a degenerate’s manifesto

a degenerate’s manifesto: chapter 14

Every day was exactly the same.

I’d wake up around noon. There’d be stale coffee in the pot. You could reheat it and lump in enough sugar and milk to kill the dead taste of preservatives and chemicals. Or make a fresh cup, at least as fresh as instant coffee could be. It usually depended on when payday was.  Or on how hung over you were.

If I could stand it, Foley would be on my couch. I figured I owned him at least a tough old sofa and dirty blanket. He didn’t like to be at home anymore since his mom and Jerry the Mechanic had become less than subtle about their love tryst. Something about hearing your mother scream in sexual ecstasy that makes it hard to get in eight hours on a weeknight.

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a degenerate’s manifesto: chapter 11

“He’s fucking my mom, I know it.” Foley finished his beer. Signalled for another.

Chris scoffed. “How can you think about something like that?”

“People fuck. My mom is people. Easy, man.”

“How would Jerry even know her?” Chris was often purposely aloof, always leading Foley by the nose.

“Cause I invited him over to dinner. She wanted to meet him.”

Jerry was the mechanic and body shop guy Foley was apprenticing with. He was almost sixty, battled gout, and made inappropriate comments about the underage girls who passed by on the way to the coffee bar a block over. Sometimes he’d wander out front for a cigarette, always with a wrench. He’d toss it to the ground. “Help an old man grab his tool,” he’d ask, and you knew he was referring to his dick because of course he was referring to his dick.

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a degenerate’s manifesto: chapters 7 &19

CHAPTER 7: PUNK ROCK

I kept it under my bed next to a He-Man lunchbox and loose collection of dirty magazines. Had my mom stumbled on either of my three treasures, I deduced it would bring an equal amount of discomfort and anxiety, though I could have probably explained away the Hustlers. Had she opened said lunchbox, well the dime bag and cocaine-y piece of glass would have been a little more difficult to justify, though to my mother, probably somewhat less than why I had my father’s 1959 Fender Stratocaster tucked under an old blanket.

The case was pristine. It was a sort of metallic black that shimmered in light, a single peace sign sticker centered on the back. It had two clasps, each with its separate three digit combination lock coded 666 and 420- hey, I never said the man was clever- and between them, a silver engraving with my father’s name and my mother’s (our) phone number on it. The velvet lining inside was soft to the touch. Under the neck was a box for picks, capo, tuner, rolling papers and a lighter, all of which were included. The strap was handmade and smelled like a freshly deadened cow.

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FURTHER excerpts from an unfinished novel

In 2009 I was really good at staying up all night while drinking beer and writing short stories. Over one particularly productive weekend, I scraped together 130 000 words about a guy who decides to drink himself to death after he accidentally causes his best friend to be murdered by methamphetamine dealers.

It’s juvenile, crass and tries too hard. Below are two chapters, unedited and out of context.

Finish your novels, kids

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