Shoot Club

Shoot Club: All Our Pretty Songs Part Two: Tell All The Angels This Could Take All Night

Tom Chick | 13 Dec 2007 21:00
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The nozzles on each pump are still wrapped in clear plastic. There are little TV screens over each pump, black and powerless. Inside, behind the glass which doesn't have beer and snack ads posted yet, the shelves are empty. The doors are locked. This place hasn't been born yet. In fact, this entire area hasn't been born yet.

"Here's a payphone," Trevor says. It's next to a humming ice machine with a picture of a polar bear. Trevor opens the ice machine. Inside are stacks of bagged ice. "We could totally steal some ice," he says.

"Just make the call." I'm freezing my ass off and he's talking about stealing ice.

"Wow, phone calls are fifty cents."

"Please tell me you have fifty cents."

"Yep," he says, fishing some coins out of his pocket. "Who should we call?"

"Triple A. Who else?"

"No, who can come pick us up? Who doesn't have a job and would still be up this late? Peter?"

"What are you talking about? Just call Triple A."

"We could call Douglas. He doesn't work. Fuck, what's his number?"

"Dude, call Triple A."

"All my phone numbers are in my cell phone. Aw, fuck."

"Trevor, you're calling Triple A."

"I don't have Triple A," he confesses.

"Of all the people I know, you're the one who needs Triple A the most. Your kind of car is why they invented Triple A."

"It's not like it broke down. It just ran out of gas. Anyone can run out of gas. Besides, it's your fault for not getting the directions right. This is not the right way to come."

"Give me the phone. I have Triple A. We'll just use my account."

"You can't just use Triple A on someone else's car. Tell them it's your car."

I call in the location, and a description of Trevor's crappy Honda. They say a truck will be here within an hour. Great. An hour.

"Did you bring your DS?" Trevor asks while we're walking back to the car. He's given me his jacket, which is about three sizes too big for me.

"Why would I bring my DS?"

"Because it's portable. Because you can. I swear, I don't get you. You never bring your DS anywhere."

He's right. But frankly, the last thing I need to do when I leave the house is play more videogames. In a weird way, I'm happy to have this enforced down time, out of the house, away from a computer or TV screen. Even if it's all an accident. One night when I had three articles due the next day, I cut deep into my thumb while opening a package with a bread knife. I had to sit for three hours in the emergency room, doing nothing under the fluorescent light. It was wonderful.

"Here, slow down." Trevor starts reaching into the pockets of the coat I'm wearing while we walk. He pulls out the Altoids case where he keeps his DS games. He snaps it open and goes through them.

"Phantom Hourglass, Picross, Full Metal Alchemist, oh hey, Elite Beat Agents. That's like Rock Band. We can take turns playing while we wait for Triple A." He reaches into another pocket, almost knocking me over in the process.

"Sorry," he says. He extracts his DS and puts in Elite Beat Agents. He switches it on and tries to play while we're walking. "Hey, make sure I don't hit anything while we're walking. You can have a turn when we trade the jacket back."

I'm supposed to be finishing Crysis and here I am on a two-lane street with Trevor falling behind me, his face lit by the glow of the DS. I can hear the tinny sound of David Bowie's Let's Dance. "Ooh, this one's tough," Trevor says, stabbing at the DS with his stylus. When he offers me a turn, jogging to catch up with me because I'm not slowing down, I just shake my head.

"Want to see how far I am in Phantom Hourglass?" he asks while we're sitting in the car because presumably it's warmer in here. Which it's not really. "You finished it right?"

"All I can say is Rock Band better be good."

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