“the first thing we need to do…” hissed Miss Twist as she stabbed out her cigarette in the middle of an egg yolk, “is streamline your expenses. You can’t really expense things like Thai Massage and Gin. Believe me, I’ve tried. Fought back and lost. Learn from my mistakes: just like The Bible.”
Miss Twist is a remarkably elegant woman, she manages to carry off blue and white pinstripe better than anyone I’ve ever seen, apart from Takeshi Kitano. We’re supposed to be huddling in a booth in the Pacific Dining Car at six in the morning, and Miss Twist is very irritated with us, because we aren’t. But PDC is just not affordable. We can’t even afford to get a cup of coffee, a martini, and a grapefruit juice there… which is what we would be drinking if my Wife, Financial Advisor, and Myself were seated in one of the leather-upholstered booths on the edge of Downtown at six in the morning. Please cue up Ice-T’s Midnight everytime I type Six In The Morning. Fortunately, the Pacific Dining Car is a good place, it Knows Miss Twist, and it extends Credit to those with truly heavy class.
“It’s like weathering a storm. Money clouds are looming on the horizon and the wind is flat. You just have to batten down the hatches and prepare for the long dark night of the late rent-check and scavenged 32oz bottles of cheap Mexican beer… not to mention the creditors. Speaking of those poor fucktards, did you hear about the one they found over on the nickel-” my Wife interrupts Miss Twist by jabbing her index and middle finger in the air inches from Miss Twist’s nose. “None of that nonsense about Storms and Shitrain and brown paper bags full of filthy lucre now, Twist. We need to Move Forward, at Once! The Boy has started finding the weapons caches all over The Compound. This morning he was playing with the muzzle-loading boarding pistol Tubercular Venter gave RevDoc back in Seminary! He nearly blew his fathers kneecaps off, it the treacherous thing had been loaded. We should write a straight-to-video pirate movie or something.”
“Pirates all fucked dogs” sneered Miss Twist, glancing at her watch. “Hmmm. It’s six in the morning. Your actual ‘Managers’, who might give two tugs of my terrible tits about your stupid DTV ideas, are probably sleeping. So why don’t you save this inane drivel for them? I don’t care about your writing career. It’s maintaining The Compound that worries me. As chief Financial Advisor to Team Banzai, I think-”
I yawned, loudly. It interrupted the moment and startled the Boy, whose mouth shot off my Wife’s breast like a cork from a pop-gun, with a loud burst of air displacement. I kept yawning, hearing bones and cartilage shifting in my jaw. Miss Twist glared at me some more until I finished.
“Fuck you, I’m sick,” I reminded her. “And I’m not sure about this Team Banzai thing. I love the Team motiff, but I’m no Peter Weller. And you’re no Jeff Goldblum.”
Miss Twist laughed and slapped me upside the head. “Can it, shiteyes. You don’t get to make any more rules around here. I’m taking over.”
I gasped, my Wife nodded and muttered: “About time, too.”
“Beast Iscariot!” I spat. “You’ll never…” Miss Twist grabbed me by the hair and bounced my head off the table while I goggled like an idiot. “You’re going to Jail, Syn. The fat boys are going to mess your shit up. Ah, fuck it. Why even send you to Jail? You wouldn’t last six months on the inside. No, this way is better: a mercy killing,” I shook my head, bleeding on my plate, while Miss Twist lit up another cigarette.
“Tommy! Shoot this piece of shit.” The waiter grinned at me and I realized that I recognized him: it was Perfect Tommy, Miss Twist’s Fixer/Husband/Gunsel, and a Glock 19 was in each of his hands as he dropped the tray, aiming down at me.
Obviously, it was a Tough Dream to wake up from the morning at six in the morning. Some asshole outside was listening to some Chicano rap that had sampled the Ice-T song from the early 90s…. Jesus. What a weird nightmare. Horrible, horrible stuff. We will never be at the PDC until we have money, they’d rather hire me to wipe down the sommelier’s shoes than extend us credit, or any of the creatures we roll with. Miss Twist is still far up North, where it always Rains. And she is on Our Side, she is on The Team, a Charter Member along with Mr. E and his wife, and Dr. Hands… no, it was just random Angst manifesting itself at six in the morning. It certainly wasn’t Fear! Oh no, none of that. It was Guilt, for sure.
The evil Money-Guilt, not guilt of overindulgence or rapine or theft or bloodshed. No, but Money-Guilt. Terrible stuff, that. This “less than 60 dollars a week” thing is wearing down heavily on my living tastes… sure, I’m losing weight and my Liver is regenerating, but that doesn’t mean I have to like giving up things like rare beef and cold gin. The Wife is handling it even worse. She keeps filling up an empty wine bottle with water and carrying it around the house like a pacifier. The Boy could care less, he’s too busy unearthing the weapons caches around the house and playing with various lethal instruments to notice.
There are cysts and pustules on my arm, and weird strips of dried skin keep peeling off my scalp. Whenever I press the eject button on this ridiculously hi-tech keyboard, a strange whining sound occurs deep within the console. So I just throw the throttle forward, which makes the letters appear a 10th of a second before I type them…
These are interesting times, for sure.