Friday, March 2, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: It’s Going to be a Long Night

Lo takes the steps down two at a time. He’s nearly skipping at he reaches the platform; it’s only one stop away, and then he’s a smash and grab away from being rich. The Firebreathers don’t even know about the stones yet. Nobody does.

He’s so excited that he almost runs face-first into a yeti. One of many yetis, the hair of their backs dyed silver and blue. Gang colors. He whips his head to the left, pretending to be interested in ads for musicals and vodka as he skirts away from them. They can’t know. Nobody could be dumb enough to clue in the yetis.

The fattest of the yetis stares at Lo. He swallows, and arches his posture, and intensifies that sudden and acute interest in garish posters promoting musicals. He sticks his hands in his pockets, fingering smoke bombs and shaking his head. A musical set in a slum. Man oh man, what will they think of next?

Except the fattest yeti isn’t staring at him. He’s relieved for exactly two thirds of a second. On the third third of that second, he notices scaly bodies of lizards in trench coats descending the stairs. Smoke billows from their mouths and only two have cigars. God-damned Firebreathers.

As he shifts like he suddenly needs to pee, Lo is uncertain. Is he most anxious that someone tipped off the Firebreathers? Or most anxious that he’s stuck on the platform between glowering gang-yetis and Firebreathers? He flinches around too quickly and errantly catches the gaze of the fattest yeti. In the moment, he certainly needs to pee.

“Uh. Ha, man, right?” He gestures forward, to the adverts. “Musicals. Best thing about the city.”

The yeti produces a pair of brass knuckles, which is ridiculous since his paws have no use for them. They are for show. Lo thanks all available gods when it becomes evident the fattest yeti is showing them off to the cigar-chopping lizards.

“A love story. In a slum. That’s so… groundbreaking.” He realizes his position and immediately dreads. He is half a car-length between the Firebreathers and gang-yetis. He will have to enter through one of their cars when the train arrives, if they’re all alive by the time it rings in.

He casts his eyes down, briefly entertaining throwing himself onto the rails. He casts them down in time to see a black-clad hand clutch the concrete. Five more do the same, and six black-cowled ninjas climb onto the platform before him. He backs away until nearly falling onto the adjacent tracks.

The ninjas rise. They eye him. They turn around, awaiting the train and checking their iPhones. One of the Firebreathers murmurs a curse in liz-speak, and Lo doesn’t have to turn around to recognize the sound of a yeti cocking a shotgun. He doesn’t have to turn around to recognize the sound of the train pulling into station, either. It is going to be a long night. As yetis jostle him forward, a furry torrent carelessly herding him toward the train, he realizes it is going to be a very long night. He wonders if the conductor will let him ride on the roof.

49 comments:

  1. Bizarre. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Are you sure all your drugs are prescription?

    ReplyDelete
  2. When can we expect part two? I am fascinated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If enough people want a Part 2, I will certainly consider drumming more up. I've written an entire novel about Lo before!

      Delete
  3. Bizarre all right, you're not on cold medication are you? Anyway what are yetti's doing off their snow covered mountain?, everyone knows you don't find them on railway platforms - lizards, ninjas, well, that's debatable. ^__^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many lizards have you met in train stations, oh ye of cold medication?

      Delete
  4. Brilliantly bizarre! Love it.

    Although, I half wish you didn't mention yetis in your tweet - the opening line of para 2 really would have shocked then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm regretting that now. Ought not to tip my hand like that.

      Delete
  5. This is like 'The Warriors' meet 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'. It's kinda cool but I wonder if the weirdness tempers the humour a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you feel the humor was the most important part, and that the absurdism was jeopardizing it?

      Delete
  6. Surreal. Is this what happens when antihistamines meet a low-pressure front?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It honestly disappoints me that most people can't think this way without drugs. This is just what I cook up on the way to the bathroom.

      Delete
  7. Now I'm thinking about yetis with DIY hair coloring kits. Maybe they could add some hair feathers....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they're going blue and silver, maybe some peacock feathers?

      Delete
  8. I've spent many a long Saturday night avoiding the Yetis at Glasgow Central Station.. Wonderfully weird.. Murakami mixes it up with Burroughs and out pops a Wiswell!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well there are some comparisons I didn't anticipate! Flattering, thanks so much Tom.

      Delete
  9. Lizards and Yeti and Ninjas, oh my! Loved how you played with the language in this one. Bizarre is right, and that's a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad the absurdism is working for some people! And thank you for the Oz joke.

      Delete
  10. Wow, this *is* delightfully surreal. I hope there's more to this; it's just too cool to leave with the subway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you particularly want more of the world, or more of Lo's evening?

      Delete
  11. Maybe I'm weird, but I liked this. Yetis, cigar chomping lizards and musicals. A nice combination. I think it would make a great graphic novel if expanded on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you say that, yes, I can see how you could swap this into a comic book. No wonder it got the TMNT comparison above.

      Delete
  12. You know, I keep wanting for the gang-yetis to be real so I can join!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lizards are pricks. You totally captured that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, hey now. They're better than cats.

      Delete
  14. A whole new universe... or just New York on a Saturday night? Hmmm... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've felt this way getting into NYC a few times.

      Delete
  15. Hmm! Just hmm! Very original. Not sure what to make of it ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I'll eat your "Hmm." But if you decide you hate it later, please come back and say!

      Delete
  16. West side story eat your heart out. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sort of, I suppose, I have watched Grease several times, and I did watch Mamma Mia not so long ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      Delete
  17. I'm in serious awe of you right now. Yetis, giant firebreathing lizards, and you still made fun of West Side Story. I think my favorite part is when the ninjas check their iphones.

    Fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, and I almost nixed the iPhones. But it was too funny an image in my head.

      Delete
  18. Loved the idea of Gang-yetis. The brilliance of this is fabulous. I'd ride on the roof too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Count me into the group of folks who want to read more of Lo. And I'd also like to read a closely described fight scene between one ninja and one firebreather. The story felt to me like a fun set up for the night ahead, really enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One ninja and one Firebreather. I'll see about that...

      Delete
  20. I love this. =)

    A proper mix of reality and the Weird, so that the fantastical seems ordinary and not out of place to the character, but remains interesting and exciting to us. I like it as a tableau, but I wouldn't object to reading more if more was written. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad you checked in John. I thought this might be up your alley. And I will count this as a vote for more.

      Delete
  21. Not sure what I make of that.. Either way I will have some of what ever you are having if it will shoot up my imagination as it has yours... Wicked..x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say this is tame compared to Absurdism and The New Weird. Have you read much fiction from those movements?

      Delete
  22. That was solid, bottled genius. Almost every paragraph there had at least one awesome idea or LOL-inducing image. Would absolutely love to explore more of this setting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Are there any particular avenues hinted at here you'd like to see explored?

      Delete
  23. Ninjas are awesome. I'm sure that at some point 200 years from now people will be reading this and debating your intentions with the symbolism.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Absurd ism at its best - did you really have a cold? Funny enough to imagine yetis on a subway platform let alone the rest. And the musical was a nice touch.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This felt more cyberpunk to me than anything -- body mods taken to absurd extremes (except for the ninjas, who just accesssorise).

    I loved the line about musicals being set in slums and the "what will they think of next?" reaction. I could completely see someone doing that (having had someone guess that typewriters were invented in the 1960s on me, having someone be surprised by a musical set in a slum is not a far stretch).

    ReplyDelete
  26. Definitely strange but there's an internal logic that made this a fascinating read. I'd certainly read more of it.

    ReplyDelete

Counter est. March 2, 2008