Pussy Wagon

This is our first installment of Tabloid Fiction, in which an author chooses from the trashiest, most lurid, or just bizarre stories of the moment and writes a short story inspired by same.

Hazlitt regular contributor Lynn Crosbie is a Toronto writer and Ph.D, who teaches at...

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| | Lola Landekic

There’s too much pain in me. Mike Stone must die. — Elvis Presley, 1973

Sticky Hands and Lube Job must die, JT said. 

These are the massage therapists known, collectively, as “John Doe” who are suing him for sexual assault: JT and I have just left the law offices of Gloria Allred and Okorie Okorocha.

JT is dressed in the same navy blue velour tracksuit and gold aviator glasses that Elvis Presley was wearing when he learned his wife was screwing the karate teacher, Mike Stone.

He has a wild, fragrant Afro and a tight butt, is all that Priscilla would say of Stone. That night Presley loaded his Derringer and prepared to pistol-whip Stone, then fill that ass with lead. In the end, he changed his mind, after a great deal of prayer and some fine time, “buried in a beaver.” 

The yellow Chevy Silverado Fleetside is idling outside the office. JT tosses me the keys on that fat bubble-lettered ring and we slide into the Pussy Wagon.

I have one hour to convince him not to kill these massage men; that is, one hour before they all wake up and start screaming. 

In the meantime, Allred is gagged and hogtied beneath Okoracha’s desk; Okorocha is lying in a heap with John Does one and two, thanks to the gas pellets JT spit at them when he finally heaved himself out of the butter-coloured chair and snapped at me to Finish them goddamned knots!

The backseat of the Wagon is covered with tabloids with unflattering shots of JT on the cover and raised, gold letters spelling out FAT FAGGOT, HOMO LIAR, and worse.

I’m not even gay, he tells me, raising his shades, and unzipping his jacket to reveal a sexy black racer-back tank.

Honey, I know that, I say, and work my hand inside his pants and under the soft bamboo briefs he buys by the dozen.

Then I ram the key in the ignition and floor it. I am taking him for a ride along the coast. 

I have been his bodyguard for four years, and I know he just needs to work this out. If my plan doesn’t work, he and I are moving to Tijuana and selling voodoo off a TV tray.

The plan is to drive, just drive a machine that is starving for blood and sex and vengeance.

My name is Al. I met JT when I was doing massages through the back pages of Slusk magazine. He was pretty straight-forward when I got to his room at the Dixie Hollywood Hotel.

I like sex and lots of it, he said. You’re not my type, he added, and when he saw my freshly-glossed lips tremble, he said, Oh fuck, get over here.

He carried me to the big white bed by the palm tree mural and pounded me until I cried, looking into those blueblack eyes and the shadows they carry, shadows of storms passed and in the distance visible. 

I need a bodyguard, he finally said, spinning his wedding ring as I clung to him. 

I would die for you, I told him. 

That’s how we got started. 

JT, I say, as we start to pass bigger and bigger swipes of ocean. You’re a rationalist, like me. Look at those men! When that first guy filed, my first thought was Massage bitch, please. 

The second is even worse, I say. She looks like a fucked out poodle in a dog pound. 

JT isn’t listening. 

I say, Look who’s not talking. Nothing.

Most of the time now, his eyes are just sticky tar or blue glue traps, hanging onto filth and vermin.

When they clear, they are filled with his dead child; with uncertainty and pain, like buckets of star-shot midnight rain water. 

I pull out the cassette I have made, and pass him the cardboard to read, where I have block-lettered the songs and their editorials, written, I tell him, in the style of Bud Davis, late into his retirement from “the cowboy life.” 

- “Greased Lightning.” (Grease/Various) Another car entirely, and still the original “Pussy Wagon.” Listen for the “shit”/”tit” thymes, sung in Travolta’s hillbilly baritone; for the chewy guitar slop, suck-crazed horns and coconut-flavored drums with a suggestion of tarragon.

- “Twisted Nerve.” (Bernard Herrmann) The mad bird whistling enters her ear and stops, poised on the auricle. Then spins away as she crawls to this precise car and jacks it, towards her brutal, stylish homicides.

- “Telephone.” (Lady Gaga and Beyonce) The felons scream, Y’all live like pigs!, then pledge their love beside the Pussy Wagon as well: beekeeper Borgias, they are flying, hand over hand, and as the music chokes and stammers, they are tasting the spring.

The cassette board lies on the floor with all the other trash. 

I chew my lip nervously, and cover JT’s hand. I start to warn him about what will happen if he is apprehended. 

But he has changed again. 

He is a small, dapper salesman demonstrating juice squeezers and apple-corers, his tan shirtsleeves rolled up; his checked necktie tossed over his shoulder

Then a platinum blonde babe, who calls me Sweet Daddy and flutters her long, curved lashes and files her nails into shanks.

An angry white mouse, eating its button-sized babies.

Merciless art, he says, as Enrico Fermi. (Ogni taglio, ogni omicidio in Blowout, he asserts, kissing his roached fingers, is committed towards taping the perfect scream.) 

I spin the wagon around. He is holding a skull and wearing a gold ruff, as Vindice. I am startled and the Wagon skids. 

John, I—

He is John Travolta, at last, skinned of his puffiness, the weight he carries like the sleek blue and hazy green world. He is a graceful line drawing, a meaty Fragonard angel.

Diana Hyland has died, he says, and cries. 

He cries as I right the wheels and head back; he cries as I switch lanes, and he cries as I cruise slowly toward whatever it is will happen.

Diana was his first serious girlfriend. She died of cancer in 1977; she died in his arms. 

Right after, he had to take an overseas flight. His eyes were cherry red and leaking sea-coloured tears.

Everyone ate peanuts and watched him cry. The clouds rushed the windows; stewardesses lifted their skirts in sympathy.

Please take me home, he says. 

Stop calling stop calling I don’t want to talk anymore the tape deck wails and my heart explodes like shrapnel: Kill them all, I hiss into my phone at the Countesses, who will swarm the law office in seconds dressed in cream-coloured Kevlar, leading with bayonets. 

Home is the Dixie Hollywood Hotel, where I keep pyjamas, a robe, toiletries and some clean clothes for him. 

Where the bed remains unmade and fragrant.

I sit on it cross-legged and switch on the news. He comes in after his shower, in tight black jeans and a Vincent Vega tee. 

Jesus Christ, he remarks of the carnage at a Pasadena office building.

He combs his hair and his legs move like grasshopper joints as he sings, “You are supreme, the chicks’ll cream!” at his own reflection. When I try to harmonize at the “She’s a real pussy wagon” part he wraps his arms around me and covers my mouth with his juicy lips and says, Alice, I love you but you can’t sing for shit.

I am a 21-year-old girl who can kill with my bare hands, pilot a plane, and build complex explosives.

Some bodies don’t quit. Mine won’t even take a coffee break.

John falls onto me, and buries his face into my helix of shocking pink hair. 

Baby, you have to stop fucking everything that moves, I say.

Stop moving he says, and fills me up with his huge cock, as the sun falls away and sheets of rain smash down and then it comes, the lightning lightning lightning—

Oh God, yes, I yelp and my savage’s piston fires like a cannon and strafes my limp, swollen heart.

Next

| | Lola Landekic
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