A TROOP OF GERMAN GIRLS
Enter: a troop of Germans girls.
Everyone stares at the troop of German girls. Not because they still have a beef with the Germans. Hipnosa is full of college students. The war was a long time ago. It’s the way the troop of German girls march up to the bar. Like they are on a mission. They are all wearing hipster t-shirts. Tight hipster t-shirts. One has robot on her t-shirt that says seek and destroy. Like a Dr. Who Dalek. But it’s not a Dalek. It’s some German version of a Dalek.
• What are they doing here? (says Mulletman)
• Exchange students, man. Exchange students. (says Cesar)
Gosia nods. Says yeah. No biggie. She has been watching American movies and has picked up no biggie. She has been saying no biggie for weeks now.
• Yeah, no biggie. (says Mulletman and Cesar as they give each other the friendly elbow)
Conversation moves from whispers to normal level to extra loud as the bartender turns on the tunes. Blues and bop. Some sea shanties. Radio Polska.
Cesar saunters up to the bar. Never the shy one, he wants to talk to the Germans. He tries to remember his high school German. All he can remember is was fur eine for what kind of. Beer is bier. And love is lieben. So he turns to the tallest German in the troop, the alpha female, and says was fur ein bier liebst du? She laughs. Replies: Tyskie und manchmal Lech. But she says it with her voice rising at the end. Like it’s a question. More German words come back to Cesar. He points at the Tyskie and says Tyskie ist suss; Lech ist nicht suss. Ah ha says the Alpha Female. She buys him a Lech. He speaks to her in very bad German. The weather. Polish food. His name. His age. His favorite music. When he leaves he thinks shit. Shit. He thinks: Now I know how my students feel when they are trying out their English. And that German girl is either chuffed or annoyed. Probably annoyed since that’s how I feel when Polish guys or girls want to practice their English and I am just out for a beer. But maybe not. Maybe not since I didn’t let it go on too long.
When he gets back to the little round table Gosia and Mulletman are doing the smooching. Full throttle. The beer and white Russians have done their magic. So he goes to the back of the room. Leans against the wall. Wonders if anyone notices he is an alien. Leans his head in his hands. Heads to the toilet. Sits on the toilet seat. Wonders about the forbidden zone.
A SHORT FABLE
ALRIGHT EVERYONE GET READY TO JUMP said the men in white suits. Or better yet let’s call things by their right name. The little men in white suits are called homunculi. READY! GET SET! JUMP! One by one the homunculi began jumping. All except one. He leaned down into the hole and thought he heard some voices crying out. A haunted hole? No, it was the homunculi. They were screaming. Something wasn’t right. Right before he was about to jump he finally made out what the homunculi were screaming. IT’S A WALL. DON’T JUMP IT’S A WALL. THERE IS NO HOLE. REPEAT. NO HOLE. WE ARE SPLATTERING AGAINST THE WALL. And so the one homunculus stayed behind. Bidding his time. And what is the point of this little fable? Patience, my friend. Patience. And that is what Cesar was trying to cultivate. Right there on the toilet seat.
THE QUEST FOR TOFFEE
Do they like toffee? Yes they do. It is getting close to Halloween and Cesar thinks of toffee apples. Goisa and Mulletman have a mouth fetish and love digging the sticky chunks from their teeth. Gosia tells them she knows a place. Her mouth is still dripping from Mulletman’s full throttle.
• You crashed wedding? (asks Goisa)
• Have I ever crashed a wedding? (corrects Cesar instinctively)
• Yes yes. Have you ever?
• Do you want?
• Do I want to crash a wedding?
Mulletman is still spinning in happy-land so he just tagged along. Is this where the toffee is? says Cesar. He says it as a joke, but Gosia says yes. Yes, this is where the toffee is. They are not dressed for a wedding, so Cesar is sure they will get thrown out before they get anywhere near the toffee.
They get in the doors. Disco Polo music is playing. That cheesy, cheesy Polish music. But cheesy in a fun way, if you are drunk. Cesar is not drunk enough. Mulletman is. He puts his arms above his head and waves them and steps around the dance floor. That’s good that’s good thinks Cesar. We are less noticeable. Better to fit in. There is a wet towel on the kaloryfer to moisten the dry air. Cesar and Mulletman have one just like it. In their hotel room at the Diament. The towel is one small way to deal with the dry air. All the coal burning tickles the throat. But Cesar feels dry, dry, dry. Mulletman? He just keeps dancing. Gosia? Gosia is off somewhere. On the dance floor? No. In the kitchen? No. In the smoking area? No. Where is Gosia?
When Gosia reemerges, Mulletman has upchucked. She doesn’t have the toffee.
But Cesar was getting worried. He tells Gosia: I was getting worried. Gosia says: ok ok hold your horses. Another new phrase from some American movies. She is wearing long red boots. Red boots with very sharp heels. Her hair is done up in a bun with two chopsticks.
• Where were you?
• Never mind.
• Never mind?
• Yes never mind.
• You have new clothes.
• From friend.
Gosia’s face is flushed. Like she has been dancing. But she wasn’t dancing. Cesar would have seen it. The dance area is small.
• I need to smoke. (says Gosia)
• OK. (says Cesar) Me too.
UPON THE POINT OF A LIZARD’S TONGUE
They all walk outside for a smoke. Mulletman is coming back around. In the smoking area blue heat lamps are glowing against wooden panels. Gosia’s face turns baby blue and the music sounds like air stuck in some pipes. Like air is trying to be blown out, but only a little escapes. All the candles are flickering on the tables. Cesar is still drinking a Lech and gives Gosia a swig. When Goisa leans in her breath makes Cesar think about rubber. About the rubber lizards in his room as a child. And then her tongue juts out from behind her front teeth. Like she is going to gleek. But she does not gleek. Gosia does not gleek. Her tongue sticks out and there is a small point. She has a small pointy tongue. At the tip of the tongue there is small white dab of milky liquid.
One: pointy tongues are sexy and pointy tongues can do sexy things
Two: Where did the milky liquid come from? A white Russian. But still.
BURN BURN BURN
Mulletman gives Gosia a bit wet one. And Gosia is wet. Cesar would be wet too. If he could. They leave that wedding party and follow their crayon map. Gosia sings a song. It goes like this:
swan sea switch a na me
switch a na me
swan sea say aaaa
swan sea say aaaa
switch a na me
The Latto fades into the background as Gosia runs out of breath. Latto means summer. And it’s been a good one. A fabulous summer of 2005. First Gosia had managed to find her a mighty fine lover named Mulletman. And second she had finished her studies. A cross-cultural study on the Tardis effect on pre-school children in North America versus Poland. And third. Well this was the third. She has her arms linked to two very nice gentlemen and she is venturing into the Forbidden Zone. For the first time.
Mulletman and Cesar are also happy. They are mad for the ones that burn up. That don’t get all tangled up in the commonplace. That burn, burn, burn like roman candles in the night.
And that’s what they are doing. Burning in the night. Literally.
Mulletman has set a rubbish bin on fire and while trying to put it out Cesar has set his long brown trench coat on fire. But no one is getting burnt. They had spilled enough wodka on their skin to keep the fire on the outside.
When the fire went out, they continued on their happy way.
Gosia has discovered a secret and the fire gave it to her. She sees she has a love for fire. A great big love for fire. And she is more wet than ever. She kisses Cesar. Mulletman kisses Gosia. And they all laugh. Because they are friends. And what’s the harm in a little kissing.
WHO IS MULLETMAN?
Mulletman sounds like:
a. a big beefy fella with no brains
b. a superhero who might be a big beefy fella with no brains
c. an ordinary guy who drinks too much who is a big beefy fella with no brains
But, in fact, he is none of these. He has a brain. He uses it well. He is in I.T. In his spare time he is into A.I. or artificial intelligence. He just likes to:
a. sport a mullet
b. kiss beautiful girls, such as Gosia
c. drink heavily, but only on weekends
So here is Mulletman. And here is Gosia. And here is Cesar. Gosia is the best dancer, Cesar is the best people person, and Mulletman has the superior brain.
SUPER TEAM OF THREE
The super team of three make it to the border of the Forbidden Zone. There is no underpaid bored soldier to check their papers. No old lady to take their money and give them a ticket to the amusement park. They can’t even find the gate. They wander and wander around. It is dead silent. Just the wet leaves.
Mulletman thinks he sees little pointy ears in the distance, but they pop up then disappear. Eyes can’t be trusted, but you’ve got to be sure. So he declares himself in charge since his head has cleared up from the Polish wodka. He phones his team of specialists and they come zipping right along in their big black van with a red z like Zorro painted on the side.
Mulletman’s team consists of three high school seniors. All girls. They wear blue panties with white stars, red tank tops with bright yellow W’s, two thick silver bracelets, and gold headbands with red stars in the middle. Mulletman says sometimes the best thing is not to be strong, but to believe you are strong. He is a part-time life coach for girls who don’t fit in the system. Girls who live or have lived in the girls’ home and need reacquainting with society. In other words, re-socialization. He decided to combine his two hobbies: I.T. and wayward girls, and that’s how his wonder team was assembled. But these three. These three girls were far from average. He picked them from many, many, many wayward girls.
First they had to pass a rigorous test in spotting the details. Then there was spot the difference. 100 pages of spot the difference. And it was timed.
The second test was a maze. The wayward girls, at this point there were about 20 left, had to run through a maze of plastic sheets for curtains and jangling milk cartons on meat hooks. Mulletman chased them in a cow’s head. He hollowed out a cow’s head. The wayward girls had heart monitors and brain probes. He was testing how they worked under pressure. There were trap doors with little aliens that popped out and said boo. And strobe lights for disorientation. D.J. Spooky was blasting the whole time from super-sized speakers.
Some of the wayward girls lost it. Some had brain freeze. Some went too violent. Some ran too fast. Some ran too slow. It was all very delicate. This measuring. This evaluating. Mulletman was looking for his chosen 3 and he wasn’t about to settle for just anyone.
The third test was about I.T. By this time there were only 10 wayward girls left and he was getting close to the 3. Mulletman liked 3. 3 had a lot of power behind it. The 3 leaf clover. The 3 gods in one. And so on. He asked the 10 to design something that had the potential for making the world a better place. Yadda yadda yadda. He didn’t want the Miss America speech. He wanted the actual product.
The eventual 3 all designed robots. In the virtual world, of course. They didn’t have the equipment to build it for real. And the 3 robots the 3 built all had 1 thing in common. They all built smart sausage dogs that sniffed out elves with their super beyond human noses. And that was exactly what he was looking for. It was up to their handlers what the sausage dogs did with the elves.