He sat, Buddha-like, upon the kitchen counter. Cigarette in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other: The New World Prophet incarnate: torn jeans, two-day growth of stubble, sandals, AC/DC tee shirt, head full of hair so blond it caused flashburns. I called him Collie. He called himself Collie. His girlfriend called him Collie, even while in the throes of hot monkey sex...
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He took a sip of coffee. "Renton," he said. "You look like shit."
"How the hell is it that I can be the one to dance and drink and fuck all night, and still look better than you in the morning?"
"Aha!" he said. "That's it. All your angst is kicking your ass."
"I'm not sexually repressed."
"Oh c'mon! I see you, every day. We walk into that club and head straight for the wall. And pretty girls come up to you ANYWAY, and you just look at them like they've intruded on your personal space or something, and eventually they go away. You ought to find yourself a nice girl- or guy, if that's your thing- and shack up for a day or two. Not me, though, I don't swing that way- no offense."
"Collie, I'm not gay..."
He waved a hand at me. "You're plenty fucked-up, whatever you are. You need to loosen up, or the word'll just suck the life out of you..." He looked off into the middle distance.
I squinted at him. "Are you drunk?"
"I'm fuckin' serious, Renton! Well...yeah...but what I'm NOT is blind. You know I'm right, whether you want to agree or not."
"Yeah, yeah." Collie sighed. "Really good conversation, too. I ever tell you that?"
"Just now," I said. "Can I have a cup of coffee?"
"Help yourself. I've fucking poisoned it."
I fetched a cracked white cup that read 'I Love New York' from the sink and rinsed it. Collie's coffee pot is fat and clear and grimy as any truck-stop sludgebucket you may have had the misfortune to pour from. The stuff inside is so thick and black, it looks like motor oil, and though I have never tasted motor oil, I'm inclined to think it would have a similar tang. The sole redeeming factor of Collie's horrible coffee lies in its' strength. People may boast about espresso and the relative caffeinated virtues thereof, but these are the same people who have never seen a man burst into flame mid-cup. The stain is still on Collie's bathroom rug.
"Urgh," I said to my stomach, which seemed to be taking issue with my napalm-drinking habits.
"Good, isn't it?"
"Of course." He lit a cigarette with the end of the one before it. "S'posed to be. I don't understand why people would drink coffee for any other reason than to wake up. I mean, come on! It tastes like shit! Decaf coffee is like...I don't know, non-alcoholic beer. What's the fucking point?"
I shrugged and drank my coffee.
The music cut off with a -bloop!-
"Enough of that shit..." He made a face. "The old lady hasn't been out all day, so either she's had a stroke in there and is laying in a pool of her own drool, or I've scared her off. Either way, works."
I looked a question at him.
"Bitch hates me. There was a bag of flaming dogshit on my porch this morning. Dogshit! Can you imagine that? Some old lady crawling around in her yard at four in the morning, scooping dogshit into a little plastic bag? Makes me sick, man." He took a drag on his cigarette.
"Anyway," he said, hopping off the countertop. "I am going to get my keys and take a shit, and then YOU are going to come with me to pick up Sandy, and then WE are going to go somewhere and have fun, and no, you don't have a choice, so get wise, fucker!"
The New World Prophet headed for the bathroom.
I was looking at the dent in his car.
"Nice one, hmm?" he said. "Slid through a stop sign on Emerson and 82nd and some jackass in a pickup smashed into me. I need to get it popped back out. The wheel cover keeps banging on the wheel when i hit a bump." Collie hitched up his pants. "Get in, my morose little friend. WE is going to cruise."
Collie's driving methods could be described as 'unique'...but only if you were trying to trick someone into his car. Once, when he was late for work, he almost missed his turn-off, and we ended up sliding sideways up one of those cloverleaf intersection junctions. I've seen him drive with his feet, his knees, his elbows, and his mouth. He claimed, though I was never treated to a demonstration, that he could steer a car with his penis if he was 'in the mood'. I believe him.
We blasted down Meridian at upwards of 70 miles per hour. Collie has never gotten a ticket.
"I was with Sandy last night!" he yelled over the roar of the wind through the open windows. "And we were getting ready to fuck, you know? And she starts running her tongue up the side of my neck and stuff, tracing little circles, and she gets to my ear, and she starts nibbling it- now I'm not complaining or anything, but that's not like her, you know? She likes to get down to business! So anyway, i say, 'what's up, Sandy?' and she starts whispering in my ear, tells me that she has a confession to make! Now I'm panicking, I'm thinking she's gone and fucked someone else and just wanted to get me in the mood so I wouldn't be so pissed. But I'm ready, you know, in case that's what she says! But then she tells me she likes to be tied up and stuff during sex! And she looks all worried, like this is the worst thing in the world! Man, it was hilarious! Couldn't fuckin' believe it..."
"Did I what?"
"Tie her up."
"Course I did! She loved it! It was great!"
"Figures," I muttered.
"I said 'It's already noon'!"
"Shit! I'm late! Hold on..."
We hit Warp II somewhere around College Avenue.
"Quit this world, quit the next world, quit quitting!" -Sufi proverb.