Laertus: so you really don't want to talk about it?
Dirg: let me ease into it, bra.
the two find their friendship firming with each passing day, as if the seasons all melt into and drip onto one another like layers of hot-buttered lassitude. they should always be on opposite sides, but even they recognize they are but two dies, and more often than not when they begin talking it's like riding a bike, they blissfully forget for these brief moments that they're warriors, they sense they are instead two boys the same age who do their best to hide their geekdom in public and privately haven't figured it all out yet.
Dirg: i figured everything out like a clean-pressed iron in high school. ironed on my skateboard. so what do i need college for?
Laertus: these days it's mostly to get a job. to make your family crest sparkle with spit. if it were most about swallowing the totem of pure knowledge that's why one wears one's Pear Watch upside down on one's wrist, a tiny little screen filled with all the world's internets. you can become smart with the touch of a button owned by google.
Dirg: yes, wear that watch upside down on your sensitive veins to save you from yourself when you encounter a desperate moment.
after the boat trip, on the Titanic, Laertus realized it was silly to live exactly one-floor-up from his best friend Dirg, especially after that big revelation, even with the knowledge that the shipliner they were on wasn't doomed to fail anymore. Laertus needed to be close somewhere. so Laertus---he of his own volition---skipped a semester, well he dropped out for two quarters---about 6 months---to tend to and try to heal the injured soul of Dirg.
Laertus: but i needed a place to call home, to pull up some hay from the moist ground of bed-leafed floor. i was desperate to make a hearth for us. we were banned from the dorms and the lecture halls and any hostels on campus full of hostiles and those not of our political stripe.
Dirg: or completely naked with big boobs and bush and b-u-t-t and painted in the stripes of the red white and blue. foreign-exchange babes are especially vulnerable in this current country climate now with papers waved in their pretty faces as foreplay.
Laertus: so i was hiking one morn on this grassy knoll which led into an area of orange leaves that should have been a clearing but this particular trail was unmarked on any map. i prayed to the Anime God for a sign and thought i found one cos God is love is blind is Ray Charles. so i asked the blind mountain man in the corner of the 7-Eleven built out of a wood outhouse for assistance: nothing. the blind are our last hope as a people, you know, they shall guide humanity out of the darkness. the knoll upside-downded itself and the crook of my walking stick got stuck in the many holes of wood planks, it was a bridge now, a sagging bridge which looked like it couldn't carry any more weight, even my skinny ass. they say luck favors the bold so i went for it, i jumped like a new Doctor over an orange crane. and thank goddess i found this beautiful tree-mansion nestled secretly in the middle of Obec Woods abandoned! just as i was running out of time, food, arcade elongated change, water, and will. it's like breaking your bike in the desert and you stumble upon the real oasis of Disneyland in the Anaheim desert. and you find that this magical Disneyland place full of fountain-water has no lines, you're the only one there! who would leave such a lush homestead alone at the mercy of squatters? and why are WE the only squatters!?
Dirg: robbery 101: don't ask questions. that's the problem with you, you never like the answers. squatters are fine, it's the ones who keep swedish fish in their peeholes i distrust.
Laertus: i can't tell if the lights are on cos of all these birds flapping everywhere. i'm tempted to get a job at the student bookstore, too.
Dirg: they're attracted to your green hair!
Laertus gently tucks Dirg in for the night. he makes sure his fuzzy-blue Linus blanket is hospital-cornered over his ankles, he brushes his hair like a bish with his palm and blows at the electric bulb inside the pirate lantern above Dirg's head but the bulb stays on. Dirg raises his cheek against Laertus's cheek.
Laertus: *breathless* OMG....are you.........going in for the kiss? goodnight kiss? i prayed for this day!
Dirg: what's that on your ear? it's silver like pirate and has stars at the top and the shaking-hands emoji at the bottom and held together with those chains they use on ship spoons. it is quite remarkable. Bajoran in origin?
Laertus: it's the new Doctor's ear cuff. single, not on the other ear, it's the most-beautiful addition added to the Doctor ever in all its lore-breaking lore. in all the eons! it's the coolest thing the Doctor has ever done!
Dirg: i still say the dog was the best accessory. not that i'm calling Jodie Whittaker a dog, far from it. get it right and lean right: she's fit and i am desperate to cuff her. but this whole thing has become a jokikal farce. the forced diversity of the BBC, which stands for Badly Bruised Cock btw, is downright cynical in that putrid commercial where the TARDIS crashes the ceiling, i mean come on. it's just another time-honored---time see what i did there?---institution which has been ravaged by the SJW agenda despite savage overwhelming criticism not found on AV CLUB. they're taking everything away from us, dude, all that we hold dear, nostalgia is being neutered. the culture we once knew and loved and counted on and died for will pop and fall, it will be forever subsumed by MOTR mama mediocrity. it's being systemically torn down by the fury of few feminism, this corrosive crashing wave which seeks to destroy this strawman ghost of patriarchy with a capital P and take along young helpless hapless female waifs in its wake just cos they now have enough computers to do the nonblow job, more than that chick with the fish on the bicycle had. at least the '70s had style, i loved her bead necklace and green turtleneck and orange shades. we must fight warrior to warrior on the cyberstreets at all costs till the last man stands.
Laertus: what is this, a '70s tennis match? are you spitting uh spinning of SJW or SJA?, Sarah Jane Adventures, which is what NuWho is anime-goddess rest her soul. the show has finally reached its potential and learnt the power of the matriarch to combat the world's old evils. that a goddess is a much-better-looking god. you're equating culture with civilization. nostalgia will be NURTURED. yes, a mother's love is scary..............for a mother's love is the most powerful force in the universe, capable of quelling all the man-made wars. it's beautiful that. so you're sure you don't want me to call the cops?
Dirg: i told you, they'd never believe me, i'm a ghost stat, a fiction. i don't want to put the police whom i respect deeply through my charade. who would you believe, me or Santa?
Laertus: okay okay, no forced here, i'm not rushing you, when you're ready. come to me in your own time, and come messy i don't mind. these things take time, it's about time. i'll be your Olivia with the cuffs when the time's right. speaking of, did you happen to catch last week's SVU?
Dirg: uh, sure sure, i was doing uh research. shopping around for tribes, grading representation in media on my blog. this one this week will be the most-anticipated they've ever done.
Laertus: preach. it is mesmerizingly meta. Accredo. can't wait. i always imagine if Allison Mack hadn't gotten mixed up in that jack SHE would have STARRED in this very episode as the recruiter of the cult!
Dirg: she's a fake Christin. she's like those Doctor Who Roman soldiers who wanted to talk about their feelings whilst eating avocado loaf in a circle. slapping their open-toed sandals together till their soles became rubber. sitting down and laying real chicken eggs from their bums whilst training their teary eyes squarely on the womenfolk and puffing red.
*ding dong* silently, the birds don't move from their perches eyes closed
Laertus: trouble not, that's the food i ordered online anonymously. from the Chinese place that just skirts the campus limits, technically located in the city suburbs, they won't recognize us. it's that cute little quaint Chinese cabin in the middle of Cal highway, literally in the middle of the road. *opens the grass-hut door* thank you, you included the rice? yes, tons of rice. and the chopsticks? one chopstick, thank you. and plenty of soy sauce, right? that's for me.
Dirg: ha! shaking my damn head. it's okay, fam, all anime fans look alike, he won't be able to pick you out of a lineup or be sure you're not his cousin or even be sure that it wasn't he who did the nasty deed. even the white weaboos who never wash.
Laertus: so, now my summer is ruined again cos i have a lot of catching up to do on languid lectures just for Larry and cumulative coursework. say thank you for this apparent arrangement we find ourselves in where i have to go to school and you get to stay home and do nothing and not have to work.
Dirg: hey, it's the American way, fatherfucker. nuclear family and nucular bombs. victims' rights.
Laertus: because i'm so busy and swamped i'm not gonna be around much. i can only spare the lunch hour each day, so i'll come back here from campus, take off the burqa i have to wear like a baseball cap, and we can have lunch together. the Chinese food now is a sample sampler of our arrangement. this is a very non-college-fratdorm thing to do, in fact it's more of a homeowner thing to do. not eating out everyday will save on bills. bye.
Dirg: as long as you buy the groceries from anywhere but Trader Joe's.
on the bowling green on campus, Takahashi is having a spirited impromptu talk with Pete Davidson at a little white circle table at a local café. well it's more like Takahashi is tugging on Pete's arm, his Superman cape---Pete's white cutoff sleeveless white T shirt--- to sit down and have that conversation.
Takahashi: stay awhile. you really don't want to go back home, Pete.
Pete: what, Ariana must be missing me something fierce. i've been away on a long spiritual safari in Obec Woods, gaining invincible strength, off the grid. i can't wait to get back into the bed of that large silvery urban mansion we share and do the dishes again. by putting the dishes in the fridge when i take long hour-long stare and leans when i open the fridge door.
Takahashi: buddy buddy, here, try the kopi luwak. why don't we bunk together, new roomie? even tho MadTV was always better, that Asian dude and there were no bad bands. i need a stable spot to search for my missing mother in earnest, she's been gone for months.
Pete: okay but i really do need to pick up my shoes at the lovenest. my she-shoes i call them, what's mine is hers and vice. Ari's gonna be so surprised to see me come home early! we're going to a candlelit memorial service for Mac Miller, it's gonna be lit. i'm so happy i don't care if i get sent poisoned Halloween candy this year!
at Melbourne's estate plantation, invisible lines are being drawn. Mel regales some crasher guests at his table, late to the party: President Bump and Kanye. with a story about the first time he met Lewis Hamilton at the F1 Osaka Grand Prix:
Melbourne: we were all jealous of him. he knew what he wanted to do when he was five. school was a nuisance to him, Lew Ham won his first pro race when he was 12. using a ham-radio.
Bump: and when he turns 18 he gets Picabo Street the lucky bastard, and airs his dirty laundry on front street in the papers. i mean that other ski bunny.
Melbourne: i would see Lindsey run rings round me on the cocktail circuit, parties where she wouldn't drink but regale me with her tales about how she was handling the black stick for the first time, my caroline. i'm assuming she was meaning driving stick on the F1...she couldn't have meant the club, she was done with that...the golf club...the stick does have a black coat on...
Kanye: *sings "Sweet Caroline" badly* he's no hero, he's the exception, the amendment. I was driving the culture before I was born.
Melbourne: Lin-Manuel whispered to me on Opening Night behind an iron-curtain Broadway blind that his masterwork was really about Lewis. hey you and Kanye, make sure to eat lunch out here, i don't want the silk sheets getting ants. and don't bother the lady upstairs.
Bump: don't worry, i just want to use one of the upstairs rooms to get me alone with Acosta for five good minutes.
adjacent to this melee in the adjoining room is Nikki Haley lying naked on top of the silk sheets. she makes it a point to rub the yellow oil on her body herself, not doing herself any favors cos the oil is really more like beeswax. she is terrified to open her double-locked door to anyone, but relents when it's Meghan Markle smiling widely and goldenly at her front door. Meghan jumps over the stoop and makes love to Nikki firmly all night until Meghan is pregnant, Meg lost track of time they were in such a hallucinogenic reverie.
Meghan: fuck. and i was getting on so well with the Queen.
Nikki: *sweat pouring down her chin equal parts nervous and exhaustive sweat* yes we did. i can already feel the bump.
Bump: *mid-punch and then he opens up his finger to push his Pear Watch* hold on, Jim, this is me. hey, can you clean up the room? tidy it up before the help arrives? i know it's completely trashed but we can at least empty the trash in the wastepaper baskets. yes, hello? New York Times? es yous? yeah, i know where Khashoggi is, i saw him lookin' like Shaggy sharing a room in a beach shack with Newly-Confirmed Judge Mark Judge. no on the other side of the shoreline. don't trust those turkeys, it ain't Thanksgiving yet! oh and can you remove that headline you were going with for next morn's paper? yeah, the MBS BS one. me? in hiding? nah, my brother Jamal's in hiding, not me. you can find me whenever and wherever you want. no the Royal Family never knows what's going on, their only duty is to attend weddings and weedings. i agree, here's to updating the tired institution of marriage to include strong independent women who don't need no man. yeah, it was rogue ninjas, who botched the job, YOU catch the culprit, that's what you do. they had green skin but didn't frighten the public cos they wore masks. they drank too many of those black Burger King slupees that turn your poo green. no, you misheard, it wasn't a bone saw to cut off feet, it was a ninja star to fight the Foot. the Foot Clan. what's so ghoulish about that, everyone loves Tamara Tunie!
the crones have been vacationing far too long aboard their eternal Titanic and decide it's time to find a nobby job which will fill their belly if not their desires and goals. Doryce throws up over the railing and into the banisters below. she follows her rainbow of barf and slides down it into the already-salty sea, crashing into the ocean in a wave and breaking her glasses. luckily they were near land at the time. she swims to the coast of the beach and lines up her eyeline to see a volcano-red taco truck parked in the middle of the grass.
Doryce: do you have free tostadas for senior discount? i can't make it over there on my crab legs, i'm crawling on my empty belly here, and i'm too bored to formulate direction, i'm gonna have to make the tosatada myself.
Doryce collates a bunch of grass she plucks and plops it on top of a circle of mud she corrals with her long fingers like rakes and heats up slightly with the red tip of her painted fingers.
Doryce: ahhhh, till it's lightly golden-brown. nice and crispy. and she takes a big smiling bite and...YUMMY!!!...food tastes so good when you haven't had any.
Gladyce: *from inside the Titanic's smokestack* *floating with her arms and legs crossed* that taco truck looks familiar, i've seen it somewhere before...
Madame Pons: *calling from her Pear Watch* hello sisters! what? i got a job. you're grooming? well i'm grooming a different species altogether:............*dramatic pause*...humans *laughs*. yeah i'm working at the Lush at Exodus College, as in i'm working here right now, i'm presently in a Lush Store. business is booming as you'd might expect. yeah the boutique that sells smelly soaps and nonlethal bath bombs. you want me to be one of those instagram travel photogs who make money off Instagram? i would but my camera broke. and i don't have a lot of exotic locales to snap. i'm not on a boat, i don't get invited to parties. and i can't afford to snap my one broomstick in two. in fact i'm using my broomstick as my wand. i'm looking at my present problem right now, muy fea, it's a white egg on the counter, i'm looking at it and it's staring back at me. what? i know, waving around my wand over its head frantically is not the most nonthreatening method of communication. i WILL discover what this egg is doing here and how it can help heal the world. what? my sister? oh she's fine. i haven't talked to her for months but she's going through a difficult labor.
Dirg: *on his Pear Watch* Bert? this is Ernie. the neighbors are starting to talk. they suspect we're a little too chummy to be roommates. the birds in here have been chirping up a storm. i'm hungry, where's my lunch?
Laertus: hey man, sorry but i won't be able to make lunch this morning slash afternoon.
Dirg: high noon and you've left me high and dry.
Laertus: don't get high over this. don't hate, conversate.
Dirg: did you see the commercial run constantly during the boring Kavanaugh Hearings?
Laertus: Lisa Ling with furries, nuff said. more research for you? more tribe-hopping? those Hearings enraged me so much i changed my position on horseracing just so i could see each of those old fogey crusty white-men senators get sold up the river to a farm upstate for glue. that same week, TIME Magazine had an unrelated full-page coverspread with a Playboy-centerfold of a pint of golden frothy sweating beer. it was their History of Beer Special Superbook. beer shaped culture more than anything else. now THAT was the fall of civilization. huh, maybe it was related after all. it was weird on Kavanaugh's first day. a defendant who was deemed too violent to appear on Judge Judy licked the fluted columns with the tongue of her ass and was before the Court. and there's Brett with a glass of wine on his gavel stoop wood circle as a sign he said that he was being fair. the defendant, she was in the right to complain that all of his decisions will never be taken seriously.
Dirg: Kava was a spiritual experience for me, it was my Joshua Tree. it was the right decision. a victory for the religious, it's our turn, liberal media! this one's for the boys. cheers, raise your party mug.
Laertus: you are not religious, you just love chaos. you're an agent of chaos. a chaos agent. they did Bourdain's last speech about travel heartbreak in the CNN Narrator's voice instead of Tony's voice, that was disappointing. it's his final column entry and should be all his.
Dirg: it's CNN, it will be CORRECTED. wait, i gotta go, i gotta take this. some idiot is trying to block me on the Marvel Youtube Channel comments section. they're saying my first violation is so egregious it counts as three strikes!? blasphemy!!! this is about freedom. FREEDOM, HEAR?!!! i've had it with your side for forever, at least before i was born. i've been working on my webcomic in the interim, in my head mostly but that still counts, and i finally landed on a design. i drew my first sample last night and i submitted it directly to Stan Lee for his tepid thoughts on thots and notes about how a pencil-sketch is as valuable as a painting and ultimate approval. now they're saying my picture was so obscene they deleted it and didn't even bother to lift a finger to show Stan!!! BASTARDS!!! hold up, imma deal with this guy *tap tap tap* bye
Laertus: heading out? walking away? hey you're not using my laptop, are you?
Dirg: of course i am, my laptop and desktop got "lost", remember?
Laertus: i always imagine where your computer is. i see it now, it's always the same picture in my mind, it's sitting inside a grilled SVU evidence locker in the corner with two padlocks over it.