JFC, I could write a novel about this place. Boomer Peyton Place but without the sex and romance, just endless sniping and backbiting. And lots of booze and weed.
Again, I won’t go into the quirks of my neighbors because it
feels like punching down. Probably best to keep those character sketches off
the internet and in my private folders.
After my shift ended at four, I walked out to the five gathered for
beer and weed, only to be swarmed by flies. It wasn’t just me, it was everyone.
Complaining WTF, where are these vermin coming from? I’d gifted our community
with a fly-swatter previously but determined it was time to bring out the
second one I had in my house. After about ten minutes, the space between Steve’s
feet and mine looked like a Civil War battlefield, fly corpses littering the
Dead flies, not that they were “fly corpses.” Yo, I’ll leave
a “fly corpse” when I pass, you know it!
The entire situation reminded of a bit I included in Powerball,
probably to be cut after an editor takes an axe to my work.
Emma spat into the fire and tipped her head back in disdain. “Karma? You wanna talk about karma? What goes around comes around? Because it’s bullshit, sister, there’s no such thing. There’s no cosmic force that determines retribution, so wipe that silly-assed concept from your mind because it’s nothing but a fucking fairy tale.”
“I thought you believed in karma, we’ve talked about this before.” With her hands twirling by her side, Ra-Ra howled with exasperation. “You’re your mom’s daughter! Or, at least until now. What happened?”
Sage snickered. “Powerball. Powerball changes everything.”
Ra-Ra nodded, grabbed Sage’s hand. “Everyone says that. Powerball changes everything. No one’s sure what that fuckin means.”
“And was Powerball karma? Or chaos?” Stepping back and taking to prowling around their fire, Emma’s fuse was short and sputtering. “Look at Hitler. He ended up in a fancy fucking bunker where he killed his squeeze then put a bullet in his own head. Like, the place was stocked—wine, gourmet food, nice furniture—and his so-called retribution, for doing mass murder on the scale of millions? Got to do what thousands of poor sad motherfuckers do every fuckin day. Offed himself with Eva, got a last lay before blowing his brains out. Boom. One bullet to the brain and then, nothing. How does karma apply there? Because that’s one fucked up balance sheet if you ask me. And it’s not like Hitler was having a real hard time of it up to that point. Until everything went to shit for him? He was livin it up.”
“But he gets returned as something lower. I dunno,” Ra-Ra pleaded, pacing around the fire, counter to Emma. “Like, maybe he comes back as a fly.”
“How does that compare to what even one person endured for one day in a Nazi concentration camp? Hitler comes back as a fly? Does he know he’s a fly? Because if he doesn’t know, I don’t see the point. It’s not like he’s buzzing into someone’s face screaming, “Kill me! I’m Hitler fly!” and hoping he’ll get swatted. Really, flies don’t think anything, not even a reincarnated Hitler fly. Flies just follow whatever programming requires making more flies. It’s not like Hitler fly whines, ‘This sucks. Eating shit and fucking other flies. I used to be the chancellor of Germany!’”
Sage turned away from Emma to light the rollie that had gone cold, her wind-block hand trembling. “I’ve seen karma in action, man. Experienced it. Felt the sting of the Goddess’s hand on my backside. It’s real, it works. I’ve known people who messed up their karma and then had to deal with the shit they brought on themselves.”
“Works for everybody looking for a spiritual stamp of approval. Give a bum a quarter, win the Powerball. Whatever dude.” Emma’s words untethered, she turned away and withdrew even further, unable to reel back the sting of her barb.
Ra-Ra doused the fire, sending gray clouds billowing over her RV. “We’re in West Virginia day-after tomorrow. I’m tired. Me n Leo do all the drivin. Puttin my good karma to bed, freaks.”
Just returned from another sesh with the Boomers. "Sesh" caught on with the Boomers as well as toaster waffles, them of aches and pains embracing that and other terms I translate from my Gen Z kids. Anne E. Way, we old folks aren't immune from learning and embracing things we've never rubbed up against. Feel free to be creeped out any ageist assholes not named Sheila who are probably not reading this.