Dec 2010 03

by Brandon Perkins

In the last installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who’d just X’ed his GF Katya, had ridden the #720 Brown BTWN bus route to the Low bar, where the saga of their breakup continued via text. As Katya finds oblivion in the bottom of a bottle at home, Mikhail contemplates the relationship that is no more…

Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 4 – Peyton Manning’s FuckFace

The first time Mikhail broke up with Katya was only a few weeks after they had begun to see each other, barely enough time to be considered an official couple in the first place. It was before he’d go back to her for a much longer and intense session, a second time around. Before he was backed into any sort of corner, when things still felt free or, at the very least, without dire consequences. It was before she began demanding changes in his life. Before he realized how deep in it he actually was. At that early stage of their first dance-less dosey-doh, Katya seemed good for him.

[Talia in Tore Up]
He wanted a positive influence over his negative choices. It seemed like growing up was something he was supposed to do, and growing up meant having a girlfriend who’d tell him all the things that he was doing wrong, even if it just echoed his own common sense. He thought that he wanted someone to push him to quit smoking and he knew that she’d push till her arms fell off. He also thought he wanted someone who needed the type of guidance that would help better his own path. He thought he wanted to learn how to love someone because that’s what adults did. Adults made the concessions and sacrifices for the success of a relationship and that would make Mikhail a better person. At least healthier.

But one weekend, at the end of that first go-around, Mikhail was genuinely ill. He had a horrible flu that made his bones ache. It sent horrendous chills through sore muscles and his throbbing nervous system. When they subsided, a ravenous fever dictated hallucinations of fire-soaked rats chewing on his burning feet in the tangled mess of a heavy comforter. The sweat was sickening once the chills returned.

He needed to stay in bed, but Katya needed to go out. She was consumed with a requirement from within to find worldly adventures and she desperately wanted Mikhail to join her. Even as party time came around and Mikhail started to feel a bit of relief from the virus’s vicious hold, he thought it’d be wise to stay in bed, since he could still barely stand. He didn’t want to risk the effects of exertion but she couldn’t wait another minute.

Forever the Taurus, Katya bulled into the evening by herself. She had no plans to meet her friends or even much of a desire to make new ones. Perhaps it was pride that propelled her out and about, without her already-beloved Mikhail, or maybe it was an unconsciously devious effort to show how much she really needed him.

She began at Mid — a rather upscale bar on the #720 — by drinking Smirnoff and cranberry juice with a twist of lime. There was a table in the corner with only a single chair and that’s where she set up shop. It allowed her to hear the DJ without the intrusion of some stranger trying to sit next to her. It was the night’s special guest, DJ Original Bozak, an alum of her tiny high school message board, that made Katya’s night out one of necessary evil. She ordered two drinks at a time, at first to make it seem like she was waiting for someone, but it quickly turned into an excuse to interact with the waitress less. (Fuck that waitress and her skinny thighs, Katya laughed to herself.) And even sooner, it became an opportunity to drink more with more haste.

Before Original Bozak even got on the decks, Katya had already doubled the amount of Smirnoff in her double-orders of booze. Men came up to her and tried to begin conversations. She was curt with them, cold to the point of rudeness — at least for awhile. When Bozak hit the turntables though, her whole demeanor changed. Her venture into the nightlife became less about being independent and more about sticking it to Mikhail.

Katya kicked her chair to the wall and started dancing in place. Bozak’s songs were her songs and she embraced every note of their nostalgia, even if many of the memories were brand new. Ain’t no half steppin’, you gotta do it good, like you know you should. If Mikhail couldn’t be there for her, then what good was he? He was sick because he smoked and because he was sick, he couldn’t be there for her. When she really needed him. The night’s soundtrack felt right, compelling her to dance like some sort of infection, until she suddenly knew every word, even to the songs she had never heard before. “Say captain, say what!” she soon started shouting alongside Bozak’s selections. Katya’s dance moves, as they always were, tended to be more aggressive than seductive. But dance she did and because a pretty girl can’t dance alone in such a setting for too long, Katya’s suitors began to show up in hordes.

A man in a white t-shirt asked what she was drinking, and while he didn’t get the joke about asking her invisible friend, he quickly brought back a pair of Patron shots. The high class shot choice was to show that his wardrobe choices weren’t made out of economic necessity, but for fashionable choice. Katya finished the remainder of her sixth Smirnoff, in itself nearly three shots, before raising the newly-gifted tequila. “To everything we ever wanted to do,” she said. After which she told the dude to fuck off because she already had a man.

The tequila did something fierce to Katya and even as Bozak played her favorite song about torturing insects, she couldn’t stay at Mid for a minute more. She picked up her purse and stumbled to the door, regaining a touch of composure once she entered the #720’s great expanse. There was $120 in her pocket and The Sports Bar seemed like the place to spend it.

Muscle memory led her there, as her squinting eyes and spinning sense of direction surely would’ve failed. The place was eerily empty and she grabbed a seat right at the bar, right in the middle. Katya placed her four remaining $30 bills in a row and stared intently at their line of possibilities before dividing them into two simple piles. “This is for booze and this is for bets,” she said to the bartender. “What’s your whiskey recommendation and what games are still open?”

After he was told to stick his dick in a light socket for suggesting coffee, Katya was handed a Jameson-rocks and a score sheet. Every game was redacted except one: Patriots vs. Colts. The Pats’ linebacker played for her alma mater (and Bozak’s) and she put that $60 on the visiting team with a sense of childhood solidarity. Before half time, she had already opened up a tab on her credit card, having run through her allotted cash. But the Pats were winning and she exuberantly texted Mikhail that all was good…that she hoped he was feeling better.

Then came the Colts. Interceptions led to good field position and missed tackles led to touchdowns. She quickly became worried about the money she had spent and started ordering shots of well whiskey. After a three-and-out possession turned into a punt return for a score, Katya ordered four shots, but forgot to close out her tab, as she intended. Instead, she started to cry.

Mikhail was watching the same game, wrapped in sweats and blankets, fighting nicotine withdrawal along with his symptoms, when his phone rang. He could hear the commotion of the #720 in between violent tears and the sniffling of snot, but he couldn’t make out a word Katya was attempting to say. There was a wrestling of the phone and a new voice came through Mikhail’s end.

“Hey man, this is Ian,” he said, Ian being Katya’s ex-boyfriend. “I think you should come down here. It’s kind of ugly.”

By the time Mikhail made it to The Sports Bar — after waiting 25 minutes for the Brown BTWN and then nearly passing out twice while onboard — Katya’s sobbing was uncontrollable. Neighboring patrons worried that her dry heaves would turn wet at their feet. At the rate she was going, some joked that a lung or a tear duct might come up once all that booze did. Mikhail didn’t know what to do. Because she was in no shape for anything other than collapse — not even signing her own name — he paid her obscene tab in cash and retrieved her card. He carried her out of The Sports Bar, stopping only to hold back her hair as she vomited into one of the #720’s municipal garden plots.

“I hate Peyton Manning’s fuckface. He doesn’t deserve it,” she said, between upheavals. Even as Mikhail was on the BTWN for the end of what many would call a “classic game,” he had caught Peyton’s game-winning touchdown toss on the replay once inside The Sports Bar. “He walks around with that fucking face. It’s the same fuck face, whether he wins or loses, just a varying shade of gay, I mean gray, no, I mean gay.”

“It’s OK, squeazle, bad things happen in sports and that’s why we watch and that’s what makes gambling fun, even when we lose,” Mikhail said. “There’s thrill in the risk, but no risk without the possibility of failure.”

Even as he fought the shivers, Mikhail was calm and trying to be calming. Her spots of vomiting required everything in him to keep from joining her. He just rubbed her back and tried to keep his inhaling in the other direction. “As shitty as it sounds now, there’s always next year.”

“I don’t care about next year. I don’t care about football. I care about getting my $60 back. Why can’t you be a good boyfriend for once and get it back for me?”

It was the first time that Katya had referred to Mikhail as a boyfriend and it nearly made him drop her. Never mind the inference that he was bad at the job. He carried on and knew that such a job-title was to be no more (not knowing he’d regain it two months later). Step by increasingly heavy step, she passed deeper into drunken oblivion and he felt sicker and sicker. Mikhail felt the weight of her drooping body on his aching shins. If such an effort wasn’t good enough, there was no way he could ever be good. They got to the #720/Brown BTWN transfer and that first bench was something of a miracle. And so they waited, as she drifted into sleep and he thought of civil ways to break things off.

The bus eventually came. En route, Mikhail tried to wake Katya up with abstract conversation, but it didn’t work, and after the single stop to her Little Rectangle neighborhood, he had to carry her home. And he had to wait until she sobered up the next day, so she could remember his decision to end it for the first time.

Please Use Rear Exit is an online novel, you can read about it on author Brandon Perkins’ SG Contributor page and find additional chapters and related media at – including a download of the mix, P.U.R.E Hitz, Vol 1, that Katya hears while getting overly wasted.


  1. […] the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, recalled exactly why he’d […]