Boog sat on his stool at the Starbucks, eating a banana and sipping a drink with too much caffeine in it and too many syllables in its name.
Leather biker jacket patched with band names, stained with blood. 16 eyelet oxblood Doc’s. Armless t-shirt proclaiming “Kill Your Gods.” Spiked blue hair and horseshoed barbell piercings in his ears, he looked like an aged barista, not a customer. Someone who’d be chugging cough syrup, not a cappuccino soy pumpkin latte with triple espresso shots.
The thing about being sober, Boog thought, was it gave you too much time to think. If he’d gotten stoned to the bejeezus belt after the show last night, he’d be dead to the world, sprawled in his tighty whities on a mattress at Melly’s dump of an apartment. Recalling a sweet evening of her slender tattooed body pistoning atop him.
At least until her pet iguana tried to eat his balls.
The scaly green bastard was an alarm clock that way.
“He craves body heat. His nose is cold,” she’d said, cradling the beast.
“Teach him to warm it in the toaster, not my ass crack.”
He didn’t see Melinda any more. He was sure she was chasing the dragon up in her loft, dodging iguana turds. He loved her, but she loved heroin. Life’s a bitch.
And a cold bitch it was, staying away from drugs while bouncing for a punk club. Rather like being half a eunuch in a harem. One secret testicle the king didn’t know about. Ronnie, the club’s owner, had a strict policy about drugs. Let ’em fuck in the bathroom stalls, he’d said, but no snorting, shooting, or pills. That was fine with Boog, he didn’t wanna be dragging any ODing punks into the parking lot, or fighting off cranked up skinheads. The drunk ones were rough enough.
Smoking was banned in bars, so weed was out.
Boog never had trouble with beer. Liked the taste. His sponsor was a Nazi, and would have nothing of it. So Boog quit NA. Kept the keychain, rubbed it in his pocket like a charm. He knew his triggers. Melly was one of them. Beer wasn’t.
Narcotics Anonymous, like it’s daddy AA, loved the caffeine. It was the good drug. He thought how Starbuck sounded like a pimp’s name. Slapping you with his venti brown cock to wake you up in the morning.
Talk about your Higher Powers.
He had the last bit of banana in his mouth when the skins barged in, raged to the eyeballs, veined like a trio of walking penises. Suspenders, stormtrooper Doc’s, carpenter jeans with the cuffs rolled up. No X’s on their fists. Not straight edge. The last guys you’d expect to see in a yuppie whore hole like this place.
Kind of like Boog.
“You flaming fuckstick!” the big one yelled, leading with his finger. The pantsuit and khaki citizens cringed and made way.
Boog didn’t care why they were angry. Came with the territory. He was a bouncer. Someone got tossed out who didn’t like it. Problem was all the baldies looked the same. He didn’t bother figuring what the hell he did to piss them off.
He splashed his steaming cup of multisyllabic coffee into the big asshole’s face.
Screams all around. Panic among the bootboys. They knew how to fight. Just not how to fight dirty. Boog grabbed his hightop chair by the back and hurled it curveball style at the other two. Caught them off guard. One’s nose exploded. The other grunted, and the chair clattered to the tile floor. Their scalded brother ran for the shitter.
The one with the busted honker touched his face, gave his bloody hand a glum frown.
“What you big bald queers want? A threesome?”
Boog had wrestled in high school. Until someone got the herp and he quit. But the single leg takedown still worked like a charm. He took the as yet unharmed fellow to the floor, dropped a few elbows on his head, bouncing it off the tile.
The bloody one got to kicking him. Three boots to the ribs, then he grabbed the leg and drove him back. The skin hopped backward like a kangaroo on a pogostick, all the way out the Starbuck’s plate glass window. He got bloodier.
His brother hit Boog square in the back and they rolled in the shards. Boog never loved his sweaty old jacket more. The skin screamed and rolled. He held up his bloody forearms, now ridged with pink tinted glass spines.
“Oi. You look like my old lady’s iguana,” Boog said, spitting chunks of banana to the sidewalk.
Her place wasn’t far from here. She’d let him use the shower. Maybe she’d join him. He hoped she wouldn’t. Melinda was a fine drink, but the chaser was a killer.