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Beta'd by Erin.

Human Touch - part 7/10: "readjusting's a bitch"

by Ralu

*Lost*. Completely, utterly fucking lost. Wandering around in circles like a small puppy that's been ripped from its mother's tit; thrown into the big, bad world. A world in which he knows nobody and nobody knows him. Completely alone.

It's been two weeks since he got out; two weeks out of Lardner, pushed through its big, iron gates and left to make it on his own. Left out in the cold. Two weeks without rules, without predetermined statutes... How the fuck is he gonna learn how to live again?!...

Everything's so goddamn complicated, so unlike what he's lived through for the past three years; traffic noises keep him awake, every police car he sees makes him jumpy. Girls - so many girls, women -- tits and asses and sweet, caressing smiles... He wants to score - in every sense of the word. He wants to score so much his balls ache, his veins seem to be any minute away from popping open like blisters. Everything's so different - and his body's reacting to it uncontrollably. Still...(--he's all alone.)

Walking out of Lardner with no money in his pockets, clothes that don't fit him anymore - looking like he's just stepped out of the fucking Twilight Zone. A stranger. Nobody to pick him up, nobody to hug him and shit...

Looking back at the guards in utter disbelief; dumbfounded - like 'Hey, are you even supposed to be letting me *out*?!... I mean...I know I don't belong *in* there anymore, but...I don't exactly belong *out* there either...' Trapped between two worlds, unable to fully understand, fully integrate in any of them. Belonging...nowhere. And...to no one. (Vern)

Yeah well, Vern sure as hell didn't come to pick him up. Or give him a hug... (--'Huh!.. Nice image...prag.'--) Schillinger vanished. Like he never even existed. Vern left him behind, abandoned him; DUMPED his sorry ass... Like...(--a stray puppy.) A useless piece of junk. Discarded. Dismissed. Never to even be thought of, let alone missed...

Hitch hiking from one small town to another; exchanging blows for miles, miles for blows... Kind of...the same. But somehow...different. The rules are all changed, *wrong*. Everything's different and Chris has a hard time catching up, adjusting. 'Cause...this is the *real* world, with real fucking people. People who don't see being an ex-con as anything worth bragging about; normal people. *ABnormal* people...

Casually mentioning to a pretty, young, probably-about-his-age, blonde waitress that he's just been released from Lardner; and getting an almost instant reaction of...not just rejection, or loathing but...fear. Pure, uncontrolled fear. Her body reflexively jerking, her eyes shrouding in suspicion; her entire being backing away from him. Shutting down. One more lesson for him to learn: don't ever fuckin' mention Lardner to anyone. Especially if you wanna get into their panties... Unless of course...you absolutely have to.

Hitching a ride with a guy who's obviously very interested in what Chris has in his pants - alongside country fucking music, one of the way-too-many things Chris truly hates - asking him nicely to change the radio station only to be met with utter indifference.

Mentioning Lardner and some phony 10-year sentence for armed robbery, flexing his muscles a little and throwing some stupid remark about how he can't wait to break some guy's skull - and *magically*, Joe Strummer's voice replaces Mickey Who-fucking-ever... Yep, being an ex-con means also power over weak, gullible fucks.

Chris can't help but sing along; he's happier than he's been in a long time. He had come *thisclose* to seeing The Clash live at a bar in NY but...that fucking guy had started yelling about his money -- his hand twisting under Chris, head cracking against the wall... (One missed opportunity among so many others.)

Lardner had come rolling over him like a fucking bulldozer. (--'Fucking moron. Stupid fucking moron...'--) He's not even sure who he's referring to...

10-year sentence...Jesus, does he look that fucking old?! Has he changed that much? Gained some weight -- muscle weight. (--'Thank you Daaaddy!...'--) Dark hair no longer falling over his eyes constantly, got taller...still, he's only fucking 20. Hasn't shaven in a couple of days and he doesn't exactly smell like roses but...does he look *that* old?!...

Twenty miles further down the road, the guy pulls over and Chris gets out of his car... Or better said, is left in the middle of the fucking road, with the guy speeding away like he's got the devil on his tail.

Walking aimlessly by the side of the road, waving at any car he sees.

"Get in!"

And he does. The guy's obviously bored and most likely - as Chris quickly realizes - a bit out of his mind too. The inside of the car is plastered with pictures of naked chicks and animals...house pets; he's probably some late hippie retard. Chris can't help but giggle. The guy asks him if he's in for an adventure - "something crazy".

"Sure, why not," Chris answers.

Speeding along the highway - 80 miles/hour and going up - he unzips his pants and Chris gives him head, trying to keep an eye on the guy's foot jerking on the accelerator. After all, it would be a pretty stupid way to die, wouldn't it? Chris can't help but think that if he were to die right at that moment, he'd *SO* rot in hell...

Above him, Jack - that's the guy's name - is howling like a mad dog, lifting his hands off the wheel repeatedly.

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!..."

"Keep your fucking hands on the fucking wheel," Chris growls in between sucking and licking. "Praise the Lord a bit later, okay?"

Afterwards, they both sit beside the car smoking a joint. Jack turns out to be a Minister of some sort...The Church of *Whatever*.

"You got to make the best out of every minute you're still breathing," he says. "Because when you're dead...you stay that way. Forever. Right?"

"Right," Chris answers. "Death sucks."

The guy starts telling him this story about when he was in Vietnam, and Chris is 100% sure that Jack tells the story to every guy he happens to pick up over and over. He gives up on trying to listen to him the moment Jack begins yelling something about napalm and fucking Nixon... (--'Whatever man, whatever.'--) He's obviously *gone*.

Chris contemplates for a moment the possibility of knocking him unconscious, and stealing his money and his car; he could do it, it wouldn't be much of a hassle. The guy's smaller than he is, skinnier; a lot older, fragile looking. It would be fairly EASY.

Still...he doesn't. Jack's actually a funny guy and a generous marijuana fan; he's good company...when he's not suicidal. He likes him. Nonsense makes a whole lot more sense to Chris; always had. Always will. Fits him better.

He turns his eyes to the road stretching beside him...the dark line widens and narrows, meandering like a snake; double, fucking triple - he's high alright!... An endless row of possibilities. He could go anywhere he wants. He's free. Nothing and nobody holds him back. He's his own. Belongs to no one.

"We can go anywhere we want..."-- her words ringing through him like the wind caressing his face.

Yeah, it got his mother hanging in a motel room with her shirt unbuttoned and her underwear stained, piss drying on her bruised legs. Nobody's ever free. Never. Still, that doesn't stop you from running...

Two weeks of being Lardner-free...(--and he still has nightmares.)


The guy standing in front of him is pushing Chris' hands away from his crotch. (--'What the FUCK?!'--) Smells really nice, his clothes are nothing like Chris' ragged torn-up jeans and stained gray T-shirt; glasses and clean shaven jaw, hands shaking just a little as he tries to...what? *Hug* him?!... (--Get the fuck outta here...'--)

He's asking him what his name is.

"Chris." (--'What, you want me to ask yours?'--)

He says he's never done this before and that he's a bit nervous. Chris just smirks and reminds him he doesn't have all fucking day.

"So you want me to suck you off or...*what*?"

*What* seems to be more like what the guy's after, 'cause he's leaning in and...(--'Oh my God, in *three* years, in three fucking years...'--)

Vern NEVER kissed him, not once. And this guy, this guy he doesn't even know, this guy who's only a 'John', a paying fucking customer is brushing his lips across his, arms folding around his shoulders - warmth and desire and closeness flowing out of his body, settling all over Chris'...

This guy doesn't want to fuck, he wants, he wants...

"What the fuck do you *want* from me?!"

Pushing away and punching him in the face. He falls at his feet, his mouth bleeding; and Chris wants to walk all over his body, break him, fucking crush him. Nerve-deep, pre-Lardner flashback... (--'Not again, not again you fucking moron...'--) Full blown Lardner snapshot - poison through his veins; only that *he*'s the one scared, pissing his pants...

"Fuck this!..."

Chris freaks out, grabs his wallet and stumbles out of the room. Runs away... Away from everything - all he's never really known; all he's ever really wanted. Forever spinning in circles.

(--'Yeah, readjusting's a bitch.'--)

Readjusting to something he's never had.

---end of part 7/10---

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