Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Ink Inc. Part Two
“Dear Terry Sobaski,
Thank you for participating in the Ink Lottery application hearing last week. Unfortunately, you were not selected to participate. Please understand that thousands apply and only two hundred candidates are accepted. While you were not selected this time, you may apply again for the Ink Lottery next year.
Inkhead Promotions, Inc.”
More goddamn rejection. Terry balled up the letter and chucked it at the open garbage can in the corner of his filthy kitchen. He missed. The letter landed in a dried puddle of spaghetti sauce. Terry’s golden ticket had floated away. Once again, hope had failed him. It had failed him in earning scholarships, failed him when he tried to reconcile with his wife, (he’d cheated on her) failed him at the custody hearing, and failed him when he applied for a promotion with his employer, a waste removal company. Life sucks and then you die.
Terry neglected to wash the trash slime from his foul fingers before microwaving and wolfing a hot pocket. He finished and thought about another empty night of a pointless life. The idea of watching bullshit TV shows made Terry feel even worse. Alcohol wasn’t going to help, either. Terry decided to go for a walk. Maybe it would clear his head.
It didn’t. Terry just felt worse. All he could think about was the money. All that easy money, just to wear a forehead tattoo. Money bought respect, money bought women, and money bought luxury. To him, those were the holy trinity. Those were three things in short supply.
Terry held out no hope that another attempt would yield better results, and besides, that was a whole year away. Rob a bank? Maybe. Terry passed the zoo, then doubled back to enter it.
The monkeys were lucky. They were perfectly happy to shit in their own hands and fling it around. The fish were fine swimming in little circles. The pigs at the barnyard exhibit just squealed, ate, and shat all the live long day. Lucky stupid beasts, all of them. Terry envied them.
Terry looked at the burning skull tattoo on his bicep. Why didn’t they want him? Was it just bad luck, or was there something in particular that disqualified him? A lion roared. A kid begged for ice cream. Terry kept ambling along, floating through his black mood.
“Hey there, you big dumb ugly fuck. Think they’d let you sell microwave popcorn? I doubt it. They’re picky, those fuckers. They won’t take just anybody.”
The elephant ignored Terry. Maybe it didn’t speak English.
“Even if they gave you a lifetime supply of peanuts?”
Still no answer.
"That's right. You already got a lifetime supply of peanuts. Well, fuck you!"
As the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and the world grew brighter, Terry had an epiphany. He had his answer. A purpose. A dream.
At that moment, Terry knew what he would do. All he’d need was his tattoo gun, lots of ink, and a large supply of animal tranquilizer. If he couldn’t have a tattoo payout, nobody would. Terry was gonna break the whole system. 2:26 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
Ink Inc. Part One
Sodapop Sizzle Skin
Busy Fizz Hippo
The Early Vultures