Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fiction Fragment: Skateboard Punk

Digital camera in one hand and a half eaten protein bar in the other Joe Smith entered the apartment’s parking lot. He’d worked for years to build up that long, hard green bar beneath his online pen name and the last thing he wanted was to lose “reps” because of a post that was made in anger, without considering the needs of the Shredded and Jacked Up Off Topic community first. To wit, he had failed to adequately document his claims, which was almost the biggest sin a poster could commit. Being respectful to women and implying that lifting heavy objects was time poorly spent were arguably bigger violations of the societal norms, but only just. We live in an increasingly visual age and this means pictures tell the story, not words. Whether the subject was fornication, deadlift statistics or in this case a damaged vehicle the need for visual confirmation was always of paramount importance. To make such a rookie mistake was shameful and it certainly did nothing to improve an already bad mood.

A severe hangover and the possibility of being carpet-bombed with little red dots of disapproval were only the two most immediate problems. Then there was the damaged truck, the possible job loss and now they were talking about banning him from the his gym after he unpacked the contents of his stomach on the front desk, sexually harassed the lady of virtue controlling said desk, took a piss in the kiddie pool downstairs and probably a dozen other horrible acts that the black out had mercifully obscured. Worse, as far as Smith was concerned, no actual lifts had been performed and, thus, no gains were made. Why couldn’t he have done some insane, brown liquor auto-piloted deads in between kicking over a stability ball rack and trying unsuccessfully to masturbate to a breast cancer awareness poster? There was nothing for it.

The sun was high in the sky and the light and heat it was generating quickly became oppressive. The melting protein bar fell to the tar with a wet plop. Smith forced profanities through a dry throat as he threw the remaining portion of the diet supplement against the brick wall of the apartment house in an impotent act of defiance.

Essaying the full extent of the wounds suffered by his automotive penis stand-in did little to improve an already foul mood. In the harsh glare of the midday the full extent of the injuries were now visible through squinting eyes. One headlight was completely broken, its shape distorted like a boxer’s eye swelling shut in the late rounds. The dent directly adjacent resembled a rabbit punch from a titan and it was only good fortune that had allowed the wheel-well to maintain its integrity. If the unknown object had been struck at a slightly different trajectory no amount of having symbolic resemblance to scary animals or stones would have prevented the vehicle from being crippled, perhaps even totaled. As it was, the bulk of the damage to the working man’s sports car was superficial.

Unfortunately Smith was more a glass half-empty thinker. Add to that the strange fastidiousness of your typical truck owner that seems in deep contradiction to the message conveyed in the marketing and it was the spark for another blow-up.

“Aw fuck.” Snap. Picture taken. “I can’t believe this shit.” Snap. “Look at the paint job. Fucking ruined!” Snap. Snap.

“Whatcha doing, dude?” A skateboard carrying twelve-year-old interrupted the accident documentation. “Takin’ pictures for the in-surance?”

“Get out of here, poser. Do you even ride?” Joe puffed himself out like something out of the nature channel, his massive upper body threatening to tear his stained undershirt. If this little fuck wanted a symbolic dominance ritual he would get more than he could possibly handle.

“Yeah, I ride. Just watch, bitch.” The towheaded Future of America zipped past on the board, slowed down only slightly by the keys he was digging into the side of the truck.

“You’re fucking dead! You hear me?” The precious resource of youth was already zipping down a hill and well out of the range where that sort of threat could be made good. This inherent problem did little to prevent the explosion of the balls-to-the-walls lifting loose cannon. “Fuck! I’ll throw you like a kettle bell you little fuck!”

A few minutes and a near total emotional meltdown later the pictures had been merged onto the information superhighway and all was well, at least in that particular arena.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.    

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