Nuclear Kids Going Insane

Hi. What's your name? I saw you from across the room and I thought you were this model I know who did a video for me, but then I realized you had better legs. I know, it's a terrible line, but you're probably sick of all those impotent yuppie come-on lines, aren't you? By the way, my name is Bob Macalvie...Maybe you've heard my show on the radio. Z95? No? Well, it's on really late on Sundays. I just do it part time.

I spend most of my time managing these five bands-oh, like "Cosmic Fixx," "Bad Attitude," "Nuclear Kids Going Insane"...Well, no, you probably wouldn't have heard of them. They're not really well known here. But they're really hot in Japan, oh yeah, and Germany, too. In fact, I'm going to Japan for the next three months while "Nuclear's" on tour. Then I'll be back in L.A. producing this video for a few weeks. Yeah, Jon Bon-Jovi told me to stop by on my way back, and we'd talk about this video project.

I'm with a band myself. I think you'd like them. They do a sort of punk/new-wave thing. A lot of it's political. Our drummer, Armand, is a good buddy of mine. He's this really cool black guy who's heavily into reggae. It's kind of weird because we have a reggae drummer in a new wave band. But it gives us this real unique sound.

Cigarette? I travel around a lot. In fact, I'm on the road so much these days, I may have to give up my apartment and sell the Mercedes. You know, it's amazing--I got that Mercedes for $500! It's used, but hell, it's an '87! Only 2,000 miles on it. Yeah, the guy selling it was getting divorced from this real bitch. He told me his ex-wife said to sell it and send her the money, whatever he got, so I offered him $500 for it. And he took it! I still can't get over it. He hated her so much, I probably could've gotten it for less that that. I haven't been driving it much, though. Mostly, I keep it locked up over at another guy's garage.

So, do you live around here?...Yeah, I know where that is. I was looking at a place over there, but the real estate agent had this attitude. I had $1,200 in cash to put down on the place, but instead she wanted to jack me around. She's telling me she's not sure when it'll be available because the guy who lives there had been indicted for embezzling two million dollars and the trial's dragging on, so I said, "Look, just forget it."

So I live around Fullerton and Western. Oh, sure, it's all Hispanic, but I couldn't pass up the deal on this apartment. A guy I know is renovating this building, see, and he's putting in all kinds of stuff, like marble tile, stained glass, chandeliers. He's not through yet, but he wants somebody living there while the work's being done, so I've got this six-room apartment for under $300 a month. It's a little inconvenient now, of course, with all the plaster, paint, and dust, but what the hell, I'm getting a $900 apartment for $270.

I was living over in LakeView with this really weird chick. She was bisexual and had this big Doberman that used to fuck her, too...No, really, I swear to God. Big blonde. Ex-model. Used to work out with weights. She was first place in the National Bodybuilding Championships last year. This chick was massively fucked up, though. She was really into bondage. She liked me to tie her up and tickle her all over with ostrich feathers or ice cubes. She threatened to commit suicide it I didn't get a tattoo with her name on it. Did a lot of drugs, too, so finally I just said to myself, "this sucks" and moved out. Last I heard, she was living with this ex-con who's paranoid-schizophrenic, bigtime. But, hey, I don't want to talk about her.

Say, you wanna get out of here? A buddy of mine just bought a bar near here, and he's havin' this big party over there to celebrate. Sounds like it might be fun. Wanna go?...Well, hey, that's okay. I'm meeting someone here myself tonight after he gets through cutting this album...Yeah, sure. Nice talkin' to you, too. 'Bye.

Hey! Another beer. Thanks...No, she left--blew her off. She said she wanted to be fucked so bad, too, but she let it slip she's got AIDS...Really-swear to God...A regular, eh? Well, you never know about some people...Yeah-women. I like 'em but, man, they're so fucked up.

1990, first appeared in The Mississippi Review