Note: So here it is, the highly anticipated (I hope) follow up novel from the author who brought you Deryck vs. the Emo. The plan is to put up a chapter a day for four days to get you started, then we will go to weekly updates of one to two chapters, but you have to remember I NEED FEEDBACK. Feedback is what keeps me inspired and what keeps the words flowing consistantly. Deryck had a lot of dry times, months at a time without updates. I can promise that won't happen this time but you guys gotta let me know if you are enjoying what you see.
So without further ado let's get it going.
Part 1: D.R.E.A.M.
1 ~ Timebomb Generation
August 15th, 2011; 8:19 A.M.]
Lakeside Apartments District, Oakland, California
Oakland was really going to shit, Tyler concluded as he stood on the balcony of his studio apartment, a can of Mountain Dew sweating all over the palm of his left hand in the heat of the mid August morning. The balcony overlooked a parking lot where there sat many cars, waiting idly for their owners to file in like drones and drive them off to their nine A.M. punch cards. There were only two people standing in the lot; a tall, lanky, and timid looking adolescent that couldn't have hit his teenage years yet, and a much older boy that was way too white to have donned the giant saggy blue jeans and oversized white hoodie that he was dragging along with him. Was this kid retarded or something? It was already pushing eighty this morning, by noon it would be triple digits, so to wear long sleeves at all was to flirt with a heat stroke. Another tragic story of fashion versus function, Tyler thought with a chuckle that he kept to himself.
As for him, well, he had no problem whatsoever standing out on his balcony, in plain sight, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts. After all, if a man couldn't be seen by complete strangers in his underwear, then what could a man do? Sure, it wasn't the best uniform to throw on in case of a drive by shooting, but there hadn't been one of those in almost a month, and who does a drive by shooting at a quarter after eight? He decided a moment later that he didn't want to know how far from reality that idea was. After all, Oakland was going to shit.
He took a sip of his drink and watched as the kid with the hoodie very overtly took a small bag and slipped it to the lanky kid in exchange for some crumpled up bills. They turned and began in opposite directions, acting as if they didn't know each other.
Tyler sighed. What ever happened to the days when being inconspicuous about one's drug dealing was a ninja like art that people tried to master? Nowadays subtlety was a dead language like Latin or French, but why bother covering your tracks when the police were scared to even maintain a presence in your neighborhood?
And why was this twelve year old buying drugs anyway, did he run out of Hot Wheels cars? Tyler could only hope that it was because the lanky kid's dad was too inebriated to make it to the deal himself and sent his son instead, and that said twelve year old did not actually plan on smoking, popping, sniffing, snorting, or shooting whatever was in the bag. Wishful thinking, but Tyler knew better. Twelve year olds on drugs were a dime a dozen. Whatever was in that bag wasn't strong enough for Tyler to rationalize his way out of the inevitable. It didn't look like pot, but it also didn't look like coke or dope, so it was definitely pills of some kind. Probably ecstasy, that was a safe middle ground to bet on for a twelve year old.
Sad really, Tyler thought as he drank some more soda. He looked at the can and thought of the time when fifty five milligrams of caffeine per can was the hardest drug that kids did. Last year a nine year old overdosed in the parking lot. A nine year old, a fucking nine year old, and a dozen other kids between that age and adulthood. Then again, if Tyler's dad hadn't taught him so much about drugs and how not to kill yourself with them, he very well could have made it a baker's dozen.
He watched the other kid as he strolled away, overly nonchalant in a way that made it very clear that he was inexperienced and nervous. Even without that enormous sweatshirt the kid would probably still be frantically sweating, the poor sap. At first he thought that maybe this clown was a new recruit for the Goriolla or Schwarz families, the two families notorious for trafficking drugs around this general area. This apartment complex was right on the borders of both territories, technically on the Goriolla side of the fence but it didn't stop a Schwarz dealer from sneaking in every once in a while to make a quick buck. Tony Goriolla was basically your typically mob boss, sitting on top of a hierarchy of goons and guns and pimps and all that fun stuff. No one in this city was higher on the social ladder except the mayor, but since more than a quarter of the mayor's campaign donations last year came from ol' Tony himself, even that was now in question.
Tyler was less familiar with the Schwarz family, because let's face it, who knew that German's could sell drugs? Maybe they weren't even German, they could be Swedes or Russians or any ethnicity with funny last names involving excessive consonants. Once in a while he'd see one, they all basically looked the same. Pale skin, crew cut, three piece suit with black tie, sunglasses at any time of the day to hide those baby blue eyes that just weren't intimidating enough. They didn't have a Tony character to front the organization, it was more like a group of delegates or something, Tyler didn't even know. Leave it to those guys to ruin the anatomy of a good old fashion mafia.
The kid selling drugs in the parking lot probably had no idea what he was getting himself into, Tyler thought with a shake of the head. If either family got word of what he was doing they would probably send someone to kick the everloving snot out of him. They wouldn't kill him, well, probably not, just send a message is all. The last thing Tyler needed was to see another innocent naïve kid gunned down in the parking lot in front of the complex. That happened almost as often as overdoses, but what else could one expect considering that Oakland was going to shit?
A girl walked past Tyler's balcony on the sidewalk in front of him. She was scantily clad in torn up fish nets and a loose fitting halter top that revealed all the right peaks and valleys. Her low slung jeans receded enough for the black strings of her thong to creep out and her platform boots gave her the extra inch of height to throw the whole 'crash and burn' look together.
"Hey Julia," Tyler said, his voice choked and hoarse, as he realized that these were the first words he had uttered today. He took a long swig of soda. Julia was one of dozens of hookers that operated out of this apartment complex by night, so Tyler could only assume that she was returning from an evening out bringing home the bacon. A few pimps tried to build a small empire here and there, but it wasn't a good business because the competition from free lancing prostitution was so high. "How was your night?"
Julia turned and looked up at Tyler with mild infatuation. "Well hi there sexy," she exclaimed. "I guess I can't complain. It's not every day I get to walk home and see you half naked on my way."
Tyler's face twisted up, he had forgotten about that, but maybe it would have been a bigger problem if he had shame. While prostitution in general repulsed him, he couldn't deny that Julia was genuinely a nice girl. Something about her dark eyes, fair skin, and brown hair drawn into pigtails made her seem almost like a real person. She still had a faint trace of southern accent from wherever her family moved from during the gold rush. "Now you know how I feel every morning when I see you," Tyler responded with a chuckle. He had to go out of his way to take the sting out of his voice so it didn't sound like he was making an ill intended stab at her.
"You know you like it," Julia replied with a quasi-seductive grin, "maybe someday we can fix that 'half' part." As she said this, she licked her lips and then ran her tongue over the flat part of her teeth, the devilish smile never faltering.
This made Tyler laugh whole-heartedly. "Julia, I don't know if I could handle you totally naked, to be honest," he confessed, drinking more Mountain Dew as the tips of his cheeks started to take on a slight pinkish tone. "I've always been more of a dinner and a movie type of guy anyway."
Julia also allowed herself to laugh, and her laugh was much more candidly southern than her words. "Well hun, we'll see how long you can stick to that story. I'm off to go to sleep though, long night. Maybe I'll catch you in your underwear again tomorrow morning."
"We can only hope so," Tyler nodded, "take it easy."
Only in Oakland could Tyler stand out on his balcony and share small talk, including terrible flirting and sex jokes, with a prostitute before his workday began. And if there was any irony in the situation it was in that there wasn't any irony in the situation. If that wasn't a telltale sign that Oakland was going to shit, Tyler wasn't sure what was.
Tyler also wasn't sure what it was about him that attracted so much attention from that particular girl, since most girls, prostitutes and non, usually ignored him. That didn't surprise him, he owned a mirror after all. He knew he was too skinny, too pale, and had too many tattoos on virtually every surface of his body to draw attention from the typical Hollister going chick, but that was basically the point. Who wanted to deal with that sort of shit? Not that prostitutes were likely to be any better, and it was at that point that Tyler lost his train of thought.
Tyler finished his soda and tossed the can off the balcony for the grounds keepers to clean up later. He dragged himself back into his apartment, running his fingers through the shiny black hair that was starting to reach his collar, and began his typical pre-work ritual. First he scoured the apartment for the first wrinkled up t-shirt he could find, one that he either bought at a punk rock show or shoplifted from the mall, and a pair of pants to go with it. This time it was his torn up, timeless camo pants and a Mouth Sewn Shut shirt that was beginning to fade with age. Next he hastily brushed his teeth and used a tasteful combination of deodorants and body spray to ensure that he didn't smell like crap, but just as importantly, that he didn't smell like an Old Spice factory either.
Lastly, he did what he made sure to do before every shift; he rolled two joints. One for before work and one for halfway through his shift. This week was turning out to be a fantastic work week because the bag he had been smoking was the best bud that money could buy, for the price. When his dealer, a real joker who went by Bones, told him this the first time it seemed like an oxymoron of sorts. Only after it had been thoroughly explained did Tyler get it. This was the dankest chronic that Bones sold for the base rate. If it was any better it would have to be sold as KB, or killer bud, which was much more expensive. Not just anybody could walk into Bones apartment and leave with a bag of this stuff, but Tyler was not just anybody.
With two fatties now in hand, Tyler went back to the balcony and sat on the lawn chair that he kept out there. He stuffed one in his pocket and held the other one between his lips while he whipped out his lighter and put the end ablaze. He inhaled the smooth hit and held his breath, perfect. No one could wrap a joint so it would hit as nicely as Tyler could. As he held his breath he reached for his socks, which were conveniently lying right at his feet where he had left them the night before, next to his shoes. As he was pulling on the second one he finally blew the smoke out into the air above the parking lot. In the winter he could hide the fact that he was smoking because it looked like his frozen breath. In the summer he just had to bank on the fact that no one gave a shit.
He took another hit and laced up his shoes. Beat up canvas skate shoes with holes worn in them from use, they were so wrecked that he couldn't even skate in them anymore. People always asked why he didn't buy a new pair of shoes, Tyler always answered that he had several, but none were as comfy as these. The obvious exception was when there was rain or snow, since they kept out about as much water as the New Orleans levies. He exhaled more smoke and tried to decide if a Hurricane Katrina reference was too cynical when talking about his shoes. Before he could reach a satisfying verdict he decided that he didn't care. Somebody lacing their shoes in New York City at this very moment was probably making a backhanded reference at Oakland's expense, since Oakland was going to shit and all.
Tyler smoked the rest of that joint for all it was worth, and by the time he was done he had a good buzz going. He wasn't doing involuntary double takes just yet, but he had no worries and felt like everything was okay, including Oakland and all its drug traffickers, pimps, prostitutes, corrupt government officials, gangs, mafias, and whatever else he may have forgotten to make mention of. That, and he was hungry, which brought him to the last part of his morning routine.
He tossed the roach off the balcony and returned inside where he poured himself a bowl of cereal. Frosted Mini-Wheats. It was always Frosted Mini-Wheats, always, because if it wasn't Frosted Mini-Wheats then it wasn't bringing its inferior ass into Tyler's cereal bowl, no sir. He ate quickly like he always did and drank the milk out of the bowl faster than a cat that had just escaped from a concentration camp. Punctuality wasn't a big concern with his boss, but he tried to be on time anyway, and today he was cutting it down to the wire. He tossed his dishes in the sink, got up and made his way to the door, stuffing his keys, phone, and wallet in his pockets as he did so. His hand was on the knob when he suddenly stopped and turned about face.
The suitcase he was supposed to take to work today was still on the table, nearly forgotten in Tyler's hurriedness. He walked back to the table, spun the suitcase around so it was facing him, and popped it open.
Yep, everything was still accounted for. Four ounces of coke, half a pound of grass, two ounces of kb, sone dope, an ounce of magic mushrooms, enough sheet acid to make Chuck Norris cry, all conveniently confined to a twelve by eight by three suitcase.
He shut the suitcase and whisked out the door. Yep, Oakland was going to shit alright, but damn was it good for business.