Typed on mom’s computer (1996?)
“There he goes again,” Vic Custer leaned his chair back pulling the blinds down and peering down the neighborhood street. The aging but ever-comfortable lazy-boy creaked.
“Buddy?” asked Karen Custer. It appeared their 17 year old son was leaving them to live on his own, far, far away…again.
Buddy Custer, hunched over his BMX bike, pedaled down Blueberry Street and turned right on Apple Street.
Vic turned back to his evening paper and his glass of bourbon. Karen pretended to dust the blinds in an attempt to see the last of Buddy. These “episodes” as Doctor Lynch described them were only a teenage phase, but Karen could not help but worry for Buddy. The last thing she saw was his blond hair blown in the wind and his black back pack, most likely stuffed with clothes and his comic books.
“Alright! You did it! Clean getaway!” cried Nathan Penrod at seeing Buddy skid into his front lawn, laying the bike over. Nathan was only a year older than Buddy and living on his own in a trailer house that once belonged to his late grandfather James T. Penrod, also known as the “Bookman”. Nathan supported himself on the wages of Pizza Delivery and no intentions of moving up in life.
Buddy followed him into his house. “I think they may have seen me,”
“So? What are they gonna do, take you to Dr. Lynch Mob and have him psychoanalyze you again?” he mocked the doctor saying “Bud suffers from post-traumatic inflammation of the inner cerebral cortex and is-”
“No, I guess not…how’s the transmitter comin’ along?”
“Uh…its about the same as you last saw it…but, I really think I’m on the verge of breaking through-I just need more power. Just hang on, bro, we’ll be broadcasting on our own FM wave anytime now!!!”
“Cool, so where’s my room?”
“Yours is gonna be the book room, I hope you don’t mind,” he pointed down the paneled hallway.
“I thought I was gonna get the back room,” Buddy pointed across the living room to the back door which led to a small edition on back.
“Oh, uh…I meant to tell you, um, Jeff’s gonna live with us too…”
“What? Jeff can’t live with us! He – he can’t live on earth!!! He’s totally messed in the head…I mean, he’s a friend – but we can’t have-”
“Conspirators hiding in the crawl space and bugs in the phones?”
“Exactly!” Buddy had a look of bewilderment and ran his fingers through his straight hair.
“We can handle it! Besides, he’s got a rad stereo and a good CD collection that we can use when I get the transmitter up…and anyway, I think he could help keep us clear of the police and your parents…”
Jeff Buck was 22 and worked at a coffee shop in their small town of Filner. He was prone to walking down the street in awkward long then short then short steps, so as not to step on cracks in the sidewalk. In his mind, the reality of breaking his mother’s back was as real as the air he breathed. Common Avenue, where The Beaner, the coffee shop was, had wide sidewalks and many alley ways, one of which led to an adjacent alley and ended by the river behind Nathan’s trailer. When Jeff reached the end of the pavement, his steps became normal again and it was[n’t] long before he was climbing the wooden slat fence and falling into the sparsely grassy backyard.
Buddy sat on the big cushy sofa next to the front door and was startled by the back door’s weather-strip popping as it flew open.
“Hey Buddy!” Jeff’s face went from concerned to overjoyed and then he remembered what he was going to say, “Nate, bro, there’s someone about 40 yards behind me, I think he started following me at the Beaner,”
Nate had learned to humor him so that he would drop the subject, “Alright, I’ll turn on the electric fence to make sure he gets no closer,” and then proceed to the business at hand, “Did you bring your CDs?”
“All 354 of ’em! ‘Course, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lost its cover and my Poison and Anthrax cases are busted because of the spies – they thought I had microchips inside,”
“Well, cool, you guys arrived just in time. I found this book behind the wall panel after lunch today,” Nathan picked up a thick book on the coffee table and opened it to the book mark. Buddy made out the words Electrical Handbook. “Right here, it says all we need is 3000 watts…”