Chronicles of Crispin 06

As our intrepid hero followed this strange group of misfits down the misted squares of midnight cobblestone streets, he bethought himself of where it was he was venturing to, and whom therewith. He knew, thus far, that he was going to see a boat. But a mysterious boat, apparently, because there was much ado about it over the multiple Mordant Thieves they had consumed at Club Zephyr. Some kind of special boat in which was performed missions. What kind of missions, unknown.

Once taken out of the sexually amplified, intellectually dimmed environment of the club, Crispin found his companions surreal, even slightly demonic in manifestation. They walked together silently, almost grimly, purposely striding towards their mysterious destination in a formation of four, with Crispin straggling behind like a small child. They all seemed locked into their individual worlds of thought. As the silence weighed down upon him, Crispin felt the need to say something, anything. But right as he was about to break the hold of that witching hour before dawn, Taft suddenly stopped and spewed chunks that were backlit by a florescent hair salon sign. He leaned over the curb, heaving and spluttering. The group stopped and waited impatiently.

“Goddamit, Taft” Looger muttered ominously, shuffling awkwardly on his feet.

“A waste of quality drink, that is,” Kruger opined, leaning up against a post and twiddling his fingers.

“So . . .spphrt! . . sorry, folks . . . spppt . . .hhheeww . . . just a minor malfunction of equilibrioception due to the shortness of my legs in relation to . . . .spsptth! . . . the over acuity of my vestibular system,” Taft explained as he cleared his esophagus.

“Or something,” Lydia said, her arms crossed, though not unkindly.

As they waited for Taft to recollect himself and finish blowing his nose, Crispin felt an increasing sense of unease. He was totally out of his element, and all he wanted to do was go back to the club and take body shots off Melana. As he was envisioning that pleasant scenario, a gun shot rang out and suddenly everything changed.

Chronicles of Crispin 05

Looger leaned forward. “We know that in the 3rd – 4th grades, you frequented the nurses’ office due to complaints of headaches. We know that an MRI scan performed on you at the age of 6 revealed a slightly unusual development in the R-complex area of your brain. Which subsequent research did nothing to elucidate.”

Crispin started. He’d almost forgotten about those episodes in his childhood. Nothing of substance had come of them, and his headaches had subsided, and as far as he knew, he was a normal, average human being. He took a large couple of swallows from his beverage.

“We know that you are capable of more. That you could be something much greater, in service to powers much more sweeping than Phineus & Mortcum Waste Management Co.”

“And what powers would those be?” Crispin inquired shrewdly.

“Ahha! Jumps right to the point, doesn’t he?” The merry band of misfits chuckled. “Suffice to say that these are powers that are responsible for the events that determine the course of human history, insofar as it can be guided.”

“But wait a sec. I’m not exactly a very capable worker. I’ve never excelled in anything except track, lacrosse, and drinking.”

“And dancing, neh?” Lydia winked, her thigh seeming to massage his, the parting of her upper and lower femoris displayed succulently with the crossing of her legs.

“Er, I guess,” Crispin said, trying to keep the blood from rushing to currently non-essential parts of his body. “Nothing useful, basically. And what is this R-complex thing you mentioned?”

Looger, obviously accustomed to pontification, sat back and gestured with his hairy hands over his paunch as he spoke, “The brain stem and cerebellum are the R-complex, the reptilian brain. This is the evolutionary basis from which our brains have evolved. You with me? It controls subconscious aspects of your body, like your breath and body temperature. There are certain people, generally of a mystical persuasion, who believe that we can consciously learn to regulate and manipulate this most basic aspect of our brain in order to increase longevity, physical health, and strength. Through meditation and other such disciplines.”

Crispin wasn’t quite sure that he understood how any of this related to him. Or mattered. He concentrated on Lydia’s presence next to his and sipped his drink. Sensing that he was losing his attention, Kruger spoke:

“I have a brain development similar to yours, Crispin. Which is not to say that the capabilities I have gained are comparable necessarily to those that you will develop,” Crispin duly noted the use of the future tense, “But essentially, I have been able to hone the physical structure of my body and increase my strength, endurance, and agility. This makes me a highly useful instrument in my work to those powers that be.”

Lydia suddenly stood up and stretched like a cat, her nose ring flashing in the iridescent strobe lighting, breaking the spell that Crispin had been under. He looked about him wildly, drunk.

“But enough talk,” she said, placing her hands on her hips. “Come on, and we’ll show you our boat.”

Chronicles of Crispin 04

Crispin shifted uncomfortably upon his haunches. This was a strange group, for sure. He glanced back over at his work comrades, noting that they were quickly proceeding into that stage of drunkenness wherein the stuff of legend occurs. Marissa was trying to obtain a shot from out of Thomas’ buttocks, her hands hooked around his thighs and her nose buried deep. Jesse was dry humping Lauren in the corner like a dog in heat, while Mike and Cain, water cooler buddies, looked on approvingly as they removed their shirts. Ah well, he was enjoying his strange cocktail, and he had to admit, there was something compelling about these outcasts who welcomed him so readily into their entourage.

They sat together in collective silence for a moment, sipping their drinks and soaking in the hedonistic ambiance of Club Zephyr. Crispin was, by this point, a bit tipsy, so he may perhaps be forgiven for failing to notice when Lydia slipped her hand into his pocket and withdrew his wallet. She handed it off to Kruger, who summarily withdrew the driver’s license and handed it back to her. Lydia pressed herself against Crispin a little harder, giving him some boob this time, and simultaneously slipped his wallet back into his pocket.The only thing that Crispin was aware of was thigh and boob. Kruger excused himself and tipped his hat to Crispin, who nodded back.

Looger leaned forward, his eyes a-gleam, his breath scented with shellfish. “Tell me, m’boy. Where did you learn them moves on the dance floor?”

Crispin flushed a bit. “Aw, you know. Just feel it in the hips. I used to dance to Michael Jackson in my underwear when I was a boy.” He wasn’t quite sure why he volunteered this information. But Looger nodded, seeming to approve of the dancing to Michael Jackson in skivvies as a perfectly viable method of learning.

“You’ve got the moves of a rattlesnake. You’ve got POTENTIAL, lad.” Kruger returned and handed a print-out to Looger, who consulted it, squinting, in the limited club lighting. Crispin took another couple of pulls from his Mordant Thief and drained the glass, giddy with Lydia’s silent and subtle attentions and Looger’s flattery. Crispin turned to Taft, who was happily drumming the beat of the music on his knees and watching the debauchery on the dance floor with interest, and offered to buy the next round. With a horse whistle, Taft called over the pony tailed waitress in black Converse and ordered them a new tray.

Looger examined Crispin piercingly over his glasses, his beard bedraggled in a somewhat majestic manner, now that Crispin looked more closely. “Don’t you think your talents are being wasted sitting behind a front desk all day?”

“Well, it’s a job,” Crispin began earnestly, “And the people I work with are fun. I mean, do I wish I was doing something more fulfilling? Of course I do. But isn’t that just the way adult life is?” Crispin looked around at the group, all of whom were gazing back at him intently.

“Wait a second. How did you know. . .?” By way of answer, Kruger flipped Crispin’s driver’s license onto the table like a card. As Crispin processed these events, the waitress distributed the drinks about the table and turned her sweet headlights on him. He automatically went for his wallet, then more urgently, realizing that his card may have gone wherever the ID had. But it was there, as was his cash, which he handed off to the waitress, who looked around at the table quizzically as she left.

“Sorry bub, just a routine background check. In this industry we’ve got to watch our backs,” Kruger said.

Lydia purred into his ear, “We just wanted to make sure that we could trust you. We LIKE you. If we are going to continue in this relationship, then we need to learn more about each other.”

Crispin’s head was spinning. He took a few pulls of his freshly delivered drink to ground himself. He took his ID and put it back into his wallet. He looked around at the group, all of whom were watching him. He smiled and raised his glass. “To new friends and new adventures!”

“Bravo, kid! Bravo!” Taft bubbled. Lydia squeezed his knee. Looger nodded approvingly. Kruger tipped his hat. They all raised their cups and drank.

“So what else do you know about me, then?” Crispin inquired.

Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial, folks. Crispin will return tomorrow!

Chronicles of Crispin 03

“Yes, men of the sea we are! And one woman! But before we get into the specifics of our enterprise, I would be happy to forward you a beverage in an attempt to account for the tragically spilt beer (though the fault was all Lydia’s), which did, at the very least, have the unforeseen but perhaps divinely intended outcome of introducing you to us!” Taft enumerated cheerily, his round face uplifted to shout over the techno music.

“I’m not quite sure what you said,” Crispin shouted back honestly, “But I sense your good intent, and I’ll drink whatever’s handed to me. And I will forgive whomever was responsible forthwith.”

With this objective determined, a round of drinks were arranged by Taft through a comely waitress in black Converse and black socks. As they awaited their libations, Crispin was invited to join the odd group  in being seated. He spotted Menala back at the bar, his pink boa draped winningly across her back, but he then noted that she was engaged in exchanging body shots with Morrison. Morrison was driving his oblong face in between Menala’s substantial breasts in the effort to obtain a buried shot. So as Lydia patted the seat next to her invitingly, he plopped himself down. The waitress appeared with a tray of ruddy, strangely aromatic cocktails that made Crispin envision the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

“To your health, Sir Crispin!” Looger called, and they drank.

“What in God’s name is this unholy yet strangely compelling concoction?” spluttered Crispin.

“It is known,” volunteered Kruger, “as the Mordant Thief. It consists of tequila, dry port, and a dash of olive juice brine. I was lucky enough to discover it one hot, humid, and airless night in a nameless hotel off the Gulf of Mexico. I had been attempting to drown my sorrows in drink after a particularly demanding mission that took the life of my favorite Mexican mistress and a substantial amount of money. Not to mention unsettling the nation almost to the point of civil war. ” Heads were shaken all around in quiet remembrance by the group.

“Ay, THAT was a fuckin’ mission, alright,” Looger stated.

By way of attempting to include Crispin, Lydia explained, “Not all of our missions end successfully. We have had some close calls.” She leaned over slightly so that her ample thigh lay against his. Crispin nodded thoughtfully and took another pull of his Mordant Thief.

“So.” Crispin tried to think of a way to steer this conversation into his understanding. “Um. So you guys have a boat?”

The group of misfits looked at each other and smirked. “Yes, it is a BOAT, that’s for sure. A boat such as you have never seen!”

Train your web browser to this here blog tomorrow for a fresh episode in

The Chronicles of Crispin!

Chronicles of Crispin 02

Once out ‘pon yon dance floor, Crispin executed a few deft hip waggling maneuvers that combined salsa sensuality with hip-hop swagger. Or so he liked to think, in any case. Menala clapped her hands in delight and pressed her ass against him in approval. It would most likely take another 2-3 shots of tequila before tongues could get involved.

But right about then, a wrench got thrown thence into the proceedings. From somewhere just out of peripheral vision, a drink was heaved onto our aforementioned dancers. Beer, to be exact. Menala yelped, and Crispin exclaimed, “What-the-fuck!” He swiveled about to locate the source of untimely beer upheaval, his arm hair already getting sticky. Menala dashed off to the ladies’ room, her shapely calves flashing in the gyrating club lights.

A blonde girl with pink highlights came up to Crispin and gripped his wrist. “I am SO sorry! I just totally spilled my beer ALL over you! Oh shit!” Crispin eyed her petulantly, beer dripping down his ribs. The girl appraised him. “Wow! I dig your mascara! My name is Lydia. I’ll make it up to you, I promise,” she said mysteriously, still holding him by his wrist. “C’mon and meet my friends.” Though Crispin was quite certain that Lydia was not referring to sexual favors when she said that she would make it up to him, the primitive part of his brain allowed him to be led by the hand by this strange, short but shapely blonde. He could tell that she was completely obnoxious, and he was still pissed about the beer and the lost mating ritual time with Menala, but there was something just off enough about her to make him interested. Maybe it was the nose ring.

Lydia brought him up to a lounging group of misfits, all of them guys. They looked at him dispassionately as Lydia introduced them, shouting over the 4/4 beat of the music. “This is Looger,” Lydia said, waving at the first gentleman, who was sprawled out on a cushion like he was going to get a lap dance. Looger was a large man with a prominent belly and a disheveled beard, but despite these slovenly indications, dressed immaculately. He nodded amiably enough at Crispin. “He’s the brains of the operation,” Lydia shouted affectionately. “And this is Kruger,” referring to a tall thin man standing against the pillar with a rakishly tilted cap. “He’s the hands.” Kruger obligingly shook hands forthwith, demonstrating his long, bony, but strong fingers. “This next gent is the one mainly responsible for you being half-covered in beer, though I plead guilty, in part, as well,” she said, pointing out a small man who was bubbling over in excitement and was the only one who came up to Crispin. “So pleased to meet you, SIR! And so sorry about the spillage, absolutely unncessary, if only Lydia here had just allowed me to . . . ” Lydia stomped on his foot, stopping him short. “I’m not sure why we keep this guy around, to be honest,” she said playfully, “This is Taft.”

“I’m Crispin,” Crispin said to all, in his typically phlegmatic manner. He stood there awkwardly for a moment, uncertain whether he should still be angry about the beer or not. “Um, so, what do you guys DO, anyway?”

“We’re sailors!” Lydia enjoined. “Sailors of the high seas, if you please. We were just discussing our next route and mission, when Taft, as is his wont, got a tad carried away.”

Join us on the morrow for the further adventures of Crispin! . . .

Chronicles of Crispin 01

Crispin donned his feather boa, slid another silver ring on his finger, and appraised his mascara’d face from many different angles one more time before stepping out of his highrise apartment and into the elevator. He was destined this evening for a meetup at Jesse’s place and thence onward to Club Zephyr, which required a certain flamboyance in get-up just to get in. This was the first time he would be going out with some of the ladies from work, and he was eager to show them that he had a wild side that they would not have guessed from the unassuming, placid demeanor he maintained at the front desk. He knew that he had a winning smile, which was enough to pique the immediate interest of a stray lass, but he had always struggled in the conversation department. He required props and activities to cover this weakness when he went out. Thus, he was also a tad nervous, because meeting the girls over at Jesse’s first could be kind of weird, before the alcohol got into everyones system, sans deafening bass and beats. He was arriving at the tail end of fashionably late in an attempt to curtail that awkward face time.

He was pleased when he strutted into Jesse’s, his heart thumping and his wallet loop jangling, and everyone called out and whooped in delight at his appearance. It was simply because they were all bored and thirsty for spectacle, of course, but he thought that he also sensed some burgeoning sexuality in the flashing eyes and appreciative catcalls of a few of the girls. He high-fived Morrison and grabbed a beer nonchalantly from the fridge. All he had to do was sit back and wait for the encroaching darkness of the club, where the alcohol and jubilation of freedom from normalcy would kick in. He could tell that there would be some shots involved, some freaking, some sandwiching going on tonight.

After the beers were summarily polished off, it was time to head out. Marissa was already getting loud and stumbling a little on the 5 block walk. Crispin made sure to stay at the head of the group, knowing that his ass looked pretty good in his red jeans. He could sense a good vibe emanating from Menala, a quiet girl with funky earrings and great calves. So when they got in the club, he made sure to sidle up to her at the bar. But even with the coating of liquor on his tongue, Crispin found it difficult to establish anything substantive via verbal engagement. He needed to ply her with his body language. “C’mon, let’s dance,” he told her, wrapping the boa around her neck. She smiled reluctantly but followed him, her straightened hair tied back around her ears.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Crispin on the morrow. . .

Et Tu, Brute?

Brutus caved in to the unspoken demand in his soul for idleness. His brain told him, take a look at your schedule. You must do this. You must do that. But his soul called out to him for mercy, and he could not find it within him to do much beyond the simple boiling of tea. Perhaps, he thought, this is some form of depression. A lack of motivation, a juvenile internal form of rebellion against the adult demands of the external world. Just let it all go. Let it all slide by. What did it matter?

Brutus required a consistent stream of friends to force him out the door. Otherwise, he would forget who he was, and he couldn’t fathom how he could face the world without any deep set conviction. If someone were to challenge him out there, on the street, how could he muster the passion to reply?

Obviously, he had somehow managed to pull himself together enough to craft the illusion of some kind of put together adult life. He was a fairly successful manager at a bank located so close to his apartment that he could walk there in 20 minutes, and he did, every single morning stopping at the cafe on the corner for his chai. He went out with a loose affiliation of friends from business school and his workplace every weekend. Sometimes they would go out to a club and dance; usually, they took a booth at their favorite bar, Muskee’s, and drank one too many martinis while trying–largely unsuccessfully–to hit on women. He would wake up on Saturday mornings hung over, beset with an inexplicable feeling of guilt and impending doom, which he could only shed after going to the gym and eating breakfast at a diner, where he would sit drinking coffee and reading The Economist until he felt ready for the oncoming week again.

But this weekend had been different. Brutus excused himself from the Friday night outing, on the somewhat legitimate claim that he had extra work he needed to finish over the weekend. But he hadn’t touched the work. He had sat listlessly in his apartment, so idle that he couldn’t even bring himself to put on a CD to break the silence. He sat there in his boxers, drinking his tea and staring at the floor.

So he elected to give in to it. He allowed it to overtake him. He sat there in the darkened gloom of the impending evening without turning on the light. The extra work could plausibly be extended into the week; it didn’t have to be finished this weekend. This felt like a throwback to his undergraduate days, when he would skip class and waste the day playing video games or drinking beer, doing absolutely nothing in some kind of child-like defiance to the demands of the inhumane strictures of the civilized world. It could also have been called laziness, but it was more than that. Something inarticulate and hidden. Something so unlikely to find its way into expression that it fizzled out instead into impotent idleness.

Was this his natural proclivity, perhaps? To drift purposelessly in some limbo of spirit? And the illusion of his daily life was only some type of caving in to the pressure of normalcy? Too many questions. It was better simply to sit, thinking nothing.