AMERICA THE FUCKING BEAUTIFUL (SHORT STORY)

81LGwdFMnlL._SL1500_

“The only respectable way to die is with a damn good cause,” growls Hamilton as he pulls strongly on his Pall Mall cigarette. “Jesus Christ and the veterans taught me that!”

Hamelton’s head shakes side-to-side like the neon sign that hangs in the rural Pennsylvania breeze outside of the local saloon.

No one could argue. His conviction was as rigid as his bones, and his bones were forged in the steel mills. He was as confident as the American flag that hung from Scotch tape in the corner of the bar. Hamelton could drive a bargain with his stubbly chin alone.

“There’s nothing wrong with caring for yourself and for your family. Dying for your country.” Hamelton stands up from his bar stool, slides a quarter into the juke box and America the Beautiful by Ray Charles begins to howl from the speakers. “Can I get an amen, people? God bless the U.S.A!”

Outside the wind blows viscerally against the window panes. Smoke from Hamelton’s cigarette fogs up the bar until all that is visible is the white glow of the take-out refrigerator and Fox News on the television set. The bar tender calls out an order of fries. No one claims the red plastic basket. Bar stools become vultures over the ketchup laden potato sticks. Hamelton returns to his barstool, pecks at some of the crumbs that have fallen on his Confederate flag t-shirt and sips from a bottle of Budweiser.

The bar door swings open and the cold autumn air rushes through the clouds of cigarette smoke. A boy who became a man at a far-away university walks in and stands idly against the turning ensemble of the juke box.

“Fuck the troops, fuck the bible, fuck George fucking Bush and fuck straight white males,” he says staring right into Hamelton’s glassy, coal dust eyes. “Fuck Fox News too.”

Without hesitation, Hamilton smashes his beer bottle over his own head. Budwiser mixes with skull tissues to form a frothy paste in his engine-grease hair. He uses the shattered glass to cut his own throat. Blood spills heavy like ketchup from his french fried veins.

The boy who became a man at a far-away university fixes his eyes like a math equation on the gore spurting superfluously from Hamelton’s carotid artery. Petey, as his parents called him, wears an ambivalent grin as Hamilton squirms on the bar floor collecting bottle caps and chew spit on his blood-stained flannel jacket.

A flashing red light spill out into the bar room from an emergency generator. Honest gun toting citizens switch the safety of their pistols off. The bar tender yells for last call and the juke box skips sporadically on the words: God shed His grace on thee.

“Not my country, not my president,” shouts Hamelton as blood globs from his throat. “This ain’t what America is about! AMERICA! AMERICA!”

Petey glares across the room, his stare sprinkling salt in Hamelton’s open wounds. His body taking no actions.

A black man in a black hoodie stuffed with stoled Swishers accommodates himself in the bar stool next to Hamelton. With his nappy hair and his big lips he subsides the bleeding. A gay man uses his boyfriend’s pubes to stitch up the wounds. Some Jew wearing a Shtreimel stares lovingly upon the good deeds and smocks up his blood with the Torah.

“Hey! You niggers and Jews ain’t half-bad,” says Hamelton smiling through broken teeth. “And I don’t care what God says about the gays! You’re alright, faggot.”

As Hamelton’s jaw closed his upper lip on his bottom lip, a bullet whizzes through his protruding brow-line spilling pink brain matter like stale beer across the wood paneling walls. The concussion of a hammer hitting gun powder caused a crucifix to fall off the wall and smash through the juke box. The black guys grabs Hamelton’s change from the bar top and runs out the door. The gays and the Jew closely follow.

Petey — the boy who became a man at a far-away university — stuffs a gun into his skinny jeans, kicks open the bar door and yells “it takes a village” before disappearing into the post-industrial Pennsylvania night.

by EVAN PONTER (INSTAGRAM / TWITTER)

About Dustin Hollywood

Professional Photographer & Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Nakid Magazine: Dustin Hollywood

DustinHollywood.com
Instagram.com/DustinHollywoodPhoto
Twitter.com/DustinHollywood
Facebook.com/DustinHollywood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: