The Boys Of Dayton


“I’m not a ladies’ man I’m a landmine, filming my own fake death.” And they all want to fake their own suicides in malls and fake food courts, yeah they do. Across from the Greyhound station a mustached boy is rollin’ a cigarette and the tobacco slips and slides through his dirty fingers and falls onto the bright blue package that sits on his lap. Waitin’ for the bus 5…10…20 minutes – how they just slip by! His jeans they’re all ripped up and you can see the pale white flesh beneath and he’s quiverin’ from the tickling strands that dangle over the large gapin’ holes at his knees in the hot heavy wind. His bike, rusted and orange is layin’ on the ground, she’s a tired beast. His arms like knotted bamboo are all scarred up from skateboardin’ and the fallin’ and slightly above the black scabbed elbow he’s got Jesus Christ the Sheppard (a regretful relic from his younger, naive days) who stares out to the concrete walls and the mile high signs that scream like cavernous, drooling mouths – McDonald’s! Taco Bell! Gasoline and 5 dollar packs of Marlboros!

Dayton, Ohio is a place where the sun likes to play and taunt and she shines her pretty face for just a moment and then hides away behind rainy clouds that never stay around. It’s oh so humid and the sky is a sweet white that lulls the senses but slightly enhances cortex activity. Hair disarrayed, the mustached boy smacks his lips together and licks the zigzag. Busses wind and slide through residential streets picking up guys and gals who aren’t afraid to say what’s on their minds. A giant, potbellied man with wobbly thighs drops his bus ticket on the ground and reaching – fingers fluttering – sweating, bending and knees straining. He spits out, “I’ve lost some weight but that ain’t helpin’ with the health issues. I’m a man who likes to eat and my wife, well damn, she’s a good cook.” His mouth, shiny and wet, never stops flickering. He sits and tells anyone who will listen all about the spies and lies in his beloved country. Oh the conspiracies that exist beneath our very noses!

Zip! Whirl! Suburban sprawling out and around and in streets that seem to never end until you see bright and shiny neon gas signs. The mustached boy with the torn up jeans and skin has a big bright hot and fresh red Rebel Alliance stamped onto his forearm and the sweat and blood glides and shines as he swings his arms and walks to a house that’s white and brown and the lawn’s slantin’ at a 45? angle. Oh, the boys live here. The boys of Dayton have shiny red Rebel marks that glow and shine and they wear beat-up Vans shoes that are covered in holes and their socks and toes poke out as they walk the long streets. They claim they can mow their lawn in just 15 minutes because they’re young and their wiry bodies have not fallen prey (not quite yet!) to the All-American Diet.

Jakey sits in the living room wearin’ his big bug-eyed sunglasses and a stringy hipster tank and tight jeans rolled up his thighs and he likes to wham-bam-bam vinyl Doors albums onto the wall. He packs his big bong and takes a whooshing bubbling hit – “What was that promise that ya’ made?” – His ribs quiver and slide down and behind the buggy glasses his kind eyes get bright as the smoke burbles up to the ceiling. His face flickers with sunlight when the mustached Rebel walks inside and slaps his hand, “Alex! Let’s pack a bowl and let’s fly high.” And he smiles and Alex smiles and they’re brothers who are young and alive and they’re all on their own in this barren wasteland where little girls with red hot zits on their chins drag wagons full of ice up big hills because mama’s a little too busy with the crack pipe and the dark haired strange man and she needs somethin’ to drop in her Jim Bean whisky ‘cause the sun just came out and it’s hot-hot-hot.

The boys of Dayton they want to escape and run away and they hang upside down stolen American flags and have silent satirical salutes to Barack Obama who did them wrong, yes he did. ‘Cause he didn’t keep those promises of Hope! And Change! And instead the smoke just keeps on swirling and whirling up and around the spinning ceiling fan. Alex and Jakey chuckle and laugh, eyes burning red like their Rebel tattoos. Fuck that man! They’re shaking and waiting for John and Aaron to quit running around in ambulance vans and selling hot buns and get on home so they can “Break on through to the other side!”

When they’re all together the force is strong and they expand their minds to new-fangled heights that go far up above and beyond the 9 to 5 and traffic lights. The boys of Dayton are soft and kind and they attract girls from far and wide who travel through fields and highways and down winding streets to stay in their beds and listen to what’s going on in those expanded extra cerebral cortex’n minds. And sometimes on real good nights they’ll take the pretty ones up into their beds and from above them they’ll sink into their souls and into quiet places where no one dares to go and they see them off and they don’t fall in love ‘cause that shit ain’t real no more in the land of Red, White and Blue where kids grow up and they’re takin’ Zoloft mind-numbs and they see their mommies screw around and their papas are gettin’ divorced and nothin’ don’t feel quite as right and real as the Rebel Brotherhood does.

The boys live in an immense barren house full of rooms and windows and empty floors but they’re never far from one another. They sit close and tight on their sunken in couch because time always slips on by a little too fast when you’re gettin’ fucked up and the summer is strictly for partyin’ with brothers. The silver and red and blue PBR cans get chilled in the fridge and the boys never stop crackin’ ‘em and slurpin’ ‘em down and their lives are like spinning mind-brain contraptions that dream and desire – “My only friend, the end, of our elaborate plans, the end” – and their bodies travel to the wooden platforms at Garden Station. They talk for miles and miles while trains zip by in the sweltering dark night heat. They drink and smoke and snort and huff until they’re giggling and high and finding Comrades along the way – there’s Singing Craig and Blondie Brett and Max the Philosopher (with his friend Miss Molly May) and there’s Mary Lou with her blushin’ cheeks.

The nights they turn into mornings and they’re skippin’ shifts and watching old war movies – “I want to die in an open field! I want the birds to eat my eyes!” – They’re killin’ the Nazis with their minds and Johnny’s phone makes chuchuchuchuchu, machine gun noises! Eating PB and J to sustain ‘em just long enough ‘til they get the 30-racks going again and again and the populations –oh they grow to extreme heights! Metal music basement parties where boys and girls let their serotonin levels fly reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllll high. Mary Lou, Aaron, Jakey and Max the Philosopher are in a bedroom snorting rails – I said god damn! – and eating magical mushies and drinking beers and Jakey’s gotta run to the bathroom ‘cause he’s seeing crazy colors and he’s looking at his shiny reflection in the toilet. And Alex – where’d he go?

“He left! He left.”
“It’s all cool you know.”
“The crowds man, they get to his head.”
“He’s fine man.”

And people are strange, when you’re a stranger. Women seem wicked, when you’re unwanted. “No one remembers your name!” Alex, he’s up in bed ‘cause the wiring in his mind it’s exploded and dry and he’s shut off for the night. Oh, but the Rebel Alliance is still alive! Bright and shiny red! Aaron, man, he’s miles high standing on old rubber tires screaming that he’s part of some Torso Team and “He’s just lifin’ it man!” He’s getting in fits of laughter and they’re seein’ monsters with wings and television screens and their teeth are chattering and their skins all tingling and Zip! Vroooo000oooo000m! They’re driving home to sit together and hold each other’s hands and reach new heights with some psychedelic tunes and they’re placin’ red sweet strawberries on their tongues that match the color of Mary Lou’s blushin’ cheeks while she sneaks up to see if Alex has fallen asleep.

But his mind’s in the sky and he’s turned on, switched off, twisted in and then he’s exploded. He’s lyin’ in the sheets covered in his own sweat and tears and his eyes are rollin’ back all white like his skin. Naked and thin and covered in Capitalism – the product names they’re branded into his skin. He’s dreamin’ of all them big cacophonous signs and his mouth’s open wide like the gapin’ black abyss in his mind. He ain’t got a girl to come home to or a white picket fence or a car and he don’t visit the local Walmart ‘cause he’s worried he can’t pay the rent ‘cause all his money’s been spent on the drink and the drugs ‘cause he just don’t want to think about all the shit and the lies that his country supplies, man. So fuck ‘em all he wants to switch off and not feel and not think and just leave him alone ‘cause his hearts been spent a long time ago.

The sun spins alive and we’ve gotta drive down to the gorge so that the poor boy can breathe in all the green and let the splishsplash of the water calm down his mind ‘cause he’s trippin’ off paths – “Run with me!” – oh he’s thinking too much about things that ain’t real the way Mother Nature’s lovin’ squeeze is with her trees and the buzzing bees and flowers and the gurgling streams. Johnny’s got the bluegrass tunes a blarin’ as they’re cruising down the highway and hot damn! It’s steamin’ up Johnny! It’s over heatin’! The car’s up in smoke and we’ve gotta call Roger – cause he’s real good with the cars and watchin’ the NASCAR races and cooking up good old All-American meals on the grill, boy! He says, “Ye just gotta give ‘er a drink Johnny!” And the cool water glugalugs down ‘er throat and she’s chuckin’ back along the highway now, boys.

And she’ll keep on treckin’ to skate parks and fried chicken stops and parkin’ for ultimate beer pong championships where the Rebel boys are jumping porches to puke their fucking brains out while blushin’ Mary Lou chugs back all the PBRs they can’t drink ‘cause she wants to be spinning tonight and maybe shut off her mind and her gravitation ain’t on ‘cause she’s floating in her mind and feeling fine. And the boys will roam the streets making silent satirical salutes to all the young and hip and smooth 20-somethin’s who like to get all fucked up just like they do.

The boys, they live to love and fuck and drink and think and not think and they get all messed up in the concrete streets of Dayton, Ohio where the nights never really sleep and the dreams they come and go in heaps and heaps. The boys of Dayton are the prettiest kind with the craziest minds and their hearts are wetsoft and they shine, shine, shine right up past the mile high neon signs that yell and scream to buy and spend. And they ain’t in a trap – they can go wherever they like in the land of broken manifesto dreams.

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image – Johan J. Ingles