“NUMBKULL” Excerpt by NO GLYKON

After getting paid, Goya drives to Walmart hoping to purchase a gun and spending an hour looking at guns and picking one out and filling out all the necessary paperwork and handing her background check to the clerk. 

“So, it will take a week for the background check to process?” Goya asks the clerk.

The clerk turns the forms to read them, and he makes little reading sounds under his mustache, and his eyes go back and forth across the paper, and he breathes a deep breath in to his mouth and out through his nose.

“I can tell you right now that it probably won’t pass,” he says, turning the form around and pointing to a checked check box that reads, I have been diagnosed with a mental illness. “They cannot sell guns to people who have been diagnosed with certain mental illnesses.”

“Okay,” she says, taking the paper from him and walking through the parking lot to her car and driving down the highway and pulling into the parking lot of a different Walmart and filling out another background check without checking the box called, I have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

▲▲▼▲▲

As Goya tells David about how she wants to buy a gun, he imagines Goya accidentally shooting him through the wall between their rooms. 

The sequence of hazy mental images starts where he can visualize both of their rooms at once. Goya is in a nightgown, and it has a geometric-shape print. The shapes are fluorescent yellow and fluorescent orange. She holds some hand cannon. He stands up to put his pants on or something banal. Her room fills with smoke. The images cut to where the point of view is behind the bullet. Everything is in slow motion. His daydream follows the bullet to his brain. His body falls away. It reveals blood splattered on the wall behind him. 

David focuses on the red liquid, and the blood on the wall in his mind becomes the pasta sauce he is gazing at. The room tone takes on a dead-channel quality. The buzz sits on top of all other sounds in the room. 

IIRRRR

David squints. He feels nauseous. He moves a wooden spoon in the pasta sauce. It pushes chunks of vegetables around in the red liquid. Goya watches him.

IRRRRRRRR

The dead-channel tone reaches its highest point of tension. 

“Smells good,” Goya says. 

“Thanks,” David says. 

She laughs. He cannot figure out why she laughed. 

“Have you ever shot a gun?” she asks. 

He focuses on her briefly. He goes back to watching the pan, and the sauce boils, and he leans over, and he checks the size of the flame, and the flame has fingers, and the flame fingers pulse. 

“Blanks for some films I worked on in college,” he says. “Why?”

“I don’t know, like… I’ve never shot a gun, but I’ve been wanting to for a long time.” 

She brushes her hair out of her face. She pulls herself up to sit on the countertop. 

“….”

“I led some generic-type guy on for months because he kept saying he would take me to shoot guns,” Goya says. “We broke up, because it was like… never going to happen.”

“….”

“We would just play chess all the time, and I never won,” Goya says. She is starting to digress. 

“Months,” David says. “That seems committed. That seems quite committed. I think you can just go to a range and shoot pictures of people with rented guns.”

“I feel like I am really good at chess. I must not be because I never win,” she says in the digression. 

“….”

“Yeah… well, a shooting range doesn’t seem very meaningful,” she says.

“I feel like I am good at chess because I beat someone with a chess tattoo,” he says following the digression. 

She laughs. David laughs. They laugh for different reasons. 

“….”

“Not sure if I look for emotional significance in a shooting experience.” David walks away from the stove. He gets the colander ready. He gets something else ready. 

“That’s unbelievable to deal with,” she says. 

“….”

“But you’re not looking for a shooting experience, David.” The sauce begins to bubble, and Goya turns the stove off for David. “This is important to me.”

“I would only get a gun to live out some following-in-William-S.-Burroughs’-footsteps bullshit.” 

“That seems meaningful.”

“Yeah, I need to get a gun,” he says. He continues in a nasally, William S. Burroughs voice, “Time for our William Tell routine.” He mimes placing an apple on his head, and he bites his lip as though placing the idea of the apple with care, and Goya holds some invisible hand cannon, and she takes the idea of the apple in her sights, and she fakes recoiling with its implied kickback, and he moves his hand behind his head as though his brains were being splattered on the wall behind him, as though Goya just shot him in the face. 

“….”

“Or whatever.”

“I’ve been thinking about purchasing a gun, but I just feel like… it is not a good idea. Seems like a joke that turns out not to be funny. Like joining a cult.”

‘NUMBSKULL’ is currently available to purchase at the Back Patio Press store.
We suggest all punks, cool kids, shitheads, twenty-somethings, and, well, everybody, to buy it. Just click right here. C’mon. Do it. Hahah


No Glykon is a writer, designer, and musician based out of Providence, RI. They are stretched upon the plain and covering some nine acres of ground. Two vultures on either side of them are digging their beaks into their liver, and No Glykon keeps on trying to beat them off with their hands, but can not.

Author Site: https://noglykon.com/

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