By Chuck Palahniuk
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor ISBN: 0-385-72092-0
Book design by Dana Leigh Treglia
EBook scanned & proofed by Binwiped 11-21-02
IF YOU’RE GOING TO READ THIS, DON’T BOTHER.
After a couple pages, you won’t want to be here. So forget it. Go away. Get out while you’re still in one piece.
There has to be something better on television. Or since you have so much time on your hands, maybe you could take a night course. Become a doctor. You could make something out of yourself. Treat yourself to a dinner out. Color your hair.
You’re not getting any younger.
What happens here is first going to piss you off. After that it just gets worse and worse.
What you’re getting here is a stupid story about a stupid little boy. A stupid true life story about nobody you’d ever want to meet. Picture this little spaz being about waist high with a handful of blond hair, combed and parted on one side. Picture the icky little shit smiling in old school photos with some of his baby teeth missing and his first adult teeth coming in crooked. Picture him wearing a stupid sweater striped blue and yellow, a birthday sweater that used to be his favorite. Even that young, picture him biting his dickhead fingernails. His favorite shoes are Keds. His favorite food, fucking corn dogs.
Imagine some dweeby little boy wearing no seat belt and riding in a stolen school bus with his mommy after dinner. Only there’s a police car parked at their motel so the Mommy just blows on past at sixty or seventy miles an hour.
This is about a stupid little weasel who, for sure, used to be about the stupidest little rat fink crybaby twerp that ever lived.
The little cooz.
The Mommy says, “We’ll have to hurry,” and they drive uphill on a narrow road, their back wheels wagging from side to side on the ice. In their headlights the snow looks blue, spreading from the edge of the road out into the dark forest.
Picture this all being his fault. The little peckerwood.
The Mommy stops the bus a little ways back from the base of a rock cliff, so the headlights glare against its white face, and she says, “Here’s as far as we’re going to get,” and the words come boiling out as white clouds that show how big inside her lungs are.
The Mommy sets the parking brake and says, “You can get out, but leave your coat in the bus.”
Picture this stupid runt letting the Mommy stand him right in front of the school bus. This bogus little Benedict Arnold just stands looking into the glare of the headlights, and lets the Mommy pull the favorite sweater off over his head. This wimpy little squealer just stands there in the snow, half naked, while the bus’s motor races, and the roar echoes off the cliff, and the Mommy disappears to somewhere behind him in the night and the cold. The headlights blind him, and the motor noise covers any sound of the trees scraping together in wind. The air is too cold to breathe more than a mouthful at a time so this little mucous membrane tries to breathe twice as fast.
He doesn’t run away. He doesn’t do anything.
From somewhere behind him, the Mommy says, “Now whatever you do, don’t turn around.”
The Mommy tells him how there used to be a beautiful girl in ancient Greece, the daughter of a potter.
Like every time she gets out of jail and conies back to claim him, the kid and the Mommy have been in a different motel every night. They’ll eat fast food for every meal, and just drive all day, every day.