This is Chapter 2 of my serialized pulp fiction story. I’m a bit hungover on this pass through. I apologize for nothing. Chapter 1 is here . This episode was brought to you by the nefarious curator of The Pulp Fiction Bookstore.
Dragon in the Guilt Sewer
As I stood with a convict’s shame in my prison cell bathroom, an olfactory calamity rose up on me like methane gas from a cracked sewer pipe. I had a full body butt stank situation going down that was going to make me an even bigger pariah to the neighborhood than my vocational boozing. A hot shower was needed to wash the funk off my body. However, holy water would need to shoot out of the rusted showerhead to rinse the grime off my soul.
The hot water came on with a noisy rattling of pipes and a groan from inside the wall that would make the uninitiated believe my landlady’s home used crumpled up old folks as insulation. Hell, at 46, I could barely bend over without some sort of moan escaping my mouth. I began to hope the copious amounts of booze or some spurned, wrinkled barfly would take me out at 50, before I became too decrepit. I would like to leave a presentable looking corpse.
Sewers, like the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, are unpleasant places to languish in. They’re usually steamy, wet and filled with excrement. Each time I stepped into the shower to wash away the guilt from the previous day’s eight hour shift of drinking, my bathtub emulated the that vast network of dirty and murky drainpipes that all the slime from our towns and cities seeped into.
The Guilt Sewer.
The shower is usually the best part of my day. I always take them in the morning. This meant that. generally, there wasn’t any time for me to have messed things up already. If I felt that I needed some exercise and it was too long since I had the touch of a woman, I could rough up the suspect under the flowing water and kill two birds with one stone. I hadn’t matured past sixteen, in case you hadn’t figured that out.
Knowing what was going down later this morning, fifty miles east of me, I wondered if it was wrong to masturbate to the memory of a dead chick I used to know? Was that crossing some kind of line of decorum society drew in the sand? With each passing year, society drew more and more lines in the sand and gave us less room to enjoy ourselves. Was I about to commit some kind of sin of retroactive and mental necrophilia?
A vision of an ornate and beautiful dragon tattoo surrounding the navel on a cute female belly flickered in my mind. The scene from an imaginary black and white flick played behind my eyes. There was an exotic woman dancing in some Far East opium den in a congested harbor. Why was this popping up? When you’re a drunk with a bad history and an overactive imagination, anything was possible. This was just another potential pitfall I might encounter when I ventured out into the world today.
I slipped and my right knee drove down onto my cast iron bathtub. A jolt of pain flowed through my body like I sat on and triggered a cattle prod. Whatever poisons I still had in my body from the night before bubbled up and my gut did painful somersaults until I felt like I was going to vomit out the last of my self worth.
You know it’s going to be a tough day when your shower goes sideways.