A small excerpt from our newest novella, Nothing Matters by Steve Finbow:
“…my bar, a music bar somewhere on the road between LA and Barstow, a stop for truckers, fuckers, and no-luckers. We have booths with personal jukeboxes, a stage for bands and dancers, rockers and strippers, shockers and dippers, the lonely and the never befriended. I bankrolled it through my dead husband’s leavings (he upped and died of shock, the third that never happened)—eventually—after X greased a few cops, threatened the insurance investigators, took a cut, set fire to it, watched my face in the glow of the flames, watched the green turn black, watched the metaphor for exchange turn to ash, watch my lust for him shrivel and die.
The thing is, once he had done what I asked of him, he was no longer necessary. He stayed around until I found something else for him to do, someone else for him to do, somewhere else for him to be. Not here. There. That was always important. I wanted him close but distant. He was distant but close. Proximity is relative. I saw him through the reverse end of an emotional telescope. His proximal philosophy was to share pulses. Gone but not forgotten. Forgotten but not gone. Never anywhere between.
Not long ago, two men came to me with a business proposition—they’d help finance the bar, bring in better-looking girls, more violent dogs, champion roosters, psycho boxers, bring in the crowds, all they wanted was use of the cellar bar for one night a month, no questions asked, no answers given—two faggots with muscles upon muscles. I closed the bar one night a month, gave them access, saw the black garbage bags wet with sticky saliva, the spill of black blood and white powder, the impenetrable eggs, the splashes of dark red urine, the burned women’s clothing, the collection of cheap jewelry scattered in the Sunset Debris dumpsters.
One night, the faggots brought me a present. Straining on its leash, spit running down its jaw, its white teeth glistening, its pink and grey gums trembling, its stub of a tail vibrating. I bent down and scratched its head, its hair short, a strawberry blond and I said,
“And what’s your name, big boy?”
And one of the faggots says, “Pinker. He’s an American pitbull. You could do with some protection.”
I rubbed the dogs ears and looked into his eyes. He gulped and wagged some more.
“The only thing I need protecting against is myself,” I said.”