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Literary Fiction, Noir, Pulp Fiction, Short Stories

Excerpt from

Holy Adam and Saint Jason
Steve Young

ďWhere is my mom?Ē I think.

I shouldnít have to be here alone. I am twenty two years old, strung-out on methamphetamine and sitting in a courtroom. It is the third day of the murder trial. My son was the victim. He was only two and his motherís new boyfriend beat him to death.

He didnít use his fists. We never found out what he used. The detectives think it was one of the weights from a dumbbell set.

Where is everybody? Did they actually believe me when I said they didnít need to come, that I would be fine? My sonís mom is here, but they have to keep us separated. The judge will not allow us to speak. I will find out why soon.

She is in the back row, with a freckle-faced girl of about twenty six. The girlís name is Jamie; she is the liaison between the courts and the victims. But she pays no attention to me. I am a man, she must tend to the female victim. I understand. But Iím all alone at my sonís murder trial. I canít understand that. My brother is disabled; he canít make it. My sister has to work, she was here the first day but apparently believed me when I said I didnít need her to be there. But where is my mom? We have always excused her eccentricities, her weird way of seeing and doing things, but this was different. She should be here. I should not be alone. All my friends are high. They will not come. They canít; they canít even look at me anymore. They donít know what to say or do. I understand it, I accept it. I am mature for my age, but where is my mom?

Jamie comes and sits next to me right before the judge enters. We all rise, and sit again. Jamie is rubbing her fingernails lightly up and down my spine. She is trying to soothe me. Her legs are crossed and her high heel shoe has slipped off the back of her foot, and hangs precariously from the toes as it swings back and forth with the rocking of her leg. I start to get a hard-on. This is sick. This is terrible. What the hell is this? I am ashamed, there is no control. I donít want it to happen, but that doesnít matter; it gets bigger and harder when I adjust my position to hide it. They bring in the jury.

The jury looks terrible. They all look like pancakes. Pancakes with butter pat noses and syrup dot eyes. Houswives, construction workers, cooks and secretaries. All wearing clothes that cover every thing but their hands and pancakes. They all look the same. I will never be able to remember a face, I will never remember a lot of things that happened during this time. The third day of the trial is called to order. *** I have to take the bus home. It is a long ride but only one bus, the red-line. It takes me from downtown Phoenix all the way out to Mesa. I have to walk three miles home or wait an hour for another bus. I choose to walk. People yell out of their car windows as they pass by. I can never understand what they are saying. I will never understand this phenomenon, screaming at pedestrians as you drive by. It brings me down to no end, and I canít figure out why. I am probably jealous, wishing I had a car instead of a long walk and a dope habit. I resolve to never scream at people when I do score a car.

The bus is crowded when I get on, but there is one seat available at the back, where it is just one long bench. I make my way back and sit down. The girl I sit next to is Mexican, around sixteen. She is beautiful in that way only found in the ghetto. Long black hair, too much make-up on her lips, and flecks of glitter around her eyes. She looks very bored. She is wearing short white shorts and a small, pink tank top. Somewhere around the airport she puts her hand between her legs. She opens them just a tiny bit. She starts to rub her crotch and make a low ďmmmĒ sound. The bus is even more crowded now, the aisles are full of people standing; swaying with the movements of the bus as it negotiates the long turns of the terminals. I look around, no one is watching. I look at the girl, she is staring out the window and saying "mmm." I stare at the hand moving up and down on her crotch, during a sharp turn she lets her knee fall against mine, opening her legs more. She looks at me. She looks very bored.

ďmmmÖ you got a dollar man?Ē

I look her in the eye and tell her the truth. ďNo, I donít.Ē

She takes her hand away from her crotch and stares back out the window. I wish I had a dollar.

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