We walked back to the highway to find Robert's friends gathered between Straight Line and the Arrowhead. Eddie, Bryan, and Tony. "Who are these guys?" they asked. "Crazy fucking Wasicus" said Robert.
"That's a crazy fucking hat" said Eddie. "He looks like Bon Scott" said Robert.
It was decided to buy another pint or two of Sluricane and share them with the group. We were in good spirits. These were affable men. they were drunk, we were on the way. Dan stayed with the locals while Paul and I walked into Straight Line while Rebecca made her second or third attempt to pee in the woods. Did her mother know what she was doing right now?
"Doesn't he look like Bon Scott?" said Robert.
The clerk at Straight Line was an older man, I'm guessing the owner. I ordered two high-gravities and handed him my ID.
"Where you from?" he asked
"That's not what this says."
"Well, I'm from North Platte, I'm a student in Lincoln right now."
"Well, I'm afraid I can't accept this,just looks funny you know."
Paul tried to buy them and got the same treatment.
"This ID looks different."
"Yeah, they changed them just about a year ago" said Paul.
"Well, I'm afraid I can't help you fellas out, you look just like the types that the state patrol sends on one of their raids, you know., heh heh"
His laugh was so insincere as to blacken all the lights in the store. The temperature of the room dropped at least thirty degrees. I looked him straight in the eyes. They were nothing but grotesquely large pupils bordered by imperceptibly narrow irises, noticeable only for the orange glow they gave off. Paul looked up, shrugged, regathered our change, and walked out the door. I kept looking at the man.
"Why don't you tell me the real reason you won't sell to us." I said.
"I don't have to tell you anything, man lives to serve himself," he said.
"No, no" I said, "You think we're activists doing some sort of expose or something. Well, we're not really, in fact not at all. We're just tourists, no need to fear us. Just don't anger me and I'll give you an honest recording."
"You're just another damn hippie trying top make me feel bad." He said. "You're going to go drink with the unproductive and laugh about what an asshole I am. You think I care? (Glare in eyes grows more intense) I am above your corrosive altruism.
These men destroy themselves so that I may invent myself. You think you can change that? You're just another slave-mind. Your slavery is leading you right into the ditch with them and that's where you're going to stay."
A noticeable breeze kicked up in the store. The glass of the freezer began to bend and moan. I needed to get out of there. "I'll tell the world what you are!" I screamed. "My blog is read by dozens."
"Go ahead and spread your irrational guilt to the masses" he said. "I shall never live for another man. I am the lord of the dominion I have created. I cannot be stopped." Arcs of electricity exploded out of the light fixtures as I threw myself out of the door. An overpowering smell of disinfectant followed me back to the group.
"That asshole" said the group. "No problem man, just go to Arrowhead" said Tony. And indeed it was no problem. A Chadron State student sold me the two high-gravities and would continue doing so without questions as I returned again and again though the night.
"He's fucking Bon Scott" said Robert.
We marched to a spot behind the grocery and gathered in a circle by a couple of trees.