Dirty Dean (pretty much every short story is in the works)

Margot pretends to look at the laptop I found for her. All she does all day is dance her fingers over the keys like she’s practicing to be a pianist or somethin. “I don’t need anything except Word,” she tells me when I ask if I should find internet hook up. I’m rakin and scrapin muddy finger nails across my scalp. Dredgin up loose dandruff from the roots. Salt crystals and used up hairs dust the shoulders of my Ramones jacket; unbuttoned, no shirt underneath. Almost ready. Margot blows the dust off the computer screen. Our eyes get caught feelin each other out in the clean mirror. Mirror and computer: only fuckin things that stay fresh around this shit-brown apartment. They never get caught changin color beneath the grime.
I hustle around the kitchen a bit lookin for Margot’s canvas grocery bag till I see the handle stickin out from a heap of stale t-shirts. “What’s this doin ova here?” I bark at her. She just sits there propped on her pillows. Right on queue those damn tick-tackin keys start up; the same tired response.
The flea market closes at four, which means no time to play guessing games. No yellin at my damn self till she points out somethin obvious. “Why don’t you stick around? We’ll have lunch, you know, the fridge is still full of pastrami. Bunch of sandwich stuff left.” By the time I’m done explaining to her about makin healthy scratch, (not some bullshit sandwich payroll) enough to have full pockets till next Thursday and have rent comped, I might as well be talkin to my shadow. Tick-tack tick-tack. Speakin her own language while I justify our income to the spotless fuckin mirror.
Finally outside movin again. Flyin down the street on my 1975 Vespa that looks more like a miniature bulldog motorcycle. I nearly tap the bumper of a BMW when I remember to find a pay phone and call up Jed before I do anything. “Dirty Dean,” Jed calls me. He knows my name’s Kurt. Says I have James Dean’s smug face except with crusty sweat around the neck, darker bags under the eyes. The perfect guy to fake the whole filthy dirt-bag act. So dirty the pigs don’t look twice, he says.
“Vintage shirts. They’re paying out big and it aint gonna last. Oh, and any electronic shit that even vaguely resembles an ipod. Don’t matter if it works.” Sometimes I wonder if Jed’s a fair partner. Seems a logical question since I’m the one stealin while he sits on his ass rakin in profit on ebay. It’s true, though, that he’s stuck payin the bulk of the internet bill.
Back on my bike and I’m kickin up sand, haulin through the litter caked driveway that opens up into the market. I see tired hordes of people like buzzin flies, hummin their foreign language, crowded around old car engines, chipped squirt guns, used socks. The most pathetic souls on Earth. Like weather patterns or dishwashers, their cycle of poverty is sure fire. Poor depending on somebody poorer to buy their broken-down, dirty old shit. They’re like my fingernails before I do a job.
I stroll down a couple aisles till I get to the fruit stand then I load up the grocery bag with rotten bananas and mangos, sure to attract flies as my cover. Everyone starts reacting the way I want them to. Eyes dart towards busted lawnmowers, bowie knives with American flags on the handles, bootlegged c.d.’ s—they’ll look at dog shit before they make eye contact with me.
Finally I see a booth that looks worth my time. A dark old man wearing an over-sized cowboy hat that makes his head look puny sits in a rocking chair next to his lady, her hands spasm with tremors so she can barely knit.
“Lemme see that Marlin,” I tell the guy.
“This is a Barracuda, my grandfather was a master of taxaderm—“
“Whatever you say pal. Get it for me,” I point to the fish leaning on the van behind him. Right as he turns his back I plow some old t-shirts and a walkman down my pants.

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  1. Can you please finish this story? Now!




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