Twisted Fiction Press

Dead Celebrity

by on Mar.19, 2009, under Uncategorized

Dead Celebrity FACT 1: I go by the name of DJ Person, except in Jersey where they call me Poison. You probably heard about my Desert Storm tour, playing to the devil dogs outside of Faluja because in my opinion, the music scene in Baghdad is not what it was. So. The ongoing arrangement I have with Jimmy the Shoe reaches its use-by date toward the end of summer, 1993. Jimmy drops by the Jersey studio to welcome me home. One minute we’re doing Bollie and Bolivian Brown, the next I’m lying in a ditch in Ridgewood. A couple of kids nudging my legs with their Nikes, kneel down to feel for a pulse, jump back. I open my eyes behind my ‘Bans and watch them pointing at all the places on my body that still hurt. They go through my pockets, stare at the tell-tale dreadlocks. Then the penny drops—shit, it’s that DJ. The older girl jumps up, says run for it. I grind my teeth and will my arm out—a forest fire bearing down on my chest—grab her by the ankle. Pee runs down her legs, trickles warm across my knuckles around her ankle. I tighten my grip. With my free hand, I take off the ‘Bans, show them what Jimmy did to my eyes. Drool bungies from the lip of her kid brother. I float off for a time on the nausea, my heart’s on fire, a chill so bone-deep I shiver. Feel the cell-phone drop back onto my chest to land on a broken rib with an incredibly painful thunk. I wait for the wallet but it doesn’t come and I wince on the inside—I was that savvy once. I hear her whimper but will she find the strength to scream? Or barf all over me instead. Time is not my friend. My ears fill with the bloody tears I weep at the fear of not being alive. Sounds like the beach. Places I’ve been. I hold on tight to her bony ankle. Turn to the child.
‘Learn,’ I say. ‘To forget.’

Dead Celebrity FACT 2: The little girl and her brother never speak to anyone about what happened. They give the euros and dollars and rupees in my wallet to their mama, and sell the passes and id’s and memberships to a cousin’s dealer for fifty bucks. Add three zeros to that, which is what the dealer sells the story to New York Today for. History bought and paid for. I am aware of rumour and speculation. The bitch is dead. The bitch is not dead. The bitch is gone, just disappears one icy September morning, 1993. The story of gone, that’s all the story ever is.

Dead Celebrity FACT 3:They cancel a New Years Eve bash in Sydney slated to launch my homecoming tour. My record label gets bought and sold a half-dozen times over the next decade, during which another war is begun in Iraq. My vinyl collection—priceless—is broken up and distributed among my old band and technicians who promise to keep it safe until my ‘return’. There are sightings of me in Singapore and Reykjavik and Auckland and Mosul. I get booked for gigs at which I sometimes show, playing to a hushed and reverential crowd. Their cell-phone cameras twinkle in the void like stars, such disappointment later to have captured no more than a blur, negative space. Tribute groups spring up, calling themselves Potion, Portent, and Potent. Look-alikes spring up from Vegas to Varanasi. Put your hands in the air. The crowd raves in my absence and in my honour.

Dead Celebrity FACT 4: They find Jimmy the Shoe in a Jersey dumpster on a bitter September day in the Year of the Towers with his skull bashed to gravy. No one cares—the world is ending anyway. CSI report tiny fragments of titanium chloride (TiC) in his cerebrospinal fluid. The little kid whose sister found me reads the story on the Internet in the Belleview library. A sidebar explains that TiC is a coating used on metal tools like crowbars, anvils and wrecking bars such as the ones marines use to dig out terrorists and free hostages in Iraq.

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