This morning, my friend Daniel, my roommate and I were standing in Daniel’s kitchen, exchanging stories while Daniel made coffee in the French press. He poured it into my cup, and I told him I was surprised how quickly it brewed. After a moment he admitted that it doesn’t really brew that quickly. He just didn’t want to wait.
I sipped it. “Oh, okay. Thanks.”
My roommate said he’d wait.
There were telling me that yeah, they had a good Sunday. They went to the desert. This may sound weird to anyone not from LA, or to anyone. It sounds like to “head out to the desert” requires some sort of stripping off of one’s clothes and laying naked before some divinity, some serious stuff that doesn’t even sound fun. I mean I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what the Jews did because it was worse than slavery.
But here it’s something to do on weekends when you’re feeling adventurous. Daniel has a schizophrenic, drug-addled friend living in a trailer out there. He keeps rattlesnakes in coolers, and he uses coolers as seats for his guests. My roommate said the guy forced him back on his cooler after showing him the snake inside, even as it hissed and bumped against the walls.
“This guy is crazy.” Daniel said, smiling to himself. “He wasn’t as clever as usual, though. You saw it a little bit during the bullet train story, but that was it.”
“The bullet train story? What is that?”
“Okay, so the guy grabs a gun, this loaded gun, and he’s like ‘People are like snakes man. If you don’t bother ‘em, they won’t bite you, but if you keep pushin’ them and pushin’ them, they’re gonna shoot you.’ And I’m like, what is he talking about? He points the gun at his face, just like this, and yeah, there’s bullets in the gun, and he says, ‘I think about shootin’ myself in the head, man, all the time. It’d go right through my head, right through the back wall here and fly all the way to the train tracks. And if someone tries to pick up the bullet a year from now, they won’t be able to because it’ll be too hot. Because my soul will be stuck inside. That’s the power we have, man. We’re this fuckin’ vessel.’”
I sipped the coffee and I think I spilled some on my shirt. I don’t get out enough.