'Will i bottle the fucker? Alf! Will I bottle him?'
'No,' he says, 'Not yet'... But it feels like the right time. This overwhelming urge towards action is a rare thing for me, but i can tell that this is a time for violence , immediate and severe. It feels like a necessity in the current situation, but then this little fucker, this fucking cunt of a tuk-tuk driver begins driving faster faster faster, swerving with evil intent, trying to eject us from the back of his taxi. 'Fuckit,' i say to myself, i'm going to bottle this little cunt, even if it means a crash and broken limbs and blood, death even. 'Not yet!' i hear Alf scream as I swing for little bastard up front, but he swerves again at just the wrong moment... I swing the bottle at the same time and am wrenched from the tuk-tuk... the bottle smashes on the single iron bar that partitions driver from passenger - one inch to the right and that fucker won't be driving his shambolic vehicle for a while, but it's not to be. I tumble out, two or three wrenching painful rolls, Alf follows and lands cat-like, uninjured. We stand there dazed for a moment.
Things have gone slightly askew. we are some way from where we should be. I am bleeding. I will hurt tomorrow but for now I am drunk as the tuk-tuk disappears into the distance and I am stricken slightly by the complete ease at which I would have bottled the man... or boy. Whatever he was the rage was in control of that bottle in my hand and he deserved it fully.
We are not safe. Down a backstreet alley, these cunting tuk-tuk taxi drivers are all in it together... we are shaken, the tuk-tuk mafia could be after us... Cocaine paranoia.
We move fast, each finding a brick for defense, and stride towards the main strip. It's a 15 minute walk to safety, with tuk-tuks passing all the time, each one (in my head) searching us out now, waiting to beat us for our money and the hell of it... so we walk. Fast we walk with bricks in hand. Closer to safety.
Suddenly a Rasta man appears - has he been following us? Is there really a rasta man standing there in a cloud of green smoke? Wired adrenaline paranoia. Alf speaks, he must be real. He seems friendly, not like these little rats that infest the town, leeching around on their beat up taxi-bikes. But is this a trap? Powder is mentioned: Yes, he can get some, get some reeeeal good. We follow him... down another alley and another and another - debating between us whether this is foolish or not, but we haven't come this far to return empty-handed. We need a reward for our wicked efforts.
He tells us to wait.
'If it happens, can you fight?' Alf says to me after ten minutes. I consider it. I am angry and drunk-coked, ready for battle. 'I fucking hope we have to', I say. Alf nods. Neither of us want it, but if the opportunity arises we will grasp it, we will own it, we will become animals and the concrete bricks in our hands will be embedded in skulls and necks...
But he comes back, the Rasta man. Lalo is his name. 'Follow me,' he says, 'It's all good, just down here...' We hesitate once more - where is this night going? what strangeness and violence awaits us now? Fuckit, too close to the powder now, we follow him and wait once more in a dim and dank deserted courtyard.
But Lalo returns, and thank the skies he returns alone and his foil-wrapped rocks are shiny-bright and tasty tasty TASTY! We do a line somewhere...i think... though the memories are becoming hazy... and we continue our trek back to our compound. Lalo we will meet again, a new-found friend not to be forgotten.
We are close now. The fear has left me, I drop my brick, but Alf still clings to his... we pass two other gringos waiting for a midnight bus... we both say hello, we say hello and how are you, we are two drunk and friendly fellow-travellers... but something is off. They too say hello - a girl and her boyfriend - but they seem uncomfortable, I can't work it out... they seem shifty, but...no, they seem frightened, frightened of us.
The eyes betray their sense of fear... and as I look into those two pairs of confused and frightened eyes I understand why... two drunken, coked-up, manic-eyed men, faces dementedly taught with thoughts of revenge and violence, shifting oddly by a lonely bus station in a now-desolate town in the middle of the night for no good reason. As we pass and I look at them closer, I see their bodies becoming rigid with the fear - the look of mild terror in her eyes, a look of uncertainty in his - it is then I see that Alfonso still has the concrete bricks in his hands, the blood on mine...
I feel I should stop and explain, but I know them. They just wouldn't understand, and so it goes...
I try to explain it to myself, recap the night. It's just how it always happens: the bar is closed, final drinks are being drunk. But the night here is never over... we sit there with the drinks dwindling and contemplating slumber, knowing that sleep is the only good thing for us, but the urges remain. The party must continue. The night can never finish... Deeper always go... Always... and so quietly we venture out of the compound to purchase some powder, just a small bit, just enough for a line...maybe two. Just enough for the demented pleasure it wlll bring for one more hour of enjoyment. Or maybe enough for another 8 hours... So it goes...
It should be easy, simple. It should be innocent... But that little fucker. That little bastard driver - Never turn over the gold before receiving the bounty, that is the ultimate rule, but we break it... this small and comepletely unecessary bang of coke has become a deep deep deep DEEP need and the goal must be achieved at all costs. Time passes, the argument ensues... the above begins, and the tuk-tuk fucker makes his move.
Past the point of foolishness, danger has been disregarded, revenge is needed, we will not be fucked over by this ropey, scrawny little rat. The child must be taught a lesson...
'Will I bottle the fucker? Alf, will I bottle him?'
Chris Connolly writes from Dublin, Ireland. Allegedly he is not as dangerous as he reads. His first collection of short stories, 'Every Day I Atrophy' (the SideCartel) is available now. If you need to know more about Chris Connolly, he has an excellent and excellently informative website here chrisconnollywriter.com
about Chris Connolly »»
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]