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  • Gutter Punk: Young And Homeless

    Chapter 37

    By Punkerslut

    Anarchist Symbol
    Image: From "Anarchy" Gallery from FreedomInYourMind

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

    The camera fades to white and then it opens up on the park scene. Gunner is sitting on a bench in the Indian style, looking down. Rachel shows up. He walks over to her.

    RACHEL: Gunner, I can't see you anymore after --

    GUNNER: Kevin's dead.

    Her face melts to sadness as she hugs Gunner and he hugs her back. The camera slowly fuzzes as it zooms out on the couple and Gunner does a voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I told her about how Kevin died. She said that it was a tragedy and the world was without a very good person. She told me, though, that since I beat up her co-worker's son, she couldn't have anything to do with me, or risk her job. A part of me tells me, to say to her, "I'm not gonna listen to this. I'll act like the way things always were. I still care about you." But another part asserts the fatuous idea that I've matured since being four years old. I told her that I cared about her, and I would never forget her. She just smiled and said, "Yeah, like the other ten thousand girls." It might have seemed funny, but she knew it was true, that I wouldn't forget her, ever. What would be wrong with her believing that? I suppose I'm just sick and tired of being recognized as the unrecognizing.

    The camera shifts to the squat. It's mute, except for the voice over. Gunner is hugging Spike and Lilly. As the two walk out, Gunner walks over to Freak and cuddles with her, as they both have a very sad look in their eye.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Spike and Lilly are making plans to get the hell outta this goddamned city via Greyhound bus. They have no cash, so they fly a sign at the bus station, "Couple wanting to go home." Everyday they got a little bit more cash. They knew that it would take $250 to get them to where they wanted to go. Maybe it would be $10 a day in spanged cash, or maybe it would be one yuppy couple who would pay for it all. We weren't show. By the end of the day, they would come back to the squat. But every time they went out to the station, we hugged, as though it was the last time we would see each other. Spike and I grew up on the streets. We knew very well that good-byes are the last things we say among each other, because of our poverty and circumstances, so we would say it every morning upon departure.

    The camera shows Sweep and Gunner sitting on a bench in the park. Sweep starts to cry, and then Gunner holds him, and a few tears come out of his eyes.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Sweep wanted to blame himself for Kevin's death. I wouldn't let that happen.

    The camera shows Gunner walking up the stairs of the squat, yelling out, "oi!" and then walking in to the room. Sweep and Spike and Lilly are there.

    GUNNER: Where's Freak?

    SPIKE: She's gone. We don't know where she is.

    Gunner nods and walks out of the squat. The song "Please Do Not Go" by the Violent Femmes starts playing. The camera switches to the next scene. Gunner is drinking a bottle of whiskey while on the roof of the squat, and he is surrounded by empty, crushed beer cans. He takes a swig while staring at the sky.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Slowly, everything started to fall apart.

    The camera switches and focuses on Gunner's torso as he's running, and red-and-blue flashing lights can be seen on him, with two cop cruisers in the back. Then it shows Gunner from the side running, and the camera stops. Tank is being arrested by two cops, but he picks up one with one arm, and throws him over the cruiser. The other cop, using his baton, chokes Tank and knocks him to the ground. Two other cops come and start kicking at Tank, as all this takes place behind the cruiser. The camera shows Gunner climbing a chain link fence and narrowly avoiding the cops.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Jacky, Sweep's girlfriend, finally was released.

    The next scene is at the freight yard, at nighttime. There's a freight going slowly, and Sweep and Jacky jump aboard. Gunner throws on a bag, and hands them two milk jugs full of water. Then the freight starts speeding up, and Sweep holds on to the door, while waving to Gunner. The camera switches to a rainy, cloudy day, Gunner walking down the sidewalk, holding a bottle of vodka. As he walks, staggeringly, everyone who sees him gets out of the way.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: And then, all of a sudden, you're all alone in the world. The worst enemy of the homeless is loneliness, and strikes you with bitter pains that you don't ever forget. Because, if you don't have family, then you really have nothing, and that applies most to us.

    Gunner walks between two yuppy males, who had each other's arms on each other's shoulders, and separate as Gunner staggers between the two of them. The bigger yuppy looks displeased.

    YUPPY: Gutter punk.

    Gunner turns around.

    GUNNER: The fuck did you say?

    He slowly approaches the two, who look somewhat scared.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: The worst fuckin' name you could call a homeless kid. Gutter punk... You think we like that title? No, but we may call each other that, because we are bound in unity by those who oppress us...

    GUNNER: I fucking asked you what you said....

    Gunner throws the bottle of vodka at the guy's feet, as it smashes. The other, smaller yuppy takes off running. Gunner runs up to the big yuppy and swings, connecting with the guy's jaw. As he connects, the camera goes to black.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: And then you black out.

    The song "Standing Still Fast" by Planes Mistaken For Stars starts playing. The camera then opens up on Gunner waking up on the roof of his squat, with a medical bandage on his hand. He looks at it and then puts his hand down. As Gunner makes the following voice over, he is alone in the squat, with a bottle of Jagermeister in his hand. He is leaning over to the side, laying down a little. Outside, for a few seconds, people can be heard screaming, and three shots are fired. Gunner isn't distressed by this at all. Then he leans forward and pukes. And then is about take another shot from the bottle, but stops, and puts the bottle down. He looks over to the side, and the camera shows the glow-in the dark stickers that Sweep had placed in his corner. A tear comes from Gunner's eye, and he looks out the window. The camera shows the beautiful, night sky. During this, Gunner does the following voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I suppose now is the time of decisions, the time of spiraling thoughts and unforgiven memories, the time to grab some earth, sit the fuck down, and think about what you're gonna do. At times of desperation like this, you think about everything you could do. Maybe I could go back to my parents. That's always a possibility. I just never consider it. If you asked me if I wanted to go back to my parents, when I was with my street family, I'd tell you that I would rather be put upon a wooden spike and die from dehydrating in the sun. But now, those words are no longer present, because for a moment, I am convinced that I could live just as freely in that world as I am now.

    As Gunner makes the following voice over, he is walking down the sidewalk during the daytime. As he is walking, he looks to his side, and he sees a mother and her six year old son. She is trying to heard him into the minivan, but he looks at her, and stands off. She tries to get him and then he runs. And then she starts yelling, really pissy like at him, but Gunner can't hear any of the words, just the visuals. A homebum pushing a carriage of metal cans passes Gunner, and they meet eye to eye. Gunner looks back at the homebum, and then forward again. During this, Gunner does the following voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: So I can go back, struggle through the days, blood and sweat, trying to make grades, showing up at work, so I can go home and sit in a nice heated room with a television. Ingest the pseudo-culture. And I can sleep at night, to the soft rhythm, of my parents holding a debate, about how ungrateful of a child I am, of how lucky I am compared to the other children of this planet. Claw at me some more, and then insist that these are the best days of my life. Fuck you.

    As Gunner makes the following voice over, he is walking towards the park. He walks into the park, looks around, and sees some people, some yuppies, some homebums, some random gutter punks. Then he looks to his right, and sees a tree. He climbs it. Once on top, he notices something on the trunk of the tree. In it is carved the words, "Freak Was Here And Killed Your Mom." He runs his hand across the scar tissue of the tree, and smiles, then looks out and sees the sky. The camera focuses on the clouds and blueness of the sky. During this, Gunner does the following voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Well, here's a letter to you, mom. Night and day, you made my life so painful, every moment in writhing suffering. You screamed at me, told me I was worthless, defied every decision I made, invaded my privacy, told my friends not to call back, smashed my glass pipe when you found it. Nothing I ever did was good enough. You never gave me a break. My happiness never mattered to you, because as a human being, I was a school grade and a college degree. You were listening to corporations when you asked for advice on how to raise a child. I tried to kill myself. Every kid with some sanity does. And then we act like it's an unnatural reaction to unbearable misery, when it's made public. Fuck you, society. I never knew what family was until I broke every bond with the people I lived with my first fifteen years.

    As Gunner makes the following voice over, there is a flashback that he is thinking about. It is the crew (Gunner, Rat, Kevin, Freak, Spike and Lily, and Sweep) walking down the street. The camera is in slow motion, as it shows them walking. Kevin is carrying Freak on his back, as she tries to lean forward and lick his forehead. Sweep is drinking from a brown glass bottle of beer while carrying a book in the other hand. Spike and Lily are walking, with their arms over each other's shoulders. They each have a beer that they are drinking from. In the one arm that is over his lover's shoulder, Spike is holding a sixpack. Gunner and Rat are walking side by side. He takes off his trench coat and puts it on her. Once she has it on, she reaches inside one of the inner pockets and pulls out a beer, and opens it. She takes a shwill and hands it to Gunner, who takes another shwill. Gunner, now, who only has on his blue jumpsuit and 14 eyelet boots. All this takes place in slow motion, during the following voice over.

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Hate is the strongest emotion. Without it, I would have never of left you. So, I thank you, mom. Thank you for yelling at me a little louder. Thank you for making me feel like a little less. Thank you for not letting me get away with a single human emotion. Thank you for the shame and tears, the pain and trials. If you never pushed me through all that, then I wouldn't have hated you since I was eleven. Thank you, for making me hate you so much, that I would rather be homeless, than live with you. Your ungrateful son, Gunner...

    As Gunner makes the following voice over, he is walking on a sidewalk during a clear, sunny day, about 11:00 A.M. time. The camera only shows his feet making steps from behind as he is walking. He passes nobody on this sidewalk. Some cars pass by him, and their shadow can be seen and they can be heard whizzing by him. This is all he is doing as he does the following voice over...

    GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I think I'm going to pass that decision up. I hope that I forget more and more about the pain of my previous life, as I steadily trek forward. To tell you the truth, I hate the cops, I hate being afraid of arrested for sleeping, I hate going to jail, I hate having to shoplift for food, I fucking hate it all.... Fuck.... I hate them all so much, that if I could have family, lovers and brothers, justice and truth, without it, I would grab it in a second. But life never gave me those cards. The moment to grasp that sort of life, it never came to me. It was a preteen wetdream that made me feel special and like a freak at the same time. Maybe we just all belong to the generation of the unsatisfied. Nothing will do for us. We want to be able to have sex at age 13 and still be proud of it. We want to be without an attachment in the world, and still without fear. We want to fight the good fight. A generation of the unsatisfied... it might make us feel a little bit more united, if we didn't know that our activities were commonplace since the dawn of civilization. Maybe it is the longing of every human being, to be free and liberated from everything, from the constant torments and howls of what the media and government call civilized life. Our emotions placed us in the middle of a battlefield. Politics. Society. Religion. Fuck it all... We all knew what mattered, and we would never fucking forget it. You ask me where I stand in this battle, and I won't hesitate to answer you. I think I'm gonna keep on the journey, and see what's waiting for me a little down the path. I think... I'll keep traveling Nothing but a gutter punk with not a thing to lose. I hope the world is ready for me.

    As Gunner completes the previous voice over, the camera moves up, and it shows that Gunner is holding his thumb out on a rather desolate stretch of road, on the bare crusty edge of town. As the camera makes up to the back of his head, he turns back, to a look for a fleeting second, and then looks forward, continually marching. The song, "We Did It All For Don" by Against Me! begins playing. Several cars pass him, and then finally one car stops and gives him a lift. The camera fades to black. The credits roll...

    As the credits are rolling, a series of pictures with captions are shown...

    A picture of a 12 year old boy sleeping on his desk in school, with a paper on his desk which reads "D-" and "Test." The caption reads: "Kevin, age 12."

    A picture of a 9 year old girl on the side of the street in suburbia, holding a gerbil in her hand. The caption reads, "Rat, age 9."

    A picture of a 14 year old male, in his bedroom in suburbia, writing poetry on a notebook. The caption reads, "Gunner, age 14."

    A picture of an 11 year old male, standing on the roof, while his father is on the ground holding a belt. The caption reads, "Spike, age 11."

    A picture of a 9 year old girl sitting on a dumpster, wearing worn out sneakers, jeans, a t shirt, and a sweatshirt wrapped around her waist, at nighttime (2 AM-ish). The caption reads, "Freak, age 9."

    A picture of a baby in a cardboard box with blankets, on the doorstep of a house in suburbia. The caption reads, "Sweep, age 1."

    A picture of a 13 year old male in a tree house, just thoughtfully looking out into the sky. The caption reads, "Hey Kid, age 13."

    A picture of an 8 year old boy sitting in cardboard box, which has a blanket thoughtlessly tucked away in the corner, while he is playing with two GI joes. The caption reads, "Tank, age 8."

    A picture of a girl in suburbia, at nighttime, tucked away under her covers in her bedroom. The caption reads, "Rachel, age 14."

    A picture of a 12 year old kid in a school cafeteria, with a white t shirt on that has sharpy written on it with the word, "Freedom." The caption reads, "Danny, age 12."

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