Max Kash Agro Confesses: I'm a Cupcake
January 26, 2007
Two guys on the phone, one in California, the other in Indiana, at 11:37 pm, PST.
Billy (picks up phone): Yeah, what?
Billy: Who…? Whah-time's it?
MKA: Don't be a hero.
Billy: Oh. Hi man, thought it was somebody else. Psycho bitch always calls when she knows I'm watching "My Favorite Martian." Say's it's the perfect show for a free floating freak like me. Not a bad line but she's.. ..so hostile, bad childhood, molested as a …Bixby's underrated, you know I met him once, I was trying a case in--
MKA: I thought you'd be watching "the Courtship of Eddie's Father" or "The Partridge Family."
Billy: No, no. Got over those a few years ago. Besides I really don't watch, I just like the noise, the static hum. Comforts, you know, like your Gundy bear, the blue one --
MKA: So you basically turn up the volume and curl up with a good book waiting for the percocet and Lunesta to kick in?
Billy: Oh, that's kid's stuff. Stopped working years ago. Now I just pop whatever's handy - Xanax, Rohypnol, Valium, Librium - whatever I can get on the web from Juarez, and wash it down with a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape.
MKA - Rohypnol, isn't that the "date rape" drug?
Billy: Yeah, this girl I met, runs an internet sex toy company, turned me on to it. I get so tired of orchestrating, taking action, sometime I need to just let go, submit. Shes…she's amazing…
MKA: Does she, like, insert a soft jelly purple anaconda shaped object where the, where the sun don't shine? Ferchrist Billy, the perversion, I'm intrigued…
Billy: No, no, it's not like that. It's just a part-time job, like Amway, she's a Midwestern girl, easy going. Likes to ski. None of the usual hang ups…
MKA: You mean hang downs..
Billy: Yeah. (pause). What?
MKA: You know, the center-can't hold middle age frumpy-lumpy stuff: sags, droops, drops, slumps….
Billy: As in….
MKA: …As in sagging jowls, sagging triceps, sagging buttcheeks, sagging belly. Sag bags. Vag-Sag. Is she becoming a puddle, basically?
Billy: No, No. No to all the above. She's no Jennifer Connelly, if that's what you mean, but, hey at a certain age you don't need the ripped abs, the buns of steel, or the money shots. You just sort of need to …drift away, buzz out -
MKA: Like Nick Cage in Leaving Los Vegas? Or that movie with Lee Remick and Lemon - Days of Wine and Roses? Upbeat, peppy, feel-good 'hold me' stuff, like that?
Billy: Look, did you call to insult me again? Don't you have kids to beat? Or telemarketers, to abuse, I mean, do you find this enjoyable? Let's see: 'I'm angry, can't sleep, I know, I'll call Billy, he's a slow moving target, I'll take it out on him, he's got no feelings…"
MKA: I do feel better, come to think.
Billy: That's right" "I feel better just knowing there's always one guy more miserable than me." Well, listen, I'm not miserable, this is how I am, and I accept it. No apologies, to you anyways. Listen: hear my voice? Do I sound depressed? Do I sound needy? Deprived? Look, I don't need to explain, to you. I'm basically happy, no reason to be, granted: deadbeat clients, got a stack of demurrers to answer, cat's missing, freezing rain, ankle's gouted up again but…
MKA: Hey Sunshine what book you reading?
Billy: Oh, nothing. (pause) 'What book you reading?' What's that? Now you're my guru, my life coach? Now you're working for Michael Chertoff, or James Dobson, checking for banned books? You want mylibrary card?
MKA: No really, tell me. What sort of stuff do you read to drift off, like I'm interested, in knowing, to take you away…from it all, with the TV blaring, the benzos percolating, in the silk jimmies. I've seen you at 3 in the morning, and it's... almost poetic in the completeness of the …disaster… like an updated Norman Rockwell rendition of middle aged angst. I gotta know.
Billy: - sigh -When? You're full uh. - when did you see me like that? Wait, I know. Deer Valley, yeah, Nationals. I was a mess. The altitude, Marsha -- her diabetic dog ran after an ice cream truck, didn't come back, she was very upset, can't blame... and I hadn't trained, Grant couldn't get me a room -- comped …
MKA: What are you reading, Billy?
Billy: What is this, cross examination? Am I being impeached? Is this the House Un-American Activ-You're suddenly Tailgunner Joe? What do you care? I'm being black-listed…?
MKA: Just the titles, please.
Billy: ( pause) …. OK you jackbooted asshole. You want to know? I'm reading 'This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen." The same guy who wrote: "Surviving Auschwitz." Yaknow Goering once sent Nazi soldiers to the gas chamber because they mistreated livestock; he was a vegetarian, believed pigs had feelings, not simply inanimate objects…
MKA: As suspected. Not exactly uplifting stuff.
Billy: Well, you said it: it makes me feel better, to compare, like that little dog Lika, in "My Life as a Dog." That little dog never had a chance, yaknow. Sent into space. As an experiment. They knew he'd come back cold and stiff.
MKA: So you feel better comparing yourself to dogs sacrificed for science? Or, to Jews, bound for the gas chamber?
Billy: Why did you call me? If I enjoyed abuse I would've stayed married.
MKA. [Pause.] It's over.
Billy: What's over?
MKA: The Dream.
Billy: Here we go again.
MKA: I mean it. Ran out of candle. Melted down to a, to a nub. A waxy hard-cake nub. Which makes you think, well, his flame got too hot. But that's the thing -- it was running cold. This is what I'm telling you - my flame was running cold, and my candle melted. Your basic FUBAR situation. Total break down, total rust-out. The wheel, it came off …, I mean the axle…
Billy: Where are you?
MKA: UCLA. Hospital. Shit - Saigon, shit.
Billy: You're on drugs, aren't you? I can tell. With the epiphanies, the warm awakenings… The screwed up metaphors that glow in the mind but crash hard where the tongue hits the teeth.
MKA: Darn tootin' I'm on drugs. What's left? Take away my percocet, and the pre-heated hospital blankets - I love those, fresh from the autoclave - and the cup of applesauce, and all the cranberry juice I can drink, take away all that swag, god bless it, and I might as well shoot myself. There's got to be some pay-off, from this…
Billy: No really where are you?
MKA: …this decortication. I'm at the hospital. Santa Monica. Just got cut open by a Russkie, sewed back together by a Punjabi. Had my catheter pulled by a Swahili, my bleeding tube yanked by a Ninja. And tomorrow I get walked by an Armenian who reminds me of the checkered demon.
Billy: Hospital? Catheter? W'the Hell? What got cut?
MKA: My wheel - axle. My hip, ferchrist. Got a new joint. Bionicals. Hover calls me the 12k million dollar man.
Billy: Your hip? You're pulling my -- I didn't know it was that ---. I mean, you sort of limped, sat down a lot, but I didn't know it was that bad. Wait a minute - you beat Freebie…at Superweek, you looked fine…
MKA: I was masking. Faking it. Hopped up on cortisone. Final straw, not kidding: Darling Wife started comparing me to you, the labored scraping, like a hobbled goose, the bland indifference, the simmering hostility toward ambulatory movements in general, right down to the militant, "foot down" refusal to window shop, down in Laguna.
Billy: That's right, find a way to blame me.
MKA: It always comes back to you, Billy. My life is but a toe nail clipping by comparison.
Billy: Yeah right, Mr. Save the World, cure cancer, feed the dreamers, brew my own beer…I'm doing important things, for sure: today I changed the anti-freeze in my BMW, tipped the barmaid a buck for my 25 cent cup of coffee…
MKA: Hold up, I've heard the 25 cent coffee story a million times. We're talking about me, my hip, the future - my audience, my place on the TrueSport marquis, fercry...
Billy: You're leaving TrueSport? Wait a sec --good bye Max Kash Agro? Hello Cupcake? So I can move up? Me and Droob and --
MKA: (cutting him off) I'm not sensing any love here. Where's the obligatories? You're young. You'll bounce back. It'll get better. Look at Floyd, he did it and was back on the bike in 12 hours - he's now twice as strong. Strong like bull. You'll be back -- that sort of thing.
Billy: Well, what's there to say? You had a limp, it was getting worse, you took some shots, got some relief, but looked down the road and said enough's enough.
MKA: Enough is enough.
Billy: That's what I said. Enough's enough. … What do you mean: "enough"?
MKA: Which? The first 'enough,' or the second?
Billy: The second one.
MKA: I mean it's over, Johnny. I needed a way out. This seemed like the easiest way.
Billy: You had your hip joint replaced because you'd … had enough of…
MKA: …of everything. The nocturnal flaming dagger in the joint: yes. The stupid I can't work or play with my kids because I got to train insanity: yes. The I can suffer better than you macho crap: yes. The slumming with the ragged desert wasteland bedouins just like Larwence of Arabia grandiosity: yes. The cheap hotel rooms, the mildewed carpets, the rusty window units. The guilt over eating a pint of haggy D, Vanilla Swiss A - I eat this now it's going to haunt me next month on the backside of Mt. Bachelor on the final climb when the whippets attack ---I'm sick of living in the future, in a bike race, in the worst part of a bike race, when the shit hits the fan, and the body starts to fail, and the mind turns on the flesh, lashing it savagely like a lame horse with bleeding nostrils. I'm done with the bullshit.
Billy: You, to quote Tarantino, are the 'dumbest of fuks.'
MKA: Excuse me?
Billy: Here you are, condemning the sport for taking so much of your precious time, depriving you of career and family opportunities, overloading your neurotic brain with acid stress, and for years you've been it's biggest …promoter. You're the jaggoff who helped feed this beast! The infantile rivalries. The trumped up 'racing as war' idiom. Making fun of the weak. Exploiting the sincere and noble work of volunteers. The whole 12k dreamer put down. You made this bed. And now you, what, wantsympathy?
MKA: You're saying I've stepped in my own…
Billy:… in your own bullshit. Look at you. You could've held on. You were fit enough. You could've kept racing crits, at the very least. You got arthritis. So what? Who doesn't? Have you ever noticed my gait? I don't exactly move like Tony in Saturday Night Fever --but I keep going. I don't need to win -- that's your problem. You need to win, anything less is a sell-out, a compromise, a kiss up to mediocrity. You need to lower your expectations, have fun…
MKA: Like a hobby.
Billy: Why not? You're the one who lampoons the idiots who pursue the 12k dream, as a career. Of course it's a hobby. We're not exactly fostering world peace when we throw our leg over a top tube, orthrow down in an industrial park crit in bumfuk.
MKA: The world does keep spinning, despite my extended absence from Wednesday Worlds…
Billy: That's the problem. You can't walk away gracefully. When I quit, I'll quit racing on my own terms, and rejoice about it, and keep riding. I don't need spin or convenient excuses. Let's face it, you let the surgery which you elected to do make your retirement decision for you, because you lacked the strength. Hi, I'm Troy Aikman, I want to keep playing, I'm in my prime, but the doctors say one more shot to the head and I'm a jellyfish. Boo-hoo. You're not Troy Aikman, and nobody gives a sh -
MKA: Christ. All these years, fighting the bullshit. Turns out I'm part of the bullshit. Quoting Tarantino.
Billy: Hate to say it, but you're lousy with the bullshit. It's all over you, it's in your blood. Guys walk away every day, without regrets. But you want a "don't go." You drama queen. How important you are.
MKA: I'm not feeling as good now.
Billy: Because you know I'm right. And you know you can't walk away. It keeps pulling you back in. Quoting Godfather.
MKA: I already miss it. I can't walk and I can't walk away. I'm hip deep in The Bullshit. Mired in it. Friggin' Reverend Billy and your tough love. I come into your confessional, all meek, bereft, spill it, and you stand up and urinate in my face. Burning Alien-like acid. Tell me you're not enjoying this, the confessions of a simp, a cupcake. Fuk it. I gotta go. I gotta go… train.