Friday, October 16, 2009

Tim's Face Proves an Ineffective Substitute for Brake Pads

I lived in Olympia, Washington, for a year-and-a-half beginning the day after 9/11. The drive up there was pretty intense but I’ll save that for another day.

One of my favorite people I met up there was my buddy Tim. Tim was from Alaska so he was crazy as a shithouse rat. He was a big dude, like 6-feet-2 and burly, with a bald head and a huge red beard and a bull ring in his nose. He was huge, and he liked to get piss drunk and break into our apartment in the middle of the night and grab all the food out of our freezer and throw it down the hallway. He almost got me killed at a monster truck show in Tacoma. He was a former private investigator. One time he was asking where the bottle opener was and I told him to stop being a pussy and open that beer with his teeth and he did.


So, one day Tim throws a party. He gets all his batshit Alaska friends out there, and all his stoner hippie friends, and all his alcoholic friends (like me) and his gun-collecting scary-as-shit redneck friends all in this one house stocked with Olympia beers and Fighting Cock Bourbon and vodka mixed with Kool-Aid mix.

So, Tim’s high as a kite on playing host. He’s completely stoked. And he’s totally tanked. And a little group of three or four people goes to leave, ‘cause they’re not super excited about the rednecks getting ready to beat the living shit out of the hippies.

They get in their car in his driveway, and he asks, “Where’s so-and-so?” Somebody says, “Oh, they just left, you might still catch them,” and Tim goes sprinting across the living room – THUD, THUD, THUD – and out the door. He catches their car as they’re turning around to drive out the gravel driveway, and he runs up in front of the car and starts slapping the windshield and shouting at them.



Everybody in the car is terrified. Only one person in the car knew Tim and everyone else just sees this giant pierced drunk blur of shouty crackers roaring and slapping the car. The driver rolls down the window and Tim comes around to lean his head in and start shouting at everybody to stay. I’m standing on the porch watching all this and loving it.

The driver says, “Okay, we gotta go, thanks for the party, good night,” and starts to pull away slowly.

But Tim ain’t having it. He grabs the driver-side door where the window is rolled down and pulls on it to try and stop the car. He’s a huge dude, but it’s not enough. The driver keeps moving. And everyone in the car is screaming at her to hurry up, because now they’re all terrified. Mind you, Tim’s only trying to be friendly, but he can be a scary dude.

For a few feet, Tim manages to hang on to the car and skid on his feet, like he’s water skiing or something. Then he looses his footing and goes to fall down. But he refuses to let go of the car with his right arm. He goes down, the car keeps moving… and Tim gets dragged for 20 feet, face down across the gravel driveway, before he finally lets go and the car rolls into the street and away down into its own future.

Everyone on the porch is horrified.

A moment goes by.

We all look at each other, mouths wide open in that half-laugh you can’t help when you don’t know for sure just exactly how fucked up what just happened was.

Another moment.

And Tim gets up. He trots on back into the house and the entire side of his face is scraped raw, covered in blood. He looks like Two-Face. And he’s got a big fat smile on his face and he wants another beer and some whiskey.


Boy, his girlfriend was pissed.

Words: Sean Murray
Art: Manuel Martinez