Every time I get drunk,
I wonder how they did it, and who they were. I mean the
guys who figured out alcohol for the first time. Some day I'll
look it up on the Internet or
something. I guess it was an accident, like most other great
discoveries. Some grain or
fruit went to shit; Og the Cro-Magnon put it in his mouth anyway (I
imagine guys like Og
didn't really give a damn what they put in their mouth, as long as
it gave them enough
strength to go out in the evening, club some nubile Cro-Magnon hottie,
and drag her back
to the cave), and the rest is History. History that can't stand
up without wobbling a lot,
but History nonetheless.
At the moment, I'm not
all that drunk. A bit tipsy, yeah. But not shitty by
any stretch of the imagination. I've had a bit of wine, and I'm
in that giggly, happy stage.
There isn't a lot that bothers me right now. I'm in a fabulous
mood, thanks partly to the
My fabulous mood is also
a direct result of the glorious revenge I'm about to
unleash against That Fucking Whore.
Guys, you know the one I'm
talking about. There's always a "That Fucking
Whore" in a guy's past. The vile little skank who screwed you
over, stabbed you in the
back, and fled cackling like a hag into the cold, wet night leaving
you squirming in the
mud, flailing at the knife of infidelity she so discourteously left
sticking out from
between your ribs, just to the left of your spine. It's something
all males have in
common. Sad but true. Ask any guy, and you'll get one
after the other on the
same old story. Boy meets Girl, Boy gets Girl, Girl destroys
Boy. Men of Earth, we are
united in our unjust mistreatment at the hands of evil females.
The difference between most
guys and myself is the fact that I'm taking some
action to avenge myself. The difference is that I'm standing
in the middle of a muddy
field in western Kansas with my best friend, trying to set fire to
a rag stuffed into a
half-full bottle of Everclear, and that I'm about to hurl this bottle,
flaming, through the
back window of That Fucking Whore's deathtrap of a car. The car's
gas tank is full, and I
just spent twenty minutes soaking the upholstery in kerosene.
I've always wanted to blow
up a car, and now I'm about to. The way I see it, I'm killing
two birds with one stone
(well, okay, not so much a stone as a Molotov cocktail, but that isn't
really important): I'll
be getting revenge on that run-around ho, and fulfilling a lifelong
fantasy at the same
If I can get the damn fuse
This whole thing's been
a real adventure, lemme tell ya. I imagine that, by this
point, you've gathered that some chick's burned me pretty badly.
If you didn't pick up on
that, well, I guess you're the kind of person whose mother still has
to attach your mittens
to your coat sleeves with little bits of string. And I pity you,
I really do. For the rest of
you, some explanation is probably warranted. While I try to light
this thing, I'll fill you
The Whore (sorry, I guess
you'd like a real name- at this point she was still
Melissa, not Whore, Slut, Bitch, Filthy Ho, or any derivation thereof),
was visiting family
out of state for spring break. While I wasn't holding any grudges
or anything, I was pretty
miffed that I'd have to spend the week without her. Spring break
(more so than college
itself) is all about gratuitous nookie, booze, and illicit
Two of these I had
covered, but I was being forced into a week of celibacy. No
how much fun you
can have altering your body chemistry, nothing tops a solid night of
Considering what I was going to find out, I should have given
but I'm a decent guy. Cheating (for me, at least) was out of
the picture. Because I'm a
guy, I have to downplay the whole emotional aspect of the relationship
in public, and
freely give myself to the stereotype of Typical Sex-Crazed Male.
But just between you
and I, I was head over heels for Melissa. Before we hooked up,
I followed her around
like a little lost puppy, all the while trying to seem casual about
I thank my smoking habit
for the relationship. On the first day of classes, I was
sitting under a tree engrossed in a book when I was distracted by a
shadow falling across
the pages. I looked up toward the source.
"Hello," I said.
"Hi," said the owner of
the shadow, "any chance you can spare one of those?"
She indicated the smoldering ciggy between my fingers. "I'll
beg if I have to."
A stiff little breeze kicked
up just then. Several strands of red hair wandered out
of place and came to rest across the work of art which was this girl's
face. They were
repositioned habitually by a delicate pale hand, unadorned but for
a single band of silver
hugging one finger in a shiny, simple Celtic knot pattern. While
putting away the errant
locks, the girls head tilted slightly and allowed a puddle of sunlight
to spill across her
eyes. No ocean on earth, nor the sky blanketing this tiny planet
has anything on the shade
of unspeakably breathtaking blue that glittered there. The
of a second during
which her (amazing, piercing, brilliant) eyes and mine were locked
seemed, in my mind,
to last for something approaching eternity before the path of her hand
across her forehead
led my gaze further along. She placed the hair neatly behind
a perfectly shaped ear,
pierced with three silver hoops of decending size, and one tiny one
in the cartilage. The
hand dropped past her neck which possessed the same pale fragility
of her hand and face.
Around that was a simple beaded necklace, the type a younger brother
or sister would
bring home from a grade school art class or summer camp arts &
crafts group. The body
contained in her black strappy tank was slender, but in an appealingly
athletic way as
opposed to the unfortunate and disturbing Callista Flockhart
tantalizingly visible between the bottom hem of the tanktop and the
waist of her pants was enhanced by the two bright balls of a barbell
where I was sitting, her
khakis appeared to fit snugly in all the right places. The grass
growing beneath the tree
poked up around her sandals, poking from which ten rather adorable
toes could be seen,
adorned with a blue polish that almost matched her eyes. The
little breeze carried an
arrangement of scents from her body, and they washed over me like a
Obviously, I wasn't about
to turn down her request. Somehow, I convinced my
mouth to work properly. "Oh, sure." And then, without any
interference from my higher
brain functions, "Have a seat, please?" Later, I would come to
forward-thinking mouth for the abrupt invitation, which she accepted
with a simple (but
overwhelmingly gorgeous) little smile.
And so it went from
Melissa and I dropped into a close friendship with
about the same velocity as a penny dropped from the Empire State
into a crowded New York sidewalk. With relief that can be
terms, I quickly discovered she was single, straight, and just crazy
enough to really dig
my company. We got on really well with each other's friends,
had similar basic lists of
the best films and music, and disagreed on enough stuff to keep things
fresh. In the
months following our meeting, my initial lust gave in to a giddy
crush, and in
turn, the crush stepped politely aside for the big "L".
It was just after fall
at a Saturday night party that we stopped being just
friends, and took the big step into friends who've discovered what
one another's tongues
tasted like. By the same time the following evening, we'd
exchanged a lot more than just
saliva. Another day after that, we both professed our love
at the same time.
You could hardly ask for
a more perfect relationship. Great everything. Sex,
conversation, quiet times, great fun out and about, mingling with
We had our
occasional quarrels, but not many and not big. And making up
again, well, you know
how that goes.
So spring break rolls
and I've been on Cloud 9 for several months at a
stretch. Feeling that good for that long has got to have some
dire Karmic consequences, I
And, oh, how right I was
about to find I had been. Cut back to the final few days
of break. I'm at a bar with my best friend of ten years, Ted
Goldman. Tedd-o and I are
basically the exact same person divided in two. We're the
comic duo buddies
in every sitcom you've ever seen. So of course he's privvy to
the less macho sexist
personality lurking behind the manly façade I'm obliged to try
to project around the other
"Fuckin' hell, Ted, I'm
losin' my mind." I was saying above the din of an
overplayed Metallica track from the Jukebox. "D'you know what
it's like actually
sleeping alone? If she's there, I could fall asleep naked in
a pool of broken glass and fire
ants. Now I can't get five minutes straight in my own bed."
I pulled a long, creamy sip
from the glass of Guinness in my hand.
"Oh, poor little you.
Do you know how long it's been since I got laid? Huh? My
virginity grew back ages ago."
"Hey, you'd be getting laid
right now if you hadn't sent Shelene packing."
Ted jabbed emphatically
at me with the glowing tip of his cigarette. "That little
girl is a psychotic break waiting to happen. No sex in the
"Even that night that broke
my desk chair and altered the carpet forever? That
story's the stuff of legends," I said around an unlit cigarette as
I patted my pockets for my
Zippo. I found it, flipped, flicked, and lit, and dropped it
back into the pocket it came
from. The puff of smoke billowed and dissipated into the murky
air of the bar. I took a
drag and ashed almost into the ashtray between Ted and I. "I've
personally had nights
like that one, and I'd say they're worth a lot of shit."
"There's a line, man.
She crossed it, and then came back and spit on it. Then she
lit it on fire and flipped it off. Nuts, man. Just plain
nuts." He dropped the last contents
of his glass down the gullet. "I need another beer."
"Yeah, same here.
Get me another one of these, will ya? I gotta pee." I
my glass and threw a few dollar bills onto the counter.
"Sure. Have fun.
But not too much, or you'll get arrested."
"Thanks for the
I left the bar and pushed my way through a crowd of
obnoxious frat guys trying to score with some pretty flaky blondes.
I peed copiously, perusing
the graffiti on the walls, washed my hands, and headed
for the door. My hand was just brushing the handle when the door
flew at my face. I
dove out of the way as Justin came barreling in. Justin's a guy
from my floor, and knows
Melissa from their hometown. They're not much more than friendly
he and I are fairly good friends.
"Oh, good. Ted said
you were in here. Look, we gotta talk," he said.
"What can be so important
that couldn't wait till I was done peeing?"
"It's about Mel.
let's go sit down. I'll get you a beer." This really got me
concerned. Something about Melissa bad enough for Justin (a
cheapskates) to offer laying out cash for someone else's booze.
"What the fuck's going
Is she okay?" I said, my panic increasing. Was she
dead? A car accident? Had she been raped? My head was
like a turntable as
Justin grabbed my sleeve and drug me back to the bar where Ted and
I had been sitting.
Before I had said a word, Justin began to spill it.
"Look, I really, really
hate having to be the one who tells you, but we're friends,
and well, I thought it was my responsibility and all, and, well, it's
like this. Okay, this
friend of mine back home, he goes to school in Colorado so you don't
know him, but he's
a real good friend of mine, well, anyway, he was at this party last
night, and Melissa was
there. Well, some guy, who I kinda knew, but not really well,
but I know he and Mel
dated for like a month, had this Polaroid camera and he was goin'
I guess at some point Mel and another guy Greg who's always had a thing
disappeared into one of the bedrooms. So my friend and the
guy decide to bust
in on them and surprise them with the camera. See, Polaroid guy
really hates Mel. He's a
kinda whackjob. Too much coke or something, which is why she
dumped him, coz he's
just outta his mind, basically. Well, the guy got off a bunch
of shots before the dude Mel
was screwing got him out. So anyway, my friend managed to grab
some of the pics and
emailed them to me. God knows why, guess he thought I'd like
to see Mel naked or
something. He's weird like that, but he isn't a total asshole
or anything, just a warped
sense of humor and...dude? Look, I'm..." By this point
I'd stopped listening. My head
felt light, and my vision blurred as blood drained from my head.
The volume of the bar
noise faded out. The cigarette I had lit had dropped from between
my fingers and was
somewhere on the floor, but I didn't really care.
"She was... she was..
No. Aww, fuck, no, man..."
Justin had stopped talking,
and was just staring at me intently, a look of genuine
concern painting his face. "Look, I'm really sorry. I
am. But I saw the pictures, it's
true. She was fucking around on you. I didn't wanna have
to tell you, but I thought I had
to. I'm sorry."
My stomach balled up on
itself, creating an ultra-dense ball in my abdomen, like
a black hole that was sucking my heart and soul toward oblivion.
My head thonked onto
the bar as I pressed my fingers into my temples. Should I cry
or scream? I wanted to
break something, I needed to do something, but I just sat there with
my head on the
counter, pressing the sides of my head to relieve a pressure that
I felt Ted's hand grip my
shoulder, a gesture that said "I feel for ya, and I'd hug
you, but we're guys, not to mention we're in a bar." To me, he
said, "Let's get out of here.
We can get a case of suds and some green. We'll go get fucked
up somewhere, arright?"
Speaking toward my feet
I said, "I wanna see the pictures first."
"Oh, man, that's not a good
idea. You really don't wanna see that shit," said
"I wanna see the damn
alright? I gotta see it myself."
The ride back to our dorm
was a blur. I just sat there, feeling whatever it was I
was feeling. Some sort of deadly cooperation between devastation,
anger, betrayal, and
numbness. Justin kept trying to talk me out of seeing the
right up to the point
when they appeared on my computer screen. There were four of
them. Two people, dark
room. Their bodies and the bed starkly lit by the glaring flash,
frozen in a vulgar, half
naked tangle of flesh. The guy's pants were around his ankles,
his shirt still on. Melissa's
shirt was off. Her bra, a silky dark blue number and my favorite,
was pushed up so her
breasts were exposed. Her pants and panties were God knows
carelessly on the floor. In the sharp white glare of the flash,
her face looked ugly, twisted
into a frown, mouth half-open in surprise at the intrusion.
I wanted to puke, but
The last picture showed
the guy halfway across the room, pulling at a sheet to
cover himself. The guy who'd sent the pictures had pasted a
yellow smiley face
over the guy's crotch. In the dark, underexposed background I
could see Melissa still
flopped across the bed, fully exposed, no sheets available for her
to cover herself. I sat,
silently staring into the frame at the love of my life, while the
black eyes bore into my skull.
And that's when the anger
came. I was still sad and upset and all that, but more
than anything, I was filled with the type of rage that makes people
climb up bell towers
and open fire. I knew then that the anger was going to stick
around for a while. It wasn't
going anywhere anytime soon, so I decided just to enjoy it. Few
things are as enjoyable
as righteous anger.
Justin and Ted managed to
drag me out, and the three of us spent the rest of the
night and well into the following morning getting baked and
We spent the long
hours badmouthing ex-girlfriends and women in general. One of
the best ways to bond
with people is through mutual dislike of something.
Ted was on the floor, and
I was in the spare bed in Justin's room when we came to
that evening. After a few minutes of hard thinking, I remembered
we'd come back to his
room when the weed and beer was gone. Justin wasn't there, but
he'd left a note
requesting we lock up when we regained conscousness.
Once we were able to walk,
we headed for Perkins for some cheap, substandard
food, and there, it was agreed upon.
"I want revenge, Ted.
God knows I'd like to slap her around a bit, but I really
couldn't get away with that. It'd be all whining about violence
aainst women and blah
blah blah. No one'd understand that she deserves a good bruise
or seven. I mean, had a
guy betrayed me so horribly, nobody'd care if I beat the everloving
shit out of him. Many
would applaud me. But lay a hand against a woman..."
"But you can't let her get
away with this unpunished," Ted finished the thought.
Lighting a cigarette I said,
"No. I guess I could resort to either vandalism or
blackmail of some kind. But blackmail takes planning and time,
and I just want some
immediate gratifi-fucking-cation." I glared out the window at
a happy couple walking
hand-in-hand into the restaurant.
"So vandalism it is?
What'd you have in mind?"
"Why not fuck with her
That's mean enough, don't you think?"
"We could steal it.
Dump it in the river," I mused, rolling the cigarette around
between my fingers. "Or better yet...blow it to Kingdom Come."
Ted's eyebrows arched.
"Oooh. Sounds like fun."
"So it's a plan? We'll
steal it this evening, drive out west for a few hours, find
somewhere isolated, and torch the little rustbucket? You could
follow me in your car.
We drive all night tonight, blow it up, get back Saturday, and watch
the fun from a
distance when she gets back Sunday afternoon."
"Let's do it."
And so, at
6pm that evening,
I found myself jimmying open Melissa's car door.
This proved all too easy. The ancient Ford Escort was already in a
precarious state, so
hotwiring it wasn't a problem either. We'd planned everything
strategy, you name it. I even wore gloves, to prevent any errant
fifteen minutes, we were off, headed west. We even took a set
of those little walkie
talkies they pimp to families on vacations, so we could chat between
the cars. It began to
rain about an hour before we stopped at a field in the middle of
And so we sat,
smoking some more schwag and tossing back booze for a while, having
multiple canisters of kerosene we'd purchased (at quite a large
actually, but this
was worth the money). We'd also stopped to top off the Escort's
tank. After we'd
enjoyed our booze and green, we went to work dousing the inside with
the Kerosene, and
stuffing the cushions, glove compartment, and ashtrays with M80's and
So here I am now, we're
all up to date on shit, and I'm growing pretty frustrated
with this lighter and fuse. I curse its existence. Every
second of delay increases our
chances of getting caught.
"God damn it!" I
"Ted, toss me another lighter, will you? And get that
towel out of your backseat. We'll just redo the fuse."
This works. The fuse
goes up, and I hurl the large bottle from as far a distance as
I think I can make. Ted brings up the video camera we've brought
to document the event,
aims at the car, and bolts in an awkward sideways motion. We
hide behind a hill, where
Ted's parked his car, and zoom in on the Escort.
By this time, the entire
inside is brightly ablaze. I didn't have time to sit and see
what the initial effect of the cocktail was, but that's what the camera
is for. The fire
blazes brightly in the night, and is bound to attract attention pretty
quickly, even though
we're in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night at 2:30 am.
the fireworks go
off, and the car is being shredded from the inside out.
It happens without
A massive concussion, a brilliant flaming tower of
orange lifts the car a short distance before enveloping it in a
of vengeful fire.
Exhilarated, we watch for a few more minutes, and then dive into Ted's
car, still filming,
and floor it back to the main road. I only stop the camera when
the ex-car is reduced to a
glowing pinpoint even on maximum zoom. Then I fade it to black
and cut the camera.
Miraculously, we aren't
stopped all the way back to school. We burst into our
room, weary, but still buzzing from adrenaline, still laughing at our
triumph. We roll the
recording back and patch it through Ted's 32 inch flatscreen TV.
The quality of picture is
surprisingly excellent, even for a digital camera. The video
gets played back several
times, and even in slow motion at many crucial, wonderously pyrotechnic
Soon, we decide to hit the
hay. We both drop off into sleep immediately. I have
never felt so viciously gleeful in my life. I feel so vindicated,
so...so right. It serves that
bitch right for screwing around on me, yes it does. And I never
have to let her know it
was me. I'll play things out when she gets back. Play it
cool. I have no knowledge of her
infidelity at all, and certainly no knowledge of her absent
I am perfect. I am as
God in my wrathful vengeance.
I am waking up to a pounding
on my door. A blurry glance at the clock tells me
it's 4pm. I stumble groggily to the door, rubbing my eyes.
Unlock, fumble the knob,
open, "Oh. Hi, Melissa. Back already?"
She's in tears. In
a panic. Deep down, I feel warm. She is wracked with
guilt at her misdeeds. She cannot bear this guilt. She
falls into my arms, weeping.
"God, I tried to call you
all weekend, you never answered, didn't you even check
your machine, oh god, I needed to talk to you so bad..." She is cut
off by her own
"I haven't been in the room
for like, three days, Mel," I say. I never call her Mel,
because it sounds cheap. She doesn't seem to pick up on the
prod. "I'm sorry. Did
"I tried to stop it, I
but, but...I think there was something in my drink at this
party, and he, he Jesus christ, I'm so sorry, I couldn't stop him,
Ohhhh, shit. The first
thought through my head is she's trying to come clean
about fucking some other guy, but lying about it at the same
Then I realize she
couldn't possibly be faking this, and that she's a terrible liar
command from my brain, my arms begin to drift up to wrap her close
"Jesus christ, he raped
me. I tried to stop him, but I couldn't, I couldn't even move
hardly, or think, but I tried and I couldn't make him stop. I'm
sorry, I'm so sorry..." She
lost it completely then, and for the next several hours, before lapsing
into an exhausted
sleep in my arms on the bed, sobbed and cried wordlessly. Ted
had, bless him, politely
excused himself almost immediately, leaving me alone with my scarred,
girlfriend, whom I'd basically watched being raped in front of my own
eyes, and whose
car I had just blown to smithereens in a rainy field in western Kansas.