Johnny America


John Tra­vol­ta Mi­cro­phone Dance Boy


They were mean men; al­so I would like to add the fact that they were big men, strong men. Maybe east­ern block, or even Russ­ian. They might have been in­volved with the So­vi­et mob, which ba­si­cal­ly means they were ex-KGB. Did I men­tion that they beat me se­vere­ly? They beat me un­til my teeth caved in and my mouth was noth­ing more than a crushed can­taloupe of a cave, a carved out pump­kin with that pulpy sting like mat­ter hang­ing from the in­ner walls, ex­cept that string­ing mat­ter, judg­ing by the feel of it, was re­al­ly my nerve end­ings dan­gling against the cold air of de­spair, but I am no doc­tor. So they beat me, and this is what they told me.

The part where they tell me some­thing sup­pos­ed­ly very im­por­tant to them:

“Do you like John Tra­vol­ta?” Fol­lowed by a thud of raw ham­burg­er like fist up­on the side of my raw ham­burg­er head.

“Aah, Jooohn Trafffol­ta?” Which just seemed to evoke more beat­ing up­on my cra­ni­um, a beat­ing that was now be­com­ing rhyth­mic, al­most, but not yet danceable.

“Yes, you know, John Tra­vol­ta, the Ur­ban Cow­boy… Do you know the movie with De­bra winger?” The fists that are beat­ing against skull are now a full-fledged tech­no song.


“Ex­cel­lent, be­cause guess what? Now it is time to dance.”

The time I danced like I had nev­er danced be­fore; a prelude:

They had giv­en me a mi­cro­phone, a very small one that hooked to my shirt col­lar. It was very im­por­tant that the mi­cro­phone be small, for the dance num­ber I was to per­form was from the movie Ur­ban Cow­boy star­ring John Tra­vol­ta, and the open­ing act re­quired me to strip out of my work­ing over­alls, and rip off my hard hat… if the mi­cro­phone was to rub up against any ar­ti­cles of cloth­ing dur­ing this dance se­quence, there would be a loud sta­t­ic-like feed­back sound that would reach out and scream in­to the au­di­ences ear. This would not make for a good per­for­mance, and most like­ly re­sult in my pre­ma­ture death, or un­want­ed cas­tra­tion. There was no room for er­ror; I had to nail my per­for­mance. To strip off my work­ing over­alls and dance like I had nev­er danced be­fore, to sing like I had nev­er sang be­fore, (I have nev­er sang or danced be­fore, un­less you count 5th grade when I tried to im­press Kim­mie Wil­son with a rap/breakdance num­ber that was in­spired by Beat Street). Soon the van had stopped mov­ing, and my blind­fold was tak­en off, which was a re­lief be­cause a mo­ment longer would have re­sult­ed in me puk­ing all over my­self. I had nev­er done well with mo­tion, es­pe­cial­ly mo­tion ac­com­pa­nied with blind­folds and se­vere beat­ings. But I would not let this stop me. I was tough, maybe the tough­est Amer­i­can these com­mie bas­tards had ever seen, that is of course if they were com­mie bas­tards. I am guess­ing they were by the thick ac­cents and the so­cial equal­i­ty in which they seemed to dis­trib­ute their beat­ings, and fi­nal­ly be­cause when open­ing the van doors, I was im­me­di­ate­ly greet­ed with the cold sting of what I imag­ined on­ly moth­er Rus­sia could pro­vide… It was cold all right, it was cold and white, white with snow, and there were peo­ple, thou­sands of peo­ple wear­ing fur­ry hats, scarves, and snow­shoes. This had to be Rus­sia, or maybe it was Min­neso­ta. I did­n’t care if it was Rock­e­feller Square, I was here to per­form, I was here to dance like I had nev­er danced before.

As it turns out, it re­al­ly was Rock­e­feller Square.

Im­me­di­ate­ly, I no­ticed a fat col­ored man with a mi­cro­phone, and I be­gan to pan­ic. The fat man was pro­tect­ed by an al­most cos­met­ic pedes­tri­an bar­ri­er that stopped the ea­ger crowd from bum rush­ing my Russ­ian van. (Sounds fun­ny, huh? Yet true.) Most of the peo­ple were hold­ing signs that read stuff like:

“Just mar­ried”

“Re­cent­ly di­vorced and look­ing for love”

“Re­cent­ly re­ceived heart trans­plant from my iden­ti­cal twin that fell of a sky­scraper and plum­met­ed to his demise”

“Hel­lo Flori­da! It is cold here in New York”

“Two sets of iden­ti­cal twins get­ting mar­ried to­day on top of a sky scraper”

If my per­for­mance was to go right, the fat man with a mi­cro­phone and the greedy des­per­ate fans need­ed to stay back. As you can see, I was quite con­cerned with au­dio feedback…

Ok, I know this sounds gay, but let me tell you:

Ok, I know this sounds gay, but let me tell you, the fat man with a mi­cro­phone ap­proached me, and my heart be­gan to trem­ble, my still ham­burg­er head, and my swollen lips that were a strange mix­ture of dried blood and frozen steel some how man­aged to spit out, “Get away from me you fat bas­tard, and let me do my thing,” which caused my nip­ples to get hard. I as­sume this was due to the cold weather.

The sto­ry that nev­er seems to end, but ends now:

There was a beat, and that beat was all I need­ed to do my thing. I tore off my work over­alls and flung off my hard hat to a crowd of scream­ing fe­males. I danced like I nev­er danced be­fore, I gy­rat­ed my hips and flexed my bi­ceps, I sang my song un­til there was noth­ing left to say. I cut open my wrists and bled my soul up­on the dance floor. This cold, cru­el, cyn­i­cal world, which has shown me noth­ing but bru­tal­i­ty. This cold world, which wears a vel­vet glove up­on an iron fist. This cold world that is loaded with mean Russ­ian men and iden­ti­cal twins. A world of des­per­ate, art­less, un­cre­ative peo­ple who feed up­on me and my art… I bled, and all around me they fed, lap­ping at my wounds like suck­er­fish, like eels, or flies, or mos­qui­toes or any­thing that is slimy and sucks blood. Like vam­pire bats, I tell you… I sang un­til my cold emp­ty body, drained and limp, even­tu­al­ly col­lapsed up­on the floor. Ex­haust­ed and beat­en to a pulp, I was left to die, un­til the fat man, the warm jol­ly fat man, the col­ored warm jol­ly jow­ly fat man picked me up in­to his cel­lulite arms and pumped love in­to my heart like the elec­tric pad­dles of a car­diac ar­rest, un­til my heart be­gan to beat. I was alive, and for the first time in a long time I knew what it was to feel warmth, to be loved. In a world that did­n’t un­der­stand me this fat man named Al Ro­ker took me in and showed me the light. And to him I am for­ev­er grateful.

This is re­al­ly the end:

The end.

Filed under Fiction on April 1st, 2004

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Reader Comments

fookie wrote:

i love you ur­ban drinkin butt re­mem­ber wiz­rd mis­ter of drunk space you ma drnk ass. gimme the lsd dream and crack stream/ with rock whiskey pcp death. piss al­gae weed hero­in. deatth what­ev­er sweet co­ma. uh. hubh fuck. gonzo wan­naabe shi­ty sucks as much asd my shit suckas with you anf eataet water

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