Nolan pulls into the parking garage, braced for the Rican
attendant with the cojones big enough to make a point of wondering what
this rusted hunk of Chevy pickup junk is doing in Jag-u-ar City. But the
ticket-spitting machine doesn't much care what Nolan's driving. It lifts its
arm, like a benediction, like the hand of God dividing the Red Sea. Nolan passes
a dozen empty spots and drives up to the top level, where he turns in beside a
dusty van that hasn't been anywhere lately. He grabs his duffel bag, jumps out,
inhales, filling his lungs with damp cement-y air. So far, so good, he likes the
garage. He wishes he could stay here. He finds the stairwell where he would hide
were he planning a mugging, corkscrews down five flights of stairs, and plunges
into the honking inferno of midafternoon Times Square.
He's never seen it this bad. A giant mosh pit with cars. Just
walking demands concentration, like driving in heavy traffic. He remembers the
old Times Square on those righteous long-ago weekends when he and his high
school friends took the bus into the city to get hammered and eyeball the
hookers. He's read about the new Disneyfied theme park Times Squareland, but
that's way more complicated than what he needs to deal with right now, which is
navigating without plowing into some little old lady. A fuzzball of pure
pressure expands inside his chest, stoked by patches of soggy shirt, clinging to
his rib cage.
It's eighty, maybe eighty-five, and he's the only guy in New
York wearing a long-sleeved jersey. All the white men seem to be running
personal air conditioners inside their fancy Italian suits, unlike the blacks
and Latinos, who have already soaked through their T-shirts. What does that make
Nolan? The only white guy sweating. The only human of any kind gagging from
exhaust fumes. While Nolan's been off in the boondocks with his friends and
their Aryan Homeland wet dream, an alien life-form has evolved in the nation's
cities, a hybrid species bred to survive on dog piss and carbon monoxide. Nolan
needs to stop thinking that way. Attitude is crucial.
Last night, at his cousin Raymond's, he'd watched the TV weatherchipmunk chirping about the heat wave, so unseasonable for
April, reassuring local viewers with his records and statistics lest anyone
think: Look out, global warming, the world is ending right now. Why is
everyone so surprised that the planet's cutting them loose? Ecological
Armageddon was just what the doctor ordered to take Nolan's mind off his own
problems as he'd faced the dark hours ahead until it was time to get up and
borrow Cousin Raymond's truck, his money and pills, and vanish into the ozone.
Nolan's hardly slept for two weeks, ever since he decided to turn. Two Xanax did
nothing to stop his lab-rat brain from racing from one micro-detail to another.
Like, for example, sleeve length. Should he hide the tattoos? Or
just wear a T-shirt and let them do the talking? If one picture's worth
a thousand words, that's the first two thousand right there, two thousand minus
the hi howareya nicetameetcha. Which was one reason to get the tats: cut through
a load of hot air. On the other hand, strolling into the office of World
Brotherhood Watch with Waffen-SS bolts on one bicep and a death's-head on the
other might make it harder for Nolan to get his point across -- let's say, if
the people he's talking to are hiding under their desks. Nolan wouldn't blame
them. It hasn't been all that long since that lone-wolf lunatic in L.A. shot up
the Jewish temple preschool.
In any case, it's going to be tough, explaining what he's doing
at Brotherhood Watch, especially since Nolan himself isn't exactly sure. There
are some . . . practical issues involved with stealing Raymond's truck plus the
fifteen hundred bucks that, if you want to be literal, belongs to the Aryan
Resistance Movement. But there's more to it than that. If it were just a
question of disappearing and starting over, Nolan could have some fun. Sell SUVs
in Palm Springs, deal blackjack in Las Vegas. Go to Disney World, put on a Goofy
suit, let toddlers fuck with his head.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...