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Apathy, Chapter 11 Lights, Heaters, and Cartoons

December 23, 2018

Brandy stood in her backyard in a myriad of emotions. She looked out at the rudimentary tiki torches and tables her parents had set up. She didn’t know what to expect but was shocked by the vast amount of people that they must be expecting. She patted her back pocket, it’s still there, it was her cell phone. She kept it on her just in case the world decided to start working again.

“Hon, you’re standing on the stage area,” Brandy’s father had said as he dragged what looked like a large piece of plywood. “There we go,” he strained as he placed the stage down.

“How are any of these people going to hear you? There’s a table all the way in the back by the fence,” Brandy asked with a roll in her eyes.

“It’s not that hard,” Brandy’s father assured her. “Like how we tipped over the fridge and filled it with ice. We gotta adapt. It’s not that hard.”

“For you! I don’t know life without technology, I didn’t know that it could go away.”

“Neither did I, but see. People are amazing at adapting. Look how we are!”

Brandy’s mother walked into the room and asked, “Do you think he’ll bring that many people?”

“I don’t know, but I have a feeling that he’ll bring more. Like some people might have to stand.”

Brandy exclaimed, “Jesus-”

Her mother smacked the back of her head and said, “Stop it, don’t use his name in vain.”

“You can’t decide that for me, I’m your daughter, but I can choose what I-”

“If you aren’t going to join us in our church, then you can just go out on the streets.”

“Ughhh… you people are discouraging! I need f- music!” Brandy screamed and walked away towards her room. “I can’t handle this!” She slammed the door behind her wanting her life back. She looked at her vanity and knew the state of her make up. She’s almost out of foundation, and she has no money. She debating getting a job, but felt that she wasn’t made for physical labor. I’m a pretty gi- I’m a beautiful woman. What kind of jobs would be out there? Groceries? She supposed that it would have to be walking distance… she never learned how to ride a bicycle. Bikes are for boys. She didn’t even know how to apply for a job.

So, Brandy did what Brandy does best. She got pretty. She covered her blemishes, poorly, tried on just about everything in her wardrobe, and applied the most uncomfortable shoes. Her mindset was a big fat fuck you to mom and dad.

She had no trajectory, and she had one goal in mind. I’m getting a fucking job. 


Daisy was asleep as Albert took an old sewing kit and somehow found a way to take ten thousand hundred dollar bills and hide them within the liner of his jacket, Daisy’s jacket, and the inside liner of the bike trailer. He took the rest of the money he had earned and buried it in the backyard. It was deep in the ground. He then dug another hole and piled the excess dirt on top of the burial. It had been years since he had been working, so this back-breaking work was more than back-breaking. Then in the hole, he poured water and sighed as it slowly made the proper concentration of mud. He wondered how long it’ll be before the water towers run dry.


“That’s not fake!”

“I would know, bud. It’s a pretty stiff license.”

“That’s how they are in Utah.” Marco could hear live music being played in the back alley of The Vault.

“Uh-huh? What’s your birthday?”

“It’s next week, I’m 22 then.”

“Uh-huh…” the bartender stared at the ID for a good long while before she said, “What’ll you have?”

The rowdiness of the bar seemed to be lacking for this Tuesday night. The entire back area was lit with candles and what was left of the Glow Sticks from a rave that some guy threw at some point somewhere. The commune was sitting on the floor listening to a long-hair playing guitar. He sang of love and peace. This made Marco a little annoyed. He wasn’t sure if anyone had heard him say, “The fuck?”

The long-hair finished a song and said, “The thing is is that we got to love ourselves and each other. Look at the beer that you consume. You could have a bad evening or a good one, it’s all based on the vibes in the room. Look in yourselves, see the vibes you send out into the world. Follow me on this exercise. Take a deep breath and hold it for a second and then exhale pushing the negativity away from you. Yes, like you’re doing a killer Hadouken or a Kamehameha.” The group had a slight nostalgic giggle, which reminded them that they missed lights, heaters, and cartoons.

Marco didn’t stay.

“Utah?”

“Yeah, I’ll take a Pabst.”

The world ran, but slowly. Eventually, beers became expensive, exclusive, and then a shipment would come in, and things would go back to normal. It was a hard thing to manage, but it was all manageable.

“Fuckin’ bad vibes? Fuck that motherfucker,” Marco said to himself as he sipped his second beer of the night. He had looked for a job earlier that day but felt that he was above everything that was available for him. So, he drank, then he started to feel the pit in his stomach begin to quiver. He felt so empty, so he drank more. The blur of the evening and the strobe to the effect on his vision felt like the strangest dream that was happening now in the current plane of existence. Nonsense, but sensical.

“Back off, buddy!” He heard and saw long strands of faggy blonde hair.

“No! What the fuck is this shit!? Neg vibes?” He heard someone imitating his voice shouting. A guitar struck the blonde man as he cowered in the corner. Then he realized that the man cowered into the corner of the bathroom, so he locked the door and kicked the man until his face was more black and puffy.

The banging on the door was loud and unwanted, then he recognized the bathroom and kicked the door open brandishing the neck of the guitar as he yelled, “Get the fuck away from me! I’ll-”

Marco woke up handcuffed to a fire escape above back alley of The Vault. The sun was coming up, and he felt like he pissed his pants. He wanted to throw up.

Then he heard a man ask, “How’d you sleep, bitch?”

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