Austin R. Pick


Remember the Alamo

Short fiction first published in Adbusters Magazine (Nov/Dec 2004)

I was braiding you a lullaby lock, with my tinsel tooth. My tinsel tooth, the temptation you said you saw when I grinned, the one in the back you said you were going to lick it was so tempting. That was the pretense for the first time we kissed, the time at the Alamo when we were all growing our hair out by the campfire, the first time we kissed before Frances came back from his tangle of wires, you never did lick it, you never have my tongue is in the way you said, and I hid my tinsel tooth behind a cigarette you lit for me with a burning brand from the fire, sparks and Frances drinking his wine watching us pretending disinterest and watching us pretending not to wish for him to melt, the big bald moon hanging low between us, glimmering.
       All your locks are languidly tensile, like the broken radio towers we saw hanging from the buildings in San Antonio after the fires started, when they were burning the last of the gas from the police cars and singing in the streets, those that weren't inside terrified, when the televisions were saying the same thing over and over and so people stopped watching, seeing stars beyond the smoke, we had joints on the courthouse steps disbelieving it had come true and you with Frances draped, his lips red from his parent's wine, you said shame about us not being able to finish highschool before civilization collapsed, and we laughed and laughed.
       Frances was boring when we thought the revolution had come, he didn't know what to do next, he'd always been saying just you wait, old Burbank saying Frances why do you come to school if you refuse to do any work, Frances sitting in the back of class, bare feet up, with one of his t-shirts, Politicians are Pop Stars or Capitalism is Barbarism written with permanent marker, just you wait Frances said, Frances and his fuck-all charm, Frances and his -isms, and then what. But Frances took all his parent's wine before we lit out yelling Remember the Alamo! as we tore through town on our ten-speed bikes, and that was fine with me.
       He had always wanted to, Frances spray-painted Tourism is Voyeurism on the wall when we took the Alamo, all of us, our backpacks filled with school books and cans of soup and cigarettes, guitars and sleeping bags slung over handlebars, Frances with his amplifier and his parent's wine. Looking at the wall I said to Frances how about a peep show, and you sparkled. I was getting the fire started, I had been a Boy Scout before we thought the revolution had come, not for uniforms for survival, but you knew that you said as you knelt beside me, can you tie knots you asked me, and I thought about our tongues, but I only shook my head as I tore pages from your history book and twisted them for the fire. And wasn't it just like them to try and make us pay for them when we first went back to school.
       We took the clothes from the wax dummies before we brought them to the fire, now they're naked, they're cold you said with sweet mischief, you in a vest and a sheriff's badge, locks bursting out from the cowboy hat we scalped, me with a studded collar and gunslinger's belts and wax pistols, coon skin cap, the legs of your jeans we cut short with my pocket knife tucked away like pelts, we fought over the stiff coiled lasso and that was when you first saw my filling winking at you, I was grinning wanting you to wrangle me.
       Frances had a song he wanted to play for everyone but he had to be plugged in he said, he was exasperated by his tangle of wires and we were wondering if electricity would still work, but we didn't really care, drinking a bottle of his wine between us, all around everyone dancing with the wax dummies before they started to melt, and later we sat by the fire and watched them glisten and drip, watched their false features smooth out, and you said they looked sad I said because they have no genitals, so we mixed wine with the hard-packed clay and gave each other earthen smears of ceremonial paint and gave the boy dummies big vulva purses and the girl dummies big bulging packages and watched them bow together in the heat, singing the dirty versions of christmas carols which everyone seemed to know, reeling and stumbling and throwing bottles from the walls, deck the halls and in the moonlight it shines like tinsel, I wonder what it tastes like you said.
       When Frances was slouching by the fire telling us how they had taught us so much about dinosaurs in elementary school and about Jesus in church in order to foster our subliminal love for the resurrection of oil, he was drunk and we weren't really listening.  
       When we ran out of books for the fire and everyone was sleeping where they lay and it was quiet, we thought we heard music. When I opened my mouth to say I wonder where a music of static flowed out instead, you said I must be a Boy Scout I'd made a radio with my head, my filling picking up emergency bulletins too, tilt your head a little you said and there was music again, I leaned close to let the fallen world sing in your ear as I gathered loose strands, turning them together, whispered for until my jaw got tired, I closed my mouth into yours and we made clay jukeboxes with our bodies twining around and around filling every cavity, six days until the service volunteers found us, city councilmen and welcome wagon ladies, and the firemen looking like they'd just been woken up, firemen still brushing the feathers out of their hair and we didn't put up a fight, our bread was moldy and we were out of cigarettes, having trouble coming up with a new national anthem, Frances was sullen the wine was gone, he was planning a new revolution to win you back, just you wait he said, and I knew they'd be coming anyways I heard it from my tooth though I didn't tell you, you were wearing an antique flag for a skirt and I was shaving with General Houston's saber when they came in and told us to go home, all is forgiven they said, and encouraged to be forgotten, they implied. They'll be another. Meantime, remember.

Issue #56

First published in Adbusters Magazine, Issue #56 (Nov/Dec 2004)
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