Big Jason marched down Hollywood Boulevard taking locomotive steps, stomping on the thick balls of his feet, his beat-up Doc Martens getting a brutal work out. He walked by Bond Street Bookstore.
People turned around, openly staring at his silver hair. Some teenage girls with Charlie's Angels feathered hair openly laughed as he lurched by. Jason walked by Bert Wheeler's Magic Shop.
Black hustlers assessed him for a possible nickel and dime mugging, but nah, he was too buff, his clothes too ragged. And anyway, with silver house paint in his hair, that white motherfucker was prob'bly crazy as hell. Jason walked by Frederick's of Hollywood, Love's BBQ Restaurant, Supply Sergeant, Licorice Pizza.
Jason turned down Las Palmas Avenue and hocked a loogie in front of the window at Miceli's. This one's for the tourists. He slowed down in front of the tiny old shoe repair shop. ZOLTAN SHOE REPAIR. He rapped on the windowed door.
The store should be closed since it's a Sunday. The torn paper sign by the window even apologized. SORRY WE'RE CLOSED. Locks turned, the door knob clicked and the door opened. Jason and only Jason had that talent. Opening doors when others couldn't.
An old man with a full head of white hair wearing a blue smock smiled and welcomed Jason. "Come on in, my friend", Zoltan K shook hands. "Good to see you again".
"Zoltan K, the heel with lots of sole", Jason entered the old shop, looking everything over.
"Still telling terrible jokes but it's good to see you, anyway".
Zoltan Kovacs' shop was a darkly lit dust pit with beat shoes lined up behind the counter. A battery of old, greasy machines with grinders, dremels, buffers and other fixtures towered over the room against the wall. The counter top was scarred wood with a few leather cutting tools lying around.
"How much is it this time?" Zoltan K asked.
Jason pulled down his pants by ten inches and pulled out a money belt. He threw it on the counter top. Jason opened the belt. "Thirty thou, count it if you want, it's all there".
Zoltan K rubber banded the bills and made out a shoe repair ticket for Jason.
Jason sniffed. "Do you still have the safe?"
Zoltan shrugged. "Of course. Do I look like I changed anything?"
"Fuck no". Jason looked at the cash register nearby. "My grandfather's younger than that cash register. Don't you ever get new stuff?"
"Never. Jason, don't worry. No one will look here - just a lot of old machines, tired like their owner".
"I'll buy that. Got a lot more money coming in soon, got a big job coming up. What you see now is nothing".
"I have a big safe. Bring it all in, no one will ever know what's sitting in there. Don't tell anyone. No friends. Not the chicks, either".
"Definitely not the chicks".
"Lift up your pants. What are you wearing?"
Jason lifted his cuff.
Zoltan scoffed. "Pfff! Doc Martens. I can't make money on those. Rubber heels. Bad for business".
"Don't worry, I have money for you anyway. Take five thou off the top for storage".
"And the other five you owe me for last time?"
"Shit, okay. Fair is fair, Mister K".
They shook hands amicably. "Mark my words, after I pull this next job I'll bring in some Oxfords for you to wrestle with".
"It's a deal, kid".
Jason waved as he walked out the rickety doorway.
If you kept your mouth shut, walked up the quiet street in the Hollywood Hills, you approached a gate by the cul-de-sac, you slipped through and walked up a woodsy dirt road winding up the hill, whereupon you reached the grounds of the Errol Flynn estate, decaying and forgotten by time. All that was left was a large empty pool at the hilltop with tall weeds growing through the cracks in the floor.
A party around the poolside was in full swing with about thirty punks guzzling beer, smoking joints and eating bad snack food. Jason joined the party, surveying the crowd. A cassette player played The Damned's first album as loudly as possible.
"Hey, Jason, I saw you at The Inflated Tear party last week. That was killer!" Johnny Stingray from The Controllers smiled, handing Jason a beer.
The gang was all there, the Hollywood punks, the rich kids playing at being poor, urban, badass rebels as long as they had a golden cushion to fall back on. There were usual suspects: some Germs, Bags, Weirdos, Skulls, Controllers, Deadbeats, Mau Maus and a lot of kids who just hung out all strung out.
He spotted infamous punk Ridiculous Nicholas of The Fangs, well known for drinking pots and pots of coffee to the point of it reeking from his pores. Ridiculous Nicholas liked coffee because it expedited his bowel movements and he had a thing for scat and all things shit.
All of his jokes were either butt jokes or shit jokes and his scat fetish centered around his mother and some weird infantile poop obsession. Some even said he wore a diaper under his pants and liked to blow a bomb underneath. Jason swore he caught a whiff of something fucked coming from his direction so he spun around.
"Jason Gulliver, is that you?" a big, dark punk with even darker eyes smiled coldly. "It's me, Miggy!"
Miggy Sanchez was Jack Sterling's personal assistant, i.e. bodyguard, controversial for being part of the punk scene but still breaking arms and necks for his boss. No one ever knew what side he was truly on. His real name was Miguel but once he discovered The Stooges he changed his name to Miggy in honor of Iggy Pop.
Miggy put his hand out and Jason took his hand out to shake it but drew it back before they could shake.
"Psych!" Jason cracked.
"You're not still mad at me for almost breaking your hand last time, are you?"
"You and your stupid hand shakes suck and you never broke my hand so quit telling stories, Sanchez".
"Hey, have you thought about coming to the club anytime soon?"
Jason smirked. "Boy, if you only knew", he thought. "Nuh uh".
"Well don't, fucker", Miggy chuckled. "If you do I'll break your hands again. Just kidding!"
"Keep on trying, it might work for you, friend".
Punk rock kids were now lighting cigarettes and putting them out on each others wrists. They howled in pain while other kids laughed. Another punk passed around a razor blade and some boys slashed their chests while some girls slashed their breasts above the bra line.
"There goes the trust fund", Jason thought. "Explain that to your parents, you dumb Westside fucks".
Some party. Glam rock was weird but punk rock was sad, the unhappy, the negative, the disturbed, the bed wetters, the anti-God kids from Catholic School, the deformed, all headed to the dark side of the street by choice.
He looked out at what should have been a picturesque view of the Los Angeles city skyline, sunny of course, but it was soiled by a sky high smear of grayish brown smog all around. Everything should have been clear but it wasn't meant to be.
He winced when he saw Kate Craptastic, a short, fat punk girl who liked to crucify cats. Sometimes she just killed them for kicks and then brought them out on stage when she performed. Craptastic claimed her cat killing fetish was due to her father molesting her when she was eight years old. No one ever questioned it.
Unfortunately Kate took a liking to Jason and invited him to strangle a few cats with her. He told her he'd rather strangle her instead, which got her more excited. Afraid she might recognize him, he ambled over to an area more dense with people, his back turned to her.
A heavy-set thug in a bowling shirt and forked up hair stared at Jason. Chris Steakhouse (nee Stackhouse) was Miggy Sanchez's partner in brutality.
"Nice silver hair, pal. Did you see Miggy? He's here, you know".
"Yeah. I cock blocked his stupid handshake gag. It might have been funny when Thomas Jefferson tried it out on Ben Franklin, but now it's just old".
"Well, you ought to come by the club. I heard you played a pretty cool show the other night. I also heard you beat up some friends of mine, know what I mean, asshole?"
Steakhouse leaned in on Jason. "I could do a lot worse than Miggy's handshake, dick head".
Jason shoved him away. "Don't even think about it. I don't swing that way, shit pump".
"Just watch your ass, pal", Steakhouse's sneer melted into a grin. "Hey! I didn't even know those guys in that fag band. Just kidding!"
"Yeah, funny, I heard Julius Caesar fell off his dinosaur when he heard that one, douche guzzler".
"Ah, fuck you if you can't take a joke", he waved his hand dismissively.
Jason walked away and saw Holly Hell, guitarist from all-girl glam band The Hitchhikers stoned out of her gourd, eyes barely open, standing with a beer in one hand and lifting up her t-shirt with the other, while punks threw greasy lunch meat on her chest. Everyone laughed at her. Some threw mayonnaise-spattered bologna in her face.
"That's tough", Jason mumbled. "Stupid bitch".
He assessed the crowd with his cold eyes, looking around the bombed out movie star's home.
"Cowards, cunts, retards, fucking rich runts pretending to be bad, I want to rob all of you and shake your parents down for every penny, you pigs, you swine, you worthless overindulgent shits. I'll kill you, devour you and shit you out my ass and walk away with all your money, the riches I deserve. And your stupid punk rock club will end up in my back pocket. Spoiled, idiotic fucks".
He walked down the hill, slipped through the gate with the NO TRESPASSING SIGN and slid down a side street like a lizard in the desert come sunset.
The complete edition of EVERY BITCH FOR HIMSELF is available in eBook form via Amazon Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook and other eReaders. Don't miss it!
Lower illustration by William Wray.
(c) 2013, Andy Seven. All rights reserved.