An obsessive adult store clerk finds herself plunged into an old fashioned whodunnit. A group of four teenage friends wait for the world to end. A desperate journalist tries to explain why he is guilty of an elaborate hoax... and how his lies might be coming true.
Three short stories about identity, addiction, guilt, and redemption: Home Movie, 1999, Fake.
Excerpt from 1999:
I might as well tell you up front: nothing really happens in this story.
I slammed into the heavy emergency exit door and dived into the alley behind the club, dropping to my knees and expelling absurd amounts of vomit onto the concrete ground.
As I finished emptying my guts out, I heard the clicking of two size-twelve zebra-print platform shoes following me out. Sweeping the bleach-blonde bangs from my eyes, I looked up to see a six-foot-plus Mexican transvestite grinning down at me, wearing a pair of plastic party-favor glasses shaped like the number 2000, with the two center zeros serving as eye-holes.
“Sure, the opening band was bad, but they weren't that bad,” she cooed playfully.
Rio knelt down to help me up. She was wearing her pink wig tonight, along with a fur-trimmed pea coat, black pleather hot-pants, and pink leggings. I tried my best not to get puke on her but wasn't entirely successful.
“What's going on? Are you guys okay?”
Adam poked his head out through the open doorway, his face stricken with concern. He was the token hetero boy in our little gang – an adorable, pudgy Filipino in a Sleater-Kinney t-shirt.
“I'm fine,” I said, wiping the vomit residue from my lips with the back of my hand.
“I'll run inside and get some paper towels,” Adam said helpfully and disappeared.
I sat down with a thump, tried to scoot as far away from my mess as possible, and rested my back up against the side of the building. Rio squatted beside me, getting down to my level but still being careful not to actually touch the filthy alley ground.
“So what happened?” she asked. “You didn't drink that much, did you?”
“No, I don't know what it is,” I replied, scratching my right leg through my jeans. “I wasn't feeling well earlier tonight to begin with. Then for some reason, just being packed in there with all those people and the music so loud, I kinda had this weird claustrophobic panic attack. I just had to get out.”
Rio nodded sympathetically. “You had a Gardenburger for dinner, didn't you?”
“Yeah, what does that have to do with anything?”
Rio twisted her thick, blood red lips into a disgusted sneer. “Because you have chunks of it all over your tits. Seriously, I haven't been able to hear a word you've said; I've just been staring at them bouncing up and down as you talked.”
I looked down and saw that I did indeed have disgusting little chunks on my cleavage and down the front of my white boy-beater.
“****. Where's Adam with those paper towels?”