Marilyn Bieber By Sherry Wood

I took my stash of vinyl downstairs to rearrange them in the spot where the sun really warmed up the floor. I checked my reflection in the ceiling mirror once again. Yesterday, I went out to the bars on the strip and no one recognized me. Nobody. I sat there and waited and realized it was probably my neatly sculpted facial hair. Maybe I really did look like a hipster, as my twenty-one year old model girlfriend pointed out the other night.
Marilyn Bieber
Marilyn Bieber By Sherry Wood
Then, finally, chaos erupted at the metal bar called Sandy’s Dead. The type of chaos that erupted when people realized they were in the presence of a rock legend. I prepared myself, sitting in a position that really didn’t express that I cared all that much. Yes, I was Marilyn Manson. Yes, I was still alive and doing my thing. I was still the antichrist superstar everlasting cocksucker - whatever you wanted to call me. Yes, tonight I would take the time to take a “selfie” that would get picked apart in every way on damn Twitter… “IT’S HIM!” A girl yelled as she tore away from the bar to run outside. “IT’S JUSTIN BIEBER!!!” I watched as they all chased her in a mad rush to the door, my I don’t really care how much you love me camera-ready expression fell into bewilderment. Get it together, you’re fucking Marilyn Manson, God of Fuck. I watched teenage girls knock each other over trying to get to a boy who was no bigger than they were. Okay, I heard he had solid abs that felt like a brick wall, and yes he was cuter than a puppy dog left out in the rain. BUT STILL I’M MARILYN FUCKING MANSON!! I sat there, gloomily realizing I was out of cigarettes and decided to call the twenty year old model girlfriend. No, not the twenty-one year old, but the one at home, sober, so she could go out and get me cigarettes since my assistant quit. Hi, please go out and get me a new pack of Dunhills - the blue pack, I impatiently texted. I waited for her to get right back to me - she had no reason not to. Then the flashing from all the paparazzi cameras was worse than lightning and started to give me a headache, along with the shrieking from all the girls. What the heck was he doing here anyway? This was not his scene. THIS WAS A METAL BAR. WHY WASN’T SHE GETTING BACK TO ME ABOUT THE SMOKES I watched as Justin Bieber came into the bar, surrounded by the beefiest security guards I’ve ever seen. “VIP SECTION!! MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!” One of the guards shouted. And in an instant, this section I’d pretty much had to myself up until this stupid moment was now crammed with these muscular men and this little white pop star and a bunch of young girls standing on the other end of the red velvet rope with half their pretty faces blocked by their phones as they took picture after picture. The smell of them - EEK - I felt like I was in a cloud of gum and makeup. I didn’t know why I stayed. Hey YOU ALIVE? I texted the model girlfriend again before looking up and seeing his pretty brown eyes on me. Then Justin Bieber gave me a rather shy wave. Ugh. Was he serious? I looked away. I was The God of Fuck, I wasn’t waving back at you, you weasly little fucktwad. I actually reached for a cigarette, remembering I was out. Don’t make me call you, you bitch, I thought, angrily glaring at my cell when it suddenly beeped and moved a little. My retarded cousin’s in town, sorry, the twenty year old model texted back. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH GETTING ME SMOKES, I replied, my finger reigned down on the buttons so hard my cell phone, embarrassingly, flew off the table. I glanced up to make sure he didn’t see that. He hadn’t, his nice brown bedroom eyes were lost in his phone as well. 2 “Hello?” My deep voice fell through the cell phone after I finally picked up. I had a new assistant. She wasn’t pretty. I looked down at all my vinyl, about to rearrange them on my new shelves made out of real raccoon bone and charred metal from a house fire. “You should really do something about this - he’s saying you were rude to him - you don’t have much left anyway, a hangnail of a music career? You should really do something.” “I don’t know what you expect me to do, Sally,” I said. I loved my deep husky voice. I should really be making more songs. If I could just stay sober enough. “It’s Josephine,” she corrected me, unamused. “Sorry.” My last assistant was Sally. Or my last girlfriend. Um, anyway… “I wasn’t rude to him, I just didn’t wave back. It’s my girlfriend’s fault - if she had responded to my text in time, my mood wouldn’t have been so nasty.” “He said something on Twitter - you should have a look.” “Yeah, okay.” I hung up and stared way too long at the curve of the humerus bone holding a copy of Future Games. These shelves were really coming together and I took pride in the fact that I built them myself. They were lovely, with curves here and there to hug each record in a different manner. I took my new macbook over to my couch and went on Twitter and looked at Justin Bieber’s page. There he was sporting another vintage t-shirt with my picture on it back when I was feared, when I was controversial. WHEN I WAS CONTROVERSY ITSELF. Bigger than Satan, he tweeted along with the picture. The nerve of this brat. I knew what he was doing - he was a Christian, so I was sure that had something to do with this whole thing. Why should I respond to this? Why should I even be bothered by it? I dared to look at the comments from his legion of fans. Hah. Who? One person tweeted. And a bunch of Please notice me tweets from desperate fans. Nothing really about me personally. So I tweeted something back, and thus began the reality tv show offer I could not refuse. My tweet: Yeah I bet you are bigger than Satan, I’ve seen that pic of your penis. 3 Almost immediately after my absurd tweet, my new assistant was calling me back, as well as my publicist and a bunch of other people who NEVER SEEMED TO GET ME CIGARETTES WHEN I NEEDED THEM. And in about five minutes tops, I’d gone from Aging Rock Star No One Cares About Anymore to Creepy Old Man via Twitter. “I should have thought it out more,” I told Josephine, my tone robotic as if I were reciting lines from a boring script. “Yes you should have! This is trending more than the latest terror attack!” “Cool your heels,” I just said. “You wanna meet somewhere and talk about this? My record shelves are starting to creep me out a bit.” “Uh, okay.” WHAT WAS WITH THE UH? She was my assistant, she had to do what I said. Interstate 10 was congested as usual, but I had to take it to get to Taco Heaven. While I waited in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean next to me to dreamily stare out at, I listened to the latest news on SLAM JAM 97 (we play a variety of today’s most popular jams!) and guess what they were talking about? “So this just happened about half an hour ago on Twitter - apparently, you know that whole thing where Justin Bieber wore Marilyn Manson’s t-shirt at a recent concert of his - you know who Marilyn Manson is, right?” The DJ paused to check. “Oh right, the sadist guy from the 90s,” the DJ’s guest replied. “Right, well Bieber tweeted he was Bigger than Satan, because Marilyn Manson used to always compare himself to Satan - well Marilyn Manson tweeted back something like ‘Yeah, I know, I’ve seen those pictures of your penis, something like that…” Laughter exploded in the DJ studio. The light finally changed and the sea of traffic moved forward - all the little shiny sports cars almost too painfully bright to stare at in this afternoon sun. “Well now guess what?” The DJ went on. Oh god, there was more? “Bieber just tweeted The Devil Has Risen. What does that mean?” The DJ informed. More laughter erupted. The studio was going wild. The entire world was freaking out over this! “Does the Biebs have, like, a thing for Manson?” Huh. I turned the radio off. I was shaking. I pulled into Taco Heaven, a tiny joint nestled away behind tall palm trees, known and adored for its view of the ocean more than its food. But that wasn’t saying the food was bad. I called Josephine before I even dared get out of the car. “Hi,” she said. “Who’s in there?” I griped. “Uh, some cooks...the bartender…” “I mean do you see any creepy guys that look like kidnappers - IN OTHER WORDS, PAPARAZZI?” “I see one man in a blue jacket with a beard.” Josephine remained calm as I exploded, this meant she would probably last as my assistant for at least a few weeks. “I just heard the latest tweet by the way,” she let me know. “All this because you wouldn’t wave back.” “YEAH FUCKIN’ PISCES CRY BABY LITTLE SHIT.” “We can figure this out - but are you going to get out of the car?” “Yeah.” I opted for an upstairs table. Not many people were up there, and as long as I was in my hipster disguise, people just assumed I was some over-the-hill weirdo with tattoos. I made sure to get a shady spot too, away from the sun. My pale skin couldn’t take it and Rose McGowan stole all my sunscreen after we broke up. “So…” Josephine took a minute to get settled. She needed it seeing as how she practically brought her whole office with her. She placed her tablet, her iPhone and her Steve Madden sunglasses down. Steve Madden. God, maybe I should give her a raise already. “Okay…” she took a deep breath before she continued. “You want to hear the latest?” “The Devil Has Risen?” I crossed my arms and noticed how her eyes fell to my muscles popping up under my t-shirt. I’d been working out lately - and thank god, now that I was starting to get attention again. At least no one on Twitter had called me fat. Just Creepy Old Man, but not Fat Creepy Old Man. “No. MTV wants to do a reality show starring the two of you - they’ve already made an offer.” “HUH?” She nodded calmly. “Justin’s all for it.” “I’m sure Justine is. She wants attention - that’s what all of this is about! I’m the one being called creepy.” “This could be a chance to rectify yourself,” Josephine was quick to point out. “Where would we live?” I asked. Because that was important. “I’m not living in his Barbie Mansion, that’s for sure.” “They already have a place picked out.” I stared at her for a minute, before I noticed that guy in the blue coat staring over at us. IT WAS 90 DEGREES, WHY WAS HE IN A COAT? “I’m going to push him off,” I muttered, nodding at him before Josephine turned to stare at him. “You would meet at an undisclosed location,” Josephine remained focused on the topic at hand, turning back around. “And you can talk about things. MTV is already working with what to call the show. Marilyn Mansion is their top pic. Really? I couldn’t get over any of this. “Anyway, meet and discuss things first,” she again advised. “Things? Like what? His penis and t-shirts? I don’t even know why this is happening.” “I think it could be a good thing.” Josephine had this positive ring to her tone of voice that personally gave me the creeps. 4 Okay so maybe I had a man crush on him, whatever that meant - whatever the difference was between that and me having a crush on someone, I guess because he was a man so okay a MAN crush, but it was hard to see Justin Bieber as a man - I saw him more as a cute squirrel or some kind of weird exotic creature people couldn’t figure out why they liked. After my so-called meeting with Josephine, she advised me to go home and pay some attention to my new, poor neglected kitten Rose, and I guess finish organizing my vinyl collection and figure out if I wanted to do this STUPID reality show. She also advised me to not let this “get boring” or MTV might decide to cancel the reality show idea altogether. So now this absurd “twitter war” had become some kind of strange responsibility. I felt like I had to take care of it, as well as give Rose attention. I felt like I had two pets now - Rose and that stupid SQUIRREL SQUIRT OF A POP STAR. I parked and before I got out of the car, I saw the new disaster that awaited me. 5 I had to push the front door of my house hard, so that all the stuff that had collapsed on the floor moved with it and I could actually enter my house. My entire racoon bone and charred wood vinyl shelves had collapsed!! I’d spent seven months putting this thing together. I was just angry over this, until I saw the blood spilled on the floor and my anger turned into complete panic. ROSE! I rushed over, but to my relief there was no ball of fur by it, just broken glass because it had been a jar of fake blood and a fake fetus that had broken. My kitten was still alive - although I had no idea where she was at the moment. “Oh my god,” I groaned, standing back from the absolute nightmarish mess. Some of my precious vinyl records had broken in half and I was too scared to find out which ones. So many things were broken. Just...this mass thing of a mess I’d worked so hard to put together. Like your rock career, you creepy old man. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” I collapsed into the sofa. What a monstrosity. What next? I just sat there, maybe if I just sat there nothing else bad would happen. After a while, I found myself in my car again, unable to face the mess. I decided to just drive. It was what my friend Josh Devin always did when life took a big dump on him. He just got in his car and disappeared. Nine Inch Nails-influenced band The Dead Joneses had their fifteen minutes of fame about a decade ago, before Josh Devin simply vanished. I ended up in Beverly Hills UGH to talk to Justin Bieber about the stupid reality show. He was sitting in some chair much bigger than him, BUT NOT BIGGER THAN SATAN, and though he looked relaxed, he stood up like he was amped up all of the sudden and about to throw the party of the decade and I was the first to arrive. “Yo man, ‘sup.” He gave me a high-five. I was planning on a handshake, but okay. I sat down. Was I sweating? He sat back down too, and I had to admit he was even prettier in person. His skin was flawless - I had acne at his age. He was wearing sweatpants. I don’t think he was wearing a shirt, but it was hard to tell beneath the bulky designer jacket that was meant to look like a messy collection of graffiti art. “Hey yo man…” Justin seemed like he was about to say a ton of stuff but stopped and gave my assistant a weird look. “She gotta be here?” “Uh...uh…” I looked up at Josephine, who looked hurt by Justin’s rude behavior. “No…?” I looked at her and tried to apologize with my eyes, which I was never good at. Then she slipped out of the room. The room smelled like champagne and some crazy expensive cologne or maybe fancy deodorant spray men used - like that Axe spray stuff but more expensive. I couldn’t believe how much I liked the scent. “Yo I wanted to talk to you about something…” he took a minute to adjust the giant gold chain he was wearing around his neck. “If I can,” he gave what the kids called a Kanye shrug. “Uh, sure, the show?” “Nah, not that, though we gotta talk about that I guess.” He sounded like he didn’t care about the show, which made me emotional - I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE SHOW. “Okay what?” “You know that guy that just died, that everyone’s been talking about, you know?” He shrugged and gave me that sweet smile of his before slyly running his finger down the side of his face. “The guy with the makeup.” It was very sexy the way he just did that. “David Bowie?” I guessed. “That’s it!” He snapped his fingers and pointed at me and gave this cute laugh. “So yo, I was thinking about doing a song about him - but I wanna do a song the kids can relate to, you know?” His voice actually got deep just then. Well, deeper. “I wanna call it Yowie, what do you think?” Yowie so it rhymed with Bowie. “That’s a bad idea.” He stared at me as if no one had said that to him before, but surely… “I just think the people that are Bowie fans wouldn’t...get it, and the kids wouldn’t care.” “Yeah,” Justin smiled after a minute in response, but I could detect a sadness in his brown eyes. “And Yowie actually, if you look it up now, it’s this creature that only eats peanut butter.” Justin laughed again, in this cute way that made me want to squeeze him. “That’s me sometimes!” He snickered. “So maybe you’re the Yowie.” I had no idea what I was saying anymore. “So anyway, we should discuss…” I moved my tattooed hand around. “The...incident.” Incident? I didn’t know what to call it. “Look, I like you, dude, that’s wassup,” he simply stated, tugging on his jacket. “I thought you hated me because I didn’t wave back at you?” I said. OH MY GOD WAS HE NOT GOING TO DO THE SHOW NOW? SHOULD I HAVE SAID I LIKED HIS BOWIE SONG IDEA EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THE DUMBEST THING EV… “I don’t hate you, bro, hate is not in my vocabulary,” his voice was as sweet as icing. “I’m all about the love…” then he did this thing with his hand, beating it against his hard, beautiful chest before holding it up towards the ceiling, but I guess he was gesturing towards something higher. Uh, Heaven, I guess… “Bigger than Satan,” he winked. “I feel you, bro,” he added. “You’re a lost angel. You walk into a place, people notice. Like they would notice Jesus, but Jesus is different, you know what I mean.” “Yup.” “Oh, but people didn’t notice you that night at the club though - was that why you was mad?” “No.” Ugh, I wanted to go now. I realized I was folding my hands into tight fists. “So MTV wants us to do this show, huh?” He got this childish grin on his face AND FINALLY brought up the show and I was about to say something when he held a hand up for me to wait and he punched a button on the speakerphone. “Yo Annie, I need my medicine.” He sounded so beautiful when he said that, like it was a new song he was writing - no wonder his songs were so popular. “Are you sick?” I asked after another long, quiet minute. “Because you need medicine…” “Sick yo, yeah.” He nodded and smiled. Okay, I’ll just move on. But before I could ask my next question, he leaned over the shiny black marble table and shared something. “I take Adderall. Anyway, so you wanna live with me? I mean I have crazy parties, yo, but then like some nights I can be chill - I can be real chill, yo. In my sweats, bottle of Evian by my side, yo. Chill.” “Yeah…” He was shooting me a certain look now where I couldn’t tell if he was bored or about to say something plain rude. Teenagers. Or old was he? “Didn’t you bite the head off of a bat once?” He suddenly asked. “That was Ozzy Osbourne,” I dryly responded. “Oh yeah yeah yeah, sorry, bro.” Then he anxiously pressed the button again on his phone. “Yo Annie, how does gettin’ fired sound?” Then he leaned back and gave me a smile that was almost provocative and pointed a finger at me like he knew everything. “You’ve seen my penis,” he said, very matter-of-fact. “Yes, you were walking around naked so people could take pictures.” “No, nawe, that’s not it. I just happen to let the guy out, you know, for a minute, it was so nice, I was like hey, guy, you should see this.” He actually giggled. Then I giggled. Then I blushed. Me, God of Fuck, blushed. WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE. “So I wanna walk around naked, DUDE!” He kept pulling on his jacket and moving around in his chair and he had this crazy laugh all of the sudden. “Ha-Ha-Ha!!!” He chuckled. It was a sharp laugh that bounced off the walls and went everywhere. “Ha-Ha-ha!!!” I couldn’t stop laughing. He was ADORABLE. A woman, I assumed was Annie, rushed into the room. Apparently she did not want to get fired. Justin flashed me a little smile that made him look a little embarrassed while she got some kind of pill and drink combo ready for him. “Did you ever find me a leather bathmat?” I heard him ask the lady. “No, still looking, sorry,” her words were rushed before she turned and walked off. “Little Dizzy’s,” I said after a long silence. “Huh bro?” He asked after tossing the pill down and looked at me with a very disinterested gaze. WAS I BORING? “That’s where you can get leather goods, like bathmats.” “Oh yeah?” His eyes widened like a kid’s on Christmas morning and he reached for his phone and spoke as he typed, “Little...Dizzy’s.” He placed his phone back down and gave me a blank stare like we’d just met and hadn’t said a word to each other. I looked out at his swimming pool. “Do you like my serenity fountain?” He asked in a way that almost sounded perverted. “Uh...uh yeah.” Then he suddenly smiled, and that smile did things to me I wished it didn’t. “You’re the guy that fucked that chick with that shark,” he pointed at me and winked, very cocksure. “That’s Led Zeppelin.” I felt like a teacher giving a lesson on the grotesque doings of rock stars. “ what did you do?” He looked very puzzled as to how I became famous. “Well I...made some songs…” “You wiped your ass with the American flag, that’s it! Now I remember.” “That too.” “And you don’t have any ribs! So, like, what does that mean, you don’t have abs either?” HUH. “Yes,” I just said. “Whoa. Weird,” he gasped. “You still have it?” “Abs?” “The flag,” he said. “Oh, yeah.” “Yeah bro.” He smiled in a way that seemed indecent. “Where? I want it.” “I think...somewhere in storage.” “We should put it up in the izzz-owwwse!” “Sure...well,” I didn’t know what else to say here so I stood up. “I guess we’re gonna do the show.” “Look man, since I never got that wave, how about we hug it out?” “Oh sure…” I leaned in and it was awkward because he only came up to about my waist. I felt like I was trying to hug a puppy without picking it up. And then something very embarrassing happened and I turned and fled before he could find out about it. 6 I got home later that night, after a very long talk with The Biebs, and couldn’t believe my eyes. First, I called my assistant and then ALL of my girlfriends. But no one had the answer I was seeking. WHO CLEANED MY FUCKING HOUSE. I stared at the clean floor, where the blood from the fetus jar had been. It was gone now - along with the fetus. I walked around my house, which seemed a lot roomier without those vinyl shelves, which had been pushed aside in a pile of wreckage by an old convertible sofa given to me by my great-grandmother. YEAH I DON’T KNOW WHY I HAD IT EITHER. “Hello Josephine?” I barked into the phone as soon as she answered. Once again, she remained impossibly calm towards me. “How did the meeting go?” “SOMEONE BROKE INTO MY HOUSE AND CLEANED IT UP.” “What?” She was actually laughing at me!!! I tried to calm down. I still had a half chub from hugging that little squirrel squirt. “My shelves...collapsed...and my fetus jar broke...and I was going to clean it up...but then I had to have this moronic meeting with MTV...AND MTV WASN’T EVEN THERE BY THE WAY JUST THAT LITTLE GERBIL ON ADDERALL so I did that first...then I come home and SOMEONE CLEANED MY HOUSE.” “Well I don’t think this is anything to be mad about.” RIGHT BECAUSE YOU NEVER GET MAD ABOUT ANYTHING. “BUT WHO DID IT!” “Maybe one of those doped up model girlfriends you are always giving your keys to…?” She calmly guessed. “Maybe they got desperate and wanted some drugs and decided the only way to find some in your house was to clean it.” SHE SOUNDED LIKE SHE WAS GOING TO LAUGH AT ME AGAIN. “The fetus is missing.” I was very creeped out about that. I walked around the house, I LOOKED EVERYWHERE FOR IT. “Maybe a dog ate it.” “I DON’T HAVE A DOG.” “A coyote? How’s your cat?” I hung up. She was no help. Women. I spent the next hour looking around the house for my kitten and the fetus. I found neither. At least the beer was still in the fridge. I took a cold one out to the backyard, completely spooked by what occurred. I contacted everyone in my phone, asking the same thing YOU COME INTO MY HOUSE AND CLEAN IT UP? Most people responded with letters like WTF and HUH and NO. And some lame insensitive idiots only replied with a LOL. I couldn’t spend the night here after this happened, so I went to the twenty year old model girlfriend’s house, Sally, and it turned out that her cousin was LITERALLY RETARDED. I know that’s not PC, he was mentally challenged, but when she said he was retarded I just thought she was being mean BECAUSE SHE WAS A VERY MEAN PERSON. “Can I spend the night here?” I just asked, I didn’t have any pride left tonight. “We don’t have to have sex.” “He’s the goat fucker,” her cousin abruptly called me as he pointed at me and laughed. He had popcorn kernels stuck to his Nine Inch Nails t-shirt WHICH I GAVE TO HER WHICH SHE OBVIOUSLY PASSED DOWN TO HIM. I peeled my eyes away from him, bit my tongue and tried to remain civil. “Albert,” she calmly sighed her cousin’s name before looking at me with a cold expression. “Why can’t you sleep at your place?” She asked. “Someone broke in...I think…” “They didn’t take my jewelry did they?!” She freaked. “” That must have been someone else, because that disappeared weeks ago, but I wasn’t about to tell her that right now. “You have a guesthouse,” I pointed out. That was it - I’M COMING IN. After all, I forked over a lot of money to her before her modeling career ever really took off, so she owed me. “Albert’s sleeping in the guesthouse,” she said, of her special cousin, who was actually quite good looking. He sort of looked like a young Marlon Brando. I stared at the giant aquarium built into the wall big enough to house mermaids. I GUESS INSTEAD OF PAYING ME BACK SHE BOUGHT THAT. “I’ll sleep on the couch - I don’t care,” I declared. I just wanted to be left alone. I made myself comfortable on Sally’s grey sofa, which was nice and soft. I was about to drift off to sleep when I felt a presence hovering over me. “You ever eat at In and Out?” Albert wanted to know. “Sure,” I said, not bothering to open my eyes. WHAT A LONG DAY. “Which do you like better, In or Out?” WHAT. “Go to bed, kid. Or I’m taking the guesthouse,” I warned in my best Antichrist Superstar tone of voice. “You like penises?” He just went on. “I heard you liked penises.” I turned over so my back was to him, the rudest gesture I could think of at the time without getting kicked out. 7 The next day I didn’t waste any time. I made fliers first thing in the morning: MISSING FETUS LOOKS LIKE A BRAIN WITH A TAIL LAST SEEN AT HOUSE ON CORNER OF DAWN PINES AND SOFTCAVE I left Sally’s phone number on them and proceeded to my next meeting about the show but Squirrel Squirt was late so I spent the next several minutes texting my old friend Josh Devin to see if I could crash at his house. I wasn’t exactly expecting him to text back - as The Mystery of Josh Devin was still a thing in L.A. He’d vanished a long time ago, after some friends said he decided to drive to out beyond Devil’s Button - a beach where the California sun avoided - a place darker and more mysterious than yours truly. And no one ever heard from him again. IF YOU’RE ALIVE PLEASE CAN I STAY AT YOUR HOUSE TONIGHT, I texted him anyway. Just then the door flew open and a temperamental Justin Bieber walked in. He was dressed like (or undressed like) he’d just stepped out of a Calvin Klein ad - which was quite possible since he modeled for them now, and sulked as he sat in a recliner, not saying a word to me or even looking in my direction. I wondered if he was still posing for pictures for the campaign and looked around for photographers but there weren’t any. I felt like I should ask what was wrong, but I ALSO WASN’T HIS DAD. I looked around for any MTV executive blowjob but no one seemed to be here yet. Then I realized something SHOULD I HAVE PUT HUMAN FETUS ON THE FLIERS BECAUSE I JUST PUT FETUS BUT HOW MANY FETUSES COULD BE MISSING IN L.A.? Justin was hitting me with a funny frown like he could tell what I was thinking. Then he finally said, “My dad wants more money.” He was sinking down in the recliner so much so I expected to see him completely slide down off of it onto the floor. “Oh, I see.” “Like dude, how much can I give you every month?” His arm slid off the armrest in a moment of distress. “After your ass left me and mom when I was a kid?” “I found the flag,” I decided to say, thinking it would cheer him up a bit. “The one I wiped my ass with…?” He got all bright-eyed. “You did?!” “Yes, look, I want to move into this house as soon as possible - do you know when we can get started?” “No, bro, I don’t. No one’s really talking about it anymore.” His tone was quite direct. “They’re talking about that actor who got ran over by a car on that film set.” “Who?” YEAH WELL MY FETUS HAS GONE MISSING AND NO ONE CARES ABOUT THAT. “I don’t know what his name is,” Justin offered one of his suave shrugs. “Jason, something with a J - but not Justin - not that cool.” He smirked. “Well that sucks, is he okay?” “I guess. That would suck to get hit by a car - I mean I might die. I think other people would too.” “If they got hit by a car?” “No - if I got hit by a car, bro.” “Ah.” Okay then. “I mean, my penis?!” He concluded. I just nodded and watched as Annie walked in with Justin’s “medicine” again. Too much time went by without anything happening and then my phone FINALLY did something and I checked to see who texted me - hoping with all I was made of that it was Josh - but it was Josephine. THE SCOWL ON MY FACE WAS REAL. Were you home last night? She texted. NO I WAS AT MY DIMWIT GIF’S HOUSE WHY THEN I LOOK AND SEE MY TEXT SAID GIF INSTEAD OF GF BECAUSE OF STUPID AUTOCORRECT AND I HATE EVERYTHING BAD AND GOOD AND EVERYTHING!! Someone was there, I drove by. The TV was on, she texted back before I could bother correcting anything. WHAT. You should go home. I look up and find Justin just staring at me again and I have no idea what it meant. Annie just finished whispering something in his ear and he looked upset. “They’re not doing the show bro, things fell through. The shirt thing’s not trending anymore, I guess.” He shrugged again as Annie walked out and left us alone. I WAS MUCH MORE DISAPPOINTED THAN I WANTED TO BE. “Look don’t say anything about how sad I was just now,” he sweetly requested. “I don’t want to make waves with my parents. I got this. You know? And it wasn’t because of my dad - I mean he’s cool - he just never...I don’t know...functioned well, like, as a parent. Anyway, I was sad because I was listening to your music this morning - the really, really old stuff from like before I was born - you wrote a song about a monkey. I had a little monkey...I sent him to the country…” he was actually about to cry as he recited my song. “I fed him on gingerbread.” He moved his thumb to catch a tear in the corner of his warm brown eye. “I thought...everyone forgot about that song.” I was amazed. “Made me miss my monkey. That’s all, bro. But it’s all good.” “That sucks. Well…” I stood up and waved at him this time. But I knew it was a wave that meant goodbye. 8 On the way back to my house I didn’t even want to go to, I blasted Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You and it felt really, really good. I MEAN WHAT A SONG. This was what people should be tweeting about. I wanted to drive back. As palm tree after palm tree went by, I just wanted to turn around and go back. YES I LIKE LOOKING AT YOUR SERENITY FOUNTAIN JUSTIN. I turned the song up even louder. It didn’t matter which direction I drove - this song was where I was. I WAS IN THIS SONG. Then I started to text Sally but decided to text Josephine instead. With the windows open and the smell of the Pacific Ocean, life didn’t seem that bad just then. MEET ME AT MY HOUSE I AM SCARED Okay, she texted back. HOW WAS SHE ALWAYS SO CALM WAS SHE ON DRUGS OR SOMETHING? I drive by my house about three times before stopping because she was not there. MAYBE SHE HAD TO GO BUY ANOTHER UGLY PAIR OF STEVE MADDEN SHADES but finally, on the fourth drive by, there was her car. I sat in my car staring at the window in the front of my house that looked in at my living room. Josephine got out of her car but I wouldn’t get out of mine. We both stared at the TV in my house, which was on, and there was SOMETHING sitting on my couch watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It had pretty blonde hair and strange brown leathery looking skin. It wasn’t quite human. WHAT WAS THAT THING. “I think you should get out of your car, Brian,” Josephine suggested. NOTHING DROVE ME MADDER THAN SOMEONE CALLING ME BY MY REAL NAME. But she was right. I needed to get out of my car. As we approached my house and looked harder through the living room window, I saw the creature up close. It was using my defiled American flag as a blanket, and the back of the things t-shirt read BIGGER THAN SATAN. It turned around and smiled at me, warm brown eyes beaming, and waved. WAS THIS THE FETUS??! “You better wave back,” Josephine instructed.


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