On Saturday we handed out MISSING flyers for Nikol’s son who ran away. Hundred and six degrees in the valley; heat-angry people think you’re trying to sell them something when you walk up and say excuse me. I’m a bad person. An old woman stiffarmed me and said “sorry.” I yelled after her: you’ll die alone, you leathery old cunt. Not interested, said a fat bald man. Like no one will ever be interested in you, you fat disgusting bald sack of shit. I’m in the right here, I reasoned. I’m trying to find a lost child for Christ’s sake. No one will take a swing at me because I’m tall and I lift weights a lot.
Most people were nice though. The ones you have to worry about are the ones who haven’t seen him but want to tell you a story anyway. Hold out the flyer with his picture; a man takes a long look. Furrows his brow visibly. Ah, hmmm, he does look familiar. He plays guitar you say? Yeah, well, there’s a lot of musicians that hang out up on San Fernando Road, there’s a record store… you know, friend of mine’s son ran away, this was back when there was hitchhiking… the laws were different… cut them off and move on. People are lonely. They’ll latch on to anything.
We ran out of flyers. Drove a couple places he’d been seen. He’d stayed with some fat old man who lives in a shack in Van Nuys with his retarded daughter. They’re behind a big fence and I brazenly stuck my head over, hoping he’d be taking apart a lawnmower and I could scare him. Nikol and other do gooders had talked to the guy. But none of them are tall and lift weights a lot. I was excited to terrify this eldery weakling, and his special needs child if necessary. WHERE IS HE like Christian Bale in Batman. Even though we knew the kid lied to him. Told him Nikol kicked him out. That he tried to go back and she told him “you don’t live here anymore.” The old man just liked hearing his guitar. Having someone to talk to. People are lonely. They’ll latch on to anything.
No one was home.
We went back to Nikol’s. Post its with clues all over the wall like an old crime show. Maps of where he was spotted. She asked: do you think this shit does any good?
No, I said. He’ll come back when he wants to.
Thinking: fuck, that could be never. In a sense he doesn’t love you anymore. Nothing against you. No sixteen year old boy loves his mother. Just the smell of you tells every cell in his body to run like a truck’s about to hit him. That little apartment isn’t helping. My own small house at sixteen, my insane mother. Trapped in there like a submarine. She was wonderful to me but I just wanted to get the fuck away from her for twenty years. There’s a reason that in every fantasy movie the kid’s parents are dead.
Why am I helping her then. Well, she’s a good mother. Even though she didn’t have a mother, even though she was in institutions. Child protective services, foster care all over Illinois. When she was his age she ran away too. Found some dirtbag and got pregnant. Would have been a mistake but he’s a good kid, a smart kid, and I love him and I’m scared that he’s hurt.
But he’ll come back when he wants to. The posters don’t help. So why am I doing it. So I can be with Nikol instead of sitting in the apartment by myself. People are lonely.
And because the worst case scenario is not finding him because of something you didn’t do, I thought. It won’t work but you can’t not try. So you grind through useless repetitive shit to feel like you’re doing something. That reminded me, I ought to check my Tinder.
Three matches from two hundred swipes. All hookers. Not even real hookers, the Tinder hookers who lead you to some affiliate scam. Only one was real. Black chick out of Inglewood, looked kind of like Urkel. The fake whores’ pics had made me horny so I began negotiations. She got me excited, then flaked.
Why do I bother, I asked myself, and then swiped right two hundred more times. What I really want is shit to work out with Isla, but she has shit going on and now I do too. She has school; I have work; there is no possibility of love unless one person doesn’t have a life. Otherwise you;re just praying your ninety minutes off match up. And girls with no lives just fuck guys in bands.
Why is it so fucking hard. Why can’t some girl just show up and take me out of all this. Why do I have to chase them. If I don’t do everything, nothing happens. Sometimes not even then.
The hooker tease flipped my compulsive sex switch, so I left Nikol and went to a titty bar. Got a lap dance from a babyfaced tramp with PUSSY tattooed under her navel. I’m gonna cum, you’re makin me cum, she said. I was doing nothing. Maybe gripping her ass a little; a minute earlier I’d sheepishly asked may I put my hands on you. Her eyes were big as a lemur’s and she looked into mine and never broke character. Listen, I said, I can’t cum in my pants in a strip club. Nothing against you. If I were gonna cum in my pants for someone it would be you. But it’s just not my thing. Keep doing what you’re doing. But I’m just telling you so you won’t be offended. She was grinding her naked cunt on my half boner through my jeans. All nude place by the 170 offramp. Ten dollar cover gets you one apple juice.
It’s OK honey, she said. She got up and put her perfect asshole in my face and stuck her middle finger all the way in it. Then she climbed back on top of me. I like anal, she said. If you couldn’t tell from what I just did there. Yeah, I uh, I inferred. She turned around and her back was sweaty and I wanted to get her 20 year old smell on me but it was just that fruity smell that strippers have. You do porn? I asked. No but I want to. Well listen, my buddy has a studio out in Rancho. You want to do a scene let me know. I bet a lot of guys tell you that shit but in my case it’s true.
Afterward she touched my I’m tall and I lift weights a lot stomach and gave me her number. I’m gonna go home and jerk off, I said. She said text me later and you won’t have to. Driving home I was so horny I was hypnotized. I thought I was a wizard. Did she mean fuck me for money or did she like me? She was 20, so hot that when she smiled with fucked up teeth I was relieved. Did she like me?
People are lonely.
I got home and punched her matronly Midwestern real name into facebook. She’s in a relationship with a man named Flo-Tronic. She’d been a foster kid in Illinois. Grew up in the exact same group homes as Nikol. What are the odds. I masturbated and forgot about her.
Tonight there’s a baby shower. The sort of event where one might Meet a Nice Girl in Real Life. But this will not happen to me. I’ll die alone, leathery old cunt that I am.