04Burnplate no.1


In houston there used to be a coffee shop
the only one that was open 24 hours
the place was called not su oh (that’s houston backwards by the way)

the decor was a shamble of make shift ashtrays and art pieces
and furnished with the most extreme thrift store furniture
more often than not made by patrons out of whatever junk was laying around
everything that was thrown away or discarded was a welcome addition

it was a pocket of early 90’s janes addiction heroin infused bohemia
surrounded by what was quickly becoming a den of high dollar hotspots and trendsetting eateries

The mostly unemployed of us practically lived there from about 12am to 5am most nights

We began to notice
after the bars would close
a few very well dressed out patrons would stumble in
completely hammered
unbelieveably out of place
art students, street poets and junkies glaring at them
as they made thier way to the back of the “establishment” then walking up stairs in the back
never to return

We speculated the owners were vampires
luring people upstairs
to an empty elevator shaft
where they would be pushed
to thier certain doom
upon a pile of corpses five deep
This we concluded, was “food storage”

We were not far off.

it was an after hours speak easy
they put your name in a giant book or you had to know someone to get you in
name not on the list? no one to vouch for you? you didnt get into the room that was every bit as condemned as its patrons

it was like walking into the apocalypse No light aside from the lights that illuminated the wall of discarded shoeboxes If one were to turn on the lights the people and the cockroaches would both scurry towards any darkness they could find

More to the point it was the only place where the insane homeless people of houston were somewhat welcome
to crash without the reprocussions of the law
as long as they weren’t too asleep or bothering anyone too much

one night in particular
my friend Angry guy and I were enjoying a barely palletable cup of coffee
at the only booth in the place which was obviously stolen from a 70’s pizza parlor
when one of said discarded humans stumbled towards us
mumbled a question to Angry guy
to which Angry guy responded…

“Sure man. Have a seat right there…
My friends a writer to I’m sure he’d love to read your work”

I glared with intent to murder my soon to be dead friend as this
guy dressed in three coats sat down in the vacant spot next to me.

Inbetween breaths, of a stench most foul
I was told how the government didn’t want us to know how JFK was killed
that the moon landing was filmed on a television set
how the CIA had the banking system and alien technology in thier pockets this went on for 20 minutes
while I sat
periodically mouthing “i’m going to fucking kill you” to Angry guy

the insane mumbling stops
I look sideways wondering what could have caused the madness to go quiet
as a milky grey thread of drool gently slids from the corner of our new friends mouth
my eyes wide with horror as it lands on his right hand

he awakes (a result of his built-in organic alarm system no doubt) turns to me
i look into his dead end eyes
he asks me to come outside with him
he had some of his writing he wants to share this with me

this is most definately not going to happen I mean sure,

  • we’ll just go outside
    – you can show me your writing and – then stab me with that sharpened tooth brush in your pocket

All for the two dollars and the pack of cigarettes I’ve got on me

no thanks

I said

I’ll meet up with you next time.
my friend and I should probably going soon

and hence the droolmaster was born