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Just Another Night of Insanity
by George Gad Economou




There was a universal gasp, when the clean-cut boy of no more than 20 stepped into the Circus; he drew everyone’s attention for one second, then, they all returned to their casual business of draining down beer like there was no tomorrow (and for many, there truly wasn’t).

“You know,” the boy said to a rough, tattoo-covered biker swilling down green beer, “there’s more to life than drinking.”

“True,” the biker nodded with a terrifying smirk. “Like beating up little shits that think they know everything.”

“I…didn’t…not what I…sorry.” The boy stumbled back, nearly tripping on the wooden chair. “Keep… have a nice day.”

“Ah, fuck,” Peter sighed, when he noticed the boy coming his way.

“It could be fun,” Gina massaged Peter’s neck tenderly.

“Hello, my good people!” The boy stood in between them.

“Fuck off,” Peter whispered harshly.

“Please,” Gina put her hand on the boy’s shoulder, “have a seat; don’t mind him. He’s always this grumpy; it’s his natural state.”

“Perhaps,” the boy said, his eyes suddenly beaming, “it’s because he hasn’t heard the good news yet!”

“Oh, fuck,” Peter rubbed his forehead.

“Don’t you know that He loves you? He doesn’t want you to be miserable and suffering, my good man,” the boy addressed Peter and put his hand on his shoulder; quickly, he retracted it, when Peter turned toward him with a homicidal glare.

“He’s not going to hurt you,” Gina reassured the boy with a bright smile. “I think.”

“I only want to share the good news with you,” the boy protested, still maintaining his smile. “I don’t understand why everyone keeps staring at me like I…I committed a crime, or something!”

“It’s because you haven’t committed a crime,” Peter responded, “that everyone looks at you the way they do; you don’t belong here, kid.”

“Don’t you want to be saved?” The boy exasperated. “Don’t you want to embrace Him and let Him into your heart?”

“No,” Peter shrugged and motioned to the bartender for another round of Four Roses. “Give the little bastard one too.”

“No, thank you,” the boy shook his head. “I don’t drink.”

“That’s your problem,” Peter forcefully thrust the glass in the boy’s hand. “You want me to hear your good news, you have a fucking sip. And make it a good one, no faggot nipping in this place.”

“I can’t, I…” the boy protested; he frowned, when the strong scent of bourbon burned his nostrils.

“Have a fucking sip, you bastard,” Peter tilted the glass, spilling bourbon on the boy’s ironed and shiny shirt.

“How can you drink this?” The boy coughed violently, his face pale.

“Ata boy,” Peter clapped him on the back. “You’re on your way finally to becoming a man.”

“Cut it out, Peter,” Gina scolded him. “He’s just a boy.”

“At his age,” Peter said, “I was going after skirts and was draining tequila shots; I wasn’t bothering people about the good news.”

“Not everyone is like you, Peter,” Gina continued. “Thankfully,” she added with a whisper.

“Heard that,” Peter barked at her; however, with a meaningful glare.

“That’s why I said it,” Gina fired back.

“You fucking bitch!” Peter shot up from the barstool and raised his closed fist.

“My God!” The boy cried in astonishment. “What are you doing? No, please, don’t…someone stop him, please!” He cried.

Nobody moved; however, they all covered their curled lips.

“I’m going to fucking murder you this time, you bitch!” Peter continued, raising his voice to a theatrical volume and intensity.

“You don’t have the balls to do it, you pussy!” Gina shoved him. “Here’s my cheek, you fag!”

“NO!” The boy climbed on Peter’s back, hanging on with all his strength.

“Get off of me, you little bastard,” Peter twitched his body, slamming the boy’s back on the counter—with a loud, painful cry the boy let go and dropped on the dirty, sticky floor.

“Look at what you did!” Gina pointed at the writhing boy, her lips unwillingly cracking up in a half-smile.

“Good,” Peter put his foot on the boy’s chest, pressing lightly. “Do you still want to talk to me about your goddamn good news?”

“No, no, please,” the boy sniffled. “Let me go, I won’t bother you again, I promise!”

“Fine,” Peter took a couple of steps back and offered his hand to the boy, who reluctantly took it. “Alright, kid,” Peter straightened out the boy’s shirt and jacket, “find other places for your preaching, alright?”

“Yes, yes,” the boy nodded frantically, tears rolling down his innocent blue eyes. “May I go now, please?”

“Get the fuck out of here,” Peter nodded with his head toward the door—the boy rushed into the dark streets of skid row.

“Man,” Tom, the bartender, laughed and poured two new glasses of Four Roses for Peter and Gina. “You guys are getting better and better at this.”

“Here’s to the two greatest actors of our little shithole,” the biker raised his glass and they all drank long.

“What will you do, if someone doesn’t react as soon as you raise your hand?” Gina asked.

“I guess, I’ll test what I’ve learned from watching pro-wrestling,” Peter shrugged.

“If you give me a black eye,” she pointed her index finger at him, “you can forget about sex for a very long time.”

“Ouch,” Tom chuckled, leaving two more glasses on the table.

“I wonder who keeps sending these kids here,” Peter said. “I mean, we’ve scared off about a dozen of them, but, new ones keep appearing!”

“Too many gullible motherfuckers in this world,” the old man occupying the counter’s corner said, nipping his almost finished beer.

“Tom, get the man a beer; from me, old timer!” Peter said. “Truths must be rewarded!”

“Truth’s a rare commodity nowadays, son,” the old timer hungrily had a long sip of the cold beer.

“Here, here,” everyone raised their glasses.

“What if we let one of these kids hang around here, show them how good we have it?” Gina asked.

“They wouldn’t stay,” Peter shook his head. “Besides, we’re the only ones, who think we have a good time, baby. For the rest of the world, we’re no-good, hopeless bums.”

“We are,” the old timer interjected, “no-good barflies. Don’t kid yourself, son; you’re nothing more than a drunkard.”

“And quite alright with it,” Peter said with a smile.

“Just like me,” the old timer shook his head in disappointment. “I used to believe I had the world in the palm of my hand, son. Once, I thought I was just having a good time, drinking and humping all day and night.

Look at me now!”

“You look fine, man,” Peter said. “Give the man another beer, Tom.”

“Thanks, son,” the man’s eyes mellowed, when the cold beer landed in front of him. “Just remember, though; one day, you’ll regret all these hours you spend sitting on that damn stool.”

“I don’t think I’ll live long enough,” Peter shrugged.

“It’s us that don’t want to live long that live the longest,” the old timer muttered, then swilled down his beer. “Remember that.”

“Look at this fucking dump!” A male voice rang, causing the patrons to turn to the door. “It better have cheap beer and decent pussy, or, I’ll bash your head in!”

“It has, don’t worry.”

Peter examined the three young men sauntering to the counter; well-dressed, with short hair and clean-shaven faces. Rich kids like the ones he used to sell rock to, once upon a time.

“Three beers,” the taller one said. “My, oh, my, what do we have over here,” he shoved Peter aside, standing next to Gina. “Hello there, babe.”

“Watch it, kid,” Peter said calmly.

“Shut up, bum,” the young student barked at Peter, without taking his glance off of Gina.

“Yeah,” his friends said, circling Gina, “watch it.”

“Here’s your beer, man.” Peter grabbed one of the bottles Tom had put down on the counter and smashed it over the tall student’s head.

Instantly, the man let out a cry of pain and reached for his bleeding head.

“What the fuck?” One of his friends took a step toward Peter, but, stopped short, when Peter held the broken bottle merely an inch away from the young man’s face.

“Want some on the spot plastic surgery, motherfucker?” Peter winked at the petrified man.

“I’m gonna fucking kill you,” the bleeding man growled, as he rose back up to his feet, his eyes bloodshot.

“Too much talk from a ball-less sack of shit,” Gina grinned and kneed the man between the legs, sending him once more down on the floor.

“What are you doing, you crazy whore?” The third man yanked Gina off the stool from the hair.

“Do you have a death wish, kid?” The biker, with unbecoming speed, grabbed the man from the throat, squeezing hard. “’Cause I’d love to grant it.”

“Hey, let him go,” the other young man protested, but, his words were cut short by a hard punch directly on his jaw, by Peter.

“And stay down,” Peter stepped over him and stood next to the biker.

“It’s alright, Eric; let the little fuck go. You don’t want to go back to jail for that little son of a bitch.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Eric shoved the man and sent him flat on his ass down.

“You alright?” Peter asked Gina and helped her up.

“Yeah,” she rubbed her neck. “Little bastard took me by surprise.”

Peter reached into the jacket of the man he had hit with the beer bottle and took his wallet out.

“Here,” he took some bills out of the wallet and put them on the counter, “that’ll cover their beers and the damage these spoiled shitheads caused.”

“Nah,” Tom shook his head smilingly, “I think they still owe me something; I’m the one that’ll have to clean up their mess, after all.”

“Here,” Peter handed the young man’s credit card to Tom. “Charge him as you see fit; it’s your business, after all.” He shrugged and sat on the stool again, purposefully stepping on the fallen men.

“Never a dull night, huh?” Eric put his massive arm around Peter’s shoulders and smiled.

“At least,” Peter nodded, “we’ve stopped fighting each other.”

“Fun times,” Eric smiled.

“For you, maybe,” Peter theatrically frowned.

“Ain’t my fault you wanted to be like Bukowski,” Eric shrugged.

“I was just young and stupid, man. Now, I’m old and stupid.”

“A bit wiser, nonetheless,” Gina patted him on the thigh.

“For sure,” Peter shrugged and drained his bourbon. “Hey, Tom, get a round or two for the place, on this guy’s tab! He owes us that much!”

“Will 20-year-old Jack suffice?”

“Fuck yeah,” they all together said in chorus.

“What the fuck are you guys doing?” The young man - unwillingly paying for pretty much every expense Tom had the past month - protested, as he slowly got up. “Hey, Rick, David, are you guys alright?” He asked his friends.

His friends stirred, bloodied up and favoring their aching limbs.

“These fuckers are robbing me,” the young man told his friends. “They stole my credit card and…”

“We stole nothing, man,” Peter said calmly. “We’re just making sure you guys pay for the beers you ordered and the damages you caused.”

“You beat us up!” Rick cried. “And we have to pay for it?”

“Never,” Eric said sternly, “walk into a bar like you own the joint, unless it’s one of those fancy nightclubs you kids frequent; is that clear?”

“Fuck you,” Rick spat on Eric’s face - a second later, Rick was squirming on the floor, holding his bloody nose.

“Broken nose?” Peter asked Eric.

“Probably,” Eric nodded, apathetically. “Was going for the teeth, to be honest, but… didn’t want any scratch marks on my knuckles. Got to go to work tomorrow.”

“Alright, pick your friend up,” Tom addressed the two dumbfounded youngsters, as he placed Rick’s credit card and three tequila shots on the counter, “drink these shots and get the fuck out of here. And, if you think the cops will favor you over these guys, better think it through; I’m quite known and respected among the cops.

“They appreciate my keeping these dangerous fuckers off the streets.”

“Fuck you,” the young man grabbed his credit card and spilled the tequila on the floor - his friends mimicked him.

“Spoiled little brats,” Peter shook his head, watching the three young men stumble out of the door. “Wasting free tequila like that.”

“It wasn’t exactly free,” Tom shrugged. “That young bastard did cover all of your tabs, though.”

“Well,” Peter eyes beamed, “here’s to him, then!” He raised his glass at the door.

“To the generous rich fuck!” Eric joined the toast.

“How about that Jack you promised?” Peter asked Tom.

“You can’t remember where you live, but, you never forget a promised free drink, huh?” Tom jokingly protested.

“There are things in life too important to forget, man!”

A universal sigh filled the bar, when they all - Tom included - swilled down the smooth Jack.  




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