Cars — Short Story (unpublished) – Albert

There are no hills really in Las Vegas just a lot of crazy people. The crazies go there from other places. Plius, short for Pliusen, a name given to him by a father who had discovered mushrooms in the 1960s in Denver, had a thing now against cars.
In Las Vegas there is no real society. There are just people in cars. The famous Las Vegas strip is not a society. It is a tourist destination. It is not walkable. It is there for tourists only. A local would never go unless for some special occasion. A native Las Vegan like Plius was left with the society of automobiles.
He himself drove a Chevy nova, 1988, just enough air conditioning, just enough new paint sensibility but shitty enough to evoke a sense of dread in girls who might look Plius’s way accidentally. Vegas girls are famous in Vegas for being slow, dim-witted whores who live for the big bucks. Everybody knows this in Vegas. Plius himself knew it not to be true having grown up there, but it may as well have been for all the interaction with the fairer sex that he had.
Plius lived in East Las Vegas. This is close to Henderson, old Henderson which became Green Valley and suddenly lost it’s reputation for being the trailer trash capital of the world. Green Valley was like Summerlin only older; new stucco, neon shopping malls. Wonderfully new apartments and condos and houses that only those who move here from elsewhere can afford. It is a wonderful world if you can get it, but Plius couldn’t get it, working at the institute that he worked at. The institute was quite silly. The Institute for Furthering of Consciousness also known as the farm. At the farm, a unique situation for Las Vegas, he was the guy who dumpster dove at the health food superstore to feed the retarded men and women who made didgeredoo’s for sale all over the nation. The farm had flowers, corn, pumpkins, beets, squash, peas, tomatoes and lettuce. It’s owner was a fat cow of a man named Rumply, Jude Rumply, of Michigan, whose father Tom had once killed a man with a butcher knife while working at a butcher shop. Accidentally, of course. He made seven dollars an hour, but didn’t know what else to do with his life. This was good enough. The world was a world of cars.
Plius pulled into Michaels, a craft store, because he had to make Jesus out of a sock for a friend’s play about nonsense. He got what he came for, a white pipe cleaner that he would turn into a halo. He would cut a little of his hair off and make the beard and glue blue glitter on for eyes. At the counter an old woman rang him up as he stared at a nicely shaped woman looking at baskets one aisle over. All of these women were married or if they weren’t were taken by someone or if not taken by someone reserved for someone destinywise who would definitely not be Plius. Because he knew this he never initiated conversation. But they were there. The tall vixen at the thrift store who dressed like a whore, but perused alone 25 cent novels in the middle of the day, the girl who ate at the college coffee house, old enough to be considered a woman, but more still a teenager. The only difference was that older men like Plius, 32, could stare and she couldn’t totally dismiss him as a pervert. By that age she’s supposed to know how to deal with it. The pair of budding young nightclub vixens who walked nose to back almost in fear of their sexuality which had grown way beyond any turning back point. All these women disappeared back into their cars, first exiting through store doors to disappear forever, only to be replaced by another. At this breakneck speed Plius felt he would drown in possibilities that weren’t possible. Something would have to change. He would have to stop being shy or something.
The sun blinded his eyes as he exited Michaels so he put on the sunglasses he had hanging from his shirt. He walked across the driving path to his Nova. The car stank of old car stink and he threw the little bag on to the seat next to him. He cranked her over and pulled back, turning down the radio that he had left blaring when he’d gotten out of the car. The Cars were playing. Candy-O. A treat, a rarity for this particular Cars to be playing, almost as good as if All Mixed Up had been playing which was an obscure cut from that record. This put him out there, which was really in there which was nowhere really, back into traffic, back into the endless line of cars in the budding heat. Then the drive.
There was no desire to go anywhere, but go somewhere he must, back to the farm where the workers were all working and he had a little room and a day off where he could make Jesus. When he got there nobody was around. He parked the car in the parking lot. The gate latch was unlocked and he opened it and went to his bungalow, a four walled room with a window and an air conditioner. Good, nobody had seen him. He went inside, turned on the light and lay on the bed and looked up. What was it for? Leaves played upon the wall, sunlight moving around, form. Life wasn’t all about anything that he could do. It was all about all that he could not do. He did not like living like this, but it was all that he had. He could not help thinking that his solitude, his silence, his existential predicament were lost inside of these exteriors of the moving leaf and light on a wall. There was nothing anywhere. His mother had died. His brother hated his guts. His dad was there for him, but was involved in his own senior citizen world. Kay had left him for a guy with a boat. Brenda loved him, but wasn’t willing to take any more chances on his changing ass. Ally just lived off in some far away land holding a baby and a real live Jewish husband, which is astounding seeing how Greek she was.
Underneath these memories lived real silent void, air, black then blue then deeper blue then air again and nothing, never, to stand upon again, a lifting of the hope and then a realization that it would return downward into him, leaves again, light again, this solitary room, cars.

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Published in: on December 16, 2013 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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