amazing. Amazing. And after Blake reminded Alex that both he and Alex knew that Alex getting laid was as rare as a solar eclipse on a Tuesday, Alex changed his mind and then changed his clothes and then did his hair and by the time Blake rolled up to his apartment in his Beemer with a fifth of Jack, even Alex was convinced that tonight would be amazing too because… hell. They were young and they looked good and they had nice deep voices and they could be funny just like anyone else on TV. Maybe even funnier.

They got to the club and skipped the line. Blake always knew the guys at the door or someone promoting. Alex just stood there and looked around pretending to fit in. They finally got in and sat down with Blake’s peeps. Blake was already laughing and having a great time. Everyone greeted him like a war vet. No one even looked at Alex. But he sat right down and fought the good fight of the night. Started chatting up this thin gorgeous blonde with all those legs and the nose ring. Telling her about the Beats and Neal Cassady and the yas yas yas and time oh well we know time you and I, we know time, yes. She seemed to be digging it. Then come 2 am when he was almost too drunk and holding down the puke, she disappeared and so did Blake and what happened to the other 5 bitches? Alex sat there for a bit until he couldn’t take it anymore and left.

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