where the writers are
Pt. V A Dull and Painful Day
Satellite photo of Iowa City Area immediately following the ice storm.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Andrew Jenski, that is – I, was just so. It was not stupid, in itself, to agree to the FBI agent, Mr. Holda buying me lunch, while Lt. Steve Patrón flew away the now officially impounded Kamov Ka-52 . Agent Holda and I went to Paul Revere's Pizza on Market Street in downtown Iowa City. The sky was still gray and flat and heavy, and the temperature rose past melting point as the morning crept into afternoon.

At the restaurant, we talked about military stuff, the kind of things old men who watch the History Channel talk about; for example, about guerilla warfare and the special forces units in Vietnam being dropped into the field with only a combat knife for a weapon, and about the Turks – who, in the Korean War, would creep into the enemy camp and stab every other soldier to death while they slept – why not every sleeping enemy soldier? I have my speculations, and agent Holda didn't explain why, probably in an expectation that I already knew – what, was it to scare the sh*t out of the enemy? Anyhow, I wasn't expecting to creep into any enemy's tent anytime soon, and we finished our pizzas. As Holda drove us to the local FBI headquarters, an icy rain began to fall, and the melted snow and mush began to freeze.

I was taken to an office in a not-too-many story office building on the outskirts of Iowa City. I didn't answer many questions, I merely printed a copy of parts one, two and three of this blog; agent Holda was satisfied, and said to direct any questions about purchasing attack helicopters (with the proper papers) to the secretary, who would in turn direct my call to the relevant extension. I was told to not worry about any further threats, as long as I stayed calm and didn't buy any more black market gunships, I would be off of the radar of the mafia – and besides, would they really want to waste their time on me?

“Yes, since you printed that letter sent to you,” explained Holda, “it exposes the Windy City's epidemic illiteracy rate, and more than that, it looks like your making fun of the many illiterate gangsters who own and operate the city – though it's not my job to care about that, I do have a daughter going to school out there,” he waves his hand in circles, signifying typicality, “doing how many kids these days always do it - they rebel against the values of her parents, and she decided to go into social work – but hey, at least she's going for a job that makes the world a better place.”

“Hm, I guess so, but I'm not so sure about that," I said. "It might be just another bureaucracy that's just another invasion into the lives of poor people. I don't know, and didn't someone say that this day-and-age is post-literate? I think so, but that can be filed as a sub-category of illiteracy.”

“Anyhow, the fact that the letter sent to you represents at least 30% of Chicagoans in the way of not being able to spell, well, you might want to think about removing it from your blog, Mr. Jenski, or you may find more than a severed cow's head at your front door.”

“Ah, I'm not worried about it, I just need to get home safely, and besides, they won't be able to read it,” I said, and I lied – I was very worried. What if there were snipers along the road, or men with Mac-10s in fancy cars sporting darkly tinted windows? I wanted that gunship. In defense, and only accidently, with the advent of the information about Chicago's illiteracy rate – wasn't the publishing of a very poorly written letter from a prominent Chicago mobster a way to push the corrupt and inefficient (not that I am all that efficient, but by comparison, well, yes, I am very efficient) city to pull funds from other parts of the old, money guzzling city oversight machine, to that of education? Maybe the city would have a higher literacy rate if the gangs started their own schools, maybe the gangs would care more about the quality of education than would a bureaucracy that “is saturated in all aspects like overripe fruit” (As Nezu says in the film, Akira). But that may be the stupidest concept I've yet to write! What kind of leader, in establishing a greedy power, wants his minions to learn more? I won't answer that for you. I needed to leave that damn musty office building.

“Ha,” Holda said dully, “very funny. You need the number for a cab?”

“Nah. So, I ask your secretary about the helicopter?”

“Get out of here!”

It was time to go, I still had to call work about why I didn't show that day. Even with an official written note from the FBI office, I was likely to be sacked from the donut-making shop; I was warned several times already for being late, and I wasn't nearly the best employee, boo-hoo for me.

When I walked out of the musty office building, the chill air woke my nerves and shocked my lungs; energy shuddered through my body. The sky was falling in spinning yin-yang of rain-ice droplets, and everything was covered in a layer or several layers of ice, including Horned Beast, it being forced to stay outside, even the tires were layered in ice, the handles, the brakes, the peddles, the U-lock; I squatted down to put the key in the U-lock, slid from under my feet and my face slammed into the bottom bracket (the gear that is connected to the peddles), blood ripped from my upper lip, teeth scraped chain and grease and blood splattered my taste buds. Bloody hell. Stupid. Now that I was angry at my fall, I was determined to ride back to my apartment. Stupid.

A cab? A bus? A hitched ride? An arduous walk? No. A razor sharp ride through slip-sliding slush on slick slopes, fish tailing and tipping to and fro; navigating an icy hell on either side of two bald 700x25c tires balanced by the one and only Andrew Jenski. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

No snipers. No drive-by. Just ice. And wind.

“I love you, Horned Beast,” I said, exhausted and huffing and puffing and moaning (having slipped and fell three different times while riding home) as I walked up to my apartment, “but this is done – I'll ride again in Spring, if it ever arrives, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.”

(Because it very well may)

The cow head was frozen to my front door step. I went to the back door. A package was placed in the partition between the screen door and the other door, what ever that one is called (a plain white, six-panel steel entry door, fyi). I haven't opened the package yet, but I didn't order anything that should be mailed. I got home, rinsed out my mouth with peroxide, cleaned all the blood from my face, heated cider on the stove, and immediately set to work on this report of my day – I am exhausted, my body aches everywhere and I can't think – words are not attaching to the objects that are coming to mind – if I were drawing this as a comic, or making it as a film or series, I wouldn't need the words. Ah, whatever, me and my post-literate dreams. I need some sleep – for two days solid – sleep and breakfast in bed, and lunch and dinner too.  

Well?

No?

Please?

I have no food in the pantry; ramen doesn't count.  I'm hungry. 

The internet is down, I have to wait a few days to post this crap. Crap.

Sleep it will be.

 

Correction from last issue:

No, Russian troops did not amass near Finland. Instead, I hear word of the two nations hosting a massive tea party on the frozen sea that once partially separated the two countries (before Russia took an eastern section of Finland during the Winter War) – promising to be a most festive time! Bowling competitions will be organized (ice is promised to be the material for the pins, though the bowling balls may be regular bowling balls, though critics agree that regular bowling balls would spoil the mood) and everyone is invited!