Vol. 2, Issue #18 Sept. 28th - October 11th, 2007

Roller Disco Inferno
By: Bill D. Allen

Samuel P. Caskill was once the Roller Disco Champion of Northeastern Oklahoma. It was his one, brief moment of fame. He had joined a contest at the local Skateland on a dare. This was in the days when he typically wore a purple tank-top and cut off shorts his hair in a ‘fro with a power fist pick perched precariously atop it at a rakish angle. This was of course, doubly odd because he was a white guy.

To make a long story short, he won the contest at the Skateland, he won the All City, then he went on to the Areaf Regionals. He didn’t have a routine, just free styled it. Again and again he went against guys with rhinestone jumpsuits and fancy choreographed moves. When his turn came up he would pick some random Bee Gee’s song and dance his ass off. There was something special about him. He was anointed of the Roller Disco Gods. The crowd loved him. He was a street kid with skills.

Then at the state finals he got so drunk that he puked his guts out about ten seconds into his routine. Sent a combination of Frito’s corn chips mixed with Everclear and Koolaid punch all over the rink. That ended his short but meteoric career as the King of Oklahoma Roller Disco.

Whenever Samuel would tell this story people stared at him with looks of complete disbelief. Particularly, because now Samuel now weighed over 280 pounds, has a beard with beads braided into a long Fu-Manchu mustache, rides with a biker club and goes by the name of “Ballsack”. He wears a ragged denim vest with cryptic patches sewn on it that have sayings like “DILLIGAF” which he gladly translates as “Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck?”

But no one, not a soul has ever told him he was a liar. Now, you might think that was because he was a big, badass biker with an odd crazy look in his eye. But you would be wrong. Really, it was because of the passion and earnestness with which he told his story. For a moment in your mind’s eye you could picture him, young and skinny, doing the electric boogaloo on wheels.

So when Ballsack came to my bar that night and told me about the dead girl, I knew he was telling me the truth. He had the same earnest tone.

“Conrad,” Ballsack said, “she was at the tattoo shop. She was sitting there as plain as day just like you’re standing in front of me now.” Ballsack threw back his double Jagermeister and winced.

I wiped my hands on a towel and leaned forward on the bar. “I believe you, man. But why do you think she was dead?”

“I didn’t at first. I was sitting in the front room looking at the flash in a book and flirting with the fat girl at the counter. Then she strolls in and I figure she is one of those Goth queen types. You know? She was pale white, had dark bobbed hair, black lipstick and nails and was wearing a dog collar. She had this black mini skirt, high heels and one of those push up deals with strings that tie it up tight.”

“A corset?”

He smiled and nodded. The dark bandana covering his head shifted lower over his eyes. “Yeah, that’s it. Had these soft bare shoulders and she was just about spilling out of that corset thing.”

“Sounds pretty alive to me.”

“Damn straight, and she would have been a dream except for the look of sadness in her eyes. She was carrying around a lot of pain.”

“I chatted her up a little, said Hello Darlin, you coming to get some ink?”

“She shook her head. Said no, I want to get a lip ring. I thought it might cheer me up a bit. But I doubt it will.”

“That ought to look real pretty on you. But if you don’t mind me asking, what’s the matter? Anything I can help you out with?

“She didn’t exactly smile, but it seemed like she brightened up just a touch. I could tell she wanted to talk.

“I found out something tonight, she told me. I’d been thinking that things have been strange for a while. The world is screwed up. I don’t have friends anymore. No lovers, no family to call. I met a few guys, but none of them care. No love in them. They’re just empty inside. I feel worse being around them than being alone.”

“I sighed and told her Darlin, we all have some lonely times. You’re a pretty young thing. I’m sure you’ll find somebody real nice before long. At this point she was making me feel less like trying to get her in bed and more like a big brother. I get that way. My bike brothers always used to kid me about it. But that’s the way I am.

“No, I won’t, she said. You see, I’m dead and I’m in Hell. I don’t remember what happened exactly. But suddenly I realized that I am not alive and this is my personal hell. I did some bad things in my life. I hurt a lot of people, treated them like trash. This is my punishment. Tell me, what is the worse thing that ever happened to you? What is the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever experienced?

“I told her about my puking up at the Skateland. You know the story. I figured that was about the lowest point in my life because I was just short of actually accomplishing something. But I blew it. I went from a miracle to a drunken piece of shit in ten seconds. I went through the whole thing.

“She listened quietly, her dark eyes staring into me. When I was done she nodded. That will be your hell, she said. When you die, you will go back to that time and you will fail again and again. Just like I go out night after night and never find anyone to love.

“I thought she was crazy. But then as she got up to go into the back room I noticed something. When she leaned forward I could see the dog collar move up on her neck. Her throat was slit down to the bone, and there wasn’t a drop of blood nowhere. “I damn near passed out. I hopped on the bike and rushed over here. I needed a drink bad.

“So, Conrad. What do you think? Was she right? When I die am I gonna keep going back to the Skateland? That was a long time ago, but is still hurts to this day. I get a headache sometimes and it kinda makes me sick.”

“No, Ballsack. I know for a fact you ain’t gonna do that when you die. You are gonna ride on that bike from bar to bar and drink and listen to music and talk to pretty girls. You ain’t going to Hell, my man. You’re gonna go to Heaven and your heaven is on the back of that motorcycle.”

He laughed and rolled his eyes. “Conrad, you are the best damned bartender in town. You know that?”

I shrugged. “I just tell the truth. You’re one of the good guys. You don’t cause any problems you just fix them, and you tip well. Folks that tip well don’t go to Hell.”

Ballsack reached for his wallet on a chain, unsnapped it and pulled out a twenty. “There you go, brother.”

Then he turned around and walked toward the door. The dark bandana showed the hollow place behind his head where the car bumper had crushed his skull and destroyed his brain. The bloodstains were still visible splashed across his colors on his denim vest. A bit like the color of Everclear and Koolaid.

He went outside into the darkness and I heard the thunder of his Harley as he rolled off into the night. Ballsack was in Heaven, alright. He didn’t even remember the crash that killed him.

I looked at some of the other patrons in the bar, the odd collection of misfits and refugees. I felt the round hole in my chest beneath my shirt. The nice, neat entry wound of the .44 slug. Then I touched the edges of the fist sized cavity on my back. Waste, really. I would have given that guy the money from the till. We hadn’t even made a hundred bucks that night.

Heaven or Hell. The Goth chick was in Hell, Ballsack was in Biker Heaven. By that matter, she seemed to enjoy being miserable so much maybe she was really in Goth Heaven. It made me wonder, where was I?

It was slow, so I poured myself a Southern Cross. A half shot of Southern Comfort and a Half Shot of Watermelon Pucker. I watched the bottles refill themselves as I sat them back on the shelf.

I took the shot and enjoyed the sweet and sour mixture of flavors.

Wherever it was, I had been in worse places.

Bill D. Allen is an Oklahoma Writer, long distance motorcyclist and member of the IronButt Association. His website is www.geocities.com/ozarkpress. For more of his writing see his publications at www.yarddogpress.com. Please support local artists and Small Press, they are the last bastion of creativity in a corporate wasteland.

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