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Copyright 2002

Photographs by JR Compton

This story is purely fiction,
and any resemblance to actual individuals or events is
completely coincidental and not intended in any way to comment upon
or replicate events or individuals either living or dead.


Mayhew got way drunker than he intended to when he woke up one day late, late in August, cicadas shrieking in agony outside his window. In fact, he had not intended to at all. He just got lucky. He lay there in the dim light coming around the blinds lowered and covered by the raggedy spaceship curtains that had been there since he was nine. Thirty years ago. He wanted to cry, for no reason he knew, but he shoved it down. How long had it been?

At least he was in his own room, and not some fucked up shit hole motel shooting gallery, or, worse, a jail cell or the psychiatric ICU at Parkland, which was where he usually turned up. This run was so long he couldn't remember its beginning, or where he scored, or how, or where he'd been, or who he'd done it with, or what he'd done to whom.


He wanted to sit up and look out to see if his car was there, old green Datsun, but when he tried to move a nest of snakes in his head slithered around and his guts wanted to heave out his tongue was all swollen and fucked up and cracked like it had been laid out to dry for a couple hours and reinstalled right before he woke up. He coughed and a huge wad of sour phlegm came up, so he knew he'd been smoking the shit.

Mayhew patted around the mattress until he found the pack of Kools, always placed so he could find them without having to look when he woke up. He lit up, took a big drag, and felt the cold poison spread through his bronchial tree. Fucking head hurt so goddamn bad he couldn't move, like it had been spiked. He felt around on it to see if there were any cuts or wounds; there were none, and he did the same with his face. None.


He sat up. God bless, that was awful. Looked at the clock. 11:20 AM. Fuck it was hot. Goddamn it, when do we get some fucking relief from this shit? He stubbed out the Kool, lit another, grabbed the remote and turned on the tiny pawn shop TV on the dresser, placed among the car models coated in thirty years worth of dust. Fucking game show bullshit. Humanoids cavorting in a color splashed ultraworld, shouting, gesturing. His mother loved this shit.

Mayhew sat on the edge of the bed, his feet crossed one on top of the other, propping his forehead in one hand, the other dangling down at his side, the cigarette smoke curling up from his tattooed hand. Tortured rags of oily blonde hair hanging around his face, not shaved in a week, maybe two.


Fucking Mother thought it was a waste of money to pay for the extra electricity to power the air conditioners, so they just sweltered all summer. When he thought that all she had to do was pay an extra few hundred a month, his blood boiled and made his headache even worse. He wanted to cry again. He didn't.

He looked up at the TV again: the Bionic Man. Fuck him. A bottle of Jack Black, two-thirds full, right next to the TV. He stared at it for a minute, uncertain of his good fortune. He looked away looked back again, it was still there. Holy fuckin shit, how'd that get here? Panic gathering like a storm suddenly became tears of joy, relief. It was a gift from God, is what it was.

The crook of his left arm itched; a festered needle stick, with a big abscess. He prodded it, a woodland animal trying to understand something left behind by humans. Clear fluid oozed from the hole, then a little pus and some blood. He got the stink of the pus and instinctively grabbed for the Jack.


He unscrewed the top in a swoon, half giggling. He didn't know how it got there, but fuck, you don't look a gift horse in the goddamn mouth. Mayhew took the bottle and tipped it up, let the sweet brown fire drain into him. Oh, fuck that felt better. He gasped. Oh, god, yeah. Sweet fucking Jesus! Shit. Hell yeah, I'll take another one o' those please, ma'am, thank ya very much. And he tipped it up again and let another long liquid rope unfurl inside of him.

So much better now, Mayhew stood and dropped his putrid, urine stained pajamas on the floor. Pecker hanging like slaughtered poultry. He went to the dresser, pulled out the top drawer and searched for fresh pants, found none, went over, got the jeans out of the chair, and pulled those on over his bare ass, careful not to catch his balls in the zipper. Scratched around, found an old Daytona 500 T-shirt, lurid stock cars at speed in space. Slid into the pair of flip-flops he didn't recognize lying by the bed and then sat down again.


Held the bottle up to the light to see what was still there, saw about a third, shrugged and went for it. Chug a lug. Gone goes the booze, pain with it. Mayhew felt life might be livable again. Stuck in this shithole, this fucking wrecked out two story prairie style with a bath tub out on the porch where he'd drug it ten years ago when he was gonna 'restore' the house. Got as far as wrecking the downstairs bathroom, pulling the flooring out down to the joists so the room was exposed to the rats and shit under the house.

Once a possum had crawled in and refused to go back no matter how he beat it with a broomstick. Made this awful hissing noise and horrible face. Had to shoot the fucker with Mother's .25.

Fucking piece of shit, is what this house is. Wheezy water coolers and little bitty window units hanging out all over the place. Blackened up old gas space heaters around for the winter. It hadn't been too bad when he was in high school and the old man was still alive. But when the old man went, Mother just more or less went to bed with her pain medication, her TV, and frozen dinners.

She didn't even come to high school graduation. Mayhew didn't go either, though he did graduate. Just told 'em to mail it to him. Pops left a nice, low mile Dodge Dart with, believe it or not, a goddamn dual quad 440 and wide ratio four speed. Posi- rear end, and some steep-ass gears. Couldn't believe his good luck, because the son of a bitch never let him drive it when he was alive. Said he was too fucking spastic to drive a nice car like that. Hated that motherfucker. Always wanted to take a shovel to his ass. Ever since the beating at school, when Pops came up there to show the Principal the right way to punish his son.

While the beating was going on, Mayhew caught a look at LaFave out of the corner of his eye. Fucker was sitting there twitching and jerking like he was taking the shots, for Chrissake. That was when he decided he was gonna hate everyone, forever, no going back, starting with his father, Chuck Mayhew. Big success story. A baker over at Mrs. Baird's. What a life achievement.

Mayhew raced the shit outta that car up on Hampton and over on Forest. Mother thought he was in school, and he just let her go on with it. She'd ask, and he told her he was gonna change majors, or was gonna need a semester out to think things over, or whatever, what the fuck? But meantime he was out burning through the life insurance trust fund, racing the Dodge and smoking dope.


Oh! and getting pussy. Pussy loved Mayhew. He couldn't not get pussy. He had no choice. Pussy was a way of life, an obligation, a career, an art form. Back then, Mayhew had the longest prettiest ass blonde hair half way down his back. His buddies said Man, you look like a fuckin' chick from the backside man except your ass too small!

And he tanned up nice, too, so that by the summer he was twenty, with the blonde hair and the tight ass and deep tan with the puka shell necklace and pink Izod-fuck! Fucking Mayhew was a pussy-processing machine. That's what they called him, the Pussy Machine.

Pussy Machine was sitting on the bed now, staring in blank eyed wonder at the game show, happy for a while, almost a quart of whiskey sitting in his gut. Drunk-ass mother fucker. Stood up finally, went to the upstairs john, took a long, painful, uncertain yellow piss, and stumbled giggling to the stairs. Was gonna go down and check on mother, he couldn't even begin to remember when he'd seen her last. He needed some money.

He spent the last of the insurance money a long time ago. Sold the Dodge, bought a Camaro wreck, dropped a 454 big block bored out to 502 into it, and rolled the dice on makin' it back street racing. But it got sideways on the first race, hit a phone pole and Mayhew had to go to Parkland with smashed up ribs, and a fucked up femur. When he got out, he was totally fucking hooked on Demerol, the best shit in the world. But it was hard to get, and he finally discovered crank and that was it for him. No more cars, just gimme the crank.

Mayhew floated into Mother's room, magic carpet riding on the booze. Damn, booze idn't too bad is it? She lay there in the dark, propped on her side, draped in filthy sheets, staring at the same idiotic game show was on upstairs. Ceiling fan turning slow, groaning, in the still, heavy August air. Garbage smelling. Cat box. Goddamn. Her hair greasy and lank, flowing down her head, in ropes onto the covers. Where it parted, he saw a red and yellow scab where she was always scratching. God, she fuckin' grosses me out.


The fuck you been? Not moving, a voice rising up from nowhere, sound like a cobra rising in the center of the room.

Upstairs, he said, standing still, not moving. Cobras have beady eyes, even if these were invisible. The fuck you have, she said, rolling over, looking at him with her own eyes, sapphire blue, unchanged in all these years. She stuck him there in the middle of the room like a frog on a gig. Mayhew felt all the drunk leave him, and a powerful raging bog monster took its place, swinging a huge club.

The fuck you have! She screamed. You been gone two goddamn weeks, you worthless pile o' shit. Her two big yellow incisors all she had left. In the dark, Mayhew felt like a tomb raider, talking to a mummy.

He figured it'd been something like that. Two weeks. Shit, the fuck have I been doing? Besides smoking crank? Oh, yeah, I was running up crank, too. Takin' it back down with booze and Valium, sleeping it off. Runnin' back up again with another score. He looked at his mother, trying not to let her know what he was thinking. She rolled back over, looked at the TV again, humanoids spinning a huge wheel with numbers on it. Jumping up and down, excited.


Mayhew reached over on the bedside table, felt around in the dark, found the cold, hard little metal thing, picked it up, held it. Same one he'd used to kill that possum. He stood by the bed, put the barrel right up to the oozy scab on the back of her head. Squeezed down on the trigger, his heart pounding up, blood roaring in his ears. Freedom not too far away now, just dump her down that hole in the bathroom, wouldn't even have to go outside, just dig a hole, never tell no one and $998.74 a month Social Security money is his, no one would ever goddamn know.

Fuckin thang ain't loaded, you stupid shit for brains good fer nothing sorry ass piece of shit! Mayhew almost crapped his pants. Don't you think I know the fuck's up with you, she said, rolling over, those sapphire eyes drilling air. You think I don't know you wanna kill my ass and get my Sosha Scurity? You think your mother is just some cabbage fell offa the truck yesterday? I been watching you, you dumbass . blah, blah, blah ...

... and she was still going when he left the hot dark little room and stumbled out into the dim halflight penetrating Venetian blinds hung in the fifties. Used his legs and feet as ploughs to push through the debris covering the floor, the years and years of Dallas Times Herald soaked in cat piss, the beer cans and whiskey bottles, KFC boxes still full of poultry bones, old magazines, pornography of all kinds, medical waste, covered in rat shit, some still scattering as he moved, remains of a cat long dead once called Wizard. Boxes full of china, and video tapes, and books, all stacked to the ceiling. Unopened mail from the IRS, addressed to Mr. Charles Mayhew, 314 N. Winnetka, Dallas, Texas, 75208. Boxes and boxes of mail. Weapons, guns, knives, ammo, tool kits. All lying on the floor in the living room. Motorcycle engine. Wall to wall and three feet deep.


Why doesn't she get her ass outta bed and clean this shit up, Mayhew asked the thick, putrid air, stenches stirred up by his passing. I am sick of this shit. I have goddamn had it with her ass. I am going to do something, I don't know what, but she better watch out. I am gonna pull some shit.

He bent down and grabbed a porn mag that grabbed his eye. Hustler Busty. Hello, old friend, Mayhew muttered under his breath. A girl on the cover, in a tiny dress ripped to the waist, stood with legs spread, staring down at the expanse of her immense tits. Something flickered to life inside him, and he went back up the stairs, slow, flipping through the pages.

When he got to his room, he tossed the mag down on the bed open to the fold out, and dropped his jeans. This was all the pussy Mayhew got nowadays. Fuckin' a magazine. He stood there looking at that girl with her ass in the air and her tits hanging down for a long time, but nothing happened. The dead piece of poultry hanging from his groin would not grow wings and fly. He was too fucked up. A two-week crank run, and a quart of booze. Goddammit.

He picked the magazine up and threw it against the wall. Then his head started to spin in the heat, and he broke out in a heavy sweat. Fell on the bed, looking up at the little ceiling fan spinning, futile in the fetid weight of Dallas summer. Cicadas in their out of phase chorus. Through the blinds, the yellow white hell of August noon.

Mayhew decided he was gonna get some real pussy. Over on Harry Hines. Hookerville. Pussy everywhere. Blowjobs. Whatever the fuck you want. Off duty stripper pussy. Glass booth girls waiting to start a shift. Might be smelly pussy, old pussy, tired, infected, whatever, strung out, who knows? What the fuck. It was pussy.

He slunk back down the stairs. A couple mangy looking stray cats were tearing at the carcass of huge rat at the foot of the stairs. The fuck outta my way, he screamed, kicking the carcass thudding into the wall, cats scattering off to corners of what was once called the living room.

What was that? Mother screamed, and Mayhew screamed back: Nothing. Plowing through the shit on the floor. Goddamn shit hole. Why doesn't she at least hire a fucking maid? Sick o' this shit. Out the front door, ripped screen door hanging from its hinges slamming crooked behind him.

There it was, his old friend, the '74 Datsun. Found it sitting on a side street one day in the warehouses over off Harry Hines. Just sitting there, he got in, saw two wires hanging down, said what the fuck, touched them together, and voila, as they say, the little fucker started right up. Drove it home, no one ever said another word. No one came looking for it. Nothing. Instant car. Been his for 6 years now.


Down Winnetka to Davis, right on Davis, over to Tyler/Sylvan, down Sylvan, under the freeway, past the Alamo Courts where he used to hole up when he first started getting into crank; Sylvan all the way over to the northbound interstate, crawl onto the freeway, up past Parkland then off on Inwood, past the hospital over to Harry Hines. Follow it out to where it ripened up into acres and acres of carburetor and engine shops, chroming businesses, llantas usadas, and every kind of sex shop ever invented.

Tub clubs, strip bars, massage parlors, nude interview palaces, body bars, all nude, all day. Hookers all up and down, working the parking lots and back alleys, working out of abandoned cars and vans. The Anchor motel was down here. Other old places, one-time 'motor courts'-little cottages around a parking lot, from another century. Now little more than tipsy sheds falling over, enough for a hooker to get the job done, renting out on the 0.5 hourly rate. Mayhew rolled on, waiting for inspiration to strike, hoping he wasn't driving so bad he'd get pulled over by a sweaty crew cut cop pissed off about having to do this shit at all.

Nothing. He realized he wanted strange pussy, not the kind he'd already fucked, even if it had been several years since he'd done one of these old gals. He wanted something young, without too much hair on it. Someone just been turned out by the uncle who took over the pimping when the stepfather got thrown in jail for another DWI, or some shit like that. Not seeing anything like that, Mayhew pulled into a 7-11 and got a chili dog and a Slurpee with change he found stuck in the Datsun's ashtray. Farted all the way back to Oak Cliff.

And the food started to fuck up his drunk. He felt the cold tendrils of panic starting to work on him before he was past Methodist. Goddammit. And he'd spent any kind of beer money he might have on that rotten ass chili dog.

Turned down a sidestreet, down another one. Buckalew. He'd always liked the name of that street. Buckalew, Mayhew. Old frame falling down shacks, nice little cottages from the 20's and 30's now buckled over and sliding off their pier and beam foundations, back into the black gumbo dirt. Mexicans, mostly. That's all it was anywhere anymore, fucking Mexicans all over the goddam place. Takin' over the neighborhood, driving all the good people out. Buncha little assholes running around spray painting some kinda gang shit all over everything.

Kid coming home from Greiner Middle School, walking along Page Street. Tight ass jeans riding down on her soft hips, prob'ly 14 or so. Perfect. Long sweep of black, black hair. Hot ass little taco. Mayhew felt the flicker inside, and knew he'd found his pussy for the day.


Pulled over, said, Hey honey, c'mere a minit! I need some directions. She ignored him, kept walking, looking off into the distance at something very interesting, very far away. Mayhew rolled the car along, watching her walk, with the window down, now he tried something different. Hey, need a ride? Tell me where Taco El Si Hay is and I'll give you a ride wherever you want. She kept walking. Tossing that black flag of hair. Red, red lips. Cute little titties in a push up bra. Tight T-shirt, black, some kinda beads and necklaces and shit. Gang tattoos on her hands.

Mayhew getting frustrated. His senorita keeps walking, ignoring him. Probably on her way home to watch some cartoons. Mayhew wants a piece o' ass. She oughtta just give it to him and go on with her life. Mayhew speeds up, goes around the corner, down the street, around the block real fast, then up the other side so he can see her walking down the same side of the street from behind, thinking she was safe now since he left. Mayhew not to be denied. He'd had it, he was gonna pull some shit.

Parked the car, left the motor running. Mayhew's head screaming now in torment. He needed something, booze, crank, crack. Made no difference, something to stop the pain. Some o' mother's Vicodin. Needed some pussy. Something. Something to get some distance from himself. He didn't ever wanna hear that voice again. The fuck you been? The fuck you doin'? you stupid goddamn no good piece o'shit for brains!

Mayhew wobbling as he walked/ran up behind the girl. Ready to heave. Little senorita. Gonna get me some pussy, real nice. Grabbed her arm, so thin, so light. Spun her around, her eyes a bright flash, red, red lips, a slash of blue mascara. Hey, he said, remember me?


enorita never stopped spinning, something flashing in her hand, something that went 'pop' real loud and a hornet stung right above his dick, right in the gut. Something hurt real fucking bad, way bad, Mayhew down on the ground, senorita sprinting off down Buckalew in her cheap ass Shoe World Malaysian sneakers.

All the bad in the world, now, a mighty vortex of pain draining into the hole in his gut, the kind that comes from an iron poker held in the coals until white hot.

Mayhew trying to crawl back down the street to his car, to get to the car, to get in, drive away, back to where things were normal; where his mother lay in fetid stinking garbage whacked on Vicodin, watching game shows all day and cursing his ass for being a no good shit for brains nothing. He wanted to go home, so he crawled.

The earth was trying to swallow him. His hands were burning from the hot pavement in the 2pm sun. Blood was pouring out of him, dripping furiously from the gunshot wound, leaving a huge trail. He kept on. The car wasn't too far away now, but a huge black stray dog was coming up to him, sniffing around his ass, licking at the blood. Get away from me you goddamn cur! He screamed. But the stray kept nosing around at him, and finally, he couldn't move anymore and he gave up and lay there in the abandoned afternoon on Buckalew with a stray licking the bloody torrent coming from the hole in his gut.

* * * *


Mayhew was fucking, as fast and as hard as he could. Really lettin' her have it. He couldn't see her face in the dark, just dark hair spreading out from a head, dark eyebrows visible in the halflight, a naked torso, a pair of tits spreading out. Mayhew, fucking to beat the band. Getting ready to let it go, he could feel it coming, finally, gonna get his nuts off, Mayhew gonna show this gal what a real man's coming is all about.whoa! now, here it comes Mama, hold on to your hat.

... strong arms lifting Mayhew up, hands in each armpit, his dick still swelling, getting ready to pop. Mayhew surrounded by six of the biggest niggers he ever saw, like the interior defensive line of the 1985 Chicago Bears. Hoisted up in the air with his pants sagging down around his ankles, and now he shoots off, his dick straining up in the air, seeking the warm pussy so recently pulled away, shooting off and it just keeps shooting, what the fuck is going on? Who are these niggers, what the fuck? Get your goddamn hands offa me, motherfuckers! The girl now standing up and rearranging her clothes, the six with their prize carried among them, carefully, making sure his filth didn't get on them or their clothes.

Mayhew dangling in the grip of the six giants like some errant rodent varmint brought out of a burrow and into the light. He let his arms go limp, he dangled, his pants still hanging down, his shirt ripped, hair a fucked up tangled mess, his pecker collapsing now, but still convulsing, pumping out yet more semen. They carry him into the light, out of wherever it was he'd been, down the street, not unlike his own, but not like it either.


Hey, motherfuckers, where you takin' me, goddammit? The huge men proceed in silence, their eyes straight ahead, not speaking, expressing no animosity. Kindness in their eyes. A moral resolve to do what they have to do and get it over with.

Now they are turning up the sidewalk to a very old house, with a big front porch, the inner door open, covered by a screen door. They trundle up steps, across the porch, knock, Mayhew still dangling in his ignominy. He has to puke. He can't hold it back. Here it comes. He pukes up everything. It goes on and on. Puke rolling out of him, every sewer in creation opening up; a torrent of snot lets go from his nose. It will never stop. An inhuman flow. He is covered in his own rancid fluids.

Screen door opens, someone he can't see says drop him here. And they do, gently, lay him out on the floor in a clean, neat, sparsely furnished, 20's style living room. A pair of gentle hands lifts his hips, pulls his pants off, covers him with a warm towel, then another warm cloth wielded by the same hands begins to clean him. Now the hands lift him up, and carry him to another room.

Mayhew lowered into a porcelain tub of warm, scented, foamy water. There is soft light, soft music. Plants. Half dozen soft hands are stroking him, cleansing his filth. Someone gently tips his head back, and a pitcher full of warm water flows across his head, and then again, repeating. He relaxes, completely. He sleeps.

Mayhew, awakening, finds himself in a shadowy chamber. The darkness is shot through with beams of sharp white light coming through chinks in stone walls. They form a kind of latticework of light in the dim air, crossing and interlacing. Frankincense. Where am I?


He stands, and notices he is dressed in loose clothing, the puke soaked clothing gone. He walks down a dark passageway, lit by the faintest glow. He is being directed somehow. He enters a circular chamber, vast, dark, built around a raised platform of some kind. He ascends the steps to see what might lie on the platform.

Lying in rags, covered in the dust of centuries, two skeletons. One, a full-grown male; beside it, the remains of a smaller individual, a young man, not yet adult. Mayhew notes the bones of the lower left leg had been fractured, healed, and grown back together again, malformed. The younger man must have walked with a terrible limp. The urge to tears is powerful, overwhelming. Something breaks inside him, against the tide of sorrow, and they come, a tsunami of tears

* * * *

Mayhew uncertain of his whereabouts, lying in his bed. Voices. All around, voices, and TV's. An evil aroma, of shit, of pus, of Lysol, of medicine. Hospital room. He stirs some more, Mayhew is in the hospital, fucking Parkland, again, he knows for sure, he knows that smell, this is fucking Parkland! The senorita with the gun, the hole in his gut, the black stray sniffing around his ass, the blood. He raises his hand to scratch his face, can't, it's in restraints. Goddammit.

You sorry ass motherfuckers better get in here, goddammitI am not gonna put up with this bullshit. My name is Charles Fucking Mayhew the Sekint, and you better get your asses in here.nothing. Fuck. Sorry assholes. I am gonna get me a fucking Jew lawyer, goddammit, and I will sue your asses ever which way.

Nothing. Mayhew surveys his world. Dim fluorescent lights, tracks in the ceiling with white curtains suspended, separating each bed from the next, if so desired. An eight bed ward. Across the way, a Mexican with a tracheotomy, half his face ballooning out from a beating. His family standing around, talking that mile a minute Spanish.

Over one bed, a man so old he looks like he's been dead a month. He lies there with his eyes closed, death pallor, breakfast tray untouched. There is a ruckus at the door, doctors making rounds, an entourage of twenty-four year old little turds in lab coats, acting like they give a damn. They stop by his bed, talk about a GSW lower abdomen, they think he's under arrest for something. One of them picks up a tube coming out from under his covers, looks at it, drops it, then turns to catch the group as they move to the next bed.

Fuck 'em. Mayhew making his plans. Gotta get outta here, the sooner the better. Mayhew twisting and turning at his restraints, finds that the one on the left hand was never even secured, or had come undone. He twists it free, then waits until the 'trauma rounds' group has left.

Now the left hand is out, and Mayhew slides it across under his covers, works the right hand loose, and then he checks himself out. Got a catheter coming out of his pecker. Fuck that ­ he pulls, it hurts BAD, and goes nowhere. Unaware there's an inflated balloon inside to keep it in place, Mayhew thinking its been stuck somehow, pulls harder, it HURTS WORSE feels like he's going to pull his entire unit off. Says Fuck it, I'll just take it with me. Disconnect, tie it in a knot.

What the fuck else we got here? An IV line, fuck that, pull that shit out. Next. A huge dressing right above his dick, with a big tube coming out. Mayhew standing by his bed, takes all the shit emerging from his body, holds the gown tight to himself to hold it all in place, finds his jeans, and slips them on. Mayhew thinks, Fucking Steve Austin has nothing on this guy. Mayhew, the fucking Bionic Man. Mayhew, the Bionic Fucking Man walking out the loading dock at the cafeteria, across the parking lot.

Mayhew, a staggering, limping shape in pools of yellow orange light. Stopping against a car. Mayhew, coming to rest on the pavement saying out loud, Oh fuck this shit, tarmac still warm pressing against his cheek, everything fucking hurts.

Mayhew, a dark lagoon forming around him, warm wet pool spreading out, Mayhew says to the night, Man, I think I really fucked up, this time.


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