They’d been watching the basketball game on television and had gone into the kitchen for more beer. It was halftime. So they had some time. Ted had even gone to take a piss and when he came back he’d forgotten to zip up.
“You were saying?”
“I was saying I don’t care anymore,” Bert said, handing Ted an opened beer.
“Sure you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“I don’t believe you. Everyone cares about something.”
“Not me, pal. Not anymore. I swear I don’t. I don’t care about the basketball game we’re watching, I don’t care who wins the election this November, I don’t care about the war, whether I ever fuck a woman again, this goddamn beer, you, me, anything. I just don’t give a fuck anymore.”
“That’s bullshit and I’ll prove it to you.”
“I’d like to see you try,” Bert said.
Ted went to a kitchen drawer and from under a bunch of dishrags he never used he pulled out a gun his brother had given him after returning from one of his tours of duty in Afghanistan. He laid it on the table.
“If you really don’t care anymore, pick up that gun, put it to your head and pull the trigger. What difference would it make?”
“Then you’ll believe me?”
“I’ll not only believe you I’ll suck your cock.”
“I don’t believe that.”
Ted shrugged, took a swig of beer. “No matter. Do it if you want to prove you don’t care.”
“Loaded to the hilt.”
“And that’s it? All I have to do is pull the trigger. No more arguing. You’ll believe me?”
“It’s as simple as that.”
Bert put down his beer, picked up the gun, and put it to his head. He pulled the trigger. All in one smooth motion, like Clint Eastwood in a fucking spaghetti western, no hesitation.
The blast shook the walls of the apartment and set off three car alarms in the street. It was so loud it scared a drool of feces out of Ted’s clenched ass.
Unless he got Alzheimers or something like that, Ted didn’t think he’d ever forget the way Bert’s body stood there for several seconds with half a head and a grisly lipless grin, then slowly crumpled in on itself to the floor. Sort of like the World Trade Center towers.
One of the kitchen walls, the one over the sink, looked like a deranged Francis Bacon had hosed it down with blood and bits of bone. Now the kitchen looked like the scene of a spaghetti western—with the fucking spaghetti! I’ll never get that cleaned up, Ted thought. Then he staggered over to the sink in his smelly wet pants and spewed into it.
Ted straightened up, wiping his mouth on the back of his sleeve. He honestly didn’t think the gun was loaded. His brother had told him it wasn’t, giving him the clip, and showing Ted how to slide it into the bottom of the handle if he ever really needed the gun for self-defense or whatever.
His brother must have forgotten there was another clip already in there. Ted couldn’t make himself believe that his brother would purposely lie and give him a loaded gun. He’d come back from the war crazy but not that crazy.
Goddamn that maniac!
Ted could already hear the sirens in the ringing echo of the gunshot and over the sound of the car alarms. One of the neighbors must have called the cops. Ted did his best to look anywhere around the kitchen but at the bloody wall and the crumpled pile that used to be Bert. He tried to think of something to tell the cops when they got there, which, judging from the volume of the sirens, shouldn’t be long now.
He figured telling them the truth was the best way to go.
Bert sure as hell wasn’t going to be of any help, that’s for sure. Lying there out of suggestions, out of blood, out of brains, out of everything, like “this ain’t my problem now.”
Ted had to concede that his friend was right after all. He really just didn’t care.
He found his bloody beer can, grabbed it, and raised it to the ceiling.
His legs were unsteady but the sentiment was righteous. How he envied that bloody sack of shit on the floor.
“This Bud’s for you old buddy!” he cried.
Then he undid Bert’s soiled jeans. A bet was a bet and Ted didn’t renege.
He was found with this dead friend’s cock in his mouth as the cops came crashing through the door.
Let them all think what they wanted. Ted didn’t give a damn anymore either.
About Meeah Williams:
I was born. I got bigger. I petted a cat. I drank some water. I got as big as I was going to get. I learned some things. I never learned others. I entertained a lot of genitals. I got depressed. I got happier. Got depressed again. This cycle continued. I got used to it. In the mean time I write stuff. Sometimes people say, “Oh I like that!” Other times they say, “Oh this isn’t for us!” You can find me on Twitter @pussy_nagasaki.