It was in the same weekend that Damien Whistler had started wearing the tacky black cowboy hat found in his parents’ attic, that his best friend, Edward Allen, died in a motorcycle accident. The way Damien pictured it was that after Edward left the party of mutual friends and former lovers; he slowly began to vibe on the idea of going faster with his ears plugged in and the rest of his body tuned out. Corners were a minor distractions to the over-amplified sounds of his own thoughts running around and back down the mountain, carrying individually colored pales of water for children and the rest of the town.
Edward had already become a fixture of his father’s Friday night poker game; Damien and him having the conversation over their own moralities in West Grove soon after their separate business casual routines began to visibly take hold. There were the bars and the minor distractions as well as what had accumulated to suitcases full of recreational drugs by the time both reached twenty-five. Downward spirals didn’t necessarily occur from that point, but rather bent and collapsed into tightly contained boxes, which also in turn held their hometown egos.
Damien and Edward had made enough friends to dart from birthday to confirmation party, slugging down cheap plastic cups of alcohol and congratulating whoever seemed to care. They never told elaborate stories of their lives, but rather let the similarly vacant shades from the past wash over them like it was all some kind of mellow high. The coughing nephews and bastard nieces were all growing up in the exact same fashion as those before them. They were eating the same cake, and abiding by the same slurred agendas of their parents and legally defunct guardians.
Damien had seen it all as a surefire sign not to spread his seed, although he was cautious over bent ideals as he stood in line at Edward’s funeral, waiting to pray before his best friend’s embalmed corpse. The same night as the accident he had drunkenly forgot to pull out with Tabitha Elder, and the thought of his lingering tadpoles in her stomach had magically appeared in the sorted faces and decadent sobs of everyone in the Allen family. Damien had purposely taken one too many painkillers before dressing for the occasion, and was soon pulled into Edward’s sister, Breanne’s car for bong rips and condolences.
It was then all a crafted blur as he tried not to look into the eyes of anyone, and held back his tears until the sight became much clearer. Edward looked like a pasty cartoon character on the front of a cereal box. He was expressionless, and yet couldn’t stop grinning at the shear absurdity surrounding him. They had all managed to crawl out of their regularly prescribed addictions, and now were taking full advantage of what an unexpected death had to offer to those who knew the recently deceased. They could act out of sorts for awhile, calling off as many days as possible from their vacant suburban careers, considering that all of a sudden the privilege of having known some young and imprinted dead person had fallen sorely into their laps.
Damien already knew that he was going to milk such a spinning cause for everything that he could, and yet as the tides swiftly turned around the entire square space of Canetti’s Funeral Parlor, a gust of sin struck his nostrils. Bonnie Eash had been a hopeless vixen her entire life, and was sure to let everyone know how easy it was to bend from one waking agenda to the next. She had swept both Edward and Damien up into her tornado of shifting and problematic thoughts; all of which carried with them verbose sexual undertones. They had evolved into the people who ran into each other on late night coke binges, viciously calling all corners of the phonebook for a quick and perpetual fix to pleasantly lead them into Sunday morning.
Damien had gone to church with Bonnie just once after an enraged ecstasy fit, while both were still wiping various barbecue stains from their college degrees. He whirled over the way Jesus looked with such open eyes, and wondered, if the two had known each other personally, whether or not they could relate on much of anything. Yet, it was a different emotional sour for Damien seeing Bonnie at Edward’s wake that particular evening. They hadn’t spoken for seven months after feelings became mixed after a personalized check for prescription drugs and a blowjob fell into the same hour of hanging out. Her number was then sorely marked with an explanation point on his cellphone screen until the end of time. It acted as a warning to days better left spent in one’s bedroom.
However, Damien wasn’t sure how to handle re-meeting and greeting the defunct Bonnie as he first noticed her right around the same time his own grief was running dry. They were in the back row of folding metal chairs; her quick motion in sitting down next to a deserted old woman’s purse and quickly grabbing the black wallet out, making Damien wonder what direction her life was headed in. He watched her stuff the large currency device into her own bag, and quickly stand up again without any second thoughts. It wasn’t longer than a moment, before he soon followed her soft high-heeled steps out of the funeral home and into the street.
“What the fuck are you doing Bonnie?” Damien shouted in the middle of the sidewalk.
She stopped, turned back towards him with a confidant look on her face, and stuck her middle finger in the air. “Fuck you for not seeing it first, Damien.”
He was then the immediate next person to pull out of the parking lot, driving around town in no particular direction for an hour or so, before returning home and waiting for the next day to rear its ugly head. Damien would then wait a full two years before attending Bonnie’s funeral, and performing the same cooled tricks with her great Aunt Sophie’s wallet. He would spend the money on two porno videos and a hit of X for old times. She would applaud his efforts from beyond the grave.