It ain't my idea to leave before dawn. My ole lady decided to visit Nana, that's why the house stinks of hairspray. You know why she's leaving early: so nobody sees her scurry through town on foot. All she wants is for them to see her arrived, all hunky-dory. Not scurrying. It's a learning I made since the car went.
'Well I just can't believe there isn't a pair of Tumbledowns around town, I mean, I'll have to try down by Nana's.' She gives off breathy noises, and flicks her fingertips through my hair. Then she takes a step back and frowns. It means goodbye. 'Promise me you won't miss your therapy.'
An electric purple sky spills stars behind the pumpjack, calling home the last moths for the night. It reminds me of the morning when ole Mrs Lechuga was out here, all devastated. I try not to think about it. Instead I look ahead to today. Going to Keeter's is a smart idea; if anybody sees me out there, they'll say, 'We saw Vernon out by Keeter's,' and nobody will know if they mean the auto shop, or the piece of land. See? Vernon Gray-matter Little. In return, I've asked Fate to help me solve the cash thing. It's become clear that cash is the only way to deal with problems in life. I even scraped up a few things to pawn in town, if it comes to that. I know it'll come to that, so I have them with me in my pack – my clarinet, my skateboard, and fourteen music discs. They're in the pack with my lunchbox, which contains my sandwich, the two joints, and a piece of paper with some internet addresses on it.
As for the joints and the piece of paper, I heard the voice of Jesus last night. He advised me to get wasted, fast. If at first you don't succeed, he said, get wasted off your fucken ass. My plan is to sit out at Keeter's and get some new ideas, ideas borne out of the bravery of wastedness.
I ride down empty roads of frosted silver, trees overhead swish cool hints of warm panties in bedclothes. Liberty Drive is naked, save for droppings of hay, and Bar-B-Chew Barn wrappers. In this light you can't see the stains on the sidewalk by the school. As the gym building passes by, all hulky and black, I look the other way, and think of other things.
Music's a crazy thing, when you think about it. Interesting how I decided which discs not to pawn. I could've kept some party music, but that would've just tried to boost me up, all this thin kind of 'Tss-tss-tss,' music. You get all boosted up, convinced you're going to win in life, then the song's over and you discover you fucken lost. That's why you end up playing those songs over and over, in case you didn't know. Cream pie, boy. I could've kept back some heavy metal too, but that's likely to drive me to fucken suicide. What I need is some Eminem, some angry poetry, but you can't buy that stuff in Martirio. Like it was an animal sex doll or something, you can't buy angry poetry. When you say gangsta around here, they still think of Bonnie & fucken Clyde. Nah, guess what: I ended up keeping my ole Country albums. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck – even my daddy's ole Hank Williams compilation. I kept them because those boys have seen some shit – hell, all they sing about is the shit they've seen; you just know they woke up plenty of times on a wooden floor somewhere, with ninety flavors of trouble riding on their ass. The slide-guitar understands your trouble. Then all you need is the beer.
D.B.C. Pierre (Vernon God Little)