I pulled up to the old spot and parked my car. Beside me lay an empty lot. Across the street an apartment under construction for years. Before just boards, now half inhabited. I’d been here two years prior after eating infected pizza from a dumpster. I grew so sick I lay in the trunk of my car for 40 hours, unable to move. Outside I heard construction on what was then just a shell. Since then I’ve been by a few times. I live out of my car and it’s a good spot to park. Get safe sleep. Now I was back to use it once more.
Earlier in the day I got bad news from a drug study. I hoped to have intestinal meds tested on me for $4700, a healthy sum I could squeeze six months from. But I wouldn’t be checking in even though I passed the strict labs. All that money down the drain. For a few hours I felt sorry for myself then shook it off. Fuck it. I could use the cash but this era of life was no dire times. I’d seen worse and would prevail.
All week I’d lived off spinach, almonds, and water. My personal concoction for good health. Now I could shovel shit to the gullet. Salt soaked in barrels of grease. I went for fast food tacos then decided to catch a comedy show. Its venue is walkable from the well-worn parking spot. So I pulled up and hunkered down.
I arranged my trunk bed as I planned to sleep here after the stand-up. In olden times the pre-show meant shots from a bottle. One tucked in the trunk and brewed by sun. These days I stuck to water. I was learning to be there even if anxiety flared. To not tamp that feeling with booze. To live with my inner thoughts. Me thinking I’m in the way. That someone will talk to me. That I’ll be overcome with unease as I’m here alone. I’m always alone and don’t care. But at social events I feel it a bit, like people will notice. I know it’s not true but my brain works against me.
After prepping the trunk I decided to clean myself. Skin and hair so greasy. Cock rotten. I hadn’t changed in days. I walked the open lot to a cement bridge by a brook. Nothing majestic. Little more than ditch piss. I stepped a dirt trail to drop beneath the bridge. Its overhang was too low to crouch but this spot was hidden. Other than me the populace seemed to be garbage and graffiti. I shined a light to ensure I hadn’t encroached on someone’s spot. On some bum jacking off.
With soap and razor I gave myself a bath. Metal scraped my face. Suds soaked my cock. I scraped an elk pelt off its surface. The peppermint tingled my skin. Some poor angel dragging its tongue from tip to taint. I toweled off and shook wet hair to cool air. Beside me on the ground sat a wet punching bag. I filled it with piss then ambled to the show.
The comedy was a back patio situation. Covered wooden stage. Small seating area. Behind that tables and dirt. I stepped in a puddle and soaked my shoe. The comics were fine. Not great. Not awful. Transcendence is rare but I give myself over to laughs. Sometimes a few. Sometimes I’m dying. The anything might happen aspect keeps me coming back. Amateur artists building their craft. It’s why I go to so many DIY bar shows.
I stood in the dirt by a pole. A cute girl kept looking back at me. She wore the clothes of an eccentric. Top to bottom denim and goofy ass earrings. I stared off as attention makes me feel awkward. A physical and mental unease. She was cute and seemed funny but the thought of her saying hi filled me with dread. Still, I noticed how we laughed at the same dark jokes. I’m sure she’d be easy to talk to. But every time she looked back I only locked eyes with a center point of nothing.
A man behind blew a purple vape cloud. It enshrouded me like a 70s film wizard. One vanishing in a puff of cheap smoke. The girl looked back and laughed. By instinct I said it was my special effects. She said I was a god and told her friend to kneel. From that we went nowhere. I stared back to my center point of nothing.
Post-show I dove straight to the phone, afraid she might to talk to me. She stepped inside which brought relief but also regret. Later she came back around but I didn’t look up. She lingered then left. Another interaction avoided. My signature move whether sober or drunk.
I left then stepped to a business-lined street. Fast food and pharmacies. Across the way an arrest went down in a chicken joint’s parking lot. They had a man with his hands on the hood. I watched a long time but nothing happened. No drama from either side. I rambled all over then made way for the dumpster whose pizza made me sick two years prior. Cops sat in this lot in their SUV. I killed more time ’til they scattered. Then I made a beeline for the dumpster, hungry for whatever sat inside.
In my pocket I carried a dirty Ziploc to fill with pizza. Shook dirt from its innards then approached the dumpster. Its lid was flipped open. Contents to the top. Straight off I saw a clear bag of good shit. End of the rainbow. I slipped a hand through its rip. Felt warmth. Fingerbanged slabs of meat and cheese. Triangles of grease. I pulled pieces then tossed those that looked unappealing. Food for rats or other bums.
After a few minutes of frenzy I had a slice in hand plus those in the bag. There were dozens more but this was an exercise in restraint. A healthier path. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean I gotta have it. I employed a ratty towel to scrape cheese grease from fingers. No matter how I tried they stayed slippery. So I ran hands over grass and that did the trick. Nature’s soap. In time I walked the main road with bounty in hand. After a few bites I decided to trash it. I didn’t want to get fat. To get sick. No need to swallow shit.
I scoped some more dumpsters then circled back to the car. A cop sat parked in the empty grass lot. The same I’d walked to wash and shave. The cement place I started my night. Fuck. They were everywhere tonight. He was so close to my parking spot. Could see me. No way to slip to the trunk unnoticed. I guess I wouldn’t be sleeping here after all. What a night of middling expectation met by lower than hoped results. I drove to a different street then crashed out. Fell asleep in peace. Resting up for another night of not much.
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