The Sun eased itself down like a thick-tanned arthritic retiree into a too-hot Jacuzzi, throwing sheets of titian and merlot into the sky, that caught the evening wind and drifted off, leaving the velvet drapes of night in their wake. As eventide sauntered off and the blackness ambled in, Nuts Calhoun and the Two-Eyed Chippewa stood close to the barrel fire, warming their well-traveled bones. They’ded had a hard one fer certain sure, hoppin’ on an’ off on up and own from Beggars Creek ‘cross Bum Alley ’round Dirtbag’s Cul-de-Sac through Nasty Town back on over Stink Row under all them losers under Loser’s Bridge then through all them losers at Loser’s Landing hittin’ Degenerate Way and pausin’ fer a good sniff o’ high-test at Gasbag’s then back on and prompurposely roosted off by a dumb and fat bull in the middle of Trashville so forced t’ walk ALL THE WAY down Greasy Lane so then o’course needin’ a toot of rotgut at Snotz’s to fuel the slough through the Malingerer Mile back on and the finally off again at the sweet, welcoming friendly hug of the stink of Hobo Junction.
“Get in em cans o beans, Chip,” Nuts croaked.
Chip grunted. Probably yup. Ya just can’t tell though with him. On account o’ his lazy eye, cleft pallet, and distended jowl. Nuts took it as a a-okay, and eased his bean stick o’er the fire, holding the can in the sweet spot. Ne’er get dem beans too hot, but shucks in yer gullet if y’all don’ get ’em anymore than cold and clammy either. Barrel-fire beans was a art form o’ the finest low-life culinary persuasion and only a bona fide bindle baron hisself couldawouldadamnwelldid cook ’em right. Nuts was as well known fer the quality o’ his beans as he was for the malodourousness o’ his feet. And the Two-Eyed Chippewa was just as well known for the quality o’ his barrel fire as he was for his stewy demeanour. He used just enough crud and rubbish mixed in with the wood to give it that classic Two-Eyed Eau de Dump. Or ‘absolutely magni-fucking-fique’ as the famous French hobo and asshole, Merde-Bouche Henri, was apt to say. Of course he said that ’bout just ’bout any goddamn thing, even a swampy ol’ jerked-to-shit issue o’ Cheri magazine tha’ Skunk Lambert found in Flatitious Woods. And it was common consensus round these parts that that magazine was far from magni-fucking-anything. Still, it was passed ’round somethin’ serious ‘tween the regular bunch o’ goofs at the Junction. Chippewa and Nuts et fucking al. bustin’ nuts like they was pimple poppin’ schoolboys.
“Y’all ‘member that Cheri mag Merde-Bouche found in the woods, Chip?” Nuts asked, suddenly thinking ’bout how long it’d been since he was horny. Or since he’d huffed gas.
Chip grunted. Again it could a been a anything. Yes, no, maybe so, or let’s huff gas.
Nuts chose the latterest of ’em.
“Got any gas left in the bag, chip?” He asked, “nice night fer a whiff, dont’cha feel?”
Chip grunted, reached into his bindle, and pulled out the wrinkled paper bag. They both stepped back from the burning barrel. Ever since Cutie-Pie Maxwell turned hisself to Burnie Max due to irresponsible gas huffin’, lotta folks had taken to new safety protocols when they was getting sick stupid on gasoline. Number one rule was DO NOT HUFF GAS OVER A OPEN FLAME. ‘Nuff said. No one could remember rule number two. Something ’bout huff, huff, pass. That was more etiquette related than a saftey protocol but still it was always good business to keep it in mind. Otherwise you have what? Anarchy. Chaos. Ultramania! And those weren’t’n’t any of the things that Hobo junction was at all ’bout. Nuh huh. What they had here was a civilidation. All supa-chill and propa-plus as them urban bums was apt to say.
Chip passed the bag to Nuts. Nuts checked his beans. Stewing sweetly. Checked the sky. Stars a twinklin’. Checked behind him. No sign of Stabby Pete or The Whistlin’ Psycho. Put the bag to his face and took a sweet ol’ deep whiff of that high, high octane. He always ‘magined it was what the goddess herselfs pussy smelt like. Wonder where that Cheri was at? The gas took him in its embrace, sending his greasy, dirty disintegratin’ sponge o’ a brain into a technicolor field trip where he didn’t need no permission slip and the teacher didn’t give no fuck ’bout what he did so long as he got back on the bus at the end o’ the day. So he rode that petroleum wolfsnake hard and gay through the lazer beam trees of the mystic woods o’ candy heaven.
He passed the bag to Chip. Plopped hisself down on the milk crate he called his throne and while his mind detonated in a gasohol fueled mushroom cloud o’ bliss, he took a spoonful o’ hot beans. They was perfect.
As perfect as was the night. It’s black velvet embrace bringing peace and serenity to the waifs and buggerers that called this little piece of the world home.
Life was sweet–
In Hobo Junction.