Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chime (Tweleven), by Jerguš Števko


Another Friday in Brno sets the underbelly of the city on a call to action. Clubbers need to be serviced, money is to be made, rent is to be paid. All accompanied by the ever-echoing sounds of a centuries old myth. 

The bell rang 12 even though it was eleven and that could only mean two things.
ONE – We are in Brno, a city that couldn´t be bothered to set the clock properly back since the Swedes came to do their rodeo here 400 years ago.
TWO- He will be here in exactly 4 minutes.
And so I wait, wait, wait and what do you know, just like clockwork he is leaving his office and heading towards the statue of the mermaid, where we have our meetup. I know he will be here in 4 minutes, because there is no way in hell you could survive that long doing what he does if you do not have a routine and do not stick to your principles. If your game is organized and clean, the world might think you are organized and clean too. Even though you might be the dirtiest bastard to ever leave the Obilní trh maternity ward.
“Jirko!”, he nods with a huge grin.
“Matheus!”, I jerk my head and force a smile.
 I wonder why he always acts so surprised. It´s been every Friday, 11:04 at the same spot for almost a year now. The same game of pretend that we are so happy to see each other, the same order I have for each Friday, the same handshake during which I deposit a crumbled 1000 Czech crowns note and two hundreds in his hand and in the same hand and the same smooth motion he deposits a folded paper the size of a stamp into my hand.
 “How you been Jirko?”
“Good, but you know, gotta go now!”
“Oh sure, I bet you are busy, we should go grab a beer someday what you think?”
“Yeah, sure…we´ll call and arrange!”
I haaate those fake conversations you must always have. Like it matters if we were honest to each other and just straight up went along the honest lines of:
“Hey Jirko, came to buy some speed from me again?”
“Yes, and I honestly do not want to talk with your fake ass more than necessary so, since we did the exchange I will be fucking off.”
“See you next Friday at the same time, when I need drugs again!”
“Can´t wait to earn some more money off you soon!”
Meh, but I guess that is what differentiates us from animals. The ability to be aware that all of us know a common truth, but pretend like it´s not there. Be it a politician saying he regrets going to that hotel with that young girl, the insurance guy saying how he is pleased to meet you or even your lawyer saying he is so sorry, that he couldn´t help you get visitation rights to see your kids. Can you imagine? Ads for fast food joints saying stuff like “Hey, at least it doesn´t cost a fortune” or insurance companies writing on their billboards “You probably won´t even need it, but the government makes you buy it, so come to us, we are a bit cheaper than the others”. World of deceit it is. Just like the clock comforting me with the fact, that it is lunchtime, even though I might be still too soon to get a bargain menu anywhere, since it is just eleven. But hey, who needs food when you´re jacked on amphetamines? Not this guy! So instead of lunch, I am headed to the tobacco shop, get a can of lager and smoking papers and off I go to my garsoniere to enjoy the fruits of today´s labor. God I love saying Garsonier, just rolls out of your mouth and makes your shitty studio seem like a posh French apartment in which you drink absinthe and compose piano pieces. Except, that in this spot we listen to tekkno and smoke crystal through lightbulbs.
_ - _ - _
OK, all piled up! I had to dry the speed with a few cigarette papers. That’s the only disadvantage of dealing with Matheus, his shit is way cheap and way good, but he always brings it in wet. Needs to be dried quickly though, I have to be at Daniel´s at 14:00 exacto, or he will be calling me 8 times per minute again asking with his horribly shaky voice where am I. And the last think you need, is a tweaked out pusher calling the phone that is registered to your name. I hate myself for being too lazy to buy an extra disposable SIM card, but at least it keeps me more aware and cautious I guess.
“Next stop, Zelný trh”
And off I go. Through the passage, to the left, knockity knock! God damn this stuff is riding me! Knockity knock! Hahaaa, you wouldn´t catch me dead saying that kiddie shit.
“Come in!” says the voice behind those two huge pulsating eyes with almost suspiciously clean and white sclera peeking through the little bit of opened door.
We sit down and get to our usual Friday shtick. I talk about how I hate my storage boy job, even though it´s just part time, he tells me about how the planes are dropping mind controlling acid on us. While doing all that, we are cutting the speed into small pieces and mixing it with paracetamol. Then we are counting pills of E and dividing them into two halves, each into our own chewing gum packets. After we smoke a joint to calm down, listen to some music, have a line or two and we are ready to hit the club. We run for the next bus there and as usual, our timing is perfect. Even though two nazi looking pigs were giving us the eyes, nothing happened and we were next to the club at the amazing hour of eight twenty five PM. Between eight and ten, it is the magic hour. People had their drinks and they are slowly getting tired of drinking, yet the party is in full swing and will go on at least until six a.m. And that is, when we step in. The exotic pharmacists.
Night is going swell, I already amassed enough money for a re-up and Daniel is buying drinks to some girls and dancing so I guess he is good to. At this point, it is time to relax and actually enjoy the party. So I simply head over to the bar with the least people in it and wait my turn to get a Jack and coke. The most uncreative drink of pretentious assholes. But I´m too high to care so whatever. I clock this guy and he nods his head in that familiar “Hey you got something?” way. So I shimmy my way to his seat, sit down and start the small talk. Where he from, what he doing here and so on. He´s telling me some shit about him being here with his buddies from Pardubice, and that this is his favorite DJ and they follow him all over the Republic and blaaa blaaa blaa. Then he mentions, that they are looking for some pills. That’s when my radar turns on and I start playing the game.
“What do you mean pills?”
“You know, pills, E, happy pills, XTC…”
“Oh thooose pills.”
“Hmm, well I don´t know about any of that, but maybe you can follow me to the toilet and I can show you something”
“Hey man I ain´t no faggo…”
Before he finished, he turned all red and laughed realizing how dumb he is. He stood up and we proceed to the toilet. We have to wait our turn, someone is probably sniffing my speed. A girl with dreadlocks, amazing tits but horrible face leaves the cabin with a dude rocking the same shitty haircut all the tekno guys do. Short stubble on the top and 5-6 dreadlocks in the back. I like to call that shit the Moravian mullet. Anyway, after they were done doing their biz, we enter and lock. I show him my chewing gum packing with 30 pills in it. They have two different pictures on them and are of different colors too!
“So the blue ones are more speedy and will get you going till the morning. They got the SKYPE logo on the if you want to pop it into Pillreports. The red ones are more of a MDMA kind of high, so you know mellow, happy and all that shit. Both are 200 a pop.”
“Wow they look cool man, I think my mates would like some too, I am gonna go arrange with them. I don´t even have money here with me, let´s meet in few minutes.”
“You fucking weekend junkie, you come here with me and don´t even bring cash. Jeesus go arrange with your fucking mates, but let me tell you this isn´t the way you do it. Other guys would already kick your face in.”
He goes pale and says nothing. Leaves. Who knows I might have fucked up. Anyway, no worry, re-up is taken care of and what I don´t sell tonight I still can sell tomorrow. Back to partying again. Some cunt stole my drink, shit, gonna go get another one. Also…Where is Daniel? Haven´t seen him for some time too. But I haven´t seen the girls either. Shit, did he actually pull them? I can´t believe that skeleton looking motherfucker managed to pull of such hot pieces of ass while I´m sitting here dry. But I guess that is how life goes. I surely am the biggest fan of my own handsomness, who knows, maybe I am an ugly cunt for the rest of the world. Oh well, the party is actually shit, I don´t like this tekk house that much anyway. Might as well bounce and go get some beers to Martina´s bar. I bet she´s working. She always works Fridays.
Off I go then, just a quick stop behind the club. What I love about this place is, that the other side is just a freaking field. So if the toilets are crammed or you find yourself a dreadlock queen to get intimate with, you can always find a hideout in this vast plane of dry grass, used condoms and empty bottles. But the best thing is, that you can take a peaceful piss here. So I unzip my pants and release myself. The worst thing about sniffing crystals is, that your piss smells like burning tires and antibiotics afterwards. Mid-releasing my nuclear waste I hear steps approaching behind me.
“Hey boy!” I hear in a Ukrainian accent
“HEY BOY!” he yells louder. There are two other guys with him. I think one of them is that shit stain from the bathroom.
“Who you calling a boy?”
“My mate here tells me you have some of that good. Gives us!”
“Sure mate, how many would you like, they 200 a piece.”
“All, and we not paying!” he says with a grin. And you immediately know what kind of guys you dealing with. I shake my dick dry, put it inside my pants and face him face to face.
“Oh aren´t you, well I guess we have a problem then.” He starts approaching me, doing the macho man walk of an overly self-conscious peacock. I know this shit exactly, I let him get close to my face so he can say something tough. Little does he know, I dealt with this before. He stops maybe 20 cm from me and puts his face so close to mine while shoving my shoulder a bit with his.
“Then I guess I have to take i…” and just before he says the last sound, I headbutt him and he falls on the ground. “SUKA” he yells and I start laughing. Then I approach the pussy from the toilet, who is pale and scared shitless by the time I am next to him.
“You cunt, what the fuck are you trying to pull off here? You think this is a fucking Guy Ritchie flick?”
“I-I-I..” he gets a headbutt too. This one hurt me a bit tough. I start punching him and kicking him on the floor while glancing back. The Ukrainian fucker is still on the floor holding his broken nose. I continue punching the pale boy, when suddenly I feel it. It is cold, then it becomes warm and a lot of liquid drips down my back and my butt crack. And there it is it is cold again, this time a bit higher than the last time, somewhere near my spine in the upper half. Can´t even tell if it is the left or the right side. And there is that wet feeling again. My knees are weak, my head becomes light and I am falling even though I don´t want to. I can feel air going inside of me through the two holes in my back. Now I feel it the third time, it is in my shoulder. It stays cold and I don´t feel any liquid. As I fall down, I see them all run away, yelling, one of them kicking me before leaving. I don´t even know and I don´t even care. I just hear the bell ring. And I count. One, two, three. I collapse completely. Four, five, six, seven. I reach for my neck and feel a handle of a knife. At least I know how it happened. Eight, nine, ten. It all starts to be blurry and I am not in pain or cold anymore. Eleven, twelve…then there is a sound. Was it number twelve, or was it just a random sound from the party? It is not clear. So did I die at eleven or at twelve?
“Tweleven” I say out loud for the cigarette bags and ugly graffiti on the wall next to me. “Tweleven is when I die!” And they just silently listen.

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