Death-ra and the Mustachioed Man
One of my friends from college whom I will
call Nomad for the purposes of this story, is dating an uptight, snooty
lady. She poops but once in a
blue moon and will eat nothing but caviar and surf and turf. Okay, this is
not entirely true. I am
merely trying to convey to you the tight lipped-tight-fisted, conservative
nature of this woman, whom for purposes here I will call Death-Ra.
You see Nomad and I made a bet about two days ago to see which one
of us could go the longest without shaving his mustache.
What, you say, are two twenty-eight year old men having such a
ridiculous bet for? Shouldn’t
they have grown such facial hair when they were in college? Won’t their careers be affected by brandishing such
follicular audacity? If you
are asking yourself these questions, you are a fascist like Death-Ra.
Apparently she expressed some uncertainty to Nomad when he told her about
the contest. I myself was not
present for the conversation, but my friend told me later that there was a
plate thrown at his head over the bet.
Fortunately for Nomad, he does not fight. It’s also lucky for him
that she is head over heels in love with him.
They’ve been dating for about nine months now, and I get the
sneaking suspicion that she wants to marry him.
Well, that’s fine with me, but Jesus Christ, let us go through
with the contest.
on the phone with him, and he told me just now that he really laid into
her (bullshit), particularly when she said that she would not be seen in
public with him as long as he wore the mustache.
She told him that he looks like Alex Trebek with it.
I’m not sure where she’s getting that name from, since his skin
is so thoroughly pasty, that he is almost translucent.
She says that she can’t imagine sharing a bed with a gameshow
host. Gameshow host, I said,
she wishes. Nomad doesn’t
have a job at the moment.
is evening and Nomad wants to leave the apartment for a little relief from
the bitch. He says that he
wants to go to a bar and perhaps further discuss this mustache
competition. Fine, I say, let us go meet at the Glaring Moon.
way, man, because I think she
might go there.”
I’m trying to get away from her for a few hours.”
we can just go there and sit and have a drink and if she comes in, just
he says to me, “ I practically live with this woman.
I can’t ignore her.”
if you want to pay her any attention take her into the bathroom and donkey
it’s when you stick your…”
don’t like where this is going.”
but my point is, you don’t have to talk to her if you don’t want to. She can’t control your entire life.”
course she can’t,” he says unconvincingly.
meet at the Glaring Moon, a repulsive dive bar that is simply delightful. It smells like urine, the drinks are watered down, and the
bartenders are all fifty year old floosies.
It’s not the type of place where one goes to see paparazzi or the
stars, Senators, Congressmen, etc. It
is more the place one might go if one were just out of prison, or had won
$20 in the lottery or were perhaps in the throes of a crack cocaine
addiction. The cracked
concrete floor is littered with cigarette butts.
A third world flea market seems the primary supplier of card tables
and folding chairs that pass for furniture.
The bar itself appears to be made of cork board that has been
haphazardly scotch taped together. I'm
not sure why I love it so much.
drunks at the bar are well into their 14th or 15th
drink of the evening as Nomad and I walk in.
We take a seat and order up some lavish cocktails.
wait a second,” the bar tender croons at our request, “did you say you
wanted two martinis?”
only make drinks with two ingredients, nothing more.
Or we have beer. That’s
nice and cold.”
Glaring Moon makes me feel so wonderful.
I look around at the depravity, the poor drunkards who can barely
see what they are doing to themselves, their bodies wriggling about in
manic disapproval of life. They
are all unshaven in that predictable Hollywood way.
I sigh, thinking that we have ended up in some torrid Bukowski
story and will end up murdering and sleeping with the bartender.
you didn’t tell me how you think my mustache is coming in?”
He makes a face, pushing his upper lip down from his nose so that I
can get a better inspection of the bumps above his mouth.
let me put it this way, I can see more nose hair than I can hair on your
(obviously this is not what he calls her, I am just trying to protect her
identity) told me that I look like Alex Trebeck.”
know, you told me, and you made it seem like she thought it was something
but Alex Trebeck is better than…”
He pauses dramatically
Was she just throwing out names of random people, both real and
fictional who have mustaches?
I didn’t tell you that part.”
“Shit,” I decry, “this is a far more serious situation
than I previously thought. Perhaps
you should take evasive action. You
could start by having intercourse with one of these lovely young
trollops.” I give him a
Groucho Marx with the eyebrows.
you lower your voice?”
take a swill from my beer and order a low shelf bourbon on the rocks.
I say even louder. No one is
paying attention anyway. They’re
all plastered, sitting there with these pathetic looks on their faces, as
though they’re just contemplating the piss poor hand that life had dealt
how long do you think you can go?”
the goddamned mustache. What
the fuck have we been talking about?”
don’t know, I was just thinking that maybe I should go home and see
you don’t want to go home and see your girlfriend.”
absolutely worst part about Death-ra, beyond her natural, effervescent
bitchiness is the fact that she is a Republican.
She has no shame in admitting that there is not an ounce of
compassion in her entire body. From
the first day I had been introduced to her I had been aware of her sheer
love for money. I think that she often fingers herself with a twenty dollar
bill wrapped around her digit. All
she wants to do is consume, consume, consume.
A well bred capitalist she is.
Whenever she sees homeless people on the street, she instinctively
spits on them. She is even
known to send death-threats to charities, particularly those that tried to
help impoverished people of color. But
my mind is wandering as Nomad is trying to tell me something about Death-ra
being the love of his life.
that I love her?”
mistake,” I say, “I thought you said that you had to fry toe fur.”
bartender approaches us with her big bouffant, trailer of a hair do, and
roller applied make-up to tell us that we must move because there is a
meeting taking place imminently.
what pray tell type of group would choose to meet in an establishment of
this caliber?” I inquire.
puncher’s anonymous,” says the aged whore.
you’d be surprised at the number of people who love to be donkey
punched. I used to be a member myself until I was introduced to the
in the hell are you people talking about?
Jay, you never told me what a donkey punch is.
And Hot Karl?”
kidding hon, we’re not having any sort of self-help group.
We’re just expecting a big party coming in.”
someone actually called ahead to make sure that there is space?”
I’m just kidding. I just
wanted you guys to move because you’re blocking the television over
there.” She is pointing a
bony, misshapen finger past us and towards an old black and white
television sitting in the corner that looks like it might have been a
prototype in the field. The
picture is speckled with gray fuzz and a pair of bent rabbit ears are
donning its top.
you heard of the 21st century?
Satellite tv? Cable
television even? It appears
that you have been left in the post-modern era.”
get smart with me. I don’t
have to serve you any drinks. I’m
just trying to watch a re run of Cops.
My younger brother is supposed to be on this week.”
doubt one of the criminals.”
I don’t need any shit from a couple of queers with matching
is no comeback. I order
another drink and look away from Nomad for a moment into the sea of
alcoholism. I do not turn
when I hear the door open, but I can tell by the sickly sweet smell of a
fragrance created by some clothes manufacturer, that Death-ra is in our
presence. Her heels click the
cement floor in an annoying rhythmic cha-cha-cha, and I hear her exclaim
surprise at our presence. As
though she is stupid enough to think that we were going somewhere else.
Jay,” the conservative vixen hisses.
My eyes, before wandering towards hers stop for a moment on her
curves, hips, then pointy breasts. She
knows what I am doing and she enjoys every single minute of it.
Death-ra, I’m glad to see that you’re just as evil as ever.”
you’re an ass,” Nomad says in an astonishing defense of his ice queen.
finish my second drink with utter disregard for my job the next day and
order another. As long as I
am drinking, I will be able to handle Death-ra’s worldly misconceptions.
The bartender is giving me a look somewhere between utter contempt
and seduction. I cannot
really tell the difference between the two.
Perhaps an amorous adventure with an older woman will do me some
look very handsome with that mustache, Jay,” Death-ra is mocking me with
her DKNY sensibilities.
really just trying to emulate your mother.
She’s got that handle bar thing going on and I think it’s kind
is looking at me now with great hatred.
Nomad I am seeing is rubbing his hand on her leg trying to soothe
her, prevent her from engaging in a drag-down all out brawl.
Bring it on I say.
are you such a dick?”
are you such a bitch?”
eyes lock. I see the devilish
“You know, your evilness, this whole thing was his idea,”
I am pointing right in Nomad’s face now.
just don’t understand why you boys, a, have to do everything together,
and b are growing mustaches, they’re disgusting.”
sense of humor is simply divine. I
can assume that you think that we are taking this little competition
seriously. Nothing could be
further from the truth.”
why are you doing it?”
style. For kicks.”
I pause to sip my drink. “Because
we fucking want to. Jesus
Nomad, are you going to say anything or are you going to sit there with
that look of excruciating pain? Help
me out man. What have we been
is looking like he wants to get up and run away and not have to deal with
any of this. He cannot handle
conflict, and particularly between me and the woman that he loves.
His face looks like a giant sore rubbed repeatedly with salt,
flushed with the blood of his embarrassment and uncertainty. Repeated
thoughts run through my head of not talking to this person anymore if he
should continue to appease her.
I begin, “must every action taken be considered with regard to style? Why should I worry about growing a mustache?
Is it solely that it is unattractive, which I must admit, it is.
I would be a neurotic mess if I sat around worrying about wardrobe
and hair issues. If you are
worried about it, fine, that’s your prerogative.
But please, don’t saturate my young friend’s brain with this
is revving for a fight.
must have control of their personal effects, from shoes to jobs to hair
color. That is why I am
trying to train young Nomad here to be a young urban professional.
Not in the negative sense of the word.
He can be a hipster dufus if he wants to be, that’s fine.
I just want him to have a direction, and this mustache simply
doesn’t send the right message.”
waitress brings the bitch over a beer, which she takes a sip from and
swirls around in her mouth. I
believe that she could spit it out, much as a boxer does, preparing for
round two. But there is no round two of verbal jousting for a moment,
merely cold stares across our mutual friend.
Why I hate conservatives so much is no mystery.
It’s blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain.
“Don’t you want to progress anywhere in life?
Or do you want to continue to have stupid little contests with your
friends? I don’t understand. You guys aren’t dumb, but you act like
can only think of baseball bats and broken skulls at the moment.
She is really getting under my skin with her self-improvement blah,
blah, blah. I don’t know why I’m not verbalizing any of this.
take her in the bathroom and donkey punch her.
I have no use for fashion conscious social climbers.
I’ll tell you what, if you release my friend from your soul
shackles, I will promise to no longer consider stapling your lips together
or pulling your pubic hair out one strand at a time.”
look at my man Nomad. There
is confusion on his face as his eyes move back and forth between me and
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