Stories

Quibble is Quibble

Mars was supposed to be a layover betwixt Kelt North and Earth. I didn't have much say in where I was going; I’d been on a 6 month bender, feeling in quite the docile state- like an overcooked tortellini- when the shuttle picked me up from Mahatma.

    I stepped off the shuttle sweating like a fucking dog’s tongue. It'd been a 4 day drug-free journey at lightspeed, in which demons and little gremlins were flying around in my head much resembling a tireless midnight bad trip in Copenhagen with hundreds of smuggled cigar-smoking Spyros circling in the air like ghetto gnats, guffawing and snapping wise-ass comments. I had 6 hours before the all-aboard was to be called. 6 hours to cop some good stuff.

    The stop was on the outskirts of Mars' first and largest city, LA2- full of runaways, fly-by-nighters, and cheap souls domiciled in the nowhere of everywhere. The land, naturally enough, inside the large bubble necessary for life to excel, looked much like Arizona. And the folks tending to the outskirt lands had a fearful and unopinionated look of drudge on their faces, as if they’d been fucked over too many times by the systematic repression of Earth.

In my edgy state, looking for a quick trip to downtown, I was hollering at the souls that this is LA2- you can do whatever the fuck you want! I’m not quite sure what I was getting at. Aside from the next score. Why shouldn’t I stay?

    Approaching people filling their vehicles up with fuel, it didn’t take long for me to catch a ride with a space-freight trucker, coming in from a mining expedition on Phobos (one of 2 of Mars’ moons). He was feeling like getting a hooker and copping some good stuff.

    I sunk into the cabin. It was dank. Pretty standard trucker man. You know, the kind with an edge. The trucker’s edge. The trucker’s atlas. Embodiment. Bodhisatva. Preach.

    “So what the hell you doing, mate,” the mate inquired. He was emanating a stench of garlic and beer. He had an Australian accent.

    “Ohhhhh. Hm. Well, yaknow- a prick on the ole turnpike know what I mean. ” Heaven knows I don’t know, nor do I have a job. Driving manual with a broken arm. Not literally. Beads of sweat, though the climate in the little Mars bubble was kept at a steady 23 degrees and humidity of 40%.

    What the fuck. What the fuck what. What the fuck I mean where the fuck is the fuckin’ titty fuckin’ bar.

    “So the answer is right in front of you, you think so mate?”

    “Sure, why not,” I answered unemphatically.

    I’d been brought up I suppose, in an environment very encouraging of the “just get up and go” mentality. I’d never given it second thought (though many space hippies have given it much thought, those from Mississippi and beyond). Yet here I stand. Hippie in my blood, I guess. Just get up and go.

    “Quibbled enough in your old life, decided you’d had enough, hey,” the driver said.

-excerpt from A Mildly Toxic Start

    “My life hasn’t been that difficult. But yeah, I’ve had enough.” Through introspective teeth I muttered this, with mild conviction. Better to pretend you have direction than to know you don’t.

    Enough is enough. Quibble is quibble. Prevaricated servitude.

-excerpt from A Mildly Toxic Start