Jan 2011 21

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who has recently x-ed his GF (Katya), ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys (Chevy and Jayson). After kicking off the night’s drinking spree at the #720’s main terminal, Mikhail gets separated from his buddies thanks to his bladder’s need for relief. The evening will subsequently take an unexpected turn after an encounter with an Internet Goddess – but first Mikhail must reunite with his friends…


[Morticia in Nun]
Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 7 – Fortune of Spears

Mikhail walked out into the main terminal alone. The relative stillness of the bathroom behind him was long gone, lost in the movements of too many people. They were all striding along on an infinite number of paths and he could’ve followed any number of them. They moved in and out in different directions, theirs and others, but with only a general sense of destination. It was a long waddle towards a place, not a purpose.

Mikhail had no idea. Where was he supposed to go? Perhaps, he wasn’t drunk enough yet. He’d need to piss at least two more times before he’d consider himself sufficiently incapacitated. Further confusing things was the absence of Chevy and Jayson. They might’ve already moved onto the next club. The predictability among their choices – The Sports, Mid, or maybe just hovering around the corridor – made Mikhail want to explore a new option. The bigger clubs wouldn’t quite be worth a damn, yet. And besides, he knew that a little fellowship was still a necessary crutch. Mikhail decided to post up and watch the Friday night procession – the best way to find a lost party was to stay in one place.

But it wouldn’t be beyond Chevy and Jayson to jet off before Mikhail could get out of the bathroom. They had done it before. Leaning against the wall, he thought about the hypothetical debate the two of them would have about where to go. Chevy would probably rhyme about Anything and Jayson would suggest they wait around for another minute or two. As the conversation played across Mikhail’s head, he started walking towards Anything. And then his phone started vibrating. He silenced it and kept walking. And then it rang again. He waited to see if it’d vibrate in his pocket a few more times or whether Katya’s attempt to reach him was just a text message…but it kept ringing. He silenced it and then it rang it again.

Without his friends around to hide his pride from, furious with the constant barrage of buzzing, distraught by her reality where “no” apparently didn’t mean no, Mikhail answered his phone.

“Really? Like, what the fuck, really? What can we possibly make better right now?”


“We broke up, Katya; deal with it already. Maybe I didn’t make it clear, but I hope this is picture-perfect: stop…fucking…calling…me.”

“I’m so proud of you I could cry, the parent in the crowd ready to die, you’re all grownsied up and just yesterday you were a small fry.”

Mikhail hadn’t even looked at who was calling; he had only assumed. And for once, he really wished it’d been Katya. Even when things were happy, he’d never been that genuinely direct with her. And he certainly never raised his voice like that. Instead, Chevy caught the brunt of his boil.

“Fuck, my bad, man, I thought you were-”

“Obviously,” Chevy said, speaking loudly through Mikhail’s ear piece. “You thought I was Katya and you know what? I really am that proud.”

“Where you at, you condescending bastard?”

“I remember Amy, she used to AIM me. She stayed up late and used to blame me. She say I’m too wild, she wanna tame me. I told her ‘Even Photoshop couldn’t change me.'”

“Oh, aight, I see you,” Mikhail closed his phone and made his way through the crowd towards the taller-than-average Chevy who was still spitting some shit into his phone. He hadn’t heard Mikhail hang up.

“It takes you longer to piss than a malcontent monger does to hiss,” Chevy said, once Mikhail got close. “Me? I’m from the Apple, which means I’m a Mac. She’s a PC, she lives in my lap.”

Nobody knew what was next, but they all knew that time had to be killed before they fought off 90,000 other Angelenos who would later try to get into the Weezy concert held at a venue that fit 1,000. Jayson pointed to the booze cart that was several yards to the right, and after nodding in unison, they all walked in that general direction until Chevy decided to sit on a set of stairs that lead to no door.

“I’ll pay for all of our drinks if one of you goes and deals with those guys…and maybe picks up the tip,” Chevy said, so seriously. Jayson gave Mikhail a simple yet regretful look that said everything that could be said: Jayson’s unnamed and completely absent girlfriend wouldn’t loosen his wallet enough to allow the social-economics of chipping in on the gratuity. Chevy handed Mikhail a $30 bill and started saying something about the amount of pussy that’d populate the Weezy concert. There was no real reason for Mikhail to question Chevy’s ability to get them into HD, where Weezy was scheduled to perform, or the fact that $30 wouldn’t quite cover the tab for three drinks. He knew that he just had to go along with it.

Freestanding advertisements whizzed passed him. Backlit pictures of hamburgers, strippers, $180 pairs of jeans, seductively posturing smokers, and community messages stood in Mikhail’s way. Above him, an actor on a billboard sheepishly looked at the actresses who respectively played his wife and mother-in-law. “Bless This Mess” it said, airing at 8 PM on Thursdays. Sidestepping the obstacles and ignoring the over-reaching banners that stretched around him, Mikhail went with the flow and the flow brought him to a booze cart without a wait. Pushed by a glowing man – his translucent skin absorbing and then redistributing the terminal’s artificial light – the cart was an operation of opossum, and Mikhail wasn’t sure if it was dead or ready for business.

“You pushing any whiskey tonight, boss?” he asked.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re open. Just because I ain’t gots one of those fancy signs…yeah, well, we gots Jack Daniels, Black Label, Jameson, Dewars, Scoresby…whatchu wannnit mixed with?”

“Just a little ice. Give me a Jameson-rocks, a double, please,” Mikhail said. He watched the shirtless man move in obvious pain. His bones looked ready to rip through his stretching-to-the-brink skin and Mikhail wondered if the hunched-over man just wanted a little conversation. “All due respect, sir, but why do you say we? Do you have a bar-back hidden back there? There’s not too much space behind you.”

The man turned his back to reveal a grotesque growth grinning at Mikhail from just below his left shoulder blade. The growth had its eyes sewed close, a mouth with razor sharp teeth, two holes ostensibly for breathing, and a frail arm that reached out towards Mikhail. While the man hued a greenish glow, whatever was on his back seemed to suck all the light into its deep purple skin. There was an emptiness around it, like the periphery of a blackhole that destroyed even the darkness that came close.

“That’ll be 12 dollarssss, ssssssmart assssss,” the growth answered.

“Also, give me a High Life and a tequila soda, and three Jameson shots, if you could.” Mikhail paired Chevy’s bill with two of his own and placed them into the purple growth’s terrifying three fingers. He scraped its scaly skin in the process of transaction and shuddered as the sliminess interacted with his own hand.

“We ssssshall provide for theeee customersssss,” it said.

“Tell your friends,” the man said, turning back around. “We walk up and down all night, pouring heavenly shots of hellish liquids.”

Mikhail glared at his plastic cup overflowing with Jameson and three ice-cubes and knew it’d be that kind of night. A few more drinks like this straight vat of whiskey would leave him flat. He left a decent tip and carried the shots over to Chevy and Jayson, who were already getting into it.

“I’m supposed to tell you fools that those guys pour a stiff drink,” he said.

“And Jayson is trying to tell me that The Internet should be free, no honey debt for the bee.”

Mikhail handed off the shots and went back to the booze cart to retrieve their follow-ups without giving a single thought to whatever his friends were discussing. Katya was still out there, as were new girls who wouldn’t try to ruin his night. Eventually he’d run into one or the other.

“Nothing is for free, man,” Jayson said, “but it seems backwards to keep The Internet out of reach to anyone without a six-figure salary.”

“I don’t care about The Internet, let’s just drink these,” Mikhail said. “No toast, just booze, please.”

“I’m just saying, I make the damn parts for these buses,” Jayson said, raising his plastic cup of a shot anyway. “Man, I just want to see what the shit looks like.”

They all drank their Jameson and Mikhail made room for himself on the concrete steps between Chevy and Jayson. They stared up at the “Bless This Mess” banner that flanked above the bars that they had no use for, the advertisement’s ambiguous nature discouraging them from exploring the cowboy-booted or candy-rave-coated contents in the establishments below. Mikhail could tell that the whiskey shot wasn’t his friends’ cup of tea as they struggled with its gaseous aftermath. He could drink the shit straight, alongside a steak dinner, but used his chaser first anyway. There were too many ongoing pissing contests to worry about who could best man-up a little liquor. Instead, they chased the harsh taste of booze and stared up at that silly sitcom of an ad.

“It’s pretty sweet, guys, and maybe tonight’s the night for you,” Chevy said. “One look at The Internet and bitches get wet…bet.”

“OK, now I’m on it,” Mikhail said. He didn’t want to get into a conversation about The Internet because just like politics and religion, the words always turned chats into debates. And Mikhail didn’t have time for debates, but he couldn’t help himself. “I can’t look at this shit anymore. Why do we get stuck with this goofy sitcom guy and his mother-in-law and sexless wife when all the rich motherfuckers get to gaze upon The Internet? I’m 27-years-old and I don’t even know what’s keeping me on these buses. It’s stupid.”

“I know that overhearing is absurdly rude and that interrupting is an even worse offense,” said a woman in a white veil, rudely interrupting their overheard conversation. “But the divide exists for a reason. And more importantly, The Internet’s inaccessibility exists for a reason. If beauty was meant for everyone, then beauty wouldn’t exist at all. There needs to be a curve of comparison and socialism only creates a flat line of ugly.”

The woman sauntered in her stance with a vicious set of curves. The waterfall of lace that flowed from her head snugly wrapped around her body in a single piece of fabric that only broke for seductive peaks at her skin. Her cleavage clear in sight, the white lace went down and around an unrealistic waist, before shelving off into an ass that walked a full step and a half behind her legs – legs shrouded in a grace of over-indulgence. It was the second wedding dress that they had encountered in the past hour and Mikhail wondered if he was missing some sort of ceremony. The woman had dark eye-shadow and speckles of jewels glued all over her face, the combination of which accentuated the manic batting of her eyes. It was never certain where she was looking and her make-up was quite happy about the ambiguity.

“If you’ll excuse me, ma’am,” Chevy said, embellishing the regal protocol and dropping the rhymes as he always did when talking to a member of society’s upper crust, “I happen to agree with your stance on imposed regulations of the poor, but let me play Analog’s advocate for a minute…The Internet exists as a power beyond human reconciliation. It is Los Angeles’ deity and to deny anyone access to their God would be sinful, am I right? That is, of course, just my own humble interpretation of the gospel blogs.”

“The gospels were written to keep order among a society without it. Access is just a want of the sinful. God created The Internet for the people he deemed worthy, i.e. those whom capitalized upon Its great powers. If the poor really wanted to see The Internet, they’d work their way into a position where they could. One shouldn’t blame the prophets for the sloth of the lazy.”

“The prophets never would’ve lumped the lazy with the incapable,” Chevy respectfully said, “and they’d be the first to open up the shutters for those who couldn’t afford to see it on their own accord.”

“You wouldn’t know what it’s like,” Jayson said, winding up to deliver another blow to yet another unsuspecting female, “you have no idea. You were born with a silver spoon for every despicable hole.”

Mikhail hit Jayson with a look full of scorn and tried to intervene. “He’s a little bitter for some reason. It’s just that we’re not stupid, we work hard, do our best to be productive members of society…it just seems like a lot of bullshit to keep something so simple as the outside away from us. Plus, Jayson here probably just likes you. He flirts like a confused fourth-grader.”

“Knowing that you’ve never looked upon The Internet, I don’t expect that you know who I am,” the woman said, speaking down to Jayson and Mikhail, both of whom were still seated. She took care to nod at Chevy, as if to exclude him from whatever she was about to say. “But even a cursory glance at the despicable advertisements that surround you should provide a clue about my importance.”

“I’ve never seen The Internet,” Mikhail said, “but I’ve seen too many promotional posters and screens for my own liking-”

“And he still has no idea who the fuck you are,” Jayson said. “And neither do I.”

“I am Britney Spears,” she said. “Brit-Brit by some, including Perez, Fortune of Spears by others. I’m known as Divine Diva by man, but to your ears, my real name might as well be unpronounceable, it would be nothing but binary code. That is just the tip of my legacy, but who are you to inquire my name?”

“I’m Jayson. Friend to these dudes and boyfriend of a woman who’ll remain nameless. Does that make me royal and capable of acceptable condescension too?”

“I have never, in all my life, been accosted like this. Even the lowly factory rats, who flock into those Internet-forsaken bars with the cheap beer and peanuts, would never dare say the things you’ve said to me in such a tone. Even the irreparable members of the disgusting TSABDD have enough reverence in their coarse tongues for the affable words afforded to my station of being. I am not just a slave for you. I am not just the naked skin of desire – certainly not for those unaccounted for.”

As the words rolled over her religiously forked words, Mikhail looked down towards her ankle. Surely enough, there was a serpent intertwined with barbed wire, Chinese characters and a butterfly – the very symbol of Britney Spears. Below her tattoo, the strapped sandals suddenly seemed more expensive than the combined outfits of Mikhail and his friends.

“Please excuse my insolence,” Mikhail said, trying his hand at Chevy’s sudden burst of formality. “I did not recognize you. I’ve never seen The Internet and rarely cavorted with Its captors, but the question remains….why can’t common folk have windows into Its beauty?”

“It’s like, fuck,” Jayson blurted, “I’ve heard stories about The Internet since I was a kid, but my parents weren’t rich or anything, so all I got was stories. And that’s kinda shitty.”

“If The Internet was for everybody,” Britney Spears said, “then surely you’d have more than tales to tell.”

And with that, she curtsied and walked off into the distance.

Chevy got up from the stairs and made a big deal out of stretching his back, arching and yawning and reaching without concern. He handed Mikhail and Jayson one of those stale faces and they too got up, making similar gestures of soreness.

“Which way are we going?” Jayson asked, looking left and then right and mumbling something about stupid bitches under his breath.

“I don’t want to do one of those nights where we just walk around in circles looking for the next best thing,” Mikhail said. “Is there a destination? Preferably one that Katya wouldn’t want to attend?”

“Let’s just walk and talk and hope your pitcher don’t balk.”

“I hate those rich bitches,” Jayson said. “I’m sorry if I fuck up your game, but fuck, that hoity-toity attitude just ruins my night.”

“You sure it isn’t your lack of release?” Chevy asked, actually kind of concerned.

“Don’t start this up again, man.”

“He’s got a point,” Mikhail said. “You get so aggro the minute a girl – that isn’t your girl – is around. It shouldn’t be that way. Not that I know how you are around her, either.”

“It is what it is, man, but really? This is what it’s all about, a bunch of dudes having a Friday night out,” Jayson said, following Chevy and Mikhail through the #720’s crowd. “I don’t know why we keep talking about all the shit that brings us down. Since we got here, it’s been all Katya and restrictions and honey-dew lists and-”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Chevy said, stopping all movement to turn around and look Jayson in the eye. “What the fuck is a honey-dew list? Sounds like some triflin’ ish…”

“You know,” Jayson said before his voice rose three octaves to an unseemly mocking pitch, “Honey do this. Honey do that. Honey, take out the trash. Honey, change the sheets. Honey, sweep the kitchen floor. Honey, do the bills. Honey, do the trimming in the hallway. Honey, trim my toenails.”

“Honey, trim my toenails?” Chevy’s jaw was aghast. “That ain’t real.”

“It’s real, man,” Jayson said. “Leaning over like that makes her Cri du Chat act the fuck up. Extreme vertigo. She gets dizzy, starts bleeding from her tear ducts, it gets nasty.”

“So she can’t lean over and give you head?” Mikhail asked, definitely concerned.

“Every once in awhile, she’s alright if I stand up and she kneels, but her knees aren’t that good either.”

“No, no, no. There’s a big difference between standing and getting head – great for random locations like the #780 or something – but nothing beats laying back comfortably. And only every once in awhile?”

“And sex is completely out of the question?” Mikhail added.

“She has teeth up inside her,” Jayson said. “Would you wanna risk that? And even if I did, those teeth are sensitive to the touch, like my dick was dry-ice frozen ice cream. I don’t want to hurt her…but seriously, I take out the trash. I sweep the kitchen floor. I trim her toenails. Let me get my dick sucked while sitting in a chair, you know?”

“No,” Chevy said, matter of factly. “We have no idea what you’re talking about. It raises doubt. That sounds like hell. An angel fell, no ring for your bell.”

“Whatever, Brit-Brit is a cunt. And fuck you guys, too.”

As they walked towards an unknown destination, Mikhail started to get a bad feeling about their path. Of the hundreds of bars and clubs on the #720, it always boiled down to the same few establishments. Patterns were the devil of a night meant for secrecy. Repetition is the father of learning.

“I thought I could tell you guys what’s going on with me,” Jayson said, so frustrated that he was taking the lead at this point. “It gets overbearing sometimes, with the questions about a raise she feels I’m due, but I’m not sure I’ll get. With the constant concerns about my whereabouts…of course, she ain’t Katya, but still, she worries. And worries are stressful. She worries about my commitment to her, because of all her health problems, they’re not exactly aligned with a normal relationship. But I’ve been real with her.”

And maybe you shouldn’t,” Mikhail said. “Maybe you should get after your own. You shelter her. What about yours? You have to be sick of jerking off, right?”

“I wish I could jerk off, shit. She thinks it’s a sin or adultery or something. I just do it as quickly as I can in the shower.”

“This is the sorriest I’ve ever felt for you,” Chevy said.

“What? You feel sorry because I can’t jerk off? Oh man, the great Chevy still masturbates?”

“Not only do I appease my squeeze, I do it the best way possible. If you only have that option, you might as well make the best of it. Take notes if you must. If you’re going to tap your own well, at least warm up some lotion in the microwave. The heat doesn’t last long, so it’s best to get it near boiling and do what you have to do to get yourself at a similar temperature. Right when you’re nearing the hump, the lotion should be cooled enough, and it’ll put you over the top. It might even be better than sex.”

“I either have a 90 second window when she gets something to eat while I’m showering or I have to fake a shit and do it from memory, man. Maybe I could warm the lotion with hot water from the tap?”

“No sir, you’re just tapped out. No fwap about…”

And that seemed to be it for that conversation. In a staggering formation, they waded through the seas of people they might’ve stopped to talk to, had there not been something else in the air that night. Chevy once again took the mission’s rudders, searching out weak links in the throngs of people milling about, just so that they could get ahead. And his lead started to scare the shit out of Mikhail.

With every increasing step without word of where they were going, the bad feeling in Mikhail’s insides bubbled a little bit higher. Maybe it was Jayson’s martyrdom – because he really did love his unnamed girlfriend – or maybe it was the doom of their impending destination, but there was something evil that Mikhail felt from his gut to his bone marrow. He didn’t know life in a relationship without the possibility of a blow-job and he definitely didn’t know life without masturbation. Or maybe he just felt guilty for judging Jayson, who might’ve owned the only example of true love that he’d ever come across. Then again, Anything was the only club Chevy ever went to down at this end of the #720. And knowing the tendencies of Katya’s friends, Anything was not the right destination for Mikhail’s deep-seeded desire of avoidance.


Please Use Rear Exit is an online novel set in a futuristic facsimile of Los Angeles literally set inside The Internet on a mysterious public transportation system. You can read about it on author Brandon Perkins’ SG Contributor page and find additional chapters and related media at


  1. […] the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), […]