Monday, October 6, 2008


They approached the building, a secondhand bookstore specializing in obscure or otherwise hard to find reads that sat adjacent to the diner enjoyed previously. It was a quaint brick building, complete with an old spiral staircase that led to the basement shop. The room itself was pleasant, couches interspersed, coffee tables even moreso, each with a unique approach to architecure. Joe found out later, after speaking with the event organizer who also happened to be the owner, the bulk of what's present in the store, both furniture and literature were locally done. Her name was Azlea Dreams. Her parents were hippies and wanted her to start a commune. She wanted no part, instead opting to start a business, but she couldn't quite shake the hippy idealogy.

"I didn't want to live off the earth, which to me equated to being dirt poor. I wanted a comfortable living while also helping my fellow man. I knew a few writers so here I am." She spoke with confidence, her handful of piercings and tattoos couldn't hide her business savvy. Joe was very impressed with how she held herself and inquired, as per the rules, for a piece of advice.

"You're all writers, huh? Well the best advice I ever received was "the purpose of business is to meet as many people as possible." It didn't really make any sense at the time but boy does it now. The characters I've met, the stories I could tell, it's all been a wonderful journey so far. Well as much as I'd love to chat, I have to get this show on the road."

Azlea walked hurriedly to the front, positioning herself before the audience of avant-garde, deviant and otherwise counter-culture crowd that attended the event for what Joe would call mutual ego masturbation. At that time Casey had just finished scribbling in a notebook and began passing it around the lot of them. When it arrived to Gordon, he peered down to see the following:

All of your humanity
All of your insanity
Is mine to see
Is mine to be
A remnant binds my serenity
The cross I bear in amenity
I star at the sky, wishing for the stars
Juxtaposed affection felt from afar
This heart of mine, a conflagration
A brand new burden, a new sensation
I want to be enveloped, consumed in the flames
This onerous euphoria, I bear with no shame
I’ve let you become my whole
A gift of requited soul
Of what was, is and shall ever be
Is yours and mine, ours to see.

Gordon looked up at Casey's curious look and whispered "That's......something."

"It's a duet stupid." Casey verbalized in the most urgent tone a person can maintain while still holding the volume of a whisper. "No, i ge' that, it's just that......we haven't gotten much feelin out of you love. Sure you're nice to Mali, all mother-like, bu' that poem right there is the first bit o' passion we seen o' you."

Casey grabbed the notebook out of his hand and wrote I think there's more to all of us than we show, except maybe you.

Harsh love, but I do put meself out there. It was nice though, like a Disney movie."

"Great, so I'm going to go up there and read off like a cartoon animal shitting rainbows and pissing kittens."

"Mighty harsh on yerself, ye? We'll be fine, with this much material, we're bound to get some mighty dollar."

They each took their turn, Parker reading his, barely capable of maintaing composure given his fear of public speaking. Gordon stood proud, reciting his as if it were an impromptu speech, a fashion that embarrassed his comrades and impressed the struggling lot of artists present. Mali breathed in deep and given the short nature of hers, recited each line with clarity, placing emphasis on key words. It worked well and as she looked up, her confident smile was present to more than just the surprised travelers that brought her there. Casey ended the night, choking back tears as she finished.

As the final communist finished his manifesto deriding any and all governmental policies, Azlea stepped in, inciting an applause from the crowd. Much to their amazement, they secured the top four prizes, which amounted to $800 cash and several certificates to local eateries, providing the lot of them dinner before they stepped on the next bus heading out of the state.

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