Coyote

A SAFE PLACE

(FOOL, in a chair before all, restless.)

FOOL

I never thought I could kill anyone.
Until I did.

All I wanted was some fuckin’ ice cream, man.
It’d been pushin’ a hundred all week,
and I was sweatin’ like crazy every night, all night.
Y’ever been so hot
you stick your head in the freezer just to cool off?
Y’ever get stoned out of your mind
just so you can forget how hot it is?
Well, when you’re both,
ya know,
shit happens.

The last thing I remember before it all went screwy,
it’d have to be standing in line
in this sweatbox of a gas station,
right around the corner from my place.
I had that ice cream in my hand, man.
Sweatin’ there in this long fuckin’ line,
wondering the fuck there’s a line at two in the mornin’.
Then I finally pay, step outside,
and then nothin’.
No stars, no black, no nothin’.
Just, nothin’.
Didn’t even get to open the wrapper, man.

I remember the way the man cried.
He was,
how do I put it?
He was fuckin’ losin’ it, ya know?
I remember’ just kinda blippin’ in to that,
ya know?
One minute, I’m all about that ice cream.
The next, I’m in the middle of a fuckin’ canyon.
The sun’s coming out.
It’s finally cold as shit, and everything’s wet.
And there’s this guy tied up next to me.
He was just layin’ there, losin’ his fuckin’ mind.
He was cryin’ and screamin’.
Shit was runnin’ down his nose.
He was chokin’ on his spit and everything.
I don’t know what happened.
He looked fine.
Nothing had happened.
Yet.
Maybe I’m the weird one for not acting like that.

She wore a Coyote mask, jeans, and a Ramones tee.
Her voice sounded young, but
something about the way she talked,
I don’t know,
it’s like she’d been doin’ this a while.
Like, there’s that way people talk
when they’re really comfortable doin’ shit,
ya know?
Like, they got this shit handled. No worries.
Ya know?
Real boss-lady type shit.
The whole thing’s really fucked up.
The whole fuckin’ thing.

“Pick one.”
That’s what she said.
She tossed me a fuckin’ tire iron, and said, “Pick one.”
And I just look at her like, I don’t know.
Like someone just kidnapped me,
dragged my ass to the middle of a fuckin’ canyon
with some dude who looks and sounds like he’s shitting himself,
and then gave me a tire iron and said, “Pick one.”
Then she pulled out a piece.
So, I picked one.

She took our phones, our wallets.
I had to walk out of the canyon, and down the highway.
Caked-up in dirt, and tears, and vomit,
and blood and brains and bone.
I don’t know how long I walked.
Maybe it was a few minutes, maybe longer.
Eventually CHP pulled me over.
It was the second time someone pulled a gun on me.
Not that I blame him.
You should have seen me.
You think she was watchin’?

Sleep is hard.
Being awake ain’t easy either, I guess.
But sleeping is harder.
I should probably see someone about that.
Money’s a bit tight.
But sometimes when I can’t sleep, I think about her.
Did she know what I would do?
I didn’t know the guy, he didn’t know me.
Probably.
She could’ve picked anyone else in that gas station.
Why me, huh? Why him?
Or that piece of hers.
It’s not like she fired a warning shot, or whatever.
She just kinda held it, waved it around a bit.
“Pick one.”
Do you think she meant her too?
Did I kill some guy I didn’t know with a fuckin’ tire iron
when I didn’t have to?
Maybe if he had to pick, we’d both still be here.
Did I fuck up?
Does it even matter?

(FOOL grows silent, still, lost deeper and deeper in thought.)