Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Vacancies For Vagrants

Hobo Tipping For Blueprints

Friday night arrived under a thick wet blanket of heat. While I recovered from my grandmother's funeral, my compadres sat crosslegged at a lingerie show. I didn't hear much about the music or the nightclub, but plenty about the models. None of which bears repeating.

Together at the former roomie's apartment they giggled and pantomimed and splashed their drinks. I announced my arrival by waving a bottle of Jim Beam in the air and hoisting a 30-pack of Old Style. From grocery bags at my elbows swung 10 frozen pizzas. I was prepared to drink, puke, eat, and sleep, in that order.

Five hours later, Travis and Bor were extremely drunk. I was mildly sauced, but still capable of semi-rational judgment and practical restraint. They were not. How did I know this? Earlier in the evening, on the return trip from a caper, Travis had begun shouting out the car window at policemen, threatening to murder them.

"Five dilla killa!"

No, he is not black, in a gang, or from Detroit. Apparently he just thinks that's funny. Shame on you, sir. Bor behaved with civility and restraint throughout the evening, but Travis' sinister influence would soon corrupt him.

Shortly before sunrise Travis and Bor decided to go thrash the homeless. They were tired of beer, tired of whiskey, tired of being tired, and some good old-fashioned senseless violence would be just the right thing to spice up the morning.

"Fuck eggs and bacon, I wanna hurt somebody for breakfast!"


"Come on Bor, we're leaving. This sucks. Let's go find some hobos."


"Because! Come on!"

They returned two hours later with rolled-up, rubber-banded blueprints. I didn't spread them open carefully to determine which building they had assaulted. I just asked.

"Okay. Explanation. Now."

"Well, we went to the projects. Some gangbangers offered us some blueberry, so we smoked. Then we passed this massive steam vent geyser thingy next to the sidewalk. Then we found a bunch of homeless people in an alley and hung out with them for a while. One old dude has like three college degrees but is homeless for fun, or lifestyle, or something. He likes it. Smelly old fuck."

"Yeah, and the blueprints?"

"Oh yeah! We broke into the building the homeless sleep in during the winter and grabbed the blueprints. They don't need them anymore. We brought them back as a souvenier. We passed the underpass shrine on the way back and laughed at all the praying Mexicans. We kicked over the police barricades there and pretended to poo on Jesus's mom. Some Chinese guy pulled over to point and laugh with us. It was awesome. So here we are."

As I drank whiskey, the assembled crowd of six began to throw the rolled plans about the room. They unravelled, wide unwieldy streamers slicing the muggy air. The threat of papercuts zig-zagged everywhere as the blueprints broke down into scraps and paper balls. The pitching and fighing and ripping carried on for fifteen minutes, staining hands light blue.

People woke around noon, on floors and couches and chairs and tables, moaning for water and cool air. Bor had disappeared.

"He went to Union Station to catch the Elgin train."

"Yeah, but how? Did he take the Western bus south to Jackson? Did he have any idea where he was going?"

"I don't know."

"I hope he left early, because there's Bluesfest, the Cubs Red Sox games, and even more shit going on today. All public transportation is gonna be packed."

Several days later we discovered that Bor made it home safely. I was concerned that he fell asleep in Union station, had a sunstroke, was eaten by the vengeful homeless, or got arrested for public masturbation.

Travis almost died in my car. I fed him water and horchata and bade him to use my remaining frozen pizzas as a cold pillow. He almost melted in my back seat. Next time he'll drink some water before hunting hobos.

After I dropped everybody at home, I went to the movies.
11:11 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


June 15, 2005 11:48 AM, Blogger EcamirG said...

i have to give you credit. at least you're loyal. the last time some of my fellows went off in search of homeless to fight, i'd gone and found new friends before they'd returned.

June 15, 2005 12:25 PM, Blogger P/O said...

nice account. any milk bars involved in the good ol' ultra violence? :)

June 15, 2005 12:34 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

To their credit, there was no actual violence or milk bars. Just some drunken stumbling and some agressive hyperbole.

June 15, 2005 1:06 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Frozen pizzas make wonderful saucers for sleding if a true sled is unavailable. Again you had me laughing out loud. The people in my office are going to lead the guys in the white jackets back to my office some day...

June 15, 2005 3:04 PM, Blogger Lance Manion said...

Now that's my kind of party.

June 15, 2005 7:05 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I always wanted to learn how to shred blueprints, and I missed the class. Damn.

June 15, 2005 11:16 PM, Blogger Ectoplasm said...

Good writing and worthy of a bookmark.

Smelly hobos with college degrees.

My kind of people.

June 16, 2005 3:09 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Sure as night will follow day - most things I worry about, never happen anyway.


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