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  • Gutter Punk: Young And Homeless

    Chapter 36

    By Punkerslut

    Do Not Question Authority
    Image: From "Anarchy" Gallery from FreedomInYourMind

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

    The camera switches, and Gunner is walking around in the rain, talking to random people, asking for a quarter to make a phone call. The voice can barely be heard as he is making another voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Sixteen years old? It'll take me a fuckin' lifetime to forget. Whatever sparked the relationship, I know what put it out: government. Sure, maybe not directly. But, cops, supported by taxes, governed by police chiefs, appointed by mayors, supported my governors, put in place by political parties. Fuck the government. You destroyed my liberty, but now you took away the one girl who managed to help me forget that.

    The camera shows Gunner standing in a payphone, holding up a large piece of plastic (which, may as well, have at one time been a shower curtain). As he is talking on the payphone, the camera slowly zooms in on him (slowly, but noticeably). It's still raining and the skies are cloudy.

    GUNNER (into the phone): Hi, ummm, what is Elizabeth Carson being held for?

    PHONE LINE: Just one moment....

    Gunner looks around as he sees the rain pouring down.

    PHONE LINE: Elizabeth Carson is being transferred out today. Her charges were dismissed.

    GUNNER: Where is she being transferred to?

    PHONE LINE: Since she's a juvenile offender, I am not allowed to disclose that information to you, unless you are a relative.

    GUNNER: Well, I am...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It's always worth a shot.

    PHONE LINE: If you are a relative, you must come down to the police department and present photo ID.

    GUNNER: Can I speak with her?

    "One Great City!" by the Weakerthans begins to play.

    PHONE LINE: No, I'm sorry, minors aren't allowed to have incoming calls.

    GUNNER: Please, I need to see that she's all right...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: A lost lover's tone with an uncaring father's words...

    PHONE LINE: I'm so sorry....

    GUNNER: Please, just let me speak to her...

    Gunner drops the phone, and tries to contain himself, blinking hard and breathing heavily. He starts walking away from the phone.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I didn't want to listen to the bureaucracy explain to me that I was in the wrong for trying to make contact with one beautiful girl, who was dressed in orange and behind bars right now.

    An SUV drives by, entirely covering Gunner in a splash of water. He stops and wipes the water off of his face, as he takes his hand down, it's seen that he's crying. He keeps walking. The camera fades to another day. It's daytime, and Gunner is sitting at an outside cafe, hunched over with his elbows on his knees, looking thoughtful as much as he is hungover and containing the misery of it.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I've been so drunk, for so long, that maybe sobriety will be the best path to intoxication.

    Gunner takes a swig of a pint of vodka that was out of reach of the camera.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Maybe, but I'm not risking anything now.

    The camera pans and turns, still showing Gunner, but then showing Spike and Lily behind him.

    SPIKE: You know, it's not very easy what you're going through, Gunner.

    GUNNER: I know. (swig)

    SPIKE: I feel really bad about the way things happened. But, I've known many good people whose lover went to jail, and they managed to stay around until they get out.

    GUNNER: Rat's not getting out, though. She's being deported. Extradition. What a great political system we have. The state has made the effort to bring the millions of homeless children back to their parents. They call them abducted or abused or kidnapped. The ones who have abused us were our fuckin' parents. And now, god bless America, that's where Rat is going. I have to fuckin' live with it, but no fucking way am I going to like it... Fuck.

    SPIKE: Maybe that's where you need to draw your strength from, then: your avowed hate of the government, of the system, of the Capitalism and Globalization and suppression of worker solidarity. Hell... Maybe some day, when you spray paint "END RACISM -- KILL COPS" on a brick wall, you might open the eyes of some poor kid, whose parents are abusive, whose teachers are vindictive.

    GUNNER: I always believed in anarchy, though.

    SPIKE: I know. But, if you're looking for a reason to stay alive, to keep on going and kicking ass, remember the state and what it did to you, to rat... What it's doing to all of us.

    GUNNER: (looking out to the sky) I know, I know... (looking down) Thanks.

    LILY: Gunner... I'm really sorry about what happened to you. But, you really need to look at Rat as someone you'll always love, someone who shaped you into who you are today. Everything you had with her will always last forever.

    GUNNER: Can we call her something else?

    LILY: Like what?

    GUNNER: Her name was Elizabeth. We could call her that... God, I miss her so much...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I have no idea, to tell you the truth, why I said that... If I were to be locked up and sent to Serbia, I'd still want to feel -- behind my prison walls -- that my friends were looking for some punk kicking around by the name "Gunner." I don't know why, but I want to call her Elizabeth.

    LILY: Okay, well, we can call her that, then.

    GUNNER: Fuck, I miss her so much... And I may never see her again.

    LILY: Please, Gunner... You have to realize that what she would want most out of this would be that you are strong through it.

    GUNNER: What she wants most out of this shit called life is freedom.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: The sad part is, what I said was right, and nobody would disagree with me.

    SPIKE: You know, Lily and I were separated one time. I was in jail for thirty days for shoplifting. I had a really bad habit back then, but no where comparable to your skill.

    GUNNER: What happened?

    In a way, I felt deep down, that I wanted to express my aggression. And I realized, out of all the thousands of yuppies in this land, that I felt most comfortable with expressing my aggression with the people I loved. And my heart yearned for me to scream, "And the fuck happened to you? Acted like a dumbass and tired to shoplift Walmart while trashed?" But, I didn't say that. I managed to grab ahold of my tongue. In fact, that option was a thousand miles away.

    SPIKE: Well, I entered the store, and I noticed the guard checking me out. I didn't care. I had a decent amount of confidence by then. Maybe I was stupid, I don't remember enough from those days, but I was caught. Guard slammed my face against the wall and put me in cuffs. A cruiser came by, and it was thirty days. I got a few messages from incoming guys who were picked up, carrying words of Lily. In fact, one guy carried a written note from her that he managed to slip to me. Several guys had that note, but only he was arrested for possession of stolen property. I gave some messages to other guys leaving to give to her...

    GUNNER: The intricate message system of the prison. Whenever I know I'm leaving, I ask anyone if they want me to tell anyone something... Fuckin' prison walls. It separates us from our loved ones and destroys us. Fuck!

    Gunner gets up and pushes over a table on the outdoor patio.

    SPIKE: You have to be strong, Gunner. We survived, and... well... You must also.

    GUNNER: At the end of your time in jail, you were still with her. No matter where they drop Rat off at, I won't be at her side.

    SPIKE: You mean Elizabeth? (smile)

    GUNNER: Yeah, her... Just, fuck. So much pain and aggression built up, fuck fuck fuck fuck...

    Kevin, Freak, and Paul show up. Freak runs to Gunner and wraps her arms around him.

    FREAK: I heard about Rat. I'm so sorry, Gunner I love you and I don't want you to cry, I don't want you to cry.

    He hugs her back.

    GUNNER: Thanks, Freak. It means something to me.

    Kevin pats Gunner on the back.

    KEVIN: I'm so fucking sorry about what happened with Rat. I'm really fuckin' sorry, man.

    GUNNER: Thanks, guy, I appreciate it.

    PAUL: Hey, Gunner... If you need anything from me, dude, just ask, and it's done.

    GUNNER: Thanks, everyone, really... So, tell me some good news.

    KEVIN: Oh, not much is going on, really. I stole that guy's bat who we fought with. I figured the lead pipe idea is fucked, so, I'm moving on up.

    GUNNER: Ha, right.

    FREAK: Gunner... I think your face is angelic. A sort of... inhuman, mystic quality. I always liked you, you know.

    GUNNER: Mmmmm, you did, Freak? I always thought you were.... pretty badass, anyway.

    She licks him from the bottom of his nose to the forehead.

    GUNNER: Heh, thanks.

    He wipes off the saliva.

    KEVIN: Gunner, you remember that time we broke into the convenience store?

    GUNNER: Oh, yeah, I remember that... Very vaguely. Jesus, was that a while ago.

    KEVIN: We were hopped up on meth, at like, three in the morning, and we saw the shop owner locking up the convenience store. And without even glancing at each other, we charged him, picked him up, and fucking threw his ass. I think we kicked him a little...

    GUNNER: No, no, no, Kevin... We didn't kick him. We liberated him.

    KEVIN: Yeah, then we just opened the door and grabbed every fucking thing we could. Dude, you were carrying that jug of candy. It was really fucking satanic looking... Your eyes were bulging out of your skull, and you had no expression on your face... Just totin' this jug of fuckin' candy.

    GUNNER: We really need to do that again, sometime.

    KEVIN: I wouldn't choose to have any other partner in crime.

    GUNNER: Right on, brother. Right the fuck on.

    A group of four police officers emerges from a coffee shop next to the outside patio that the group of punks is at. They walk by the group of punks, and the punks quiet down, and exchange a few stares with the cops. As the cops are right walking past the punks...

    KEVIN: Hey, what's pink, wet, and squealing?!

    FREAK: A baby skinned alive!

    The group laughs, and the cops give them a dirty look, but keep on walking. One cop steps out...

    COP: You know, you fuckin' gutter punks better keep your shit quiet and get the fuck out of town.

    GUNNER: The mayor's war on homelessness is a war against the homeless.

    KEVIN: The war on poverty means criminalizing the poor.

    FREAK: You don't scare us, cop. Move along.

    The cop stares them down a little, and then keeps walking, at the encouragement of his fellow cops.

    SPIKE: Looks like Big Brother has his eyes on us.

    LILY: A plague upon the land...

    GUNNER: Huh? You mean them or us?

    Lily fake punches Gunner.

    GUNNER: (smiling and sarcastic) Ouch.

    LILY: Hey, who is that?

    The group look at a figure way far down the street.

    GUNNER: I believe it's Sweep.

    SPIKE: I 'unno.... It looks like it could be a Chinese midget.

    GUNNER: You know, I'm not even gonna argue you on that one.

    As Sweep walks by the cops, he stops and they start talking to him, intimidatingly.

    GUNNER: The fuck do they want with him?

    Gunner gets up off the chair and moves a little closer. He's still so far away that he can't hear what they're saying. Kevin gets up and walks a little closer, too. Spike takes his arm off of Lily and looks. One of the police officers lifts Sweep up in the air and throws his body against a concrete wall of a store. The song "Back to the Motor League" by Propagandhi begins playing. In slow motion, the camera shows Gunner, in a somewhat daze by what just happens, and Kevin running to Sweep in the background. After he sees Kevin, he rushes in. In normal motion (heh), the camera focuses on the front part of Gunner running, then it shows Paul, Spike, Lily, and Freak running. The camera then shows the cops and Sweep, one of them kicks him.

    COP: You fuckin' ignorant brat.

    Right as the cop says that, a baseball bat (wielded by Kevin) connects with the skull of one of the cops and that cop falls to the ground. Gunner, holding his butterfly knife, slashes one of the cops across the chest. The cop pulls out a baton and hits him on the hand, causing him to drop the knife. Gunner kicks him in the stomach, and the second time, the cop catches the leg, and swings his baton at the knee, bringing Gunner to the ground. The camera switches to Paul, who leaps on to a cop, wrapping his arm around the cop's neck, and bringing them both to the ground, rolling into the street. The camera switches again to showing another cop from the front, as he pulls out a baton, and as Freak jumps on his back, and starts digging her thumbnails into his eyes, as he begins screaming. He slams his back against the concrete wall, trying to get her off him. Spike punches the cop that has Freak on his back in the stomach several times, and then in the throat several times. Kevin is repeatedly swinging his bat at the cop on the ground. In the background, it shows Tank, from far away, screaming, "I'm coming!!!" while running, but he's decently far away. The camera shows the cop who was fighting with Gunner. Sweep charges him, but the cop swings his baton at him, knocking Sweep across the face and on to the ground. Kevin charges up to the cop and lifts his baseball bat into the air, screaming, as the camera focuses on his face. Then the sound of a gunshot and the sounds are muted. The camera focuses on Kevin's face, in slow motion, as his emotion goes from anger and rage to doubt. The camera focuses on Gunner's face in slow motion, as he's getting up, and looking at Kevin, in doubt and shock-stricken grief. The camera focuses on Kevin, the camera still in slow motion, and mute, as he looks down to Gunner. The camera shows the legs of Kevin from the side, as another shot is heard, and a baseball bat drops from his side, making a noise in the otherwise mute scene. A new scene opens. This one, a sort of mental state. It is black and white, shows Kevin on the ground in the same scene, and Gunner hold him, swaying forward and backward over the body. No one else is there.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Kevin died that day. The best peace punk this city ever saw. God fucking dammit. He wasn't a fuckin' peace punk. He was Kevin: bold, strong, unrelenting, witty, and fucking human. Our civilization is so fucked that anyone who wants to liberate the oppressed has to be shoved into a stereotype that encompasses less than 1% of the population When Kevin and I met up in this city, we took it by storm. He asked a tourist if she could spare her left overs. She said that she wouldn't do anything, if it stopped the homeless from starving. I grabbed her Styrofoam tray out of her hands, and started running while screaming a battlecry in a drunken rage.

    The camera flashes white several times, as Gunner is looking up now, and then he places his head on Kevin's chest.

    GUNNER: I love you, Kevin...

    The camera focuses on Gunner as he closes his eyes, and the camera slowly turns to dark. As it becomes completely black, the sound of a gunshot can be heard again, and the mute is turned off as the camera switches to a scene of all of the gutter punks dispersing from the one armed cop, while the other three are wounded on the ground, and while Kevin lies in a pool of blood.

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