The year was 2006, and sequestering the impoverished had never been so easy. Not a champagne glass had to be lifted, not a manicured finger pointed. The poor did it themselves these days. A single, self conscious man with a hundred dollars to his name would purchase an isolated shack to conceal his withered pocketbook, and within six months a myriad of pitiable economic outcasts clustered around him, erecting their own shelters, and stealing the milk from his doorstep.
The poor man had only to look across the street to pinpoint his desired destination. With prose provided by his eighth grade education, he described to his neighbors the wonders he saw: elegant cocktail dresses revealing tanned, sultry legs, houses large enough for a commune of twelve but only containing a family of three, dazzling, sparkling lights twinkling against gaping windows, pearls hanging loosely around elegant throats, money exchanging hands freely, twirling girls dancing into the arms of hapless suitors. A silk woven beauty, the man would whisper. This, so it seemed, was the trailer park dream.
Such was the vision of Dustin Broke, son of the deceased Skip Broke and his surviving wife, Brandi Broke. He had only to step into his girlfriend’s house to taste it-his fingers trailed over her spotless counter tops, his eyes lingered on the impossible chandeliers. However much he yearned for it, grasped with his desperate hands for it, there was always someone to shove him back to the gutter. Today it would be his girlfriend’s father-Daniel Pleasant.
Despite his name, Daniel was anything but a pleasant man. He was “a slimeball,” as Dustin liked to say. Angela, Dustin’s girlfriend, meekly agreed, though for completely different reasons. Dustin saw an inherent sleaze in Mr. Pleasant’s gaudy bathrobe, which he took to parading in often, and in his deep set hatred of Dustin, which Dustin felt was completely unwarranted. He had only pissed on their lawn once, and he felt it was completely justified. Mr. Pleasant had locked the boy out of the house, and the nearest gas station was miles away. With that in mind, Dustin unzipped his pants and relieved himself on Mrs. Pleasant’s carefully tended hydrangeas.
He couldn’t help but dream of a life like Mr. Pleasant’s, though, at night when the windows hung open wide and the crickets sang on his dreary windowsill and his mother and brother were deeply asleep and dreaming. If he had Mr. Pleasant’s money, he’d buy his family the world. He’d buy his mother lovely shirts-her current one was a relic of her married days, and it was a major proponent of a popular rumor concerning Brandi Broke and a certain downtown street corner.. He’d buy his baby brother a new high chair, a set of Hot Wheels, and enough diapers to last him a lifetime. So far away, thought Dustin, resting on the couch. Angela was ringing the doorbell, but he could hardly find the motivation to answer it, let alone murmur a tortured hello. Angela was the most delicate of flowers, and the most secretive of smilers. He couldn’t say that he loved her soft demeanor and softer hands, but he craved her home and drank in her petal scent (though this only happened in a single summer dream), and so he dragged himself from his couch and to the front door.
“Hi,” said Dustin. Angela waved hello and mindlessly twirled a strand of red hair around her finger. He waited for a reply, shifting from foot to foot. She did not meet his gaze.
After a few silent moments, the reply came. “Hi.”
He reached out to touch her pale hand, but as expected, Angela yanked it to her side. “A prude,” the boys at school liked to say, “she’s a knees together, cold hearted bitch. You should dump her sorry ass.” Dustin like to ignore his high school’s Greek chorus. Dustin and Angela would be graduating soon; he was above all of the peer pressure marinating in the lower classes. At times, though, he imagined her pulling her dryer fresh dress straps from her porcelain shoulders and then that dress over her head.. This was his second favorite Pleasant family fantasy.
Dustin put his thoughts to a halt and stared at the girl in front of him.
Angela stared back-her green eyes were tinged with red, though Dustin couldn’t imagine why. She wasn’t a junkie-Angela had never even tried to blow bubble. “Are you staring at my eyes?” asked Angela.
“Yeah,” said Dustin.
“Huh,” she mused. “That’s kind of sweet.”
Dustin’s eyebrows shot through the roof.
“Really sweet,” she laughed, and stepped closer.
“Who are you and what have you done with Angela?” asked Dustin with a chuckle.
She put a finger to his lips. “Shhh.”
And then she kissed him.
It was a glorious kiss, thought Dustin; it was unrivaled by any his imaginative mind had given him. While there were no pirates, no leather, no whitewashed champagne glasses, no partially dressed sorceresses, and it was a bit sloppy and very untrained, it had one bewitching factor-it was real. God, he thought, she was the most beautiful girl in the world.
Angela was the first to pull away. She smiled softly. Dustin began to smile back, but froze as her red lips curled into a frown. He opened his mouth, but she opened hers faster. “We need to break up.”
“Why?” cried Dustin. “I’m not that bad, am I?”
“We just need to.”
She was a hideous creature. “Explain.”
“You can’t tell me to do anything!” screamed Angela suddenly; Dustin was shocked into silence. “All of my life, it’s always blah, blah, ‘Angela do the dishes, Angela don’t tell Mama, Angela just be friendly, Angela just be pretty, Angela just smile,’ blah, blah, blah. Dustin, I’m not going to let you push me around! I’m done with you, and I don’t have to give you a reason why.”
She began to walk away. “You’re a bitch!” called out Dustin, voice cracking, insults rolling from his fuming mind off his boiling tongue. “Go tease some other guy, skank! Just get your daddy issues off my lawn!”
Angela whipped around. “I love my father, thank you very much!” she snarled.
“Last time I checked, you wanted him burned at the stake!”
“You don’t know anything!”
“Really? Surprise me!”
Angela took a deep breath. Dustin crossed his arms over his chest. He couldn’t help but tremble.
“I listen to my father,” she hissed, “and that’s why I’m leaving you.”
Dustin stood still, dumbfounded. Angela was a damn hypocrite, he thought. She wasn’t even worth chasing after, let alone arguing with.
“Dustin!” called his mother, peeking her pale head out the front door. “Is everything alright?”
Without another word, Dustin ran in the opposite direction. His mother had shouted after him, he was sure, but she was the proud owner of an irritatingly high pitched voice (she sounded as if she sucked helium for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner), which while it grated on Dustin day in and day out, was particularly grating today. He had less desire to listen to his mother screech than a dingo has to eat its own liver. So he ran.
His feet carried him to the public park-home to the many homeless, the lustful teenagers, and the occasional unwitting child. It smelled slightly of piss and fast food, but Dustin was used to this. He went to public school, after all.
Dustin sat down on a bench.
A few minutes of blissful immobility passed when a homeless woman began to shout at him in a foreign tongue, flailing her arms madly and pointing at his resting place. Dustin eased himself up. “Didn’t know this was private property,” he grumbled, and stalked to the other side of the gazebo. The sight that greeted him was not unexpected, but a bit surprising, nonetheless.
“Watch where you’re putting your hands,” said Dustin dryly, rolling his eyes.
Don Lothario turned his head sharply and pushed Dina Caliente away with lightening speed. She threw her hands over her throat, attempting to conceal the purple flowers blossoming. “Shit,” Don muttered. “Kid, you can’t tell anyone about this, okay? I’m engaged, you know. Cassandra would have me hanged.”
A grin began to creep across Dustin’s face. Not a dull boy, his mind had raced to a delightful idea, and one that was most opportune, at that. His day had just gotten much better. “What’s in it for me?”
Don froze. “What?”
“Just give him what he wants,” purred Dina, readjusting her dress straps. “I’m engaged, too, you know.”
“Fine,” said Don weakly. “What do you want?”
“First,” began Dustin (he puffed out his chest and put his hands on his hips-he was enjoying showing off how much he was enjoying putting his scheme into action), “I’d like 3,000 dollars and a place of my own. And a car with a CD player. And leather seats. And a license plate that says, ‘BADBOYZ.’ Think you can handle that?”
Don glanced at Nina and cleared his throat. He glanced around uncomfortably, as if seeking out any possible witnesses. He rocked back and forth on his heels. He fumbled with his wallet, which was concealed inside his pocket. After looking back at Dina once again, he finally answered with a weak “yes.”
“You can have the house on the corner of Pleasant and Mullberry,” said Dina. “It was my grandfather’s; I’m sure he’d be happy to see someone living in it again.”
“Thanks, guys!” hooted Dustin.
Dustin shoved the money in his pocket, grinning uncontrollably. The teenage boy waved goodbye jovially, and marched from the scene into the glorious, gold trimmed distance. The dream was set in motion.
Belle & Sebastian – “I Didn’t See It Coming”
A/N: So the new laptop’s coming soon…apparently. In the meantime, here’s a short story I’ve been working on. I don’t know if it’ll ever be completed, because as soon as I can recreate the Belues, my time is going straight there. 🙂
OH MY GAWD AND SUPERNATURAL AND SEASONS OH MY GAWD SIM HEAVEN
Yeah…I found out about Seasons and danced around my house singing. My wallet is going to seriously hate me for this. Time to get some hardcore babysitting jobs or something.