The Lebanese janitor took a drag off a Sportsman King Size as he stared out a window on the 23rd floor BVS Tower II. Vehicles looked like children’s toys as they rolled by on the street below, but very few pedestrians were outside on that cool, spring night in April of 1993. Unusually few he thought as he finally espied two people wandering along the sidewalk below, looking from his perspective like a couple of 3 ¾ “ action figures. One of the figures shuffling along was tall and thick of bone, his green army parka making appear even bigger than he was in reality. The other was shorter by a head and maybe smaller, it was tough for the janitor to tell from his lofty perspective, that and the black trench coat seemed unusually thick and heavy. The upper floor night-shift caretaker took one last drag on his cigarette before dropping it to the concrete floor and crushing it out with his shoe, wishing for all of a second that he could have just tossed it out the window to watch it fall, spinning and flitting to the ground below.
“What’s with these lights in the skyscrapers anyway? Ever wonder why they don’t just flip the switch and turn them all off at night? Save a little power maybe?” Bill asked out loud, glancing upwards at BVS Tower II.
“So what, you want the cleaners should dump their trash bins in the dark?” Hunter said.
Hunter frowned, “I had a weird dream the other night.”
Bill cut in, “Weird by your standards, or just weird in general?”
Hunter mulled on the question for a second, “Just in general, anyway in it I was living in this dingy little one-room place in Montmartre and there were these small corrugated mirrors on every wall but I could find myself in them. All I had were the clothes on my back and a valise with a toothbrush in it…”
“Not even a notebook?” Bill enquired.
“No notebook.” Hunter replied.
“Absurd. Yeah, that is a strange thing to dream.”
“What you reckon it means?”
“Who knows! Maybe it means your reading too much Henry Miller or something…” Bill seemed already bored with the conversation, not that Hunter cared.
“Hey, there’s no such thing as ‘too much Henry Miller.’”
“So you seem to believe…”
The boys slowed down at the next intersection, the angry orange hand warning all who cared to acknowledge it the dangers of crossing against the light. The boys looked down the street both ways and there was nary a vehicle in sight, so they decided to cross against the light.
“Damn The Man, Hunter lets do it.” Bill said and stepped from the curb.
“Damn The Man indeed.” Said Hunter and was right behind him.
Once across the street Bill blurted: “ So what is this shit I hear from Paco about you inviting That Bitch along for our May Long camping weekend?”
Hunter was shocked into a momentary silence by the sudden aggressiveness of the question, and stumbled over his answer before coming up with something.
“I wasn’t the one who invited her, Paco did.”
“Ah, but you should have told him to un-invite her.” Bill snapped back.
“It’s really none of my business who Paco invited to go on our trip, besides I tried to talk to him and he made it clear it was a his camper, his rules situation.” Hunter got a far off look of melancholy on his face… “It’ll be nice to see her again though, it’s been almost five ye-“
“I’m gonna have to stop you right there,” Bill said throwing an arm in Hunter’s way. The boys stopped and faced each other. “Listen to yourself! You sound like your still in love with her ferchrissakes! You haven’t been together since you jetted off to college, but you've still been holding some ridiculous torch for this girl! And after all the garbage she put you through!” Bill took a breath, “You know what your problem is?”
Hunter rolled his eyes, “This should be stunning…”
“You don’t know when to let go. That Bitch never, and I mean EVER liked you anywhere near as much as you did her. You were in love with her to the point of mental fucking illness, and she just didn’t give a shit, and here’s why-“
Hunter shook his head, “That’s a bit harsh,"
Bill rolled along, “Right before you took off to college, the two of you were together and there was that party at your parent’s place remember?”
Hunter nodded, his face reddening, he knew where this story was going. He pulled out a battered pack of Old Port Colts cigarillos from one of his voluminous coat pockets and opened it; only two remained. He decided to save them for later, and put the pack away.
Bill had a smoke lit and blew out a cloud towards the sky before continuing, “And an hour before the party she breaks up you for the first time, the first of many I might add, over the phone, and if that wasn’t enough she has the stones to show up for your party!”
“Hey, to be clear we had a lot of the same friends, and I did tell her it was okay…” Hunter muttered.
“And did you also “tell her it was okay” to screw you buddy Kenny on the floor of your en-suite bathroom? I didn’t think so. Then you, doop that you are, forgave her and took her back the next day!”
“As she will no doubt tell you if asked, technically we were on a break.” Hunter said, half-heartedly.
Bill had more and wasn’t letting up, “Then a week later she invites that greasy wop of an ex-boyfriend over to her house for dinner the same night you had decided to propose to her; break up number two!”
“I didn’t realize anybody was counting…”
“And finally, you are heading off to the states to go to college, and she breaks up with you again just so she could fuck that shaved chested douchebag cousin of Kira’s!”
“The Chad,” Hunter said simply.
“Yeah, the fucking Chad,” Bill spat.
“Well like I said before, we were on a break…”
Bill couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He took one last drag and flicked his cigarette butt into the road. “You were on a break. Were those your words or hers I wonder? You were On A Break. That’s good, you should put that on a t-shirt.”
Hunter lit a cigarillo, “What are you worried about anyway? It’s not like I still love her, and I don’t have any intention of getting back with her so don’t worry about it.”
“You better not be thinking of getting back with her!” Bill grumbled.
“Hey relax, it’s me!” Hunter said in his best Han Solo impersonation.
"Yeah, I know. That's why I'm worried."
The boys walked in silence for a few more blocks, until at long last their destination hove into view ahead of them.
“There it is! The Cold Beer Store! How much time we got?”
Bill pulled his sleeve back with an exaggerated flourish and said, “Looks like a little more than an hour, so we’re good.”
Bill and Hunter took two more steps forward when the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, of crappy music being played with far too much bass began filling their ears. At the next corner a metallic blue Honda covered in MUGEN POWER stickers, and with blue glowing ground effects underneath, rolled up in front of them and stopped in the crosswalk. The windows were tinted jet black and flexing with the bass, it was impossible for Bill and Hunter to see inside. They tried walking around the car, only to have it back up and bar their way.
Bill was enraged at having his path blocked and showed it by shouting in to the night; “Now what the HELL IS THIS SHIT?”
As if in answer to his shouting, the bass noise ended and the car’s four doors opened almost simultaneously, and the boys quickly found themselves surrounded by a group of young, Chinese gang bangers. Each of them dressed more ridiculous than the last, blond, spiked hair, and colourful leather jackets with more stickers and slogans on them than one could shake a chopstick at. All six wore black sunglasses, and all but one, the leader Bill suspected, were smoking Marlborough Lights.
The one with red streaks in his spiky hair whipped of his Ray-Bans and spoke in what Hunter thought sounded like an over the top, almost fake Hong Kong accent. “What you gonna do about it huh? There’s six of us man so suck on my dick!!”
Hunter and Bill looked at each other puzzled and said at the same time: “The Dead Kennedys? Really?”
How will Bill and Hunter escape????? Find out in the next and FINAL episode of Lager Quest!!!