Joe Worthen

Triangle Phil has a broken heart. He met a girl at the Sonic drive-in and fell in love. She glided up on roller skates and bent down to his window. Her lips caught light like a limousine windshield, full gloss. Jessica.

Triangle Phil wrote a song about her on the acoustic guitar. He wrote her name on the canvas of his shoes. He wrote things to her on the Internet, sweet things, true things, hilarious things. Triangle Phil made love to her five times. Then she gave the bassist from The Bad Calls a blowjob behind a dumpster. The bassist. Who sucks a bassist’s dick? Triangle Phil wants to know. Moto tells him his girlfriend does, apparently, and Triangle Phil punches Moto in the mouth.

This is the Main Crib, where the gang sleeps and heals its wounds. Where they drag musical instruments to eviscerate in soundproof rooms, where they draw blood, pirate music, and microwave pizza derivatives. Right now, the gang is playing a drinking game to primetime news. That new kid, Lozz, says that 9/11 was an inside job; then he folds a dollar bill until it looks like George W Bush and Osama Bin Laden shaking hands over freedom’s grave. Moto props himself back up. Blood shakes down from a busted lip. He’s wearing a Peruvian sweater with violet alpacas marching across the center. He’s wearing a Phillies hat. He’s wearing gold Chuck Taylors.

He asks Triangle Phil: “Can you paint?”

Triangle Phil shakes a bottle of Krylon with his left hand. It sounds like a maraca with one shark tooth in it. There’s one airbrush palm tree on his T-Shirt. Popsicle orange and pink on teal.

He says: “No doubt.” Now the television is off. Now they’re all shaking Krylon, slow and thoughtful. “You know,” Moto says, “if you want to get over this chick the fast way, we could do the Tommy Greco Ritual.” The gang nods, paint rattles. Triangle Phil thinks about it. His wounds are deep; the Tommy Greco Ritual may be his only option. The ritual goes like this: three holy surfaces around Vowel City must be tagged in the right order at the right time. Any dude who performs the Tommy Greco Ritual will reset his past loves and start fresh with a three-beer buzz and a week of manly self-certainty. Moto yawns and shakes his keys.