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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

Always Crashing in the Same AlwaysCrashingCar
by Davis Schneiderman ||
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(January 26)

Old Mann Roderick screams "Ich ein bin Berliner" and shoves jelly doughnuts directly into his stomach, bypassing lips, jaws, and esophageal lubricants with full-fisted determination. Hasty amylase photons coagulate on the pasty gastro-lining like barnacles clinging to the hull of the Calypso--maiden voyage from behind, cabby ID laminated and ripped, hanging in a suction clip from the dashboard--"Old Mann" crayon scrawled in masking tape rafters. Sliding strings of a beaded curtain scrunch in the corner of a ceiling track at the passenger's door in tricolor segments--top third green, middle brown, bottom blearied…abacus black blend in the twilight shadows.
     Hole doughnuts! "Easy pard'ner, ever heard of chewing..." Words lose steam effortlessly, disappear before Lonny's eyes. His cranium swells like a split coconut tortured by a small monkey with a rock who fails to recognize his own success. Though he can't see anything more than a two foot slit in the world sloping from the top of Old Mann Roderick's hump down past the red reverse glow of his eyes--the perpetual ejaculation of nostril ivy, the wild fibers of shaggy dog beard and rolling profile of Adam's apple (all shut down by the patched black leather contiguous seats)--Lonny perceives the uneasy baritone of Axis Androgyne, as in "The world turns on IT," oozing from the molasses radio to fill the rotten cab. No broken down RAF boys with treasonous transistors, just Old Mann Roderick and drunken Thelonius Bosh listening to the fluid transmissions of a syndicated nightfly, one lone frequency a necropolis wave.
     "I luv this one gov'nor...can picture her perky little tits squeezing me meat." Old Mann Roderick offers Lonny a doughnut partially smushed in fruity delight. "Seriously pal, you look like you could use one...rough night?"
     Lonny didn't practice his cabby lingua franca. Usually Punjab or Václav or Jimmy couldn't spray out one world of the old intelligible High English for neither a bloody American tip nor the chance to once again suckle the maternal proto-teat itself. Lonny shakes his head and sneezes, pretends he's an important Algerian prefect. "Gesundeheit," mutters Roderick as the cab screeches and overruns a right turn outside Municipal Gardens. As a frequent passenger in the dreamy sections of town, Lonny knows where intersections splay and configure. His body slouches and crumbles like a ball in the passenger's back seat corner; he rotates his head through the opposite window, five or six seconds at a break, viewing the jagged silhouettes of the Federal McDonaldland building's gilded, bejeweled arches, rotating leeward as car vertigo begins, stomach grimacing without jelly doughnuts, churning the remnants of a six hour celebration at ZigZag's Paper Toilet and Bar--four rapid fire shots of Jose Cuervo, two cow-hormone heavy White Russian's, twelve fluid ounces of Professor Eyeball's Margarita Mixer--and the scourge of god's leftovers from an earlier drive by at the local Burrito Outlet--month-old tortillas (six), tablespoonfuls of hormone-heavy sour cream (three), pounds of quasi-rancid ground sirloin (one point three), cups of Pico de Gallo (two), ounces of beefsteak tomatoes (seven), shredded iceberg lettuce sheaths (four), Monterey jack cheddar slices (twelve), and enough microns of human sex pheromone (cultured in the armpits of commercial swine) to instigate the rape of the Sabine Women (forty six).
     "So whatever happened to Grimace?" Old Mann Roderick chews the last jelly ring, casting the empty carton to the darkness between his legs.
     "Huh?" Then a moan, belch, and spittle loosely jettisoned onto a plastic bib whose arcane presence mystifies Lonny, covertly attached to his collar at ZigZag's. Axis Androgyne sends out Lord Zapplin's "Hole Lotta Fuck" to simulacrum listener "Rick--working late in the Polymer Valley nanotech mines..."
     Pleased with his inroad, Roderick gives a quick dramatis personae of the McDonald's stage show and mass production cartel: how the very first Ronald was Willard Scott, the fat, old weatherman who used to pull French fries from his sphincter at kiddy parties, and that obviously, the clown himself is the Generalissimo of the whole blazing shebang. "If anybody's giving the orders, and I'm not saying anyone is or isn't, it's got to be Ronald. Then we got the Hamburglar, yin to his yang, always making off with the meaty goods...low spinal snickering. He was a commie you know. Not officially of course--I can't really say about his party doctrine and all...but in a metaphoric sense."
     Old Mann Roderick lights a butt that smells suspiciously like the fragrant wash of cheap pine oil. Lonny watches the liquid synaeresis of his regurgitated feast slide down the plastic of his two dimensional King ZigZag bib: a swollen, cheeky hybrid of Alfred E. Newman and a re-animated Tricky Dick, wrenched with erect genitalia over a paper toilet bowl--bespectacled, busty bimbettes poised for "action" with collagen-enhanced blow job puckers...     
     "I mean, it's not 'Burgers of the World Unite' rubble, rubble...or anything like that..." Roderick snorts with the sort of droll hysterics usually accompanied by a healthy back slap or bloody nose. But instead, vocal pitch climbs to the apex of his register, approximating the shrill song of what he intends to be a meadowlark, for a whimsical dissertation on "Birdie" the McDonald's breakfast character. Roddie skips down the octaves with each change of puppet or suited-cartoon--Fry Gals, Fry Guys, hitting a poor Satchmo low end for undead, forgotten MacTonite...
     Meantime, Lonny tries to turn off his ears, and focus on hands, languidly sorting through vomit in a hallucinogenic stupor like it was candle wax, separating gurgling meat and sweaty cheese from the milky White Russian/sour cream sauce for clues to his bondage, traces of biological, technical, or biotechnical implants. The constant punctuation of the stale carbolic cab air by the upsurge of his insides causes Lonny to suspect the work of a surreptitiously introduced emetic agent, no doubt implanted into his molecular salad by his newly appointed assistants Günter Broudly or Antwerp Meurtin--milk of magnesia, zinc sulfate, apomorphine--jealousy at the close of a multi-trillion dollar contract with the Hermetic Traveler's Association for promotion of their next-big-thing Virtual Pleasure DOME. Suddenly he has assistants, lesser associates...all too eager to poison the alienated wünderkind, stultify his newfound success...excretions rattle behind the rusty cab's engines and/or Zapplin's cocksure swaggers and Lonny can't tell the difference, but anyway, precedents have been set --Stanislaw poisoned after the Deutsche Currency Exchange deal, Rieux during United Hypodermics, Haller right before the McDon...McDonald's!
     "So what the hell is Grimace anyway," Old Mann Roderick twists his head around "Whoa pard'ner, hold it in!" The wheel jerks away, and it's all too vertiginous for Lonny Bosh's upset gastropod. From many moons as a last chance chauffeur, Old Mann Roderick perceives this inevitable eruption of puke close to ten full seconds before the fountains goes geyser-style across the upholstery. He makes a move for the nearest roadside moment, and thinks about Louis IV turning his head in Versailles' stately groves…
     Tough clusters of dribble fall away before Lonny's fingertips, increasingly tangled in the streams of bloody mucous now launching from his gullet. As Axis Androgyne cues SK's Eurosynth rendition of the surf pop classic "Suspension of the Ethical," the telos of Lonny Bosh's frenetic upchuck makes itself known in a jittery ball of cream-scented microchip, amber casing...or so Lonny thinks; he loses the partially digested chip in the foibles of puke rising from his insides. Roderick finds the shoulder a half-mile scouting distance, and hot foots it towards the parking area. Head swings without conscious support, and the Plasticine transparency between Lonny's Tommy-gun chow and Old Mann Roderick's accelerating inertia eases up not quite clean in the kick of time.
     Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam.
     Without control, St. Vitus dancing and thumping in the rear, oral excretions and shots that can't miss splatter the top of the window in a microcosmic Poisson distribution, the rest slopping the dashboard like tongues in the swine feed, filling in several quarter-sized breaks above the gauges, gumming up the odometer and gas readout. That's right, the vomit is cohesively bonding, hard-and-fast-living, super-quick viscid juice, shaken and stirred in the drunken belly. Old Mann Roderick watches the road with one good eye, but can't keep the hard and slow one off his beard, sponging sluices of Lonny pointing to magnetic north, pulling a corked compass point soaked in a petri dish of water. Lonny's head rattles like a sprinkler gasket, splayed toward the back driver's window, cheeks ready to bloody pop in rosy crimson wretches. The cab speeds slowly past a construction zone, flooding potholes and cracked macadam...airborne mal de mer feeding a pack of near-petrified sewer rats with human ears sprouting from vertebrae, AWOL from Cryogenically Walt--a Disney funded gene research facility enthroned on the backlot of the some dead city property.
     Old Mann Roderick hits the clearing, draws the cab to a less than three point landing, grabs a tuft of Lonny's hair, and yanks his now quietly heaving form back inside. "I'll tell you what Grimace is Mann..." Screaming and forced accentual syllables. Ice cubes sublimate from the putrid welkin and rub Roderick's Vandyke in a futile attempt at immediate de-gumming. Lonny moans, lightly, once, and his bib flutters to his lap; he smells the miasma of burning rubber, patchouli incense, internal combustion... "He's a big purple lard-ass with no correlation. I mean, which friggin' fast food or drink is that supposed to be? 'Ooh daddy, can we get the big purple thing for my birthday party'...'Of course son, he drops little Grimaces from his ass as party favors.'"
     Old Mann Roderick throws opens the glove compartment, cascading seven wet wipes like throwing stars at Lonny's face. Paper tearing sounds shred apart the steamy night and alert Roderick to the oddity of radio silence--but the ignition is on--"battery, damnit!"
     "Hmmm," he mutters while unclasping a rusty Evel Kneivel lunchbox from underneath the passenger seat "Fucking piece of shit!" dozens of tinfoil marbles bounce to the floor. "Don't you find this a little odd, or is this maxilla expulsion par for your drunken course? Open your car door."
     Landing on the soft moss of the Bering Shoot, the starting end of the local two point three mile drag strip is like landing on water for Thelonius's legs. He can barely shake loose his pantaloon rear from the vinyl seat basing, and after much center of gravity shifting, increases the diagonal of an octagon rip by twenty-three centimeters square. Oceans of melting snow drobble over Roderick's steel-booted toes, the focus of Lonny's downturned face, and foamy acid attacks the puke-colored loafers shielding his own pseudopodia.
     Jetting mansard roofs adorn the houses of the Keystone district in lily pad patches of geometric intrigue--pyramids protracted into irregular sloping shingles, angled against the descending grades of aluminum siding and solar panel dustdreams, arranged in periodic space filling, spiraled Escher swirls from the crop of the Bering ledge. The stars twinkle like balls of hydrogen gas enjambed light years away, and throw-up frescoes harden on new homes for both men. Old Mann Roderick passes Lonny the opium pipette with a smile--forged with carbonated godspeed from a nut-blackened Pepsi can.
     So okay it's soapium. Not a bad lunch to pack. Four out of five encephalons choose it over Thysine for the antacid mambo. "You the pusher Mann jackbot?"
     "Just during twilight, sometimes. We only gets a few hours each...FLAME ON!" The pen-torch shoots out a few inches of blue-heat discharge and Old Mann Roderick passes it almost six inches from the pipe in Lonny's mouth. Rubbery texture turns smooth in the tin foil bowlhead and liquefies slowly in afterburn; Lonny's lungs emerge from forced hibernation after puking, and he is pleasantly reminded that when combusted, even pine-oil soapium releases the delicate fragrance of the ultramontane--Tunisian sandalwood and the Master Musicians of Jajouka, Persian mulatto skin tanning in the Crescent, Etruscan millenniums reduced in a mud-wine glaze--squeezed from the fertile roots of Bosh's useless romanticism and uploaded into his system for more than a little tomfoolery.
     Roddie tells the one about 1066 AD like professional Homer, squatting on the hood of the purple cab. Purple! Wait. Yes it's purple. Cast in the vision of distant town, dotting lights below the cliffs of a pre-fabricated Senlac, mansard roofs stationed in the channel like wooden barges, Old Mann Roderick wears a crown of discombobulated doughnut holders, the laurel of William the Conqueror! He slings thousands of pounds of Latinate language on his way to kick Harry's sorry ass…
Old Mann Roderick
     Perambulate here and embrace your new commanders,
     scurrilous Anglo canines...
     (Inhales opium with torch like switchblade.)

     Hold now NorMann rot! None shall make battle-death,
     Bite the sword: break ranks with your pipe.
     (Laughing grabs poppy pipe and hits...)

Old Mann Roderick

     A singular passage of planetary resolve ushers in our dynasty, church,      architecture, and language. Surrender!

     The pen is still mightier than the sword...

Old Mann Roderick
     Aye! But ichorus implements are additionally ascendant over the      schiavone...

     Englebert O'Shea, the ex-Navy Seal/crooked police lieutenant/vice-president of the local Masonic lodge lumbers over the strip with his flashlight beam like a blind Mann's cane. His standard issue holster carries a battery-powered ten thousand rpm dentist's drill, and he can gauge a heartbeat with his mouth. Thankfully for the tenor of his work, the long hilt of illuminated club functions in equal efficiency as a one-lump-or-two-on-site-root-canal-anesthetic, and a look's-like-you-got-a-broken-tail-light-boy-harbinger!
     "Oh shit!" says Old Mann Roderick, taking up the local dialect and sharing an Anglo expletive like it's the first Thanksgiving. He passes the highly illicit peace pipe to the barely temporal Lonny Bosh and fiddles through his cluttered memory for the nine digit strand that opens the car hood; Old Mann Roderick scurries to the front of the impacted cab and somehow manages to enter the correct data--click--and the eight-liter engine reveal its mysteries.
     Hanover socks--too short (legs too fat), shirt sleeves--(too loose), underwear--(that smell). Perhaps a needed improvement, and Thelonius Bosh decides that the loose elastic band of his brown-stained tightey-whiteys (hopefully not slipping into the pouch) is the only safe place to stash the opium away from OverFritz the Wündercop on rapid approach. He considers feeding the mansards below some opium of the people but worries how the massive Old Mann Roderick might take it. An army of metal clangs generate beneath the hood, smoky steam rises as shadows from the exposed interior bulb playing upon the droplets of newly formed dew.
     O'Shea chokes the flashlight on backswing, ignoring Lonny entirely, before Old Mann Roderick thrusts a boilermaker from a carburetor still into the cop's open palm. "Thanks m'boy. Looks like you got a broken taillight here..." parking gleam fragments shatter in predictable distribution across the road-shouldered ledge of an opium dream; a few bits of plastic shrapnel tag the goo on Lonny's ruined pants and jut back out like porcupine quills. Old Mann Roderick and Englebert O'Shea start laughing hysterically, swigging down a stiff pint of ale from a thermos in Roderick's lunchbox, acting as the obligatory chaser.
     Next thing Lonny knows, O'Shea makes a soapium buy, uses the city police transmitter to swipe credits onto the magnetic strip of Old Mann Roderick's obviously franked DebitCharge, flashes a gap toothed grin at Lonny with the poppy underwear--the four fingered shop teacher--and pulls out the already rotating, menacing gleam of a six-shooter dentist drill. "Any cavities boy?!" Combat boots strike the ground, and Lonny's head cranks back like a mousetrap in reverse, leaving the crevasse of his lower mandible planted in its original locale. Wedged open like a two-dollar whore--"Oh, dem's is beautes..."--and the whizzing, wheezing laughter of the diamond spinning prick descends onto a lower, left Bicuspid--"Oh yeah, you got a small fissure on the enamel, and these gums are just ghastly..."
     Lonny Bosh squeezes his eyes to turn them off, no chance for the ears, inured to the sounds of the nights, kicking out a foot, and trying to raise his arms, only to feel everything sutured tight together, itching under Old Mann Roderick's sandpaper whiskers. "Gingivitis, boy!"--and a claw dives down his pants, fingers snapping across the ingrown hairs around the pubis, cum hardened stains and greasy, excreted stomachia. The drill must be boring directly into his ear and Lonny falls backwards into a patch of wet earth...O'Shea and Roderick are literally doubled over with him on the ground, laughing like hyenas, inspecting the opium/Coca Cola pipette for damages.
     O'Shea clicks the drill to "standby." And before Lonny gets off on the joke, the unholy triumvirate packs up a few more choice bowls of the sweet molasses glop, and it's back through the slipstream for Bosh--winding dark continents, street boys in burlap tunics with bright rosin cheeks, smug Husseins with Carpal Tunnel syndrome selling imported ergot cultures from Hong Kong chicken feces, Hassan I Sabbah with Tourette's in a Parsi cafe...fuckin' Shiites and pistachio nuts...pipe stinks of sweet water sewage. "Halitosis" whispers Englebert to Old Mann Roderick, and "I'm sorry for the joke...down the pants and all for the opium"...fingers splayed in a peace sign. "The setup was just too easy kid..."
     Lonny manages a smile with shortened aperture, feeling suddenly self conscious about his mouth jobs. Old Mann Roderick says something about an ocular spheroid for ocular spheroid and shucks down his jeans in the wet skin of grass. His ass scuttles closer to Lonny, who is predictably, almost constantly erect. O'Shea makes for a camera bag under an iron ring of flame on the Evil Kneivel lunchbox, but Roderick eyes him away before Bosh notices. "See what I got here...the fag is wrong of course, that goes without saying..."
     "Without saying..."
     "Of course, never figured you for a moment, but I wanted to show you the miracle of the modern era..." And Roderick starts rubbing his cock slowly, starting to lift above the folds of flaccid skin, and Englebert's got a schlong out now too...typically Irish bunko...but Old Mann Roderick must be at five inches, no makes that six...seven...shit, this guys got a full ten-incher like a steel rod, but Lonny resists, and he is in one uncomfortable position...
     Impotent Kid can't jack no circle jerk...not sure he wants to, so he's saved by the artificial gleam of a unclasped skinband Old Mann Roderick removes just south of center on the ten-fucking-incher. "See here, this is the difference between the men and the boys," and Old Mann Roderick's got four inches of motherboard bio-welded onto his member, "fastest processor known to man..." pointing toward a flesh colored chip, "had to sell my fleet of independent cabs to a conglomerate of unscrupulous gene traders...number onefoursevenHJseven in the DNA catalog, I supposedly got seven clones foliating in Outer Mongolia alone..." He points out a few of the choicer features like a genetic implant used-car salesman--"The pickup servos allow from zero to flexion in four point seven six full rubs" and "Although a few test subjects did experience ventricular fibrillation during initial arousal, it's still great for sweatin' the babes..."
     "Or for impaling 'em..." the Chief slurs his tongues, and rejoices not in iniquity.
     Slip sliding away goes Lonny Bosh's outstretched arms. His clothes are soaked in the vellum dung of oxidized polyester and rayon clothing, gummed with liters of internal viscous possibly catalyzed by the unwilling ingestion of a small vomitory chip, strung out on the opium tip hours later, watching a Mann with a portable dentist drill masturbate before the godhead of the cyber-biological--congealed on this planet in one whopper of a proto-penis, with incumbent DNA and a fleet of purple cabs in the aseptic booty of genetic pirates.
     O'Shea is busy with his eyes shut, teasing his asshole with a low-speed drill setting and crouching above the lights of the Keystone district. The flicker of the flashlight is getting dimmer as the night marches along, and Lonny Bosh, in a shear and total breakdown, knows what the world has become. He accepts the invitation to finger the merchandise with an initial light touch that signals nothing more than friendly curiosity. Old Mann Roderick smiles from on high, smug with pride in his equipment…and for at least the first second Lonny feels a little better, watches grey, stony transcendentalism slurry from Old Mann Roderick's beard to bask in the marble faun shivers overtaking his spine. He strokes a few friendly cycles to bring Roderick's penis back from its mild flaccidity, impressed at how the replaced band of grafted skin clips seamlessly onto the cabby's ocean of penis; the whole procedure is efficiently lubricated, frictionless as a bathtub. Lonny gives a little whinny of delight like a child who assembles the music of the spheres from a solar system whirligig. A gentle calm descends on the trio, and after a protracted time in reverie, Lonny feels that the experience has been sufficiently experienced, that Old Mann Roderick has been more than appeased. He commands his hand to pullaway.
     No wait. His hand won't separate from the penis; it can't be pulled loose. He's caught in that rubber cement lubricant, the leftover vomit, and its bonded his fingers with Old Mann Roderick's penis. Englebert caught watching, bright-eyed, his penis flaccid in the cradle of his left hand...and he can't snap it away either...and there's Lonny and O'Shea as the sun also roses, shaking their arms frantically like shaking off cooties and finally after the first commuter speeds down the road and the lights atop the mansard roofs go dim, Old Mann Roderick smiles and unclasps a latch at the base of his pelvis and Quaballah! the whole ten inch contraption comes loose in Lonny's hand and it turns out to be a giant dildo with a docking station on the lower caudal equina nerves and coccyx bone and Old Mann Roderick ain't a man at all, but he's got a fair sized clitoris and healthy labia majora just hanging out in the first slivers of sun...Lonny Bosh's tongue just about goes out of his head.
     Well, by the time Old Roderick produces a bottle marked "universal solvent" to dilute the crusty nucleotide chains of Lonny's stomach acid and leftover victuals, the whole pack of characters are feeling might familiar. Roderica wraps the dildo in tinfoil and packs it diagonally inclined into the Evel Kneivel Lunchbox. Englebert and Roderica make time for a quick whambam (making sure no more stickiness lingers on O'Shea's pecker) and afterwards the policeman gathers up his purchased opium balls, dental drill, and flashlight, buckles his alligator skin belt and heads backward into the rising sun.
     As the cab speeds once again through the rippling city streets, Lonny jokingly asks about the fare, gruff Old Mann Roderick just smiling wide in the rearview. Somehow the radio starts working again in mid-silence, and Axis Androgyne's sultry baritone rosters off the community events--"The a-na-PEST-i-cal COMmmune of PLAS-ticene VAL-ley is SOON to have ITS se-mee-ANN-nu-al SEM-i-for-MAL this..."--"Daughters of the Industrial Revolution will perform a tone poem ballet of Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' next Tuesday in the 32nd Alley Theatre. Tickets can be purchased from errant Girl Scouts with red capitalism merit badges..."--"Jane Cocteau will be burned in effigy for his/her involvement in the Priore De Zion during the homecoming bonfire at Bile Gut's middle school..."
     Androgyne closes her drawl with a bulletin for the upcoming Virtual Pleasure DOME spokesperson auditions, and Thelonius Bosh feels the last vestiges of a long night of fever dream dilute in the sounds of morning. The array of duties prescribed and attached specifically to him march back from oblivion's brink, and Old Mann Roderick breaks what has slowly morphed into numb, stony silence.
     "They could stop the search on that one right now," he slips onto the broken pavement of Lonny's apartment complex. Lonny stumbles loosely outside the cab, hears Roderica breathing sultry through her megaphone.
     "I'll send the fucking purple nuclear mutant down stat. Cancel the auditions. Grimace'll hook 'em."

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