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The Spoooooooooooooky Issue

Freedom’s Just Another Word For Shit

What is freedom?

Special Guest: Paul Rust as Artichoke What is freedom? That’s what I keep asking myself while hidin’ out here at Mandela’s. Am I really free at all? Even if I wasn’t on the run, would I be free? Mandela’s been screaming at me all morning. Telling me each and every story about every time I fucked her over. Baby, I get it, I’m a bad person. You don’t need to tell me that. Ain’t no new fucking news to me. Can you please give me a little peace and quiet? I just broke out of prison, for Christ’s sake. “Well, it ain’t my fault you went to prison.” That’s true. Still trying to process who set me up. Just because I haven’t mentioned it lately doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. Trust me. It’s one of the main things on my fucking mind. I manage to beg a blowjob out of her. Relaxes me. Luckily she’s on the rag, so I don’t gotta do any work. Not that I wouldn’t normally. I am not a selfish lover. Besides, any man who says he prefers a mouth to a pussy is a fucking weirdo extremo. After she recognizes my gratitude for the BJ as genuine, she throws me an even bigger comfort bone. The kind of bone that gets cooked in a spoon, sucked into a syringe, and shot into a hungry vein. And my veins are hungry, all right. Every inch of me is hungry for any type of thing that’ll help my stressed-out brain take a vacation to Liarville, where everyone reassures you that shit’s gonna be fine. Of course it’s bullshit, but as I shoot up, I let myself enjoy. “Where’s the kid? He home?” “No. He’s out playing with one of his little stupid friends. The kid’s mom should be dropping his dumb ass back off here any minute, and then we’ll be one stupid happy fucking family. That is, until both of you get the fuck out of here and on your way. I never want to see either of you again.” I nod and shut the fuck up, because I don’t want to fight. But who the fuck is Mandela kidding? She wouldn’t last two seconds alone. Otherwise she would have yanked the kid out while he was still just a little hard-boiled egg. As soon as we’re gone she’ll probably try to fucking kill herself. She’s so weak. But I gotta admit, there is something about her that still gets me a rollin’ and a rumblin’. Something that still fills me with the need to pump her tank full of white gooey gas. Then again, what if this is a double cross too? Maybe the cops are on the way. Maybe whoever killed Dead Dick is on the way to fucking murder me. My head’s all spinning with grime and slime. I gotta get a gun. Maybe Mandela has one. I don’t give a shit. Anybody walks in that door unannounced, they’re gonna be snackin’ on worm shit until the goddamn world ends. I’ve had it. I WILL NOT BE A VICTIM! I WILL NOT BE A COCKSUCKING VICTIM! “Daddy?” Didn’t notice. What’s wrong with me? How could I not notice the presence of my own child. I made him with my sperm. My sperm fucked Mandela’s egg and now I have this little me looking at me. “You’re my daddy, right?” “I guess so, kid.” “I’m going to live with you, right?” “I guess so.” “Does that mean that my mom doesn’t like me?” “No… of course not, kid.” Cute kid. Probably will be handsome when he gets older, just like his dad. Hope he doesn’t have the hair problems, though. Don’t really know what to do. Don’t know what I’m going to do about him living with me. Don’t know the first thing about being a fucking father. Never had any interest in it. Usually, I hear a kid’s voice and it makes me want to run and hide in a fucking hole. But Artichoke is different. His questions… it’s like I’m asking them. A part of me is asking me about life. A part of me is asking myself if it’s going to be OK. Shit… maybe I can do this. “Daddy?” “Yeah, Artichoke?” “Daddy, there’s one question I want to ask you.” “Sure, kid. Anything.” “How do you think it’ll feel to be dead?” BANG! My blood. His giggles. Who taught him how to shoot a gun? Probably was his cunt mother. They both stand over me. They’re laughing. They’re both laughing at me. The bastard should have been a bastard. Check here for previous installments of Toupee, Brett Gelman’s novel about baldness, disgusting depravity, and being on the lam.