Chapter 1

    Chapter 2

    Chapter 3

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 8

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 12

    Chapter 13

    Chapter 14

    Chapter 15

    Chapter 16

    Chapter 17

    Chapter 18

    Chapter 19

    Chapter 20

    Chapter 21

    Chapter 22

    Chapter 23

    Chapter 24

    Chapter 25

    Chapter 26

    Chapter 27

    Chapter 28

    Chapter 29

    Chapter 30

    Chapter 31

    Chapter 32

    Chapter 33

    Chapter 34

    Chapter 35

    Chapter 36

    Chapter 37

    Appendix — Soundtrack

Chapter 1

I dedicate this story, to every author who used literature as a method of advancing social reforms and political revolutions. They should all be named, or none, because it is every one of them that has managed to inspire the good character of mankind.

A black screen, and the following words appear in the center: “Every day was a battle in the war of survival. We never let them have one inch without giving them a black eye and a bruised face. It was still a struggle, though, no matter how hard we fought.” Ten seconds and then it turns all black, and the camera goes to the first scene...

A small store in the inner city — night time.

Gunner, wearing tattered pants that end at his mid shin with 14 eyelet boots and a black trench coat, is examining the products on the shelf, trying not to look suspicious. He takes something big off, looks at at, and puts it back. He moseys along, suspiciously, careless, looking about for eyes now and then as he tries to appear natural. A security guard looks around with weary boredom. Then he walks out of the store and an alarm goes off, and he starts running as the security guard runs after him...

Camera focuses in on Gunner’s face as he turns and runs down the street... The song “Fuck With Fire” by Planes Mistaken for Stars plays. Camera shifts from Gunner’s face to 10 or 20 feet to his back and side, to show him running from a security guard.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I’ve been running all my life.

Gunner runs passed a mounted cop who takes notice to Gunner, but does nothing, until the security guard appears and yells, “Get him!” The mounted officer turns and starts through scattered crowds of people after Gunner. Gunner gets to an alley that’s blocked off by police barricades. He puts his hand on the railing and jumps over, still running. The mounted officer tries to go around the following block to cut off Gunner.

Camera on the ground, looking up as Gunner runs through the alley and inadvertently kicks an empty beer can...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Everyday is just another struggle. You make it or you don’t.

Gunner avoids the mounted officer and the security guard by zig-zagging through the different blocks of the city. He rushes through crowds of people, as they make remarks, “Someone’s in a hurry,” and, “Hey, watch it!” He ducks into a small alley between two houses about 5 feet wide. The houses are run down, old, many of them boarded up, and those that aren’t have metal bars to protect the doors and windows. The mounted cop runs down the street, and stops in the middle, looking around. Gunner stands in the alley, his back against the wall of one of the buildings, as he watches the mounted cop. Only a small imprint of Gunner can be seen in the extreme darkness of the alley, as he is panting heavily. The horse lets out a hiss, and the cop leaves.

POPS: You lost, sonny?

Pops, an obviously homeless, old, black man confined to a wheel chair, was already in the alley, not to Gunner’s notice.

GUNNER: Holy fuck, Pops. You scared the shit out of me.

Gunner, still panting, pats Pops on the shoulder.

GUNNER: You doing all right, Pops?

POPS: Ha, there’s never a day I’m not.

Gunner pulls out a bag of almonds from his trench coat inside and holds it to Pops’ chest, as Pops grabs it.

GUNNER: Here, Pops. Have some dinner.

Gunner already starts down the alley as Pops looks back to say something...

POPS: Thanks, Gunner.

Gunner travels to the back of one of the houses and knocks on the door in a specific pattern and yells “oi!” A small voice whispers, “Who is it?”

GUNNER: It’s me, Gunner.

An older, black woman (Tiff) opens the door. She hurriedly rushes him in.

TIFF: Come in! Come in!

Gunner walks in and collapses on one of the sofa chairs, missing its cushions and pillows. Tiff rushes to put the barricade back on the door. The floor has scattered papers about it in this back room. Gunner is still catching his breath.

TIFF: What’s happenin’, baby?

GUNNER: I bring gifts. (said with a smile)

Gunner pulls out a bottle of champagne from the inside of his trench coat and hands it over to Tiff. She gives him a wide smile. Gunner finally catches his breath.

GUNNER: Anyone else here?

TIFF: See for yourself.

Gunner heads up the stair case, passing the living room, which is completely full of garbage. Newspapers, plastic from wrappings, beer bottles, soda bottles, hard liquor bottles, tin cans, some tattered clothing, a tire, across the area. He heads up stairs, yelling out “OI!” And hears a group of people yelling out “OI!” Camera focuses on his face for a few seconds as he smiles and goes into the bedroom.

GUNNER: Almost got caught by the police again.

KEVIN (with a smile): Who won?

Gunner smiles and pulls out a bottle of vodka from his trench coat.

GUNNER: Who wants to toast?

SPIKE: To us, the most miserable group of squatters that ever lived!

FREAK (almost agitated, but lovingly): Now give it an OI OI, you fucking bastards.

LILY and KEVIN: Oi oi!

Gunner opens the bottle of vodka and passes it to Lily. Lily takes the bottle and pours some in the mouth of Kevin, whose head is in her lap, as he lays down and she sits up. The camera is just on Kevin, and female hands (with a lot of rings and some ornate tattoos) pouring the bottle into his mouth. He takes several gulps of vodka and then chokes a little on it, his tolerance for the burn having been reached at that point. The words “Kevin” appear at the bottom of the screen. For two seconds, the camera is looking at his mugshot and wrap sheet. He has various charges: Criminal Trespassing, Petty Theft, Assault, Battery, Breaking an Entering. Then the camera goes back to looking at Kevin. He looks up adoringly at Lily, who is still out of camera view. Then the camera moves up to Lily as she looks down on her lover, lovingly. She takes a swing of the vodka as the word “Lily” appears at the top right of the screen. Quickly, for two seconds, the camera (moving and spinning slowly) looks at her mug shot and wrap sheet, and for two seconds again, looking at her laying down on the floor of her cell (this part of the film fast forwarded) as she lifts her hand, scratches her arm, and places her hand back on the floor again. The camera then goes back to her face in the squat. She passes the vodka to Kevin, who is sitting on an empty milk crate, leaning and hunched over a little. He takes the bottle, takes a swig, stops, takes a breather, another swig, stop, breather, and another final swig. During his first swig, for two seconds, the camera cuts to him standing alone in a park, holding a sign (downwards, not up in the air) that says “Fuck Your Laws” in bold red letters, and he has a look of apathy. He is outfitted in a leather jacket with a hundred studs and ten patches, as well as a mohawk. At his second swig, the word “Kevin” appears at the bottom center of the screen. After the third swig, a look of disgust is on his face as he turns to his side and holds out the bottle to Freak, as she looks up from sewing and takes it. She takes on big swig on the bottle and once complete, shakes her head really fast. While swigging, the word “Freak” appears at the top left of the screen. As she shakes her head, the camera cuts to her curled up in a ball on the roof top of a department store at night time naked, for two seconds, shivering, and then for two seconds, the camera scrolling left to right of a newspaper article with the headline, “Naked homeless person found on rooftop.” Then it cuts back to the squat, as she stop shaking her hand, looks up to Gunner, and hands him the bottle of vodka. As Gunner looks at the bottle of vodka, the camera cuts to a convenience store security camera watching him, and then the main camera zooms in and sees him pocket something. Then back to the squat, looking at Gunner, as the word “Gunner” appears at the bottom left of the screen, he takes one big swig and kills the bottle.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s all one big happy family.

Credits roll over mugshots, newspaper clippings, security camera footage, or just scenes where gutter punks are. For mugshots, the haircuts are: spiked all over, mohawk (spiked and then let down), skinhead, devil lock, shaved all over except the back. Some have tattoos: a ban sign over a Nazi Swastika on the neck or chest, “Crass,” “Fuck the Law,” a squatter symbol, an anarchy symbol. For outfits: leather jackets, shirtless, tattered clothing altogether, lots of studs. For piercings: eyebrow, nostril, nose top, lip. This is at least descriptions of those in the mugshots. For newspaper clipping, it will be more varied. One headline reads, “Gutter Punk Season!” The pictures in the newspapers are gutter punks on the sidewalk with above mentioned physical traits. Other headlines directly involving gutter punks read, “Cop Assaulted by Gutter Punks” — “Gutter Punks Strong Arm Convenience Store.” And then indirectly involving Gutter Punks, “Homelessness of the Youth on the Rise” — “Are your children in bed at night or on the streets?” — “Unemployment Soars” — “Where’d the economy go?” — “Spare change? Change your life, human waste!” For security camera footage, in one scene, five gutter punks walk into a convenience store, each of them grabbing as much hard liquor as they can hold, and just walking out, while the one security guard looks phased. Another with another convenience store, where two gutter punks walk in and the manager comes and yells at them, telling them to go away; one goes away, walking out the door, while the other punches the manager in the face, then running. Finally, one with a different convenience store, where one gutter punk comes running into the store, and disappears around the shelves out of sight, then another gutter punk comes in and disappears behind the same shelves, then the first gutter punk comes running out, closely followed by the second (playing tag). One more, of someone’s back (a leather jacket back with studs) being smashed against a store window, on security footage. For photos of just gutter punks, they’re on the sidewalk spanging (“spare change?”), climbing in through windows in the ghetto, walking down the street in a pack (carrying batons or chains casually), two gutter punks with their torsos in a dumpster while their legs stick out over the side (camera only shows their back sides), and then those same two gutter punks completely inside the dumpster right side up, one of them holding a fog horn that has a McDonald’s sandwich wrapper on it (he found it in the dumpster), and finally, as the last scene in the credits, the gang (Gunner, Kevin, Lily, Spike, and Freak) sitting on some benches outside of a convenience store, just hanging out. Slowly, the photograph becomes real and begins the acting in the movie...

Chapter 2

Gunner and Spike are talking while Freak, Lily, and Kevin talk, Kevin leaning against the store wall.

GUNNER: What the fuck, man...

SPIKE: Hhhmmmm?

GUNNER: Look at that shit. That guy’s driving a fucking Mercedes.

A non-homeless person passes by.

SPIKE: Spare any change, ma’am?

She ignores him.

GUNNER: He probably got a deal from his brother at the dealership, who works 4 hour days sharpening pencils, so he’ll have something to write a convincing letter to his wife that he’s not really going to fuck his secretary on the next business trip to Cancun — of course, he doesn’t say anything about...

Another non-homeless person passes by.

SPIKE: Spare any change, sir?

MAN: Get a job.

SPIKE: Thank you, any way.

GUNNER: Of course, he doesn’t say anything about how the Mexican countryside was ravaged by American commercialism and how they struggle using ancient technology to make rice grow out of the ground. And nobody says anything about...

Another non-homeless person passes by with a dog.

SPIKE: Aaaawwww, cute puppy... Nice dog.

Spike pets the dog and the person keeps walking.

GUNNER: How come you didn’t ask?

SPIKE: Well, she had a dog. Like, she has a responsibility.

GUNNER: Anyway... And nobody says anything about the Guatemala factory workers who die from suffocation because their 12 hour days in a poorly-ventilated work place. Fuck.

SPIKE: I know how you feel. I use to work at McDonald’s.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Now, if anyone else said that to me, I’d tear their fucking head off. Anyone who wasn’t a gutter punk, anyway.

Another person walks by with a child, trying to ignore us.

SPIKE: Excuse me, ma’am, can you please spare some change? We’re very poor!

GUNNER: Can you please spare your child? We’re very hungry? I haven’t had anything to eat in 36 hours!

KEVIN: I want some baby-back ribs!

Gunner stands up and starts shouting at her.

GUNNER: Come on! You’re only going to spend it on your seventh martini and you won’t remember it anyway!

FREAK: We’ll spare the head so you can have an open-casket wake!

The woman comes back, somewhat scared. She hands Gunner a half eaten roll of breath mints, as he turns to his friends and starts laughing. He turns back to her and she’s holding out a handful of change.

GUNNER: Thank you very much. (almost apologetic) I wasn’t really going to eat your child. Thank you for this. (she starts walking away by now) Now I can get some crackers or some pretzels to fill up my stomach.

She keeps walking, but turns back to them and yells out faintly, “You do that,” but still somewhat scared. Gunner comes back to the gathering, dropping the change into Spike’s hand. Spike furiously counts it.

SPIKE: All right!

Spike runs into the convenience store.

LILY: I’m glad my baby works hard for his money.

GUNNER: Well, it’s not like he’s a mugger or car thief.

Lily (as she wraps her arms around Gunner and puts her head on his chest): He’s up for a promotion next month.

GUNNER: He’ll probably have to sleep with his boss for that.

Lily (completely calmly): Then I’ll cut off his dick, shove it up her twat, and duct tape it shut.

GUNNER (in an affectionate tone and caressing her hair): Aw, you’re so cute.

Spike comes running out of the store with a plastic bag that has a bottle in it. As he stands in front of the bench, Lily lets go of Gunner and wraps her arms around Spike as he sits down (he doesn’t care that they hug like that).

SPIKE: Everyone get ready to feast.

He pulls out a bottle of mouthwash, opens it, and starts chugging it.

SPIKE: Aaahhhh, now that’s the shit.

He pours some in the mouth of Lily and then passes it to Gunner.

GUNNER (laughing): Get that nasty fucking shit out of my face.

SPIKE: Hey, man. Fifteen percent alcohol.

KEVIN (smiling): By volume.

Spike passes it to Kevin who chugs a little. He then gives it to Freak. She chugs it a lot, shaking her head once she finished. Then she passed it back to Spike, who went back to swigging it.

FREAK: I use to use mouthwash, like a normal yuppy. But that’s when I was a human being.

GUNNER (turning from Freak to Spike): Yeah, anyway...

Freak grabs Gunner, with one hand on each side of his face and pulls him closer to her. She kisses him passionately as they both close eyes. Then she stops and looks at him.

FREAK: You ever blow me off again, honey, and I’ll fucking kill you.

Gunner smiles as she was going to go back to lean back against the bench, but then he put his hands around her head and pulls her close to him, kissing her again.

GUNNER: You shouldn’t threaten me. Violence gets me hot.

She laughs a little and leans back.

KEVIN: She’s a hot number, ain’t she.

Kevin looks on to the ground and sees a broken nail file, releasing a high pitched, quick “ooo,” and he picks it up and begins filing his nails.

SPIKE (looking to Gunner): I will eternally detest your miserable soul, if you don’t take a shwill of this mouth wash.

Before he can respond, Spike takes a quick shwill himself.

GUNNER: Man, that shit is fucking nasty. Don’t you guys have respect?

SPIKE, Lily, and FREAK: Drink... Drink... Drink...

GUNNER (looking to Kevin): Kevin, don’t you... What the fuck are you doing?

KEVIN: Filing my nails.

SPIKE: Quit stalling! (long burp) And chug!

GUNNER: Give me the fucking mouth wash....

Gunner takes it and begins to chug it, but then stops and spits out a small out, obviously horribly disgusted.

Everyone cheers a little.

SPIKE: For he was a jolly good fellow...

GUNNER: Man, as I said, that shit is fucking disgusting...

LILY: Though tingly and refreshing.

GUNNER (looking back to Kevin, who had stopped filing his nails and had his hands in his pocket): Hey, Kevin, what’s with the... where’d the nail file go?

KEVIN: I ditched it. It became boring, so fast.

GUNNER: A life of disappointment, huh?

KEVIN: As usual, yes.

FREAK: Life is disappointed in me.

A yuppy passes by.

FREAK: Just like this fuck... Hey, yuppy! Can you spare some change? How about you give me a dollar, anyway... Or take off that fucking Abercrombie shirt and give it to me before I call Satan to make your stocks plummet!

LILY: Thanks for your time, anyway!

A yuppy couple passes by.

KEVIN: Hi, I’m with the Salvation Army. Your small donation of spare change will help feed these kids...

GUNNER: I appreciate the tact of your tone.

KEVIN (smiling): Yeah, I thought it was pretty good, too.

The couple stops, and the woman comes back, giving Kevin a dollar. Everyone in the group, except freak, says “thank you,” or “much appreciated.” The woman smiles and is back on her way.

Kevin disappears into the store.

Another person walks by.

SPIKE: Excuse me, sir. Spare a cigarette?

The person (a non-yuppy, non-homeless) stops and gives Spike the rest of her current cigarette.

SPIKE: Thank you!

The cigarette is then passed around the whole group.

Another yuppy passes by.

LILY: Can you please spare some change?

YUPPY: How about you change your fucking life.

GUNNER: Fucking cunt! Come back here and cover my face in your saliva, so you can know I taste like trash, too.

SPIKE (sympathetically): It’s a war every day, friend.

FREAK: (looking down, agitated) War... Die for your leader who you didn’t vote for anyway, war. (looking up to the others) Let me get the next one.

Two business men talking to each other pass by.

FREAK: Excuse me, kind sirs, we’re very hungry and have nothing to eat.

They ignore her.

GUNNER: Don’t you know you’re fucking garbage, Freak! They won’t even look at you! You don’t exist!

FREAK: (pretending to cry with her face in her palm) I’m nothing to them!

The two business men stop and look at the scene created.

GUNNER: You see what you did to this poor girl. (Gunner wraps his arms around her) To you, she doesn’t even exist.

FREAK: (stops crying) Oh, yeah? (she spits on one of them and they both scurry away fast)

Kevin comes out of the story with a package of jolly ranchers.

KEVIN: Now this is good shit. Here, you guys have some...

SPIKE (over dramatic): No! Must save.... valuable.... stomach space... for only... alcoholic items!

GUNNER: Yeah, I’ll take one. (he does)

Queen comes up...

QUEEN: Hi, everyone.

She’s decently well dressed, clean, with makeup.

KEVIN: Eh, hi, Queen... I’d share my jolly ranchers with you, but queens don’t eat jolly ranchers.

QUEEN: Shut up, my name is Beth.

KEVIN: Eat shit.

QUEEN (shrugging off the last comment): I got some job listings if you guys...

Freak starts crying with her face in her palm again.

GUNNER (putting his arms around Freak): You see what you do to my family? Now she’s gonna be like this all day. You make things very stressful.

SPIKE: Covey kids are dead kids. Get the fuck out of here.

LILY: You tell ‘em, shnookums.

KEVIN: Do you get any satisfaction at staying at a homeless shelter?

QUEEN: Okay, I’m going to leave these job listings on the ground here and leave.

FREAK: (looking up from crying) Where will you be when we find the rotting corpse of your soul?

GUNNER: (leaning in closer to Queen) She’s right, ya’ know.

QUEEN: Well, I’m outta here. Bye...

She leaves, leaving the job listings underneath a rock, so it wouldn’t blow away.

KEVIN: Let me see this fucking shit. Nice, nice... Cleaning toilet bowls, 3 hours a day, minimum wage.

GUNNER: Read the good ones, man, the good ones.

KEVIN: I just did. And that’s under ‘high school education requirement.’

Everyone moans.

FREAK: I was expelled for bringing a switchblade in for show and tell. (frowning) I only got to open it once.

GUNNER: Awww, did they give it back, at least?

Freak shakes her head sullenly.

A punk comes walking up.

KEVIN: Hey, Paully... How’s the fucking house?

PAUL: It’s fine. Got a bed and food.

GUNNER (smiling): You fucking shameless housey.

PAUL: Hey, if I was ashamed of it, then you’d beat the shit out of me every time you saw me.

SPIKE: That’s true. Here, kill this mouth wash.

He does.

PAUL: Gonna go spange and buy some burgers.

LILY: Why spange? Don’t you work at Hot Topic and then spend your paycheck at the mall every weekend?

KEVIN: Sssshhhh.... His girlfriend doesn’t know he works at such an exotic place.

PAUL: Fuck you.

SPIKE: And if you weren’t so agro, I’d beat the fuck out of you... for being a non-agro punk.

LILY: He would, too.

GUNNER: He’s still a housey.

PAUL: And if any of you need a place to sleep, feel free to knock on my door.

KEVIN: Thanks, motherfucker.

FREAK: Here comes a fucking rat!

A female gutter punk walks up. Her name is Rat.

RAT: Hey, beautiful.

GUNNER (smiling): Hey, bitch.

They hug and kiss.

GUNNER: We had some mouth wash, but the fucking useless housey killed it.

He kisses her again. She has long hair, but most of her head is shaved, except for those few spots of length. She is a gutter punk.

RAT: Don’t worry, handsome... I’m glad to see you. Want to go to the spot?

GUNNER: Hell yeah.

They walk off together.

GUNNER (a bit way now): Later, guys! I’ll see you at the squat!

SPIKE: Later, you fucking bastard!

FREAK: Save some loving for me! I’ll show you the power of sanctified snatch!

KEVIN: Kill all the yuppies you see!

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Yeah, so we headed over to our spot... It was where we went when we wanted to be alone. And in this cold dark world of ours, everyone needs to have a spot like that. Even if they are without a lover.

The camera fades away from them walking away from the gang to them together on a roof top, as the sun sets in the background. They kiss for a moment, and then admire each other. Gunner takes over Rat’s spiked, studded, neck collar. Once done, he kisses her neck.

GUNNER (with an affectionate smile): So, how was your day?

Rat shrugs and kisses Gunner on the neck, then moves back, looking down, and looks up at him with a similarly affectionate smile.

RAT: Mmmmm, so-so. Some guy downtown tried to touch me, but I beat the fuck out of him. See?

Rat pulls out a pair of brass knuckles from her pocket with blood on it.

GUNNER: You’re so beautiful. (admiring her) I...

RAT: (putting her finger over his mouth) Ssshhhhhh... Don’t speak it to me. Show it to me.

Gunner bites Rat’s neck, and the camera moves up towards the sunset. The camera rests there.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: She was sixteen years old, three years younger than me, but that didn’t matter to us. I know guys who are older and fuck kids much younger than sixteen. It doesn’t bother me. It never bothered any of us. But if someone tried to rape someone, they got their ass beat. I felt like I loved Rat. We weren’t monogamous. Monogamy was for fucking yuppies and cast iron business men who couldn’t spell the word. Besides, monogamy on the streets led to way too much drama. Some of us loved it. Others hated it. I couldn’t bear to stand it. These are the days we were gutter punks. I’ll forget most of them because I was drunk all the time, like everyone else, but I won’t forget what we found here.

Chapter 3


With the camera looking at the sun, everything slowly darkens as it becomes night... The camera then brings them to downtown, where Lily and Spike are walking down the street. Spike is holding a bottle of Jagermeister, while both of them can barely stand up straight, and are leaning on each other for support. Kevin is carrying a six pack of tall cans underneath his arm, drinking one of them. Freak is drinking one of the tall cans. A tall, big gutter punk, aged 35, named Tank, is drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels and walking side by side with the couple of Spike and Lily. Gunner is walking drinking a tall can and Rat is next to him, drinking from a plastic cup with tequila in it.

TANK: Ah, nice warm Jack Daniels... It’s almost like it’s going directly into my veins.

KEVIN: You want a cold beer instead?

TANK: Nah, beer doesn’t do anything to me, except make me piss a lot.

Lily (holding Spike and talking to him): You know what I love about you?

SPIKE: I’m a nice guy?

LILY: Perfect.

Spike kisses her on the head.

TANK: Man, I got in a fight with this housey a week ago. You know those fights where you keep punching the guy in the face, the throat, and the stomach, and you just... wear yourself out. You took one or two scratches, but you’re just pummeling this guy. And then you stop to take a breather and wonder, why can’t I have a gun surgically implanted into my hand? Why not?

GUNNER: Fucking housies, man. What the fuck... If I wanted to be homeless and eat concrete, alcoholic concrete, I would have no self respect.

Gunner crushes his currently empty beer can and throws it on the ground, producing another from his trench coat.

GUNNER: Fucking housies...

KEVIN: Really, man... At home they drive SUVs and work at Burger King. But then they can think they’re one of us? I mean, it’s one thing if you like this way of life and go with it entirely, but it’s another when you still live in a house and try to hang out with us. And no, I don’t want your fucking cheap liquor, or your fucking hard luck story.

TANK: I would take cheap liquor if it means I have to hear someone talk. Like fifteen seconds of moaning and complaining per shot of vodka.

SPIKE: Dude, to get drunk, that’s like an hour and a half.

GUNNER: Come on, Tank’s a lightweight. That’s like two shots and he hits the floor.

TANK (smiling, jokingly): Fuck you, man. Watch this.

They all stop and watch as Tank drinks the rest of his big bottle of whiskey.

TANK: Take that, bitch.

Tank hands the bottle to Spike.

KEVIN: Aawwwww, isn’t that nice... it was personalized with his saliva.

FREAK: I hate housies as much as anyone else. But I would give my clothes to go home with one and fuck his brains out.

GUNNER: You wouldn’t actually sleep on his floor, would you!?

FREAK: No, I’d leave through the window and find the nearest dumpster to sleep in.

GUNNER: Whew, sometimes my faith in you as a squatter blinks. Don’t get my heart going now.

Rat kills the plastic cup she was drinking from, crushes it, and throws it on the ground. She puts her hand on Gunner’s chest with her eyes lowered and starts rubbing him. He puts his head closer to hers. Then she reaches into his coat and pulls out a tall can of beer.

GUNNER: Awww, you ripped my heart out... or, the beer that would be going through my heart.... and then through my bladder.

RAT: Mmmmmm, still cold.

GUNNER: Strange, this trench coat was actually used as a cooler once.

RAT: Still is.

GUNNER: That’s very true.

They kiss. And then she takes a shwill from her drink.

FREAK: You two are cute.

Freak turns around and makes out with Rat for a five second interval.

GUNNER: Hey now, let’s keep this party moving! Onward!

TANK: What is our destination, captain!

GUNNER: To boldly go.... to the liquor store.

SPIKE: Ar ar! Bring us there, second in command!

KEVIN (sarcastically): The ship can’t go much further! We need to release cargo!

Kevin walks into the bushes where he begins to pee.

GUNNER: Hey, is he emptying out his beer cans?

TANK: Something like that.

Kevin walks back zipping up, still holding the six pack under his arm, which is now a two pack.

FREAK: Hey, give me one of those beers.

Kevin hands her one. And opens it for her, as it foams over.

KEVIN: It’s only the gentlemanly thing to do, to open a beer can for a woman, regardless if it’s foaming over.

FREAK: Awww, your getting it all over my arm...

Kevin begins the chug the last beer, while some beer spatters across him.

KEVIN: Hey, what the fuck!

Kevin whips his can of beer at Freak, not letting go of the can, as beer comes flying out at her. The two fight this way for a little while.

RAT: One time in Philadelphia, we were walking down the street drinking, just like this...

LILY: And then out came the AA meeting. Muwhahahahahaa.... (Spike joins her in muwhahahaha)

RAT: I have no memory of what happened between, but next thing I remember, we were all skinny dipping in this lake.

TANK: I remember that happened to me once. Except it was a public bathroom sink, not a lake.

KEVIN (laughing): Oh, yeah! I remember that!

SPIKE: Nah, wasn’t that at the water fountain?

TANK: I don’t remember that.

SPIKE: Damn, who was that I was with....

LILY: Wait, where the hell are we headed again?

GUNNER: I ‘unno... I think we’re lost.

TANK: Lost and drunk in downtown! Oh, the terror!

RAT (whispering): Gunner, come with me...

GUNNER: Anything you say...

They kiss as they fall together off the sidewalk onto the grass.

KEVIN: We’ll fucking see you guys later.

FREAK: Cum once for me, Gunner... or Rat. If you think about me, I’ll feel it.

RAT (smiling and whispering to Gunner): She’s a fucking weirdo.

GUNNER: Ah, correction. A freak.

Chapter 4

The group (Spike, Lily, Tank, Kevin, and Freak) move on down the street. The camera stays with Gunner and Rat.

RAT: Come on, follow me...

GUNNER: All right, but we’re working on a limited alcohol supply here.

Rat takes gunner through some bushes, and over some fences, and finally arrives at a cemetery. The camera focuses on the face of Rat, while in the background, you can see Gunner jumping the fence (obviously drunk). The wind blows in her face, as leaves blow pass her. Her eyes look around. Everything turns bright white and then the camera is focused on Gunner and Rat laying on their backs looking up. Both of their jackets and “accessories” are off.

RAT: The sky is so beautiful at this time of night.

GUNNER: The sky is always beautiful.

RAT: Yeah, but not like this.

Gunner looks to Rat, and strokes her face; she smiles, looks at him, and they both look back to the stars.

GUNNER: The cops arrest us for everything they can get us on. If you’re homeless, technically, it is illegal to fall asleep. Of course, they call it, obstruction of a public passage, or disturbing the peace, or obstruction of the due process of law, or disrespecting a police officer. The way things are... just.... (makes an angry face and looks away)

RAT: What are you trying to say?

GUNNER: Look up tonight, and see the beautiful stars. Enjoy it now, get inspired by it now, because tomorrow, they’ll make it illegal to look up.

Rat smiles, looks to Gunner, and caresses his face; he looks at her, smiles, and they both look back to the sky.

GUNNER: How old were you when you ran away?

RAT: I was 11 years old.

GUNNER: Shit, that’s young. I’ve met a few ten year olds scurrying on the streets. They certainly can’t drink like us, but they still enjoy it... What happened?

RAT: My father would beat my mother up a lot. And one night, I told him to stop. He hit me in the face. His ring cut my cheek and left a scar. It was small, and it passed away by the time I was 14. You can barely notice it now. When I left, I took a plastic bag with a loaf of bread, a butter knife, and some peanut butter. I also took a sweater. God, I was so young, so stupid, so bold.

GUNNER: Are you glad that you ran?

RAT: (long sigh) Yeah, I am. I left a place that would have only been harmful to me. Here I am. A 16 year old female. I’ve been to every major American city, I’ve slept in every dumpster I found. Even if there was three inches of water in there, I’ve slept in dumpsters. Have enough alcohol, enough poison, that I wake up without remembering how I got there, but at least well rested. And now... (another sigh) It just seems, that I’m so far away from those library roof tops, those park benches. I’m a 16 year old girl, and I haven’t heard from or seen my parents in 5 years. If they think I’m dead, it would probably make me feel better.

Gunner pulls out a small bottle of vodka from his trench coat, which is lying by his side.

GUNNER (obviously drunk, but enduring the dissociation of it): Here, take a swig.

RAT: No, no, I don’t want any.

GUNNER: Please?

Rat smiles at Gunner for a minute, and takes a big swig. She gives the bottle to him, and he goes closer to her, and bites her lower lip and slowly pulls on it. He then takes a big swig himself.

GUNNER: Do you miss your family?

RAT: Why? Do you miss yours?

Gunner looks away and then looks back at Rat.

RAT: When did you flee your place of residence?

GUNNER: Well, I was an outcast at my high school. I was 15 years old, and fucking angry. I hated my parents. They disgusted me. I hated my school. It sickened me. They just wanted to keep the system living long and strong. The government lies so you can die. Police brutality is common. The people believe the lies that they are told by the media and their politicians... And it was more than just that. The kids in my classes were assholes. They fucking pissed me off.

Camera focuses in on a class room of some obvious outcast drawing pictures of monsters in his notebook while the teacher is talking. Someone throws a spitball at him and he looks up, and sees a whole bunch of stupid kids all around laughing. “Who the fuck threw that?” he asks, and they all just keep laughing. Camera focuses back on Gunner.

GUNNER: I couldn’t connect with any school kid, or any family member. They all did their job well at making me feel alone in this Universe. So, I left, hoping maybe I would find one or two souls, who didn’t care about the way I looked or where I came from. I left with my first travel brother, Danny. We were young, we were strong, and we were enchanted with the idea that there was some place beyond the sun set, where there were people just like us. I just never imagined it would be something like this. If I didn’t find this place, the streets, I probably would have killed myself... But here I am. I’m now a drunk and a violent person. I remember my very first fight. I was drunk as fuck, feeling depressed about life, some motherfucker tried to jack my CD player, and I fucking punched him in the face. He fell back, and I punched him again, and when he hit the ground, I kept kicking him, again and again.

RAT: I remember my first fight. Some guy tried to grab me, so I kicked him in the stomach. He fell over while his girlfriend jumped on my back, like a bitch.

The camera focuses on the fight Rat has while she does the voice over. The camera shows some girl jumping Rat from behind.

RAT, VOICE OVER: She was on my back, so I put my thumb in her eye.

The camera shows Rat doing just that.

RAT, VOICE OVER: She fell off, so I kept kicking her.

The camera shows Rat doing just that, as blood starts to spurt out. The camera then goes back to Rat in the cemetery.

RAT: What’s your real name?

GUNNER: Ha, what do you need that for?

RAT: I’m just curious.

GUNNER: It’s Taylor.

RAT: Ha, I can see why you didn’t want to give it... So, how did you get the name Gunner?

GUNNER: I was stealing shit from a convenience store with Danny. This was back when I was 16.

Camera shows Gunner walking out of the store with Danny. A security guard comes out.

SECURITY GUARD: Excuse me, sirs.... I need you both to step inside.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: So, I told the guard to...

GUNNER: Fuck off, before my boot has a conversation with your face.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: The crazy fucker. I wouldn’t ever expect it, but he says...

SECURITY GUARD: Sorry to hear that. But I’ll have to deal with it.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: He pulls out a gun and shoots twice at me.

Camera shows Gunner running from two shots as the guard chases him a short distance. Then the camera goes back to the cemetery.

GUNNER: He missed, thankfully, but at least we got the liquor we wanted. Danny told everyone the story, and he wasn’t one to exaggerate, and everyone just started to call me Gunner. The name stuck. Jesus Christ... I haven’t seen Danny since I was 16. We got attached to different people and just drifted apart, as I traveled with one gang to other cities and he traveled with another to others. And what about you? Your real name?

RAT: It’s Elizabeth Carson. But don’t tell anyone. The cops can’t know my real name.

GUNNER: Why not?

RAT: Come on, stupid. I’m 16 years old. You know what happens when cops find a minor? First, you serve whatever time for your current sentence, then you get shipped out in a crate to your parents, the last people I would want to see.

GUNNER: Understood. How’d you get the name Rat?

RAT: Well, I was at this squat, and I was drunk and sleepy. So I crash out on the ground.

Camera shows Rat in the squat asleep, as a rat crawls over her.

RAT, VOICE OVER: This fucking huge rat crawls over me, and I didn’t even wake up. Some other kid saw it crawl on me. And he saw two others crawl on me. He didn’t do anything, and I slept.

Camera returns to the two in the graveyard.

RAT: Next morning, I heard about it, and my name has been Rat ever since.

Gunner kisses Rat on the neck and gets closer to her, resting on his side and not on his back.

GUNNER: I’m sorry about your parents... You deserved better. I think you’re sweet and beautiful. I love to be around you.

She kisses him on the nose. The screen slowly fades to white as it shows the two walking down the street, each drinking a tall can of beer. Gunner grabs her hand and pulls her closer, kissing her on the lips, spilling a little beer, in that he is very drunk.

Chapter 5

GUNNER: Where the fuck are we going?

RAT: Don’t worry, I know. You’re too drunk to know.

GUNNER: Punk in drublic!!!

Rat holds Gunner as she takes him to the feeding. It’s a long line of homeless men. About 1/4th of them are Gutter Punks and the rest are homebums. The homebums are mostly dressed in sweat pants and sweat shirts, most of them manged. They are all standing in a line for free food.

GUNNER: All right! The feeding!

RAT: Yes, handsome, we’re at the feeding.

TANK: Oi oi, you punks! Over here!

Rat and Gunner head over to the middle of the line, where Tank, Lily and Spike, and Freak and Kevin are at.

GUNNER: Don’t mind if we come in here, do ya’? Hehe...

FREAK: Give me a beer!

Gunner reaches into his coat and hands her a small, plastic bottle of vodka.

GUNNER: It’s all I got.

Freak chugs a little of it, shakes her head, and passes it on to the others.

SPIKE: Hey, asshole... We fucking missed ya’.

LILY: But now we’re all here, like a family, at the feeding.

TANK: Not me. I don’t actually take the food here. In fact, I try to avoid this place. I am only hanging out with my brothers and sisters here.

KEVIN: Christ... I’m drunk as a fucking punk.

TANK: Yeah, I let him have a sip of my whiskey and now he’s all outta order.

KEVIN: Fuck you, man...

TANK: Ha, I’m just playing with you, bro’....

SPIKE: I hope they have chicken tonight. I’m sick of their rice and random vegetable shit.

RAT: You’ll be lucky to get their meat loaf.

LILY: I think it’s chicken tonight... I mean, they had rice and beans or broccoli shit for several nights in a row.

KEVIN: I’m Freegan, so whatever they have, they have. I’ll eat it if they’re giving it away.

GUNNER: You’re a very noble motherfucker.

TANK: What the fuck are you, Kevin?

KEVIN: I’m a Freegan. If I dumpster dive meat or dairy products, or if I’m given them, I’ll eat them. But I won’t buy them, because that would support them.

TANK: Ah, the Peace Punk Animal Rights thing... That’s cool, I respect that. (Tank takes another shwill of his whiskey)

SPIKE: Gunner, put your hands in the air!

Gunner and Spike charge each other and their arms lock; after a little bit of struggle, they tip over. (They’re playing.)

TANK: Okay, assholes, cut the shit right now.

Tank pulls them apart.

TANK: If they think you’re serious, the people feeding will leave.

GUNNER: Aaaawwww... Or probably get arrested.

The camera slowly drifts into the air showing, the whole line of people getting hot food.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: There are always good people in the world. And if there weren’t, we probably wouldn’t be able to eat. Or get drunk. The reasons why we are out here vary. Some choose to be out here. They like the thrill and adventure. Some are throw aways, who nobody wanted. Either fired from their job, thrown out by their land lord, or treated like shit by their parents. I remember arguing with a yuppy. I told them I ran away a year and a half ago. He told me, “Oh, so you’re not really homeless...” How the fuck was I supposed to respond to that, without kicking her in the head? Stupid bitch. I couldn’t have endured a meaningless life with abusive parents. For some of these kids, it just grew too lonely in Suburbia, with upper working class moms and dads, never enough drugs. For others, it’s a long, long life battle, fighting homelessness. One month they’re on the streets of San Francisco, next month they have an apartment in Queens. A year later and they’re kicking tin cans around Houston, looking for a squat with a crowbar, and the next week, they finally hitched a ride to New Orleans. Trying to get a job is hard, because the first thing they see is a homeless gutter punk who wants to cause trouble. And they’re right. If I was a boss, no fucking way would I hire a gutter punk, and being the gutter punk I am, no fucking way would I choose to have a boss.

The camera focuses on the gang (Kevin, Lily, Spike, Freak, and Gunner) with Tank and Rat walking down the street, Tank still drinking, the rest eating pasta from paper plates.

SPIKE: Tank, don’t you think you should eat something?

TANK: Why? It’s only food.

Spike holds the plate up to Tank’s face as he misses with the whiskey bottle, spilling some alcohol on the ground. Kevin and Gunner point to the spilled alcohol and...

KEVIN and GUNNER: Alcohol abuse!!

TANK: Ah, well, mates... It’s close to twelve. I’m gonna go walk around town aimlessly, maybe spange a little.

RAT: Good luck. You smell like alcohol so much, I wouldn’t give you my last dime if I was a millionaire yuppy.

TANK: If you were a millionaire yuppy passing me by when I was drunk, you wouldn’t have a choice. (smile)

GUNNER: Take care, Tank. Get ‘em in the groin once for me.

Gunner and Tank shake hands.

RAT: See you, Tank.

Rat and Tank hug.

TANK: Be safe, Rat.

KEVIN: Later, bro.

Tank and Kevin shake hands.

FREAK: I’ll see you in hell on Tuesday.

Freak and Tank collide together with their torsos.

While Lily is still holding on to Spike, they keep walking. Spike holds up his hand, to sort of signify a good bye without waving, yelling out, “Oi oi!” Tank heads off into the distance, back into the depths of a town that doesn’t want him any more and never wanted him. The group keeps moving on.

Chapter 6

FREAK: You know what I believe?

SPIKE: That you’re god?

FREAK: I think that the police have sex with the dead bodies they recover.

GUNNER: And what would lead you to believe something so heinous about our best in blue?

FREAK: You see over there, in the park? I found sperm on the park benches.

GUNNER: What? Shit, I’m not having sex with you any more.

Rat nudges Gunner in the ribs a little hard, playfully.

SPIKE: Pfft, me neither.

Lily does the same to Spike.

FREAK: I’ll show you...

Freak goes off into the park, and sits on one of the benches.

KEVIN: How does the sperm situation look?

FREAK: None here now, but it’s warm. Have a seat. The fire’s of hell burn tonight.

Kevin picks up Freak and seats on the bench, placing her on his lap. They all sit on two benches, except Gunner who is still standing.

RAT: Hey, Gunner... I gotta get going back to the Rage House. I’ll talk to you later.

GUNNER: Aaawww, you won’t be spending the night with us at our luxurious squat? We have... foam mats, and.... milk carton seats?

Rat hugs Gunner and kisses him.

RAT: Good bye, Gunner.

She smiles and walks off.

GUNNER: You have a good one, miss daisy!

She waves good bye, and disappears into the night.

GUNNER: Ah, fucking alcohol! So much fucking alcohol in my system right now, hell yeah. (looking into the distance) What the fuck is that?

A group of house punks come by, Amanda, John, and Igor. They are all clean and washed. Their clothes aren’t grimey. Their typically wear: plaid pants or plaid shirts, suspenders, and shirts that say “Sex Pistols,” or “Sid Vicious,” or “Blink 182.”

AMANDA: So I took the motherfucker, and smashed his fucking face with the fucking bottle!!!

JOHN: That’s right, you sexy fuck magnet! And if you didn’t, I’d beat you to a bloody pulp, and make Igor over here fuck you in the ass!

AMANDA: And that’s why I love you so much.

GUNNER: (pointing to the group as they come within range) How about you all shut the fuck up before I put my boot through your skulls?

IGOR: Aw, come on, man... Let’s drink together.

SPIKE: Why in the fucking hell would we want to drink with garbage like you?

JOHN: We have alcohol.

SPIKE: And my resentment.

FREAK: Fuck housies! Fucking hope they burn in their SUVs!

KEVIN: I like her idea.

JOHN: Well, she sounds like a real bitch.

GUNNER: You better shut the fuck up before I decide to totally fuck up your world.

The group of housies stare at Gunner while he stares back at them pointing to them.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Honestly, I wasn’t really that close with Freak. But she was my family. And there’s a certain bond you have with people when you sleep on the same floor with them, drink the same booze with them. If a tank threatens that, I’ll take them on with my knuckles.

AMANDA: Come on, let’s not drink with these losers.

IGOR: Yeah, losers.

GUNNER: Hey, asshole... When I come into McDonald’s tomorrow morning, I want a large fry and a cheese burger.

JOHN: Fuck you!

John “attempts” to charge Gunner, but Igor and Amanda hold him back. He’s just trying to look like he wants to fight.

JOHN: You’re lucky my friends are here tonight.

Gunner walks up to the group, and pushes Amanda hard off of John, and punches Igor in the stomach. Igor falls to the ground in pain. John just looks at Gunner, not looking like he’s going to charge him. Gunner punches him on the face, breaking his nose and knocking him to the ground. He begins to kick him on the ground.

AMANDA (crying): Hey, get off him! Please! Please get off him!

Freak gets up and Kevin stands up. Igor comes from behind and punches Gunner in the back. Kevin runs over to him, pulls his shirt, and punches him in the neck. Igor leans over like he’s sick, and Kevin knees him in the face. Freak runs over and tackles Amanda, punching and scratching her. As Freak punches the housey on the ground, she grits her teeth and salivates heavily. Lily stands up while Spike goes over. As Kevin kneed Igor in the face, he falls over. Spike then kicks him in the side several times. After enough gutter stomping (about 30 seconds of it), Gunner grabs their liquor (two bottles of wine and a bottle of Jagermeister), they head off. Freak’s hands are covered in blood. They then head back to the squat, all of them together, in the night. Then one of them begins to sing a song...

GUNNER: I lost the confidence, to write a song...

GUNNER and KEVIN: So I found three simple chords and held them together with my wood voice.

GUNNER, KEVIN, SPIKE: On an out of tune guitar, my father gave to me.

GUNNER, KEVIN, SPIKE, FREAK, LILY: I made Elvis, turn in his grave. And Lez Paul kiss my dirty calloused fingers. I made an accident of a song, never made one fucking dollar. A demo tape, to played until it’s broken. They remember it for what it was... That we gave ‘em hell. That we gave ‘em hell. That we gave ‘em hell.... That we gave ‘em hell. That we gave ‘em hell. That we gave ‘em hell.

GUNNER and KEVIN: (rest of song, loud and screaming, “Crime” by Against Me!)

The song begins to play as the camera focuses out of the group. As they walk through the city streets early in the morning, Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Yeah, we fought a lot. We were gutter punks. Nothing less was to be expected. I’m not proud of it. But when you live the way we do, when you suck concrete and eat dirt, you lose all tact for dealing with the world diplomatically. And then some fucker comes up to you, and thinks you should like them, because they watch MTV all day and they think they know what punk really is. Well fuck punk! And fuck every house punk while you’re at it. I’m a gutter punk, but I don’t watch MTV, I don’t sit down to eat dinner with my family every night, and I’m not your goddamn friend. I like Crass and the Dead Kennedys. If you come up to me, thinking that I thought Sid Vicious or the Sex Pistols were some tough guys, or some motherfuckers who found some meaning in this shitty world of ours, then you’re shopping for some facial bruises. People who are so concerned with their image like that deserve to get their asses kicked. In fact, I would pay $40 if I could have a one on one fight with Sid Vicious, when he young and strong. So I could show the world that the heroes of high school “rebels” will still cry when you kick them in the face and spit on them. So fuck it. Fuck punk and fuck your high school trends.

Chapter 7

Spike stands at the door to the squat, all of them cold and huddled in the warmth of their own clothes.

SPIKE: Oi! Tiff, let us in!

Tiff opens the door.

TIFF: Come on, quickly get in, before any one sees.

The camera is outside watching. They all scurry inside and she closes the door. Then Freak comes (who missed her opening the door) and starts banging on the door. The door opens and she jumps inside. The camera then is in the room where they sleep, and it watches as Spike opens the door and collapses on the ground, tired and drunk. The camera then goes to each person in the room and shows them and their activities, before fading out to the next day. It shows Freak, as she marvels at the dried blood on her hands, intrigued, scared, amazed, not sure exactly what she thinks, but she is interested in it. Then it shows Spike and Lily making out. After that it shows Kevin drinking the bottle of wine that they ripped off from the houses. The camera shows him take one shwill, and then look at the bottle, shake it, and throw it, pick up the other, open it, and start drinking it; but then it starts foam and it goes everywhere out of his mouth, and he holds the bottle away. Then the camera moves to Gunner, who is holding a bottle of hard liquor and passed out on the ground. Then it shows a hand with blood dried on it, putting a blanket over him, and gently taking the bottle from his hand. Looking at Gunner underneath the blanket, passed out, the camera fades to white. Then it focuses on the sidewalk, around the park, with Gunner walking around, handing to homeless people food.

GUNNER: Here, take this, it’ll help you out.

Gunner hands a loaf of bread to two home bums on the sidewalk. Tank comes walking up.

TANK: Hey, can you fucking believe it? I asked a guy for a cigarette, and he crosses the street. I ask another guy for a cigarette, and he did the same fucking thing.

GUNNER: Here, man. Have a brick of cheese.

TANK: Nah, I don’t need food.

GUNNER: Sure you do. We all do. Now take it.

TANK: If anyone else shoved their cheese in my face, I would grind their face down.

GUNNER: I know it, brother.

Tank takes the cheese and immediately consumes it.

TANK: I’m gonna spange. I’ll catch you later.

GUNNER: See you, bro’.

Gunner keeps walking, handing out chips and other food items. He runs into his gang. Lily has her arms wrapped around Spike.

KEVIN: Oi oi, street punk!

FREAK: Fuckin’ oi, you cunt.

SPIKE: How goes, Gunner?

GUNNER: Doing all right. Yourself?

SPIKE: Wait... Straight walking, non-slurred speech... are you sober?

KEVIN: Quick; try to walk a straight line so we can see if you really are sober.

GUNNER: Well, it is around eleven AM. I should be drunk.... What the fuck are you guys up to?

LILY: We’re headed to this land lord’s place. He said he’ll pay us each ten dollars each if we clean out two apartments that some tenants trashed.

KEVIN: And we really are going to clean it.

GUNNER: Yeah, that’s the way it always is. You get honest work, you think you’re going to do it, you get half way through it, and then threaten your boss if he doesn’t pay you not to break his neck.

SPIKE: Hey, shut up That only happened twice.

FREAK: Besides, we get to keep anything we want there that we find... I’m hoping to find maybe some candles for the squat.

GUNNER: Wow, Freak. I didn’t know you were responsible.

KEVIN: Psshhh... You think she’s actually going to do it?

GUNNER: It’s the thought that counts.

FREAK: Maybe I can find some nice clothes.

GUNNER: I’m sure this will be quite an adventure. Well, I’ll see you guys later. Remember, have a few drinks for me.

SPIKE: How’d you know we were going to spend that money on alcohol?

KEVIN: Ooohhh, he must be psychic...

FREAK: Gunner, you know, I have something to tell you, and I think that when I tell you it, you won’t like me any more... Every time I fucked you, when I came, I thought of fucking a headless body.

GUNNER: Aaawww... I think about our honey moon all the time, too. Now you punks head along.

KEVIN: Oi oi, punk!

The gang heads off while Gunner goes back to his route of handing out food to homeless people. He runs into a 13 year old street kid.

SWEEP: Hey, Gunner... Give me a hug, man.

Gunner hugs the kid, picks him up, and lets him down.

GUNNER: And how the fuck are you doing?

SWEEP: I’m all right. Jacky got arrested again.

GUNNER: Aaawww, I’m sorry, bro. What the fuck for?

SWEEP: Criminal Trespassing. She was seen by the fucking Neighborhood Hood Watch club going into a squat while I went to get a jug of water from the fountain. When I got back, there were police cruisers outside the squat. Fucking assholes.

GUNNER: You need some help getting drunk?

SWEEP: I already am. But anything helps.

GUNNER: Take this, homeboy.

Gunner hands a pint of vodka to Sweep from the inside of his trench coat.

SWEEP: Thanks... I appreciate it. Times like this are hard on everyone who has to go through them. I miss her so much. I can only hope that she’s getting drunk on Pruno.

GUNNER: Yeah, you wonder why they give us a shitload of prunes and trash bags. It’s like... Does the warden want us to make our own alcohol?

SWEEP: That shit is hard on the stomach, though.

GUNNER: I hear that.

SWEEP: I kind of wonder... Is she thinking about me? Does she miss me? It’s like, a hole in my soul. And I think about it all the time.

GUNNER: Ah, don’t let it get to ya’, punk. You’re still going through puberty.

SWEEP (laughing and punching Gunner in the arm): Shut the fuck up.

GUNNER: I’ll fucking see you around, gutter punk. And try not to think about her too much. I’m sure she loves you.

SWEEP: K, later, droog.

GUNNER: Fuzzy little werblers, mate.

Sweep heads off and Gunner keeps walking.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: We’re the richest nation on the world, and still we can’t afford to give housing and food to our children. It’s hypocrisy and it pisses me off. Sweep gets his name because he’s so young and use to have a job as a dishboy when he was 12, and homeless. First he was called “chimney sweep,” but then it got shortened. Kids like him shouldn’t be drunk and fucking all the time, struggling to make it by. And fuck... I can imagine one day waking up in a squat, any fucking squat in this fucking great American nation, and smelling that fucking rancid odor, that specific fucking disgusting odor. I’ll lift up some newspapers and find the kid dead. Whatever the fucking cause. Starvation, dehydration, probably fucking alcohol overdose more likely. And it will piss me off. I’ll see his dead body, and I’ll be fucking pissed. I’ll go out, find the closest yuppy, and bash his fucking face in, after screaming at him, “Why the fuck do you work for the corporations that oppose Democracy!?” Fuck... I hate this world.

Chapter 8

The camera fades out with white, and reappears with Tank, Gunner, and Paul, sitting in the park and passing around a big, plastic jug bottle of vodka.

GUNNER: Jacky’s in jail again.

PAUL: Fuck... What for?

GUNNER: Criminal Trespassing. The Neighborhood Watch program busted her. Sweep wasn’t at the squat at the time, though. Shit like that pisses me off.

TANK: Fuckin’ hell. Well, this one is for you, Jacky.

Tank chugs some vodka.

GUNNER: Isn’t the tradition to pour it out on the ground?

Tank looks at Gunner with a puzzled face for a few seconds.

TANK: Why the fuck would I do that?

PAUL: Man, if my girlfriend went to jail, I’d go in every day and try to get a fuck.

GUNNER: Who’s your girlfriend?

PAUL: You don’t know her. She lives in a house. Her name is Carolyn.

GUNNER: What the fuck is wrong with you, man?

PAUL: Hey, she fucks well, and she’s nice enough.

GUNNER: I retract my statement.

PAUL: How’s that kid.... Fucks Jacky?

GUNNER: Fucks Jacky? Did you just refer to Sweep as “Fucks Jacky”? What? Are we on Indian gutter punk names, now?

PAUL: Ha, right... And you’re fucks No One.

GUNNER: But I guess that makes Carolyn Fucks Everyone.

PAUL (laughing): Fuck you, asshole.

TANK: Hey, check it out over there.

Gunner looks behind himself and sees a kid lying on the ground, on his stomach, with the words “Govern Your Soul” on the back of his shirt, in white lettering and black background.

GUNNER: Oh, it’s Hey Kid. I’ll be right back.

Gunner takes a swig of vodka and passes it on. He gets up and walks over to Hey Kid. He nudges him with his boot.

GUNNER: You alive, motherfucker?

HEY KID: Drunk.

GUNNER: Come on, bro.

Gunner lifts up the kid and carries him over to where they’re drinking. He pulls out a coffee milk from his trench coat and hands it to Hey Kid.

GUNNER: Here, drink this. It’ll help.

HEY KID: Thanks.

PAUL: How you doing, Hey Kid?

HEY KID: A little drunk. I mean, it is the late afternoon and all.

GUNNER: I hear that.

HEY KID: The Christians were out earlier again.

GUNNER: Oh, yeah?

HEY KID: They told me I was a sinner for my ways, and gave me a hamburger as though it made up for what they said. I didn’t even eat it. I gave it to Xander, my dog.

GUNNER: Yeah, where is Xander, anyway?

HEY KID: That’s a very good question, actually. He’s with my sister, Natalie.

GUNNER: How’d you get that dog?

HEY KID: I found him running around the ghetto. He was just running around, with no leash or collar. So, I took him in. I spanged up $40 to get him his shots. I’m surprised the guys running the clinic took so many nickels, dimes, and quarters. I always, always make sure that he has enough food. Before I drink, I buy him food. He’s been with me for two years now. Last winter in my squat, when it would dip down to zero degrees, I would have him sleep under the blanket, so we can both keep warm. I love that fucking dog, and he knows it.

GUNNER: That’s cool.

TANK: I use to have a dog. His name was Kippler. He was the most faithful and loyal dog you could imagine. But then one day, cops raided the squat. The dog was just lying next to me, and the cops fired three times, once hitting my arm when I tried to cover the dog. They just shot and killed him, like he was nothing.

PAUL: Shit, that fucking blows, man... I’ve never been shot or stabbed, thankfully.

HEY KID: I’ve been homeless for three and a half years, and I have nothing to show for it but that dog.

GUNNER: I’ve been homeless for four years, and all I have to show for it is that I don’t have any stomach lining.

TANK: Neither do I. Hell, I don’t even have a stomach. When I drink, it goes right into my intestines.

PAUL: Ahhhh, alcohol. If it weren’t for it, I’d probably have ended my life long ago.

GUNNER (kidding): Shut up.. what do you know, you fucking housey?

Paul gets up and play fights Gunner. Paul pretends to throw a few shots, and Gunner blocks them. Then Tank gets up and picks both of them up, one in each arm, screaming “Aaargghh!!!”

GUNNER: He’s like King Kong, just picking up people.

The camera slowly fades to white, as Tank spins with both of them, finally collapsing on the grass. While on the ground, Hey Kid runs over and jumps over them, rolling once he hits the ground. At the beginning of this, Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Yeah, we always had good times together. That’s what family is about. Well, that and drinking. And fighting and fucking.

Chapter 9

The view of the camera slowly fades to night, and pans downward, where it shows the feeding. Gunner sits on the sidewalk with a paper plate in his hands, eating food, sitting next to Hey Kid and Rat, who are also eating food. Gunner has a beer in one hand, a plastic knife in the other, and a paper plate in his lap. Sweep comes to sit next to Gunner and one of the guys working with the feeding calls him over.

GUY: Hey, you need a place to stay tonight, kid?

SWEEP: No, that’s okay.

GUY: Are you sure? I got a warm bed for you and hot food.

SWEEP: Nah, I’m fine. Thanks, though.

GUNNER (drunk): Sweep! Get away from the nasty man!

Tank walks over and talks to Gunner without greeting him...

TANK: What’s the difference between a Cadillac and a pile of dead babies? I don’t have a Cadillac in my garage.

Gunner bursts into laughter, as food particles blow from his nose and mouth. Rat leans over and tries to eat suck the food out of his mouth, as he was laughing with a full mouth.

HEY KID: Tank, you still have that garage squat?

TANK: No, I haven’t slept in a garage in weeks.

RAT: I think he meant it as a joke, Hey Kid.

HEY KID: Aaawww... I was gonna ask if I could stay. I miss sleeping on a few pieces of cardboard on concrete.

GUNNER: Well I hate sleeping on concrete. You always wake up with a sprained wrist or a bruised leg. Fuck that.

Sweep walks over with a plate in one hand, and a cup of lemonade in the other.

SWEEP: Jesus, if another Pedophile tries to pick me up, I’m gonna kick them in the balls.

Gunner wraps his arm around Sweep’s neck and pulls his head to his own, saying, “You’re a fucking good man, and don’t forget it.” He lets go.

HEY KID: Yeah, you better be careful, Sweep. They found out today that if you’re a priest, you have a 30% chance of being a Pedophile. Tomorrow they learn the dirty secret that it’s about half as likely with people who work with the homeless. Because you’re young, you’re a squatter, you’re a drunkard, and they think you’re weak, they don’t see your strength. They’ll get you in their bed, and they’ll say that if you don’t let them blow you, they will throw your ass out on the concrete.

GUNNER: It’s true. Pedophiles like that fucking sicken me.

RAT: I’ve never had that problem.

SWEEP: That’s because you don’t have a dick.

RAT (smiling): I manage to get one every night.

Gunner rubs his head on her shoulder.

GUNNER: Aaawwww, at least you say it’s special.

RAT: Hey, I got a present for you all.

Rat pulls out a pipe and loads it with Marijuana, takes a toke, and passes it around.

SWEEP: I remember this one time, when I was 11, a cop caught us smoking weed and asked us if he could take a toke.

GUNNER: Haha, get the fuck out of here...

SWEEP: I shit you not, droog.

TANK: I’ve been squatting for 18 years, and I have to say, Sweep. You’re the most hardcore street urchin I’ve met.

GUNNER (sarcasm): Aaawww, man, he’s sooo punk.

HEY KID: Haha, fuck that, man... Shit, I use to be a house punk. For about a few months. Peace punk. Crass. Dead Milkmen. Against Me!. Bands like that. Then I finally said “fuck it” to government miseducation and hit the streets.

RAT: I remember my first night on these American streets. I walked around a little and slept a few hours. By the time I woke up in the morning, I started to cry, thinking, “What did I do?” But I cried those tears, I yanked them out, and I moved on, bold and beautiful.

GUNNER: The time I cried about being homeless, it was a week after being on these streets. First there’s the initial glamor, the glory, the new things, the new lifestyle, the new family. But then you look around and you find out that this place is not a goddamn thing like your normal home. And you sit down in the corner of the subway, inside a dumpster, in the park, and you cry. I cried for hours. And finally, I wiped my tears, I looked to the sky, and screamed to myself, “It’s a beautiful fucking day.” I took one more wipe at my tears, went with my new family, and got drunk.

TANK: You kids cried about being homeless? I never cried one day I was homeless. Vomited lots of times in my sleep.

HEY KID: Hey, Gunner. Why did the dead baby cross the street? Because I kicked it.

GUNNER: Good one, motherfucker... What’s worse than fucking an 8 year old? Putting a pillow over her head so nobody can hear her scream.

Rat and Tank burst into laughter at that one.

HEY KID: Now that one is just sick. I can’t respect you any more now.

GUNNER: Hey, no more food for you, then, punk.

Hey Kid flips off Gunner.

GUNNER: Pppshhhh, shouldn’t you be quoting Stevo or Heroin Bob right now?

HEY KID: Okay, that’s it, motherfucker.

Hey Kid gets up and runs over, and knocks over Gunner, and they play fight a little.

TANK: Now hey, what the fuck did I fucking say about fighting at the feeding? I don’t eat here, but motherfuckers who do are liable to get angry with you.

Both Hey Kid and Gunner stop fighting.

SWEEP: Fucking Stevo and Heroin Bob from SLC Punk. Jesus Christ. Some kids treat that like their street Bible.

GUNNER: I know. It’s kind of sad. But fortunately, any kid who is homeless for at least one month is strong enough to give up something so crappy as a movie about poser punks.

RAT: Yeah, and none of them were squatters. They lived off their parents money and spent said funds on buying gel for their spikes.

TANK: Aaaawww, come on, it’s so fun to watch.

HEY KID: That’s besides the point. But the thing is, the film captured the world of house punks perfectly fine, leaving completely untouched the fact that gutter punks are homeless, violent, drunk, and angry.

GUNNER: Angry, young, and poor, motherfucker. Angry, young, and poor.

Spike, Lily, Freak, and Kevin show up.

KEVIN: Oi oi, punk!

GUNNER: Fucking oi oi, bro! You guys get paid?

SPIKE: Hell yeah. Hey, you seen Barf?

GUNNER: Yeah, he’s in line over there.

Spike runs over to a guy named Barf in the line, while the rest stand behind.

GUNNER: So, how was the work?

FREAK: The motherfucker tried to rip us off. I pissed on his floor.

GUNNER: I believe it. What happened?

The camera shows the kids cleaning out the apartments while the two do a voice over together. It shows the landlord shaking his head with his hands on his sides, and then Spike kicking his boot through a window. Then the landlord tries to pick up the phone and Kevin slams a lamp post into his knees.

LILY, VOICE OVER: We cleaned two rooms like he said, but then he said he wouldn’t pay us unless he cleaned another two. So Spike broke a window and said he would break the land lord’s neck unless he was paid right away.

KEVIN, VOICE OVER: Crazy fucker picks up the phone and I slam a lamp post into his knees.

LILY: We got paid at least. Forty altogether.

Kevin pulls out a bottle of whiskey.

KEVIN: Mmmmm... It’s so cheap, it’s still mostly corn.

Kevin takes a swig of it and passes it on to Gunner.

GUNNER: Hell yeah, thanks, man. I’m already pretty drunk right now, but I’ll take some more. Do I like to drink?

FREAK: Do cops beat the shit out of twelve year olds?

KEVIN: Freak, I think we need to have a conversation about optimistic tones. I mean, yes, you are mocking the cops, but it’s overly cynical for my blood.

FREAK: Fuck you.

KEVIN: Okay... Are we still having sex?

FREAK: Do we like to get drunk?

GUNNER: Hey, that was my question!

Freak stands up and knocks Gunner over with her hands, who falls on his back. She puts her hand on his crotch and starts making out with him.

TANK: What the fuck are you guys doing?

GUNNER: You’ll have to get on the other end, Tank.

TANK (laughing): Fuck you, man.

Spike heads on over, and Freak and Gunner look up to see him.

SPIKE (pretending to be confused): Now, okay... I’m not sure... what’s exactly going on here...

GUNNER: Community orgy. Mandatory participation.

SPIKE: Oh, well, in that case...

Spike unzips his pants, but then zips them back up once Lily hits him in the arm jokingly. Gunner stands up.

GUNNER: Hey, Spike, Lily, I have to talk to you guys, in private.

They all huddle in a group and talk softly.

GUNNER: Jacky was arrested at a raid in Sweep’s squat. It okay with you guys if I invite him to stay at our squat?

SPIKE: No problem, man.

LILY: I have no problem with it, either.

GUNNER: Far out.

Gunner walks over to Sweep, who is sitting on the ground eating from a paper plate, and moves his arms around (drunkenly) as though being prestigious.

GUNNER: Sweep, you are hereby formally invited to the Spike and Lily Squat, whereby you shall be allowed a sheet and some cushion, possibly.

SWEEP: Thanks, droog. I fucking appreciate it. I’ll be there.

GUNNER: Just remember, the blanket with pink, yellow, and blue stripes is mine.

HEY KID: That’s one faggot ass blanket, Gunner.

GUNNER: Shut up Now, if you excuse me, I have some business with Barf myself.

KEVIN: Hurry back before Freak makes some moves on me.

Freak pushes Kevin on the shoulder, and he grins really big, holding his hands up, palm up, and says, “What?” Gunner walks over to Barf.

GUNNER: Barf, my man...

BARF: What’s up, Gunner?

They both hug.

GUNNER: Well, you know, been around kicking some houseys’ asses, shoplifting, the general shit.

BARF: I hear ya’, I hear ya’... So, you need anything?

GUNNER: Well, now that you ask... I would like some Valium pills.

BARF: Five dollars a hit, friend.

GUNNER: Now, you know me. I’m homeless, unemployed, and I don’t spange.

BARF: I hear ya’, but I have to make rent, too.

GUNNER: Shut up, you’re a squatter, too.

BARF: You got me there.

GUNNER: Anyway, I can trade you a bottle of Absolut vodka for three hits?

BARF: Two hits.

GUNNER: Deal.

Barf hands some pills to Gunner, who pockets them, and Gunner pulls out a bottle of Absolut vodka and gives it to Barf.

GUNNER: You enjoy that now, you hear?

BARF: I sure will. And you enjoy your hits.

Gunner begins to walk away when...

BARF: Hey, Gunner. Come here a moment.

GUNNER: Sure, what’s up?

BARF: I would like you to meet some very kindly people I’ve met today. Here...

Barf takes Gunner to a group of skinheads.

BARF: Here is a group of the coolest skinheads you’ll ever meet. This is Joe, this is Sticker, and this is Nash.

GUNNER: Far out, man. How goes it, skins?

JOE: Doin’ all right. Got a bottle of rum. Gonna do some drinkin’.

STICKER: There’s more than enough if you want to come.

GUNNER: Hhhhhmmmmm... alcohol... skinheads... I’m down.

NASH: Ha, all right, punk.

GUNNER: Just a moment, I’ll be right back.

Gunner walks over to his gang.

GUNNER: Hey, guys... I’m going to be drinking with some skins. I’ll show up at the squat eventually.

KEVIN (looking to Freak): Don’t even say anything, Freak. You know perfectly well that when he said “skins,” he meant “skinheads.”

FREAK (laughing): Shut up, asshole.

Freak reaches over, puts her finger in his mouth, and pulls out saliva, which she then places in her own mouth.

GUNNER: I’ll catch up with you guys later.

SPIKE: Oi oi, punk!

GUNNER: Oi!

Chapter 10

The camera slowly fades out, as it pans out across the stars, and Gunner does a voice over...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It seemed almost like we lived unrealistically. We cared more about getting fucked up than getting fed. Kids would say something like, “The feeding will keep us fed,” and end up getting drunk, wasted, or fucked up in some way, and missing the feeding. It’s not unusual for someone to miss food for days, or even weeks, at a time. I’ve done it. Not because I was obsessed with alcohol and drugs. I know where my priorities are. Getting fucked up is an important part of life, but shoplifting food is also important, so that even if I don’t get fed, my family will. And that is important to me.

The camera fades in to the group of skins and Gunner walking down the street. The mood is cheerful, optimistic. All of them are sharing a big bag of wine.

JOE: I was flying a sign yesterday, trying to get some spare change, and some lady was ready to take me home.

GUNNER (laughing): Bullshit, motherfucker... I’ve yet to see any woman want to fuck a homeless gutter punk.

NASH: Nah, man, I was there, I saw it. I couldn’t believe my fucking eyes.

GUNNER: Shit, man. I guess it’s possible, but unlikely.

JOE: You’re telling me. I nearly creamed my fucking pants.

STICKER: What? Ladies with apartments always try to take me home and it never phases me.

Nash pushes Sticker jokingly.

NASH (laughing): Get the fuck outta’ here.

GUNNER: How much cash she give you?

JOE: She actually gave me a twenty.

GUNNER: Right the fuck on. I heard about yuppies giving twenties to homeless kids and homebums. But it’s rare. You have to look real fucking poor.

JOE: You’re telling me. I crawled out of a bush that I passed out in, while still in a trash bag that I was sleeping in, and I saw some chick walking by. I pulled out my sign as fast as I could, and asked for spare change.

NASH: Fuckin’ A, man. The homebums call this kid “quickdraw.”

JOE: And hey, I earned that fuckin’ name, all right?

STICKER (laughing): Don’t be so fuckin’ proud.

NASH: At least Sticker has a name that’s worth something.

GUNNER: How did he get that?

JOE: Hey, I’m in the middle of a fucking story, okay?

STICKER (holding his hands up sarcastically as though he’s under threat, but grinning widely all the time): Okay, okay...

JOE: So, I’m in a trash bag that I slept in, and I flash out my sign, asking for spare change. The sign says, “Please Feed The Hungry.” I was flying the sign at this black woman who stops by and stands in front of me. She hands me a twenty, saying something like, “I hope this gets you some warm food at McDonald’s. Or if you want, I can take you home and cook you some dinner.” I said, “Nah, I’m all right, thanks, though.” Nash was just chilling on the sidewalk a few feet up.

NASH: I saw it, bro. Un-fucking-believable.

GUNNER: So why the fuck did you not go home with her?

JOE: Fuck niggers, man.

GUNNER: What? Fuck Racism!

NASH: We’re all Nazi skinheads here.

JOE: Can’t you tell we’re Nazi skins?

GUNNER: No, dude. Have you heard of RASH, Radical Anarchist SkinHeads? And what about SHARP, SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice? Besides that, being a skin means shit about being Racist. I just thought you were a bunch of cool skins, that’s all.

STICKER: Fuck SHARP! I get my name because I’ve drawn more swastikas on public walls than any other Nazi skin.

GUNNER: Fuck SHARP? Fuck Hitler and the Nazi Death Squads!

NASH: Fuck Crass.

The camera watches as Gunner gets close to Joe’s face and shouts, “Nazi punks... Nazi punks... Nazi punks... Fuck off!” As he says this, the song “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys starts to play, his words following theirs. Once he says this, Nash from behind him pushes him forward. He turns around and punches Nash in the mouth, beginning the next voice over for Gunner. He turns around again and Joe tries to punch him in the face, but he blocks the hit, and punches Joe in the face. After this, Sticker grabs his arms from behind and holds him. Nash is on the ground. Joe regains his stamina after a few seconds. All the while this goes on, Gunner is doing his voice over. Joe grabs Gunner by the collar and says, “This one is for the German death squads,” and punches Gunner in the face. He gets a bloody nose. Still holding Gunner and catching his breath somewhat, Joe says, “This one is for the Aryan race,” and punches Gunner in the rib cage. The camera freezes and the music stops. The voice over that was being done is as follows...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Nazi punks are still gutter punks, like the rest of us. They’re homeless as much as we are. But street punks and the homeless hate them, almost universally. This incident reminds me very much of something that happened two years ago.

The camera shifts to daytime on a basketball court. Two Nazi skinheads (one with a big swastika on the back of his coat) are standing over a Hispanic girl and an African girl, who are lying on the ground. They’re shouting, “Get up, try to run!” while they’re kicking them. The Dead Kennedys song has stopped, and now “Ordinary People Do Fucked Up Things When Fucked Up Things Become Ordinary” by Propagandhi is playing. On voice over, Gunner says, “Convinced of their own racial superiority, and that mercilessness is a virtue, Nazi punks will look for non-whites and they will fight them.” Then Gunner and Kevin (whose mohawk is shorter, since it is years earlier) run onto the court. Kevin pulls out a lead pipe from underneath his jacket and screams, “Wake up, Nazi scum! It’s time to die!” He swings the pipe across the face of one of the Nazis, and then back again; the Nazi skinhead falls to the ground. Gunner runs up to the other, punches him in the stomach. The Nazi responds with punching Gunner in the face, and trying to punch him again, but the second shot is blocked, and Gunner returns it with punching him in the face. As soon as both Nazis are preoccupied with the peace punk and the gutter punk, the two non-white females run. The camera then looks back to Kevin, who is pelting the back of the Nazi on the ground with the pipe. Then looking back to Gunner, he’s holding the Nazi by the collar, and punching him, while the Nazi is on his knees, and bleeding all over. Then Kevin runs up from behind and slams the pipe into the Nazi’s back, who falls onto the ground. They boot stomp him for a few seconds, and then Gunner yells, “Come on! Let’s get the fuck out of here!” and they both run. The camera and music freeze as both Gunner and Kevin are running, Kevin still holding the lead pipe. Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Kevin found that pipe in the plumbing of a squat. He said it’s always a good method for procuring a weapon for combat.

The camera then shifts back to the scene of Gunner being held by the Nazi skins and getting beat. Still being held by Sticker, Nash still on the ground, and Joe still in front of him. Gunner does a brief voice over of, “So we fought back. I mean, what the fuck were we supposed to do? Let them trample over our rights? No way. Freak sure as shit isn’t all white, and if anyone or anything threatens the people I live and sleep with, I have a message for them.” The camera unfreezes.

JOE: And this one is for mein fuhrer.

Joe looks up and to his right, just in time to see Tank come in and plow him down. Gunner, now seeing a hope to the battle, struggles even more, and manages to break free. He punches Sticker in the face, in the stomach, and in the throat. Sticker falls to the ground and he begins to gutter stomp him. Nash gets up, and punches Gunner from behind. Tank pushes Nash so he’s facing him, and then punches him in the face one, knocking him to the ground. They both continue gutter stomping for several seconds. Then Tank stops, and pulls Gunner off of Nash. He’s holding him by his shirt, the front part, pulling him away from the fight. “Leave it!” Tank yells. Then once it looks like Gunner has a good hold of himself, Tank walks over to the fight scene, picks up the bag of wine (“spacebag”), and gives it to Gunner. They both flee the scene. The two are walking down the street, talking. Dried blood is on Gunner’s nose.

TANK: What the fuck were you doing hanging out with those Nazi skinheads?

GUNNER: Shit, man, nobody told me they were Nazis. Barf introduced me to them.

TANK: Barf is a fuckin’ hippy who thinks that Satan can be a good person.

GUNNER: Thanks for saving my ass, though, man.

TANK: Hey, no problem. You were fucking bold back there, taking on three Nazis with nothing but your two fists. I use to love to fight, but then I won every fight and people sort of looked to me as a referee to make sure nothing dirty goes down. I became the responsible one, and I learned to detest fighting and violence.

GUNNER: I don’t think I could ever give up my love of violence, fighting, and blood. After four hard years of street life, it’s in my veins, and I don’t think it’ll ever leave me, no matter what city I travel to or who my friends are... Here, you want a shwill of this spacebag?

Gunner holds up the bag of wine.

TANK: Nah, man, you earned that.

Gunner takes a shwill of the bag and the camera slowly moves out, watching them walk down an alley together. Gunner does a voice over. The song “Youth of the Modern World” by Justin Sane starts to play before Gunner starts the voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s true, we’re all violent motherfuckers. Most of us anyway. I wasn’t always like this. As a young high school punk, I was afraid of fighting. When it came to me, my heart would speed up to a thousand miles an hour, and I would do anything to avoid it. I believed that nobody should ever respond violently to another... Oh, how I’ve changed. I’ve been conditioned by the environment I live in. Up and down these god-forsaken streets of these American cities, tasting concrete and eating cement — facing the muggers, the Pedophiles who don’t take no for an answer, the other drunk gutter punks looking for a fight. I was scared, but several months passed by, and I became hard. I could take a punch in the face by anyone, a stab wound in the side, a broken piece of furniture over my forehead, and I could still turn around and take you down. I didn’t lose the ability to love. I could still find beauty and affection in women. I was not disenchanted with the idea of life. I just became hard and violent. I still believe that violence is wrong, but this is a mental conviction. My instincts have otherwise been changed. Some nights, I wished I didn’t change. I’m not really sure what I think now.

Chapter 11

The camera is in the squat, inside the room that the gang sleeps in. Freak is sitting down flipping through a family album. Kevin is passed out in the corner with a bottle of vodka in his hand, just moving around a little. Lily and Spike are making out. Sweep is reading a book by Mikhail Bakunin, “God and the State.”

GUNNER: Hey...

LILY: Jesus, what happened to your face?

Lily stopped for a second to ask and then goes back to making out. Gunner touches his nose and...

GUNNER: Shit, oh yeah... I got in a fight with some Nazis. Those skinheads were fucking Nazis.

SPIKE (pausing): Fuckin’ A... What happened?

SWEEP: Did you win?

GUNNER: I said, “Nazi punks fuck off,” they pushed me, I punched them, one of them was holding me while the other hit me. Then Tank comes running in and plows him down.

FREAK (almost looking amazed and looking up from her family album): Wow...

SWEEP: Are you okay?

GUNNER: Yeah, I’m fine.

Spike and Lily go back to making out.

KEVIN (still in his disillusioned state and not even looking up): Nazi punks! Nazi punks! Nazi punks! Fuck off!

Lily (between kissing): Gunner beat the shit out of some Nazi punks... (more kissing) I’m glad he’s my family member.

SPIKE (between kissing): Me, too... (more kissing) I love him like a brother.

Gunner sits down, legs crossed.

GUNNER: So, how you doing, Spike?

SPIKE: Shit, that reminds me.

Spike stops making out with Lily and pulls out a small wooden box.

The camera freezes as Gunner does a voice over and reminisces...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: In all honesty, I guess I am the one responsible for his name, Spike. It was a cold, rainy night.

The sound of thunder comes as the screen turns black, and slowly drifts down to an alley way at night time, while the rain pours. Spike and Lily are huddled up together, leaning against the brick wall of the side of a store, in a small area where the rain isn’t hitting them. Gunner is walking down the street.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It was a cold night. Cold and wet. The type of cold that when you reach over to touch your skin, you yank your hand away because it’s so unbearably freezing, but you can’t even feel it on your stomach or thighs. So, I trekked, with a recently shoplifted blanket. It was the first time I saw them in town. I stopped by and greeted them.

GUNNER: Hello to you two. I haven’t seen either of you in town. I’m Gunner.

SPIKE: Hi, my name is Carl.

LILY: And I’m Lily.

They shake hands.

GUNNER: Pleasure to make your acquaintance (looking up as the rain pelts his face) It looks like it’s going to be a long fucking night.

SPIKE: Sure is.

Gunner pauses, then looks back at the couple. He unzips his sweatshirt and pulls out a blanket that is wrapped around his stomach. He hands it to them.

GUNNER: You two will probably get more use out of this than me.

SPIKE: Thanks, bro. That’s fucking awesome. You’re welcome to join us. We found a spot that’s shielded from the rain.

GUNNER: Nah, it’s cool. Thanks, though. I’ll see you guys around.

SPIKE: Later.

LILY: See yah.

Gunner starts walking away.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I suppose it came with the territory. In high school, I was always a loner. On the streets, that tradition remained unchanged.

Gunner reaches a dumpster, opens the lid, and puts one boot on the side. Then he stops, pauses, looks back to the couple in the alley way, looks back to the camera, and gets off the dumpster. He starts heading back to the couple.

GUNNER: Yeah, actually, I would like to crash out here for tonight. If we huddle, we’ll probably be able to generate extra warmth.

SPIKE: Sure, one second.

Spike lifts up the blanket and he has a needle in his arm.

GUNNER: Holy fuck. That was actually pretty cut and without suspicion, Spike.

SPIKE (with a smile): Thanks, Gunner.

Spike pulls out, caps the syringe, and puts it in a wooden box. He then lifts up the blanket, and Gunner sits next to me, and the blanket covers the three of them. The camera is then looking down the alleyway, facing them, five feet away from them. It slowly moves backward, while Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER: Ever since then, I’ve called him Spike, because when I went over to him, his arm was spiked and he was injecting. I have no problem with it. Lots of kids on the streets shoot up. It’s a notorious activity of gutter punks. Dealers come up to me, because I wear knee high boots, I’m white, I’m young, and I’m homeless, and they automatically assume that I’m a junk addict. Anyway, that is the story of how I met Spike and Lily.

The camera focuses on Gunner, Lily, and Spike all together in the alley way again. Small droplets of rain keep hitting Gunner on the face, and though he’s asleep, he still shows some signs of agitation. Spike, droopy eyed, notices this, and moves the blanket up just far enough that it catches the rain drops, without hitting Gunner’s face. The camera then goes back to the squat, and unfreezes. Spikes pulls out a bag of speed, begins to cook up, spike his vein, and shoot up. Lily is just sitting behind him kissing the back of his neck.

GUNNER: I got spacebag, everyone.

Gunner pulls out the bag of wine.

SWEEP: That’s the mezzeliest, droog.

GUNNER (smiling): Shut up, devotchka, and drink up.

Gunner passes the bag of wine over to Sweep.

SWEEP: Hey, I’m not a girl.

GUNNER: It was sort of an intended insult.

Sweep passes the bag of wine over to Freak.

GUNNER: Hey, why the fuck do they call a bag of wine “spacebag” anyway?

SPIKE: Don’t they teach you anything in grammar school? It’s what astronauts drink in space.

GUNNER: I kind of doubt that. I mean, I’ve heard that, too, but who says? The homebum down the street? The spikey haired, gutter punk? Chances are, they have something that doesn’t make you vomit in the morning when it comes to galactical intoxication.

SWEEP: You want some, Gunner?

GUNNER: Nah, I’m not in the mood.

Gunner lies on his back and looks to the ceiling of the squat. Freak looks over and throws a sympathetic look to him.

GUNNER: Whatchya’ lookin’ at, Freak?

FREAK: At the apartments we cleaned out today, I found a photo album. I’m looking through it and adding touches with a sharpy. I also found a nice dress. Look!

Freak holds up a yellow and white plaid skirt.

GUNNER (smiling and almost laughing): That’s the most dreadful thing I’ve ever seen.

FREAK: Perhaps in your opinion, my dearest. But I like it.

Gunner sighs and closes his eyes. Freak looks at him. She pulls out a knife and cuts off a piece of the dress. She dips it in a plastic jug that looks to be full of clean water, and walks over to Gunner. She starts to clean off the blood on his face, startling the poor lad a little.

GUNNER: Hey, thanks.

FREAK: Don’t worry about it, gorgeous.

GUNNER: Do you know how beautiful you look right now?

Freak just smiles. She finishes up cleaning his face, crumples up the clothe, and throws it in the corner, with the other garbage. She leaves Gunner and goes to sit back in her old spot, looking through the photo album. Gunner, still on his back, lifts his head and looks at her, once she has finally sat down. Then he gets up and sits in front of her, with his legs crossed.

GUNNER: What are you doing?

FREAK: I’m looking through this photo album, looking at these different pictures.

Freak pulls out a picture of two women with their arms around each other. She uses a sharpy to write “sisters” on it.

FREAK: Now, you see these two are sisters, of course.

Freak then draws horns on one of them.

FREAK: That’s the bad one.

Freak continues this process of looking at different photos. She looks and finds pictures of family, pets, and even houses.

GUNNER: Want to see a picture I have?

FREAK: Sure.

Gunner pulls out a folded up picture of a bedroom.

GUNNER: I found this blowing around on the ground. Not sure where exactly it is, or its purpose. But I always wanted my own home. And since I can’t have one, I’ll have to imagine what it would look like.

Freak grabs Gunner’s head and pulls it close to her. She kisses him on the forehead. Gunner stands up and sits behind Freak, wrapping his arms around her stomach and resting his chin on her shoulder. She talks and flips through the photo album while her voice is slowly decreased in volume while Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: To me, this is how gutter punks, street kids, runaways, freight hoppers, and the like, show their affection. In my past life, when I was in high school, I had a total of two dates. The first was sitting uncomfortably in a movie theater that cost me 5 hours of work at McDonald’s. The second was canceled several hours before it was supposed to take place. What the fuck is that? I have to spend $10 per movie ticket to take out someone I’m interested in? I could get drunk several times over with that money. Besides, what do I get out of it? Nothing. Why did I have to use cash to show someone I liked them? Because the American culture is based on greed and exploitation. I couldn’t understand it at first, and it only made me uncomfortable in the beginning. Since the world follows profit and my heart follows truth, I couldn’t find anyone who I could love. So now, when I like a girl, I drink with her and watch the stars. We might fall asleep next to each other in the squat. We may very well fuck the first night. If we’re lucky, we’ll listen to a CD player, each of us with one headphone. Or, like right now, we’ll flip through someone else’s photo album and make remarks about what we see. I went to this college party once...

The camera focuses in on Gunner at a college party.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Some other gutter punk invited me, telling me there would be alcohol there. That was enough to convince me to come. But then I realized what a bunch of pieces of shit I was surrounded by. So I made a plan.

The camera shows Gunner at the college party in front of the keg, filling up a cup, and chugging it in two seconds, and continuing this process.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I was going to black out, so the next time I heard fratty say...

The camera shows a male college student smoking a cigarette in one hand and holding a plastic cup of beer in the other, saying, “Man, I’m gonna fuck these bitches real hard.” The camera then goes back to Gunner chugging beer.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Or anything that was similarly derogatory to the female part of humanity, I would beat the fuck out of him. I’d wake up next morning with a black eye, and then be slightly happy that he probably didn’t wake up at all. I did black out, so I can’t really say what did happen after I drank all that beer, except that I probably drank some more.

The camera then goes back to the squat, where Gunner and Freak are making out passionately already. The camera moves up and looks at the ceiling for a few seconds, and then comes back down. Sweep is curled up in a ball on a chair that has three legs and is leaning against the wall. He is covered in a sheet and slightly shivering. Gunner walks over, with his jump suit unzipped, and covers Sweep in his blanket. He zips up his jump suit and lays down next to Freak, covering her in his arms. The camera focuses on those two as it very slowly zooms out through the window, while Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: That is how day to day life was for us. The basic things that every housed person takes for granted becomes a struggle for us. How do we eat? How do we drink? Where do we sleep? How do we wash our clothes? Where do we piss? Where do we shit? How do we shower? The basic parts of everyday life for the housed population are taken for granted. But for us, it’s a struggle and a battle. You could be arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, or pissing in the bushes, or sleeping on a store roof top, or bathing in the public fountain. But besides that, besides the omnipresent dangers that threaten us, we are always with our family, those we love, live with, sleep with. Knowing someone for only one or two weeks, and you could be in love, or you could know that you had a brother or sister for life.

Chapter 12

Everything on the camera slowly darkens while grasshoppers chirp. The camera then shows a street corner around noon time. Kevin is on the sidewalk spanging (“spare change?”) while Sweep is curled up in a ball on a bench. The camera is so far away from them, that you cannot hear them talk. They are standing outside of a hardware store. Someone walks by, hands their change to Kevin, he points to their cigarette that they’re smoking, and they give it to him. He nods and smiles. Then Gunner comes running out of the store and both Kevin and Sweep book it with him. At the beginning of this scene, Gunner does a short voice over, “Technically, what we were doing was Direct Action.” and the song, “Do They Owe Us A Living?” by Crass starts. The next scene is at night time on the street. They group of Gunner, Sweep, and Kevin are walking fast down the street, looking everywhere to see if anyone is watching. Kevin passes a trash can, he pulls out a plastic bag he sees hanging out of it, empties it into the trash can, and takes it with him. They walk up to a street sign that says, “Neighborhood Watch Program — All suspicious activity will be reported to the police.” Gunner lifts Sweep up on to his shoulders. They’re all looking around. Then Sweep snaps his fingers at Kevin, who pulls out a wrench and hands it to him (still with the price tag on it). Sweep takes off one bolt of the sign, then he snaps his fingers at Gunner. The camera, looking at just Sweep, shows Gunner’s hand move up, handing him a bottle of vodka. Sweep takes a swig, and the camera shows Gunner taking one. Then Sweep takes the other bolt off, hands the sign and wrench to Kevin. Kevin puts the sign in a plastic bag and pockets the wrench. They all book it down the street. The camera then shows a store window front, and focuses in on a window decal that says, “We Support Neighborhood Watch Programs.” The camera moves fast upward the window and then stops, showing the reflection of Gunner, Kevin, and Sweep, just standing there, emotionless. Then, in slow motion, it shows a brick flying through the store window, as the song by Crass stops. Kevin chucks the sign in the store, and all of them run, as an alarm sounds. The camera looks at the store window, slowly zooming out, while Gunner does a brief voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: A society full of plenty, with adequate housing and food, has turned us into a subculture of criminals. The politicians will say that criminals are bad human beings, but it would be more accurate to say that we are simply human beings. I’m a criminal because I stole food to satisfy my human cravings, the way Jacky is a criminal because she went into a squat to sleep. Without crime, I’d be out of the job.

The song “Street Punk” by the Casualties begins to play. The camera focuses in now on an entirely different scene, a punk rock show. Gunner, Spike, Lily, Freak, Kevin, and Sweep are all standing in the line.

TICKET TAKER: That’ll be five bucks.

Spike and Lily tell the ticket taker that they’re homeless, and two house punks volunteer to pay for them. Gunner, Sweep, and Kevin get up. Kevin pays three dollars, and a lot of change. Gunner and Sweep get up.

GUNNER: Uuhhh, we two are homeless.

TICKET TAKER: Ah, just go in, man.

They go into the punk show. There’s a sign on the door that says, “The Deviated Swabs, Punk Show, $5, All Ages.” Once inside, they all start rocking out. Instead of a mosh, like at traditional metal shows, there’s a circular area, where people are running back and forth, between two fronts of the ground. Once they hit one front, every sustains their hit, and then pushes them back into the other front. Kevin is doing this with extra aggression. Spike and Lily also engage in it, but as a form of entertainment. Everyone is drinking beer, some are drinking whiskey or vodka. Gunner is holding two beers and drinking from both of them while talking to Rat. They have to shout over the noise to communicate.

GUNNER: Have I ever told you that I get an erection when I think about you in my squat?

RAT (smiling): You sick bastard... You can imagine what happens to me when I think about you in mine.

GUNNER: Is Tank here?

RAT: No, Tank isn’t into punk rock shows.

GUNNER: Hey Kid! What’s up!

Hey Kid ambles by fast drinking a beer. His dog is tied up outside.

RAT: I like Hey Kid.

GUNNER: Yeah, he’s a good kid, a good kid. He puts forth effort and you know, uhhhh... he’s a good kid.

RAT: We should fuck.

GUNNER: Whoa, you just totally read my mind.

Rat grabs Gunner by the neck and pulls him to the ground, as they start making out. Another couple is fucking in the corner a slight distance away from them. The crowd is singing along with the singer for the chorus of “Street punk! Oi! Street punk! Oi oi!” Most of the punks there are drinking beer. As for the description of the punks, many of them are skinheads, many have mohawks, some have long hair, some have dual mohawks, and some have simply spiked hair. Some of them have it dyed green, pink, red, or blue. Once the song by Casualties ends, “Kill the Poor” by the Dead Kennedys starts. There is one scene during the show, though... A nine year old, Asian girl is rocking out, wearing blue overalls and a long sleeve purple shirt, all the clothes very dirty. A twenty year old punk, wearing hundreds of studs on his leather jacket and lots of patches, walks up to her, and poses his upper arm to her, and signals her to run into him. She smiles and does this. And then he pretends to be hurt and pleading for pity. While the punks riot in their own way, Gunner does a voice over...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s honestly hard to accurately describe the punk scene. A lot of the kids here are house punks, but we love them nonetheless, because these kids never treated us like some sort of fucking trend. To them, we were brothers and sisters living on the underground. Sometimes some gutter punks would crash out at a house punk’s house. They paid for us to get into shows now and then. Optimistically, when I think of punk, I think of a show I can go to where people drink a lot and the fans and the band aren’t afraid to speak their minds on issues of politics or things that matter. But then you walk down the street and you see someone who was at the same show, and they’re dressed like you are, but they’re an asshole. They don’t care about worker rights or squatter rights. You can be apathetic socially and still be somewhat nice, but these guys are just fucktards. And some gutter punks don’t even like punk music at all or even go to shows. They just drink a lot and fight. In a lot of ways, it’s overly confusing. But that’s what happens when a scene refuses to give in to conformist megacorporations that pile the millions at their doorstep so we will admit that forcing children to work 14 hours a day in Indonesia is humane. So fuck it. Burn their office buildings and take over the fucking Pentagon. There are some definites to punk music. It’s always loud and angry, and the fans are always loud and angry. Most of the time the fans love alcohol and violence. Often times there are political elements to the lyrics. As to the dress code of punks, wearing suspenders, plaid pants, mohawks, patches, knee high boots — it’s a fucking outfit, wear what the fuck you want, I don’t care, but some people do, consciously or unconsciously. We wear these clothes because it’s part of our culture and what we like to wear.

Chapter 13

The camera shows Rat and Gunner stumbling out of the show drunk, and Kevin, Lily, Spike, Freak, Sweep, and Hey Kid following them (he unties his dog and carries the dog’s leash with the dog)...

HEY KID: Ahhhh, I got the munchies from all that alcohol... I’m gonna go grab some grub. Maybe get some food for Xander.

SPIKE: All right, catch you later.

GUNNER: Hey, I’ll come with you, Hey Kid.

HEY KID: Sure.

KEVIN: Just make sure you make your way back to the squat later on.

SPIKE: Or you might become lost... and drunk... in public.

SWEEP: Aaawww, if you guys are gonna do that, can I come?

GUNNER (sarcastic chuckling): No, little Jimmy. You gotta head home now and feed the pigeons.

SWEEP: But that doesn’t even make... —

GUNNER: Don’t argue with your old man.

Kevin sees a bottle of spray paint on the ground, picks it up, shakes it, and writes on a wall (already riddled with graffiti) the words “They Lie, You Die!” and an Anarchy symbol.

FREAK: I’m kind of hungry, too... can you try to bring me back something, Gunner?

GUNNER: For you, little lass, the world.

FREAK (getting closer to Gunner): I think you’re sexy when you dumpster dive.

KEVIN: Oh, my god! I’m witnessing the downfall of the western civilization! Woman convinces man to war against man because she wants to win the beauty contest.

FREAK (laughing): Shut up!

Freak gets into a boxing position and so does Kevin, and they pretend to box.

KEVIN: Whoa, I never knew that inmates at a loony bin could fight.

FREAK: That’s right. I had to kill a prison guard with a plastic fork because he tried to rape me.

GUNNER: I’m sure you’re just reminiscing about the time that yuppy kid came up to you with a doll and you stabbed its eyes out with a knife.

SPIKE (smiling wide): Oh, yeah! I remember that! Freak, that was the coolest thing you’ve ever done.

FREAK (stopping her boxing pose, while Kevin pretends to be doing punch rolls on her stomach, ending up massaging her): Well, hey, some kid comes up to me wearing a Nike or Abercrombie shirt and they’re lucky to walk away without bleeding... (laughing) Kevin, cut it out.

GUNNER: I don’t know if that’s the coolest thing Freak ever did... One time I woke up and my fingernails were painted pink.

FREAK: I didn’t do that.

GUNNER: Then, it must have been... (pointing to Spike, then Lily, then Kevin, then down)...

LILY: You did that to yourself.

GUNNER: Lies!

LILY: No, you blacked out drunk, and you asked me for pink nail paint, and I gave you some.

KEVIN: The more sensitive side of Gunner comes out when he blacks out on alcohol.

SPIKE: Not only that, but with a consciousness for interior decorating!

GUNNER: Oh, man, I really have been living a lie.

HEY KID: Hey, Gunner, I’m leaving. Let’s go.

GUNNER: All right... Later, you punks. I’ll see you at the squat at some undesignated time.

FREAK: Don’t forget to get me something! I need some food.

GUNNER: Oi oi! Homeless kids never forget their family!

The group departs, Gunner and Hey Kid heading out while Freak, Kevin, Spike, and Lily head back to the squat. There are still kids and gutter punks around the place where the show was, all heading back to their homes or congregating together. Slowly, Gunner and Hey Kid manage to make it out of the fuss of the punk show, and back into a relatively normal city.

GUNNER: That was a pretty fucking cool show.

HEY KID: I thought so, too.

They pass a dumpster, Gunner opens it up, and jumps inside, while Hey Kid waits outside.

HEY KID: This whole alleyway right here is my cafeteria. There’s the Italian restaurant up there, the pizza place over there. You got all the bases covered.

GUNNER: Oh, hell yeah... I love curb side pizza.

HEY KID: You find anything in there.

GUNNER: Nah, not yet — oh, wait...

Gunner pulls out two submarine sandwiches that are still wrapped.

HEY KID: Nice pull!

Gunner hands one to Hey Kid and puts the other in his trench coat pocket.

GUNNER: I’ll save this other one for Freak. And, look what I also found...

Hey Kid leans over, as Gunner ducks into the dumpster again, pulls out, and puts the strap to a broken camera around Hey Kid’s neck.

GUNNER: Your very own camera. I doubt it works. But it’s my gift to you, to show you how much I appreciate your friendship.

HEY KID: What a fucking shitty gift.

GUNNER: Yeah, well, I’m a homeless kid, so what do you want?

Gunner jumps out of the dumpster as he two keep walking. Hey Kid marvels at the camera.

HEY KID: I use to have a camera once. I took pictures of all my friends. I would spange and get cash to get them developed. I had a hundred pictures. Those people I slept next to, my family, my friends, the people I loved... but I lost them all. When I was arrested, they threw out a whole bunch of my stuff.

GUNNER: The streets are rough like that. You can’t keep a single fucking thing. Not for long anyway. So, the best thing you can do is to hold on to the people you love.

HEY KID: That was the only way I could... I had pictures of some of my other dogs. My first dog, Ulysses. That dog was a hard fucking dog. He slept with me at night, kept me warm, and if you tried to break in, he would rip your throat out. He barked at and tried to bite half the people in the city... Strangely, he never tried anything like that with a single fucking squatter.

GUNNER: What happened to him?

HEY KID: Cops. They raided the squat. The dog was laying next to me, heard the commotion, and moved five feet away from me. I heard three gunshots and fucking huddled against the wall. The dog fell down. He was shot in the head by the cops.

GUNNER: I wish every squatter in this city had a gun. That way we could fight the fucking pigs. I really am tired of running from them every time they think I’m up to something, which, usually I am, but that’s besides the point. I never did anything I thought was wrong.

The two pass by another dumpster.

HEY KID: Here, hold this.

Hey Kid hands the leash to Gunner, as Hey Kid jumps in the dumpster.

HEY KID: I know what you mean. It’s always going to be hard on us. We’re homeless, and people don’t like to see us. We make the city ugly. We might as well be the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Our crime is poverty and misfortune of being born into the class we are — but they take this as a reason to hate us, and then the cops find it as a reason to fuck with us.

GUNNER: I hate people.

HEY KID: I never stopped since I was born.

GUNNER: You find anything in there?

HEY KID: Just garbage.

GUNNER: Nice! What kind of food?

HEY KID: You sarcastic bastard.... ooohhhh, my god.

GUNNER: What??

Hey Kid lifts up a bottle of Jack Daniels.

GUNNER: Holy fucking shit... Is it real?

Hey Kid takes a swig.

HEY KID: Hell yeah, it’s real.

GUNNER: Hand that to me and keep looking around in there.

Hey Kid does as asked and Gunner takes a swig.

HEY KID: I found another! But, it’s half empty.

GUNNER: Hand it over and keep digging, bro’!

Hey Kid hands it over and then keeps searching.

GUNNER: Anything?

HEY KID: Nah.

Hey Kid hops out.

GUNNER: Well, you have a sub sandwich. I don’t get hungry ever. Want to just get drunk?

HEY KID: I ‘unno...

GUNNER: Come on, man... It’s just whiskey. It’s not like the dumpster gods put it there. Someone probably just threw it out because they were making a habit or something.

HEY KID: We could keep searching for food, but the rest of these dumpsters probably have nothing good in them.

GUNNER: Want to try by the bakery?

HEY KID: Can’t use that dumpster any more. They put bleach in their bread when they throw it out so we can’t eat it.

GUNNER: Fucking assholes! Shit like that pisses me the fuck off. They abandon buildings, but when we sleep in them we get arrested for trespassing. They throw out food, but when we eat their leftovers they arrest us for theft.

Hey Kid puts his hand on the back of Gunner’s neck and puts their foreheads together.

HEY KID: Don’t worry, brother... We’re in this together, and with this amount of whiskey, we have enough fuel to get us to the promised land.

GUNNER: For tonight, anyway. (smile)

Hey Kid and Gunner walk while drinking whiskey, and then Gunner looks back.

GUNNER: Holy shit!

Pops rolls out of the corner of the dumpster’s shadow.

POPS: Hey, Gunner, Hey Kid.

GUNNER: Pops, you gotta stop pulling this scare tactic shit. And where the hell you been anyway? I haven’t seen you in days.

POPS: Well, I’ve been working.

GUNNER: You? Work? Who would hire you?

POPS: I wash some mean dishes.

GUNNER: Oh, fucking, enough with the stories. You’re coming with us and getting trashed.

The three find some back alley and drink together. “Johnny” by the Violent Femmes begins to play. Finally, Hey Kid says something.

HEY KID: I’m gonna find some rooftop, to enjoy my drunkenness, and pass out while the stars watch me.

GUNNER: I’ll come with ya’. (quickly looks around, trying to think drunkenly) Uuhhhh....

Gunner hands one of the half finished bottles of whiskey to Pops.

GUNNER: Here, Pops, take this. I better see your ass around more often.

POPS: Ah, thanks, youngsta’.

Gunner and Hey Kid head off, finding some store, climbing the rooftop through a ladder in the back. The music of the Violent Femmes is still playing.

The two lean against the ledge of the roof, drinking, side by side.

GUNNER: It’s been a long goddamn time, man.

HEY KID: Since when?

Gunner looks down to the tarred roof.

GUNNER: Since I ever saw my parents.

HEY KID: I don’t have any memory of my family.

GUNNER: Ah, that makes sense. Lonely poet.... what stirs your heart?

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Sometimes, when I’m drunk, I say out loud what I think.

HEY KID: The stars, my friend. The stars.

GUNNER: I can’t even remember what my parents looked like. I don’t care about them any more, really. I have no intention of going back. And the pain of leaving what you have become use to is gone. But every embittered night, indulged in hard liquor, my memory brings me back to a familiar place.

Gunner takes a swig of the whiskey.

HEY KID: I think about the dogs I’ve had. They’ve been outcast by a world that has no room for them. They’re more like us, than they are like other humans.

GUNNER: That makes sense.... have you ever walked home and felt that home feeling?

HEY KID: What do you mean? Home?

GUNNER: We lost our houses, brother. It doesn’t mean we have no home... I remember once I left Pittsburgh, leaving behind good friends, good family, good alcohol, and a good squat that I was welcome at. I hitch hiked out to the middle of nowhere in fucking Illinois. Some trucker’s diner. And I asked myself, “What am I doing out here? What the fuck am I doing out here?” I wanted to say it, but I was awaiting new experiences and new alcohol, but it didn’t come. So I looked to the night sky, as dark as this one, except more stars — and I started to cry, as I walked back to Pittsburgh with an outstretched thumb. I prayed that the winds carried me home fast. And all through my heart, there was that thought pounding, that I was going home. Home. Nothing else matters. Just gotta get home. Take me home.

HEY KID: Are you home now?

Gunner, staring at the stars for two seconds, turns to Hey Kid, looks for two seconds, and then turns back to the stars.

GUNNER: I think so. Have you ever walked home and had that feeling?

HEY KID: I haven’t ever had a home.

GUNNER: No?

HEY KID: No. I’m just a ghost, drifting here to there to here.

GUNNER: We have no real home physically. But have you ever felt at home in the heart?

HEY KID: I don’t think so. I just try to make the best of what I have and where I’m going.

Pause.

GUNNER: Is everywhere home for you?

Hey Kid, looking down, smiles, and looks up to Gunner.

HEY KID: Yeah. (smile)

The camera pans towards the stars.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Hey Kid was that type of kid. The anonymous face in the crowd whose thoughts were rich and deep. He’s the kind of kid who has slept in water towers at night, writing poetry on the back of newspaper.

Chapter 14

The camera shows Hey Kid on a water tower, doing just that. Slowly the camera fades to a picture of him, sleeping on top of card board in the water tower (the walkway part of it). The camera pans upward to the stars, and then fades to early morning (six o’clock early morning). The camera pans to an alleyway, the one where the store that had their rooftop was. A homeless person is pushing a cart of empty soda and beer cans, looking rather haggard in appearance. Some guy has a blanket covering him against one wall. Cars drive by, some of them honking. The steps of people can be heard, as they walk by. Joggers, people on their way to work (for either blue collar or white collar or “brown collar” jobs), go by. Then the camera pans towards what seems like a confused pile of thrown away newspapers. The wind blows a piece of newspaper off at the end, revealing boots, and then the whole pile of newspaper erupts, as Gunner sits up from underneath, and immediately gets on all fours and vomits, several times, pausing only once to look up at the sunrise for a brief second.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Time to walk home, back to the squat.... The early morning walk home.

The song “Never Want To Leave Home” by Justin Sane begins to play, as Gunner stands up, looks up to the sky, and then turns around heading down the alleyway. He turns for a moment and spits, removing a bit of extra vomit and saliva. Then the camera is in the room of the squat where all the kids sleep. The door opens. It’s Gunner. Everyone is asleep. He takes out the subway sandwich, puts it next to Freak, and lays down next to her, wrapping his arm around the sleeping girl. He closes his eyes, lies still. She puts her hand on her forearm and pulls a little, with a smile.

The sun rises, as it shines through the window, and all at the squat awake, slowly. The camera fades to Gunner lying on the floor alone. Kevin is intently reading a book by Noam Chomsky (it could be any book).

GUNNER (just waking, disoriented): Huh?

KEVIN: You passed out. We should leave soon.

GUNNER: What time is it?

SPIKE: Fuck if any of us know... Almost afternoon I’d guess.

FREAK: The sun is at high noon. It beckons us.

SPIKE: ... or what I said.

GUNNER: Aaarghh... If there’s one thing I value, it is the blessed sleep.

Gunner rolls over onto his back and stretches out, with his eyes still closed, awake, but relaxing, and praying that he was asleep.

LILY: Aaaawwww, isn’t the little Gunner cute?

Gunner smiles at the comment.

FREAK: Aaaaawwww...

Freak runs over, bends down, and kisses Gunner on the neck, making out with him for a few seconds.

FREAK: Come on, get up, sweetie... Spike and Lily are buying us lunch.

GUNNER: Whooo! Lunch!

Gunner stretches more, still sleepy. It’s obvious that he still won’t get up for free lunch.

GUNNER: Eeerghh.... do I have to go?

FREAK: It’ll be a hot meal. Something we never get. And thanks for the sandwich. It made well for a breakfast. I thought of you while I ate it. Could you feel it?

Gunner sits open and struggles to open his eyes.

GUNNER: Okay, I’m up.

The camera cuts to the group walking on the sidewalk, all of them heading to the McDonald’s. Spike is carrying a bottle of Everclear (150 proof alcohol).

SPIKE: Thing is... Morning is the greatest time to get up and get drunk. Because it’s the happiness that lasts.

KEVIN: Doesn’t last nearly long enough.

SPIKE: Granted.

Spike takes a swig and passes the bottle to Kevin.

KEVIN: Uuhhh... I ‘unno. I mean, straight vodka is one thing. This is like, uhhh, here, Gunner, you take.

Gunner takes the bottle from Kevin.

GUNNER: At least this is real alcohol.

Gunner takes a long chug and then hands it to Freak.

GUNNER (looking exasperated): Yeah, now that was harsh, motherfucker. Come on, take a sip, Kevin.

Kevin hesitatingly takes the glass and tries to sip it. As he does, Spike lifts the bottom of the bottle up, causing Kevin to choke on it and spit some out.

KEVIN: Aw, that was awful, you asshole.... Hey, Gunner, what the hell did you do last night anyway? You never came back to the squat.

GUNNER: Aw, you know. Hey Kid and I found a shitload of hard liquor and we decided to get hammered.

FREAK: Mmmmmmm, such heart-warming stories, Gunner. Sometimes I wish I were you.

LILY: Oh, that’s normal.

GUNNER: Where the fuck is Sweep, anyway?

SPIKE: I thought he was with you?

GUNNER: My ass... I so was alone with Hey Kid when we hit up the dumpsters.

KEVIN: (mumbling) I thought he was with you... (pointing to Spike)

SPIKE: (shrug) Not I.

LILY: Don’t worry, you guys... This morning, I was disturbed by someone walking. It was Sweep. He left early. He said he was going to walking around the early morning to enjoy the stars while they were still out.

SPIKE: What a weird little man. And he has my blessings.

With that, Spike takes another chug of his Everclear.

LILY: Does someone want to find him and tell him that we’re buying lunch for everyone?

KEVIN (eyeballing Spike): Come on, we’re all waiting for you to say ‘no, ixnay, Lily.’

SPIKE: Hey, fuck you.... If this wasn’t 150 proof alcohol, you’d be wearing it.

Spike takes a chug, looks at the bottle, looks at Kevin, growls, looks back at the bottle, and takes another chug.

GUNNER: So, who wants to go on a quest for the alluring Sweep?

KEVIN: I shall endeavor on this quest, fellow mates. See you at the McDonald’s. I’ll scour the streets with the bars.

LILY: Don’t forget the underground record shops.

KEVIN: Yeah, those, too.

FREAK: He likes to hang around that water tower thing, too.

KEVIN: Aw, man, how long is this gonna take? And will I get this time back at a later time in life?

GUNNER: This journey is going to take away thirty seven minutes from your life. Thirty seven minutes that you will never get back.... now chop chop!

KEVIN: All right, I’ll catch you guys later.

Kevin heads off in another direction. The camera slowly moves up towards the sky, with a bird’s eye view, watching the crew, as the song “I still love you Julie” by Against Me! begins to play. The camera fades to a scene where all of them are at McDonald’s eating: Gunner, Kevin, Spike and Lily, Freak, and Sweep. The volume of the music is lowered for a voice over by Gunner...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Spike and Lily bought us each two sandwiches, and two large orders of French fries for community use. It was nice to have warm, hot food for once. Something that shoplifting can’t always acquire. Finally, sitting down eating warm food was too easy for Kevin...

Kevin gets up out of his chair and sits at a table with two yuppies (one wearing a Nike shirt). He talks to them....

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: So he decided to interrogate some yuppies about their support of Nike clothing. I’m not sure any more if we do it because politics means something to us or if we feel awkward without having some trouble.

Chapter 15

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.

Chapter 16

The camera comes down from the sky and focuses on Kevin and Gunner walking down the street. The song “New Homes for Idle Hands” by Propagandhi starts to play. It’s night time. A yuppy walks by wearing an ADIDAS shirt.

GUNNER (to yuppy): FUCK CHILD LABOR, ASSHOLE!

Gunner kills a bottle of vodka and smashes it against a cement wall.

Another yuppy walks by, this one wearing a shirt with an American flag on it.

KEVIN (to yuppy): FUCK FASCISM, MOTHERFUCKER!

The two keep walking. And a yuppy couple (a guy and a girl) walk into them, and everyone stops. The girl is wearing a Nike shirt and the guy is wearing a “God Bless America” shirt. Gunner swings at the guy, knocking him out. The girl screams, and Kevin swings at her, knocking her out.

GUNNER: Dude, you just fucking hit a girl!

KEVIN: HEY! FUCK SEXISM!

Gunner smiles. A guy from behind jumps Gunner’s pack. Kevin slams the guy in the side, as he falls off of Gunner. Gunner kicks him while he’s on the ground a few times. Two other guys (yuppy jocks) come running over. Gunner punches one in the face twice. The yuppy falls to the ground, and Gunner grabs his collar and starts repeating punching him in the face. As the other one charges Kevin, he kicks him right as he reaches Kevin. The guy bends over in pain, and Kevin kicks him in the stomach again, and then punches him in the face, knocking him to the ground, where he proceeds to kick him. The camera slowly fades out....

The camera fades in to the sky, day time, next day. Gunner is walking down the street, carrying Freak on his back. She has her legs wrapped around his waist and her arms over his shoulders. He’s holding her arms in place on his chest. She has a vodka bottle, that she is taking several swigs from, and pouring down the throat of Gunner now and then. It’s just the two of them, as they walk through various people.

GUNNER: Come on, gimmie some more lovin’....

Gunner opens his mouth and she pours in more vodka.

GUNNER: Oh, that’s some harsh stuff.

FREAK: I’m trying to spoil my boy.

GUNNER: You’re doing a fine job of it.

FREAK: Where are we going?

GUNNER: I thought you were navigating this voyage?

FREAK: Take me to the graveyard of dreams and the birthplace of misery.

GUNNER: The nearest local bar and slash or tavern, righty ho...

FREAK: No, no, no, young feller... You must give birth to virtue, you must die thinking about the purpose of life.

GUNNER: Gimmie some more lovin’...

Freak holds the vodka bottle in front of Gunner’s face, and he tries to run towards it, and then she moves it right and left, changing his direction.

GUNNER: Come on... I’mma gettin’ agitated.

FREAK: I just wanted to see how you would react. I’m not a tease.

She gives him plenty of vodka.

GUNNER: Yeah, an alcohol tease would be pretty bad. I mean, lure me into sex any day and then refuse me... sure. But don’t hold vodka in front of me like that without satisfying me.

Freak leans her face on Gunner’s head.

FREAK: Gunner, why do you think we love getting fucked up?

GUNNER: I ‘unno.... drugs?

She lifts up her head.

FREAK: That’s not an answer.

GUNNER: Oh, well.... uuuhhhhh.... Hey, look, it’s Paul! Let’s ask him.

PAUL: Hey, Gunner.... What kind of punk rock activity are you up to today?

GUNNER: I’m conducting a survey. Tell me, Paul... why do you like getting fucked up?

PAUL (sarcastic): How dare you presume that I drink...

GUNNER: Okay, Paul. Counting this time, I’ve seen you sober about 5 times.

PAUL: That’s a lie.

GUNNER: So, you aren’t sober now.

PAUL: Well, no....

GUNNER: That’s what I thought! So, now, continuing the survey, why do you like getting fucked up?

PAUL: Well... You forget your problems and it makes me happy. Can I get my fifty dollars for doing this survey now?

GUNNER: Shut up, you alcoholic.

Freak starts rubbing the sides of Gunner’s scalp. He closes his eyes, opens his mouth, and expresses pure bliss.

GUNNER: Ohhh, that feels so good.

PAUL: I’m looking for some weed. I’ll catch up with you guys later. Hopefully, Barf will be around somewhere.

GUNNER: All right. Later.

The two keep walking on.

GUNNER: I think Paul’s idea of why we get fucked up was pretty accurate. It feels good.

FREAK: But noooo... That answer can’t be. It’s not satisfying to my soul.

GUNNER: Well, what do you want me to say? I do drugs because, my father did them? I do drugs because, it’s part of my religion? I’m not sure the answer that you’re looking for.

FREAK: Maybe, then... neither do I.

Gunner closes one eye and uses the other to look up at Freak.

GUNNER: I think I do drugs, and enjoy the status of fucked up, because it’s happiness, in a bottle, in a pill, in a syringe, wherever.

FREAK: That’s true.

GUNNER: And as homeless punks, we certainly don’t have much else to rely upon. It’s not like we can go and do whatever we want. No television sets, no radios.

FREAK: Sweep owns a CD player.

GUNNER: Yeah, and it’s weird, because he’s the youngest. I feel kind of bad for that kid... He’s so fucking young, and he’s lost so much already, but I can sense in him, that he’s not ready to let go of what he doesn’t have. Like those forty year old homebums. They carry everything they own. Maybe forty or fifty pounds. I once met this homeless guy, who used to be middle class. He lost his job and couldn’t replace it, so he was on unemployment and then lost all his money. So, when I left him, since we chatted and drank for a little, he grabbed a carriage and started pushing it. I asked him what he was doing, and he said with tears in his eyes, “Isn’t this what homeless people do? Collect cans for recycling?” I shook my head, took a few more swigs of cheap wine, and said, “Dude, I hope you learn fast.”

FREAK: It’s hard giving up everything in life, when that’s all you’ve known, to discover the world of nothing.

GUNNER: How did you take to it?

FREAK: I’ve never belonged to that world of everything. As a six year old, just crashing in dumpsters. And then, these two old people decided to take me home, and they tried to feed me, and clothe me, and wash me. I didn’t like it much... They called the police and tried to get me to a real home. After a week, I ran away, as far and as fast as I could. I didn’t like their shallow soap operas, and I could see through their lies.

GUNNER: Kind of like Tank. He’s like 40, and he’s been homeless since he was 8. How old are you, anyway?

FREAK: I’m 16.

GUNNER: Damn, I committed Pedophilia.

FREAK: The laws are a crime. If you want to get lost in life, there is no surer way than following the law.

GUNNER: I love you, Freak.

FREAK: I love you, too, Gunner.

GUNNER: You know... maybe something will happen, one day, where we won’t have to beg for change or shoplift for food, and work won’t be slavery, and we won’t have to live the way we do. That would be something.

FREAK: It would, but you’ll choke on the dust that collects while you wait for it. Don’t wait, my lover... Take a swig of vodka, close your eyes, and think about my hand on your neck.

GUNNER: I think I will.

The camera slowly fades, as Freak delivers another shwill to Gunner. The camera fades out, as it becomes night. The camera is focusing on a the side of a brick building, slowly moving down, as the sound of a spray-paint can are heard. The words “FUCK THE LAW” are seen. Sweep is standing there, nodding his head while he looks at the words. “Good work,” Kevin says, as he walks over and fake-punches Sweep in the arm. He’s obviously drunk. The song “Nailing Descartes to the Wall” by Propagandhi begins playing. Gunner, Kevin, and Sweep are running through an inner-city alleyway. The camera stops as they reach a store. Sweep and Gunner are looking at each other, face to face, while Gunner is holding a brick.

GUNNER: You have to throw this brick at this Nike store, and you know you have to. Because children as old as you are employed in factories for sixteen hours a day.

Gunner looks over and sees Tank, as he walks over and crushes his boot through the window of the store. Gunner screams, “AHHHHHHH!” and runs over and smashes one of the windows, while Sweep picks up a rock and does the same to the last remaining window. The camera focuses on the four, Gunner, Sweep, Kevin, and Tank, overlooking the broken shards of the store. Sirens sound, and they all begin to run, except Kevin. A cop car stops and a cop emerges, holding a gun. “Freeze!” he yells. Kevin, also obviously drunk...

KEVIN: Hey!! Fuck you, pig!!!

Kevin hucks a rock at the cop, spider-webbing the front window of the cop cruiser. The cop aims at Kevin, but doesn’t take a shot, as Kevin books it down an alleyway. The camera slowly fades out. It’s still night time. Kevin, Sweep, and Gunner are walking together, towards the feeding. They’re all singing together. “Cause, baby, I’m an Anarchist. You’re a spineless liberal. We march together, for the eight hour day, and held our hands together in the streets of Seattle, but when it come time to throw that brick through that Starbucks window, you left me all alone... All alone.”

The camera slowly fades towards day time. Gunner is resting in the park on his back. He looks sedated. The others (Kevin, Freak, Spike and Lily) are there. Rat is also the there. She is leaning over him.

RAT: Awwwww, you have a bit too much to take?

GUNNER: No, no, I took some of Barf’s medicine?

RAT: You took pills?

GUNNER: Sort of.

RAT: What kind of pills?

GUNNER: Valium, I think.

RAT: Then, you better hold off the liquor.

Gunner, obviously, is wicked fucked up. He’s lying on his back, and looks beyond the ability to comprehend what is going on.

GUNNER: But, I only had two.

RAT: Hhhhhhhhhmmmmmm, well, you can have a little bit more vodka., then...

Rat puts the bottle of vodka that Gunner was sipping on up to his mouth and helps him intoxicate himself even more.

GUNNER: Thank you, most beautiful.

Gunner puts his hands on the sides of Rat’s face....

GUNNER: You are the most precious, beautiful creature on this planet... When I think about you, I close my eyes, and see beauty.

RAT: And that’s only after the orgasm, huh?

GUNNER (with a smile): Must you be so vulgar...?

RAT: No, but you like it that way, right?

GUNNER: I wouldn’t have it any other way. Next time, it’ll be your turn to make the Universe. Make sure that it’s still the same.

RAT: Yeah, who’s turn was it last to create the Universe?

Gunner rolls on his side (for no apparent reason).

GUNNER: I think it was Tank’s.

RAT: What makes you say that?

GUNNER: The fact that it takes no effort to make alcohol in prison is proof that god is an alcoholic.

RAT: (sarcastic) Are you insinuating that Tank is an alcoholic? Noooo....

GUNNER: It’s true.

RAT: Are we talking about the same Tank? The fucking huge guy, who is, well, huge?

GUNNER: I think we are talking about the same Tank.

Tank comes into the scene.

TANK: You know, I heard someone mention my name over here.

GUNNER: That guy.

TANK: That guy what?

RAT: Aawwww, Gunner is on Valium. He thinks you’re an alcoholic.

TANK: (sarcastic) Noooooo... I’m a drunk!

RAT: See, Gunner.

GUNNER: Maybe you were right, and maybe I was wrong.

TANK: (sarcastic) Gunner, man.... how could you say that about me? I thought I knew you.

GUNNER: Okay, cut the shit and pass me the whiskey.

TANK: All right, you deserve it.

RAT: No. He’s really fucked up on Valium.

GUNNER: But I only had two hits!

TANK: The kid only had two hits!

RAT: Well, fine, but it’s against my better judgment.

TANK: Here you go, Gunner.

Gunner takes a few swigs of a bottle of Jagermeister.

GUNNER: Funny.... this doesn’t TASTE like whiskey.

TANK: Well, uhhhh, odd that, considering it’s not whiskey.

Gunner pulls out a sandwich from his jacket and hands it to Tank.

GUNNER: Here, you need protein to build your muscles.

TANK: I reckon I do. Thanks, Gunner. Well, you can keep that bottle, kiddo.

GUNNER: Yay!

TANK: I’m gonna go spange down one of the touristy streets.

RAT: Careful of the cops, big man.

TANK: Oh, don’t you worry, lil gal. I can take care of myself. See you, Gunner. Later, Rat.

Chapter 17

The camera slowly fades out of the scene. It is dark outside. Kevin and Gunner are walking together.

KEVIN: It’s just like, they won’t fucking listen, no matter how much I fucking try to explain it. These people are fucking suffering on the other side of the planet. Animals can feel the same as you can. Employers don’t have a right to the wealth you produce. Over and over again. And I get all this shit.

GUNNER: Like, this country was founded on patriotism, or, capitalism gives us liberty.

KEVIN: Yeah, like the liberty to be a six year old working 16 hours a day. Patriotism is loving the fact that you’re in a nation dominated by money-loving political parties. Chances are, as long as half of Americans believe in patriotism, we will never have a black or female president.

GUNNER: Unless our beautifully crafted system of the electoral college allows the majority to lose dominance in the political arena.

KEVIN: You know, there are some punks out on these streets who don’t know a goddamned thing about any of this.

GUNNER: They aren’t blessed in the least.

KEVIN: It seems like, they’re indifferent to their oppression.

GUNNER: Well, look at Spike. He’s a good kid, but he’s not very politically active, the way we are.

KEVIN: True, but he recognizes his spot in life. He knows he is oppressed. It’s just that, maybe for him, forgetting about the miserable world, by loving one beautiful girl, is just the best decision. For him, anyway. He knows that the media is just propaganda, he knows that the rule of the people by the people means no police officers. And he does do some things about it. He’ll talk back to the man when the situation arises, but his life isn’t a never-ending battle for liberty. It’s just, for him, heroin and a girlfriend are all he needs.

GUNNER: Yeah, I love that punk.

KEVIN: What about all those punks who won’t even recognize their oppression?

GUNNER: Meh, they’re probably just housies.

KEVIN: Probably true.

GUNNER: It takes time, though, to see through all their lies. You can’t just go from sleeping in a nice bed, to waking up in a sewer and seeing all the bullshit they put out. It takes time.

KEVIN: Also, true.

GUNNER: What’s the difference between a dead baby and a rock?

KEVIN: There is none!

GUNNER: Throwing dead babies at your friends doesn’t do as much damage.

KEVIN: I ‘unno, Gunner.... Those dead babies have some pretty good leverage.

Kevin makes it like he’s throwing a football. The two arrive at the feeding.

GUNNER: Yay! We made it to the feeding!

KEVIN: It’s odd. Whenever we walk on this street at this time of day, we always end up at the feeding.

GUNNER: Do you think...?

KEVIN: It must be fate.

GUNNER: What....... is that?

Gunner and Kevin look, to see Freak and Rat making out. The two walk over.

GUNNER: I have no idea what to say to you two right now.

Rat looks up.

KEVIN: Well, I do. Save some for me!

GUNNER: Really... do you think Kevin and I wouldn’t find out?

KEVIN: I am so turned on and disgusted at the same time. It’s probably the best I’ve felt in a long, long, long time.

RAT: There’s nothing wrong with this. You know, all that equal gender, sexuality rights.

GUNNER: Yeah, but I’m more sexually aroused when I pretend there is something wrong with it.

FREAK: She tastes yummy.

GUNNER: Okay, maybe there is something wrong with it....

KEVIN: Gunner, stop pretending.

GUNNER: Aw.

KEVIN: Hey, check it out. Hey Kid is in line!

GUNNER: We’ll have to just go and pay him a visit!

KEVIN: Are you two ladies up for....

Kevin looks over and sees the two girls back at making out...

KEVIN: Yeah, uhhh, okay, then.

GUNNER: What the fuck is that over there?

RAT: Looks like Hey Kid.

FREAK: Hey Kid being hey shy and hey secluded, if you hey ask me.

RAT: (smiling) Okay, you shut up and make that tongue of yours do something useful.

The two go back to making out.

Gunner and Kevin head over to Hey Kid, who is in line for the feeding. The camera focuses on Sweep’s face.

SWEEP: Hey, Brian. You’re a fucking asshole.

BRIAN: Fuck you, kid.

Brian picks up the kid by his jacket and moves him over further from him. Kevin and Gunner just arrive on the scene.

GUNNER: Hey, fucker... I don’t care who the fuck you fucking think you are, but nobody, fucking nobody, touches Sweep like that. You do that again and you’ll be wearing your ass for a hat.

KEVIN: Fucking A. I stand behind everything he said.

BRIAN: Hey, guys... I’m sorry if I offend you or your little friend, okay. It’s just that he’s angry about something else that happened. Someone happened to offend me and I happened to threaten them.

GUNNER: Ah, well, I know how that is.

KEVIN: Who the fuck did you offend and why?

Gunner seemed sympathetic, but Kevin wanted to delve into this more.

BRIAN (seeming more relaxed): (to Kevin) Did you want to make an issue out of this?

KEVIN: Hey! I didn’t say I wanted to make an issue out of this, nor did I say I had anything a-fucking-gainst you. I asked you a simple fucking question. Who did you offend. And why. Can you please answer that?

Brian looks to Gunner, and Gunner shrugs.

BRIAN: I offended that kid over there, mostly because he offended me.

Brian points to Hey Kid.

GUNNER: Hey, that’s a good kid.

BRIAN: No, he’s not. He looked at my girlfriend like he wanted to fuck her.

GUNNER: Ooooohhhhhh....

Hey Kid, who is next in line to Brian, is standing there, trying to look ambiguous.

GUNNER: Hey Kid, what’s up?

HEY KID: Not much, man. You?

It’s obvious to tell that Hey Kid is trying to look away from Brian and his group.

GUNNER: What did they assholes do?

BRIAN: Hey, I can fucking hear you talk and I can hear what you’re fucking saying about me.

GUNNER: Ease off, I’m not talking to you.

Kevin holds up a peace symbol.

KEVIN (to Hey Kid): Did they threaten you?

HEY KID: Yeah.

GUNNER: Which one?

HEY KID: Brian. The others were just, following along.

Gunner goes to walk towards Brian, but he’s pulled back by Hey Kid.

HEY KID (whispering to Gunner): Don’t tell them anything I said.

Gunner just stares at Hey Kid for a few moments. Then he grabs him and hugs him tightly.

GUNNER: Don’t you fucking worry about a goddamn thing, Hey Kid.

Gunner lets go and turns to Kevin. Nobody can see him, but Kevin. Kevin looks at his partner. He sees a tear, and picks it with his finger. Gunner nods to his brother and wipes his face with the rugged sleeve of his jacket. Gunner walks up to Brian, face to face, less than two inches away. Kevin is right behind him. The song “Cute Without The E (cut from the team)” (acoustic) by Taking Back Sunday begins to play.

GUNNER: You threatened Hey Kid because he looked at your girlfriend?

BRIAN: Yeah, because my girl isn’t a piece of trash, and she’s not for him.

Gunner turns to his girlfriend.

GUNNER: And this is okay for you?

GIRL: If my boyfriend has problems with another guy for what he does, then I’ll stand behind him for everything he does.

In the back, you can hear Brian yelling, “Fucking right!” Gunner turns to Brian for a second, and then turns back to Girl.

GUNNER: Then what does he do if I do this?

Gunner spits in her face, and turns to Brian. Brian erupts in a rage and tries to swing at Gunner, but Gunner blocks and swings to Brian’s stomach, and then kicks him in the head as he bows to the ground. Brian falls to the ground. JoJo comes charging at Gunner, but Kevin pulls out his lead pipe.

KEVIN: Hey! This is between them two! Anyone gets involved, and I’ll make sure to get involved with their face!

JoJo and Nutty (Brian’s friends) lay off. Brian gets up and swings at Gunner, breaking his nose). Gunner doesn’t care, only getting angry, and punches Brian in the face three times, finally knocking him to the ground, where he proceeds to kick him at least seven times in the chest and face. But Brian gets up again, and slugs Gunner in the jaw. Gunner gets even more pissed, and punches him even harder, several times in the face and neck.

GUNNER: Fucking stay down, motherfucker, or I’ll make it worse for you!

Brian crawls up in the fetal position while Gunner delivers at least ten more blows with his boots.

GUNNER: You fucking piece of shit, you ever fucking touch Hey Kid again, and I’ll beat the fucking shit out of you and your pansy ass fucking kids again. The same goes for Sweep. You fucking got that!? HEY!?

BRIAN: Yeah, yeah....

GUNNER: Fucking good.

Gunner leans off of Brian and looks at Brian’s friends.

GUNNER: Fuck you all, pieces of shit.

Gunner looks and gives them all a disdainful look. Sweep walks up to Gunner. He looks down at the little tyke. Sweep wraps his arms around Gunner. He puts his hand on the little kid’s back. Sweep lets go, and Gunner leaves, Kevin still standing there. Ten seconds passes and Kevin leaves. Gunner walks over to Freak and Rat who are still making out. They feel a shadow.

RAT: Are you guys all right? I heard some scuffling over there. (not even looking up)

GUNNER: Sorta.

Freak looks up and stops Rat.

FREAK: Gunner.... You want me to help?

Rat finally looks up.

RAT: Oh, fuck.... what happened?

GUNNER: I beat the fuck out of this asshole piece of shit.

Freak stands up and looks at Gunner face to face. She kisses him on the cheek and buries her face in his chest.

RAT: What happened?

KEVIN: Some guy was threatening to beat the shit out of Hey Kid, because he thought Hey Kid was checking out his girlfriend. So, Gunner spit in the girlfriend’s face and beat the crap out of the guy.

Freak wraps her arms around Gunner and tightly.

FREAK: I think about you when I bleed, beautiful.

GUNNER: I love you, too, Freak.

FREAK: I didn’t say I love you, but I will now. I love you.

RAT: You want some help?

GUNNER: Nah, you two are in lesbian love.

RAT: Well, Spike and Lily are just over there.

GUNNER: All right, I guess I’ll go bug them.... I’ll see you, Rat.

Gunner goes to walk away.

RAT: Hey, Gunner.

He turns.

RAT: I love you.

He smiles.

GUNNER: I love you, too, Rat.

Chapter 18

Gunner and Kevin walk away. The camera shows a short image of Rat and Freak holding each other, as they watch the two men walk away. Gunner appears in front of Spike and Lily.

GUNNER: Hey, what’s up?

SPIKE: Not much, motherfucker...

KEVIN: Did you see what just happened?

SPIKE: Nah, I didn’t. In fact, I can barely see either of you in this darkness.

Gunner steps forward.

SPIKE: Shiiiiiit! What happened to your face?

GUNNER: I got in a fight. Some asshole threatened Hey Kid over no good goddamn fucking reason. So, I welcomed him to our humble city.

SPIKE: Right the fuck on, man.

Spike stands up.

SPIKE: I just wish he wasn’t so painful.

LILY: I have some paper towels for that.

Lily looks through a handbag and pulls out a huge pile of towelettes

LILY: Here, Gunner, sit down.

He listens to her.

LILY: Now, let mother Lily take over from here.

She begins to wipe the blood off of his face.

GUNNER: Lily, you’re fucking awesome.

LILY: Thanks... If you took on someone who did this to you, you’re pretty brave, too, you know. But, it’s why I love you as a friend. You’re strong to your ideals. I’ll offer support any time I can.

GUNNER: Thanks. How did you get all these fucking towelettes anyway?

SPIKE: That is the good part, my friend. This Amtrak train stopped in for about 15 seconds, so Lily and I jumped aboard and looted everything we could.

KEVIN: Even the towelettes?

SPIKE: Yes, even the towelettes

KEVIN: You guys, seriously...... are the fucking coolest.

SPIKE: We aimed to tourist luggage, but there wasn’t much left on. We got a camera that we pawned, though. Made about $25. So, I bought some H and a little bottle of vodka for the misses.

KEVIN: How’s Gunner’s face looking, Lily?

LILY: Extremely handsome as always.... but it’s looking much better. No dirt in the wounds. And I think the bleeding stopped after all the pressure I applied. Most people complain about that.

GUNNER: Nah, I’m on a Valium comedown. Plus the alcohol. Very little I can feel at all. Except a burrowing exploding rage that I had for that shithead Brian.

SPIKE: Hey, Kevin, did he really take out that guy really badly? Because after threatening Hey Kid, and doing this to my friend Gunner, I really want a piece of this motherfucker.

KEVIN: Well, the guy is still on the ground right now while his friends console him.

SPIKE: Okay, I guess I’ll leave him alone.

KEVIN: The guy was at least six inches taller than Gunner. He did a fucking good job.

LILY: You’re a brave kid, Gunner. I respect you.

SPIKE: You have my fucking respect, too, brother. You need my hand in taking out anyone, and you fucking got it. No questions, motherfucker. No questions needed.

GUNNER: Thanks, brothers. I think I’ll just want a nice, quiet walk back to the squat. Peaceful, after all of today, with the Valium comedown and the fight.

SPIKE: I understand, brother. We’ll make sure to bring you back a plate from the feeding, all right?

GUNNER: Right, right.

LILY: There, I think I got all the dirt. If you want more back at the squat, just tell me.

GUNNER: Thanks, beautiful. I love you more and more everyday.

He moves in and kisses her on the cheek.

LILY: I love you, too, Gunner.

GUNNER: I’ll see you guys later. Have a good meal.

SPIKE: You go easy, bro.

KEVIN: See ya’, guys.

LILY: Later.

SPIKE: See ya’, man.

Kevin and Gunner leave the feeding area and trek down the sidewalk.

GUNNER: And what do you think about that?

KEVIN: You kicked the shit out of the guy. I liked it.

GUNNER: Nah, ‘bout what Spike said.

KEVIN: Well, what did he say?

GUNNER: He said if I need to beat the shit out of another cunt, he’d be there for me.

KEVIN: Of course he would. There’s no doubt to it.

GUNNER: But think about what we were just talking about. We thought he wasn’t a real revolutionary, just a young punk caught up in the mix, doing what he knew was right. And he would be there for me if I needed it.

KEVIN: Maybe being a revolutionary means just knowing what to do at the right time, in accordance to your and their social or economic conditions.

GUNNER: You see what Sweep said?

KEVIN: Yeah, he called that guy an asshole. That kid has fucking balls. I love him to fucking death.

GUNNER: And you heard what Rat said, right?

KEVIN: No, what did she say?

GUNNER: She said that she loved me.

Gunner turns to Kevin.

GUNNER: She loves me.

Gunner smiles, Kevin returns the smile, and wraps his arm around Gunner. The camera watches them from behind as they walk off into the night. The camera fades out as the two soldiers trek off. It opens up on a rainy day, clouded, no sun. The group (Gunner, Kevin, Freak, Spike and Lily, and Sweep) are journeying through the city. The song “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” by the Dead Kennedys begins.

SWEEP: I fucking hate the rain!

SPIKE: I hear that, little buddy.

SWEEP: I have one pair of clothes, and if it gets wet, I can’t just slip into something warm.

GUNNER: The kid has a point. We should all get naked once we get back to the squat.

KEVIN: And have an orgy.

GUNNER: I was about to say that, and I would have if I didn’t choke on a rain drop.

FREAK: How do you choke on a rain drop, sweetie?

GUNNER: Of all people, I thought you would understand.

FREAK: Well, I do. But a cold one or a warm one?

GUNNER: Cold, obviously.

FREAK: That makes sense.

SWEEP: Freak.... (shakes head at her) You’re weird.

Freak moves closer to Sweep, and kisses him on the forehead.

FREAK: Whatever anyone says, I think you’re cute.

KEVIN: Come on, come on, let’s avoid anything obscene. The kid’s only 11, after all.

GUNNER: You think I would have stood up like that to a teenage girl like freak if I was 11? Hell fucking no, man.

SPIKE: That’s because Sweep is the shit.

LILY: Tonight, we’ll drink to Sweep!

Gunner and Kevin interlock, putting each other’s arms on each other’s shoulders.

GUNNER AND KEVIN: Yeah! Drinking to Sweep tonight!

SWEEP: It would be better if you gave me something to drink. (smile)

SPIKE: The kid makes a point.

FREAK: I’d offer you my body, but I don’t want to offend you or your lover behind bars.

SWEEP (turning to Gunner): You see, droog. It’s shit like that I don’t get.

GUNNER: Oh, that’s easy, man.

Gunner pulls out a 40 of a malt beverage and begins drinking it.

GUNNER: She said she would have sex with you, but she won’t because you’re monogamous with some other chick.

SWEEP: But, still, man...

GUNNER: Nah, nah, nah, just let it go. It’s her way of doing things.

KEVIN: Besides, if Gunner was such a robust and polite female, I’m sure he would do the same to you.

Gunner chokes on his malt beverage, laughs with a “Fuck you!” and tries to kick Kevin, but Kevin dodges. Kevin laughs.

KEVIN: Hey, at least it was an honest joke!

GUNNER: .... yeah, true.

LILY: Everyone, I dumpster dived some sandwiches. We will all have food for later tonight.

GUNNER: (laughing) Who needs food?

Kevin punches Gunner in the arm.

KEVIN: Why you gotta be so disrespectful!?

Gunner kicks Kevin, this time hitting him, and causing him to limp for a few steps.

KEVIN: Ooowww, you bastard.

SPIKE: You see, guys, that’s Lily. She’s a friend of the family. Always thinking of us.

LILY: With such a kickass crew, who could stop thinking about how badass you guys are?

Kevin kisses her head (on the side).

KEVIN: You’re such a good girl. I don’t know what we would do without you and Spike. You’re family.

SWEEP: And you know... I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I think that you all are my family too. I have a special bond with you all.

KEVIN: A special bond?

GUNNER: He means connection, you dumbass.

KEVIN: I fucking knew what he meant!

Kevin tries to kick Gunner, but misses, and they both laugh.

SWEEP: Really, guys. I know Spike and Lily as parents, almost. Gunner and Kevin as rascal brothers. And, Freak, well, sort of like that sister I never understood, but deep down inside, I loved.

With one bottle in hand, Gunner walks over to Sweep and places his arm around his shoulder. He kisses the side of his head.

GUNNER: I love you, bro.

SWEEP: I love you, too, droog.

Gunner goes back to drinking his malt.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: That’s what family is. When you wake up in the morning and you see those people still by your side. Maybe it’s because of the world that we live in, that we can know someone for two weeks, and already be their brother. But, that sounds misleading. This world we live in? By that, what do you think I mean? The cops, right? And starving, and freezing to death, and serving time, right? No, none of that. By the world we live in, I mean this fucking barren ass city. I mean walking around at 4 AM on a methamphetamine trip, happy as fuck, but wondering why you can’t find anyone who understands you. I mean being lonely, never having family. Alone. Being alone. That’s the type of world many of us are forced into. No blood family to help us. Then you look to your side and see this 11 year old punkass, kicking it down main street and heading to our squat. You see this unshaven girl that makes no sense unless she’s fucking. You see this couple holding on to their love like a poor man and his quarter. And you see this mohawked punk who takes pleasure in his hobby of beating the fuck out of Nazis. It doesn’t matter, because when you sleep together, in the same building, defending each other, that feeling comes back... That feeling, that no matter what they do, no matter who they hurt, no matter how awful people they are inside, you have to defend them, against anyone and anything. Maybe it’s natural, maybe it’s not. But if there’s one thing I know...

As Gunner is in the middle of his voice over, the group of comrades are walking across a crosswalk, where a sign is blinking that says, “DON’T WALK.” Since the group of people is particularly rebellious in all of their attitudes, they walk across anyway. As Gunner is doing the voice over, they are in the middle of the crosswalk. A car, beeping loudly, drives through the center of the group, separating the group into two sections: the first (Spike, Lily, and Gunner) and the second (Kevin, Sweep, and Freak). As the car goes through, the song “The Greatest Working Class Ripoff” by Crass starts playing. They all express their resentment with “Crosswalk, asshole!” — “Fucking hell!” — “What the fuck!!” (etc., etc.) Spike kicks the side of the car, leaving a dent. For that brief moment, the car stops quickly. Gunner kicks the back of the car, and breaks one of the tail lights, exclaiming, “Get out of the car, motherfucker!!” The car door opens and a figure emerges. Kevin whips out his lead pipe, and swings it into his palm several times.

KEVIN: Come on, motherfucker...

The figure, wearing a trench coat and being pelted by the rain, raises his hand and fires a gun into the air. The group of six start running across the street and then they start running across the other way. As Gunner is crossing the street over, a car nearly hits him but stops just short of him by two feet.

GUNNER: Hey, fucking asshole! I’m walking here!

Gunner kicks the front bumper of the car and keeps running. Freak jumps on the hood of the car as she’s running across the street. While on the hood, she stops for a brief second to flip off the gunman. As Spike is running across the road, a car comes out and smashes into him. He flies into the pavement about four feet.

SPIKE: You fucking asshole!

Lily walks over and helps pickup Spike. Gunner walks by the car and kicks the car door. The car speeds off for a moment, but stops immediately, seeing that there is a red light for them still. Spike and Lily walk by, as she holds him, he’s limping. Kevin walks up to the car and smashes one of the back windows with his lead pipe. The group, all of them, run for a block and finally make it back to the squat. The camera focuses on all of them entering their room in the squat. They’re all soaking wet. Spike starts taking off his shirt. After he has it off, Lily starts kissing him.

LILY: Are you okay?

SPIKE: Eh, I’ll be fine. I’ve been hit by cars before.

GUNNER: Dude, I’ve been hit by cars, too. It fucking sucks ass.

KEVIN: How the fuck do you live, Gunner? People shoot at your ass and try to run you over.

GUNNER: Eh, it’s a work in progress, life, and all that. At least I still I have plenty of vodka to get us all to the land of drunkenness and back again.

LILY: (smiling) Gunner, you are my coolest, most useful friend.

GUNNER: A friend with alcohol is a friend indeed.

Sweep starts taking off all of his clothes, except for his underwear, and folder his clothes and putting it on a string that’s going across the top of the room. He curls up in a sheet. Spike and Lily get undressed and start fucking (yeah, in front of everyone, because it’s no big deal). Freak shakes off, shaking the rain off her body. Then she gets her blanket, and curls up next to Sweep, sharing with him. He looks at her suspiciously...

FREAK: Don’t worry, Sweep.... I know you have a conviction to be monogamous with Jacky. I won’t try anything sexual with you. Just, be warm with me...

Sweep smiles widely.

SWEEP: For once, Freak, I think I understand you, and I love you for who you are.

They cuddle up together. Gunner and Kevin start sharing swigs of a bottle of vodka.

KEVIN: You know how to say vodka in Russian?

GUNNER: Actually, I don’t.

KEVIN: Boaka. Doesn’t it sound nice?

GUNNER: It’s not as dirty. In fact, it’s Saturday morning cartoon-worthy.

The camera slowly fades, as it shows all of them playing cards using pennies. There is Gunner, Spike, Kevin, Sweep, and Freak, while Lily is asleep in the back. A bottle of vodka is being passed throughout the group. Spike is eating a sandwich in its wrapper, as Kevin and Sweep also are. Every now and then, Freak leans over and takes a bite out of Sweep’s sandwich, without asking permission. He eyeballs her now and then, and finally once (just once in the middle somewhere), leans over and kisses her on the forehead, and she smiles back.

SPIKE: I mean, I am drunk enough.... but still. Playing poker for pennies, it’s kind of fucking stupid.

GUNNER: Shut up, asswipe! It’s your deal!

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: The saddest story I’ve ever heard...

SPIKE: Okay, I put three in.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: There was this kid, this street kid, named Scarz. He seemed to have a habit of showing off where he had been stabbed.

KEVIN: Who has the fucking vod — okay, Sweep, pass it over here.

He does.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: He hit the streets for two years. Abusive parents. Abusive teachers. Abusive employer.

FREAK: I raise you two, Spike.

SWEEP: Whoa, moneybags over there flaunting her wealth....

Freak looks to Sweep and smiles and swings back and forth a bit.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Scarz knew this girl on the other side of the country, and he made plans to meet up with her when she could hold a job after college.

GUNNER: Wait, isn’t it my fucking turn?

KEVIN: Dude, you go after me now, since you took a piss.

GUNNER: Fine, and fuck you.

KEVIN: Fuck you, too, brotha’.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Two years. Two fucking years on the streets with muggers and rapists and crackheads and police brutality.

GUNNER: I’m out.

FREAK: I hope you are... that way you will wonder why you woke up with a condom on.

GUNNER: Aw, come on... Don’t get me horny. You know I can’t get off when I’m this fucking drunk.

KEVIN: Still, Gunner, man, fucking while trashed is the shit.

SWEEP: That’s your opinion, Kevin.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Two years. He shows up on her doorstep. She doesn’t know who he is, until he tells her his last name. So he let go of her.

SWEEP: Oh, it’s my turn? Oh, well, hhhhhhmmmmm, pass over the vodka, before I make my decision.

Kevin hands Sweep the vodka.

SPIKE: Come on, little man... You can’t outdrink your elders.

KEVIN: I ‘unno. That kid’s liver is like, bigger than his head, dude.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: He let go of this girl he loved, he loved so much. He dreamed of her when he slept in the gutters of America. And then, she doesn’t know who he is.

GUNNER: I ‘unno, man... Sweep’s got a pretty fucking big head.

SWEEP: Hey, fuck you, ass.

GUNNER: Just playing with ya’, lil punk.

SWEEP: Sure, droog, sure.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: So Scarz hit to the street, and never went back. He probably drank himself to insanity that night, though. But, that is the life of a squatter punk. He’ll travel the world and discover that getting fucked up in the process is enough motivation. Or, maybe something else....

Freak is holding her cards to her face, but one of them is backwards.

GUNNER: Aaahhh, hhhhhmmmmmm.....

Gunner takes the card and flips it back over.

GUNNER: You’re not supposed to show that to other people, darlin’.

Freak drops the cards and pushes over Gunner and starts making out with him.

SPIKE: Full house motherfuckers! It’s all mine!

Spike goes to take in all the pennies, but Sweep makes a sarcastic jump at them. As he does this Kevin picks him up by the waistline and swings him around the room screaming something stupid, “Whoaaaaaaa!!!! Pennyless Sweep! Aarrrrghhhh!!”

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Scarz.... He’s somewhere in this fucking America. When I think about him, I feel sad. And I believe his story. He didn’t tell me it until we were fucking trashed after two weeks of knowing each other. That was enough time for him to tell me his story. When I tell other people that I left because life was too shallow, they always tell me that was one of their reasons... And to this day, I think of Scarz whenever I get this drunk. I think of some young punk wandering around the LA coast fucked up on Meth, or maybe sleeping off a night of heavy drink in his Seattle squat, or anywhere, somewhere, trying to forget, that his dearest lover, forgot about him. At least there is some sort of humanity in this nation of ours.

Chapter 19

The camera fades out from the group in the squat. The song “8 Full Hours of Sleep” by Against Me! begins to play (with that bassy beginning). The camera now pans from one person to the next. It shows Sweep, curled up in a little ball, lying back to back with Gunner. Then the camera shows Gunner. And then it shows gunner with his arm wrapped around Freak. It keeps going, showing Kevin laying on his back, with a small pint of vodka in his palm on his chest. He moves his leg a little and moans, as his head moves a little bit back and forth, midnight squirming. Then it shows Lily, and Spike, curled up together, under several blankets, their clothes being used as a pillow to both of them. The camera zooms out and shows all of their bodies, just breathing and sleeping. All of a sudden, there’s a banging. “BAM!! BAM!! BAM!!” Gunner rolls over and unconsciously speaks out, “Mom, open the door, okay....” Spike gets up immediately and looks out the window.

SPIKE: Fuck!

Spike moves over to Gunner and wakes him up.

SPIKE: Cops are here with a battering ram!

GUNNER: Shit!

Gunner gets up and picks up Sweep. The little kid isn’t even awake, and Gunner carries him to the closest window, opens the window and thrusts him out, holding on to the kid’s jacket with strength.

GUNNER: Fucking hang on, little guy! The cops are here! Fucking get on the roof!

Gunner looks to the others, who are just barely waking up.

GUNNER: Come on! You don’t fucking want to wake up in prison tomorrow!

Gunner ducks out the window. Him and Sweep are now on the roof.

GUNNER (to sweep): Don’t say a fucking word, no fucking matter what happens.

Sweep nods.

GUNNER: Grab on to my back, and don’t let go for hell.

Sweep grabs his back. Gunner makes a running jump and lands on a building next to the squat.

GUNNER (to sweep): Okay, climb up.

Sweep does so and hides on the building roof. Gunner climbs up. They duck down. Freak climbs out the window, and looks around, and then she snaps her fingers.

GUNNER (in a hushed voice): oi oi!

Freak looks over and makes a running jump to the adjacent building. She climbs over and ducks down. Lily climbs out and then so does Spike.

GUNNER: Oi! Spike! Lily!

They both see Gunner and do a running jump and catch the ledge. But Lily stands at the end of the squat.

LILY: That’s too far for me to jump. It’s too far.

Her eyes swell up with tears as she looks at the far distance. She just woke up thirty seconds ago and now she has to make this life and death decision.

SPIKE: Come on, Lily! You can make it! Just go with your heart!

Gunner holds out both of his hands over the ledge.

GUNNER: Lily, just make a jump for us. Trust me, you can make it. I won’t let you fall.

Lily turns, walks a little, and does a running jump. Gunner catches her as she was sliding down the side of the building.

GUNNER: Hold on, I got you....

Spike helps pull her up. Kevin emerges from the window.

GUNNER: Kevin!

As Gunner calls his name, Kevin jumps off the building. A police officer’s voice, “Hey, you! Stop right there!” can be heard. The smashing of a car window echoes in the night, as Gunner grimaces, looking at the dark alley below him, all that he can see. Then he hears boots running. His face is relieved.

GUNNER: Okay, I’m sure he got away. Every stay low for a few hours, okay?

FREAK: Dodging cops is what I excelled at in college.

Freak turns and shoves her tongue down Gunner’s throat.

GUNNER: Whoa, I have to breath somehow, you know... Hey, Sweep, you all right, you little bugger?

SWEEP: I’m fine, droog. Just, fine as fine.

Sweep looks a little broken up over the incident.

SWEEP: It’s just, it happened so fast, droog....

Sweep looks away, a little teary eyed. Gunner puts his hand on the back of his neck and pulls Sweep’s forehead close to him. Sweep is still looking down.

GUNNER: I would die before I let a pig put his hands on you. I’m sorry, honestly, if shoving you out that window as fast as I could scared the living fuck out of you. It would probably be worse if you ended up in an orphanage two thousand miles away from here.

SWEEP: Don’t be sorry....

Gunner curls up with Sweep, and Freak puts her arm around him from the other side. Spike and Lily curl up, very close to the others. The song “8 Full Hours of Sleep” is still playing. The camera moves up towards the sky, as the sun finally rises. That orange meniscus coats the world. The camera moves down, showing the crew all still asleep. Gunner makes a grumbling noise, and then covers his face (from the sun) with his jacket. The camera shows the group (Sweep, Gunner, Freak, Spike, and Lily) walking down the sidewalk at about noonish.

SPIKE: So, where do you think a punk like Kevin would be in a city like this?

GUNNER: Dude, I don’t even remember a single flying fucking detail about last night, except the part where we went building hopping.

SPIKE: We were avoiding the cops, man. We did not go building hopping. If we did, I would know it.

Freak looks to Gunner.

FREAK: I hope Kevin is all right. His flesh was so tender, his smile a gratification in itself. When I think of his orgasm I smile inside.

GUNNER: Okay, you loved the kid, I get the idea. No need to delve into details like that.

SWEEP: Oh, my god, that was way too descriptive.

Sweep walks across the street to the other side.

GUNNER: Haha, you’re fucking around, aren’t you, kid?

Sweep walks back across the street to the group.

SWEEP: Yeah, I am. (with a smile)

LILY: Kevin was a friend to us all. But he’s smart and he’s brave. He would know what to do.

SPIKE: There are damn near one million places in this city to sleep as a homeless kid. He probably could be creative enough to find one.

GUNNER: Hey, now, he may be brave, sure, but nobody said anything about creativity....

SPIKE: (smiling) Hey, fuck you, man.

As the crew is walking along, they come to a park bench where Kevin is asleep.

GUNNER: Well, I’ll be damned.... I told you he was uncreative.

SPIKE: Hey, a park bench isn’t cliche at least.

GUNNER: Nah, I’m pretty sure sleeping on a park bench is cliche.

SWEEP: I’m gonna have to side with Gunner on this one.

SPIKE: Gunner, you should steal some whiskey breakfast for this bastadge.

GUNNER: Have some heart, man. I’m going to steal him some malt liquor. I’ll be right back.

The camera follows Gunner as he walks to a small grocery store. As he walks in, the little bell at the top of the door rings, and the camera moves up , focusing on that bell. Ten seconds pass. The bell rings again, and the camera moves down, focusing on Gunner as he walks out and back to the group, a block down. He pulls out some orange juice.

GUNNER: Is lazy ass still asleep?

SPIKE: Well, I don’t want to wake him.

FREAK: Sleeping is perhaps the only time we are at peace. We shouldn’t wake him.

GUNNER: Well, uhhh, Sweep, you wake him. I couldn’t imagine him being mad at you.

SWEEP: No way, man. Doesn’t he swing at whoever wakes him up?

GUNNER: Fine, Lily, you do it. I got the orange juice, and no way would he ever hit a gir — eehhhhh, actually, maybe you shouldn’t.

SPIKE: So what do we do?

GUNNER: Well, since nobody here can wake him, I’m fucking going to sleep right here on the park, motherfucker.

SPIKE: It’s as good a plan as any.

Kevin wakes.

KEVIN: Huh? What the fuck?

GUNNER: Hey, he’s alive! Motherfucker, we worried about you last night.

KEVIN: I looked all over this fucking city for you pieces of fucking shit. I thought you got nabbed up by the pigs or something.

SPIKE: Nah, Gunner led us to safety, as we hopped over to the next building. He tried to call out to you, but you already jumped down.

KEVIN: And booted in the side window of the police cruiser. Oh, good times, my comrades, good times. I ran like a motherfucker.

GUNNER: Here, I got you some orange juice. It’s still freezer cold.

KEVIN: Fucking thanks, man... Jeeze, I can’t even swallow I’m so dehydrated.

Kevin takes a big swig of the orange juice.

GUNNER: You know what happened to Tiff downstairs?

KEVIN: Nah, why would I know?

SPIKE: Well, seeing as you were the last one alive and unarrested out of the squat.

KEVIN: True... I guess she got arrested.

FREAK: Fuckers. Try to invoke their rule on those who don’t want it. I bet they boarded up the goddamn place.

GUNNER: It’s possible. Now, we’re like Sweep, out on the street after the cops busted our squat.

LILY: Those bastards.

SPIKE: Feelings the same as my girl’s.

KEVIN: Hey, now, I don’t think one single person here would think that cops weren’t bastards and pieces of shit.

SWEEP: The man comes up with a valid point.

GUNNER: Are we even arguing about it? And come on, Sweep. You can’t even spell valid. You’re still going through puberty.

SWEEP: Shut the fuck up. (while laughing)

Sweep makes a punch at Gunner. Weakling creature that he is, he does no real, physical harm.

GUNNER: Well, the intelligent thing would be for us to look for a new squat.

Gunner looks around and sighs.

GUNNER: Spike, you do it.

SPIKE: No, man.... make Kevin do it.

FREAK: Make someone responsible do it.

GUNNER: You only say that because it excludes you.

FREAK: (smiling) I know.

GUNNER: Eh... I’ll look for a squat.

SPIKE: All right, and meet us at the feeding tonight.

GUNNER: Okay... Kevin, you wanna join me?

KEVIN: I’ll never leave my brother behind.

Chapter 20

Gunner and Kevin hit each other’s fist, in slow motion, as the song “Don’t Get Caught” by Crass begins to play. The camera then shows the two of them walking down the street, sharing a carton of orange juice together, in slow motion. It switches to Kevin talking to some repair pair and pointing off in some direction. Then it shows Gunner looking through his repair truck and stealing a crowbar, and running. The repair man runs after him, only to be tripped by Kevin. Kevin books it with Gunner. The camera then shows Gunner and Kevin on the sidewalk. Kevin is asking people for spare change while Gunner is just chilling with a crowbar in his hands. The camera then shows both of them walking down the sidewalk, while Gunner is holding the crowbar (one end on his shoulder, on end in his hand) and drinking vodka out of the other hand. He then passes it off to his mate. The two are walking down the street rather carelessly. They come to an expensive car and Gunner smashes one of the windows with the crowbar. Kevin laughs, Gunner tosses him the crowbar, and Kevin does the same, and smashes the front window several times. The alarm, blaring now, continues, as they both run off. Finally, the camera shows both of them standing in front of an obviously abandoned apartment complex. They look to each other and nod. From one angle, it shows Gunner ripping open a door with a crowbar, from behind Gunner’s back. The two walk inside, Kevin standing around at the front entrance inside and looking around, while Gunner walks inside and looks around, the camera moving up from their feet to their faces (as they are pleased), as the song just ends. The camera is now watching the two on the top floor. They are both looking down the elevator shaft.

GUNNER: I wonder if I could finish taking a piss here and it wouldn’t hit the floor until I was done.

Kevin pushes Gunner a little towards the shaft jokingly.

GUNNER: Hey, cut it out, ass.

Kevin walks away from the shaft and walks around the room.

KEVIN: This looks like it could be a nice squat. Five floors, everything fucking taken out, obviously completely fucking abandoned and forgotten about.

GUNNER: True.

KEVIN: I got dibs on this spot!

Kevin claims a spot in the corner.

GUNNER: I’ll take this spot.

Gunner drops the crowbar down next to the side of the wall.

GUNNER: You think there’s any scraps left in this building? If we could find some wood or some furniture, we could probably make a good barricade.

KEVIN: Barricades are the fucking shit, man.

GUNNER: I hear that, brother. I mean, you can nail as many boards of wood to a door as you want, it doesn’t make a difference. Cops will kick that fucker in and haul your ass to jail in a pinch. With a barricade, any no fucking army gonna break that bitch in.

KEVIN: Right... And we might want to get some clothe or wood for these windows.

GUNNER: That’s true. Once the cold front moves in at night, the wind will make every nipple erect in this room.

KEVIN: You’re right. We should leave them smashed and open.

GUNNER: You read me like a book.

KEVIN: Mmmmmm, Freak on a cold night, naked underneath the blanket.

GUNNER: She sleeps commando?

KEVIN: When she has a blanket.

GUNNER: Oh, yeah... I was really fucking drunk once and I thought she was dressed, but it felt like she was naked. So I kept feeling her up, thinking that I wasn’t that perverted because she was clothed.

KEVIN: That’ll be 100 rosaries, mofukka.

GUNNER: Okay, saint Kevin, the unsinnable.

KEVIN: Now that is just plain disrespectful.

GUNNER: Are we gonna have any squat rules?

KEVIN: I ‘unno, maybe... I mean, this is a badass place, and we’d like to keep it nice, but squat rules typically involve someone enforcing them, meaning a squat nazi.

GUNNER: True. Places with a squat nazi are usually a pain in the ass, because they always boss you around. How long you been on the streets, Kevin?

KEVIN: Oh, about six, seven, eight, I ‘unno.

GUNNER: Days or months? (smiling)

Kevin moves towards Gunner like he’s gonna punch him and he holds up a block, as Kevin laughs.

GUNNER: So, you must know the kinds of hassles that arise in squatting?

KEVIN: Yeah, like motherfuckers painting a big anarchy sign on the outside of your squat, and then cops go by and shoot out the windows at night time.

GUNNER: Fucking right, dude. We don’t need that shit.

KEVIN: Well, we can democratically make the rules, while everyone is drinking.

GUNNER: Fair enough. I think everyone will agree they don’t want this place to get busted, with its ideal location and just its damned fine conditions.

KEVIN: Hey, I remember seeing a couch downstairs that lost its fluffiness.

GUNNER: You mean upholstery?

KEVIN: Eat shit.

GUNNER: You want to use that as a barricade?

KEVIN: We might as well try.

GUNNER: Let’s go, then.

The two work on arranging the couch so that one end is against the wall and the other end is against the door.

GUNNER: Perfect, now, if anyone tries to get in, they’re fucked.

KEVIN: Sure... but, how are we supposed to get out.

Gunner looks to the couch, then back at Kevin, then back at the couch, and walks away. The camera then switches angles and shows two of them moving the couch out of the way.

GUNNER: Now let’s think about getting some of those mattresses and foam mats in here from the old squat.

KEVIN: You think it’s safe?

GUNNER: Well, dude, come on... We’ll be there for two minutes tops, and be the fuck out of there.

KEVIN: Hhhhmmmm... I have another idea.

GUNNER: Yeah?

KEVIN: We spange some more and then get drunk some more.

Chapter 21

The camera switches to the two of them on the side, Kevin asking every person to walk by for spare change.

KEVIN: Excuse me, sir, can you spare change for the homeless?

YUPPY: I can, but I won’t.

KEVIN: Thanks anyway!

GUNNER: Why do people think they need to do that?

KEVIN: Eh, it’s human nature. Anyone born as a homo sapien is automatically instilled with the innate ability of being a fucking asshole.

GUNNER: Well, yeah, that’s like, one of the Four Noble Truths.

KEVIN: Gunner, I never knew you had interest in Buddhism.

GUNNER: Eh, living on the streets, you come into contact with a fucking gigantic variety of people. Except they’re all pretty much poor.

KEVIN: Granted.... Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change? We’re very hungry.

YUPPY: I would feel better if you died.

KEVIN: Thanks, anyway, mister.

GUNNER: What a fucking dickhead.

KEVIN: Eh, you get used to it. You’re just not calloused because you never spare change.

GUNNER: How do you mean?

KEVIN: Well, if anyone walked up to me on the street and said “I would feel good if you died,” I’d probably beat the fuck outta them.

GUNNER: But when you ask them for spare change, it’s okay for them to say that?

KEVIN: Pretty much mostly because most of them say that... Excuse me, ma’am, can you spare some change?

She walks by silent.

KEVIN: And then there’s the silent treatment. I mean, they don’t even look at you, let alone make eye contact. They just keep on walking because you don’t exist.

GUNNER (shouting to the woman): Hey, my fucking friend does exist, you bitch!

She looks back and keeps walking.

KEVIN: You would be a real bad spanger, my comrade.

GUNNER: Eh, back to your begging, beggar boy.

KEVIN: Hey, it gets us vodka.

GUNNER: Ah, very true, brother.

KEVIN: Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change for the homeless down on their luck?

The yuppy stops and gives him a dollar.

KEVIN: Whoa, thank you very much, kind sir.

GUNNER: Thanks, guy!

KEVIN: And then there’s those random acts of kindness. Like, among the same group, you’ll find one guy who calls you an asshole, and then you’ll find one guy who doesn’t want to look at you, but calls you an asshole.

GUNNER: You know... When I think about it, I think that maybe that’s the line in the sand, between those of good and those of bad character. Because class doesn’t make you who you are. It can only guide you. The homeless are all Communists and Anarchists, and it doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with theft, it has to do with a fair distribution of wealth. The CEOs and yuppies of the world are all Capitalists and Free Enterprise cunts, and it has every bit to do with exploitation of the working class. But some can revolt against their settings, or even if they don’t, they’re not immune to the tugging of their conscience’s sympathy.

KEVIN: Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change?

YUPPY: Fuck you.

GUNNER: Hey, now, that wasn’t nice at all.

YUPPY: How about you get some direction with your worthless life, asshole.

KEVIN: Thanks anyway, sir. I feel more motivated everyday!

GUNNER: You see, what the flying fuck was that? “Spare change?” And then “Fuck you.”

KEVIN: Like I said, humans are born with the innate ability to be assholes.

GUNNER: And us homeless gain the super human powers of alcohol, to overcome cultural and social barriers!

KEVIN: And alcohol makes us happy!

YUPPY (walking by): And that’s why I won’t give you a goddamn penny if I was a millionaire.

KEVIN (really quick): Spare change, spare change, spare change, no? Okay, witty comment, and shut the fuck up, yuppy.

GUNNER: No, but seriously... I don’t think that the human ability of being an asshole is why people are so militant towards the homeless.

KEVIN: Excuse me, ma’am, spare change to feed homeless, gutter kids?

The yuppy walks right on by.

GUNNER (really loud): What the hell is wrong with you, Kevin!? Don’t you know that to them you don’t matter!!!

KEVIN: Aaaahhhh, I still have a buzz from that alcohol we had earlier... And dude, making a scene is the coolest thing ever.

GUNNER: Almost as cool as vodka.

KEVIN: Cooler!

GUNNER: Oooo, strong words.

KEVIN: Okay, maybe not cooler.

GUNNER: Like I thought. Anyway, as I was saying.

KEVIN: Excuse me, sir, can you spare some change?

The yuppy pulls out some quarters, a dime, and penny, and gives them to Kevin.

KEVIN: Thank you, sir, I appreciate it very much.

GUNNER: Thank you, we’ll spend it on food, we promise!

YUPPY: Oh, don’t worry, just take it.

The yuppy walks away.

GUNNER: Weird that.

KEVIN: How you mean? That I finally got some more spare change?

GUNNER: Nah, I don’t think he was all that greatly, immensely bothered by the fact that this money goes straight to drugs and alcohol.

KEVIN: Hhhhhmmm... It’s true.

GUNNER: He just confirmed what I believe. That a homeless person spanging for alcohol is just as legitimate as a homeless person spanging for food.

KEVIN: That’s legitimate?

GUNNER: Come on, man.... Tear down your cultural biases.

KEVIN: Okay, okay, they’re down. Now explain.

GUNNER: Think about it... Drugs and alcohol. When you get to your squat, or apartment or home, at night, there’s one thing you probably want more than anything. Alcohol. It gives you comfort and pleasure. If not that, then a heroin fix. Whatever. It’s just another pleasure. Because we’re goddamn squatters. We eat once a day, and even that can be excessive. We don’t really need food. People look at us, and they say the thing we need the most is food, clothing, and a home. Well, in our Capitalist society, I’m doing fine with feedings, the clothes on my back, and a squat. Until things change, I won’t. And you’re a yuppy in this society, and you see some kid with nothing in his life. You can take like, 1% of your daily earnings, and send him to the moon with happiness, then do it. Because, that’s what everyone wants: happiness. To us, it has a price tag on it.

KEVIN: Right. $6 for a pint.

GUNNER: $6 to freedom, my comrade. Six fucking dollars, and you’re free. After that, it doesn’t matter what that sixth grade girlfriend said to you about how you were unpopular and she didn’t want to associate with you.

KEVIN: After six fucking dollars, it doesn’t matter that you’re living in an abandon apartment with holes in the walls, freezing to fucking death.

GUNNER: After six fucking dollars, it doesn’t matter that you beg to get alcohol!

KEVIN: After six fucking dollars, it doesn’t matter that in high school, your teacher gave a speech to you how you were abnormal, and when you told your parents, they said it was probably true.

GUNNER: And after six fucking dollars, Kevin, passing out in a squat with my family, is just the most beautiful part of my day.... of my day, awoooo....

KEVIN: Heh, you piece of shit... I love you with all my heart.

GUNNER: I love you, too, brother.

KEVIN: Excuse me, sir, in the nice, $200 outfit, can you spare some change so we can get drunk?

The yuppy walks by and sighs, then pulls out a dollar bill and gives it to Kevin.

GUNNER: Thank you, sir, you rock!

KEVIN: Sweet. This makes about five dollars and change.

GUNNER: What do you think about Sweep?

KEVIN: What about him?

GUNNER: I ‘unno... I never really liked confronting it, but the fact that he’s a kid on the streets. I don’t know. It bothers me.

KEVIN: How do you mean? .... excuse me, sir, can you spare some change? We’re homeless?

GUNNER: We’re very homeless!

The yuppy continues walking.

GUNNER: Well, it’s like... I had a childhood. I played with toys in my backyard and shit. I was a happy little kid. I loved my parents, like every kid. My father was uncaring, and my mother just couldn’t understand me if her goddamn life depended on it. I loved them, though, for every fucking day I lived in their home.

Kevin is paying attention, but still spanges every other time a yuppy walks by.

KEVIN: Excuse me, ma’am, can you spare those leftovers? I’ll eat them!

She continues walking away with a Styrofoam box of restaurant food.

GUNNER: I loved them, but, slowly, I just let go. Every kid born in this world has to love their parents. I let go, and I was gone. Never thought of them again. Hell, I wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them.

KEVIN: They probably wouldn’t recognize you, either. You really let yourself go.

GUNNER (smiling): Hey, fuck you.

KEVIN: Okay, okay, go on, about Sweep and his age bothering you...

GUNNER: Well, I just wonder about Sweep and his folks. A kid as young as he is shouldn’t be on the streets, begging for crumbs. He should be in some fucking warm sheets at night. I ‘unno... I wish things didn’t have to be the way they are. It just bothers me, because every time I talk to him, I have to realize that things are the opposite of how I want them.

KEVIN: You know, in California, where your backyard is squat ground, kids like Sweep have better chances.

GUNNER: Yeah, I notice California is squat country for some reason. There’s so many little kids running that are homeless, you have to watch out where you step so you don’t crush any of them. It’s a fucking plague of homeless kids.

KEVIN: Because in California, it seems it’s more acceptable. Police officers fucking suck, no matter what nation or state you go to. They are horrible and if they die, the world becomes a better place. Fucking period. But they’re a lesser evil in California. And kids there, they have abusive parents, they can just run away. They have freedom and liberty. They have a beautiful sunset to sleep under. The night sky is your mother inviting you to sleep and dream only of things that you always wanted. Kids runaway because they get beaten and they have a chance.

GUNNER: And then assholes come in and pass anti-abduction laws. 99% of the kids that disappear from home are runaways. That one small sliver were kidnapped, which fucking sucks for them. But now cops are on the street, looking for the so-called abused children, so they can bring them back home. Hello, motherfucker! Their fucking parent is the abuser! Goddamn fucking government piece of shit assholes...

Kevin puts his hand around Gunner’s back.

KEVIN: You know, brother, that I think you’re fucking awesome and I love you. It sucks that the world is the way it is. It absolutely fucking sucks that kids like Sweep have to live the way they do. And I know you mean no disrespect to that kid, because he’s the fucking coolest piece of shit on this planet. But that’s just him, doing what’s best for him. It’s a crime and they try to lock us up. And I have news for you, brother... I now have six dollars. Six dollars to freedom.

Chapter 22

Gunner smiles and the two get up as the camera slowly fades out. The two are walking down the street, accompanied by Paul and Tank. Paul and Gunner are walking together and Tank and Kevin are walking together. Paul and Gunner are sharing some vodka and Tank and Kevin are sharing some whiskey. Cars are parked all up and down the side of the road.

PAUL: So, I said to her, “You know, I think you’re cute, and I would really like to fuck your brains out.”

GUNNER: What’d she say?

PAUL: She was like, “Oh, well, if you had some stranger walk up to you and ask you that, wouldn’t you think it was weird?”

GUNNER: Dude, she’s a bitch.

PAUL: Totally. I mean, I respect a woman’s right to say no.

GUNNER: Fucking right, dude. We all know that.

PAUL: But, fuck it. I know how I feel, so fuck you if you can’t fucking handle that. What I think, I fucking say it. What I feel, I express it.

GUNNER: And any motherfucker who has a problem with that, and wants to intervene in my fuck-your-american-culture attitude, they’ll have to get their face replaced.

PAUL: Fucking right, guy.

GUNNER: You know, Paul... Maybe I misjudged you for a housey. You’re an all right kid.

PAUL: Hey, now... I do live in a house with parents, you know. Shouldn’t you reserve your judgment?

GUNNER: Eh, punks don’t reserve their judgment. That’s what, uhhh, makes us punks.

PAUL: An act-first and think-later mentality?

GUNNER: You know, I think you summed it up in one crystal, perfect sentence.

PAUL: Nah, you’re kidding, bastard... Punk is... You know, I don’t give a flying fuck. And anyone who starts a sentence with “punk is” usually gets their ass whipped. By me.

GUNNER: Or your mom.

PAUL: Or her. She’s quite flexible.

GUNNER: I understand whole heartedly.

PAUL: And you think punk is?

GUNNER: Loud and fast music.

PAUL: Fair enough, my comrade. Fair. E. Nough.

Paul takes a swig of the vodka and passes it off to Gunner. The camera now focuses on Tank and Kevin.

KEVIN: You know what, Tank?

TANK: What’s that, Kevin?

As they’re walking by, Kevin kicks the door of a car, and the alarm goes off. He keeps walking like nothing happened.

KEVIN: I was talking to this guy once. And he said to me, that I was too young to be worrying about politics and foreign, government policy. He asked me if I thought I was too young to care about justice, too young to be thinking about children working in sweatshops, to young to give a flying fuck about police officers covering up the facts. Too young, not to be hanging out with the preppy kids, not to be graduating high school or college, not to be watching TeeVee for at least six hours a day and listening to the radio every second I get, too fucking goddamn young not to be chasing girls around because they’re physically attractive but mentally appalling. And when he asked if I thought I was too young to care about society, you know what I said, right?

TANK: What did you say to him?

Kevin walks by another car, kicks it, and an alarm goes off.

KEVIN: I said to him, hell fucking yeah. I’m too goddamned young to be worrying about my family having to be scared of cops, too goddamned young to worry about kids like Sweep working in sweatshops, too fucking young to see my best family imprisoned for class crime. Too goddamned young to care about Anarchism and political theory. And you know what he said?

TANK: Noooo... what did he say?

KEVIN: He asked me why I did it. And you know what I said to him, right?

TANK: You said you cared, because you’re not a fucking piece of shit.

KEVIN: That’s what I would have said, had I not said, first that he was a piece of fucking shit.

TANK: Ah, go on.

Kevin kicks the door of another car, but no alarm goes off. “Dammit!”

KEVIN: I said because I’m not busy working 30 hours a week for two years so I can put a miniature American flag on my SUV so the whole world can know that I pollute at the rate of one gallon per seven miles. I told him if I saw him again, I would be the living fuck out of him and his friends.

TANK: He had friends with him?

KEVIN: Yeah, a girlfriend and a normal friend.

TANK: Damn... You have my respect. Standing up to a group is never easy. Gunner did it once, and he beat the shit out of three Nazis. Almost got his ass whipped, but Tank-man came to the rescue.

KEVIN: Heh, Tank-man. Homeless super heroes.

TANK: You goddamn got that right. At night, we rule the streets.

KEVIN: Or squats.

TANK: During the day, we own the streets, and at night, we own the abandoned buildings of the world. Fear us, for we are the homeless super heroes With abilities like, snatch-handgun-from-holster, beg-from-eighty-year-old-women, and breaking-and-entering.

Tank kicks the side of a door of a car and the alarm starts.

KEVIN: Alas, world... Beats-the-shit-out-of-Nazis man, and Gunner, errr, shoplift boy, to the rescue!

TANK: Drinks-more-than-abe-lincoln ability.

KEVIN: Oooo, you have to earn that one.

GUNNER: Why the hell would you think of Abraham Lincoln as someone who drinks?

TANK: What in the fuck could you do in the 1800’s for entertainment? Get drunk.

GUNNER: I don’t think things have changed all that much.

Gunner kicks the side of a car door and the alarm goes off.

TANK: And judging by our way of life, you’re probably fucking right.

PAUL: Hey, hey, hey, now... just what are you saying exactly?

KEVIN: Hey, Paul, didn’t you go to an AA meeting once?

PAUL: Dude, don’t bring up bad memories. I probably told you that over a few round of beers.... or, a few round of shots. Yeah, shots, that’s the key.

GUNNER: Ha, that sucks, Paul... What was it like?

PAUL: Well, I was trashed to fucking hell when I went there. I was feeling a little sick, sorta like I overdrank. I thought that Alcoholics Anonymous was about feeling okay with the fact that you’re an alcoholic in a society that hates us drunks.

Paul kicks the side of a car door, no alarm, “Well, fuck me, Mercedes.”

TANK: Bwahahaha... That’s awesome. They really do need to have an alcoholism awareness program, where they show that people who drink alcohol tend to make friends better, show stronger immune systems, and are the all around cool guys.

GUNNER: I’m sure one of the major brewers of the nation would be willing to support that, despite the fact that they are ultimately corporate douchebags.

KEVIN: Oh, guy, check this out... Once I worked at one of the wineries in Portland.

GUNNER: No fucking way would a legitimate business person hire a homeless person to be in charge of alcoholic substances. Ask Spike. They won’t let him work at the pharmacy because he was caught drinking mouth wash on company time.

TANK: We all have our own methods of standing up to the man.

PAUL: Right on... Fuck the man.

KEVIN: Anyway, before you started to diverge on something completely unrelated, I believe I was telling a story.

GUNNER: And we already forgot everything you’ve said.

Gunner kicks the side of the door, and the window breaks, an alarm goes off.

GUNNER: Whoa, we better cross the street.

TANK: Oooo, man with the plan.

The group crosses the street and keeps walking, generally unafraid of the consequences of their actions.

KEVIN: I was working in a winery. Two of the waiters were fired, so they needed emergency help. The boss working there asked everyone who walked by.

TANK: When the word “wine” came up, you took the job?

KEVIN: Naturally. Apparently, I had to be the guy to carry this bucket where people spit wine after tasting it.

PAUL: What? Did they have a spacebag?

KEVIN: Nah, it’s a real thing. Wine tasting. People just taste the wine and then spit it out.

TANK: I knew there was Satan.

GUNNER: Good god, hell.... Who could imagine enjoying the taste of spacebag? That’s the most foul substance on the planet, at the rate of a gallon for four dollars.

PAUL: Sssshhhhh, the alcohol gods might hear you.

Paul and Gunner stop, and look up, Gunner remarking, “Whoaaa...”

KEVIN: Anyway, I’m working in this winery, and...

A yuppy walks by.

YUPPY: Shouldn’t you guys be getting a job instead of getting drunk?

GUNNER: Eat my shit, you god-fearing cunt!

TANK: Hey, man... what the fuck is your problem? We’re just fucking enjoying ourselves. What the fuck is wrong with you?

PAUL: How about we beat the fuck out of you?

KEVIN: FUCK YOU!!!

The yuppy tries to walk away.

TANK: Hey, where the hell are you going?

YUPPY: Just get a fucking job, man.

The yuppy tries to elude Tank, walking away, but Tank walks closer to him, with the rest of his pack following behind.

TANK: We’re just enjoying ourselves. What the hell is your problem?

YUPPY: I just got off a twelve hour shift, and you’ve been drinking all day.

Both of them stop.

TANK: It’s not my fault that you’re a tool for the system. And nobody should ever feel that another person is bad when they refuse to give in. Just like nobody should ever have to work twelve hour shifts, making shit that only the upper class uses. So you should really rethink your attitude, because the current one is not really appreciated here. You got that?

The yuppy nods and keeps walking. Tank walks back with his clan, whom keeps on the move.

PAUL: Dude, that was weird. You could have just knocked the guy and the message would have been more clear.

GUNNER: Silly Paul. You’ll never understand. It’s because you’re a goddamn housey.

PAUL: Hey, fuck you.

Paul waves his fist at Gunner, who then pretends to be old-style boxing (waving both fists).

TANK: All right, cut it the fuck out, you two.

KEVIN: Yeah, but, Tank.... You know, I think the decision you made in reacting to that, was actually intelligent.

TANK: You can beat the fuck out of them, or show them the light.

KEVIN: I agree.

GUNNER: But violence rocks!

PAUL: I second that motion.

KEVIN: Ah, well, there is some good in it, that it can accomplish things.

TANK: You poor fuckin’ kids. I’m an old goddamn man, compared to you, anyway.

GUNNER: Older than Pops?

TANK (holding up a fist and squinting): Heeeyyyyy....

GUNNER: I’m joking, I’m joking.

TANK: I’m somewhere in my thirties, lost track a while ago. Thing is, there’s just so much violence out here, I ‘unno, you start to detest it. Like alcohol, your first taste of it, and you hate it, but your first drunkenness, and it gives you a rush.

GUNNER: That makes sense, actually. I never had a really serious fight until I was homeless. I can remember my first one, though. I was in a squat, and this kid kept fucking with my backpack. I told him to stop, but he said, “Well, fuck you, you pussy.” I let him do it for a few minutes. It just pissed me off that someone thought they could violate my only property with that. I wanted to avoid a fight with this kid more than anything, though. He looked intimidating. Some fucking gutter punk. I held in all my emotions, all my hate and love, just to avoid it. It was building up in me. But then he grabbed my shoulder, and I exploded. We were both sitting down. Once he grabbed my shoulder, I stood up and kicked him in the face, knocking him against the wall, where I kicked him again, and then got down, and started punching the fuck out of him.

PAUL: I bet the week afterwards, everywhere you went, you pretended you were smoking a cigarette.

GUNNER: With a cigarette holder, too.

PAUL: Beautiful.

KEVIN: Nice, nice... I woulda’ helped you had I been there.

GUNNER: I know that, brotha’. So, what’s this with the winery?

KEVIN: Oh, yeah! The winery! So, I’m working there, and holding this bucket while people spit out wine. I tried to get my hands on some wine while there. There were like, these racks, that held wine, in the back. But whenever I went back there, there was this guy who eyeballed me. Anyway, the end of the day came, and the guy paid me. For about eight hours, I got fifty dollars, under the table, of course. I had to clean up the back, though. I got back there, looked into the wine bucket, where everyone had spat their wine into, and I just chugged the whole fucking thing. Got more fucked up than ever before.

PAUL: Oh, my fucking god...

Paul grabs the side of a brick building and throws up.

GUNNER: Dude, I think I could puke at that story alone. That’s fucking awful, yet, awesome at the some time.

TANK: Jesus, Kevin, you have some fucking stamina in ya’. Hell, I fucking like you more already.

The group is walking down the street, and they run in to Pops and his wheel chair. Pops is drinking from a bottle that is wrapped in a plastic bag.

GUNNER: Hey, Pops! What the fuck are you up to, man?

POPS: Just wandering around this beautiful city and admiring it for what it is. Would you like a drink?

GUNNER: Sure, I’ll take a drink.

Gunner drinks from the bottle wrapped in a plastic bag. Then he looks at it and takes some of the plastic off, revealing a coke bottle.

GUNNER: What the hell is this? Why do you have a non-alcoholic substance wrapped in a plastic bag? Hey, let me get some wine for ya’, man.... You’re looking sketchy without doing anything wrong.

KEVIN: In these here united states of whatever, looking sketchy without doing anything wrong is a crime.

TANK: Only if you get caught.

KEVIN: Ha, right.

POPS: I’m sure I’ll get enough money later on from washing dishes to buy some wine. But I thank yee all kindly for your offer.

GUNNER: Pops, I’m telling ya’. You’d probably be a fantastic shoplifter or a spanger. You shouldn’t be working, especially in the condition that you’re in.

POPS: No, no, no, I’ll manage, youngin’s. But I thank you for your courtesy. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll be on my way.

GUNNER: Hey, we’ll try to get you drunk later!

The group keeps walking.

KEVIN: Hey, Tank... Do you think you’ll ever wind up like Pops one day?

TANK: Hey!

Tank points to Kevin (instead of making like he’s going to punch him).

TANK: You cut that shit out right there.

PAUL: Whoa, you seem offended, the unoffendable.

TANK: I wasn’t defending myself — I was defending Pops.

GUNNER: (Irish accent, for no reason) Oh, how honorable of ya’, laddy.

Chapter 23

The group keeps walking, and they find themselves at the door step of a bar. They all casually walk in, but before they can complete that task...

TANK: What the fuck are you kids going in there for?

GUNNER: I might want to offend the locals. You know, try to jerk off on old yuppy’s girlfriend’s blouse. Pleasing myself secretly by offending people.

Gunner makes an awkward, drunken growl before he disappears into the bar.

KEVIN: Gonna go table surfing. I’ll see you.... someday, or something.

Kevin walks inside.

PAUL: I’m not even 21, but don’t tell anyone.

Paul disappears into the bar and then comes back sticking out only his head to Tank.

PAUL: And I have a hidden agenda of offending people.

Paul disappears back in.

Tank looks around, “Fuck it,” and walks in.

The three young punks crowd around a garbage can, where there are drinks all around on top of it. (to be thrown away) They each grab a cup and gulp, and then grab more cups. After two cups, Gunner goes to the bar.

GUNNER: Hey, bartender... Can I use your bathroom?

BARTENDER: Two drink minimum.

GUNNER: Hey! Fuck you!

A bouncer comes along.

BOUNCER: Hey, move away from the bar. Buy something, or get the fuck out.

GUNNER: Fine. Fine. Just don’t fucking touch me or I’ll kill you.

Gunner grabs another drink from the garbage can top. He walks up to a homely, yuppy girl (upper class and ugly).

GUNNER: Hey, there... What’s your name, beautiful?

AMY: My name is Amy. What’s yours?

GUNNER: My friends call me Gunner.

AMY: That’s a very interesting name.

GUNNER: Yeah.... Hey.... I’m drunk. Let’s play a game called, I insult you, and hope you go out with me sometime?

The camera switches to Paul and Kevin, standing over the trash can.

KEVIN: If it wasn’t for beer, I bet bars would totally fucking suck.

PAUL: Yeah, and if it wasn’t for alcohol, I bet beer would totally fucking suck.

KEVIN: Ah, touch’e.

Tank bumbles along and runs into the back of Paul on purpose, though seemingly on accident.

PAUL (turning around): Who the fuck!?

He sees Tank.

TANK: Sorry, sir, I’m very sorry.

PAUL: Oh, shit... You ass.

KEVIN: Hey, Tank, that was awesome. You should do it again.

PAUL: Hey, Kevin, fuck you.

TANK: What the fuck is Gunner up to?

Tank walks over to Gunner and Amy.

GUNNER: Hey, Tank, this is Amy. I’m trying to convince her to have sex with me.

Amy blushes. Tank looks at her, and then looks at Gunner.

TANK: Okay, you’ve definitely had more than enough of that booze. Get your ass over here.

Tank pulls Gunner towards the trash can.

GUNNER: But wait! I’m trying to convince that nasty yuppy to fuck me!

KEVIN: Heh, the trash can... It’s the bar for the poor people, the literal scraps of what the yuppies have.

PAUL: Hey, it is alcohol, isn’t it?

KEVIN: You think, Paul?

“Gamble” by Propagandhi starts to play, as Gunner does a voice over. The volume of everything goes down, except for the song and Gunner’s voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It bothered me, you know... I was living in a life style that had to automatically alienate more than half of the population. I was young, homeless, and an Anarchist punk above all. I suppose it’s that sort of resentment...

The camera travels through the bar, blurred vision, looking at the different people, during this part of the voice over...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: That sort of resentment where you have to see so many beautiful people, enjoying themselves. And you have to realize that you aren’t, can’t be, a part of that. On those moments of drunkenness, where I approached those groups, they always considered me an outsider. This was, of course, denying those moments they shunned me. But that was me, as a homeless fifteen year old on Boston’s streets. I had a pocketful of pennies and a jacket I ripped off from Good Will. I knew all the places to get food and all the places you could sleep. Just around for the good times, or whatever the fuck I was doing up there.

Gunner looks towards the girl he insulted with Tank, and she looks at him, he quickly turns away.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I see all these people... I tried to be a part of their world. The disgruntling fact to be aroused from all that social investigation wasn’t just that they wouldn’t accept me. It was that, once they did accept me, I was so reviled and horrified by their ideas of culture. And what the fuck is culture is anyway?

A drunk runs into Tank.

TANK: Hey, man, piss the fuck off...

Tank gives him a hand in getting back on course as the guy looks mortally horrified.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Those people were ignorant, stupid, apathetic, and just plain uncaring or misunderstanding towards the feelings of other people. Throw in the fact that they can feel superior over someone else, because their car is worth ten thousand dollars more, and the fact that all the music, all the movies, all the television they watch is guided by the same greedy, malignant, corporate hand, and you have the best summation of yuppy culture. I felt terrified by the fact, that if I listened to the music of my heart’s content, if underground, it would arouse indignance, suspicion, and automatically a feeling superiority in those around. Because I was a human fucking being and decided to do what I wanted, I became a freak. It was that sort of culture, that sort of family, that I learned to hate. And I learned to hate America, for its culture, its politics, and its corporations.

A drunk yuppy walks up to the group.

YUPPY: Hey, guys, you look like you don’t belong in an up class bar like this. After all, you’re ugly and disgustingly dressed. And you all need to take a bath. Shit, before I beat the fuck out of you.

KEVIN: The fuck did you say!? Eat my shit.

GUNNER: How about you shut the fuck up and I let you live?!

YUPPY: What, you want to fight? Bring it on, bitch!

Two other yuppies (friends of the first) hold off the first yuppy, as he makes like he wants to beat the fuck out of Gunner. Gunner walks steadily towards these people with a death gaze. Tank, Kevin, and Paul grab him and hold him back, knowing how Gunner is with people who try to act tough.

GUNNER: Hey, fuck stick! Tell your pussy polo friends to let you go, because I’m not scared if you’re going to try and fuck me!

YUPPY: Just try to fuck you up is what!

Gunner struggles even more with his three comrades.

GUNNER: Fuck you, you fucking... yuppy piece of fucking shit...

A bouncer comes along and stands between Gunner and the yuppy.

BOUNCER: Hey, everyone be quiet! This is a private bar! Now, am I going to have to start throwing people? I have never done it before, but I will start today if you two don’t calm down right this fucking second!

GUNNER: Hey, bouncer, motherfucker! Where the fuck have you been? This fucker threatened me and my friends!

BOUNCER: Oh, really?

The bouncer grabs Gunner from his friends grasp, and throws him against the bar. Gunner leans over in pain as his back cracks against the bar railing. As this happens, Tank, Paul, and Kevin release their restraining physical complection. Especially, Tank does this. He grabs the bounce, by the throat and belt, and throws him over the bar, smashing his body against the bar wall. This creates a battle. It is a war between Tank, Gunner, Paul, and Kevin, versus yuppy #1, yuppy #2, yuppy # 3, bouncer #1, bouncer #2, bouncer #3, and bouncer #4. Bouncer is still on the ground after being thrown across the bar. A yuppy (not the first) charges the group of gutter punks, and Kevin kicks him on the stomach, and smashes his face against the bar, knocking him out. A bouncer charges tank, and Tank punches him in the face and stomach several times, knocking him to the ground. A bouncer grabs him from behind, and tries to choke Tank, but Kevin pulls out his lead pipe and smashes against the bouncer’s back. He cringes in pain, but still grabs on. Kevin swings it even harder, and the bouncer drops to the ground, where the two proceed to gutter stomp him. The main yuppy comes out and charges Gunner, where Gunner grabs a glass bottle from a random yuppy, and swings it at the yuppy, who is smashed in the face and falls to the ground, disoriented. Gunner picks up him up and begins pummeling him in the face and chest. A big bouncer (#4) charges Paul, and, because of his own weight, manages to pick up Paul, and carries him for a while, until they both exit the bar, and the bouncer throws Paul across a car. Tank runs out and punches the bouncer, the punch alone being enough to throw the bouncer across the car and all the way over Paul. A yuppy (#3) runs out and tries to swing at Kevin, punching him in the back. Kevin turns around, “You piece of yuppy trash,” and kicks him in the shins, and punches him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Gunner emerges from the bar, with a big smile on his face, “Yo, what’s up?” he says, obviously drunk. At the end of this, a bouncer grabs him from behind and wraps his arms around Gunner’s neck. He runs forward to his friends and throws the bouncer over his shoulders and over his neck, on to the ground, where they proceed to gutter stomp him for a few seconds.

GUNNER: Shit, guys... You think we should get out of here?

PAUL: Fuck, man, we didn’t cause any of this goddamn shit.

KEVIN: It doesn’t fucking matter.

TANK: Kevin’s right. They’ll automatically blame us.

KEVIN: Let’s fucking go, then!

Chapter 24

The group begins running off, except for Gunner. He picks up the body of a bouncer by the chest clothes, and says, “Now, what is Britney Spears’ latest single?” No response. “Oh, I’m sorry, it was bottle to the face!” He picks up a bottle and smashes it across the face of the bouncer, and then begins running off with his crew, who is already way ahead of him. The camera slowly fades away from the combat scene left by our main heroes. The camera opens up on a night sky, and slowly pans downward, to the feeding. Sweep and Gunner are on the ground, cuddled up together in a ball. There’s a tall can of beer in Gunner’s hand, as it looks like he’s passed out. A person working with the feeding comes by.

FEEDER: Hey, do you two boys need a place to stay tonight?

Gunner wakes up, while Sweep is still asleep.

GUNNER: Go away, not interested.

He closes his eyes and tries to ignore the worker.

FEEDER: Are you sure? I have a warm bed at my home if you want.

Gunner turns to the guy, pulls out his butterfly knife, and opens it.

GUNNER: I said... fuck off.

The worker runs off. Gunner goes back to his napping. Not asleep long enough, his crew shows up. Freak, Spike, and Lily.

FREAK: Hey, bastard. Get up!

Freak gives a giggle.

LILY: Aaawww, but he’s so peacefully.

SPIKE: Yeah, that beer can really does put a picturesque effect on it.

LILY: Maybe we should let him sleep.

SPIKE: Bah, but if a man could always drink, then there would be no need for sleep.

FREAK: The hangover that never comes.

SPIKE: Hey, Gunner... You all right? You kinda look like you got in a fight, but I can’t really tell.

GUNNER: Aarghh... Yeah, yeah, I got in a fight, I’m fine. Me, Paul, Kevin, and Tank were table surfing at some bar. A yuppy gave us trouble, and the bouncer gave me shit, and, it was just violence.... incarnate.

LILY: Where is Kevin?

GUNNER: I think he’s in line for some foodage. I told him he should just pass out with me, but nooo... He has to obey his mortal desires. That cunt.

SPIKE: We’re gonna go stand in line. You two wanna come with us?

GUNNER: Sure, sure, sure... Sweep needs a bit of grub, anyway. Hey, Sweep, come on, get up... We’re gonna get some food.

Sweep moans a little.

GUNNER: You little bastard.

Gunner picks up Sweep and carries him to the line, where he stands him up. Sweep looks around droopy eyed, rubs his face a little. Hey Kid wanders over from the sidewalk.

GUNNER: Yo, Hey Kid... how the fuck are ya’?

HEY KID: I’m doing all right. Spent all of today sleeping and walking in dreams. First, I woke up in my squat. I left, just in time to pass the cruisers that were destined to take me in and book me. I was still sort of sleepy, since I had like four hours of sleep, and then dehydration woke me up.

SWEEP: Dehy- what?

HEY KID: Dehydration. I had very little water in my body.

GUNNER: No way, Sweep. Every alcoholic has to know about dehydration. That’s the stuff they teach you at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. That, ummmm, when you drink a lot, your body loses water, and.... okay, I have no idea what I’m talking about and I’m extremely drunk. Hey Kid, you explain it.

HEY KID: Sweep, when your body destroys alcohol, it loses water. The sobering up process. And when you sleep, you’re not drinking water. So, when you drink, try to have non-alcoholic drink before you go to sleep. It’ll prevent the hangovers.

SWEEP: Hey, thanks, Hey Kid, for explaining it. You’re an all right guy.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: For some reason, I think that Sweep has the qualities of Hey Kid. Maybe Sweep is young and underdeveloped in this lifestyle, as a fucking eleven year old. That would mean that Hey Kid just never grew up out of his younger ages. Always a dreamer. In some profanely poetic way, it would make sense in this ungodly and confusing universe of ours.

HEY KID: So, I was all dehydrated, or hung over as we call it, and I mossed around. Got a drink from that public fountain thing. I found an unlocked car. Opened the back of it, and jumped in for a snooze. Two hours later, I wake up and realize how thoughtless my idea of sleeping in a private car was, so I walked around a bit more. Found some cardboard, and slept on it in the freight yard, where nobody bothered me.

KEVIN: You slept in the red shed?

HEY KID: Well, I slept in a shed that had Communist slogans all over it.... why?

KEVIN: It’s called the red shed. It’s not red in color, but it has “proletariat” and “the means of production” and all that other terminology on it, as much as I love it. I picked up the tip about it as a backup sleeping spot from some hobos who I smoked up a bowl of weed with. Knowledge is power and I’m just arming myself.

GUNNER: Hey... How come you never told me about the red shed?

KEVIN: You never asked about the red shed.

GUNNER: You know... As drunk as I am, I think I actually understood that.

KEVIN: Yeap.

GUNNER: And you’re a piece of shit.

KEVIN: Fine fine, next time I run across some info like that, I’ll inform you.

GUNNER: Nah, actually, I don’t really care.

KEVIN: So, why’d you make a fuss about it?

GUNNER: Just shut up and let Hey Kid talk, okay?

KEVIN: Fine, but it’s not my fault you have insecurities.

Kevin folds his arms and looks in the other direction, and Gunner looks at him and makes a pissed off look with the facial expression of, “Are you fucking serious?”

HEY KID: So, I was sleeping in the red shed at the freight yard on some cardboard, with just my clothes, no blanket. I slept for hours and hours. Finally, some worker comes in, and tells me that I can’t sleep there. I was like, “Oh, uhhhh, I can’t? Sorry, I’ll leave.” I head out and no problem. I checked the sun’s position, and it was about six o’clock.

GUNNER: No... Way... You know what time it is by the position of the sun?

HEY KID: We’re living in the Earth’s environment. I wouldn’t ever take a step in this foreign society, unless I had the knowledge to operate to my maximum efficiency.

SPIKE: Does moss really grow on the north side of trees?

Kevin nudges Spike with his elbow.

KEVIN: Don’t ask stupid questions.... So, Hey Kid, the sun sets in the.... west?

Sweep starts shaking his head.

SWEEP: (to Hey Kid) You know, I have to squat with these people.

HEY KID: Looks like it would turn out to be interesting times.

Hey Kid gives a modest smile.

HEY KID: After I was thrown out of the red shed, as Kevin calls it, I walked around a little and fell asleep in the park on the grass. Surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by any cops. That makes it the first time I ever slept on public property openly without being bothered any law enforcement.

SPIKE: Right, last time I slept on a park bench with Lily, they tried to arrest us for public trespassing on public property. Isn’t that right, Lily?

LILY: Just as he says it. We slept on the bench, bothered no one, and awoke to find that someone was trying to put handcuffs on us.

SPIKE: Very not cool, basically.

HEY KID: I slept on the park grass. To be cunning, I slept close to a family that was having a genuine picnic on the grass. That may very well have saved me.

GUNNER: Yeah, a yuppy family has a picnic and takes their outcast, house punk son’s ass to it. Sure, sure, I guess anything is possible.

Kevin pushes Gunner.

KEVIN: Do you have to be so fuckin’ cynical?

HEY KID: Anyway, after the picnic, I got up and walked around. It was around 8:00 o’clock night time that time, anyway.

GUNNER: Hey, what kind of yuppy family has a picnic until 8 at night?

KEVIN: (to Gunner) Hey, do you have to be so disrespectful!?

GUNNER: Hey, shut up.. You’re acting like an angry drunk.

HEY KID: Actually, when I woke up, they were gone by that time. Just nothing but picnic scraps.

SPIKE: Now, be specific. By picnic scraps, do you mean they left the potato salad?

HEY KID: Meh, not much, actually. In fact, the guy looked over, saw me, and promptly threw out everything before leaving.

GUNNER: Fucking bastard. I believe it, too.

SWEEP: I wish people didn’t have to be such assholes.

GUNNER: Eh, what the fuck can ya’ do about it?

KEVIN: Smash windows, slash tires, a whole collection of different anti-establishment activities. Throwing molotov cocktails, arson, shoplifting... Hooray for us, we’re Anarchists, and, oh, fuck....

SPIKE: Huh? You all right there, Kevin?

KEVIN: Yeah, yeah... I’m gonna go lie down. Get me a plate, if they let you have two. Thanks.

SPIKE: Sure, sure, brother.

Only a few feet away from the line, Kevin bends over and pukes, then keeps walking until he finds a safe place to lay down.

GUNNER: That Kevin, he’s a good kid, a good kid. You know, he puts forth a lot of effort.

SPIKE: Oh, most certainly. He’s excelled further in his class than any of his mates.

GUNNER: Just what are you trying to say, Spike?

Spike shrugs.

SPIKE: I ‘unno... What are you trying to say?

GUNNER: Touch’e, Spike. Touch’e.

HEY KID: I think that Kevin has a good heart. He’s strong mentally. A lot of kids out here don’t know a fuck about their government’s oppression, about the social injustice that comes with the idea of a state and Capitalism. Usually by age twenty or twenty one people start realizing that this is all bullshit. For you guys, somewhat young, you are strong for understanding who your enemy is and fighting back. These other kids are just fighting, and it’s sad, really.

GUNNER: Today I got into this major brawl at a bar, with my comrades. We beat the living fuck out of some yuppies and security guards, and we were outnumbered! Well, we did have Tank, and he sort of counts like four people, measuring by strength. But, still, we won.

HEY KID: The world is full of violence, my friend, and I hate to see any part of it. I suppose it’s one of the things I learned on the streets. If I can avoid violence and hate, I will do so.

GUNNER: But, they started it! Besides, we’re just being violent to the already violent.

HEY KID: Self defense is a justifiable reason for fighting, and perhaps one of the few, besides overthrowing your oppressors. But remember, to be violent to those already violent may not solve the problem. You must be the change in the world you want to see. Gandhi said that.

GUNNER: Eh, well, I like fighting.

SPIKE: He does. I try to get him to stop but nothing works. Even after applying that ointment cream, he still fidgets with violence.

GUNNER: What? Shut up, douchebag!

Gunner pushes Spike and they both laugh.

GUNNER: Say, would that be alcoholic ointment cream?

SPIKE: Good god, you’d probably eat it if it was. Jesus, man...

GUNNER: Only if wasn’t already applied.

HEY KID: Dude, that’s just... just wrong, man.

GUNNER: Ha, right...

Chapter 25

The camera moves up a little, towards the sky, and looks down. It shows Gunner look over to the side, and see a kid on the gravel of the feeding area, wrapped up in an emergency blanket (the shiny, tin foil kind).

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I wonder if the inventor of emergency blankets knew that they would be used by homeless nine year olds who have no place to go. I wonder if the inventor of plastic cups would know that they would be used by the homeless to spange. I wonder if he knew that some homeless guy would come up to me, and tell me that after eight hours, he made only forty three cents. Makes me want to know, how he would have to feel after that. I wonder if Jesus Christ knew what his people would do, if he knew that they would embrace this system, this government. This isn’t freedom and it isn’t prosperity. That one nine-year old kid is just the one out of five million using an emergency blanket tonight. Chances are, he’s got things the best out of all of them, except those in prison. I wonder if Jesus knew that all this would happen. Why in the fuck didn’t he say a goddamn thing?

Someone walks by Gunner, not showing their face, or much of anything, as they’re blurred, but they hand him a tall can of beer and keep walking. He never looks up to see who it is. He opens the can and takes a shwill. A group of three yuppies are walking by, they see Gunner, and one girl whispers something to a guy, and he starts laughing, saying, “You’re so bad.” The camera focuses on Gunner again, and he takes another shwill and looks forward toward the line. The camera starts moving upwards toward the sky. It shows the entire line, slowly, trudgingly, moving toward the feeders.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Why did Jesus say, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife”? That wouldn’t bother me so much. I think it would have been more effective, had Jesus said, “Thou shalt not employ children in Indonesian factories for twelve hours a day making a dollar a week.” He was a fucking retard when he wasted his breath with “Love Thy Enemy.” He should have been telling the people to overthrow any system of government that oppresses its people. But, fucking hell with that guy. The one man that is a perfect example of a failure has been made into a god. But here we are, in the system of perfect oppression. The only people who care are the majority of us who are oppressed. Just because television doesn’t show our faces, it doesn’t mean that more than half the people in America aren’t in poverty. I really want to know, though... did the inventor of the emergency blanket knew that it would be used by the young and homeless to help them sleep?

Gunner walks over to the little kid, covered in an emergency blanket, and throws a box of cookies down in front of him. “Merry Christmas,” he says, and walks away. “Thanks,” the kid mumbles with his sleepy expression.

SPIKE: That was mighty kind of you, Gunner.

Hey Kid looks to Gunner, and smiles.

GUNNER: What?

HEY KID: You know, I respect you as a human being, knowledgeable and wise with experience, for what you do.

GUNNER: Well, thanks... I do what I do because I care about these people. These are my people, my streets, my fucking city. It all belongs to me, but this isn’t my fucking nation and it isn’t my fucking government.

SPIKE: Fuck the bourgeoisie, brother. Fuck them.

SWEEP: (half asleep, and grinning) Fight war, not wars; destroy power, not people...

Some random girl (ultra gutter punk girl) comes up.

CASSEY: Hey Kid, come with me...

HEY KID: Huh? Why, Cassey? I was gonna get some food. Haven’t eaten all day.

CASSEY: Nah, I have a spot further up in the line. I didn’t see you here.

GUNNER: Hey Kid... Are you going to introduce us to your girlfriend, or are we just part of the mystery squad?

LILY: Mystery squad... You’re funny when you’re drunk.

Lily smiles. Gunner smiles back.

GUNNER: Then let’s hope you never know me as a sober man.

SPIKE: Oh, trust me, that’s the last of my worries.

GUNNER: I’ unno, actually, about that...

SPIKE: What? You’re giving up the booze? Yeah, and I’m going back to high school and I’ll get a job at McDonald’s.

GUNNER: Now that is just plain disrespectful.

CASSEY: Um, this sounds like a really interesting conversation, guys, but unless you want to choke on your teeth, I suggest you shut up and let me take Hey Kid.

GUNNER: Choking on my teeth? How would that — wait... are you implying that my teeth would be lodged in my throat by some natural accident?

Gunner squints his eyes at the girl and rubs his chin.

CASSEY: You want to fight?

GUNNER: Maybe I do. You threaten me or my family again and I’ll tear your fucking head off.

CASSEY: Then let’s try it.

Cassey pulls out a switchblade, opens it, and heads for Gunner, but Hey Kid grabs her, while Gunner just stands there, Spike just about to lunge forward and pull him back.

HEY KID: Cassey, Gunner is one of my best friends. Don’t fight him unless you want me to refuse to be your friend.

She lets go, closes the knife, pockets it.

HEY KID: Come on, let’s just go.... Gunner, Spike, Lily, you’re my family, and I hope none of this would offend you. Go easy, and I pray that you’ll sleep beautifully tonight. Good night.

GUNNER: (yelling and holding up one of his hands) I love you, Hey Kid!

Hey Kid holds up his hand (his back is to Gunner and the group now) as a sign of mutual affection.

GUNNER: You know, that shit fucking pisses me off. Everything’s cool. Everything’s fine. And then some conceited fucking cunt bitch comes along and feels that she has the right to threaten perfectly fine people.

Spike puts his hand on Gunner’s shoulder, “Calm down, dude.”

GUNNER: No, fuck you! It’s not fucking cool. It pisses me the fuck off any time someone feels they can cause shit like that. It’s not fucking cool. Goddammit.... (a bit more calmed down) You know, I’d go over there and cut her head off right now, but you’d probably stop me.

SPIKE: Do homeless people get drunk? Yeah, I’d stop you.

GUNNER: Eh, well fuck.... I didn’t mean to say fuck you.

SPIKE: I know. You’re just drunk and I love you, brother.

GUNNER: (smiling) I love you, too, man. (sigh) So, what the fuck have you guys been up to today?

SPIKE: Oh, you know... We round up some blankets from a church. We said we knew like seven other people who wanted blankets, so they gave us extra.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Our whole lives are a scam. We just hope until the very end that it never catches up with us.

SPIKE: You and Kevin find a squat yet?

GUNNER: Hell yeah, brother. We found the coolest fucking squat. It’s this apartment complex, and it has barricadable door. Like, four or five floors. Very badass.

FREAK: And after you found it, you spent the rest of the day, drunk as fuck, right?

GUNNER: Now, you either know me very well, or you’re a psychic...

LILY: That sounds like a really nice squat. Thanks... It’ll be nice to have a safe place to sleep again.

GUNNER: Yeah, and it’s so nice, we want to keep it alive and not busted. So, we can democratically make some squat rules later.

SPIKE: Awww, where’s the Anarchist in you?

GUNNER: That is the Anarchist in me. Democratically makes rules. You piece of fucking shit.

SPIKE: I know, I know. I’m just playin’ with ya’.

Sweep, just waking up to the pangs of life...

SWEEP: Huh? You found a squat?

GUNNER: Yeah. It’s really sweet.

SPIKE: After we got the blankets, we stashed them. Then we spanged, and picked up some food from McDonald’s. It was quite interesting there. Some homeless guy dressed as a clown tried to get some cash from us, until we convinced him that we have shit. It’s very depressing when you see homeless people asking other homeless people for spare change.

GUNNER: Wow, never thought I’d see the day... Actually, that’s happened to me a few times.

SPIKE: Right right... Personally, my favorite method of spanging includes involving my girl. Like, new couple, we met at a concert, trying to get bus tickets, or a place for the night. We ask for something that’ll get us to where we’re going. Of course, we’re lying to them. We pitch a line that they’ll grab. Something that grab their interest. You can never just come right out and say you’re homeless. It is too ugly a fact for people to deal with. Of course that doesn’t mean that acting humble doesn’t have its benefits. It just means that these yuppies can’t stand to see directly homeless people. You say you’re trying to get somewhere on a bus, and you’re made. You’re not homeless, you’re not a squatter, or a gutter punk, just someone down on their luck.

FREAK: I usually just bark at people when I want spare change. It has a decently low degree of efficiency.

SWEEP: I spange pretty well, actually.

SPIKE: Yeah, I’ve seen your loot, you little punk. I should start pimping out you out as a little spanger.

GUNNER: (sarcastically) Do that and you’ll wake up in pieces.

SPIKE: (also sarcastically) Only after you go to sleep in shreds.

GUNNER: Oh, ya’ wanna fight, ya’ bastard?

SWEEP: Nah, you guys really shouldn’t even pretend to do that. If the people feeding see that, they pack up and disappear.

GUNNER: Goddammit... It pisses me off that you’re the youngest, but also the most responsible.

SPIKE: Yeah, what’s your secret, Sweep?

SWEEP: Well, I’m young, poor, and I can hold my liquor. So when I spange while drunk, I manage to just come off as that poor kid with an abusive father and a mother who hasn’t been around in ages, or the other way around.

SPIKE: You ever tell them a story to get them all sympathetic and shit?

SWEEP: Sometimes. I can tell them that my mother is a crackhead or that my father is dead. Or I can say that my father is in jail for shooting my mom, or that my father cheated on my mother and she killed him for that and now is in jail. I could tell them the truth, but who gets spare change when they’re a runaway from an abusive family?

Gunner takes a shwill of his 16 ouncer of beer, looking at Sweep, somewhat intensely.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Everyday is another crime, another lingering sense of fraud, drowned in the world’s booze and pills. By the end of the night, we don’t feel anything at all.

LILY: Sometimes when I spange, the best method is to ask for something that seems reasonable. Ask someone for a quarter for a phone call, or ask someone for some change to make bus fare. Like Spike said, people can’t know that you’re homeless. Once they find out that you’re just living on the streets, they’re going to already think that you’re not spending that money on bus fair or a phone call. Crack, smack, booze, whatever. They look down on you, and hope that they never lay eyes on you again. It’s truly sad to what depths they push us.

GUNNER: And it’s only to help them feel more comfortable about themselves, and the fact that American society has granted the homeless the most despicable position in their caste society.

SPIKE: Hey, Gunner...

GUNNER: (with a smile) What do you want, you motherfucker?

SPIKE: I have a present for you.

Spike pulls out a small bottle of vodka, opens it, and passes it to Gunner.

GUNNER: I think I love you, brother.

Chapter 26

Gunner takes the bottle and takes a swig. As the bottle is in the air, the camera freezes, and goes to the center of the top room in the squat. There are mattresses and blankets abound. The camera is in the center of the group, all of them sitting or laying on the ground, eating rice or pasta or something simple out of paper plates, while passing around a large bottle of whiskey. The camera keeps panning to the right, slowly capturing the image of every person. Gunner is holding a 24 ouncer of malt liquor in one hand, taking a shwill, while holding a paper plate that has rice and vegetables on it, with a plastic fork. Freak is holding a big plastic cup (like you would get from McDonald’s) and is pouring vodka into it, with a big smile, and then she seals the cap, and starts sipping it through a straw; also, she’s holding a sandwich. The camera keeps panning, showing Spike. He has his sleeve rolled up, and tied off with a belt, he’s shooting up some H. The camera keeps panning, and shows Lily. She’s smoking a bowl of weed. She holds it in long, and holds the pipe up to the next person. Kevin sits down next to her, putting down a can of spray paint. He takes the pipe, and the lighter, and takes a hit. The camera keeps panning, and it shows a wall that says, “The Anarchy Squat” in red spraypaint. Keeps panning... Finally, it shows Sweep. He’s drinking a beer with a curly straw, and with sharpy, on the beer it says, “My Beer,” with child’s hand writing. Kevin passes him the pipe and the lighter, and Sweep takes a hit off it. Then he puts down the pipe, and someone throws a pill at him, he looks to them, smiles, and takes the pill with the beer. The camera keeps panning, and it shows Rat, holding a bottle of prescription pills, and looking ultra fucked up. She then falls down, against Gunner, to her side, and he puts her head on his lap. She opens her mouth, smiles, acting very Valium-ated. Gunner puts down his paper plate and fork, on to the floor, and then uses his free hand (one hand for the beer) and uses his free hand to touch Rat’s face, just caressing her cheeks. He leans down and kisses her on the mouth. The camera stops panning. During the panning of the camera, there was a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I suppose that would be the successful conclusion of any day: getting high, drunk, and fucked up. It’s a new squat, too, so we’ll all wake up without any memory of where we are. It’ll come back to us with very slow and anguishing thought processes, until we have very vague images, very vague thoughts. I suppose there’s something particular about the underground culture. Not only that we have an obsession with how the mechanics of society are founded upon exploitation and war, but our infatuation with intoxication. Let’s go get fucking stoned. Let’s drink until we die. Let’s shoot heroin on the moon. Let’s take on the fucking world with half a brain cell left! Yeah! That’s our battlecry as we rush in to fight. Oh, well.... I suppose it’s just our culture, and one culture out of the many out there. I suppose with the way we live our lives, we’re a tragedy, the reason why our nations cannot be called civilized. I don’t mind. I’m not in this for glory and gold; I never signed up to be alive for the sake of conquest. I’m here to do all in my effort to topple the tyranny that surrounds us, and all the while I’m doing this, I’ll pray to the godless existence that I can’t feel a fucking thing.

GUNNER: You look beautiful, Rat.

RAT: Oh, I feel so beautiful... I feel soooo fucking good. So good is what I feel. Oh, jesus fuck....

Gunner keeps petting her face. He looks up and looks at Sweep.

GUNNER: Sweep, please tell me you didn’t find that curly straw in a dumpster.

SWEEP: Nah, I got it from a yuppy couple who decided to buy me a soda and some French fries. They were nice.

KEVIN: Still, the reason why we’re oppressed.

GUNNER: No, you’re getting confused. Yuppies buy in to the system and sell their souls to corporate masters, just so they can have more crumbs than us. We’re all victims in this.

SPIKE: Still, if I see a yuppy holding anything more than $50 in his hand, I’m gonna get it even if it costs him his life.

GUNNER: See, now that’s talking rationally.... We have to do what we need to do, to survive. But never forget, that the battle against Capitalism is a battle to liberate us all.

SPIKE: You need to drink more.

GUNNER: You’re goddamn right. Anyone have any hard liquor?

Kevin pulls out a 1.75 liter bottle of whiskey.

KEVIN: Dun, dun, dunnnnnn.... Here you go, mate. Have a few shwills. As many as you need. Just, don’t take more than a quarter.

GUNNER: Thanks, mate. I know how it is. Wouldn’t want to leave you without a drop of alcohol. That’d be inhumane.

FREAK: Gunner, you look so beautiful when I’m stoned... It makes me want to push your face in —

KEVIN: Hey, we have minors present here. We wouldn’t want to corrupt the purity of Sweep’s soul.

SWEEP: Eat my shit, Kevin.

KEVIN: You see, you see? Who taught him that word?

RAT: (eyes closed) Your mom taught him that word.

LILY: Seems like the most inebriated girl decided to offer her wisdom.

GUNNER: Oh, my god, Rat.... That is probably the best thing you have ever said.

SPIKE: What about that time she said she wasn’t allowed to sell her body to science because of how many times she’s been fisted?

GUNNER: Okay, now, I remember that very clearly, and the consensus was that it’s definitely on the list of worst things she’s ever said.

KEVIN: Consensus? Shit.... Aren’t we supposed to make squat rules?

SPIKE: Squat rules? Come on...

Spike makes like he’s jerking off.

SWEEP: What about the time Rat said she was going to buy us pizza? That was pretty awesome.

GUNNER: Sorry, Sweep, but you must have gotten left in the dust as the conversation thrusted forward.

SPIKE: Didn’t she eat most of that pizza, anyway?

RAT: (eyes closed, tossing like she was in her sleep) No, no.... I barely ate a fourth of it.

KEVIN: Nah, it was more like half of it.

GUNNER: Hey, I was there, remember? It was definitely a quarter. And besides, what the fuck do you expect when you say, “Hey, thanks for buying us the pizza. In return, let’s smoke you up with the strongest ganja this side of Jamaica.”

SPIKE: Really? Is generosity a crime? I mean, what’s this world coming to —

GUNNER: It’s not a crime, nitwit. I’m just saying, you smoke someone up with some shit, they’re gonna be hungry.

SPIKE: Fine, buttplug.

FREAK: You’re both asswipes.

Freak smiles really big.

KEVIN: She’s supa-freaky, supa-supa-freak-ay...

Freak jumps on Kevin and starts making out with him.

GUNNER: Heh, wouldn’t that be funny if she was a priest?

SPIKE: Don’t you mean nun?

GUNNER: I said nun.

SWEEP: You definitely said priest.

GUNNER: Mind your elders!

Freak lifts her head up from the out-making.

FREAK: You taste like ham, Kevin. So... processed.

SPIKE: Ham is processed? Whoa, no way. I thought that pigs’ muscles look like that normally.

GUNNER: No, no, no.... Butcheries and meat processing plants are the epitome of human savagery. You want evidence that Hitler was only running a sunday get-together with the other choir boys, then take a stroll through a butchery.

SWEEP: Hitler was a choir boy?

GUNNER: No.... shut up

Freak stands up, and puts her arms on her sides. Kevin just lays on the ground, extremely intoxicated, obviously not wanting to move.

FREAK: Come on, baby... Get up.

Freak squats, bending her knees, and lends her hands to Kevin’s hands, and then pulls him up, while he struggles to stand, making an “Uuuhhhrrr” drunken noise.

FREAK: Even as a drunken fool, you’re still worth more to me than the world could imagine.

Freak, still helping Kevin stand, pushes his back against a wall, while her fingers go up and down the shaved sides of his mohawked head. She kisses him.

GUNNER: Days of our squat, man, that’s all it is.

SPIKE: Haha, right... Damn, you got that so right.

SWEEP: What? You mean drama?

RAT: Drama drama drama, FUCK DRAMA!! I want to fuck you....

GUNNER: Aw, she’s so adorable when sputtering out her thoughts while on drugs.

SPIKE: I fucking hate drama, so I keep it out of my life.

SWEEP: Right.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I guess that’s one attribute of homeless life, one which I have evicted from my life entirely. You have these people, no homes, no jobs, no schools. They have a lot of free time. So many of them, unconsciously, will start up some trouble. You say hi to them and they try to make a dilemma out of that. Sometimes living on these streets makes people feel like they need other people, hence why bonds become so strong and the source of so much anguish, jealousy, and vengeance. But fuck that shit. I’ve evicted that sort of bullshit from my life forever. Everyone’s had their share of it, and I don’t really associate with people who are drama magnets. I guess it’s a personal decision for everyone.

GUNNER: So, are we gonna make some squat rules or what?

RAT: You know, Gunner, I love your thighs. Show them the tattoo.

SWEEP: Aaww! I wanna see!

GUNNER: She’s on drugs, she doesn’t know what she’s saying.

SPIKE: Yeah, like hell... Drugs just make you say what you feel...

They keep talking, as the camera slowly moves out of the window of the squat...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: We never did get to making rules that night. I guess that’s one of our things... Just being lazy and procrastinating. I wonder how drunk I’ll get tomorrow.

Chapter 27

The song “All I Want” by the Violent Femmes begins to play during Gunner’s voice over, as it slowly shifts to the next scene. The camera slowly turns to white, as it shows our two heroes (Gunner and Kevin) walking down the street, one of them holding a large bottle of vodka.

KEVIN: Hey, give me a shwill of that vodka!

GUNNER: No, you’ve had too much.

KEVIN: Fuck you! Since when are you the judge of that?

GUNNER: Fine! Take the fuckin’ bottle!

Gunner passes it off.

KEVIN: Thanks, you bastard.

GUNNER: No problem, my brother.

KEVIN: What do you want to do today?

GUNNER: Eh, the same thing we do everyday. Get drunk, harass tourists, talk about shit...

The camera slowly fades out and fades in, as the two are standing in front of another man with a red piece of cloth tied around his arm (a Commie!).

GUY: Would either of you be interested in a flyer?

KEVIN: If it helps overthrow our oppressive system, then hell yeah. Serve us up two of them.

GUY: Sure, here you go... The harder we fight, the closer we will come to revolution.

GUNNER: Right the fuck on.

KEVIN: What party are you with?

GUY: I’m with the Liberty for Workers Party.

KEVIN: Oh, far out... You sent members to the Seattle protest riots. Very fucking cool.

GUY: Looks like you know a bit about the things going on. You guys want to try and pass these flyers out. They’re trying to tell our side of the story, our side of the confrontation of the battle.

KEVIN: Sure, comrade... We’ll do as much as we can.

GUNNER: All right, dude... Right on.

GUY: Thanks very much.

The each get a small bundle of flyers. At the top, they read, “Police State America Attacks Its Own People.” Gunner and Kevin proceed down the street, passing out flyers.

KEVIN: Did you read all of this?

GUNNER: I breezed over it. It seems pretty basic.

KEVIN: Pretty fucking awesome, though.

GUNNER: Well, it’s truthful.

KEVIN: Yeah, obviously. And if you didn’t think so, I’d have to gutter stomp you.

GUNNER: Well, what the fuck do you mean?

KEVIN: Think about it. We’re part of the revolution. We’re part of the uprising. We are the people and we will liberate ourselves, like Marx said.

GUNNER: Yeah, that’s true.

KEVIN: So...?

GUNNER: So... what?

KEVIN: Doesn’t that make you feel proud, strong, and meaningful in a very deep way?

GUNNER: How do you mean?

KEVIN: We know the truth. That’s what we have. The truth. And in our own day, besides our friends and our booze, the truth may be all we have to know that we are alive. It may take centuries for our dream to be realized, the dream of a real, working Democracy and autonomy. But for today, all we have is the truth, our hunger for passion. What three hundred million people in America could not find for the life of them, we live with — what has escaped every mind on congress, every corporate CEO... We have the truth. It’s strong. It’s bold. And it means something. And it means something more that we’re doing something about it, and not letting motherfuckers push us around. We’re the kids tending the flame of truth.

GUNNER: I feel ya’, man. I feel ya’.

They go to drinking, and passing out flyers. The camera shows Kevin sitting Indian style while sitting on the dock of some major city. His mohawk is a bit shorter. The camera remains on him while Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: And that was Kevin. He was a fucking Peace Punk. He fell in love with music because it supported his political views. It was primitive, anger-filled, loud, fast, and hard. It went with the creed, that fast workers die young, and faster drinkers live forever. Anarchism, Democracy, Anti-War, Vegetarianism, Polyamory... He had his conservatory of condemned opinions. But he had the strength in his heart to do something about what he saw, about what he knew. He dedicated his teenaged life to changing the world, because he felt obligated, he felt a duty. So did the other two million Peace Punks around this nation. I suppose when you live a life that puts you in the center of oppression, on the streets of our cities, where you can see all the abuses, you learn to think quick.

The two keep drinking and passing out flyers. They pass out a view flyers. Someone rejects a flyer and Gunner flips them off and makes a face at them. Then the camera shows Gunner pass a flyer to some guy. The camera stops and focuses only on the guy’s hands. He crumples up the flyer, and the camera slowly moves up the arm of the person. It shows an American flag patched to the shoulder, and then the camera moves out, and shows that it’s a cop, with a partner. He throws the crumpled up piece of paper at the two punks. “Motherfuck-!” Kevin yells out as he’s turning around, and stops, as he sees the two cops. The cop who threw the crumpled up flyer pulls out his baton. “Tearing Everyone Dawn” by Anti-Flag begins playing, and the cop walks towards the two punks slowly, as the other cop follows, pulling out his baton, as well. The camera shows a close up of Kevin’s face, fear-stricken, and then pans to the right, showing Gunner’s face, not fear stricken, but extremely aware. From the ground, it shows from the right of the right cop (facing the punks) the cop walking towards them in slow motion. Then it shows the cops face, and then a close up of his mouth as he smiles. The slow motion stops and the camera focuses on the two punks. They both throw their pile of flyers at the two cops and take off running down the sidewalk, and then across the street, as the two cops trail them. A car stops one inch short of hitting Gunner and he rolls over the hood. They start running down a sidestreet, with the cops trailing them. Gunner and Kevin keep running. They jump over several boxes and Kevin knocks down a trashcan. As they started running in the beginning, Gunner does a voice over...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Just keep in your mind, as you’re running, that if you stop for a single second, you will suffer at least one hundred blows with a metal baton. I felt it several times before. The first time, I underestimated. The other times, extreme drunkenness. Besides that, once I tasted the pain, I’ve put everything I could into avoiding it. It never mattered to these cops, where I’ve been or how I lived — we were the picture example when they learned about crime at the academy. Just a composite artist’s drawing of me falling asleep on Freak’s lap, while Kevin chugged a 24 ouncer of malt liquor and Spike and Lily forgot about life in each other’s arms.

The two punks duck down an alleyway, the camera showing a bird’s eye view of what’s happening. Gunner starts climbing one of the fire escapes, skipping every other bar, and Kevin follows up. About ten feet up and the two cops start climbing.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s too bad that cops are armed... Otherwise, they would have to respect the people.

The two punks make it to the top of the room and run, jumping down to a lower level on the same roof. The two cops finally make it up to the top of the roof. The two punks run as fast as they can and make a running jump towards the other roof. In mid-air, the camera freezes. The song “Letter of Resignation” by the Weakerthans begins playing. The camera slowly fades out from the image of the two punks jumping in the middle of the air, from rooftop to rooftop. Then it shows two of them walking down an alleyway, the camera watching them from behind, with their arms on each other’s shoulders. It never shows their faces, but just the two of them leaving a dark alleyway, slowly entering the bright, traffic-filled city. A stray cat runs across the alley, from one side to the other, and knocks off a trashcan lid.

Chapter 28

The camera changes to a new scene. Kevin is spanging on the sidewalk. One passerby gives him some spare change. Paul walks by carrying a six pack of beer, takes one off, and throws it to Kevin, and keeps walking. A homeless bum is asleep on a park bench nearby. They are outside of the park. The camera finally goes inside of the park, and shows Gunner and Rachel talking.

RACHEL: So, what does “oi” mean?

GUNNER: Oi? It’s what we yell into an abandoned building when we enter it, and then if we hear oi back, it means that another squatter is there. It helps us know whether crackheads or cops are going into the squat.

RACHEL: If it’s another squatter, does that mean they can stay there?

GUNNER: Not necessarily. It just let’s one squatter know that there is another squatter there.

RACHEL: It opens up a median of communication?

GUNNER: Essentially, yes. It does that.

RACHEL: That’s interesting.

GUNNER: Eh, I don’t think so. You investigate any culture and you’ll find that they have their own words or slang applied to necessary things.

RACHEL: You’ve lived with it all your life, so maybe it’s boring to you. But to me, when I learn about a culture, one that I live with side by side everyday, but never was educated about, I find it vastly interesting. I’ll tell you one thing, I’ll never look at abandoned buildings as lifeless again.

Rachel smiles at Gunner.

GUNNER: That’s right... It’s teeming with degenerate life forms, high on crack or drunk as fuck.

RACHEL: There’s no need to disguise virtue as crime.

She smiles again.

GUNNER (smiling): You sarcastic son of a bitch.

Gunner lays his head on her lap.

GUNNER: So much booze, so little time.

RACHEL: When I saw you today, you looked a little wobbly walking... I was gonna ask you if you were drunk, but your speech is so slurred and your breath was wreaking of vodka, that it was unnecessary.

GUNNER: If you’re trying to say you want to have sex with me, you’re definitely going about it the right way.

RACHEL: Ha! You’re ridiculous!

She smiles at him.

GUNNER: How come you don’t drink?

RACHEL: Well, I find other ways of using my time.

GUNNER: How so? Mowing the lawn, paying taxes, and finding time to cheat on your current boyfriend or husband with the guy across the street?

RACHEL: Nah, finding time to cheat on my boyfriend never takes that long.

GUNNER: Ah, so you do have a boyfriend! Ha, ha, ha!

RACHEL: I think the rule is, you subtly make a reference to a boyfriend or husband, wait for the reaction, and then celebrate inside your mind without speaking.

GUNNER: Oh, yeah....

Gunner hums “Hmm Hmm Hmm” under his breath in the same tone he said, “Ha, ha ha!” She starts touching his ear, his hair, and the side of his face.

RACHEL: Actually, I don’t have a boyfriend.

GUNNER: Oh, well, in that case...

Gunner turns over so the back of his head is on her lap (as opposed to the side of his face being there).

RACHEL: You know, I like you...

GUNNER: Because I’m an interesting gutter punk?

RACHEL: No, not that... That’s just part of who you are. You’re honest, though. It’s something that’s very hard to find in this world, and I find that much of the misery I experience comes from dishonest people.

GUNNER: Right, but it’s more prevalent on the underground. Kids rip each other off for cash and drugs. It sucks that we have no other way of maintaining ourselves, except by begging or stealing. That’s why we all support a workers’ revolution. Anyone who doesn’t is either blind or fucking stupid.

RACHEL: I wish that the injustices of society could be remedied by one of the existing philosophies. I’m just not sure that it’s possible.

GUNNER: It all depends on the spirit of the people, if they’re going to let themselves be fucked over by government and corporations, then we will never win.

RACHEL: For as much as people think of the homeless as being stupid, you’re quite informed and your opinions are reasonable... If anyone at my office heard you talk like that, they’d either think you were a politics major or a unionist.

She smiles at him.

GUNNER: I would like to be a unionist one day. Threaten the boss with strikes, and he would take us seriously, because if there is one thing we’re good at, it’s not working, and enjoying ourselves at it.

RACHEL: So why not be a unionist?

GUNNER: Because... I hate work, and I can get everything I want or need through homelessness. Besides, my culture would change. Slowly, I would accept things that my circumstances forced me to accept.

RACHEL: It’s only eight hours a day, and then you won’t have to worry about being arrested for where you sleep at night.

GUNNER: It’s just eight hours a day, and my soul! I would get up at eight o’clock, shower, shave, apply deodorant, maybe some cologne, put on a three piece suit and necktie, go to work on fucking disease infested public transportation, and then slave for eight hours, only to return home, where I have lost my willpower and my strength.

RACHEL: I don’t think you would ever get a job that requires a three piece suit, though maybe some uniform like a gas station outfit or fast food restaurant uniform.

She smiles at him, and he smiles back.

GUNNER: If I wanted a mohawk, they would fire me. If I wanted piercings, I would get fired. If a customer complained that I didn’t have enough cheerfulness in my greeting, I would have to suck his cock and say, “Yes, sir.”

RACHEL: Well, you could still feel the way you do, without the culture of revolution, you would have its spirit.

GUNNER: No, because it would be nine o’clock at night, and I would be getting ready for bed. I’d turn on the television, and ingest the propaganda, because by then, that’s all I had the strength to do. I would be worried, when I turned out the lights, of a burglar, and the only time I ever felt safe in the city, would be next to a police officer. I would have to spit at people who ask for spare change, because I work damn hard in this life to be miserable, and they should, too. Fuck, ten year olds being homeless? I would never believe that. I’d just be another yuppy, fashioned by the media and my job into the person I was.

RACHEL: We aren’t all like that. You shouldn’t judge before you know.

GUNNER: I was judging on what I knew.

Rachel’s fingers are still gently going through Gunner’s hair.

RACHEL: I suppose you would know somewhat, since you interact with everyone on the streets.

GUNNER: To a certain extent.

RACHEL: You know, not everyone is the way you described.

GUNNER: Some are more willing to insult the homeless, others are more willing to help them. Some will talk to us, others won’t acknowledge that we exist.

RACHEL: Well, I suppose that’s just what comes out in our actions from our thoughts. As much as my job has molded me, I still feel like I’m a good person.

GUNNER: I guess it’s possible.... It could happen.

RACHEL: Aw, come on, don’t be like that...

He smiles.

GUNNER: Yeah, I know, you’re awesome. Particularly so that you have a job and all that.

RACHEL: The cool yuppy, huh?

GUNNER: Nah, you’re not a yuppy, you never will be. It’s really a mind set, about thinking of life as a game, and the contestants being judged on the property they gained throughout life. The one with the most wins. And yuppies just play as hard as they can, getting good results by playing the system, and placing all their bets on who will win. As long as you don’t play their game, you won’t be one of them.

RACHEL: What if I work at their work?

GUNNER: Only a five point deduction.

RACHEL (smiling): Oh, yeah?

GUNNER (smiling): Yeah... disagreement with that will result in an additional two point deduction.

Kevin ambles over.

KEVIN: Hey you two... I got magical substance.

Gunner sits up.

GUNNER: Alcohol!

KEVIN: Survey says! Yes! I do have alcohol!

GUNNER: Wh00!

Kevin opens a pint of gin and takes a shwill. He passes it to Gunner, as he wipes off the gin that spilled down his chin. Gunner takes a shwill.

RACHEL: Ugh, that stuff is so horrible tasting... You guys really are alcoholics.

GUNNER and KEVIN (together): We’re not alcoholics! We’re drunks!

They high five each other.

KEVIN: Wh00, gimmie some more.

GUNNER: Hey, hey, it’s Rachel’s turn.

RACHEL: Nah, I don’t think I want to.

GUNNER: Come on, it’s free!

RACHEL: But I have work in a half hour.

KEVIN: See! The reasons to drink are piling up!

She looks to them both, smiles, takes it, and shwills it, tipping her head back really far and really fast for it. And then she hands it back to Gunner, who points to Kevin, who takes it from her hand (it’s his turn, she didn’t understand that). They both clap.

GUNNER: Whoa, I thought you would cough.

She coughs and clears her throat then.

GUNNER: Heh, you handled better still, than at least fifty other people dressed up in suits.

RACHEL: Thanks.... I like to think that I can hold my liquor.

KEVIN: Good girl. That’s a virtue among our people.

RACHEL: Is it really? (smiling)

Kevin takes a shwill, smiles in the middle, and hums, “Mmmmmhmmmm....” Gunner takes the bottle and takes a big shwill, coughs a little and hands it to Rachel, who shakes her hand at it. He passes it to Kevin. Gunner lays his head back on Rachel’s lap on the side of his face, placing the palm of his hand on her thigh.

KEVIN: You know, this isn’t what I do normally, Rachel.

RACHEL (smiling): Oh? You mean being homeless?

KEVIN: Right. I own a book store up the street from here.

GUNNER: Quit lying, you fucking Bolshevik.

KEVIN: No more gin for you!

GUNNER: (sarcastic) Nooooooooo.....

KEVIN: Okay, you can have some. I wouldn’t want to put a brother in distress.

GUNNER: Bah! I’m in distress in this world — I need alcohol to get me out of it.

KEVIN: I fucking can hear that.

Rachel watches the dialogue between the two with some amusement.

GUNNER: Ugh, dude, did you know that Pops use to mix milk with gin?

KEVIN: You want me to fucking puke, man?

GUNNER: God, it’s like, it’s so horrifyingly disgusting, but I still know deep down, that I would only have to be sober for 17 seconds before I drank it.

KEVIN: Right. Alcohol’s not going to go to waste while I’m around! Not on my watch!

RACHEL: (smiling) Are you two brothers?

GUNNER: Street brotha’s.

KEVIN: Together we stand strong, through every hardship, every pain, every misery. When I wake up and am surrounded by broken bottles, I know that we both helped to kill them off. Just another merit badge to our alcoholism.

GUNNER: As you can see, he’s the more poetic, artsy type.

RACHEL: Say, are you guys hungry?

The camera clicks and then it shows Gunner eating a hamburger and Kevin and Sweep sharing a large French fry, as Rachel crumples up a paper bag of McDonald’s.

RACHEL: Well, I really have to go... My lunch break is up in say, oh, negative five minutes.

GUNNER: Okay... Want to hang out later?

RACHEL: Ha! Actually, I would really like that.

She smiles.

GUNNER: I’ll meet you here at the park at....?

RACHEL: Six o’clock. I’ll see you here.

He hugs her.

GUNNER: Thanks for the food and the company. I hope work doesn’t suck as much when you return.

She kisses him on the cheek and is off. He looks at the ground, looks up, and smiles, still looking in her direction as he walks towards his comrades.

Chapter 29

KEVIN: Sweep, don’t you see what’s going on!?

SWEEP: Huh? Oh, yes, I see it... Gunner likes her.

KEVIN: I think so.... Hey, you can finish these fries, I’m not hungry.

SWEEP: Come on, dude, you barely had a quarter of them. I’m not very hungry either.

KEVIN: Okay, fine!

He grabs a big handful and shoves them all into his mouth.

KEVIN: Okay, I’m done... And I’ll stand behind that decision. Don’t disagree with me and make me angry now. (sarcastic, obviously)

SWEEP: It’s cool. (he smiles)

Gunner arrives at the group.

GUNNER: Hey, you punks.... so, I guess the gin is all gone?

KEVIN: You killed it off an hour ago.

GUNNER: Well, fuck me.... I guess it serves me right for not sparing it.

KEVIN: Eh, the world sucks; it’s not your fault for disagreeing with it. Only a reasonable man would.

GUNNER: You’re a good kid, Kevin. And I hope you die old and decrepit.

KEVIN: I hope I don’t, you bastard.

GUNNER: No problem, fuckstick.

SWEEP: So, you like that girl? Rachel?

GUNNER: Well, like is a strong word... I’d rather say that I want to fuck her for all she’s worth, I want to help her understand what makes me cry at night, I hope she can still scream after I tell her everything I’ve been through.... so, yeah, I guess you could say that I like her.

SWEEP: Strongly?

GUNNER: I’ve only known her a short while, you little rugrat.

SWEEP: Hehe, looks like someone is getting tense.

KEVIN: Right on, Sweep. His head was on her lap.

GUNNER: Dude, shut the fuck up. It sure was. But I like her. So what?

SWEEP: So, you confess?

Sweep holds up a long French fry to Kevin, and he takes the whole thing in his mouth.

GUNNER: Yeah.... I like her.

The camera fades to black and Gunner and Rachel are walking down the street, holding hands, at night time. He lets go at a passerby smoking a cigarette.

GUNNER: Excuse me, sir, could you lend a cigarette for a lonely traveler at night?

The person (working class) pulls out a cigarette and hands it to Gunner.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I suppose my entire life can be summed up as a debt of things I’ve borrowed.

GUNNER: Could you spare a light?

The guy lights the cigarette for Gunner.

GUNNER: Hey, thanks, man. I appreciate it.

PERSON: No problem.

Gunner keeps walking with Rachel, holding her hand.

GUNNER: Have you met Spike and Lily yet?

RACHEL: No, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.

GUNNER: I think you would really like them.

RACHEL: I believe you, but why so?

GUNNER: Well, they’re just a couple in this world, trying to make the best of what they have. Sure, maybe they don’t wake up in the morning to try and make the best of themselves at a job — and true, maybe they never once voted or paid income taxes, because they had no income. But, they woke up with the desire to make each other smile, to love each other in every way they could. To forget the miserable pain that we are born into, they fell in love. Perhaps not like us, they managed to forget how shitty the world is when they sleep together at night. You know, every time I am with a girlfriend, I always have sex with her, but I’ve seen the two of them just pass out on the ground after a long day, only holding each other.

RACHEL: You know, not all of the world is pain and misery.

GUNNER: I was judging this world on a case-by-case basis, actually, and yeah, it’s... it’s pretty bad.

RACHEL: I can think of some reasons to think so, but why would you think so?

GUNNER: Well... (takes a puff off his cigarette) We’re being ruled by a government that hates us, homeless kids can’t get jobs because they’re so fucking dirty, and every time I see a cop, I have to be scared shitless because of what they do to us.

RACHEL: Cops can’t be that bad.

GUNNER: Just this morning, Kevin and I ran from some cops chasing us.

RACHEL: What’d you do?

GUNNER: Political dissent.

RACHEL: That’s... that’s awful. I’m sorry that you have to live that way.

GUNNER: The other aspects of my life make up for it, I guess. We get to be drunk all the time, so, no problem.

RACHEL: Are all your friends homeless?

GUNNER: Practically. When you live this way, on the streets, everyday of your life, you discover every homeless kid on the streets. Not just the homeless kids, called “gutter punks” by the non-homeless population, but you get to learn about the older homeless people, called “home-bums.” Fuck the terminology. We’re homeless, and we’ve been hungry and houseless on the streets since we were 10 years old.

RACHEL: I guess then, that I would be a rare exception?

GUNNER: Not necessarily. Every now and then, during my dialogues with the yuppies, I find someone who inquires a little further. That’s when I learned my number one lesson about the homeless.

RACHEL: Oh? And what lesson was that?

GUNNER: That the homeless people are half truthful, and half full of fucking shit. I was spanging with this kid Jeremy once, and he convinced a yuppy that he was once in the fuckin Olympics. He tried to convince me the same thing, but I was like, “Don’t pitch me your bullshit.” Then there is the guy who has to be homeless, but left several million for his daughter. Biggest drunkard in the world, and I’ve seen him rip off half the people he’d ever seen. And then someone declared the biggest wrestling champ. Fuck, so much bullshit... But not always. Kevin never lied. Neither did half the punks I know. But it’s an element out there that exists.

RACHEL: So, what about Spike and Lily?

GUNNER: They’re a cute fucking couple, I guess. Lily seems somewhat quiet, but she’s always thoughtful. It seems, though, that she’s very pleased with everyone, but always thoughtful. She’ll get us sandwiches or bags of chips from a local feed-the-poor center, or what-have-you. Spike is a good kid. He fucking loves Lily, and then he loves Heroin to fucking death. He’ll stand up for you if anything goes down, and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks. Good kids. My fucking family. My goddamn fucking family.

RACHEL: You know, I know this guy at work, and I try to send him signals, but he never understands.

GUNNER: Oh, well, what have you tried?

RACHEL: I tried to invite him to things, like, a group meeting of us from work for coffee, and I try to start conversation with him, but he always seems disinterested. He says things like, “If a nuclear bomb would end our jobs here, then I’ll pray for a nuclear bomb.”

GUNNER: Sounds like my kind of man!

RACHEL: But he has his positive attributes.

GUNNER: Sure does.

RACHEL: Like, sometimes, he’ll say something that is half-way witty, but half-way meaningful. One time, we were talking about the employment procedures of the industry, and how we might have to maintain an Affirmative Action employment method. So, he says, “Great, we have to fire the qualified people and hire people that piss us off... god bless America, right?”

GUNNER: Wh00! He bashed Affirmative Action. He’s got my vote.

RACHEL: Another time, they were putting in a new candy and snack machine. The prices were like, a dollar and a quarter, for a candy bar. As the mechanic put it in, he said, “I bet it sucks that you’re working for a corporation that charges a buck and a quarter for something that costs them a nickel.” The mechanic nodded and left. And this guy I like, he’s not arrogant or bitchy about it. Another time, when the manager wanted to advise pay decreases for those working below us, he said, “Great, not only are we fucking the consumer, but our own people, too.” Management wanted to fire him for that.

GUNNER: Jesus, that guy rocks. I’d fuck him if I was a woman. The fact that he gives a flying fuck about those without shit means he’s badass.

RACHEL: He’s not all political. One office employee asked him if he needed extra Styrofoam for his package, he said, “Sure, because he makes you extra-sexy, baby....”

GUNNER: Wow, this guy is so cool, I wonder why he hasn’t been fired yet.

RACHEL: He said it to a girl.

GUNNER: Uuuummmm.... well, I’m sure he has his better points.

RACHEL: Oh, so it would have been awesome if he said it to a guy?

GUNNER: Well, at least then you could almost be sure that he was sarcastic.

RACHEL: I guess.

GUNNER: Well, why do you like him?

RACHEL: I think it’s because he’s ballsy enough to say things that disrupt everything we that people normally consider sacred.

GUNNER: Men who violate sacred social orders should be given medals.... and weed and booze, too.

RACHEL: Yeah, and I don’t think he’s just picking up my signals.

GUNNER: I don’t see why he would push off your approaches, especially with such a beautiful girl as yourself.

RACHEL: Awww...

She goes over and kisses Gunner on the cheek. He tries to kiss her some more, but...

RACHEL: No, no... There’ll be plenty of time for that later.

GUNNER: Oh, all right... Say you want a drag off this cigarette? I could give you a shotgun of it.

RACHEL: Uuummm, it’s tobacco, not marijuana.

GUNNER: Very true.

RACHEL: Any ideas about how I can get this guy to know I like him?

GUNNER: Well... The way a guy thinks about sex, it’s often times just written off as a simple and unforgiving impulse to fuck. And that’s true, it’s very true, but there’s more to it than that.

RACHEL: Like, what?

GUNNER: If a girl is introduced to a guy, and after five minutes of talk, she has to leave, and she asks him his name again before leaving, he notices that she takes an interest in him. But just to him, it has to do with sex, and probably to her, it has to do with just being friends.

RACHEL: So, he then should think that I am hitting on him, by just saying hi?

GUNNER: Technically yes. The answer to your problem is this... He’s a Homosexual.

RACHEL: Are you sure?

GUNNER: Hey, it’s very possible that he likes the cock more than you do.

RACHEL: You really think he’s gay?

GUNNER: Nah, not really... Actually, maybe it’s just that he’s had so many awkward moments, where a girl showed some affection, and he tried to take it farther, only to be embarrassed Poor fucker... It sucks when the system makes you a slave to their own emotions and not your own.

RACHEL: So, what should I do?

GUNNER: To tell you the truth, I have no fuckin’ clue. I don’t know what office etiquette is.

RACHEL: Mmmmm, I’ll figure something out.

GUNNER: Hey, what’s pink, wet, and squealing?

RACHEL: What?

GUNNER: A baby skinned alive.

She covers her mouth, with a big smile, and says, “Aawww!” in a positive, happy tone. Gunner kisses her forehead, puts his arm on her shoulder, and pulls out a beer, which he opens with his teeth and walks off through the night with her. The song “Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%” by Against Me! starts playing. They walk to her apartment, where the camera shows them arriving. As she’s trying to unlock the door, he’s kissing her neck from behind. The camera is inside as it watches the door open and the two walk through, as they fall on the couch, and she takes her shirt off.

Chapter 30

The camera fades... and it shows Gunner, waking up in bed, disoriented. He looks to the clock. It’s 1:30 P.M.. He looks to his side, and sees that he’s alone in bed. He moans, covering his face with the sheet, for three seconds, and then pushes it off.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I forgot how nice sheets felt. Or a nice, warm bed. It’s been a year about.

He gets up, gets dressed, and walks into the kitchen. There’s a note on the table. It reads, “Feel free to eat or drink what you want, and sleep as late as you need. — Rachel.” The camera switches to a picture of Gunner walking down the sidewalk, carrying a bag of cookies, a bag of chips, and a carton of orange juice. He’s eating the cookies as he walks, and chasing them with orange juice.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: You know, I feel bad about what I did. But then again, I don’t.

Gunner walks past a homebum.

HOMEBUM: Can you spare some change so I can buy a sandwich?

GUNNER: I’m homeless, too, bro’. Maybe longer than you.

Gunner gives him the bag of chips and keeps walking.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Well, she did say I could take what I wanted. And besides, she has a job, I don’t. I think that justifies it. I suppose this is a rather fine start to a perfect day.

The camera switches to nighttime, with Gunner, Kevin, and Rat walking down the sidewalk, Gunner with a bottle of rum, Kevin with a cigar and a 40, and Rat with a tall can of beer (the echelon of inebriation).

KEVIN: So, you slept with that Rachel chick?

GUNNER: Yeah... I was kind of surprised.

RAT: You did not sleep with her. You probably passed out on the bed, she rolled you off, and you had a wet dream.

GUNNER: How would you know?

RAT: That’s about half the times I have with you.

GUNNER: Heyyyy...

RAT: I’m just kidding and you know it.

Rat wraps her arms around Gunner and kisses him. With her arms still around him, he gives her a shwill of rum.

KEVIN: Why would she sleep with a homeless kid?

GUNNER: I ‘unno... I am a gutter punk. It could be attractive.

KEVIN: We’re not fucking gutter punks. We’re drunks.

GUNNER: Shame on you! You should be proud of your heritage.

KEVIN: Fine, I’ll compromise. I’m peace punk.

GUNNER: You want me to tell the other gutter kids about this?

KEVIN: Fine, we’re gutter punks.

RAT: Please tell me you two aren’t actually have a conversation about this.

GUNNER: I suppose we should proceed to have an orgy.

KEVIN: .... still, you had sex with a yup-- with a housed girl.

GUNNER: Aw, you almost called her a yuppy.

KEVIN: (shrugging) My automatic response!

GUNNER: True, I probably would have said the same thing, but a yuppy is a state of mind, not an income.

KEVIN: A yuppy is a yuppy is a yuppy, is a person not giving me money so I can buy drugs and alcohol, unless I threaten violence.

RAT: You’re a good kid, Kevin.

KEVIN: Thanks, Rat! We should have sex!

GUNNER: Only after me, brotha’.

KEVIN: So, why do you think she fucked you?

GUNNER: This really is bothering you, isn’t it? (smile) Now I won’t even tell you why.

KEVIN: Oh, so there is a reason!

RAT: Calm down... She’s a woman with a sex drive like any of us.

GUNNER: Oh, well, thanks for degrading me down to the status and utility of wooden stick.

RAT: Aaawww, you know I appreciate you for more than your body.

GUNNER: (scratching chin) Well, we haven’t had an intellectual conversation since, since.... I actually don’t remember.

RAT: We could have one tonight, then. (smiles)

GUNNER: I think that Rachel is a progressive girl, maybe. Like, class war, and all that.

KEVIN: Sounds fucking cool. Hey, so, this Jewish guy and a house punk walk into a bar. The Jewish guy says...

The group makes a turn on the sidewalk, and they spot Brian, JoJo, and Girl.

JOJO: That’s so fucking...

BRIAN: Well, well, well, look what we have here!

GIRL: Gunner, you fucking piece of shit.

GUNNER: Well, if the tide didn’t bring in the garbage, I’m convincing it’s raining shit.

KEVIN: With plenty of corn.

RAT: Don’t make me rip out your hair, Girl.

GIRL: Looks like someone already did that for you.

RAT: Fuck you, bitch.

Gunner, Kevin, and Rat approach the other group. The song “Victims” by the Casualties begins. From the angle of viewing just his back, showing the back of the jacket of Kevin, he pulls out his lead pipe. From behind, it shows JoJo pulling out a baseball bat from a backpack he’s carrying on his back. From behind, it shows Rat pull out a pair of brass knuckles and put them on (showing her put them on from behind). From behind, it shows Girl pull out a folding blade and opening it. From the front, it shows Gunner cracking his knuckles, and then the same for Brian. While this is happening, Gunner does a voice over.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Gutter punk versus gutter punk. We’re a class that is at war with itself, fueled by alcohol and political injustice to motivate enough anger to cause a revolution. Too bad we never got our heads straight.

The camera shows Brian charge Gunner, who holds up his leg and kicks Brian in the rib cage, and Gunner moves in and punches Brian in the face. The camera then shows Kevin. He swings at JoJo, nicking his shoulder. JoJo swings at Kevin with the baseball bat. Kevin holds up the lead pipe, and it bends to a 90 degree angle, upon being hit by the bat. “Oh, fuck!” Kevin says. JoJo swings again, and Kevin parries it with the bent up lead pipe. The camera switches to Rat. As Girl swings at Rat, she catches Girl’s wrist and swings at Girl, connecting at the jaw. Girl drops the knife, and drops, but Rat is still holding her wrist up, and kicks her in the chest as she’s on the ground. The camera shows Gunner and Brian then. Brian punches Gunner across the face, spilling blood. He tries to punch him again, but Gunner catches his fist and swings back, hitting Brian in the chest. He tries to punch again, but Brian catches it. They then struggle for power in the brawl. “You’re a fucking piece of shit,” Gunner mutters. The camera focuses on Kevin and JoJo. Kevin’s lead pipe is now beaten up decently. “Fuck,” Kevin yells again. He hasn’t received any hits yet with the baseball bat. He blocks the bat again, bending the pipe into a 45 degree angle, and then pulls the bat low, using the pipe that is nearly wrapped all around it. Less than a second after doing this, he punches JoJo in the throat, and wraps his other arm around his neck, and jumps on him, bringing them both to the ground. The camera shows Girl and Rat again. Girl pulls out and opens a switchblade, stabbing Rat in the leg. Rat screams, “SHIT!” and pulls back, as the knife becomes unlodged from the leg then. Girl goes towards her other knife on the ground, but Rat kicks her in the stomach again, and punches her in the back with the brass knuckles. The camera switches to Gunner and Brian. “Fuckin’ shithead...” Gunner says. “I got a surprise for you,” Brian says under his breath. He lets go of Gunner’s hand and pills out a sheeth knife, rising it up to swing at Gunner. “Fuck!” Gunner screams, as he holds up his arm, and has the inner part of his fore arm torn open by the knife. Gunner let’s go of Brian, kicks him on the chest, and Brian stops; Gunner pulls out his butterfly knife, and stabs Brian in the throat, as a coughing, choking noise can be heard. Kevin looks up from his fight with JoJo, as does Rat.

GUNNER: You fucking idiot.

Brian falls over, as he bleeds from the neck and dies shortly. Kevin releases all resistance to JoJo, as he gets up and takes off running. Girl, beaten bloody, just lays on the grounds and starts whining and crying, “My boyfriend.”

KEVIN: Let’s fucking move!

The three of them take off running down the sidewalk.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: An injustice that. It would be at least ten hours before the cops found him. I didn’t want to kill the bastard. But I guess shit just comes out like that. I can argue with it all I want, but I have to accept it.

Chapter 31

The camera slowly fades to black, watching the three of them run down a sidewalk. “Sounds Familiar” by the Weakerthans begins. Now completely black, the camera slowly moves up, through the foundations of a building. It’s the squat. The first floor is empty. While going through the floors, the camera moves faster, but then slows down while on the actual floor to give the audience an actual view of what’s going. The first floor is empty, but the muffled sound of talk can be heard. The camera goes to the next floor, still empty, but the voices a little more clear. And then it quickly goes through the next floor, not pausing, and then it emerges on the next floor, the fourth. Kevin and Freak are talking, “Yeah, and then Gunner pulled out the knife and cut the kid in the throat. There was blood everyone.” Freak shows some dismay, “I hope Gunner boy is feeling all right about his recent felony.” Spike says, “I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s a good kid, and he did nothing wrong.” The camera, still slowly moving up, moves up really fast after Spike’s piece. It shows Gunner on the roof of the squat, sitting Indian position, with a big bottle of whiskey in his lap. Rat is asleep by his side, in a semi-fetal position, with a small blanket. Gunner is just looking at the stars. He takes a shwill of his whiskey.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It bothers me. And if it didn’t, that would bother me. I guess it’s because, everything on the streets is so goddamn real. The plastic nature of consumer culture melts. When something like this happens, a murder, it’s just something else. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just... something that happens. If I could take it away, I would, but if it could be the streets without it, it wouldn’t. Shit... This isn’t even my first murder. But no need it trudging up old memories. Tonight is a special night. One of those nights where you blast through the four point o blood alcohol level, driving ninety miles an hour in a car that doesn’t have break fluid. By the time you sober up, you don’t remember last week.

Gunner turns to Rat, sees her face, and caresses it with the back of his hand. He smiles, and then turns back to the stars.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s a part of the life that I am forced to live.

The camera clicks, and shows Gunner, asleep next to Rat with his arm around her, without an covers on. She wakes up, just barely, and she throws covers on him, takes the whiskey bottle out of his hand (it’s empty), and rolls it away. The camera clicks again, and it shows the gang in the park. There’s Spike, Lily, Gunner, Kevin, Freak, and Sweep. They’re all sitting in a circle.

SWEEP: I called the cops again today. Jacky will be out of jail in a week and a half.

GUNNER: Wh00!

Everyone claps, and congratulates Sweep.

KEVIN: I’ll make sure to get you a worthy out-of-jail gift.

SPIKE: Condoms and alcohol.

GUNNER: Hey, don’t be so impolite... he hasn’t even reached puberty yet.

Sweep pushes Gunner’s shoulder.

GUNNER: (smiling) What?

SWEEP: Whatever, droog.

KEVIN: Did you feel Sweep in on the Rachel details?

GUNNER: I didn’t tell anyone about what happened with her besides the fact that I slept with her, which, in itself, is a rather impersonal fact.

SPIKE: Gunner, you would make a wonderful eunuch

GUNNER: You... what?

KEVIN: Haha... It’s a man without balls.

GUNNER: Aw, cool — errr, not so cool.... wait, why would I be a good one? Wait, wait... fuck you. That’s what I meant.

SPIKE: Jesus fucking hell, how much did you drink last night?

GUNNER: Enough to be buzzed to fucking hell right now.

KEVIN: He finished that gallon of whiskey.

SPIKE: The entire one that I bought for squat usage?

Gunner shrugs.

SPIKE: Aw, well, no worries. It’s not like it’s the last of all the alcohol in the world.... but I’m gonna make it sound that way if I end up in the mood for booze and there’s nothing available.

GUNNER: A true friend, you bastard.

SPIKE: Haha, one of your only friends when things get bad.

SWEEP: Look what I have...

Sweep pulls out a very small bottle of vodka. He opens it, and takes a shwill.

SWEEP: Paul bought it for me, saying he thought I deserved a way of forgetting about what happened to Jacky. And now, I share it all with you.

Sweep passes it off to Kevin.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: And then, like a flashback, I remember something from last night....

The camera fades out to a flashback. It shows Gunner, obviously drunk beyond the outer limits, walk into the main squat room.

SPIKE: You okay, Gunner?

GUNNER: I’m alive. Still.

KEVIN: Hey, man, maybe you should lay off the booze. The moment it stops being a form of recreation is when you have no reason to drink.

GUNNER: A reason to drink is a reason to drink.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I remember trying to say something clever but only coming up with that.

Gunner looks to the corner of the room, and he sees Sweep. He’s taking glow-in the dark stickers of stars and moons and half moons, and applying them to his corner of the room.

GUNNER: The fuck is that shit?

SWEEP: Glow in the dark stickers.

LILY: Yeah, Spike and I bought them for him when we had leftover change from spanging.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I really didn’t like what I was seeing. It felt like I had too much of everything, and I was ready to explode, and have all the vaults, harboring my dark memories, burst. I was ready to burst and burn.

Tears run down Gunner’s cheeks.

FREAK: Gunner... do you... want my love?

GUNNER: You just... don’t expect that.

Gunner turns around, and walks up the stairway, back to the roof. The flashback ends and the camera returns to the park.

KEVIN: Uuhhh, Gunner, you can sit this turn out on the alcohol. I think you need some pure grain water right about now.

GUNNER: Pure grain water... Ha, good one.

FREAK: Gunna’.... How many fingers am I holding up?

She flips him off.

GUNNER: Right on... One!

FREAK: And your prize, a free lap dance!

She walks over, and sits on his lap and does a few moves, but, Gunner’s head falls against her chest. She picks it up and holds it, as his face is directed towards hers. She moves in slowly, then gently bites his nose.

FREAK: Aw, you’re so indigestably cute.

GUNNER: And, the same, to you.... Indigestible like a wine that costs six dollars per gallon.

SPIKE: Spacebag!

LILY: Aw, spacebag is so nasty... I drank a lot of that once and threw it all up.

GUNNER: (in a rather awkward moment, to Freak) Why am I alive?

FREAK: Oh, baby... You’re alive because your everday moment is poetry in my existence. I’d cry a universe if I found out anything bad happened to you... and, I was very worried about what happened to you yesterday.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Maybe it was the fact that I was extremely drunk beyond belief, that made her feel comfortable with normal language saying what she felt — or maybe it was the extreme drunkenness that let me think so. Either way, she is a beautiful girl, and I love her. Every part of her.

Freak kisses Gunner and gets off his lap, returning to her normal spot. Gunner stares at her, with a sort of, “Whoa, you spoke normal look!” She goes back to, as it looks, doing hemp. She notices him staring, smiles, turns to him, stops hemping, and then puts her hand on the side of his face and pushes. He stops smiling and looks around. The camera shows from the side of Gunner, and then he just falls over and his eyes close.

KEVIN: Is he all right? Someone want to check on him?

SWEEP: You’re closest?

KEVIN: Yeah, but — aw, fucking fine.

Kevin leans over and takes Gunner’s pulse.

KEVIN: There’s a beat.

SPIKE: That means he’s still alive!

KEVIN: I know what it means, you douchebag.

SPIKE: Well, sorry for assuming the best.

KEVIN: You know, I’m not even gonna try and interpret what that means.

SWEEP: He’s trying to get you to admit that you’re gay! Even though you’re not!

KEVIN: Why I oughtta’...

LILY: Oughtta’ what? Imitate 40’s cartoons?

She smiles, and so does Kevin. They bicker a little bit as the camera fades out to complete white. It fades back to normal, as the camera shows Gunner sleeping on a park bench. He slowly wakes up, grumbled.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: When I finally came to, after passing out that morning, I had no idea of where I was or how I got there. I was asleep on a park bench, but I certainly don’t remember crawling to it. I guess my friends picked me up and placed my lazy ass on it. I suppose, there’s some sort of warmth, some sort of serene beauty in that idea... Some people did something to make me feel good, knowing that the only result would be me feeling good, without me knowing that they had a single thing to do with it. God bless the world...

He gets up off the park bench, noticing he has a makeshift bandage, held on my some rubber thing, and safety bins, on his arm. He looks at it, and shakes his head.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: I have no idea how that got there.

Chapter 32

Gunner walks over and finds Kevin and Paul.

KEVIN: No, dude, I’m telling you... A 40 of Steel Reserve has more alcohol than a single normal beer mixed with three shots.

PAUL: Then how is it that a 40 of Steel Reserve only gets me buzzed, but a normal beer with three shots will put me on my knees?

KEVIN: Look, it’s not my fault that your homosexual tendencies arise when you drink. It’s just...

PAUL (laughing): Dude, fuck you!

KEVIN: Look, I drink three 40s of Steel Reserve, and I’m in a fuckin’ wheel chair after that.

PAUL: What’s the best part about fucking a vegetable? When you’re done, you have put her back in her wheel chair.

KEVIN: You know, I’m pretty sure that the joke begins with, “What’s the WORST part about fucking a vegetable?” ... Maybe other sexual tendencies arise during sobriety.

PAUL: Yeah, sexual tendencies like I fucked your girlfriend last night.

KEVIN: Which one?... oh, hey, check it out. It’s Gunner.

GUNNER: The fuck is up, guys?

KEVIN: Not much. You were looking pretty bad before. You okay now?

GUNNER: Yeah, kinda thirsty. Anyone have any beer?

Paul, who has a backpack, opens it, and pulls out a beer, hands it to Gunner.

GUNNER: Thanks... So, what the fuck did you guys do today so far?

PAUL: Well, it’s almost five... So I’ve been up for a good three hours.

GUNNER: Hey, didn’t you have school today?

PAUL: You’re a piece of shit.

GUNNER: I know I am.

KEVIN: Nah, Gunner’s the fucking shit.

Kevin puts his arm around Gunner’s shoulder, and pulls him close, their heads touching for a brief moment, and then releases.

PAUL: Yeah, I just called him a piece of shit.

KEVIN: Paul, shut up before you’re wearing my boot as a hat.

PAUL: I — I don’t get it?

KEVIN: I ‘unno... These creative methods of threatening people are sometimes straining. The first two years I had it down, but then after a while, I figure just use words like, “boot,” “hat,” “ass,” “teeth,” “face,” with verbs like “stick in,” “break off,” “choke on,” “shove down,” “wear,” and after mixing up them up in a sentence, just hope that it comes out good.

PAUL: Hey, Kevin... You keep talking and I’ll make sure my boot gives you some severe constipation.

KEVIN: See, that came out really good.

PAUL: No, I was actually threatening you there.

KEVIN: Oh... In that case, uuuummmmm, I’m gonna beat the shit out of you.

GUNNER: The various forms of a threat of physical violence... My best friends in this world wouldn’t be talking about anything but this.

KEVIN: Aw, thanks, dude.

PAUL: I don’t know. That sounds a bit condescending.

GUNNER: Paul, go give someone a sexual favor or something.

KEVIN: Oooo, that was definitely an abstract art form of the physical threat, because there was no real threat.

PAUL: Speaking of sexual favors...

KEVIN: Yeah, what about your mom?

PAUL: Dude, fuck you.... Speaking of sexual favors, I got tested today, as part of my routine hygiene.

GUNNER: Yeah, I have hygiene. I wipe front to back.

KEVIN: Unnecessary, Gunner. Un. Nec. Ess. Ary.

GUNNER: Oh, I suppose you do it back to front?

KEVIN: Please, do we have to talk about this?

PAUL: I was negative on everything, which is good.

GUNNER: Why the fuck would you worry about that? It’s not like you’re homeless. You’re a fucking house punk.

PAUL: Eat my shit.

GUNNER: No, thanks, I’ve already had Hepatitis A.

KEVIN: Ha, dude, I’ve had like, Hepatitis A, B, C... Fuck, I’ve had Hepatitis Alphabet.

GUNNER: The fact that you’re still alive is a modern marvel attributed to the strength of human bodies.

KEVIN: There are five thousand ways to say I’m fucking cool, and that was just one of them.

Tank walks along.

GUNNER: Hey, Tank... The fuck is up?

TANK: Not much, partner... The hell is going on?

GUNNER: Oh, you know, benders and whatnot.

TANK: You? On a bender? No.... way.... Say, I’ll buy one of your cigars, though?

GUNNER: Huh?

TANK: In this little box right here.

Tank reaches down in a cigar box and picks up a cigar out of it.

GUNNER: The fuck...

Gunner goes over and looks. There’s a cigar box, with a piece of newspaper next to it, that has sharpie on it, “Cigars — 50 Cents — Non-Negotiable.”

GUNNER: Now, how the fuck is it that after fifteen minutes of us talking, I didn’t notice that fucking thing there?

KEVIN: Oh, I don’t know... maybe it has to do with your binging on mind-altering substances? The world may never know the answer to these puzzling questions.

GUNNER: You sound so sarcastic. Now I’m throwing into doubt the time you said you had sex with Whoopi Goldberg.

KEVIN: I never said that.

GUNNER: Oh, yeah, just like you never said you find Hillary Clinton attractive.

KEVIN: Dude, she’s not that bad.

GUNNER: I... was joking.

KEVIN: Still, she’s not bad.

PAUL: You make me sick.

KEVIN: How can it? I thought a pile of shit with peanuts would give you a fucking erection.

GUNNER: Must we degrade ourselves to this?

TANK: Anyway, here’s the two quarters for the cigar.

KEVIN: No, no, dude, that cigar is yours, take it free of charge. Gunner, you take one, too.

Gunner reaches in and takes one.

GUNNER: Don’t mind if I do. Anyone got a light?

TANK: Yeah, sure, here...

Tank throws him a lighter, Gunner lights up, and throws it back to Tank.

TANK: Well, I gotta make some tracks. I’ll see you kids around later. Be safe and be strong.... or be dangerous and intoxicated.

KEVIN: Right on.

Tank leaves.

GUNNER: How in the fuck did you guys get a box of cigars?

KEVIN: We walked into that flea market near the feeding area, and we like, took a box of cigars, and basically walked out.

GUNNER: No resistance by the store owner?

KEVIN: Well, before we left, I said, “Sir, you just got robbed,” and then we kept walking. It wasn’t the owner, just a clerk, so not like they would give a flying fuck.

Gunner takes a long puff on his cigar. Spike and Lily show up.

SPIKE: Hey, Gunner, Kevin... Guess what we just did.

GUNNER: You had sex.

KEVIN: Underneath a bridge.

PAUL: In prison uniforms.

GUNNER: Paul.... Go back to school.

PAUL: Fuck you, Gunner.

SPIKE: We got married.

GUNNER: Aw, fucking cool, dude!

LILY: Yeah, I want to be with him forever.

SPIKE: Check out the wedding rings!

Spike points to a lip ring he has, and so does Lily.

PAUL: Hey, I bet that makes sex even better.

KEVIN: You still need to take a class of sex education, Paul.

PAUL: That might be true, but fuck you.

GUNNER: That’s a pretty cool idea that you got lip rings instead of like, finger rings.

KEVIN: I totally fucking dig them.

SPIKE: Are you selling cigars?

KEVIN: Ever since I was five years old, I can remember always wanting to be an unlicensed tobacco salesmen, like one of the Injuns, but one of the cool ones with a mohawk, none of that Cherokee poser shit.

GUNNER: Do you realize how many ethnic groups you just offended there?

KEVIN: Heh, oh damn, right... Jeeze, it seems like whenever I talk these days, I tend to indecently offend someone. Like that one time there was a rally for some mayor, and it was a woman, so I had a sign that said, “Cunts Can’t Carry on War.” I thought we had a first amendment in the Constitution for a moment, but apparently it hasn’t been ratified after 200 years.

SPIKE: Dude, since when did we have a Constitution?

GUNNER: Very fucking nice. (smile)

Chapter 33

Freak shows up.

FREAK: Punks of fuck.... I have a present for all of ya’.

Freak leans in close to Gunner, and pulls out a small baggy of a white powder (crystal meth).

FREAK: Let’s take over the world.

She leans in a little closer and licks Gunner’s mouth. The song “Insecurities” by the Suicide Machines begins. The camera then shows Gunner, Kevin, and Freak running (from nothing). They all stop in an alleyway, and lean against a wall, to catch their breath.

KEVIN: What are we running from?

GUNNER: I’m not sure.

FREAK: Nothing’s out there.

Ten seconds more of a breather.

GUNNER: Then let’s keep running.

The camera focuses on the group running (from nothing), and slowly fades out to black. The camera fades back in, and it’s day time again. Gunner is walking up and down the sidewalk near the park, handing food to the homeless.

GUNNER: Here, take a brick of cheese.

HOMEBUM: Hey, don’t you know what this will do to my intestines?

GUNNER: Yeah... You definitely might want to eat that over the period of a week.

He keeps walking. He runs into another homebum.

GUNNER: Hey, you want some food, brother?

HOMEBUM: Nah, I just came back from a feeding on the other side of town.

GUNNER: Right on. Good luck, my friend

More walking...

GUNNER: Hey, are you hungry?

GUTTER PUNK: If by hungry, you mean thirsty for alcohol.

GUNNER: Hey, now... Do you think it’s really necessary to ask anyone that?

GUTTER PUNK: Well, sometimes people aren’t thirsty for alcohol.

GUNNER: Only when they’re trashed to fucking hell.

GUTTER PUNK: True, but sometimes they could want more.

GUNNER: Okay, hey, you want some fucking food or not?

GUTTER PUNK: Huh? Oh, yeah, sure.

Gunner pulls out a box of cracker jacks and hands them to the gutter punk.

GUTTER PUNK: Oh, come on, what the fuck is this shit?

GUNNER: If you read the boxed, it’s caramel coated goodness... with a toy! (smile)

GUTTER PUNK: (shakes head and smiles) Thanks, man.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Just another day, like all the rest.

Hey Kid walks by with his dog...

HEY KID: Hey, Gunner, how the hell are you doing?

GUNNER: I’m fine, thanks. You want some food, my brother?

HEY KID: Sure, sure... I gotta keep my blood vessels pumping and my lungs breathing somehow. Gimmie some that shoplifted cheese.

GUNNER: Eh, I’m all outta cheese, actually. Take a can of Pringles?

HEY KID: Yeah, throw me some Pringles. Anything that keeps me alive for another week or so.

Gunner hands him a whole can.

GUNNER: The good thing about Pringles is that they’re in a can, and they don’t make ruffle noises like those bags.

HEY KID (as he opens the can and eats a chip): They’re asking you to shoplift them, Gunner.

GUNNER: Heh, if I ever get in a jam, you’re going to be my lawyer.

HEY KID: I’d be proud to.

They shake hands and part ways. Gunner keeps walking.

GUNNER: Hey, are you hungry, man?

HIPPY: Yeah, I could go for some food right about now.

GUNNER: Here, take a box of pretzels.

HIPPY: Thanks, friend. I appreciate it. Walk with strength.

GUNNER: I’ll do that. Make sure you do the same.

HIPPY: Of course.

They shake hands and half-hug, and Gunner keeps walking. He gets two steps away, and slows down, and then stops. He turns around.

GUNNER: Danny?

The hippy stops, and turns around.

DANNY: .... are you... Gunner?

They walk towards each other, face to face, and then hug.

GUNNER: Holy fucking shit.

DANNY: I didn’t know if I’d see you again.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Danny. My first travel partner, from way back four years ago.

The camera fades out, and then fades back in, showing the two of them on a park bench.

GUNNER: So, what the fuck have you been up to?

DANNY: I traveled around a bit. You know, it’s been quite a long time. When was the last time we saw each other?

GUNNER: We split up when I was 16. We slowly went into our own groups, our own camps of friends, and separated. You went with those kids who were like, goths and hippies, combined.

DANNY: Yeah, I remember. And you went with the kids who had mohawks and spiked jackets, with tendencies towards alcoholism and violence.

GUNNER: You talk about that like it’s a bad thing.

DANNY: Well, isn’t it?

GUNNER: Not necessarily. Violence is like, a natural urge, or a natural drive, for all human beings.

DANNY: I don’t think it is. I think that humans are naturally peaceful and without aggression. Only by conditioning do we become violent.

GUNNER: Well, now that I’m conditioned to violence, I really fucking enjoy it. Okay?

DANNY: I suppose that is one way of looking at it.

GUNNER: So, what have you been up to, ya’ fuckin hippy?

DANNY: Well, after we sort of split up, I traveled around with these hippy kids for a while. We smoked plenty of marijuana, but not much alcohol. A little bit of opium was around, too. After a few months, I slowly became adjusted to their philosophy and ideology. I didn’t even like carrying around a weapon any more, because I became so involved in the peace movement. Eventually, I finally got picked up, for standing on the curb, by some cops. They found my switchblade and I did two months for it. I never carried a weapon again.

GUNNER: Damn, that’s pretty fuckin’ risky.

DANNY: It’s just that I’m not about violence. I can defend myself if necessary, but I just don’t want anyone to think I’m about violence.

GUNNER: I suppose that’s reasonable. Where did you get picked up by the cops at?

DANNY: It was in San Francisco. Yeah, we traveled around a lot. Seattle to Portland, to LA, and then Houston and the other areas. Anything near the coast, I guess. We stayed in LA only for a week. It was an awfully terrible place, despite the fact that Marijuana was available in large quantities for cheap. My friends and I hit up a few of the Rainbow Gatherings. Finally, I settled with some other guys in a commune. I was there for about four months, and then it went under. I became accustomed to living in a house, so I tried having a job and renting a place. That lasted another six months. I’m fucking telling you, brother, if you want to stop being homeless, get off the streets and into an apartment, it’s absolutely goddamn impossible.

GUNNER: The land of the free, comrade. Land of the free, home of the brave.

DANNY: Fuck America.

GUNNER: I’m pleased to see that you still use the word ‘fuck.’

DANNY: Hey, thanks, friend. (smile) And, what have you been doing with your time?

GUNNER: I traveled around a bit, Pittsburgh, New York, New Orleans, some various small cities in Florida and Georgia. Then I went all around, Houston, Portland, Seattle, the major cities. You know how it is. I did a little time for Aggravated Assault in LA. Some methhead fucking grabbed me, and started yelling, so I started beating the shit out of him. I have a warrant for Aggravated Assault in Florida, and another warrant for Possession of Narcotics in Connecticut. Usually, the cost of extradition is so high, states aren’t willing to pay to have them ship my ass up to where they want me. Various drunken brawls and fights here and there. Portland was awesome, mostly because I shoplifted a crowbar and broke into like, seven buildings a night. I was liberating buildings so they could be used as squats. It was such a fucking fun time. Then after I lost my crowbar, I stuck around town for a bit, and then fucking head out. Been getting into fights, getting drunk as fuck, and expressing my opinions for as long as I can remember.

DANNY: I’m glad that you still believe in the cause of the revolution.

GUNNER: Hey, I’m not a fucking blind piece of shit. Why the fuck would I forget?

DANNY: I don’t know, for certain.

GUNNER: When you live this type of lifestyle, you better get politically minded fucking soon.

DANNY: You know... I guess we really did take very different turns when we split up. To tell you the truth, my friend and family, I know much about gutter punks, and I’m not very proud of the decision you made to become one of them.

Gunner looking at his friend, looks down, and looks displeased, for at least four seconds, and then smiles, and looks away, toward the sky.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: At first, I met Danny’s disappointment with feeling bad about myself. But then I realized, he’s not a gutter punk. He never slept in two degree weather outside, with nothing but sweet vodka to keep you warm. He never gave a battlecry to the moon, hoping that the stars would give him strength as he smashed open the windows of the nearest bank. He didn’t sit on the street corners and beg for change, when people knew that he would only spend it on getting drunk. He never saw the things I saw, never lived the life I did. Besides, fuck him, I know goddamn well that I’m proud of the way I lived.

As Gunner is looking at into the sky, he sees Rachel walk by and wave with a smile. He turns to Danny and stands up off the park bench.

GUNNER: Well, I have more important things to attend to. If you need anything, feel free to come to me, and I’ll do anything I goddamn can for you.

DANNY: Thanks, bro. I might just take you up on that offer. I’ll see you around.

GUNNER: Yeah, later.

Chapter 34

Gunner walks over to Rachel.

GUNNER: Hey, there... What are you doing in these horrible parts at this horrible time?

RACHEL: I took the day off. Decided to go to the park. And what about you? Aren’t you scared of being attacked by some ravaged mugger here?

GUNNER: Aw, come on... You keep talking like that and I’ll cum my paints. (smile)

RACHEL: Ha! (turning away, almost ashamed, but yes, ashamed) You are so dirty and real at the same time. I like it. (smile)

He sits down on a bench next to her, and lays his head on her lap.

GUNNER: Mmmmmmmm, so what have you done today?

RACHEL: Well, I got up around eight...

GUNNER: Eight? Blah, I think I went to bed at that time, or at least woke up for a few minutes so I could vomit, and then... go back to sleep.

RACHEL: You really shouldn’t do that to your body. There’s a reason you have such a negative reaction to alcohol.

GUNNER: You mean, besides not getting enough of it in me at once?

RACHEL: Very much so are there other reasons.

GUNNER: Nooooo.... like what?

RACHEL: Well, it dehydrates you.

GUNNER: I’m well aware of that.

RACHEL: It can become an addiction, a problem that you have to live with. It destroys brain cells, too!

GUNNER: If I have enough brain cells left to decide that this entire world is made out of bullshit, among other kinds of shit, isn’t that enough?

RACHEL: Alcohol will shut down those braincells.

GUNNER: I pray that it does, only when I’m awake.... That way I can forget about the world I’m living in.

RACHEL: You don’t really feel that way, do you?

GUNNER: Hhhhmmmmm, mostly... Only about the politics, about the society, about the three year olds pumping dirty water through a public pipe, because the Imperialists thought it would be a good idea to burn down the forests so they could grow sugar cane out of the ashes, and then, wars, and plagues, and all that other shit...

RACHEL: That was a very dignified trailing off, Gunner. (smile)

GUNNER: (smile) Why thank you, madame.

RACHEL: You know you can overdose on alcohol, right?

GUNNER: Only if you do it right. What’s the bother, anyway?

RACHEL: Well, I just worry about you, I guess. Maybe I shouldn’t. You know what you’re doing, since you live this lifestyle.

GUNNER: Aaawww, thanks... I guess you could call it a lifestyle, whereas other people would just say it’s being a worthless bum.

Gunner turns his head away from the other people in the park and toward Rachel’s stomach.

RACHEL: I respect you.

GUNNER: Never said you didn’t. Just making an observation about the rest of this hell hole planet.

RACHEL: The one that you drink yourself to forgetting exists?

GUNNER: That’s the one. Except for the parallel Universe where Ronald Reagan is in control of everything forever.... Actually, no, I don’t drink to forget the world’s problems. I drink because I like it and it makes me feel happy. Little chemicals get released from my mind that make me want to smile.

RACHEL: I just hope you never do anything to endanger your own health.

GUNNER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, me? Do that? Hardly!

RACHEL: Are you being sarcastic?

GUNNER: I don’t know. Am I?

RACHEL: Heh, I think so.

Someone wanders along.

DAVID: Hey, Rachel, how are you doing?

RACHEL: I’m all right, David. How are you?

DAVID: Doing fine, doing fine. Who’s the piece of trash on your lap?

Gunner, with his face looking towards Rachel’s stomach, turns over saying, “I’ll fuckin’ kill him,” and then turns, to seeing David, a housepunk. He has plaid pants, clean boots, suspenders, and a Sex Pistols shirt, as well as a well groomed mohawk that is about five colors and twenty piercings. He’s very clean.

GUNNER: Oh, it’s a fucking house punk.

He turns back to Rachel’s stomach.

DAVID: Fuck you, gutter punk.

GUNNER: I think I hear your mother calling. Go see her before I get up and tear out your spleen, so I can force feed it to you.

DAVID: Rachel, you like squatters? Jesus. Hey, kid! How about you get off your lazy ass, and get a fucking job.

GUNNER: (hesitation) Okay, that’s it, I’m standing up.

Gunner lifts his head off of Rachel’s lap and stands up.

GUNNER: Listen, housey, shut the fuck up and go back to your MTV never land.

DAVID: Hey, I fucking hate MTV, so thanks for stereotyping me as a Republican, America-loving fucking...

GUNNER: Shut the fuck up right goddamn now before I do more than fucking stereotype your fucking ass!

RACHEL: Boys, I think you need to calm down --...

DAVID: Take a shower, and grow up, you crusty piece —

GUNNER: That’s it!!

Gunner lunges at David, but Rachel pulls him back. The song “Sucks” by Crass begins playing.

RACHEL: Please, Gunner, please!! Don’t fight him!!

DAVID: Assholes like you destroyed the fuckin’ scene...

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Scene? What fuckin’ scene? Great. Now every high schooler is convinced that my life is a fucking trendy fucking fad. Sure, sure, you have your goths, your outcasts, your nerds, your jocks, and don’t forget! Your punks! I never joined any scene. I became a member of a culture, representing the angry and poor. It sucks that we were exploited to provide another way for corporate America to make insecure high school kids gain acceptance. Chickenshit conformists. This kid is nothing but a fucking redneck with redneck opinions — and a fucking worthless human being.

DAVID: It’s not too fucking hard to rent an apartment. Ooooo, ooooo, it’s cool to ask for spare change and cigarettes, because I’m homeless and I dumpster dive for food. Jeeze, you’re lucky you have a cunt here to protect you.

GUNNER: FUCK YOU!

Gunner lunges at David and punches him in the face three times hard, and the kid drops to the ground. He kicks David once in the side, and goes to kick him again, but instead stops and kicks the door. Tank walks over from the other side of the park.

TANK: The fuck is happening?

GUNNER: Asshole here... Insulted me. I didn’t do anything I thought was wrong, Tank. He’s a housey.

TANK: Goddammit...

Tank picks up the kid and brings him to the outside of the park, stands him on his feet, and gives the kid a push.

TANK: Get the fuck out of my goddamn park, house punk motherfucker, and don’t goddamn come back.

Tank comes back.

TANK: We really need a gestapo to kill these fucking house punks.

GUNNER: Tank, I never knew you were agro against houseys.

TANK: Yeah, I fucking hate house punks.

GUNNER: But you hardly qualify as a punk. You’re more like, a medium aged, tall, very disgruntled monster, or humanoid creature.

TANK: Heh, if I was monster, I’d probably be able to get away with more crimes. House punks piss me off because they make a fucking weekend holiday out of what my best friends have to fucking live with. Thanks for pissing me off.... Fuck.... Gunner, you better get the fuck outta here.

GUNNER: Yeah, thanks, man... Hey, Rach —

RACHEL: Oh, my god... I can’t believe you just did that to him.

GUNNER: He insulted me and my friends. And he should die... How do you know that fuck anyway? And where does he live?

RACHEL: He’s the son of one of my coworkers.

GUNNER: That... is..... awesome! While I can conceive of my actions having no negative effect, I’m not entirely ruling out the idea.

RACHEL: Oh, my god... Oh, my god... This is bad. This is just bad. I have to go, right now, right now.

GUNNER: Hey, I’m the one who committed the crime.

RACHEL: I really wish you didn’t do that, Gunner... I have to go right now.

GUNNER: Okay, I’ll see you around, some time.

Gunner waves to her as she leaves the park.

TANK: You know, you should be the one leaving...

GUNNER: Why? ... Oh, right, police and crime and prison, all that. I’ll see you around. Stay strong!

TANK: You do the same.

“Violent School” by Dead Milkmen starts. Gunner books it out of the other end of the park.

Chapter 35

The camera fades to black. It then opens on a night scene. Gunner and Rat are standing outside of the park. Rat’s back is leaning against the park fence, while Gunner is kissing, biting, and sucking her neck, and he’s extremely drunk. It’s not raining out, but the streets are wet with a few puddles, but not soaked. Maybe it rained four or six hours ago. The heavy blare of street traffic can be heard, of pedestrians jaywalking and running across when it is illegal, of cars beeping and honking at each other and their misfortune with the road. A group of working class people walk by talking loudly about this or that, all of them carrying drinks, and walk past the rather uneventful scene of squatters necking. As he tries to neck with her, her leather collar with studs on it gets in the way.

GUNNER: Heh...

RAT: Hey, let me take it off.

GUNNER: Take it all off, baby... Don’t tease me.

Rat takes off her collar.

GUNNER: Hey, look up.

He does, and then she places the collar on his neck.

GUNNER: Neat...

RAT: Hey, back to your position... (smile)

He goes back to necking with her...

RAT: One second, honey, I’m hungry... I’m gonna steal some cheese from the grocery store.

GUNNER: Steal is such a harsh word. You’re going to borrow it without paying them back, hehe...

RAT: Whatever you want to call it. (smile)

GUNNER: Repossess! We’re the repo-men of the world!

RAT: I’ll be right back, Gunner... Stay right here, and remember, shiny things are not the best things in the world.

Rat leans Gunner up against the fence.

GUNNER: Hey, just what are implying...? Hey, let me shoplift the cheese for you...

Gunner reaches out to Rat and tries to take a step forward, but falls down, landing on his one knee and his other side.

GUNNER: Uh, heh, I can still get it.

RAT: You’re drunk and you know the rules. No shoplifting when you’re drunk.

GUNNER: Anarchy means no rules!

RAT: Come on.... I’ll be back in only a few minutes, I promise.

GUNNER: Okay, I can please myself with myself for a few minutes, I guess. (big grin)

RAT: Okay, stay right here, I’ll be right back.

She walks away, as he stands there, leaning against the fence. He’s watching Rat walk away. Only twenty feet away, she turns and smiles at Gunner, he waves and she turns back to walking. He then stops leaning against the fence, and tries to balance himself, and then starts walking a little forward, awkwardly, heading towards Rat.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: When you’re this fucked up, off of booze and Vicadin, you have to learn again how to walk, and even then, you feel a little embarrassed that a four year old appears to be a master of something that has you baffled. One rule when you’re this fucked up. Don’t do anything stupid. Well, actually, if you didn’t do anything stupid, you sure as shit wouldn’t be having fun, and then drugs become a pointless escape. Don’t do anything that’ll land your ass in some place where you can’t do drugs. In other words, jail. Rehab isn’t necessarily where you can’t do drugs so much as they shove them down your throat, excusing it as treatment.

Gunner struggles to walk. The camera views him from in front, as he is looking down while he is making his steps.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Left, right, left... left... (heavy breathing)

Gunner stops in his tracks and turns his head to his left. He sees Rat in the grocery store through the store windows. He smiles.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Smart fuckin’ girl, but everyone learns to shoplift eventually. At least, when you’re on the streets. Maybe that’s an essential part of any culture: a system of learning. If that’s the case, education on the street means learning how to rip off big corporations. I could name a thousand scams. You run into some valuable merchandise? Pawn broker. They’re gonna ask you if you’re pawning it for yourself or for someone else. Say yourself, unless you’re fond of seeing flashing red and blue lights. Found a sledgehammer in a dumpster? You just found an access key to the jackpot of every parking meter and phone booth. Have willpower and starvation? Break into parked cars and steal the change in the ashtray and the CDs. Used CD stores will buy those from you. A hundred thousand scams, so that we can perpetuate the way we live, and maybe kick it around this bleak world just another five years, forgotten and missed so dearly. Want some quick cash? Head on down to the social security office and sign up for a food stamp card. What’s the scam? You get fed. Or, you trade in the card to local groceries in exchange for cash.... Which rarely happens.

The camera focuses on Gunner’s face as he closes his eyes and smiles a euphoric, drunken grin. He puts his arm out and then falls against a store wall, leaning. A yuppy walking by...

GUNNER: Excuse me? Can you spare a cigarette?

The yuppy gives him one.

GUNNER: Thanks.

The yuppy keeps walking. Gunner looks over to the store. He can’t see Rat.

GUNNER: Hhhhmmmm, wonder where she went...

A working class female walks by Gunner.

GUNNER: Excuse me? Could you spare a light?

She pulls out a book of matches and hands it to him.

WOMAN: There, that should last you a while.

GUNNER: Thanks, that’s very charitable of you. (smile)

He lights the cigarette and starts smoking. He puts the rest of the matches in his pocket.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: Those will go to starting a trash bin fire later tonight.

He goes to take another puff of his cigarette, only to notice that it’s not lit.

GUNNER: Fuck...

He takes out the whole book of matches, tears off the cover, lights one, applies the flame to all the matches, and lights the end of his cigarette.

GUNNER: How’s that for fuckin’ charity...

Gunner looks over and sees that a police car pulls up to the store that Rat was in. He lowers his eyes and focuses on it. A cop jumps out and goes into the store.

GUNNER: The fuck is goin’ on over there?

The cop comes out with Rat in handcuffs. She looks over and sees Gunner, and she has a look of dread and pain on her face. The cigarette drops out of Gunner’s mouth. The song “61C Days Turned to Nights” by Justin Sane plays. The cruiser speeds off. Gunner starts running down the sidewalk. He runs past one gutter, a few yuppies, and a few working class people. He runs into Spike and Lily. He grabs spike by the shoulders.

GUNNER: Spike! They took her! The cops, they...

Gunner lets go and leans against the fence covering the park, and vomits.

SPIKE: Are you okay, Gunner? What the fuck happened, man? Come on, fuckin’ tell me...

GUNNER: The cops.... she’s arrested.

He vomits again.

LILY: Gunner, please tell me that you’re okay...

GUNNER: No, no.... no...

He contains himself a little bit, stops leaning and faces Spike and Lily. Tears are running down his face.

GUNNER: Rat’s arrested. She was caught shoplifting.

Spike puts his hand on Gunner’s shoulder. His eyes are fixed on the pavement.

SPIKE: Aw, dude, I’m fuckin’ sorry. But, it’s only some time that you’ll be apart. You’ll see her again. Show up to court, pretend to be a brother, and maybe they’ll dismiss the charges. You know how it works, hehe...

GUNNER: No, it doesn’t work like that.

His eyes lift off the ground and meet Spike’s.

GUNNER: She’s sixteen years old. She won’t go to jail, she won’t serve time, she won’t fucking pass go. She’ll be in custody and then shipped out to where her parents are.

LILY: Where’s that?

Gunner looks down again and starts crying.

GUNNER: I don’t know, otherwise I’d take the next freight out of here to it, so I could be waiting for her on her doorstep.

Gunner wipes his tears on the sleeve of his trench coat and walks past the couple. Spike grabs Lily and looks into her eyes, mournfully. Three seconds pass, and Gunner is still walking past them. Spike turns to Gunner and follows him.

SPIKE: Gunner, if you need someone to talk to, or some alcohol, or anything....

Spike stops, and Gunnery keeps walking.

SPIKE: You can always count on me... (shouting, as Gunner keeps walking and is further away now) Even if you need to be alone!

Spike stands there, looking at Gunner. The camera is watching all this go down from the sky. Spike just stands there, watching Gunner... Lily walks over to her boyfriend, from behind and puts her hand on his stomach. He waits, a few seconds, and then puts his arm around Lily, and keeps walking, away from Gunner. The camera watches Gunner walk away from the couple from behind. He’s just trekking forward.

GUNNER, VOICE OVER: It’s very awkward... In a single moment, a single action, one or two words, and your intoxication turns to painful sobriety. The euphoria dies in your spirit, as you try and tackle the situation you are presented with. It seems that no matter what angle you come from, you can’t wholly and fully accept it. Of course, I’m still glad that I’m drunk when this shit happened. It hit me with less ferocity.

Chapter 36

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.

Chapter 37

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.”

Appendix — Soundtrack

“Fuck With Fire” by Planes Mistaken for Stars
“Crime” by Against Me!
“Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys
“Ordinary People Do Fucked Up Things When Fucked Up Things Become Ordinary” by Propagandhi
“Youth of the Modern World” by Justin Sane
“Do They Owe Us A Living?” by Crass
“Street Punk” by the Casualties
“Kill the Poor” by the Dead Kennedys
“Johnny” by the Violent Femmes
“Never Want To Leave Home” by Justin Sane
“I still love you Julie” by Against Me!
“The Part You Left Out” by Planes Mistaken For Stars
“Good Feeling” by the Violent Femmes
“New Homes for Idle Hands” by Propagandhi
“Nailing Descartes to the Wall” by Propagandhi
“Cute Without The E (cut from the team)” (accoustic) by Taking Back Sunday
“Let’s Lynch the Landlord” by the Dead Kennedys
“The Greatest Working Class Ripoff” by Crass
“8 Full Hours of Sleep” by Against Me!
“Don’t Get Caught” by Crass
“Gamble” by Propagandhi
“All I Want” by the Violent Femmes
“Tearing Everyone Dawn” by Anti-Flag
“Letter of Resignation” by the Weakerthans
“Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%” by Against Me!
“Victims” by the Casualties
“Sounds Familiar” by the Weakerthans
“Insecurities” by the Suicide Machines
“Sucks” by Crass
“Violent School” by Dead Milkmen
“61C Days Turned to Nights” by Justin Sane
“One Great City!” by the Weakerthans
“Back to the Motor League” by Propagandhi
“Please Do Not Go” by the Violent Femmes
“Standing Still Fast” by Planes Mistaken For Stars
“We Did It All For Don” by Against Me!