Vanilla Coke Guy

The front half of my first year out of high school revolved around playing Halo and selling cigarettes to children. I was bored with everything, launched by a diploma into a haze of DVDs; getting 75 cents in loot and a warm heart every time I helped char a middle schooler’s lungs; scoping out my parents’ cereal supply for new arrivals. My friends and I looked for ways to alleviate these routines, to fill the holes that endless viewings of Family Guy couldn’t. When we weren’t hunkered down in my parents’ cement basement hovel with controllers in hand, we injected ourselves into the public. A weak virus with few clear objectives. It began with car chases.

There is no doubt we were annoying shitheads. Grew up in a small town of 300 but infested the nearby mega-city of 50,000 to execute our hijinks. Once pulled up to a couple guys stopped at a red and motioned for them to roll down their windows. My front passenger used a toy microphone recorder attached to a red and yellow plastic speaker to greet them. “Your car sucks. Your car fucking sucks.” The speaker was so weak and fuzzy they couldn’t make out what he’d said. Dude had to shout it from my car. When the light went green they switched into our lane and began to follow.

These guys chased us around for a half hour, from city streets to residential parking lots. My ogre friend in the back freaked out, rightfully scared they’d beat our asses. Kept trying to speed off but couldn’t escape their sight for more than ten second intervals. Didn’t know the streets at all. Turned off my lights to create a shadow car. No good. My microphone passenger seemed defiant and gave me directions on how to float out of danger when they came close or seemingly had us cornered. He spoke these things to me through the toy recorder.

We ended up in a circle driveway, rounding it backward at twenty-five miles per hour as one of the guys jumped out of his car and grabbed at my door. I heard the handle slap back against the metal. It was locked. I saw him staring at me, holding his arm in pain, as I peeled backward onto a road, crashing over a speed bump before righting the car ’round and getting away. We left the big city immediately. Back to the safety of our small town. I was freaked but rolling on adrenaline. It was a crazy experience I couldn’t stop thinking about. My body didn’t know chemicals, but this had to be a good approximation.

The cat and mouse with these thugs turned into a month long endeavor. They kept finding my car in the big city and chased me down with motorcycles and packs of cars. Always managed to slip away. I guess they were fixated on kicking my ass. But I didn’t want any owies. Wouldn’t be able to explain these things to my parents.

It turned out these guys were aspiring burnouts in their mid-twenties with ties to our hometown. Knew who I was. My ogre friend figured out who they were. One being the older brother of my scuzzy grade school classmate, Anna. The other just some dude who was friendly with a cousin of mine that blasted a guy in the face with a shotgun.

On a hot evening I was driving back to my country home and saw a car in the ditch at the end of our driveway. Four drunk people, two guys and two girls, stood near our paperbox. I stopped and rolled down my window, taking it in. Didn’t offer help as they were wasted. Instead I drove the fifty tree-lined yards up to our slab and went to bed. I later found out from a cousin who pulled them out, brother to the shotgun shooter, that these were my thugs. Now they knew where I lived. My parents would end up involved. Maybe my dog would be hurt. I was scared. I felt fucked.

But then one night I was cruising by the bars in my hometown and saw the thugs. They were standing with a redheaded burnout I knew a bit from his drug addict mom babysitting me as a child. We hadn’t spoken in years — my only recent info on him being that he purportedly had a huge cock. Decided I wanted this ordeal to be over. So I chanced it, hoping the redhead would be on my side. Pulled up and talked to them from inside my car.

“Hey, Russ.”

“Hiya, Nolan. These guys say they know you.”

“Yeah, I know.”

The two thugs stood over my little car, their hands gripping the half rolled window, looking down at me. Kept my hand on the shift in case I needed to squeal away. I had to crane my neck to look up at them. Realized how built they were. Felt my thin arms. Thought about how I hadn’t been in a fight since I was sucker punched by a bowl-cutted ICP fan during gym class in sixth grade.

The thug who knew my cousin posed a question. “Well, Joe, what do you think? Should we bust his faggot ass up?” It was then I remembered I had a fuzzy, pink cover on my steering wheel.

“I’m a minor. You’d be arrested.” I was eighteen.

“So?” the thug replied.

The brother of my classmate spoke next.

“You think we’re not ready to do jail for how good it’d feel?” He was very calm about this. They spoke casually about beating me, as if I weren’t there. I doubt this one knew the part of our connection involving his sister. Wouldn’t be able to invoke her name when pleading for mercy as he drew blood from my face, shattered my virgin testicles.

They seemed ready to strike. My smartass routine disappeared when I pictured myself beaten raw outside the steps of the drinking shack where my obese, grade school lunch lady tended bar. I’d heard she liked to suck off country folk in her trailer after closing.

“Hey, guys. I’m really sorry. My friend said that shit to you and I don’t know why. He’s a dumbass.” Gabfrab: loyal to the end.

One of them replied, “I don’t know. You’ve been quite a shit.”

“I know. I’m really sorry. It was dumb of us.” I waited for a reaction and added on more when no response came. Gesturing to the one who’d grabbed at my car during the first chase I said, “I didn’t mean to hurt your hand that night.”

Russ, who’d been standing back, said I was an alright guy. This seemed to sway them. Maybe they just didn’t want to exert the energy to rip me from my car when they could be drinking Millers.

“Fuck it. Let him go.”

I thanked missile dick and drove away. Relieved but wanting more. Didn’t even try tell myself I’d never do this again. The whole experience had been too exciting and without true consequence.

The microphone encounter became the progenitor of my first adrenaline hobby. Friends and I sailed into the big town with the intention to piss someone off and get chased. Usually this meant finding the right target. A guy in a pickup painted with flames was always a good bet. Honk to get his attention and stick up a middle finger. Write FUCK YOU on a piece of paper and wave it his way. Ask if he knows that his pile of shit truck is on fire. Then get off the main roads and let the fun begin.

I now knew to always obey traffic laws and never make it clear to the public what was going on. Was smart enough to never let myself be cornered again. To keep a chase going until either I or the pursuer grew bored, then slink away satisfied. These pickups pulled up on my small car to try box me in. They rolled their windows, demanding I get out and fight. Of course I never did. My car acted as a protective turtle shell. My fingers and cocky mouth as a gateway into the adrenaline I craved.

I got new people involved in this as my friends from the original encounter didn’t tag along again more than a time or two. Some of these were culled from a group of people I played Halo with, others were just friends of mine. The new people loved being passengers in this game. Sometimes we used two cars and would box someone between us, then slow to fifteen miles per hour and drive like that until we were bored, flicking the person off the entire time. Shouting out, WHY YOU GOING SO SLOW, BROTHA? Eventually these chases didn’t yield the same rush as before. But I knew there was potential for more joy in fucking with people in ways that back then didn’t feel like they were going too far. So we got a video camera and started our search for the new fun.

A thing to do that started junior year and extended into the aimless netherworld of post-high school life was cruising. This meant driving up and down the same stretch of a business lined street in the big town. Endlessly playing “Waterfalls” by TLC. The idea was that girls would see you in your $1500 car, flash you, fuck you.

We always had the camera on hand, recording endless hours of boring footage that sometimes focused its eye on something interesting: a woman’s bare breast, our friend’s mooning ass, sparks coming off a shopping cart stuck beneath one of our cars making its way across a K-Mart parking lot. Sometimes there came to be footage of calling up the same burnout every night telling him to sneak out of his parents’ and walk miles to a car we’d left hidden in a ditch for him. He always wandered into the country looking for it. The car was never real. Nor were the drugs my friend sold him.

Once filmed ourselves stealing a wheelchair from Wal-Mart. The mooning friend sat his clothed ass down and pushed himself around grocery lots, parking himself in a spot marked with blue lines, then getting up to walk inside for candy. We had the building blocks of a gangster film. When someone rang the police because of our boxing them in to shout obnoxious phrases at their shit pile van, this footage worked against my friend driving the car. The police confiscated a tape and though it didn’t look good, I guess our crimes were labeled as inert, slapped with a PG-13.

My parents picked up the camera from the cops. They didn’t know what to think. Things didn’t make sense. The footage worked against the image they’d created of a mostly innocent son. I had to come up with lies to explain away what was on the tape. Though it was soon forgotten, its effect on us was permanent. The big town had been too much to handle. Flunked out of film school. We decided to terrorize the countryside instead.

We threw Halo parties after work at whoever’s house was available — the person whose parents went to bed earliest. Usually this meant setting up three or four TVs in my basement: wires snaking the cement floors through wooden beams of unfinished walls, connecting anywhere from three to fifteen boys sitting on makeshift chairs. Playing every night from 11-2. This group was composed of my fellow high school graduates, people I worked with at a gas station, and various friends of friends. Many were still in high school. I was among the oldest.

All the cliches were on display in abundance: two liters of Mountain Dew, big bags of salty chips, low-carb candy bought at a discount. Over gorged sweat freaks who made the room laugh with cruel jokes. Rib thin brothers trying to pass off pubic curlies as a beard. A dude with rape-vibe transition lenses who recited passages from Aqua Teen verbatim. All awkward. Not a girlfriend in sight. At the time I was in limbo with my own girl.

There was a stretch of a month where we played nearly every night. Flicks of a joystick blew another’s head off with a rocket launcher; made our avatars anal rape the deceased as the dead player sat there helpless for ten seconds until his character respawned. We named these characters Gwar inspired things like Jizmak, Balsac, and CumSmack. I was always Pierre Bernard. A college girl in our area, Dru Sjodin, had been abducted and viciously murdered by a sex offender a year prior. It was big news for North Dakota. My mother once walked in and saw on the screen: Dru Sjodin was killed by OJ. We were getting our laughs.

It was all good fun, but when the games wound down hours after midnight, many wanted more. Few ready to head home to their parents’. So much built up energy and no funnel atop our tin heads to release the mischievous steam circling our brains. The smack talk of “K-Mart missile” from a missed rocket shot couldn’t happen after the X-Box powered down. But we still wanted to feel the camaraderie. Extend our night after the game got old. After others left to make curfew.

Usually this ritual of dissipation entailed going to the big town’s 24 hour truck stop cafe where I’d hold a ketchup bottle three feet above my plate, squirting vine grown cum onto greasy fries. Winding down our night by flipping creamers and running over cars in a big rig simulator. I once laid in my friend’s pitch black trunk during a thunderstorm on a late night fry run. Inhaled dust as I felt the amplified sound, like bombs dropped over endless fields of wheat. Ate my food with ringing ears. But the grease couldn’t tide what was rising within us. Something had to catch in this wake. Rock about but never tip. None among us was a violent or criminal person, but all felt the Psiren’s call to a life of fucking off.

I wasn’t there and found out after the fact, but a group of Halo players spent a night vandalizing nearby towns. Boys armed with paintball guns hung out every window of a Pontiac 6000, taking aim at what displeased them. Shot up the front lot vehicles of a dealership. Skipped to another town where several school buses got the Furthur treatment — painted green, red, pink. Drove back to my house and put my mentally ill dog in a window well where she pissed herself. When they recounted the night I recognized in them that same jolt of excitement my adventures in the big town had brought. It stirred in me a need to imbibe the chase dope once more. But in the past few excursions I’d leveled off, felt myself clawing for a bigger hit.

A group of us worked at a rundown gas station where we hated everybody but had fun with each other. Bought bouncy balls and used a giant pizza pan with a handle to play bouncy ball baseball in the store. One person pitched to the batter who always swung hard. The ball bounced from wall to ceiling to wall with incredible force and speed. You never knew where it was going to fly, who it was going to hit, or what it was going to break. We destroyed lots of shit. It helped keep our minds off how we couldn’t stand the customers.

Most regulars at our gas station, a tin shack entitled Town Mart, had a nickname. We loved a handful of customers and these chosen few were generally referred to by their real name. But we hated most everyone else. I sold cigarettes to kids to help them die faster. And if you had a nickname it often meant we thought you were a painful to be around dipshit. For example: a poor, elderly pedophile who lived with a coke dealer never put more than $5 into his busted, red truck. He became Five Dollar Man. I would ring him up by saying, “That’ll be $5, man,” to amuse my coworkers. There was another guy who was very thin and scaly with reptile eyes that bought glitter stickers. He became Lizard Man. Though he was cool, he was too creepy not to mock. Did loving impressions of him that involved threatening to lick anyone nearby while chanting in a hoarse voice, “Eeehhhh. I’m the Liiiiiizard Man.” We had personality profiles on dozens of these characters, but few were more hated than Vanilla Coke Guy.

Vanilla Coke Guy was well known before he earned his nickname. Dude was in his forties but with graying hair and a rough, leathery face. Dressed in flannel and spoke about having just been released from prison. Peppered unnecessary, over-emphatic curses into his sentences ala a high school child. His style of manner wasn’t curt, but simply rude. He left the wrapper for his cigarettes on the counter. Stunk of smoke and had a way of directing waves of rancid breath your way with each uttered syllable. Paid with dirty, hair-ridden change. His brother is a fat, pock faced turtle who smokes dope and rides a minibike. He too was hated for showing up drunk and subjecting us to long-winded stories without context and jokes he’d grow angry over after I refused to even give a courtesy smirk. We called him Vanilla Coke Guy’s Brother.

Vanilla Coke Guy was titled such after buying a case of Vanilla Coke. One assumes this was for mixing drinks in his trailer where he’d later drunkenly cum in his blonde girlfriend. I always pictured him slamming against her so hard their whole trailer tipped on its side. Minutes after I sold him the pop he came back with the case torn apart, several cans missing. He dropped it on the counter near my register.

“What is this? I don’t drink shit water.” Dude sounded pissed.

I pointed at the case. “Well, dude, that’s Vanilla Coke.”

“I don’t have my glasses with.” He motioned to his bare eyes. “Took a swig and spit up all over the fucking car.”

“Okay.” It was a great story and I loved seeing him so unsettled over accidentally buying the wrong pop.

“Trading this piss for regular.”

He left the broken package on the counter, dented cans rolling out of it. Must have beaten the case against the dash of his broke-ass car. Dude grabbed a twelve pack of regular off the shelf and left. The whole thing was over in a minute. We were used to his dickbag antics, but this was something beyond. It seemed especially shitty, but also funny. I loved it when customers were upset.

From then on whenever he came into the store we made sure to have a case of Vanilla Coke up front on or near the counter. We deployed similar tactics by always putting out glue bottles by the register whenever a family we hated who owned horses came in. With Vanilla Coke Guy we’d offer him some tasty Vanilla Coke when he bought his pop, mentioning it was on sale. We were so starved for entertainment. So after the paintballing of the school buses it was decided we’d take sight on our hometown, making midnight visits to our favorite customer.

It began with amassing garbage. Every time we ripped a case of Vanilla Coke to fill the fridges, every time we found an empty can or bottle of the sweet, sugary piss, we saved it. Yanked it from the trash if we saw a customer toss one. We were stockpiling Hefty bags of ammo.

A couple nights in a row a few of us workers sped by his trailer at the devil’s hour, hurling our Vanilla Coke collection onto his lawn. Dude’s trailed was planted in the middle of the lot at the end of a short driveway. He lived at the end of a block with a bigger yard and not much for neighbors except those across the street. The road curved sharply to the right immediately after his lawn so it was easy to throw the garbage and then disappear into blackness. The other side of this road became a shelter belt, so once you made the corner by his house there was really no one around to see you. Almost too easy.

It was such a specific attack that if he hadn’t already fried every synapse in his brain he could’ve figured us out. Dude picked up the trash every day by afternoon so we knew he was at least seeing our good work. Our boss, an evangelical Christian who had a No Smoking sign in his pickup and resembled a fish, lived across the road. We were gas efficient in that when we first threw out the Vanilla Coke we made sure to have empty cigarette cartons and magazine pornography to hurl against the driveway of our aquatic overlord. We found these smut pages in the gas station dumpster the next day. Unable to locate traces of fish eggs on the glossy paper.

It happened to be fireworks season and everyone had big stashes of the stuff. Our boss gave us each $50 in credit at the patriotic painted fireworks trailer — eagles and flags — run by two of our high school’s lunch ladies. They are friendly and not to be confused with the grade school cook known for unhinging her turkey jaw to suck off local townies. So everyone had lots of fireworks, even the people who didn’t work with us. After one of the Halo nights we decided that litter wasn’t enough. We had to make some noise.

Our friend Sam was an expert in all things loud and explosive. His uncles had blown up someone’s house with dynamite back in the 70s. Him and I used to light his driveway on fire for fun. Mischief was bred into him in all the best ways. He oversaw the construction of our noise bombs. These were generally a pack of 500-1000 Black Cats rolled up, then taped together to keep their tight shape. Sometimes other fireworks were layered into the main pack. When they were rolled up like this they created the loudest bang, having many go off at once instead of the usual chain effect. Their explosion could sustain and feed itself for a few jarringly loud seconds. The war factory was my parents’ kitchen counter. Bombs rolled off the assembly line under Sam’s careful watch. The countertop was scattered with fireworks, matches, gas, string, tape, a half empty jar of peanut butter used to make my dad’s lunch.

It took two cars to attack Vanilla Coke Guy. Three or four people piled into each. We filmed the entire thing from creation to completion. Captured the excitement of everyone getting ready to firebomb this asshole’s yard at three in the morning. Only four of us worked at the gas station, but osmosis allowed everyone to take on our excitement, our grudge. The five mile drive from my country home into our little town was filled with anticipation. Talking on the phone with people in the second car to make sure everything was synchronized. Testing and retesting lighters with the windows rolled down. I kept the camera rolling.

Sam was in charge. Had us drive by on a dry run to figure out the spacing of the cars. He would look at the floor of the car in silence, moving his hands about on imaginary objects, thinking of how to do this perfectly. He timed it in a way so that just as the first Black Cat bomb was finishing, the car behind would hurl their two dollar noisemaker to create a continuous, syncopated cacophony. Boom. Boom. Boom. And so we did it.

We came on his house in a slow crawl, then the first instrument was lit. Throw! Throw! Throw! As soon as it was hurled the car sped up, sliding around the gravel corner as a series of booming pops began. A sparkling flash of light sailed out from the car behind, it too escaping in a storm of gravel dust and loud, echoing bangs.

We met up afterward outside our work. The green tinted night vision footage we shot was shaky, out of frame. Still, one could see light flaring up on his driveway as the cats went off. The precision timing of the bombing relay didn’t go as planned. But the effect on our spirits was immense. This eclipsed any excitement sapped from throwing grenades at each other in a virtual game.

There was so much thrill in tiny moments. The space between seeing the lit package fly through the air to when the car slammed you back in your seat as it all detonated. The erratic getaway driving that almost spun us off into a ditch. Not knowing if a crazy asshole was going to get in his car and come chase us down, chucking empty Vanilla Cokes at our tires.

Several nights in a row we bombed Vanilla Coke Guy’s trailer. It was such a good laugh. But he wasn’t our only target. There was a prick customer who always made us cook him fryer food that lived in an RV in our store’s parking lot. I guess I can understand why he was grumpy, given the circumstances of his wretched life. We bombed the area around his trailer, revving the engine of whatever shitty car we were in, hoping to spit gravel against his home. Cause him to wake frightened and confused from his trailer slumber. The remnants of fried cheese sticks leaking from a naked body onto rustled sheets. I didn’t feel bad about it at all. He was grumpy and among the worst in terms of asshole patrons, but it hardly took anything to gain our ire.

Customers doing such simple things as using paper towels to handle the gas pump angered me to the point of rubbing cock sweat all over the pen they’d use at the counter. It never dawned on us that our level of retaliation was grossly imbalanced in terms of anything we suffered. Sure the customers were rude and annoying. But it didn’t matter if they screamed in our faces or all they did was take too long to dig out their change. We fucking hated them all at a gut level.

Just as we’d evolved out of getting chased by cars, out of accepting greasy fries at the end of the night as a fine way to finish a day, out of littering peoples’ yards, our thrill was lessened after a few bombing runs. Then I came up with a perfect plan. A natural extension of everything we’d accomplished so far. The coup de grace.

I realized we needed to up our war against Vanilla Coke Guy. The skirmishes were losing effect. Had no way to know exactly how much we were bothering our favorite customer. When he’d come into the store after the war had begun he acted the same as always. But I knew a surefire way to fuck his life up.

The first step was to buy a 500 shot missile battery. A few years prior some friends and I were down at the river by my house lighting off fireworks to hear their echo boom across the water. We lit one of these 500 packs and it sent up one shrieking missile after another for ten minutes straight. Each shot exploded high in the sky at the end of its flight. Shit was more fun than when, at the end of firework season, we dumped our leftovers into a pile, drizzled it in gas, dropped a match, then ran as the beast shot our way. This and other firework wars were how I came to burn holes in my favorite shirt that I’d been wearing since sixth grade. I was good at making silly decisions.

So the plan was to head into our little town late at night. Park near Vanilla Cokes’s and select one speedy person to dart into his yard with the 500 shots of ammo. After lighting it they’d run back to the getaway car, ready to spin out of town. He, and anyone in that neighborhood, would be bombarded with a ridiculous amount of unstoppable noise. Dude unable to do more than sit on his porch watching missiles voyage off into the night sky — a howling streak of light concluded with a booming finish. But there was more to my plan.

One of our co-workers lived a house over from our boss, right across the street from Vanilla Coke. As the 500 shot did its thing he’d hide nearby, filming our target standing in his undies, staring in helpless anger at the missiles. Even if the neighbors came out looking for the asshole responsible, our co-worker could walk back to his house without suspicion. Tuck himself into bed with the tape secure.

After the footage was shot, we were to transfer it onto VHS. The next night we’d drop by Vanilla Coke’s and leave the tape on his front step. And then it’d be over. We’d have reached the apex of what we hoped to accomplish and could return to just playing Halo and getting fat on trucker food. A perfect culmination.

I bandied this idea around for a while. We were nervous about how it’d play out. The logistics of it entailed actually being on the ground — until then we’d stayed in the car during our rolling attacks so that speed was always on our side. I worried he’d give the tape to the police and they’d somehow trace the video camera back to me. But I loved the plan so much.

One night after one of our routine bombing rounds we met up back at the gas station. Some people were outside leaning against the two cars. I was reviewing that night’s footage in my driver’s seat. We saw a sheriff go by on the highway just thirty yards away. It was nerve-wracking to see him appear minutes after we’d made so much noise. He began to exit onto the interstate toward the big town and we felt relief. But then he swung around and came into our parking lot. I panicked. Quickly fumbled the tape out of the camera and stuffed it all under my seat. Tucked garbage all around to mask the recorders existence even more.

The sheriff rolled up in his SUV to within a foot of the bumpers of our side by side cars, blocking both vehicles in. This seemed to be the end. We’d pushed our luck too far. A fat man slid out, the radio on his shoulder crackling. In my rear view mirror I recognized him as a cop who regularly came in to buy ice cream and flirt with one of our somewhat older coworkers. He asked the people outside what we were up to.

“Just got done playing some Halo,” someone answered. The person motioned at the myriad of controllers tangled together in the back seat of the car that wasn’t mine. The cop peeked in on the mass of plastic and wires then started asking more questions.

“Well I saw you guys parked out here and this place is closed up, ya know. Not doing anything else now, are ya?”

I decided it looked suspicious for me to just sit in the car with my passenger. I stepped out and said with a wave, “Heya. We all work here and just like to hang out sometimes at the end of a night.” I felt much better after getting this out.

The cop relaxed, now recognizing us as the dudes who vended him candy bars and caffeine. He turned off the recorder on the dash of his vehicle, saying nobody needed to hear us talk about games. It turns out he was big into X-Box too. Dude sat around talking about games with us for ten minutes. We told him how intense the Halo matches got and that smack talking was a big part of the experience. This prompted him to ask what I briefly feared would be a gut dropping question.

“I need to ask you guys something.” I figured he’d received a report about firework noise and was going to ask what we knew about it. That the nice guy stuff was just him getting ready to attack us with questions we couldn’t give straight, consistent answers to. The evidence was everywhere in our vehicles. He continued with his question. “Now I’m not going to get any calls about you guys throwing down on each other, am I?”

Dude was joking around with us. I must have been more nervous than I thought because I didn’t realize at first that he was being fun. It took my friend answering him back about how nah, let’s hope it doesn’t get that bad, for me to realize we were off the hook. The cop chatted for another minute or two and then drove off, back to the big town.

Everyone sat around in the lot that night talking about how fucking scary what just happened was. How it was figured by all that we were fucked the second he turned around on the interstate ramp. Our parents would be called and then we’d have to face just how much they still controlled our lives.

After that night it was decided we’d had enough fun with mischief. That this was a sign to not press our luck any more. My beautiful plan now never to be realized beyond its manifestation as an intense fantasy in my mind. We quit it all and quit it forever. Stopped before evolving into the thugs.

We played Halo on and off for the next year or so. But it slowly died. Stopped setting out pop on the counter for Vanilla Coke, though always offered him a smile that belied our connection. Went to the truck stop less and less. People became annoyed with each other. The groups fractured til only a core was left — the bond of our Vanilla Coke hate no longer there to keep us together.

I shrunk further from both the big city and its little satellite — recessing deep within myself. Lost my girlfriend permanently. Took to getting my thrills by going online and pretending to be a young girl in chatrooms. Regressing to an even less mature state. Got old men to agree to anal fuck me and my crippled nine year old sister in our little brother’s busted crib. To help my sister with her math homework after spraying their diseased goop across my face. To ejaculate healing cum on little sis’ skin to mend burns from the fire that put her in the chair. Giving the address of the police station in their town as my home.

I was soon starting college in the big city after that hazy, wasted year in limbo. Knew allowing myself another year of stagnation would probably be the gateway to a lifetime of it. I had to leave my little town. Hoped getting back to school would erase these kiddish impulses within that drove me to be a prick to assholes. It took quite a while for the cure to come.

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