Engineer Coffee’s Plans Revealed, Nearly

http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/20101021/on-the-life-of-engineer-coffee/

For more of my Ian McQue inspired writings check out the ‘terminus‘ tag.

“He did it. You said he’d do it. And he did it,” Sriram tossed his cap and coat onto the work table near the entrance to the lab. Both garments slumped to the floor like a dead body. He cursed in Hindi then put them back in the same spot on the table. They slid to the floor again. Sri kicked the bundle up under the work table as far back as his anger could get it. “Mador chod!”

Coffee closed the valves on the oxy-acetylene torch he used and set the tool down. He sloughed off his glove and reached under his mask to rub his eyes while Sriram stood there watching. Coffee cocked back the visor.

“Aren’t you pissed?”

“Actually I’m excited,” Coffee said. “Moving the shop will be good for all of us.”

“But he hung you out. If this fails it’s all on you…”

“And if it succeeds it’s all on him…”

“Yes! Yes. That’s what I’ve been saying.” Sri made a gesture with his hand and arm like he wanted to put his brain in Coffee’s skull.

The slender body of Ronnie James Dio crashed into the door frame. His shaven head clunked into the jam as he almost over shot the entrance. “We’re fucking moving the shop? We’re fucking moving the fucking shop?”

“Calm down, kid,” Sri said.

“You calm down, Sri.” Ronnie rubbed his scalp and looked for blood on his fingers. “Is it true Mr. Coffee. Are we moving the shop? Did you tell the Admiral we had to move the shop?”

300 words on day 607

A Broken Silence

Day 446

The four day stale snow covered the land like a tattered blanket or corpses on a battle plain. Overnight chill froze the horse-trod slush in the roadway and crusted the still white lumps under the shadowed firs. The sun may have risen or it may still be mired in the horizon. Either way, grey clouds had hammered the earth shut in a dim lit coffin.

Back from the empty serf-road Jora squated to see below the branch-line. A small dark-metalled dagger appeared in her hand. If you hadn’t been just hovering over the narrator’s shoulder you’d be dead now. Jora ranged ahead of her three sisters scouting. Sometimes she waited for them to catch up and sometimes she traveled back to them. She waited.

In this weather Jora’s ears picked out voices in the distance with preternatural ease but the clarity cheated distances and timing. Jessa, Jemma, and Jia arrived later than Jora anticipated. Jia clomped down the road because she just didn’t give a shit. She could kick your ass if needed too.

Jora scowled at Jia. The youngest sister gave Jora the finger but hushed her tromping and jumped the ditch to join the other three gathered in the grass and frost.

Jessa, the oldest, gestured for Jora to share her scouting.

Jora shrugged a silent ‘all clear’.

“Then why are we being so fucking quiet here?” asked Jia. Jemma elbowed her. Jia replied with, “Cut that shit.”

“Maybe the gypsies will share their coffee. Right now you need to hush,” Jessa said, “How far to the camp? I’ve been smelling their cookfires for a while now.”

A Tattered Blanket

You probably wanted this story (p23) written by Kamala Surayya.

But here’s my totally different thing…

Day 445

The four day stale snow covered the land like a tattered blanket or corpses on a battle plain. Overnight chill froze the horse-trod slush in the roadway and crusted the still white lumps under the shadowed firs. The sun may have risen or it may still be mired in the horizon. Either way, grey clouds had hammered the earth shut in a dim lit coffin.

Back from the empty serf-road Jora squated to see below the branch-line. A small dark-metaled dagger appeared in her hand. If you hadn’t been just hovering over the narrator’s shoulder you’d be dead now. Jora ranged ahead of her three sisters scouting. Sometimes she waited for them to catch up and sometimes she traveled back to them. She waited.

In this weather Jora’s ears picked out voices in the distance with preternatural ease but the clarity cheated distances and timing. Jessa, Jemma, and Jia arrived later than Jora anticipated. Jia clomped down the road because she just didn’t give a shit. She could kick your ass if needed too.

Here’s the whole Tattered Blanket story if you’d rather read it all.

If you’re new here you might enjoy some of the other things I’ve written.  Here’s some stuff I did with Pixies.

Your Impatience; Your Life.

A miniskid slides up to your boots.  You toss on your duffel and guitar kit and go back to rummaging around the passenger’s side floorboards to find the second of two dead batts you tossed there.  Perhaps you’re having trouble finding either of the batts because you’re thinking more about the security for the data-paq you’re couriering: obscurity, stealth, subterfuge, or strong-arm?  Or maybe it’s all the food wrappers, the rank and stale sports-bra, and the books getting in your way.

:Yes, there’s one!:

Normally you’d do the obscurity thing without a further thought.  It suits your personality and your wallet, but you’re thinking it over anyway.  Stealth’s too blown from your ride in.  Can’t motor in on a bitchin’ flit like this custom B’bridge and not expect people to notice.  You’re too frazzed after the long jump from [planet name here] to bother with the acting that goes along with subterfuge though you could go for some man burning sex-play.  Can’t have too many of those notches.  Maybe you’ll fit some of that in anyway.  That leaves armed guards and an impromptu parade through the core of Okkatu.  And endless waiting.

:Screw it.  Not waiting.  Not after that ride.:

You remove the data-paq from the skid’s safe and stuff it into a day bag with your floorboard trash and laundry.

:There’s the other batt.:

I thought I’d not yet written your deboarding in the hanger, but apparently I had.  Maybe I can slot this bit in before that one.

Day 276

Olsen’s Still Homophobic

The excuse part of my brain is working overtime.  STFU isn’t working so great, but I’ll keep trying.

“What is it with you people anyway?”  We’d been uncomfortably silent for several miles.  Me watching the road.  Olsen fiddling with his OSU cap.  I wasn’t paying attention.

“What?”

“What is it with you people anyway?”

“You people?”

“You people.  Your people.  F..gays.  Homos.  Whatever.”

“I’m not Jewish.  Or Mexican.  I don’t have people.  We aren’t ‘a people.'”

“Bullshit.”  Interesting–I thought he’d roll over on that one.  “Was that movie with Robin Williams real?”

“The Birdcage?”

“I don’t know.  The one with that anorexic chick.”

“Calista Flockhart.”

“Is she the anorexic one?”  Olsen throws a look at me that says, I’m trying to get to some other point.

“Calista is the one you think is anorexic.  She says she’s just thin.”

“Anyway was that shit real?  All the dressing up likewomen and shit?  And that fucked up butler guy?”

“It’s not real around here–too often.  And not like that.  But I guess it’s real enough for places like Miami.”

“Then you got people.”

Maybe he’s got me there.

These conversations seem to take different turns when the get out of my head.  They feel more burdened.  Less snappy.

“Seriously!  Don’t tell me shit like that.  I definitely don’t want to know you had a fucking crush on me when we were fucking Freshmen.  I don’t want to fucking know it.  I don’t want to fucking talk about.  And I don’t want to fucking know it.”  Olsen doesn’t even look at me to tell me.  It’s like he’s talking to the dashboard instead of me.  No eye contact will probably make this easier on both of us.

“Don’t worry about it Mark.”  Using his first name comes tough to my mind.  I called him Mark the whole year we were Freshmen.  It wasn’t until later–after–I started calling him Olsen like everyone else.  It’s hard to believe I have to calm him down.  I thought he’d laugh at that one off.  The next thing I say needs to come off as casually as I can make it because he needs to believe it’s true.  “Once I got to know you.  It wore off real quick.”

I make a show of checking my mirrors.

“Good, ’cause that fucking shit just ain’t gonna happen.”

Day 256

This is Olsen My Homophobic Friend

“Go the back way; through Langston.” Olsen requested. I nearly always do. “So. You know how I refuse to wear a condom?” he goes on to ask.

I dump the Chevy off 35 and float through the stop sign onto 33 headed east. “I know you claim to refuse. Never heard if you do or don’t. For sure, you never refused me.”

“I’d never refuse you, sweetie.” he says.

“Really?  Your wife left you and you wanna do the fake gay thing?  [With me?] You know what they say about homophobes.”

“Man, fags’ll say anything to get you to think that you’re repressed or some such shit.”  Olsen pulls off his OSU ball cap and dips it into the airstream.

I wrote the above a ways back but never posted it.  I am not sure why not.  I’ve posted plenty shorter.  I need to tweek this to make it more clear that the driver is gay.

On the way home yesterday I came up with a handful of exchanges between the driver and his buddy Olsen.  It flet like good dialogue, but I couldn’t really make a full conversation stream out of the pieces.  It reminds me of the piece I did with the actress discussing things with her assistant a ways back.

I should make it clear that I’m not gay.  And I don’t have any close friends that are that could provide me guidance in the accuracy or authenticity of the following conversations.  Were I to significantly expand this piece I’d do more research.  For now I’ve just used my imagination.  The driver shouldn’t be offensive; Olsen probably should.

These aren’t in order…

“So you wouldn’t fuck a girl at all?  Even a hot one?  Do you even think hot girls are hot?”  Olsen asked.

“No. No. Yes.”

“OK, good. Wait, what?  Would you fuck one or not?”

I’ve always tried not to go into detail with Olsen.  He’s not ready for this conversation–neither am I.

“No, I wouldn’t fuck a girl not even a hot one.  Yes, I do know the difference between hot and just regular pretty.”

“My wife’s smokin’.  You’ve know that.  You wouldn’t fuck her?” Olsen pauses.  I know what’s coming. “Not even in the ass?”

“Nope.  Not even in the ass.”  I’ve tried to keep things short.  Tried to keep things factual and basic.  I can feel it’s not going to work better than I can feel the Oklahoma evening air rushing int he open window.

“You know I’m not gay because I like ‘fucking people in the ass’, right?”

“But you do?”

“Have sex or like it?”

His look tells me to stop playing word games.

“Yes on both.”

“You can’t be gay.  You drive this truck.”

Admittedly, the truck isn’t very gay.  A 1978 Chevy Fleetside red with a white stripe down the side.  It’s a classic Oklahoma farm truck.  Beat up bed.  Dented and rusting back bumper.  Even has a gun rack–empty except for my rope and calf string.  I point to the plastic Bugs Bunny I superglued to to the dash.

“OK.  Gluing that there was gay.”

“I don’t mean gluing gluing it.  I mean Bugs.  Bugs is gay.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?  Bugs Bunny isn’t gay.”

I give him a wink about as flamboyantly as I ever can be.

“Jeezus.  Ugh.  Please don’t ever do that again.”  Olsen shivers like I’ve shown him a dead body.  “I’m just saying that fags don’t drive trucks.  Hell women don’t even drive trucks.”

“Now, what the fuck are you talking about?  Jamie drove a truck.  Christy drove a truck.  Joan drives a truck.  Hello!  Your soon to be ex wife drives a truck.”

“Yeah, but once you’re fucking them they want you to drive them around.  It’s like they have the truck just so they can get driven around in it.”

I have more of this stuck in my head.  Hopefully I’ll get to it later today, but for now I’ve got to get the work week started.

Day 254

The Thing Is Also

I toyed with returning to “The Thing Is“. Tonight I’m giving it a shot.

Olsen got started quick tonight. I planned on a conversation that started with “I can’t believe the fucking Cowboys lost again.” or “What the fuck is up with T. Boone Pickins anyways?” or “I still can’t believe they tore down the Dairy Bar.” Instead I got this.

“We’re not driving all the way to Tulsa tonight, just Stillwater. Do you want to start with ‘the fucking thing’ and never get to ‘the thing’ or dive right in?” I asked.

Olsen scanned the roadway for cops. Seeing it all clear he lifted the beer from between his legs straight up to his lips like it was on a wire, took a swig, then ran it back down the wire to it’s hiding place. Somewhere outside a loud cricket Dopplered by the open pickup window like a siren. Olsen oh-shitted.

“You have got to be frickin’ kidding me.” I dropped off the gas pedal and drifted to the shoulder a little to really set the hook. Olsen whipped around full sideways to face me with one elbow on the dash and one on the back of the seat. His head flipping up and down the road he’d just cleared like a windshield wiper.

“Ah fuck. I’m sorry, dude. I don’t even see any lights. Where the hell is he?” I smile, hit the gas, and pull back into the slow lane. “You fucker! For that I just might talk about farts the whole way.”

I turn KXY the rest of the way down–it’s not like you could hear who they were playing anyway with this 2-70 air conditioning going. “Tell me why Karen left you.”

“Not why, dude. Where.”

Word count: 281
Day 222