Carefully he wrote the words.
Cigarette carelessly hanging out of his mouth, face locked in stern concentration. Only pausing to step back, puff, study…back to work. Casually wiping blue paint off his clothes, the dirty rail car filling with smells of aerosol paint cans. Each letter flowing into the next, as he crafted his masterpiece.
What the hell are you doing?
Face, the ever instigator, knew what the hell his friend was doing. He just liked giving him a hard time. Mischief was his first nature. He smiled wryly as Spoon tried to turn his shoulder to block him but.
Not that Face was opposed to his friend. The two of them were like brothers. Closer if that is possible. Originally from Seattle, they were both obsessed with the Road. Turning songs and books about drifters into holy scriptures. During their brief time at Roosevelt High School, in the dusky old school library, they´d spend hours looking through the supply of beat poetry and misfit novels. Especially obsessed with Neal Cassidy and Jack Kerouac, they both had ridden the tails up and down the West Coast together. The two of them imagined they were reincarnates of their fallen heroes. Destine for rugged adventure. Born to travel again.
They were just returning from California-
Hey Spoon, what would fucking Jack write?
Shut up man, I´m working
Seriously, what would he write
Don´t make me pull this train over
You´re such a dick dad
Why won’t you pay attention to me?
Because you spill paint in the garage
And you´re not as hot as your sister
Hurry up dude, we just passed the water towers
Spoon know that means we are getting close
They absorbed the landmarks like a secret language
Take a right at the stone troll
Travel for two cigarettes
Turn on the deer trail
Meet me where Willow skinned her knee
Spoon studiously made a few more paint swipes with his spray can. The final touches. He took a couple of steps back and raised his thumb to eye level, tongue slightly sticking out of his mouth. Mimicking his best graffiti Rembrandt.
The pink haired girl gasped
Her legs froze their lazy swing from the open rail car door. Perched on the edge of the traveling landscape, her head turned toward Spoon´s mural. Her hand crept up to her mouth she whispered through her fingers.
And his chest poked out a little bit
* * * * * *
They had met Coral down in California, Wandering the streets of San Diego. They were an easy match. She was all wild pink hair, pulled in a “I Dream of Genie ” pony, with a Tank Girl t and fluffy animal slippers. They were all graffiti cans, back packs, and corduroys. In a world where neither one of them fit in, they instantly recognized confederates to the struggle. Hello, I´m strange, you?
Almost immediately, the boys started calling her pinksy. Coral didn’t really object, it was hard to argue whether it fit. She loved her little outcast. Something felt very natural hanging out with them. To the world that didn´t understand her, she was Coral.
To the boys she was Pinksy
While adventuring in California, Face had stolen a car. A neat skill he picked up spending time in the Juvenile Detention Centers. A shitty old beater, it was a Cadillac to some rouge skateboards. Unfortunately, due to bad luck, it only had enough gas to get them back to the rail yard. They knew it was time to go. Coral begged them to take her with them.
Don´t leave heeere.
She cute girl whined.
My sister Kara´s cool
She lives up North.
We might be able to crash at her trailer.
All of a sudden, the boys felt a conundrum brewing. A third member on their journey? Face pulled Spoon in between a couple of dilapidated buildings next to a tagged-out dumpster. They need to weigh their options. At the mouth of the alley, the figure of Coral was silhouetted by the streetlights. Standing there, she crossed her arms and pouted her lip dramatically. Bouncing from one furry foot the other, she knew her fate would be decided by this conversation.
Does it seem like she’s running away from something, dude?
Aren’t we all running from something?
Don´t get all philosophical with me spoon,
Tell me what you think
I think we’re street kids
Pinksy´s cool as shit
And I don’t care what she’s running from
Did you see her grey eyes?
I´ve never seen anything like that
Do you think she’s ready for Jacky and Neal – ski on the Road?
Face chuckled and playfully punched at his friend’s shoulder Spoon dodged expectantly and replied smoothly.
I think her eyes tell me she’s a Buddhist of the highest order and she was born for this shit.
The boys break their secret meeting
Ok, you´re coming
Pinksy jumped up, kicked out her leg and did a mock air punch.
Freaking cat’s pajamas!
Her hair was still bouncing as her face broke into a broad smile. She grabbed both boys’ hands and started dragging them to the stolen car.
Let’s get this show on the road!
* * * * *
Face in the box car, Pinksy sat there with her mouth hanging open behind her fingers. Face, a little jealous of the loss of attention, half hardheartedly tossed a rusty rivet at Spoon´s pant leg to regain some control.
What’s that supposed to mean?
Large letters bloomed over a cityscape.
A civilization rising and falling.
In the sky, a winged angel handed a glowing key
To a TV headed robot.
Bellow them, a cryptic message:
“The Revolution Will Not be Televised”
Spoon, tell me what it means
Most people think the revolution will come in a raging storm. Everyone will be rolling to the streets. Marching unified behind some unjust cause. Wearing their favorite, “I’m part of the rebellion” shirts, drinking some James Dean cola.
It’s bullshit too. America´s a bunch of gutless freaks. It´ll never happen like that.
I´ll tell you who is really behind the curtain when you tear it back. He´ s overworked and balding. A fat shit loser, sitting at the head of the table. Eyes dull and useless. His fleshy wife pulling feebly at her tattered turquoise bathrobe in a futile attempt to secure herself. Her angry eyes stare at him with disdain and wonder how she could marry the human embodiment of un-sugared oatmeal.
There´ll be no revolution, just a slow death inside as extra shifts and TV dinners wear down the human will.
Your boss called, he needs you to pull and extra shift.
Your wife called, she said there is a TV dinner in the oven.
The oven called, it said you need to pull an extra shift with your head inside.
…as the gas pours
We’re not fighting against men. Some unmovable system. We´re fighting against the promised lifelong inheritance of boredom. We´re fighting against the slow winding depressing existence that waits for all of us. And it won’t be some show on tv, the revolution will be live.
Economists often talk of this 80/20 principle. Which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the people. In most societies, 20 percent of the criminals commit 80 percent of the crimes. 20 percent of the motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. 20 percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer.
A tiny percentage of the people do the majority of the work.
And if we tried to put everyone in one big room, the revolution in concept would not work. In order to be unified in order to spread a specific, revolutionary ideology to all people we have to break ourselves up into semi-autonomous small pieces. That is the paradox of epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.
Slightly out of breath from his rant
Spoon extended his arm toward what he wrote
We are three small movements
We are living the revolution
We are fighting against boredom and
This is just one small message for our people
You´re fucking crazy.
Coral stood next to Spoon.
Laid her pink hair on his shoulder.
By: Paul Thorsteinson