CHAPTER 26: STRAFED BY AN UGLY STICK
New York in the evening is a whore with wings, all lit up like a debutante's mom -- ripe, rotten for the picking. There were no more clues to confuse me, just the night and the stars you couldn't see, but you knew they were there.
At this stage of the game there are three things I can't abide: men, women, and children. Drugs on Earth weren't better, there were just more of them and everywhere you looked people threw their insides out of you. The lights went off behind my eyeballs and I came over all rancho-cathartic, Seig Heil for the call of the wild.
It was time to get back to my mission position. Find Suzy or die trying, both would be too much to hope for. I had the time and space, what I needed now was the ammunition, bystanders be damned. No one is innocent.
The Mars Bar perched on the grey Manhattan skyline, daring pigeons to do their damndest. Teenage hipsters -- pierced, scarred and strafed by an ugly stick, pushed through the big iron doors past bouncers so dumb they just had to be real. The women looked good, they always do. In fact, the closer I got the more I detected generous helpings of summertime flesh and a hot flash like menopause overtook me.
"Face it, Doolan. You don't have the dude, you can't speak the lingo, and goddamnit, you're all out of crank. You couldn't score in this freak scene without professional help."
My self-inflicted stalemate was broken by Pederast, who came running out the door at warp speed.
"Doolan, you son of a bitch," he said, without a hint of nostalgia, "Natasha just ordered a Cuervo and antifreeze. She'll have my balls if she makes me!"
"Since when are your orbitals different than everybody else's?" I thought, as wistfully as you can think about a woman who eats glass for breakfast and prune juice at lunch.
"For Christ's sake, she's selling dope to the skater rats."
"I never knew her to give it away free, Einstein."
My eyes were two UFOs in a sea of red licorice, the back of my throat like a methadone tar-pit. And Pederast was just a sick puppy with mange of the cranium.
"What kind of a pig are you now, Doolan?"
"The kind without a city, without a country, without a planet. The kind without a badge, without a stick, without a dog, without a prayer... and here's a little something I've been saving up for you."
I gave him three slugs from the Luger. The crowd broke and ran, but I knew Pederast would pull through alright. He was yellow, but his blood ran Martian green. The doormen parted like Moses at Alfalfa's pompadour.
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CHAPTER 27: A FIFTH OF OBLIVION