Shine a Light

by Mac Huntley

          The ladies in the front were saved the chairs. They deserved it, they were his ladies. Indy, Mary, Ari, Trish, and Gonzo —- and they all looked beautiful in black. The people behind them consisted of characters. They were all colors, attitudes, styles in the mob. Each had a story with him. Some young like him. Some older. All different. But tonight, they all had the same desire.

          His main mice put it together as promised. Only a friendship like theirs would have a night to knock out all the specs of each one’s posthumous party. His was written with simple interjections: Cardboard coffin. Decorated by his mice. Chairs for my ladies. At night. White Xmas lights. Cliffside. City view. The appropriate Stones’ song. Pay respect with burning matches. Wake amidst the bonfire.

          Jay was emotional. Nicki was overwhelmed. Yauch was antsy. Cas Cas was distraught. Luz laughed. All other mice were fucked up or faded.

          Luz left to set up his “My Best Man Died, Come Rage With Me” rager at the place. As did the mob. The ladies went to do lady things, as the finest creatures do. The three mice stood over the dwindling flame, watching the flicker die. Bottles in hand of course.

          “Fuck.”

          “Fuck.”

          “Fuck.”

          “He has a will.”

          “What?”

          “My brother made a will, for his mice.”

          They all stared at Cas Cas in anticipation. He left momentarily. The moment was filled with very puzzled fucks. Once returned, he proceeded to dole out accordingly. To Nicki, a pen for him to keep writing his senses. To Luz, a blunt for his boy. To Yauch, condoms. Jay got a note. Cas Cas dipped out to seek out his wife for a night of reminiscing tears. His wife was pleasant, and lucky, for Cas Cas was a knight. His homage to his brother was nothing but to love. And love he did.

          The mice headed to Yauch’s nest to get fitted. Well, to get Yauch fitted. The boy needed pomade, cologne, and a couple looks in the mirror to prepare for his homage to the fallen.

          “I. Will. Bang. The. Twins.”

          “What? The Carnegies?”

          “Yes Nick. The fucking Carnegies. My homage to our man will a triumph of debauchery over pure innocence.”

          “A threesome is no triumph, just trouble.”

          “I oppose and I shall disprove you, as always, Jay. Also, tonight your homage should be to get into a little trouble. You know he’d love that. You read the note?”

          “No.”

          “Why?”

          Jay left to get air, or at least play with it.

          “So emotional.”

          “So are you.”

          “We all are. Anyway, what’s your homage Snow? Going to write a novella?”

          “Fuck you. I have no idea. I’m thinking.”

          “Don’t.”

          Yauch was finally clothed and doing the final touches to the hair. His confidence almost a disease at this point. But, it played. It always did.

          “Don’t what?”

          “Don’t think. I’m going to be him for a second. Don’t think. Just do. Because you have nothing but good intentions. You are a bitch. You wouldn’t hurt a bitch either. Let this be your homage. Just go be Nick Snow.”

          “Bitch.”

          “Sometimes I wish you and me had sex just so some cool could rub off on you.”

          The two smiled. One in the bathroom, creating sex appeal. The other on the couch, just being himself. It was going to be a good night.

          They jumped into Oldsmobile, and set off. Jay at the helm. Nicki, shotgun. Yauch spread out in the backseat like the real cat he was. Nicki supplied sounds from the dead man’s playlist. Fucking bittersweet was all that was felt. They parked in their reserved spot on the right side of Luz’s driveway. Reserved physically by Luz, who sat in a beach chair in the spot. Dressed in nothing but a Speedo and a snapback, he greeted them appropriately.

          “What the fuck is up my brethren?! Yauch you look gay. Fuck this. Let’s rage.”

          Luz’s place was another world. Each door led to a different vibe. One to sex. Another to complete and utter heartache of memory. There were drugs. There was alcohol. There were shenanigans, sober and not. There was improvised cooking and desperate treks for the simplest of fast food. Loud, loud music was drowned out by conversation. What really filled up the party were stories. Both from the past, and those that were being written moment by moment in the wake. They took over. So many laughs. So many fucking tears. But, it was beautiful. It was Christmas in July.

          The centerpiece, the crown jewel of the party, was the wheelchair the guest of honor spent in his last days of battle. Luz and others surrounded it with candles and various trinkets.

          The three had split up. Yauch went into lone wolf mode, destined to offend. Nicki was present. He drank, he sang, he lived. With everyone. Jay saw this and felt he was a Rod Serling character. When he and Nick had first met, Jay was the butterfly and Nicki was the wallflower. Roles reversed and Jay was happy. He made appearances. But mostly he pondered. Pondered the note. Pondered the past. Pondered the party. Pondered the night.

          Then she shined.

          She was it. The scratch to the itch. The runner’s high. She is what the insomniac thinks about to sleep. The final sheep. She is beauty. She is beautiful. Her presence orders you to acknowledge it, appreciate it, and realize that you cannot touch it. Her dress was pure. Her eyes piercing. Her movements licentious. And now she was looking right back at him.

          “Fuck.”

          She was quick and composed. Like a ballet dancer.

          “You look like you are in trouble.”

          She also knew just what to say to leave you defenseless. But Luz was louder. No one, nor nothing was. Well balanced atop the sacred wheelchair stood the giant.

          “Everyone. Shut the fuck up. Listen. I have words. I have words for my boy. My compadre. I’m so high. Yes.”

          Silent room with a voluntary pause for the one and only Luz.

          “I wish he was here to burn this house down with me. He would. So. Here is my homage. I love you.”

          A pull of Jack, a spit of flames, and a literal burning house. Classic Luz.

          The moments followed were a flurry. The ones who could handle, handled the small fire. The ones who could be useless, were useless in the best way. But no one was scared. They were all in an understanding, an understanding that life was just fucking awesome and that they got to share with one cool fool. Once everything settled, Jay looked for the lady. As the search grew, his heart forcibly feigned with the unread note burning in his back pocket. Torn between carpe diem and a letter from a friend, he sat. His wallowing was cut short to roars and screams from what seemed like a real jungle. He looked towards the once closed master bedroom to see the twins emerge giggly, and naked. Then a very naked Yauch played a true mouse opposite to the trailing respective boyfriends as he darted and dodged from room to room. Jay looked at Nicki. Nicki back at Jay. And they booked. Each pushed a boyfriend and ran separate ways. Eventually, the three found themselves a block away and in the clear. Jay gave his jacket to Yauch. Yauch used it to be an urban Tarzan. They carefully toed back to see the betrayed were waiting by the Oldsmobile. They turned and walked. A slow contagious laughter was produced by the very crossed Nicki. Soon, Yauch succumbed. Then Jay lost it as well. After a block, the guys were startled.

          “Get in. You idiots.”

          “Bryn. You are a goddess.”

          Yauch hopped in the back, where he found a very comfortable poncho. Nicki jumped in, drunk as fuck. Jay took front. He wish Luz could save him again. He couldn’t, but Yauch did.

          “I miss him. I miss him a lot. You know, before I was this popular provider for female orgasms, I had a girl. And, at the time, so did he. They were Asian. They were stressful. And he and I were the best of friends. One day, when his was at school and mine at work, we purposely left our phones at my house and went to the gas station. We picked up 27’s, Pringles, and fucking slurpees and headed to the mini golf course. We challenged each other round after round. Talking mad shit about each other’s games and our own respective lives. It was one of the most precious moments in my life. It was a moment frozen and time, and I always have it. Take me there Bryn. I’ll sleep there tonight and pour one out for the homie.”

          “I’ll come with.”

          “Hell yea, Nicki. Let me pick up some clothes and a bottle first.”

          “And some In-N-Out.”

          “Of course.”

          The two departed with hugs for the getaway driver and even fiercer hugs for Jay. They were in it together. Yauch humped the air with a tongue licking face to combo while Bryn wasn’t looking. Jay was happy. Then mortified.

          “Let’s go to his park.”

          They went. They played in the kids area. Touched the sky on the swings. Rolled down the tiny, grassy hills. They spoke of their history with the deceased. The many memories that were the sweetest scars now. She spoke of her very recent history with the deceased. He listened, and didn’t think for the first time in a while. But it was what wasn’t said that was ringing in both of their minds. Then she changed that.

          “He was never mine. He belonged to everyone. He was someone’s savior, someone’s something. Always. He was a catalyst, a catalyst for life. He was Vi, everyday.”

          She smiled with clarity.

          “And I was never his. He knew that, before I did.”

          Bryn looked up to the sky with her annoyed smirk and a head shake.

          “I’m sure he’s flipping you off with a smile.”

          “Jake, take me out. Anywhere. Let’s get in trouble.”

          He tried to rationalize. She pecked his cheek. He turned to see her on her way. Before following, and starting his life, he reached into his pocket. He understood the narrator in the “Tell-Tale Heart” more now than he did in class. But, the relation was gone in seconds. The note was simple and sincere, contained cussing, and demanded life. The note was him. So fucking him. And now he was flipping him off with the same fucking smile.

          And he went.

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