[Short Story] The A.C. Express


I’m drinking with a gentleman named Noel in West Hollywood. Okay, so a couple of lies is no way to get started. Noel is no gentleman and we are at the corner of Melrose and North Fairfax so we are in Fairfax. People on their way up will refer to this as West Hollywood, but we are not on our way up. We are drinking in Fairfax.

No job and drinking in the early afternoon is fun the first time and that’s about it. My last job, blogging about eating spaghetti didn’t last long. I didn’t have one reader for a whole month, not one! Still, it got myself and Noel in to a blogger’s BBQ earlier in the day where we drank Mexican beer and ate meat in a parking lot surrounded by souvenir shops, strip clubs and a Dunkin Donuts. No surprise, where there is a Dunkin Donuts there is certain to be a strip club nearby.  Okay, so back to the bar in Fairfax. Eventually Noel passes out in the bathroom and a redhead sits next to me. I buy her a drink and instead of receiving a thank you her reply is “let me tell you about my Jesus.” I turn the other way and there is a guy wearing an Iron Maiden tee with a black trucker hat. No logo, it’s worn off. Bored, I ask him his name. He tells me “Busta Tool” and that’s the end of that conversation. I stare straight ahead, finish my drink and adjourn to the bathroom where Noel is still passed out. There are no mirrors in this bar because no one in this bar wants to see what they look like. Self-hatred is high on this particular afternoon in Fairfax.

Back at the bar the trucker has left and I can feel someone else sit next to me. It’s Noel. He looks at me and tells me the drinks just aren’t working. He takes out a plastic bag of pills. It’s got all colors. He smiles and asks me if I’ve ever climbed a rainbow. You know what, the drinks obviously aren’t working for me either. I put out my hand and he places a blue, red, orange and yellow pill in my hand. I take them all down and wait. The bartender approaches. He is reading a magazine and is trying to solve a question that reads like an SAT question written by Eminem – “If Billy is taller than Margaret and Jack, and Margaret is taller than Richard and Anna, but not Sam, and Sam is the same height as Billy, which came in handy when Billy murdered Sam in cold blood for the love of Anna and then drove around wearing his clothes for a week while chain-smoking, will the dry-cleaning bill cost more or less than the cigarettes?” I don’t remember if I answered, but it’s the last thing I remember about that bar in Fairfax.

When I wake up Noel is nowhere to be found and someone is jamming something up my ass. I look back and it’s a guy in a white coat, a doctor giving me some type of enema to eradicate the pills. There is a lot of yelling all around me and this doctor is really working hard. The pain is so awful I pass out.

When I wake up I’m next to a guy who smells like whisky, hamburgers and Newport cigarettes. He opens his eyes and tells me “sobriety is best when the years line up.” I begin to focus and look around. A door opens and a guy in a uniform grabs me. He tells me I will need to make a payment and I tell him I don’t have health insurance. He looks at me and just says, “bail.” He can see from my reaction my confusion. He hands me a sombrero and says that I was found passed out, wearing the sombrero, blocking traffic on Atlantic Avenue. I explain to him that I was in Fairfax and now he looks confused. I look down at the papers he has handed me and see ATLANTIC CITY DETENTION CENTER on the heading. I look around. There is a guy wearing a shirt that reads: Atlantic City – give us your weak, desperate and addicted. “So I’m in Atlantic City?” I ask. He nods and points again to the fine. “Fucking New Jersey?” I start to chuckle and nod in agreement. At this point I just want to get out of here, get a coffee and figure out how to get back to L.A. Then I look back toward the holding cell.

In the corner is a guy wearing a long white coat. He looks very familiar. I immediately crave more yellow pills…






About Pulp Scribbler

The Writing of David S. Grant View all posts by Pulp Scribbler

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