. . .

You've got bad judgment on speed dial. He doesn't pick up.

You have reached the Sprint PCS voice mailbox of...DONTWORRY ICANDRIVE. To leave a voice message, press one, or just wait for the tone.

You don't wait. He'll call back. He always does.

You pour yourself another drink. There's barely room on your desk for that. On one side are bills. On the other are CD's. Both are towering stacks that might fall over at any moment. You reach into the CD stack and grab one randomly. "Mäax", it says. God, it's ugly. Skull, spade, knives, fake umlauts. It even has that electric font that Kix used back in the day. God, it's ugly.

"Fire in the Hole"

You put it on. Martial intro, hi-hat count-in. Drums start plowing through blown-out sound. This could go any number of ways. Hair metal, real metal, maybe crust punk. You get lucky. (You never do.) The riffs start coming. They're good. They're real good: Motörhead, Venom, Bathory. Nothing new, but you'll settle for real good any day. The riffs flatten fifths, so you flatten one, too. It feels good. (It always does.) Damn, this shit is raw. The singer sounds like incoming lung cancer. Your throat is burning, too.

Your toes start tapping. You start humming along. You're humming along to a band with fake umlauts and electric font. They need help.  So do you. You ignore that. You're the type that lives in the present. And the present feels real good.

You rock out so hard, you don't hear your phone ring. It's bad judgment. He wants you to call - pronto.

"Six Pack Witchcraft"

— Cosmo Lee