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Friday, March 7, 2014

"Hezbollah (3rd Edition)" --- Coming This Summer!!!

            David Diamond was propped up on the couch by the humongous Aiwa sound system. The Velvet Underground's distortion-driven masterpiece, "Sister Ray", blared at ear-splitting volume. He had cut his platinum hair himself so that he looked like an Auschwitz survivor. His eyes were sunken into their sockets and his cheeks were sallow as a corpse. His wraparound sunglasses hid the parchment yellow of his bloodshot eyes. 

            "Well, well, well," David croaked. "If it isn't the Bobbsey Twins. Brenda Starr and Basil St. John in person." 

            "We had a great time out there tonight," Debbie was enthusiastic. "There's so much to see and do in this town. I don't think we'll be here long enough to see everything." 

            "That's fine," David grinned, reminding Mel of a Jolly Roger. "We're in the middle of the desert. Everything stinks like sweat." 

            "May have something to do with your friends," Debbie glanced around at the zombies shuffling around the room. "I think you need a change of pace. We're taking you with us to the bazaar tomorrow." 

            "You and what army?" David began coughing, then hawked and spat green slime onto the carpet before lighting a Camel. 

            "You look like crap," she said cheerily. "We're taking you out for lunch." 

            "I don't think it'd hurt you to skip a few meals," David gave her a once-over. "The show's a week from now, y'know." 

            "Yeah, so?" she patted her tummy. "This dress is size ten. You're the one who needs to get in shape." 

            "I think you weigh more than I do," David smirked. 

            "My mother weighs more than you do," Debbie retorted. 

            "The problem, Munson," David peered at her over his shades, "is that you're getting old. There's nothing you can do about that. I can go pig out and get healthy in a week. You can't stop being old." 

            "What was that?" she asked in disbelief. 

            "C'mon, Debbie, let's go," Mel pleaded. 

            "No, wait, I didn't hear what you just said," Debbie put her finger behind her ear. "Would you repeat that?" 

            "Debbie, please," Mel reached out and held her arm. 

            "Don't cross me, Mel," she jerked away from him before turning to David. "What'd you just say?" 

            "Go out and play with your boyfriend," David sighed. 

            "Hey you!" Debbie yelled over at the scarecrow by the stereo. "Turn that fucking shit off!" The teen stared back uncomprehendingly. David was pouring himself a shot of cognac as Debbie wrenched the bottle from his hand and fired it across the room. It exploded against the Aiwa, and the room became still as the grave. 

            "Now," she loomed over him. "I can hear you better." 

            "I said," David sneered up at her, "you look like ten pounds of baloney in a five pound bag." 


            "You come waddling in here after eating five pounds of pitas, and expect to tell me how to look?" he chuckled. "Face it, Munson, you're pop rock. I'm punk. You don't have it anymore. You look like Britney Spears on steroids. You and the rest of the band. You all look like you're at an office party on stage. I'm the survivor here. The rest of you are a bunch of sellouts. Posers." 

            "You're calling me a fucking poser?" 

            "Look at you, Munson. You got the tits to go around dressed like that? You don't know whether you want to pose for Playboy or Weight Watchers." 

            Mel cupped his forehead in anticipation of a vicious migraine. 

            "Hey, you," she said, then reached down and wrenched David's sunglasses off, flinging them across the room. "Look at me. Fuck you!" 

            "Gee, Debbie Munson, you're my hero," David narrowed his eyes. 

            "I'll go out and get a gun off one of those ragheads in the hallway, and blow your balls up into your teeth," she screamed in his face. 

            "I smell alcohol," David replied. 

            "That's your problem," her lovely features were flushed with anger. "All you do is sit around here with these hopheads and get fucked up all day. Why don't you go out and get something to eat, you son of a bitch? You sick fuck, all you do is talk about people, write your sick fucking songs about everybody else. The reason why you're so miserable is because you're a no good, skinny-looking miserable scumbag. Understand?" 

            "Do you know what a brontosaurus is?" David turned to Mel. 

            "Leave him out of this," Debbie warned him. 

            "It was an enormous dinosaur that was so big, it had a brain in its head and a brain in its ass so it could walk," David informed him. 

            "Okay," a vein stood out in Debbie's temple as she started for the door. "You wait here. You wait right here." The creepy crawlers began making a beeline towards the door as well, blocking her path. 

            "I think she's going to kill me," David sat up eagerly. 

            At once the door flew open, and James Lincoln appeared along with six beefy black men and a crowd of reporters from the Ha'aretz and other Israeli newspapers. They shrank from the phalanx of the walking dead fleeing the suite, and eventually Lincoln came in to confront the occupants. 

            "What in hell is this?" he demanded. "This is a pig sty!" 

            "Not until you showed up," David frowned. 

            It was at that moment that she realized what was going on here. This was where David lived. Nearly twenty years of cramped motel rooms, sleeping in cars, cheese and crackers. He had done the college circuit as a self-parody, reciting his lyrics with the music sucked out of them. It hit her in her tummy like a bowling ball. He had done purgatory for all this time, and now that Lincoln had brought them here, it wasn't any different. Not for him. He was just hanging on to see if it meant anything. 

            "Listen to me," Lincoln said quietly, trying to remain calm, his $5,000 powder-gray suit giving him a tentative air of authority. "We need to get a grip on this thing. There are millions at stake here." 

            "Okay," she held the sides of her head, trying to quell the torrent of blood raging through her temples. "I'm cool, I'll deal with it. Mel?" 

            She held out her hand, and it seemed as if he had no choice but to follow her out into the light, some misplaced Joan of Arc sacrificing herself on the altar of the world press. He turned to David before coming to her side. 

            "I won't let you use her like that," he said tersely. 

            "If I were you, I wouldn't either," David agreed. 

            Debbie Munson emerged into the hallway as the Jews quietly gathered around. Her face shone as an angel of light. She seemed translucent in the white dress as she fielded their questions effortlessly, casually, as if there were nothing at all unusual or strange about an Irish Catholic woman in her thirties preparing for a punk show in the Valley of Megiddo under threat of death by militant Islamic groups. 

            "This'll make you rich and it'll make me famous," David rose from the couch, an excruciating pain shooting from his diseased bowels into his cranium.

            "But it's not about us. This story's about her." Lincoln smirked as David tottered to gain his footing. 

            "We're so close, brother, so close," Lincoln encouraged him. "Just one more week. Three hours up there, in and out. The dream of a lifetime. I just need you to hold on, brother. Hold on." 

            "It's out of my hands," David shrugged. "Don't you read the papers? It's Hezbollah, it's the party of God. And the party's already started." 

            "If only I'd met her - met you people - five years ago," Lincoln stared wistfully at the doorway. "God knows what we might've accomplished." 

            "Maybe God does know what we might've done," David flicked his cigarette butt onto the carpet. "Maybe that's why it's all right here, right now." 

            The countdown to Armageddon had begun.

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