Bus Stop

'Shooting Star' hand cut paper collage by Rachel Derum

Fiction by Mike McCorkle ℘ Art by Rachel Derum

‘Shooting Star’

It was getting dark man. It lasted thirty-six hours. Something like tat. It was fucking dark anyways. What were we doing? Just a bunch of fucking kids really. Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. A bunch of fucking kids. It was their first time, but I had some real shit, so I knew it’d be a good spin. Was it twilight? Summer? The dropper was broken – but nobody cared. So I spilled some on my god damn arm man, had to just let it set in. Big fucking deal. Am I right? Wrong. You can’t forget it was dark outside. You can’t forget that shit. And we were just kids. Anyways we left Sheila’s and headed to the park, starting to feel it. She had these weird back trails that ran all the way through the woods. I didn’t like any of them. Homeless hideouts. I don’t know man, we were just looking for a good time.  That shit started to hit me. And I am fucking G-O-N-E, gone mother fucker. Gone. Here I am supposed to be leading the group of idiots on their first big trip. I couldn’t see shit. Later I figured it was like my vision had not adjusted to the night from the chems, but at the time, I felt like I just went fucking blind. And it was dark man. I am not going to say I was scared, but they were. So the next thing you know man, I’m like screaming in the dark like a bad game of Marco fucking Polo for my friends. I was kinda freaked.  But then we all find each other in this fucking awful pitch black part of trail to the park. And come to find out they couldn’t see shit either. So that made me feel better. But then, for a split second, I felt like we were just a sorry fucking bunch of high kids sitting in a huddle in the middle of the woods. Strangers came. Thank fucking god. Some fucking strangers came and led us out.

‘The doors are few but precious’

Ashley’s was crisp. Like a fucking crisp dollar bill. That night we took something new. They were unstamped. But what the fuck? Like I have never. We all felt it. It was night outside. The air was warm. I couldn’t stop looking at Ashley. She was suddenly the only thing I wanted. I touched her hand and I felt some kinda static shit pull me in. So we held fucking hands for like four god damn hours. Now knowing me, that’s some weird shit because I didn’t even want to fuck. I just wanted to hold her god damn hand man, and feel that static. Weird shit man right? Anyways Terry came out that night and fucked Ashley’s gay friend. It was kinda weird because no one knew that about Terry and we all felt bad that he never told us before. And then we all sat on the back porch, looking out at the lake. And the fucking clouds were a castle in the sky, and when I looked at them damn things closer they turned like a zoo. Lions and giraffes and elephants. And then I looked at Ashley and Vinnie, and fucking even Jerrell, and they were all seeing it too. And that’s not normal shit man. People never see the same shit. They will lie and pretend they did, but that night that shit was real. For a few hours we stayed there. Then Terry started puking and choking on the drugs. But we were all so fucking stoked out that no one knew what to do. And then like Vinnie remembered that Jimmy Hendrix died that way or something, so we all got up and checked on him. He was fine. Or at least that’s what he said. Weird fucking night man. Anyways, it’s my stop.


So we were all drinking over at Vinnie’s and the cops showed up. I tried to run out the back, but fucking Christ man, when I flipped up the stupid crack sheet covering the glass door, old Johnny fucking law was standing there blocking the way. I ran back in and sat down in a corner. They came in of course. Started hassling us all. They kept asking ‘Who here is drunk?’ and all that shit. Of course everyone stayed quiet except me. I raised my had like a dumb fucking bastard. But they just ignored it. Weird shit right? Then they asked, ‘Who here has a fucking car and can drive like everyone home?’ And I, fucking wasted, raised my hand again. So they said, ‘Alright motherfuckers, load up with that guy and get you asses out here.’ Well they didn’t say the ‘motherfuckers’ bit, but the rest is true. So I drove everyone home. But on the way I lost track of the gas and we split the mail boxes coming out the neighborhood. Fucking shattered the windshield. Ashley got all cut up. But we took her to Vinnie’s and cleaned her up alright. Someone got my plates and they took my license. I wouldn’t have drove, but the fucking cops man. Lazy bastards. So now I’m here with you .

If you ask me he had it coming. So I didn’t feel too bad when I saw his face all smashed up. Vinnie had told Jerrell he would pick up the snow, so we gave him all our money. Four or five hundred. We got it stealing dvds from the corner market and selling them to the pawn shop on the other side. Anyways Vinnie was a piece of shit and took the cash, picked up the drugs, and made snow angels all night with the girls till the bag was nothing but numb licks and a piece of plastic. And I when I called Vinnie he just acted like a dumb bitch about it. Saying it was an accident, and shit was taken too far. And all the while my mom is fucking sick man, like I was going to use that money to flip and get her something real nice. She’s not too proud of me you know. I know she cries about it. So I needed those fucking drugs to get the extra cash, and then I would have been able to make everything all right. But fucking Vinnie. He’s not the kid I used to know. Not that kid anymore. And everyone knows Jerrell is crazy, so he fucking laid into Vinnie real hard with some brass fists and shattered his eye socket. I watched, and he kept hitting him. Vinnie cried and looked like a poor bloody sack of shit. I never saw him again. But if you ask me he had it coming. I mean man, I got a sick mom.


Yeah they just cut me loose. Cops picked me up for a little b and e. Big fucking deal. I know what you’re thinking, but I swear to god I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Terry. He said that all old folks get the good pain medication for like their arthritis and shit, so it was like a sure bet.  So we went in and found the stash hidden behind the only bathroom’s mirror. But old father and mother time came in just as we were leaving — and in my hurry, I fucking tipped over grandma and she got a bit banged up. You know man, I am not a bad guy, just hard times. You know my mom’s sick right? But me and Terry got out, no big deal right? Wrong. Johnny fucking law caught up to us in a dimes time and we were both penned up for three weeks till the pricks at county let us out on account we’re minors. Yeah, I know, I got a fucking record now, but that ain’t shit to me, just a file somewhere with my name on it.


Yeah man, I am sure I don’t want to talk about it. What the fuck do you want me to say anyways? Oh, my mom’s dead, how’s your fucking day going? You’re a piece of shit for asking me – you know that? Bastard. Talk to someone else today.

“I don’t really know what ever happened to the parties. I guess I don’t get invited anymore. “

I don’t really know what ever happened to the parties. I guess I don’t get invited anymore. Fucking growing up and shit anyways. Booze are for kiddies. I’ve just been plugging veins. I don’t really feel like I should tell you this, but it feels fucking amazing. Best fucking feeling in the world. I shouldn’t tell you that. But man, would I lie to you either? Sometimes I just feel so fucking heavy. Like I just want to fucking cry and die and burn it all away. But then a little prick and its okay. It takes you somewhere else, somewhere new. It opens my mind to all the possibilities. It’s kinda a good thing like that. I wish someone showed it to me sooner. That’s why maybe I am doing you a favor after all, you just can’t be a stupid fuck on it. Know your limits. It’s the dumb fucks that die, not knowing their limits and all.


I think I am in love. I know what you’re thinking, ‘a guy like you falling in love?’ Well man it happens to the best of us. I was just playing some guitar, riding the H train down at the lake, and here comes this girl. Curly hair, natural kinda chick, not my type at all, am I right? But she tells me to keep playing and just sits and listens. She watched me play, and for some stupid reason, probably the wind in my eyes, I cried. So I got up to leave real quick, and she tried to say something, but I left anyways. Two days later, I see her again. Come to find out she knows Terry so I invite her to come listen to us jam sometime. She comes over, and hasn’t left yet. She likes to listen to me play, and doesn’t blame me for being a fuck up, I think she’s a fuck up too. Her names Jess. Sometimes I think I love her so much I am scared of it. Scared that if I can’t lock her up she will find someone else better. I actually fucking hate this feeling I have. I kinda liked it better before, when I was just alone at the park, playing guitar and riding the H train.


I fucking hate it all man. I know you wouldn’t understand what it’s like for a guy like me? Not like you know what hard times are. I look around me and I just see all the bullshit. People walking around like zombies, eating up advertising and being brainwashed by the government. It’s like wake the fuck up and smell the coffee man. Enough is enough. I can’t even be a fucking musician without having to be a pre pop commercial sellout. Its fucking bullshit. Have you heard the music people play anymore? Have you heard the noise coming out of your radio these days? Fucking shit. Fucking guys like me starving and living week to week, while some asshole sits up in their glass tower, fucking getting richer, while we suck up their commercial capitalist bullshit. I wrote a song about it. Jess liked it. But I don’t fucking know about her though man. Lately she is up and down. Terry and me had to call the fucking ambulance last week after she sucked up a full load and wouldn’t move. I didn’t even know what to do really. I didn’t’ even want to call for help at first. Shock or something. She’s fine though, she’s back for now. Yeah, don’t hold your breath. Anyways I gotta split.

” He’s dead man. Don’t make me say it fucking twice.  I tried to wake him up after a binger. I fucking yelled and yelled, and he just lay there man. Cold and stiff.”

He’s dead man. Don’t make me say it fucking twice.  I tried to wake him up after a binger. I fucking yelled and yelled, and he just lay there man. Cold and stiff. I tried to move him from the bed to the tub, but he was hard to the touch and I dropped him on the floor. His bones cracked like ice.  I couldn’t get him back up and I just fucking collapsed. Jess found me there and called the cops, they took me in for questioning and sent me home with my methadone.  It should have been me. It was always supposed to be me. Maybe I am dead too. I feel dead. Jess hasn’t come around since. She said it’s my fault. Maybe it is. I was the one who told him how good it felt. But I wasn’t lying. His dad came over to get his things. He called me a piece of shit, and a bastard, and I felt like one. He punched me, and I let him. He beat the shit out of me really. I let him the whole time, watching his fists in slow motion, fucking waiting for them. Wanting them.  I wanted them to hurt, but I was so jacked up it wasn’t till the next morning that I felt the beating. I couldn’t even cry, and his parents wouldn’t let me attend his memorial. Like they fucking knew him, or loved him. Bastards. I was supposed to die, not Terry.  Don’t fucking give me pity though man, that’s not why I told you. I just thought you should know what a piece of shit I really am.


Yeah I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to afford the fare. Things are tight. I’m not getting the insurance from my mom anymore. I spent it. I fucking blew it really. I have been sleeping in the old trails by the park. It’s not so bad really. There are some nice guys down there. I am coming up though, and the food bank is only a few stops away. I still have my guitar, my music. Sometimes I play the corner, make a few bucks for another bump. It’s not so bad really. I am pretty sure I saw Vinnie at the park, he didn’t recognize me. Yeah fucking Vinnie right? He looked good. He had a kid with him and pretty girl. They looked pretty fucking happy. I went back into the woods and hid. Well, yeah I am pretty fucking ashamed, but your different. You already know I am a piece of shit. Anyways it’s my stop.


Next thing you know I am feeling empty as shit. I found out Jess is getting married to one of my old friends from before it all. Jess was supposed to be my fucking girl. I was supposed to fix myself, and make it all right. I can’t even hate her for it, because I love her that much. I know. I just need to forget her. But all I have is my fucking songs, and all they do was bring me back to it. I mean Terry is fucking dead, Jerrell got raided, all his shit taken, I lost my mom’s fucking house – I broke that promise, and Jess is getting fucking married. All my memories, gone baby gone. My stop.


Yeah you know how it goes. Anyone else from the old neighborhood I hear about is still smoking rocks. But I want out. I’m done man. And it’s not about the cold nights in the park. Even before that, I see now, there was never really anyone to love. Love – you know it’s just a chemical reaction too. Just a bunch of fucking chems. And that knowledge, my friend, that is freedom.  I tell you, I’m free man. Liber-fucking rated. It’s like art.  Music and shit. They’re getting me out.  And it does something for me. It’s like my music. It touches my fucking soul man. It makes me stronger. It heals. I think, shit man, there is more than this. I don’t know how to put words on it. I  know, weird shit right? But it’s like. Well it’s like my pain has a voice. It’s a part of me. Terry, and my fucking mom. You know? And that’s okay.  My mom always told me it’s never too late to change. I can do it different. I know it,  I can wake up tomorrow different. Crazy right?  But I’m gonna do it. Don’t laugh at me man, but if I can’t be happy in that, then fuck, I’m just here with you riding this bus.

See more hand cut paper collage by Rachel Derum  http://www.rachelderum.com/

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