Cosmic Vomit by Don Cheney A multi-media project by Max Cheney Chapter 11 read by Mat
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-¡Al! ¡Hey, dumb shit! -Dad called out to me-. Today is the first day of the rest of your punk-ass life.
Dad had a way with desperation. He just didn’t like all the cold goo. And besides, he was so desperate himself that he once lunged at a Miss Conciliatory contestant.
I pushed my self back into the house and hit my head on a banjo that was hanging in the hallway.
I could hear Dad airing out his pants.
-Al, march your punk-ass in here. ¿Do you know what freaking time it is?
I opened my eyes, but all I could see was my desperation. I still had water on my brain, but I could now count to 7, getting stuck for only a short time at 2.
But, ¿what significance was it?
I can’t count how many times I’ve had to count to 8, but if I could, it still wouldn’t be very many times.
To my horror, I was frothing at the eyes, and when I looked at the “9” on my watch I didn’t know which number came next, ¿8 or 10? Then I guess I had an idea, but I couldn’t decide. ¿Why wasn’t anyone eliminating me as a suspect, when I was playing with babies in the garden the whole time? ¡No one ever takes my side!
Dad could see I was upset and he slapped me upside my head.
-Quit being such a pussy, Al. You’re either going to be punctual, or I’m going to puncture your sciatic nerve.
-But, Dad, I’m telling you I was in the garden play... -I pleaded.
But he wasn’t listening.
-Look, I need you to be on time. It’s very important. And now there’s only one minute until Miss Conciliatory is supposed to be here. We’re going to throw darts at mental patients who think they’re animals -Dad was creeping me out.
-Mmmmm -I managed to say.
-I know you think I harass everyone. God knows your sister does -Dad was praying to Jesus that Miss Conciliatory wouldn’t notice his bald spot.
I had always wondered where I got my propensity to wear vests in summer, to wash my teeth in May, and to think that a comet was going to hit me at any moment. But now I knew that so much of it came from my dad that I could never be a dad, myself, ever.
I went into the kitchen and poured my self a long, hard shot of Silly-String®.
Michelle must’ve been on a home visit, because she appeared in front of me from nowhere, like some horrible sunrise.
-¿Ready for the long day? -She gorged.
I was limited to a grunt. ¿What did she say?
I was used to my mom blowing chunks all over her plate of Huevos Revoltos, and I should’ve expected the same from Michelle.
-Last protein in the gene pool’s a paraplegic celibate -I said.
I knew that proteins weren’t necessarily part of the gene pool, but Michelle didn’t go to school today, so, ¿how would she know? She didn’t know jeans, let alone genetics.
-I want to ax you a question -Michelle surrounded me. She had my copy of Scientific Enigmerica.
-Let me eat first -I protested.
-You’re not going to confuse me with your bullshit -Michelle said, pushing on more mascara-. I’ve read every scientiferic journal you’ve ever even glanced at.
Michelle had turned into a horrible library.
-We’re going to start with the senses. The astronomical senses. ¿Which fuel did that son of a bitch Galileo use when he tried to describe a Mentos® commerical?
I had no idea.
Those “Huevos Revoltos” were coming back to haunt me. I was confident that if I started screaming, all of my repressed anger would ante-up.
But it didn’t ante-up.
-Let’s go, Al -Dad insisted-. ¡Respect your self!
-I respect my homies -I told him-. I don’t want to haggle with or pray to God right now.
-I only respect people who live in tents or who throw darts -Michelle yammered.
Mom pushed her hand from out of the frying pan and into the fire. She could hear the flesh burning. Now she was up for seven more choruses of “I Got You Babe”.
¡Hey, these motherfuckers were supposed to be at work!
-I should probably give you a complete neurological work over. After all, I was the first person to see your naked butt.
-And I was the first to see your penis -Dad said-. I had to be, because your mom wouldn’t look.
It was like I had poured marmalade all over my toast and then died in a roller disco. I had to think every time I chewed food. Think, think, think. ¿I wonder if Dad has to think every time he takes a dump? I was getting desperate. ¿What fuel did Galileo use?
-Now I’m going to take a piss -Michelle offered the gods of tension-. You know, you don’t have to actually see to think that you’re seeing.
The more Michelle had to piss, the more pissed-off she became. And confused. ¿Why didn’t she just pass out?
-I’ll pass out, son -Dad said.
Dad was always intent on being surreal. But he didn’t have any idea what kind of fuel Galileo had used. Galileo... Galileo... That son of a bitch should’ve been named Ninja Tortelline.
-The sun is hotter today than it was in Galileo’s time -Michelle said-. I’m going to sing about the sun. ¿You with me? Come on, Al.
I was being a baby, holding my breath until I turned grey. But when my pallor was just starting to turn, Mom, Dad and Michelle suddenly appeared, and started punching me.
Michelle shook her head as she hit me with Scientific Enigmas magazine.
-That bastard Galileo thought that the Earth revolved around the Sun -Michelle said, pronouncing each word like she had just leant them to a Chechnyan.
No wonder I could never understand her. She walks in and starts laying into me with Scientific Enigmas and then the rest of my family starts throwing PEZ at me.
I only wanted to take the words out of their shells, and place them on paper.
-You think Mom and Dad are orangutans sent here to earth by Galileo to take care of you, ¿don’t’cha? -Michelle asked me, and didn’t wait for an answer-. You don’t even know who Mr. Gosling is, ¿and you want orangutans to raise you? ¿Are you blitzed?
Mr. Gosling was my science teacher. ¡Hah! Every time I listened to him, my head did a rumba. It was like listening to Michelle think out loud.
Mr. Gosling, I thought. This all has to do with Mr. Gosling.
¿What do I think it has to do with him? Not much. He’s loony. He’s loony like every other teacher at school, I thought.
That’s it. He’s loony. And I thought he was just stupid. ¡If I could muster up some fangs, I could kill him any time!
I had to get some rest before breakfast came up and punched me in the Kukla, Fran and Ollie. I took my plate and glass and threw them into the bathroom, but all that did was scare the cockroaches.
Whenever I don’t put my mess in the trash can, Mom takes her cup and pours hot coffee on me. Right when I think that everything’s going perfect, none of my coupons have expired, I get a coffee-bath from a cuckoo mom.
-Now git -She said-. I’ve got an appointment with a man in a tanning salon.
The hellish glare I got from her was just what I needed. Like a tripe barbecue - only better. I didn’t have a menu and I wasn’t stupid for my age, sex and/or gender.
I looked like a reindeer in the headlights. ¡Yowch! ¡My own fangs were about to tear my head off! And leave no witnesses. Kinda like the veal platter at Leslie Scalapino’s.
My heart was late for its 2 o’clock beating.
I had tried to get a pace-maker, but my fangs had scared the nurse into repenting all of his sins. It’s been downhill from there where I stood, without a leg to stand on.
Stop the tape and, you, stupid, give me a salt tablet.
Every mess I make, every rose I take has been horribly planned. I couldn’t plan more horribly.
My hands began to tremble from the medication that was being spoon-fed to me, little by little, by the orangutans who were supposed to be caring for me. At least I think they’re orangutans, I told my self. The bastards could be polo-playing Argonauts. They could be polo-playing Argonauts who have turned into orangutans.
I was going to stop the tape my self, but then I saw a cockroach on the table, trembling, and decided that if Gummo could be a Three Stooges, so could I.
I pushed on the tape again, but it wouldn’t shut off, and then it told me that it was closed for repairs. After that, I had no will to live and my fangs were so mad, they ran out of my mouth and met my adenoids on the corner of the street.
-If my arms run away, I give up -I said as my pineal gland ponied up to the street corner.
-No penile activity -Michelle said, thinking she was funny-, without your pineal gland.
Mom was usually the abrasive one, and Michelle, usually the abrasivee. Like the plastic sandwich Mom served her one day that broke 29 of her teeth.
-No more penile action, Al.
Dad took my hand.
-You have a very strange family and there is no known antidote -He said.
I nodded. For a guy covered in cold goo, he was a poor excuse for a parent... I looked into his eyes and saw terror... I looked at this paragraph and saw vultures circling.
Alix and Colin were on the escalator trying to avoid the cold goo.
-¿Aren’t you going to ask me about my day? -Alix asked me.
-You stupid bastard -I said. I knew it. I knew that Alix was an asshole and an idiot, and now I had scientific evidence.
-I may be a pest, but you two are pricks -I said this to Colin, but I just as easily could’ve said it to that classless bitch, Miss Scott.
Eric was there trying to open the door. And he didn’t seem to have a care in the world, nor a door handle in his hand.
I took a slice out of his mouth with my knife, and everything turned black and white and red all over.
-¡You fucking pussy! ¡Give me your math notes! -Eric was able to say-. ¿Do you know what you just did?
I was conjugating with the homies.
I was the god of codfish and french fry specials.
-You just cut my freaking mouth like it was a dessert tray from somebody else’s restaurant. ¿Now do you know what you just did?
I shook my head. ¿Why was he asking so many questions?
I turned around like the parsley on the Cod & Fry Special.
-You just cut my mouth like a fastball. You just signed your death certificate, Sterner, but you forgot to dot the “i”, Sterner. ¡You FORGOT to DOT the FUCKING “i”!
Oh, my Christ. Oh, my Christ. Oh, my Cod Fish Special.
-I didn’t mean to cause you any lasting problems -I told him improvisationally-. I’m just a bad-ass pirate-poet.
-Oh, I see. I see -Eric put his hand over his mouth-. You cut me, and you think you’re a celebrity. I kick the shit out of you and, ¿what am I? ¿Cod liver oil?
You’re an unequivocal ass-wipe, Eric, I thought. But I couldn’t see my way through the gray to say it.
Eric waited for me to answer, but Miss Scott walked in. She looked around at the bloody mess.
-¿Did you have another bloody nose, Al?
¡¿What?! ¿A bloody nose? It was going to take a mop and a lot of cod liver oil to clean this up.
-Yeah, and a bad case of cold goo -I heard my self telling her-. I was going to sit down, but these bastards were late for class and had me singing, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”.
Yes. That would do it, I thought. If only I could always think so All-Tempa-Cheerly.
-That’s nice -Miss Scott murmured.
Miss Scott almost slipped on the mess.
-I don’t want to be around when she figures out that this ain’t a romantic comedy -Eric told me-. When she wakes up from whatever she’s on, you’re a dead man.
Nobody’d better fuck with me when I’m in Miss Scott’s “100 Science Do’s and Don’t’s” class. Not if they don’t want their posterior grammaticized. I may be limited as to what I can see and how much mess I can make and where I can go, but at least I don’t ask stupid questions.
Eric at least doesn’t ask stupid questions when he’s asleep, which is most of the time. He’s made a teenage life of sleeping in class, making mess and murmuring, “Die motherfuckers” under his breath when he wakes up. He laces up his shoes as if he was a boy who “had been dead for many years”.
And tomorrow would come and go. But tomorrow would never matter as long as dinner was served tonight.
That’s everything I don’t believe.
-¿Who can decide what the direct object is in this phrase... is? -Miss Scott had eaten too many pizza pies.
I couldn’t look. Every muscle said she’d call on me.
-¿Al? -Miss Scott didn’t mean Bundy.
-¿Al? -Now Miss Scott was deliberately imitating Peggy Bundy-. ¿The direct object?
Eric knew that rivers didn’t flow backwards. So he kicked me in the shins and mouthed the word “sugar” with his hands. I started to gag and he pushed on my Heimlich.
Then I knew I was hearing God’s Holy Choir, or at least a group of people with altered voices.
-Participants in the Science Cursing Competition, please get your dumb-asses to the library -The secretary of the college said-. Mr. Emerson Fittipaldi would like to show you how brave and, at the same time, how stupid he is.
¡Salved by the secretary! Everything meant nothing to me at this moment. I felt like killing a chinchilla and I felt like pouring pomegranate all over everything, starting with Alix and Sappho.
The other science cursers - Melanie, Tanya and Geoff had already poured salt on everyone they had run into.
Mr. Emerson Fittipaldi was the only one in the library for the first minute I was there. He had a scepter and a crown, and he didn’t know science cursing from any other kind of cursing you might do, for instance, like in a car racing competition.
This creep would dig my parents, I thought.
Six people propelled themselves into the cafeteria.
-Let’s go set the tarn on fire. That would make a mess -Super-confident Alix said. For somebody who had no common sense, he was starting to live up to his kudos.
It got later than even I would like. I didn’t see Eric, but I knew his sarcasm and his rat’s ass were probably somewhere near the other five kids. Because 5 minus Eric = 132.
-I’m so freaking nervous... ¡here comes lunch! -Tanya said as she sent her lunch flying like junk mail.
¿What in the rat’s ass was making her so nervous? She didn’t have the cerebral activity to understand that I had fangs.
-Not me -Alix intervened-. Al and I aren’t ready to run. We’re ready to burn this city to its apoplexic demise.
Yeah, right. Poor Alix. Not only does he think he’s on earth, he thinks I’m his friend. Poor, poor Alix.
I had my comedy routine ready. I was going to open with a plastic trash can joke.
-It’s impossible to throw up -Geoff contested-. Sappho and I once ran a marathon and then studied for three days. Sunday, Monday and Sunday. We stayed in my house the whole time and we never asked each other if we were going to hurl.
-¿What is he fucking talking about? -I asked Sappho.
-¿What? -She asked. Not only did she have no cerebral activity, I don’t think she was breathing. She ran outside and screamed “¡I repent unequivocally!” This wasn’t comedy, this was something to sink my fangs into.
A cockroach understands how to make people laugh better than this poor excuse for yesterday’s crutch. Now it was my turn to slay ‘em.
-My turn -Alix said.
-No -I griped-. ¡No! -I was repeating my self, but I was doing it rather suavely-. I want to decide what is and isn’t comedy. At least... well... never-freaking-mind.
-You’re yesterday’s burped-up Alpo®, next to me -Alix Bromo’d.
I pushed on the tape and it actually stopped. Like a meteor taking a golden shower.
But Alix was about as funny as a dental re-alignment.
I tried to lance the mess, instead of going gyro-sober.
I stopped trying to do anything with my hands. I took out my knife, cut the tape into pieces, and then cut off two of my fingers.
on to chapter 12 read by Phoebe OR back to Cosmic Vomit