“FUCK am I inspired by this shit right here! ”
A particularly molten sun beams down on the skipping fool trolloping right on through the street fair, zero wind, now a cloud, the sweat flows like ugly rivers and smells twice as pungent but that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Color ain’t pretty unless it really leaves a stain, quoth Token; what better a day could there be for the annual art festival?! Forty-two years running, you bitch!
He’s screaming, Christ, he must want my attention! This guy here, well, this guy likes to pretend to be an artist!
“I AM GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING AMAZING TODAY!”
He certainly thinks so, that’s for damn sure! The general populous subconsciously parts like the Green Sea before Joses as he maneuvers through them a veritable stout shaking the tall grass as a rabbit takes its final fleeting breaths of pollen and nectar and whatever it is herbivores get up in the morning for, the stout doesn’t give a shit, that rabbit weighs as much as half the stout’s siblings combined and he’s about to eat the entire fucking thing in one shot because he can.
Unlike our little pseudo-artist here, who’s probably not going to do anything.
“Hey,” he burps, aloud, to the attention of everyone moving out of the way so they don’t get flattened beneath his purple slippers, “I can hear you, y’know!”
I do know that, in fact, because I let him! Anyhow, our little ‘man down there forgets this little conversation we just had and he makes it to the end of the road. A car tries to turn so he claps his hands and leviathan of sorts, a kracken before the pirates found that squid and misnamed it, a, a, fuckin, words, fuckin’, uhhhhhhhhhhH wermsork straight out’a The Æternal Grove makes caramel funfetti out of the ceramic roadway and takes the car for a trip down memory lane if you toke what I’m blowin’ here, suggestive emoji.
The ArTiSt, watching it all with sweat on his gills, walks down the sidewalk to where his car is parked. As he’s driving off, you’re realizing he never had to cross the street in the first place, and I’m conveniently ending this subchapter right here see now see here here here !
The drive is relatively uneventful. Relatively. Halfway back he realizes he’s only a quarter of the way there, then a multicolored beast of kaleidoscopic proportions and rivulets of what can only be solid glass streaming high from its wings as though it drew breath of such water describes itself to him from The Unkno’n. The kid just snickers, feeling all sorts of inspired.
The beat gets offended. It materializes instantaneously and crunches down on his bumper. The kid wasn’t wearing bifocals, and he still isn’t. A large red button extends from his dashboard and he presses, jams, hucks that fucking bumper right off the back of his jalopy and watches that otherworldly creature crash and burn like the meteors that originally destroyed the planet that produced it.
“OH… shit,” he says. “That was the last of its kind.”
He looks back. The beast is gone.
“Thank the Lord!”
This main character we got goin’ on here makes his fingers like a gun and points at the glove compartment. It’s open. It’s been open the whole time, because the jalopy is not new. He reaches in, grabs a cigarette filter – not a holder but a filter, a big difference – and bites down. Tobacco doesn’t grow on his side of Squirrelvale. Clouds like brushstrokes paint tracers through the ozone.
Damn, twelve hours and he still isn’t home! Dude’s homeless, or something like that. Why else would he have patches of that scraggy ginger shit growing out of his head shrubberies in the desert where the ancients built the machine and the city called the stars down from the heavens…?
“Man, I still remember that shit!” he says to the burning devilgrass he bought off that fool Brown and his black bird Zoltan. “What a moment in time, sheeeeee!”
He’s just saying that, he’s just pretending to remember as if to remind me he can hear me, oh, and for some weird reason, he’s not home yet.
So he gets home, right, and uh… well, we should probably let him decide what happens next.
He steps in, feeling all sorts of groovy. The shoes step off his feet, the socks crawl like wet anacondas, the hairs all wave in their follicles feelin’ wacky and inflatable.
The dude forgot the fucking print in the car.
“I forgot the car in the print,” he says and sweet fucking Christ he’s right, the car the dude drove home is actually in the painting! You can’t see it, but it sure is there. Why else would Hunter S. Thompson be looking so stressed?
What, was he on drugs?!
“Ain’t we fuckin’ all?”
Now, for the important part: where the fuck is he gonna hang this thing?
“Well,” says Main Character, “I’ll tell you where it’s not gonna go – overtop the Basquiat. Nah, but directly beside it… nahh, that might be taken to have symbolic meaning… oh here we go! He’s pulling tape, making loops, and the television screen has been successfully obscured!
“And now,” says the artist, “for the main event.”
Absolutely nothing happens. I told you, he only thinks he’s an artist. I don’t know what the fuck to say about this kid. He doesn’t know what to say about himself, to be honest. He does this a lot, this thing where he’s interacting perfectly normally with reality or Reality or Existence, whatever the ckuf you prefer me to call it right here now in this moment, see, and then he completely dissociates. Drops wholly into himself. The lights all go out, and his jaw often grows slick with drool.
Then, he starts narrating a story he’d like to write. Y’know, if he was a writer. An artist. Y’know, if he had a set of balls on him at all.
He blinks. No memory of who he is, where he is. What he is. Lookin’ around tells him he’s conscious, so that’s a start.
Oh, right, it’s the art festival. Kind’a fuckin’ hot but hey, what’s a stain if it doesn’t stink after you wash it four times, yeh? He gets up and walks into the booth/tent selling the psychephrenic paintings printed on some sort of paper, he’s sure, and buys the one hanging on the right wall, top left corner. Duke and Doc Gonzo burning through the fear and loathing on the hellish highway to Las Vegas. No wonder that devil grins from the back seat.
The painter wishes the squirrel well.
In return, “Do one of Charles Bukowski. Thompson needs the company.”
Based on a painting by Jon and David Swartz.