New Job Ch. 1

Untitled by Thomas Costello //

New Job by Mike Newsome //

"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

The gun feels heavier this time. Time. Ruler to measure pain. And what is pain? Pain is what draws us to God, the concept by which we measure our pain. Rain pounds at the thin motel window. Give me the reason for the pain of being alive or give me two senseless slugs to the back and let me die a blasphemous soothsayer. The sounds of gulls crying draw my attention. What are birds doing flying in this shit? The gulls swoop through the rain like kayaks through rapids. Do they like the rain? Jesus, its like they don’t even notice the sheets of cold water pouring down. Do they believe in God? It definitely feels heavier, the gun. Maybe we are meant to be as the gulls, seemingly comfortable in our environment of pain and at ease with God. A car slowly swishes past in the world outside. Why did they die the way they did? They were more than drops of rain, God. The trigger clicks bare. And like all the times before I lower the pistol that had made its way to my chest, still lost in my mind.
I don’t feel better. This was no ultimate life realization, it never is. Amidst all these dark considerations, something changes. The light is different. I see a shape standing over me, as if I am no longer in the chair in the motel, but laying down. Everything is moving fast. The shape coalesces into a person, a woman. Something deep inside me reaches for her, like a crying newborn reaching for it’s mother. Her hair changes colors, from blonde, to brown, brownish-red, to black, to purple, cycling on and on, yet all familiar. A warm pressure on my heart draws my hand to the spot. I feel her hand there and I smile just as everything slips away into a kaleidoscope of increasing darkness.
The tickle of tears in my facial hair opens my eyes to darkness. Slowly, my other senses return. I am again sitting in the chair in the shabby motel room, now darkened by the night. The revolver lies in my lap, still gripped, aching in my hand. I sit motionless for a long time, the dream still swirling through my head, haunting my heart.
My feelings segregate themselves; the joy and love that the dream had afforded me, forced to the back of my heart by the tyranny that is reality.
I blink but nothing changes the blackness.
Everyone has those special dreams that with you, imprinted on you soul. Some try to describe them to others, perhaps foolishly, because they are as much a series of personal mental and physical sensations as they are just a coherent mental narrative. They are real and pressing and uncommunicatable. But like anything in life that is so marvelously profound it is also fleeting and mysterious. And we spend the rest of our lives seeking that world which does not exist anymore, only to eventually learn that the divine cannot truly be intimate, for we are just corruptible beasts caught up in our inescapable fantasies.
“I need to get out of this fucking place.”
My words are like a thunderclap against the silent darkness, and I hop to my feet, letting the pistol fall from my lap and disappear somewhere under the untouched bed. I grab my coat and head out into the muck. Its still raining, though not as hard as before. Thank God there’s no wind; I like the rain. The night has closed in on the small Mid-west town which I need not name. You either know them because you've lived in them or you think you know them through someone else’s opinion.
It’s later than I realized. 11:17, which in this town might as well be the day after the Apocalypse. Not that it matters.
There is no destination in mind, just some kind of peace that I certainly wont find in that motel room. You have to stay moving, like a shark; put yourself in fates hands, stick your proverbial dick out as someone once told me. It may get slapped, but it’s never going to get sucked in your pants.
“Words of wisdom, indeed,” I chuckle to myself as I turn a dark corner into an even darker alleyway. A feeling of uneasiness is palpable, but considering my day it goes unheeded. Through the gentle sound of rain I hear a woman's scream followed by several male voices laughing. Cautiously, I shrink against the wall and creep forward. The alley elbows to the right, and I creep up to the corner and peek around. Directly in front of me I see a metal shopping cart with what looks like an old Torqueflite transmission stuffed in the basket. I can smell the wet musty smell of grease and oil. The alleyway has opened up slightly into a cramped cul de sac of run down buildings; dead end. A dumpster heaped with scrap metal sits next to a small loading dock and several heaps of what were once cars line the far side. A small, dingy lamp above the dock succeeds only in giving the shadows a place to play. I slip into a darkened doorway, protected from view by the cart. From my very close but unnoticed position I see a sorry scene. 3 guys, maybe early twenties, are gathered around a figure on the ground, next to the dumpster. They have definitely been drinking as evidenced by the empty bottle of Jagermeister on the dock and the quickly emptying bottle of Canadian Host that Jackoff #1 is wielding. Jackoff #2 is clumsily attempting to pull up his pants, but he crashes into a stack of pallets and soggy cardboard boxes and begins to puke. Jackoff #3 is directing #1 to pickup where #2 left off, all the while filming with his smartphone.
“Hurry up, man. She’s drying up. You’re fucking with the video’s flow. Gimme the whiskey.”
“Shut up, Dunno. I’m putting on a rubber.”
“I didn't wear no rubber!”, echos from the pile of pallets. “Mikey, that's why I gotta put one on!”
The alleyway erupts in laughter, except for the poor soul trying to crawl away. I could just slip away, but I immediately curse whatever source that thought came from. The scum called Donno lets fly with a vicious kick to the womans abdomen. Rage and disgust overcome me. I grab the shopping cart like a Hun racing to the kill, an involuntary cry escaping my lips. The sound of the cart rattles through my hands, through my teeth, off the walls. The cameraman has only enough time to spin around and see the cart catch him
mid-section, crumpling him instantly. The cart tips forward with the weight of the transmission and both fall atop the piece of shit creating a writhing, satisfying pile.
That's when I experience the feeling of a liquor bottle shattering across the back corner of my skull. Fuck. That drunk moves fast. Instinctively my left hand covers my head from the direction of the blow while I throw a punch with my right. It connects with the punks jaw, staggers him, but not enough. He slashes at me with the broken bottle neck, slicing through my coat and biting deep into the flesh of my forearm. A heavy-booted kick to the stomach drops me to my knees and he lunges toward me. I grab his arm holding the bottle-knife and smash it into the ground as we fall backward, destroying his weapon and seriously fucking up his hand, only to receive a forearm to the bridge of my nose from his other arm. It drives the back of my head to the concrete. Dazed, time slows. I see the rain falling in front of the dingy lamp, feel it pepper my face. I think of the gulls in the rain. A quick right to the side of his jaw and I throw him off of me and stagger to my feet. I follow with a kick to the side of his head and he’s done. It’s official; my ass is kicked. I wobble over to the still groaning mass that is the poor woman. I help her sit up. Her face looks like your average MMA fighter in round 5. Who knows how long she was tortured before I showed up.
“Are you ok to walk? We have to walk.”
She nods her head. I help her to her feet, help her pull up her rain soaked pants.
I grab the cameramans phone, which is still filming.
“No policia, no policia!” she immediately pleads, taking the phone.
We make our way out of the alley, into the dead streets, towards the motel room. We’re both in pretty rough shape. We have broken ribs in common, I’m sure. I have a broken nose, a nasty cut on my left forearm, and blood is pouring down my face from my head ala Canadian Host bottle.
I go to the bathroom and grab a hand towel to stop the bleeding on my arm. It’s serious. Got to stop this blood. I open the motel door, back into the night, and stumble to the passenger side of my truck. A street light casts my reflection on the window and I shudder. I notice the motel manager down the way. Grabbing a roll of duct tape from the glove compartment I hastily motion him over just as the door to the room opens and the woman emerges and helps me inside, waving him off smilingly.
Inside, she wraps the tape around the towel on my arm. “Too much blood.” she says in broken English with an emotionless expression. I need to call the police, need to get some medical attention, but my body refuses to obey and sleep is impossible to stave off. I know I am in trouble.
She helps me to the bed, and I drop like a bag of carcasses. I m falling asleep, or maybe going into shock, its hard to tell. Pain is what draws us to God; I’ve never felt closer. The last thing I remember is seeing her beat up face loom over me while she does something to my head. I should have pulled that trigger again plays over in my mind until I am taken by the black.