So this is how it goes, stuck in the middle of nowhere, broken down, and sober. Fuck. I could be sinking my teeth into a bacon cheeseburger if not for this stupid truck overheating, stranding me in this land of grassy plains and the scent of hot manure. The antifreeze ran out four hours ago, just before the ketamine.
Jesus, has it been that long? Let’s see: stubble looks a little longer (and grayer), eyes sunken and bloodshot, bags packed for a trip to Timbuktu.
Holy shit, is that what I sound like? Who the hell’s going to help some raggedy asshole who sounds like a choking pigeon? Nobody. These good Midwestern folk will take one look and see a junkie piece of shit. God damn their clear senses.
The midday sun was playing hide and go seek with a cluster of dark clouds, a cold front sweeping in from the south. Longtime residents recognized the danger inherent with this situation, wondering if today might be the day that their town joined an infamous list populated by cities with names like Joplin, Moore, and Tuscaloosa.
For those souls living within a wide swath running from central Texas to South Dakota, this summer bore the terrible promise of devastating storms. Meteorologists from Waco to Sioux Falls were bandying the possibility of a Tornado outbreak that could rival the super outbreak of 2011. As a result, hundreds of chasers, amateur and professional alike, had converged on towns along every highway in the Midwest.
That’s precisely what led Miles to his current situation.
Shit, I jumped ahead of myself. Miles Forsyth, the semi-delusional man with the broken down pickup, is something of an amateur storm chaser. By most accounts, he’s also a reckless addict and a fucking moron, two qualities that are ill-suited for someone running around chasing tornadoes.
Putting the cherry on top of this shit sundae is one painfully obvious fact: he’s not very good at it. Luckily for old Miles, his bank account long ago surpassed his common sense, quashing his drive to actually become competent.
Miles has always been the kind of guy who just coasts through life, never making much of an impact, just gliding from place to place. When the day comes that he’s called to the great hereafter, he likely won’t be mourned or even fondly remembered; he’ll be a forgotten breeze on a warm afternoon.
So, here stands our protagonist, out of antifreeze, out of ketamine, and stump dumb as ever. In his pocket is a cell phone which, if he bothered to check, has ample charge and signal. Of course, our boy isn’t exactly quick on the draw, and that phone is nowhere on his radar. Instead, he’s content to take a leak on the side of the road while one mother of a storm is brewing behind him.
Hang on, the idiotic grin he’s now sporting tells me that he has what he thinks is a good idea. I have my reservations.
“Ha, Miles, you are a genius!”
Highly dubious. Now he’s runnin’ towards the front of the truck, dick flappin’ in the wind as he scrambles to climb onto the bumper.
You’ve got to be fuckin’ kidding me. Working phone in his pocket and his best plan of action is taking a whizz in the radiator. Hope he’s got enough in there to get him to the next town. You ever see that video of the cat that got stuck in a Pringles can? That’s Miles in a nutshell. Don’t take my word for it, I’ll step back and let you see for yourself. Don’t worry, I’ll still throw my two cents in from time to time.
By the time Miles initiated his master plan he had already expelled most of the contents of his bladder.
“No, no, no! Come on, man!”
A strong thunderclap announced itself, causing him to flinch and slip from his perch. His head came down hard on the asphalt, sending white spots across his vision before he blacked out, his shame hanging out for any passerby to see.