A little less than ten years ago I worked in a comic book store with my friend Taylor. He was still in high school and I was just given up on college. We would write down the inventory and our minds would dull and turn to jelly. For some reason the fact that no one came in and we had to do all this counting was mind numbing but I still have great memories never the less because I made such great friends there so I look back on it all fondly.
Taylor's younger brother Ryan was a freshman in high school or something so I'd meet his friends who were about ten years younger than me. There were these two brothers who would come in on sundays fresh out of church, wearing their sunday best(you can't not say that cliche right there, btw). I guess they hated church because this was their chance to let off some steam. Come to the comic book store where their friend's older brother works and shoot the shit.
Of course these kids were nuts so their stories were about crazy raves and not sleeping and hitching rides and whatever made up sex story they're blowing out of proportion this week. I didn't know them so I ignored them for a while. Then one day I overheard them talking. One said to the other, "Nah, I always get busted when I do that." The other reassured him, "No, bro, you got to go to the park and pick up a ho."
Right about then my ears perked up. Then the second guy continued. "Pick her up and fuck her in the car and you'll feel better."
Now I was staring. What kind of shit were these kids getting into.
The first guy thought about what the second guy said and then gave his informed reply. "I would but I don't want her to take all my money."
Luckily, the second guy had the perfect solution. "When you're done just run her over and take back the money."
The first guy said, dumbfounded by his lack of ingenuity, "Why didn't I think of that."
I decided this might be an opportune moment to interject with: "I...okay..." I waved my hand in front of my face as if swatting flies but in reality trying to somehow unscramble my brain after watching this exchange, but I pushed through. "You guys are talking about...I mean...you didn't...of course you didn't..just what the fuck are you talking about, exactly?"
The second guy realized he was being over heard the whole time. He said, "We're just talking about this new video game that came out. G.T.A. Grand Theft Auto.
I asked for more details. He eagerly came forth with more sordid details. "Yeah, once I was like driving this fuckin hummer and I accidentally hit this fire hydrant and it made me just plow over all these mother fuckers on the sidewalk."
Totally enraptured by this guys enthusiasm at his own violence, I nodded my head and prodded him to go on.
"And then I like ran over this grandma. And the police were pissed. They gave me like a three star rating and the FBI came out in these black SUV's and I tried to book it but they set up this roadblock and so I got out, thinking maybe I could run past them but they just shot the shit out of me with some machine guns."
I asked what happened to him after that. Did he die? Did he go to jail?
"No. They just shot me to death. They didn't get a chance to bust me. So I walked out of the hospital and they took my flamethrower away from me."
"You had a fuckin' flame thrower!" I hastily blurted out.
I tried to play it off. Tried to pretend I was the mature one. I politely asked again what the name of this "game" was. And when he left to get back to church, I wrote down the name of the game.
I didn't have a Playstation. But my single reason to own one was called GTA 3. My friend Keon got a Playstation because he had appeared in a Taco Bell commercial(not fucking with you) and he went straight from the shoot to the midnight sale of the Playstation 2.
I first laid down my grievances with the world. A list I knew by heart. I rattled them off. Then I said I had found the solution to all these problems. GTA 3. Kill cops, bang bitches, and crash cars. Believe me, hunger won't be an issue if you are doing these things. Happiness doesn't exist because there is no unhappiness with which to base it on. Just zen violence.
That winter I lost my girlfriend of many years for good. But I had the city. I had this cold digital city. It rained. It was violent. It was cold. Some nights the streets were empty. Some nights they were filled with pimps and prostitutes. But none of that mattered now. I could run over any mother fucker who looked at me wrong in GTA.
And so I did. I did it like I was the world's worst bastard ever. We called them rampages.
Basically our strategy was to cause as much fucking destruction as possible until we got to 6 stars. When we got there the whole army was out to kill us. So from there it was trying to survive as long as possible. The trick was to kill as many innocents as possible to get the police on your ass. Then work on them. If you can find a way to blow as much shit up as possible then you are on a good rampage.
Keon and I figured out that the best place in GTA 3 was in front of the hospital. A lot of old people to run down or you could take some pills around the corner and get real fucked up so you're moving in slow motion. That was always fun because you could just lay a kick in to some stupid fucker and send him flying about ten feet in slow motion. And you could tell it was pissing off the cops. So the next step was to get into a vehicle if you didn't want to get shot. Anyone you can manage to run down along the way was good. I always made a point to steal a police car by gunning down the guys inside and then waiting for the ambulances to arrive so I could just cause a massacre. Then if we are still at three stars or something because not enough people have met their gods I would pick up a hooker and get some life back. Then maybe back to the pills, but usually that was a pretty dangerous place to go back to. I remember getting a kick out of going to the top of the parking garage with all the police helicopters circling. And then I would find a ramp and do a sweet jump way over the cops like I was dukes of fucking hazard and land behind them and then get out with a bazooka and blow them the fuck up. Those were the days.
Then we figured out we could make the FBI drive up after us and into our garage. This would save their vehicle which was all souped up so you could really fuck people up. The best was taking the tank. This was only when you've really destroyed everyone livelihood. When the air is filled with pink mist and the smell of gun powder stings your digital nostrils. Fire everywhere. Civilians, the ones alive, running in panic before their screams are abruptly ended with gunfire or even a cop coming to the scene to fast, just running over the innocent because lives just didn't matter anymore in this digital playground. And you, at the center, taking some dumb fuck out of a tank and then driving it over cars and into trucks and blowing shit up. Sometimes you could get up a real good speed by shooting your cannon behind you as you drove forward. It was like a rocket ship when you did that.
Anyway, the guy who told me to play GTA was at this party I went to the other night. I think he was there with Ryan. We all went to see Mister Loveless. I almost didn't because I had seen them so much this year, but I was bored so I went. And it was one of their best shows. We went to some party in the oakland hills afterwards with them and one of the bands they played with. It was fun we all got drunk and the guy who got me hooked on GTA told me a story where he made this aside: "You know, it's like when you fuck a chick and it's like poking a dead body with a stick." I stopped him there and asked him if he just heard what he said. He said "I guess thats kind of weird."
At about five everyone passed out and I had sobered up so I wanted to go home. I left with Ryan and we got lost in these hills for about fifteen minutes. Then we got out. Then somehow we got lost again. Somehow I got us both home.
Then on saturday I went with my friend Tommy to my friend's birthday party(Rob and since he was in the band it was most of the same people from the previous night). I didn't get home till five again that night. It was too entertaining watching these two drunk chicks argue for like an hour.
Then sunday I went to my friends Kristina's and J.T.'s because my friend Elayne was back from New Orleans. By then, though, I was just perpetually tired. I managed to scarf down all this great food they made for this barbecue but afterwards I was practically nodding off. I managed to drop off Taylor and get home before almost passing out at twelve.
It was a good weekend.
P.S.: That painting above is one of the better likenesses I've done. I think it looks just like her. The hairs right and the face is right and somehow she got even thinner so this looks like her a lot. It was funny because in the earlier phases I thought her skin might be the wrong color since she is very fair, but once I added the darker colors it turned out perfect.