Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two

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A feeling like I was being watched.

PREPPY “Hey! Get your ass up and come to the garage. We have something for you,” King boomed from the bottom of the porch. I sat on the front steps of fucking around with my new laptop. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“Looking up nude pics of your mom.”
“Turn off the porn and come with me,” he demanded.
“I’m not even looking at porn. Just checking to see what the fuck’s been going on in the world since I dropped off the face of it,” I admitted.
“Anything interesting?” King asked, putting a cigarette between his lips but not lighting it.
“Well, it seems I missed the election,” I said.
“For what?” King asked.
“Of what?”
“Of the United States.”
“Of what?” King asked, again.
I glanced up to see him smiling. He’d been fucking with me. “You’re such a fucker. I was starting to think all that tattoo ink seeped into your brain,” I said. “I thought I was the one who is supposed to have all the jokes.”
Bear appeared next to King. “We’re just filling in for you until after the surgery,” he said, firing a text on his phone and shoving it back into his pocket.
“What surgery? What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked, wondering if I’d missed something.
“You know, the one to remove your head out of your ass,” Bear said with a booming laugh.
I flicked him off. “I hope your kid doesn’t inherit your dick-headedness, in fact, you better hope it doesn’t get your looks either because you got nothing to offer in that department.”
“I actually agree with you there. The more the kid gets from Ti the better,” he said, looking less like the grumpy as fuck Bear I remembered and more like this weird happy guy who invaded his body. It was like watching one of those alien invasion shows and Bear was the product of some happy as fuck alien who decided to take up residence in his shirtless as fuck body. “But right now,” Bear continued. “I need you to get your fucking ass up and come to the garage. We have something for you.”
“What? Why?” I asked.
“Why? Because I fucking said so. Get up. Come on. Don’t be a bitch,” King said.
“I’ll be there, give me one second.” I pulled up the social networking site I’d been on when they’d interrupted me.
I’d told the truth when I told King I wasn’t looking at porn. My dick hadn’t exactly gotten the memo that I was alive just yet, but I had hopes for the fucker or else it was just a huge useless dead thing hanging between my legs about 60 years too fucking soon.
Glaring back at me from the computer screen was shiny black hair and dark almost black eyes. In her profile picture she was standing on dark sand behind grassy dunes, nothing like the beaches in the Logan’s Beach area. It was a candid shot. She wasn’t looking at the camera, instead she was looking off in the distance, the shadow of whoever took the picture was overlapping part of her face and immediately I hated whoever that motherfucker was who took the picture. Guy or girl. Maybe because it was obstructing me of a full view of her face or maybe it was because she looked so unguarded and I hated anyone who wasn’t me who’d gotten to see her that way.
She didn’t post that often. The sporadic pictures that were on her timeline were all dated several months apart.
I clicked on the ABOUT info section of her page.
“Come the fuck on!” King yelled out and thank God he was at the garage or my head would be swimming with the sound of his deep bellowing voice.
“Jesus fucking Christ you two!” I shouted back. Before I shutdown the computer I might have made Bear and King wait forty seconds more so I could hack into Dre’s Facebook account and updated her relationship status.
To married.
I wasn’t sure why the fuck I did it, but I was happy as fuck that I did. And when I walked out the front door and headed toward the garage to meet Bear and King it was with a big genuine fucking smile plastered all over my fucking face.
“God, I’ve fucking missed you, you’re so fucking beautiful,” I cooed, like I was talking to an infant. I lifted the triangle of broken mirror to eye level so I could get a more up close and personal look at the perfect lines of white powder, separated in picturesque rows on top of the glass. “Fuck, I think I’m tearing up... it’s been too fucking long, but that’s alright, we’re gonna fix that, right now. We’re gonna fix it so fucking good, baby.”
“You gonna snort that shit or fuck it?” Bear asked and both he and King laughed reminding me that there were two others in King’s studio besides me and the blow.
Bear was sitting on the floor with one leg pulled up so he could rest his elbow across it, his back against a bank of drawers that opened to one of King’s many toolboxes. King sat on a rolling stool with his elbow propped up against a built in counter space set back in the wall, a beer to his lips. My blow and I were taking up space on the middle cushion of the black leather couch meant to be a waiting area for King’s tattoo clients.
The studio was all brand new. Something King had put in when he rebuilt the garage and the garage apartment. It was small, but it was clean, and all the equipment was state of the art. A custom neon sign hung over the door on the inside. It was a skull wearing a crown and a bow tie. KING’S TATTOO that blinked from green to blue to red. With all the lights off inside the wall color change, reflecting a slightly different hue with every switch of the sign.
King had never needed to keep up the tattoo business, the money he made permanently marking the skin of bikers and spring breakers was only a fraction of what we made with the Granny Growhouses plus the other shit we always had our hands in. But as I looked around at the framed pictures of the work that King had recently done, I knew that he kept it up because it was a part of him.
The same way I was gonna fuck up some blow. Because it was a part of me. Or at least, it was gonna be.
“Come to Daddy,” I said. I held the rolled up bill to my nose and closed one nostril, leaning over I snorted up every last bit of the cocaine goodness. I sat back up, sniffling to make sure every last bit of white powdered goodness was as far up in my fucking brain as possible. I wiped my nose and it hit me harder than I ever remember it hitting.