Safeway at sunrise: we storm through the doors; totally wasted we run for the back, behind the scenes. We barricade the door so Josh can menace the bag boy. What would happen if you harnessed the sexual energy of hobo junkie teens? The world would explode and settle on the surface of another planet in a brown paste, is what. Cockroaches would lick it up and a new wave of narcissistic gypsy-slut shitheads would hatch out of tiny pores on their backs.
I could smell an animal presence rendered as plain as an image in front of my face, a black sheet hanging in a smell like wet bear fur. I trudged on even though I froze inside and it was just as suddenly gone. I guess I had moved through it. Walking; walking all night on the roadkill tour of Oregon. Flattened hawks every few miles on the freeway. How do you run over a bird of prey? The more I walked the more it seemed that some of the carcasses could not be identified as any particular animal. Just pulpy bundles of feathers.
At our camp on the edge of a Portland rail yard a pile of shredded sleeping bags sizzled on top of an extinguished campfire. I could hear a bunch of hippies screaming in the distance under a winter sky that was almost brown. Out here it was turning into late morning. Tight ropes of frozen drool hemmed us inside the camp. Icy fields surrounded us, hanging silently at our feet. I looked down and saw marks made in the mud where a naked old stoner covered in blood was dragged sleeping along a trail. There they were cavorting like so many octopi in the midst of this pungent morass, the men here obscure its waters with their tentacles. Only one of them, a big redhead, dared to plant himself naked in front of me, laughing in my face. His huge balls bounced up and down as he laughed. The sight of the red he-devil disgusted me.
I had the uncomfortable realization that he could hear everything I was thinking-- then I realized that my hands were just giving it away. He never spoke. Rather, he seemed to spit words out in a reverse chewing process I soon came to know well. I felt confined in close quarters with a massive, quietly stewing animal who had been chained within yearning distance from the door its whole life. The soles of his shoes ground into the floor of his hovel; it was paved with salvaged pine pallets. He looked like he wanted to build a fire with my bones, to stack them like lattice in a pit especially dug for the occasion. My bones would be made out of wood, you see. He'd thought of everything, including what he was going to do with the rest of my body-- probably stuff it, reconstituting the form. Adding a little more here and a little less there.
The official book trailer:
Grace Krilanovich is blogging about the book (first up, interview with Murph, one of the Slutty Teenage Hobo Vampire Junkies) at the Two Dollar Radio blog. Once you're done pre-ordering the book ($10--six dollars off), you should follow. Did I mention this book is great and you will thank me in the end?