Fiction, here----excerpt from a longer work in progress.
LOVE SONGS OF LOWER DOGTOWN
Excerpt from DOO-DAH DAYS IN MAMMON
Across the tracks is the southern quadrant and when the trains roll through all the neighborhood dogs howl in pain, creating a weird singalong with the train whistle.
Eventually the dogs will be looked upon as dirty and a nuisance and they’ll be abolished…I’m sure they’re working on an ordinance for that.
Ghetto hilarity is closing out down by the pool. The Pillar of the Community came by with her Taiwanese Boytoy, asking to use my pool pass. I gave it over because I never use the damn thing anyway---I look down at that thing and all I see is a big, blue toilet.
The Pillar only ever comes down here to freeload in the pool----I don’t see her down there now so perhaps the antics of the rednecks and the blacks have frightened her off.
Slumming for the convenience a cool rock to sun your scales on can become pricey when you’re having to deal with the rabble.
The late afternoon racket is typical. Marjory screams gossip across the catwalk and one story up to Cletus, whose days have become precarious indeed….not sure who he’s pissed off. Old girlfriend? Old gang? No clue but as I was shuffling off to work the other morning I found a dead King Snake curled up in front of his door, and all I could think was, fuck, was it really worth hurting some poor snake who was just minding its own goddamn business?
Night creeps in and booze and drugs flow---they’re working on an ordinance, to be sure, and the people of Dogtown need to forget…..they try to get over the weekly ration of abuse….they try to get over the snakes on their various doorsteps and they try to get over the ordinances that are currently being crafted against them.
The crazy fucks on the Bottom Floor in building C jump the fence even though the pool is closed….that would be Cactus Jack, that tallish blonde lesbian and her burn victim girlfriend and they’ve obviously been drinking all day and they’re hooting and hollering…. These petty acts of rebellion are short lived but diverting nonetheless….knocks come at the door as the night wears on and they’re all nervous-looking teenage girls looking for “Coach”. I don’t know who “Coach” is or what he might be coaching them in. Whatever he’s selling, I hope it’s something of value---there’s a wet-eyed little man next door who’s knocking back whiskey and he’s been playing “Brown Eyed Girl” on repeat all night long….I wonder if he’s their “Coach”.
The midnight comedy hour has an unseen voice down on the ground yelling,”come on, fat boy----take a swing!” There’s a ruckus down the way and a little brown dog runs out of Cletus’s place. She’s a local mutt who’s been infesting the whole complex with fleas. People take her in and feed her. Cletus has tried to spray paint an Anarchy Symbol on her belly in blue. “A” for a valiant effort but the dog’s having none of it….around 3 trouble breaks out on the top floor of Building A. Some ham-and-egger gets a gutful and he lays his old lady’s face open in front of god and any other poor son of a bitch who happens to be watching….she hits the catwalk face first in front of the toddler, who, predictably, starts bawling…..as it happens, multiple poor sons of bitches are present and numerous calls go out to the cops. Fifteen minutes later the cops are on the scene running around the catwalks with flashlights, but their boy seems to have fled the scene.
The socially responsible are aghast----have you seen the dirt that is Dogtown? The people are the scum of the earth---they fight, they drink, they drug and they probably don’t even recycle. Can I make a complaint to the Council of Neighborhoods? Can you please write an ordinance to deal with this? I’m afraid to go down there---those people are filthy----they use bad words and I’m afraid they’ll rape me.
Over the tracks is the southern quadrant and beyond the unison howls it gets worse….the rust cascades over manmade hills….people are living in abandoned air conditioner stores…unsightly enclaves…..decay….everything is old and discolored…..people….could you call them people? Shuffle the streets as if they don’t know where to go….there were attempts back in the day to pump the blood out of their bodies, heat it up and pump it back in with the hope of giving them lives, hopes and futures like everyone else’s….it cost too much money and was deemed a public waste.
Going up further there are prefab buildings, closed up shops and then the chain link fences that open up onto the expressway….. past that billboards, neon signs and radio towers….huge, blinking red-and-white tangles that look like giant electric tumbleweeds on the wasteland………