Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fisting, Theft, Semantics

[every voice, every note, every wave of displaced air, together, disharmonious unity, repeated without meter, an affront to the orderly universe, physics fisted by Chaos' spiked glove, destroying the womb of reason...]

What the hell is that sound? Geoff tried to open his eyes, blinking away the crust of sleep, unable to move, sleep still governing his limbs, disabling them. The vestiges of his subconscious' nightly cleaning echoing in his mind, he was unable to properly label this disturbance, this sound, that rudely woke him.

Thud. Scrape. Long pause. Thud.

Geoff reached for his phone to check the time. His eyes refused to focus. It felt early. Or late, depending on one's perspective. Geoff viewed four o'clock in the morning as a beginning, his roommate saw it as an end. Apparently, this end seemed to have something to do with lifting very heavy things and dropping them, then dragging them down the hall.

Thud. Shuffle. Pause. BOOM.

"What the fuck!?", Geoff yelled, swinging his legs to the floor. His back screamed at him to slow down.

Thud. Scrape.

"What the hell is going on?", Geoff yelled, nearly tearing the door from its hinge. His eyes tried to focus on the view through his bedroom door, something wasn't right, the hallway wasn't grey before. And it didn't move very slightly toward one end of the house. He was almost sure of this.

"Hey, you think you could push from the other end? This fucker is heavy.", Jinx's muffled voice emanated from somewhere beyond the new, moving hallway.

"What...why are you...doing whatever it is you are doing?! It's four o'clock in the morning!", Geoff placed a hand on the wall that seemed to have appeared sometime in the night and was now preventing him from leaving his room.

"Just a sec." There was a sound like someone trying to squeeze through a small space, some grunting, occasional bouts of swearing.

"I'll push it over to let you out. Gimme a second." The new wall began to move very slightly faster, finally revealing Jinx at one end, leather and sweat and insanity.

"Morning, sunshine! Now, if you could give me a hand, I think we can get it through the door.", Jinx panted.

"What IS it?", Geoff asked, his mind finally clawing its way from his dreams, "And why, pray tell, must it move down the hallway at four in the morning?"

"It's a large metal cabinet and if it doesn't move down the hallway, you won't be able to get out of your room and that will make you cranky, and if you are cranky, I will have to hit you with something heavy. Like a large metal cabinet.", Jinx leaned against the hallway wall, catching his breath, eying the enormous cabinet, gauging whether it would, in fact, fit through.

"Where the hell did you get it?", Geoff asked.

"Found it."

"You found it."



"Behind a building."

"So you stole it, not found it."

Jinx waved a dismissive hand, "Semantics. That is for the philosophers to figure out. I need someplace to put my stuff. This cabinet only had a couple of things in it. It was made to hold a bunch of stuff. I have a bunch of stuff and no place to put it. Ergo, it was made for me. And since it was made for me, I felt my room is a better place to keep it than behind some fuel station."

"But this thing is huge! It will take up your whole room! I mean...Wait! What 'fuel station'?", Geoff hoped the answer wouldn't be...

"I dunno. The one over on First St. I think that's the name of the road. It's got a couple of pumps out front, but no sign."

"Mother of Christ! That's the city fuel warehouse! That is where the POLICE CARS go to fill up!"

"Shit! See, that is what is wrong with this country! A perfectly good object, purchased with our tax dollars, sits, unused, behind a building.", Jinx shook his head, "Fucking terrible."

Geoff tried to speak, but failed. His brain could not process the overwhelming combination of disbelief, surreality, anger, and fear that bashed him in the metaphorical groin area.

", you...wha..."

"Listen, I am gonna go get some smokes. You obviously need a little time to wake up before you can help. You need anything?", Jinx asked, wiping his hands on his pants.

"Yeah, could you kidnap a little girl on the way back? And pick up some crack, too. Since you are trying to get us both arrested, you might as well just pile on the charges.", Geoff shook his head and squeezed through to the hallway, intent on making some coffee immediately.


The cabinet did, in fact, finally settle into a place in Jinx's room, but not without having to remove the door from the hinges and tear off half the molding. Geoff had decided, sometime between glances out the window to check for the inevitable tactical assault squad, that rather than argue with Jinx, it would just be easier to get the damn cabinet into his room and pretend it wasn't there.

Geoff had forgotten that he had told Jinx they would go out for drinks. Now he deeply regretted saying anything at all. Jinx, for his part, was gearing up for a night out, asking about the number of women that might frequent this or that bar, bemoaning having to listen to what he referred to as "MTV Bullshit music", and generally helping Geoff develop some remarkable ulcers.

He just doesn't give a shit, Geoff thought. He is completely self-destructive. I am going to have to start a bail-money fund. Still, he liked the kid. I mean, at very least, life with Jinx is unlikely to be boring.

"What time are we gonna go out? I just need a bit of a nap before we leave.", Jinx asked, using a butter knife to remove some gum from his boot sole.

"Shit, I don't know. Probably ten or so. No one even starts going out until then." And if there is a large group of people, it is at least statistically less likely we will get thrown out or arrested, Geoff mused.

After a fitful nap and some food, the two roommates got dressed to go out. They looked somewhat ridiculous together: a kid in leather with Elmer's Glue in his hair, and a forty-something guy in shorts and a bowling shirt. They looked like a Coen Brothers' film, or a Hunter S. Thompson book, if either of those had listened to Minor Threat.

Bars in New Bern, North Carolina are very unlike those in DC or New York or even Atlanta. The liquor laws in North Carolina prevent an establishment from serving "hard liquor" unless they are either a private club or at least fifty percent of their income needs to come from food sales. Hence, most watering holes tend to be attached to restaurants, filling up with drunks and desperate lovers as the diners file out, a shift change at the Social Factory. The bible belt seems to think if it pretends to be wholesome and upright, the rest of the world will ignore its hypocrisy. In the meantime, what of the poor drunks and barflies?

Geoff introduced Jinx to his friends and acquaintances as his roommate, rather than his friend. He wasn't sure if a friendship could develop between people separated by so much age and experience. He liked the kid, sure, but friends have a common understanding, some idea of where the other is coming from. That is hard to come by with a chasm twenty years wide.

At first, as most evenings in bars tend to begin, everyone made small talk, asked after each others' families, commented on how good the others look. Everyone except Jinx, that is. He preferred to shout unnerving things at the assembled crowd such as "Where the white women at!?" and "Do you like pants? I really like pants!". Seemed to make many people nervous and piss off others.

"Hey, roomie! Tell this girl about my excellent ass! I know you watch me shower, you sick fuck!", Jinx screamed, then exploded in a fit of cackling.

"Where the hell did you find this retard, dude?", Kevin, Geoff's old neighbor, asked him, surreptitiously.

"Ah, well, I don't really even know, come to think of it. He just sort of appeared when I needed a roommate. Showed up at a coffee place and started talking to me.", Geoff replied, somewhat sheepishly.

"He's kind of an ass, man.", Kevin said, eying the manic punk.

Kevin's opinion notwithstanding, people seemed to warm up to Jinx as the night wore on. He had been aggressively trying to convince a couple of ladies that taking their clothes off and slapping him around with a length of rubber hose would be a fantastic way to end the evening. As the drink flowed, the group loosened up, inhibitions melting away with every emptied glass and not a little influenced by Jinx's erratic but extremely entertaining behavior.

Nearly every question Geoff fielded was about this lunatic he had brought along. Some scandalized, some curious, some even seemingly enthralled. Geoff glanced over to where is roommate was holding forth in time to see him cram his face between the ample tits of a recent divorcee, who giggled and feigned distress. From this vantage, Jinx seemed like a force of nature or the embodiment of some lascivious and maniacal Roman demigod, a mash-up of Priapus and Bacchus on a serious, unrelenting bender.

Around one o'clock things took a bit of a nasty turn. Jinx had chosen to bite the neck of a young lady (cough) who had not come alone. Her inamorata took exception to this behavior and said so, loudly, whereupon Jinx smashed a pint glass on his head. Chaos, inevitably, ensued.

Several young men, presumably the poor guy's friends, attempted to show Jinx exactly how much they disagreed with his behavior, but Jinx only whooped with seeming glee and bit an arm that had snaked around his neck. Uninvolved parties scattered, making way for the mayhem, pushing tables and chairs everywhere.

"FUCK.", Geoff shouted. For the moment, his psychotic roommate was holding his own but the tide would quickly turn. Geoff waded into the melee, shouting for everyone to calm down. Unfortunately, his protests where misunderstood. A well placed fist landed on the side of Geoff's head.

It had been years since someone had punched him, years since he felt that kind of anger, that fear-tinged rage. But he felt it then. Boy, did he feel it then. Many years of frustration, a sexless marriage, unfulfilled potential, disgust with society, with people, welled up quickly and threatened to overflow. A second punch, or maybe a kick, landed on his right-side floating ribs. The pain was intense.

Geoff exploded. Really exploded. A sound like a roaring animal echoed through the bar. Where there had been a tangled mass of bodies a moment before, there was a sudden space, in the middle of which stood Geoff, teeth bared in a snarl, eyes wide and crazed. He grabbed a nearby combatant, a thirty-something guy, gripping him around the waist and head-butted him, his aim not as accurate as he would have liked. He drew his head back up to reveal a cut over his eye. Jinx seemed to be charging at him, wildly, but at the last moment brushed by him and tackled another who had been about to punch Geoff.

Less than a minute later, it was all over. The bouncers had thrown everyone out and a few patrons had separated the two sides. Geoff leaned against the building pressing a cool pint glass against his swollen eye. Jinx ambled over and leaned alongside him.

"You fucking idiot.", Geoff said, somewhat quietly, gathering breath.

Jinx grinned and winced as the split lip he had earned split further. "Yeah, but it was a shit-ton of fun, wasn't it?"

Geoff glanced sharply at the grinning, still wild-eyed lunatic next to him. He said nothing for a bloated second. Then he laughed, softly.

"Yeah, I guess it was, a little. You prick.", he laughed louder.

Jinx clapped him on the shoulder, "Let's go, you old bastard. You're gonna need some extra sleep tonight."

The pair walked toward the main street to hail a cab. From behind them, someone shouted garbled obscenities. Without looking back, Jinx stuck his arm straight in the air, middle finger raised.

Jesus. I am gonna need better insurance, Geoff mused.

[reality's fabric, settled, somewhat, for an unknown time, smoothed itself, wrinkles receding from our arbitrary center, a wave of Chaos, off to render its gifts to another, distant locale. The center remains tense, vigilant, a moment exists in every space, but space is undisturbed by time's unruly, churlish game. It waits.]

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nightvision, Found out, Suicidal fish

[laughter, a car horn, a resonant thud of a heavy object settling down, the click of a broken spoke, a muffled argument, release of steam, a screaming engine...overlapping, entwined, layers of a life, memory exposed; vortex physics in reverse, no gravity, elementary forces raped, Chaos, beauty for the jaded crowd, something ignored knows no limitations, like singing while falling, you will still land, hard, just keep your eyes on a simple, pleasant flash of life, the ship's wheel is spinning, madness and sanity chase one another 'round a maypole...]

A tiny movement, a flutter of the eyelids, the twitch of a finger, an exhalation. It is darkest now, just a bit past midnight, quiet polices the night. A dream unfolds.

Jinx feels nervous, sitting on the cold vinyl seat, his legs too short to allow his feet to dangle. The windows are down,air rushing in, the prelude to fall, a brief taste of cold air. Dad is in the passenger seat, up front, Tata is next to Jinx, he seems nervous, trying to soothe, almost scarier than silence, when an adult says "everything is ok". Something...

THE FLOOR IS GONE. DADDY, THE FLOOR...where is this fire coming from? The road is rushing by under the seat, variegated asphalt framed between his little feet, and flames, WE CAN'T STOP, DADDY, Tata is trying to pick Jinx up, WHO IS DRIVING? I CAN'T SEE THEIR FACE...the sound of the air rushing in, over it a sound of tearing metal, an awful noise, THE SEAT IS MELTING, faster, out of control, I CAN'T SEE THE DRIVER, THE DRIVER CAN STOP THE CAR, DADDY, Dad is holding the fish tank, the one from the den, the fish is gone, kept jumping out of the tank, it lay there making a strange sound, convulsing, I didn't know what to do, I am too little, HELP THE FISH, the car is making strange sounds now, like an animal breathing heavily, THE FLOOR IS GONE, I CAN'T MOVE, the view between Jinx's feet is a blurred mess of orange and red and gray and blue, WHY WON'T THE DRIVER STOP THE CAR, the jangle of a ring of keys, behind me, WHO IS THE DRIVER...a scream, a crash, the tinkle of glass, the smell of burning things, then...quiet.

"Hey! Wake up! You have a phone call!"

Phone call. What time is it? Why the phone? Why not just knock on the door? 

"Hey, dipshit! Get up! Drop your cock and grab your socks! Phone!"

"Who is it?", Jinx asked, his voice full of sleep.

"I don't know, nor do I give a shit. They asked for you."

"Nobody knows I am here. Must be a wrong number."

"Riiight. Which would explain all of those incidents I have been reading about, where people have been receiving cryptic phone calls in the early morning, a voice asking for Jinx. They have been calling him 'the Menace of the Law of Averages'."

Jinx stood up, stretching involuntarily, a powerful pressure on his bladder. He stumbled through the door, placing a hand on the paneled wall to steady himself. His left eye stung, dry and dilated, so he squinted and rubbed at it.

The phone was resting on the kitchen counter, next to an empty cereal bowl. There was a sweet, sickening smell of rot from the trash. The TV blathered on about possible hurricanes and other forces of destruction.


"Hey, man! It's Andy!"

"What...Andy...why are did you know where to find me?"

"Oh, I'm a detective, dude, Sherlock Fucking Holmes. You told me, you idiot."

This information did not seem accurate to Jinx. When he left D.C. he had no idea where he was going. He couldn't have told himself.

"What's up, man?", best to go with the flow, Jinx thought, "Where are you?"

"Philly. You want to...", the line crackled, "...with Cassie and...", silence.

"Hello?", Jinx asked, scratching himself idly.

He hung up the phone and rubbed his face.

"Good morning, sunshine. Don't you have to work today?", Geoff inquired, gathering his phone and keys from the desk. He looked tired. And old.

"Nah, Gene gave me the day off. Said the truck wasn't coming today because of the storm.", Jinx replied, perusing the refrigerator.

"Yeah, the Weather Channel says it will probably hit us directly. Fanfuckingtastic.", Geoff said, turning in a circle, searching for something. "You seen my handheld? Christ, I can't remember where I put shit anymore. My mind is always wandering off and playing with itself."

Jinx smiled. Geoff said some funny things. He should be a comedian. Or a DMV employee.

"Nope. As I have no idea what a handheld is, it is unlikely I can help you."

"Hey, when I get home this evening, do you want to go grab a drink? My treat.", Geoff asked, though even while he said it, he wondered if he should give this lunatic alcohol. Do not feed the animals, the sign said.

"Hell yes! I need to get out of the house, someplace that isn't work. Get a little crazy. Thanks, man.", Jinx located a box of Sugar Smacks and was now rifling, loudly, through the silverware drawer.

"Emphasis on the 'little', there, princess. I'll be back around five. Try not to get arrested in the meantime.", Geoff grabbed his handheld from behind the sofa and headed out the door.

"Don't call me princess, dickhead. I'll whip your ass.", said Jinx, struggling to get his sleepy hands to cooperate and open the milk container.

Geoff laughed. "Don't poke the bear, Jinx. I might just show you a little something."

Jinx smiled. He's a good dude. A little goofy, but a good dude.

"Hell yeah! Judge Wapner! Life is good.", Jinx said, tossing the TV remote on the sofa, and sat on a pile of mail, creasing some important looking papers. He chewed noisily.

[quiet seeped in, enveloping the void in its own regulation, masking the ripping violence of Chaos, an orderly lack, silent white noise on the screen, the mute feature of the Universe, a respite before the storm, the fish has stopped flopping, for now...]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cereal, Cans of shit, the King of Poland

[A sound, like static from the Very Large Array, narrows in pitch, colliding with the monotony of the pulsars, injecting its Chaos into the system, a discordant ripple, generating from nowhere, everywhere...]

"Why don't we have any cereal? Christ, I just bought roughly eighty pounds of the stuff!", Geoff complained, rifling the cabinets, in his boxers and Clash t-shirt.

"We have oatmeal. You probably should eat that anyway. Keep you regular, you old fucker.", Jinx said, softly, glancing at the mixing bowl and spoon in front of him.

"Fuck me!!! Jesus Christ, you scared the piss out of me! Why the hell are you up!? It is four ay-em!", Geoff yelped, dropping the paper towel dispenser with which he had been prepared to knock the ever-loving snot out of the intruder which had decided that four in the morning was a good time to extoll the virtues of colon health and oatmeal.

"Haven't slept yet."

"You stayed up all night?!", asked Geoff, sniffing the milk jug.

"Wow, you have a keen sense for the obvious, my main apple-scrapple. Incidentally, we are also out of toilet paper."

"We aren't out of shit. I am out of toilet paper."

Jinx smiled in a crooked way which made Geoff slightly nervous. Though he had only known the reclining and somewhat smelly man-boy only a very brief time, that smile was worrisome. It was a smile that seemed to say "I am not really convinced that those drapes compliment the sofa. Let's burn the fucking place down."

"It is precisely because we aren't out of shit that I mention it.", Jinx stood and stretched. "Well, better hit the sack. That Golden Girls marathon isn't going to watch itself."

As Jinx padded down the hallway, Geoff heaped spoonfuls of cheap, American coffee into the coffee machine. Did I make a mistake? I don't know if I can live with this guy. Sneaking up on a body, up until ungodly hours, who knows what he does for money. Probably sells black-market human organs. Or worse, security guard at Walmart. Geoff sighed, plunking down in a chair to wait out the coffee machine.

Not that such musings amounted to a mouse fart worth of usefulness. Fact was, he needed a room-mate to help with the bills, plain and simple. Besides, there was something...compelling about Jinx, something that Geoff appreciated, as a detective might appreciate a well-planned but poorly executed murder. The kid certainly had a certain charm, but it was the sardonic yet sad glint in his brown, somewhat crazed eyes that triggered a kind of recognition and simpatico, like he just needed something stable in his otherwise chaotic life. Maybe it was just the parent in him, but Geoff felt vaguely protective of him.

Laughing to himself, Geoff poured a cup of terrible coffee and trudged toward the bathroom. Yeah, "protective" until he drugs me and sells my kidney.

"Well, I can't really use you in the front of the store because of But I do need someone to look after the lumber-yard, you know clean up, pull orders, the regular. I'll pay you six-hundred a month, part-time."

Gene,  the store owner, looked like the kind of guy who beat his kids but he was giving Jinx a job. You can't bite hands that poison you. Besides, if he hated it, he could shit in a can and throw it in the air ducts. Plenty of misogynistic, gap-toothed hillbillies need a punk-rocker to kick around.

"Hey, thanks, man. I won't let you down for at least a week.", Jinx said with "the smile".

Gene looked vaguely disgusted with himself but laughed nonetheless. He pointed to the office and walked away, shaking his head.

Jinx started toward the office, scratching the possibly infected nose-ring hole in his right nostril. Gotta pay the bills. The roomie is pretty cool, if a tad high-strung. Might put some roots down around here, never know. Heck, I was born not far from here. 

For the next hour or so, Jinx filled out forms and provided identification, as well as harassing the  poor receptionist by replying to every inquiry in a different, increasingly bizarre series of accents and claiming to be the King of Poland.

"I assure chou, madam, zet I am the usurped ruler of Poland, Ms. Wiscznicki, unt I must demand you adress me has 'His Royal Pants' at all zee times!"

It may, in fact, turn out to be the longest, most unnerving year for Geoff and New Bern, North Carolina. Stranger things have likely never happened.

[nobody at the controls, some unknown catalyst has set the thing going, the noise continues, Chaos might smile if it had teeth to do so]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tearing the fabric, Room-mates, Sizing up the competitors

[An inexplicable occurrence, seething through the continuum, cutting and pasting, the universe's IT man, fucking with the rules, manipulating the cosmic programming, renders a circumstance, unforeseen and unnatural. Where does the time begin and end? Is time something we can even measure? Surely we must be able to calculate ORDER, right? How can such things come to pass? Where is the counter-balance that keeps Chaos in its natural stasis? But these musings amount to nothing in the light of this...]

Shit, I am getting old. I mean, I knew that already, but the changes of late have really painted it, hyper-realistic and saturated, on the wall of my life. Everything is sore. I can't see a damn thing. Everyone seems so young, so vital in comparison. The nearness of youth can do that, I suppose. Our reality is merely the contrasts we can measure with the subjective eye.

See, I got a new room-mate. I am not sure what to think of him yet. Seems, oh, I don't know, a good fit, I suppose, with me and my...acceptable reality. This whole sharing space thing isn't really new to me, I mean I have kids. But another adult (?), another male adult, in my space, sharing whatever wavelengths in my world, will take some getting used to.

You don't know him, so I suppose it best to, er, describe him. He's 19, a kid, really, but not a child, all innocence and fantasy. More a newly molted human animal, still trying to get used to the wings. Though he is young, I sense something strange in him, something older than he could possibly have inhabiting his psyche; a wisdom, the kind you get from pain, the acceptance that the world isn't quite as rosy as our parents might have made it seem when they still provided our daily necessities. I most often see this in people substantially older than he, people who have suffered, been to their own private hell and narrowly escaped, given to fits of laughter at those who toil through their simple lives, complaining about work, the kids, mates, taxes.

There is also something else about him that worries me a bit. He seems...unhinged. Unstable, as though he might just destroy everything around him in a fit of insane rage or cackling, wild-eyed glee. There is something of the animal in him, something base and feral, dangerous and devoid of the chains of empathy. And that seems oddly familiar. I have seen this before. A long time ago.

Oh, incidentally, his name is Jinx.

[Destabilized energy, cataclysm barely restrained, a sick sound like the heaving of metal and glass in an unstable skyscraper but with an unearthly pitch just under the surface...but not tangible, to speak of surfaces is merely to give it an understandable reference point, as describing the elementary Chaos inherent in quarks to a religious fanatic. It is hard to digest this disorder, this destruction of reality. the whine of complaint, time begging for normalcy, fluctuations...]

Yeah, so I kind of like this place. It's a little cramped, a bit too small for my predilections, but it will do. I don't know what to think of my room-mate. Seems pleasant enough, in a sharply rendered kind of way. Says some interesting things and has great taste in music, so the thing probably won't come undone with too much explosiveness. 'Course, he will probably try to molest me or something, or think he can order me around, and the whole thing will end in violence and screaming. He better not underestimate me. I'm not tall, I'm not muscular, but you will fucking KNOW you've been in a fight, old man.

Weird thing is, he seems really familiar. One of those people, I guess, that you feel inexplicably comfortable around. I feel like I have know him for a long time, like a character in a cherished novel, knowable and similar to some ideal, some icon, a personification of something, who knows what. Like Raoul Duke. 

But there is something else, something behind his face, something incandescent and volatile, a burning thing. Rage? Pain? Fuck if I know. But this guy feels like he could wink out on me in a quick minute. But I can see that he is holding it back. Seems to have a good handle on it. I hope. 

So begins my life with Geoff. We'll likely kill each other in some ritual of pain, but at least I'm not sleeping outside. And I can get away from the...weirdness outside the windows.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shrimp Lo Mein, Agents of Chaos, Better Be One Dandy Joke

Jinx threw the apple core into the grass and scratched idly at the scar on the back of his head. The scar was a reminder of just how upsetting a little chaos can be to those who don't grasp its essential role, its language. The six or seven well-dressed, weak-minded assclowns that split Jinx's scalp didn't want to have a little fun, to beat on a lone Punk for the chuckles, they just couldn't accept the Chaos, could only digest the rules, the Order, this fucker with the mohawk is just WRONG, he shouldn't be, he doesn't fit in the machine, let's kick the shit out of him, use our reptilian brain. But Jinx could accept that behavior, realizing that they became Agents of Chaos even while trying to stamp (literally) it out. There is nothing more life affirming than getting the shit kicked out of you.

Chaos, the governing principle of the universe, madness in the continuum, sworn enemy of society, humans struggling against it, trying (and most often failing) to enforce their will against it, the incomprehensible behavior of quarks fucking with your mathematics, weather pimp-slapping the meteorologists, sweet, sweet insanity. Embracing this prime physic, this fundamental principle, takes a special mind: a mind that doesn't mind accepting the futility of existence but is still capable of persevering, if only for the sheer morbid hell of it.

Jinx had two distinct problems at this particular moment: boredom and a powerful hunger. Most humans would fill the need first, fuel the imperfect machine, then pursue some pointless game or "lucrative" endeavor, hide from the boredom, push it back, idle hands will do Chaos' work, assign meaning or the whole fucking thing just explodes, is wiped out, replaced with uncertainty and unfeeling mayhem, those beasts swimming just outside of your peripheral vision waiting to pounce on your rules, your order, and show you that it never really was.

But Jinx knew a little of the secret, knew he could satiate the physical need and throw a cherry-bomb in the toilet of society at the same time, make the bastards wonder, they can't think about it, only marvel that things they would never understand happen, that Chaos just flicked their noses, winked, and walked casually back into the void.

"Hey, Jo, I'm really fucking hungry. I want some Chinese.", Jinx said, over his shoulder.

"Uh, we're broke...", Jo replied, raising the pitch to make a question out of her words.

This was, in fact,  true. But an Agent of Chaos doesn't let facts interrupt his process, his essential function. He looked around, saw Jo's 35mm, some plastic bags, put a hand to his hair and excused himself to the bathroom. He emerged a few minutes later, mohawk flattened against his head, and grabbed several ziplocs.

"Ok. I am Frank Dubowski and you are Susan Brown. Let's get to the strip mall."

In the orange Volkswagen cruising along the suburban streets, Jo didn't even blink when Jinx revealed his plan, his mission of Chaos, to her. It was just stupid enough, just dangerous enough that no one would ever believe it, not even the cops nor, moreover, the owners of a stripmall Chinese restaurant in Southern Maryland.

They pulled up in the lot, Jinx donning a flannel shirt, the only piece of clothing he owned that would not immediately tag him as a freak, and Jo pulled a plain sweater over her shirt. She grabbed the camera and they set out across the parking lot.

"Ok, we gotta be straight. We can't go in there and start laughing or looking furtively around. Just take a few pictures and I'll get the stuff."

They entered the restaurant and asked for the manager. She appeared shortly.

"Yes, we are with the health department. We have some reports of some tainted shrimp that have been circulating around town. We just need to take a few samples.", Jinx announced, adopting his best out-of-work radio guy voice, "I am Frank Dubowski and this is my associate, Susan Brown."

Jo snapped pictures while aggressively avoiding eye contact with her accomplice. They were led to the kitchen where Jinx produced the empty ziploc bags with a flourish.

"Uh, yeah, just a few of those jumbo shrimp, I believe they are the culprits. And we better take some of the produce nearby, just in case. Yeah, green peppers, some of those onions, Ooo!, some of the hot peppers as well. That will just about do. We'll be in touch soon. Best of luck: to you and especially your patrons."

They turned and quickly left the premises. The Chaos would be pleased, Jinx surmised, grinning like a city rat in a baby crib. And we can eat a little something, to boot.

The scar on his head was nothing more than the mark of Chaos. They just couldn't see that they were completing the ritual, marking him as an Agent, bringer of the absurd and the senseless. He would flash the sign to the initiated, flaunt the mind-crippling charm of someone who just doesn't give a rolling turd about why the universe does what it does to the sheep. Oh, and, yeah: Fuck the bastards. I'll laugh at the very moment of my death if the joke is a good one.