The music returned. Doogie pleasurably nodded his head with the sweet melody. In the nearby convenience store Billy glanced over, saw Doogie smiling, and went back to whatever he was doing.
What was left of Doogie’s intellect knew the squirrel’s plan would never work. Nobody knows what they don’t know and the squirrels had no idea what a man could do. Doogie was male, intelligent, thoughtful, brilliant, kind, and inquisitive. But he wasn’t particularly manly. The squirrels, with the huge blind spot inherent in being gynocentric, didn’t recognize the gulf between male and man.
Doogie was male. Billy was a man. Doogie might, with luck, acquire the Subaru; use Billy’s trust to betray him. But that would be his undoing. Whether it was apparent on the outside, or even logically congruent with the modern world, Billy saw himself internally as a romantic hero. Billy’s soul was equal parts cowboy, warrior, and Norse god. He ached for the climactic showdown that would turn a mundane life’s story into a grand saga. Doogie or anyone else, who lit that fuse would rue the day. You do not “rustle” a cowboy’s horse. You do not steal a warrior’s sword. You don’t fuck with Thor!
If Doogie managed to steal the Subaru, he would have done all three; which would be the end. Billy would react, without hesitation, without mercy, without uncertainty, and without handwringing. Fish swim, birds fly, and Billy defends his stuff. Today, Billy’s sky was blue, take his car and his sky would be revenge. He was among the last dwindling portion of males who were still men.
Ironically, getting shot at by cops (the squirrel’s carefully designed and woefully inadequate double cross) wouldn’t faze Billy. He’d assumed all his life that someday someone would try to gun him down; whether it was cops, Russkies, or tentacled aliens would make no difference to him. Should a couple overconfident Barney Fife clones cross Billy’s Rubicon he’d bob and weave and come up firing himself; not something the average security officer expects. After a body count somewhere between Rambo and Terminator he’d unass the scene and disappear to one of his countless pre-planned bug out points. There he would bind his wounds and enjoy a dramatic moment where he’d swear to the Gods of the Free Market and vow on the grave of Adam Smith that revenge would ensue. Then he’d begin the hunt. Doogie shivered.
Perhaps that was fate? Billy never fit in at the University, it’s not a place where men feel comfortable (as opposed to males, who go there to hide from the burdens of men). Would Billy find personal fulfilment in a story of betrayal and ensuing retribution. The words sounded right for Billy’s world. He might enjoy the adventure. He’d love the chase, excel at the killing, and possibly make a very poetic warrior/monk eulogy for his slain adversary. It would be delivered silently and directly to Billy’s complex internal pantheon. Billy would stand reverently at the shallow grave where he’d put Doogie (or whatever was left of him) and solemnly recite something deep and soulful. He’d offer this to the competing influences of Odin, Ayn Rand, and the free market. Then he’d wax his Subaru like a Ronin Samurai tending to his katana and drive away; substituting fifth gear on the freeway for a saddled horse riding into the sunset. Maybe that was the true nature of things. Doogie could have been born specifically to give Billy a reason to think pensive thoughts while roaming the earth seeking vengeance, then solace, then enlightenment… in that order. Doogie couldn’t be sure. Billy was a bit “off” and a genuine romantic so it seemed right. Then again, Doogie was under the influence of disco. Disco makes odd ideas seem clever.
The music was interrupted, “Implement the plan now.”
Doogie sighed, it had been a good run. Now he was going to betray his friend and likely die at his hand.
Doogie stepped out of the car and breathed the night air. The scent of nearby pine trees mingled with hints of spilled unleaded. It was his last few moments on earth. Best to savor them.
Billy venerated a car worth eight grand, solely because it was his. Doogie knew this was a force multiplier in Billy’s favor. Even when the car wasn’t in play he was no slouch. He’d faced melee with a crazed transvestite MMA fighter simply because he wanted to protect Doogie (who he, with apparent justification, felt was helpless). Anyone who’d stand up to Janice’s epic fury based on a strange version of Chivalry is six shades of fearless. Turn the dial to eleven by involving the Subaru and Billy might win a bare-knuckle brawl against Godzilla.
Meanwhile Billy could be seen within the store. He was cackling with glee, prancing back and forth stacking piles of K-cups in front of a dumbfounded clerk. Doogie chuckled. This was Billy’s Church of Freedom. He was probably lecturing the clerk about fractional reserve banking and the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. The clerk was surely baffled. Doogie smiled. If he was going to get beaten to death for car theft there couldn’t be better man for the job than his friend; the happy freedom warrior who’s obsessed over fiat currency. It was going to be a righteous death.
If you think plots involving a romantic, free market, libertarian, cowboy, samurai, Norse God, college dropout with an unhealthy attachment to vengeance and his Subaru is less of a cliché than yet another fucking superhero movie, you might want to click below:
[Edna would like to point out that run-on sentences are the hobgoblin of the unevolved mind.]