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  • Gutter Punk: Young And Homeless

    Chapter 15

    By Punkerslut

    Punk is Not
    Image: From "Anarchy" Gallery from FreedomInYourMind

    Start Date: April 26, 2003
    Finish Date: January 27, 2004

    The camera slowly fades to a park scene, where Kevin is resting on his back with a big bottle of vodka in his hand, just fucking wasted. Sweep is sitting on the grass, Indian style, reading "Practical Ethics" by Peter Singer. Spike and Lily are nowhere to be seen. Freak is playing with a mouse. And Gunner is drinking a 40 ounce glass bottle of malt liquor while laying on the grass.

    GUNNER: What the fuck ya' up to, Freak?

    FREAK: (holding the mouse in her clasped hands) A field mouse... Aaahhh, creatures of the world. So gentle, so delicate, so soft.

    GUNNER: You look beautiful when you're gentle, Freak.

    Freak looks to Gunner and smiles wide.

    GUNNER: And when you smile, too.

    FREAK: Thank you, Gunner... This mouse reminds me of us all. Stuck. Just stuck. Can't get away. Wanting to run free.... just stuck.

    GUNNER: (blabberingly, because he's intoxicated) Well, uhrrr.... maybe you should let him go!

    FREAK: Maybe you're right.

    Freak turns to Gunner, kisses him on his forehead (he's leaning on his elbow and laying on his side by now), and releases the mouse from her palm to the ground, where he frolics away. Freak turns to Gunner again and smiles.

    FREAK: Do you think I'm sexy when I liberate things?

    GUNNER: You're a beauty.

    Freak smiles and puts her hand on Gunner's forehead, and scratches him.

    GUNNER: Ow...

    He shakes it off, smiles, and falls on his back. Freak looks at her hand, flexes her fingers, and tries to scratch her own forehead hard, exclaiming, "Ow!" The camera follows the small mouse as it crawls over the body of a wasted Kevin and runs past the foot of a person wearing wearing a pair of Nike shoes. The song "The Part You Left Out" by Planes Mistaken For Stars starts playing. Kevin looks up, focuses, and looks hard, but just gives up and passes out. The camera spins and moves upward toward the sky, looking at Kevin, as he lays on the grass, a complete fucking mess, with a bottle of vodka in his hand. It fades to white, and then fades to Gunner resting his head on the lap of Freak, while she holds his forehead with one hand, and caresses his cheek with her other hand. His face is resting on its side on her lap, with his eyes closed, almost at a perfect peace. Without making any facial emotions, he lifts up a pint of Jack Daniels to her. She takes it, looks towards the sky (upward, anyway), and takes a swig. And then she takes several more swigs. Gunner puts his hand on her lap along side his face. The camera slows shifts to Kevin, and he looks up, and focuses on the two yuppies sitting on a park bench, one of them wearing Nike shoes. The song "Good Feeling" by the Violent Femmes starts. He looks to Freak and Gunner. Freak fell asleep on Gunner's back and Gunner is asleep on Freak's lap. Kevin staggers to his feet and approaches the two girls.

    KEVIN: Do you know that Nike supports child labor?

    As Kevin completes this sentence, the two girls are staring at him, almost frightened. The first one is Rachel, the second one is Tran (an Asian-American, with an accent -- pronounces her Rs as Ls). Tran is the one wearing the Nike shoe.

    RACHEL: (trying to be polite) Nooooo... I didn't know that.

    TRAN: They do not.

    KEVIN: Oh, yes they do. Those shoes were built on the blood and sweat of your people!

    Kevin puts a fist up in the air and makes a disgruntled face for a second, trying to pose for what "blood and sweat" meant.

    RACHEL: Well, I wouldn't want to support that kind of industry.

    KEVIN: That's right!

    Kevin points to Rachel, and then lets his arm fall down.

    TRAN: Are you... drunk?

    KEVIN (looking up to the sky, squinting at the sunlight): Why, yes, I would like another shot.

    RACHEL: Maybe you should have a seat.

    Rachel looks to Tran for an okay, and Tran nods. Kevin sits down on the edge of the seat.

    RACHEL: Are you here alone?

    KEVIN: Nah.... You see those two over there? (Kevin points to Gunner and Freak.) They're my family.

    TRAN: She looks like a freak.

    KEVIN: Oh, well, she is. That's her name.

    RACHEL: Who's the other kid? Is he a... punk? Is that what they call that?

    KEVIN: Oh, he's definitely grade-a street punk. Homeless kid. Whatever you want to call him.

    RACHEL: He can't be homeless. He's too -- young?

    Kevin looks at Rachel with an unafflicted face, almost friendly.

    KEVIN: We're all homeless. Me, Freak, and Gunner. Hey, Gunner! GUNNER!

    GUNNER (yelling out but not moving): Whoever is calling my name better shut the fuck up and let me fucking sleep!

    FREAK: Huh? What's going on?

    GUNNER (softly): It's okay, babe, don't worry about it.

    Gunner pets Freak's leg several times, soothing her.

    KEVIN: You see that little rugrat over there with the book?

    RACHEL: Yeah...

    KEVIN: He's in our crew, too.

    TRAN: He can't be homeless! He's no more than nine years old!

    KEVIN: Eleven and counting! Besides, I have his back if anything happens. Hey, Sweep! COME OVER HERE!

    Sweep puts a book mark in his book and gets up to walk over to Kevin.

    KEVIN: Hey, you little bastard. Have a seat.

    SWEEP: I wouldn't want to crowd you, droog. I'll just sit on the grass here.

    Sweep sits Indian style on the grass in front of the bench.

    TRAN: Are you homeless? (to Sweep)

    SWEEP: Sort of.

    RACHEL: How old are you?

    SWEEP: It doesn't matter.

    Rachel seems discouraged.

    KEVIN: And you see, Tran... Your shoes are made by little guys like our Sweep over here. How does that make you feel that you support child slavery?

    The camera fades out to white, and then slowly fades back to an overview from Gunner's side, facing towards the bench where Kevin and his new friends are sitting on. While it is still foggy, the voice of Kevin can be heard saying, "Because the will of the Proletariat is really the will of the people..." and trailing off. The came focuses on Gunner as we wakes up. He opens his eyes really wide, and rubs his face against Freak's leg several times, as though it were a cozy blanket. Gunner yawns.

    GUNNER: Eeehhhh.... What the hell is going on?

    Gunner looks around with droopy eyes and sees that Freak is asleep on his side. He slowly gets up and holds her so that when he leaves, she is not disturbed (at least, not all too much). He looks over and sees Kevin talking to some yuppies on a bench. He looks up towards the sun and pushes his hair back, stretches. He yawns again. Looking across the park, he focuses on Kevin and his new friends. He's about to trek over to them, but before he does, he looks down and sees Freak, quiet, and asleep on the grass. He leans down and kisses her on the neck, rubbing the side of her ribcage with his palm a few times. He then walks over to Kevin and his new acquaintances

    GUNNER: Hello, Kevin, and friends of Kevin.

    RACHEL: Hi, my name is Rachel.

    Gunner shakes hands with her.

    TRAN: Hi, I am Tran.... but I must go to crass now.

    GUNNER: Crass!? I *love* Crass!

    KEVIN: Not that crass, Gunner. How you fuckin' doing, man?

    GUNNER: Aw, you know, soberin' up.... and you, you fucking alcoholic?

    KEVIN: Hey now... Let's not say things we can't take back.

    GUNNER: You're right.

    TRAN: I will talk to you later, Rachel. Bye, Kevin.

    KEVIN: I get a hug, right?

    Tran leans over and lets Kevin hug her and then she runs off.

    KEVIN: Nice girl that Tran.

    GUNNER: Uuuuhhhhh, Kevin.... she wore Nike shoes.

    KEVIN: Yeah, but that doesn't always determine a person's personality.

    GUNNER: Yeah, and I wasn't talking about personality. I was talking about footwear.

    KEVIN: Just let it go for now, man. Everyday is a war. The casualties are piling and I can't fight anymore.

    GUNNER: You're just drunk.

    KEVIN: So are you!

    GUNNER: Yeah, well, uhhh, fuck you!

    KEVIN: Fuck you, too, man!

    The two just stare at each other in drunken animosity.

    RACHEL: If you two have been friends for a long time, maybe you shouldn't be fighting right now....

    GUNNER: Maybe the lady's right.

    KEVIN: Maybe so.

    GUNNER: Well, what are you gonna do about it?

    KEVIN: I 'unno.... what are you gonna do about it?

    RACHEL: Could you both stop acting like children for a minimum of five minutes?

    GUNNER: The lady's got a point.

    KEVIN: Shake on it, then.

    The two shake hands rather vigorously, being somewhat intoxicated (both of them).

    RACHEL: Is that girl your friend?

    GUNNER: Huh? Oh, Freak. Yeah, she's cool.

    RACHEL: Her name is Freak?

    The camera shifts to Freak, as she gets up, and ambles over, mostly sober. She comes into close contact with Kevin and just starts making out with him. They both fall on the grass.

    GUNNER: Yeap. She's a freak, that crazy Freak. I love her more than anything.

    RACHEL: You're homeless...?

    GUNNER: Indeed I am. Harsh life, whatever you want to call it. I try to dedicate myself to things that matter: family, alcoholism, and changing a society that doesn't believe in justice.

    RACHEL: Seems like an odd configuration of values. Family is wholesome. Alcoholism is unwholesome. And social change seems to be an alternative idea.

    GUNNER (as a drunk): Nah, hardly. When you think of politics, you as a yuppy, that is, you think of a matter of discussion. To us, it's a fucking matter of everyday life or death. We're confronted and forced to face it.

    RACHEL: But how does child labor effect you, when you don't see what goes on in far away countries everyday -- but only know about it because of what you read in books?

    GUNNER: Well, ummmm... Because we have to face our own hardships, oppression of police brutality and a fascist government, we can relate to others who have the same... uhhh...

    RACHEL: Misery?

    GUNNER: Yeah, that. And we relate, and we think they deserve rights, like the right not to be exploited by megacorporations.

    RACHEL: That seems noble and thoughtful. Because you suffer, and others suffer, you feel that you should do your part to make so nobody has to go through the same experience.

    Gunner looks into her eyes and smiles.

    GUNNER: You know, I think I just might like you.... for a yuppy, that is.

    RACHEL: How generous.

    She smiles back.

    RACHEL: How about alcoholism? How does that tie in?

    GUNNER: Oh, come on, do you even need to ask? If I'm homeless, if anyone is homeless, they better get themselves a habit, because that's the best thing you can do.

    RACHEL: Why do you say that?

    GUNNER: Well, you can try to draw pictures, or write stories or poetry, or make music, but how long will last you? Where do you put your artwork? What happens to it? It gets confiscated by the police, that's what. And then they burn it. What are we going to do? Go listen to our CD players, or stereos, or go for a cruise in our cars? We don't have that. The only thing that will bring us happiness is a drug, alcohol or heroin, it doesn't matter. Because you don't need a home for it, you don't need electricity, and it will always, definitely make you happy.

    RACHEL: It's part of the culture?

    GUNNER: Mmmm..... Is it okay if I kiss you?

    RACHEL: Well, ummm... yeah.

    Gunner moves in closer and kisses Rachel on the cheek. He moves back, looks at her, and smiles, and she smiles bashfully.

    GUNNER: I like you.

    Gunner lays down on the bench, and rests his head on Rachel's lap. He closes his eyes, as she accepts his physical affection, putting one of her hands on his chest, and another through his hair.

    RACHEL: You said that family is another value?

    GUNNER: When you live as close as I do with these sort of people, you develop an eternal bond with them. You can never hate them. It's like, you're a throw-away to a world that fell in love with sitcoms the day you were born. And now you're sleeping in this half-destroyed building with these people you've known less than a month. And it's just... In that situation, where you share the same sleeping area as them, it's just... I don't know.

    RACHEL: Is it maybe because you hated what the world so much, that you fell in love with others who were thrown away?

    GUNNER: It's not necessarily that... I've had friends who played their part in the system, with a job and an apartment. One time I got drunk with this chick who was actually a registered Democrat. But then again, yeah, she was a Democrat and she was buying. We had a decent time and became sort of friends. There is a comradery among the throw-aways of society, true. But everywhere you go, you will find violence and anger. The more stressed the people are for food and alcohol, the more common it is. But when you share a room with a handful of people, those people become your real family. It's just a sort of feeling that I've never had before. That none of us have really had. When it gets cold, especially those snowy northern winters, we all sleep under the same blanket, five people.

    RACHEL: You? The tough guys with spikes coming out of their jackets and mohawks?

    GUNNER: Yeah, with that sort of coldness, that chilling bittering pain. But, you're not really understanding. We don't wear the clothes we do, our mohawks, our trench coats, our patches, because it's cool, hip, or popular. We don't try to look violent. Look at Kevin and Freak there.

    The camera shifts to Freak laying on her back with Kevin's head resting on her belly. He has a tall can of beer in his hand.

    GUNNER: We've been stripped of everything. Our homes, our respect, our dignity, our pride. We have nothing to hide -- we have nothing to give, but ourselves. So, we walk naked, unafraid of rejection or insult. We do what we want. Fuck, we're Anarchists. You're goddamn right we do what we want.

    RACHEL: But wouldn't conflict arise when two individuals have a conflict of interests?

    GUNNER: Ah, good observation, and I have thought well about it for some time, but we can discuss that later...

    RACHEL: Okay, because I like hearing what you're talking about now. Please, go on.

    GUNNER: We don't try to look like big, impressive punks. One punk with a mohawk and another punk with green spiked hair, one blanket, one squat, one blistering winter... There won't even be a discussion about the blanket or sleeping conditions. They'll sleep side by side, closer than a married couple. Because they have no pride, nothing to hold them back. Maybe that's why I found squatters to be better company than anyone else... Everyone is reserved in what they think, what they feel, what they believe, that they generally become lying, deceitful, uninteresting, dull, and stupid.

    RACHEL: So, why do you wear spikes on your clothing and mohawks?

    GUNNER: Huh? Oh, yes... The original question, heh. We wear the clothes we wear for different reasons. Some do it for art, some do it so they can recognize other squatters, some do it for sexual reasons, some do it because they like it, some do it for political statements. But, for the most part, we do it, because it's who we are, it is us. Our culture, so to speak.

    RACHEL: You feel at home among these people, in your squat?

    GUNNER: I do. When I'm surrounded by these people, I know that I am among honest people.... At least, unless they're trying to rip me off, which is just another part of the life.

    RACHEL: Ripping off... Reminds me of a part of my life.

    GUNNER: Tell me about it. I'm listening.

    Gunner pulls a small bottle of vodka out of his trench coat and takes a swig. He then hands it to Rachel. She looks at it, and looks up, like she's doing something bad, and takes a small sip, coughing.

    RACHEL: Ugh, that is some awful stuff.

    GUNNER: I get it for free, what can ya' argue?

    RACHEL (struggling to speak): Very true.

    GUNNER: So, who's been trying to rip you off?

    Rachel clears her throat, and then speaks...

    RACHEL: At work, I try to be altruistic and help out other people. I'm always generous, offering, and kind. I listen to people if they have problems. Occasionally I loan out money, but I don't get it back. And the people who used me to get the money, they almost make a joke out of it. It hurts. Not the money. I never buy much of anything anyway. It's that they saw the inside of me, my emotions, and they deliberately just used them against me. It sort of... makes me not want to show anyone ever again.

    GUNNER: Tell me the people who owe you money and I'll make them pay back with interest and blood.

    RACHEL: No, no, no, it's not serious like that. But anyway... When things like that happen, I don't want to show people how I feel on the inside.

    GUNNER: But you feel that it's probably the best way to live your life, to find maximum happiness, maybe fall in love with someone who isn't such a piece of shit, like the rest of society?

    RACHEL: Yeah.

    Rachel smiles, looks down at Gunner, and runs her hand down the side of his face. He opens his eyes.

    RACHEL: It gets so frustrating sometimes, when the only thing that people think about you is someone to rip off. And that's the worst they think. Sometimes they think you're just another person to impress with credentials, college or title, whatever. They treat you as a method for elevating their already self-enlarged ego. To those kinds of people, I just feel like...

    GUNNER: You feel like saying, "I'm sorry, but do I look like an asshole? So why you trying to fuck me?"

    RACHEL: Mmmmm, maybe something less offensive.

    GUNNER: Less offensive? (sarcastic) What kind of person are youuuuu?

    RACHEL: Heh, well, I don't want to get fired.

    GUNNER: Okay, well, try something like, "Hey, that's great, but when I care, I'll let you know. Now, try to find someone who does." And say it so casually, that it looks like you just came up with it. And then go back to your work, even though he's still in the room.

    RACHEL: Hehe, I like that. I may even try it.

    GUNNER: So, what do you think of my pal Kevin?

    RACHEL: He's educated, which is rare for a homeless person.

    GUNNER: What are you implying?

    RACHEL: Well, the stereotype is that the homeless people are stupid.

    GUNNER: It couldn't be further from the truth. Who knows more about Anarchist political theory than that good kid Kevin? Few people. Besides him, we all try to educate ourselves, try to learn. We escaped the schools and the jobs, and found our own way of developing, of teaching our souls how to love.

    RACHEL: Well, I'm sorry if I accepted that stereotype.... but does Kevin get quite drunk so often?

    GUNNER: Like I said before, we all get drunk all the time. It's our way of life.

    RACHEL: Oh, yeah...

    Kevin walks over to the two.

    KEVIN: Oi, Gunner... Let's go. There's a feeding a few blocks over.

    GUNNER: Nah, man, I wanna stay here....

    RACHEL: Oh, that's okay. I have to get going in a few minutes anyway.

    GUNNER: All right, then let's head the fuck outta here.

    KEVIN: Hugs, Rachel?

    Kevin hugs Rachel, and he heads off. Gunner leans over and kisses Rachel on the neck.

    RACHEL: I'll see you guys later. Be careful.

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