Wednesday, September 5, 2012


DETOUR (1945)

Near the airport at Desert Center, I pulled over for gas. There was a young guy standing outside the gas station—exercising his thumb.

Now most smart motorists pass up these young male hitchhikers—because usually they’re plenty tough and not exactly innocent, svelte debutantes. They have a reputation for stickups, hustling and blackmail— depending on how hard-up they are.

But what can a guy expect to find on a lonely public highway off from the major freeways? I was sticking to the offbeat routes, because the car was hot.

Anyway this particular one looked okay to me—I put him down as just some local kid. He looked okay to me. Probably only going a little ways to see his girlfriend—so I decided to give him a break. “Hop in, kid,” I said.

He came running over to the car, opened the door and jumped in. “How far you going?” I asked him.

“How far do you wanna go?” he said.

That surprised me and I turned to look him over. He was facing straight ahead so I couldn’t see his eyes, but he was young, not more than twenty—and dirty.

I mean I don’t think I ever saw a hitchhiker as dirty as him in my life. He had a pair of torn bluejeans, his shoes were rundown at the heel, and he wasn’t wearing any socks. He looked like he’d been thrown off the crummiest freight train in the world. About the only clean part of him was his face, what a bored expression he had.

He wasn’t just dirty—he smelled like shit. The kind of shitty smell that young males have when they haven’t had a shower in a million years. His jeans just plain stunk with the rank odor of sweat and smeg—and gawd knows what else.

Definitely not safe sex material—but I felt sorry for him. Plus he was ugly as sin—in a primitive animal way. He could have been a movie star version of a young villain like Jack Palance, I suppose. Or a rough trade version of Tommy Cook outta “Panic in the Streets.”

That’s what attracted me to him—he had this kind of natural noir male beauty. He was real not fake—he was down and out and showed it. He was a real case of unfinished business—still incomplete as far as his male hormones were concerned. He had a lot more growing up to do—in the next couple of years.

Then, suddenly, he turned around to face me and I took it all back. His mouth and eyes were enough to give a man the jitters. His lips were thin and cold—almost a slit across his face. And his eyes—well, they might have been pretty if they hadn’t had that glassy shine to them that meant only one thing. He was higher than a kite—and wasn’t coming down for a long time...

He kept looking at me—and I had a strange, peculiar feeling run through me. The kid wasn’t goofy—he was dead serious. And if I didn’t watch out—then maybe I’d be dead too.

“How far did you say you wanna go?” he repeated.

Was that a proposition? I just smiled and off we went. This kid was smarter than I thought.

I was already keyed up pretty high—after ditching Haskell. His stash of reefers I found in the glove compartment—had kept me high for the last couple of hundred miles. Plus the bottle of amphetamines in there too.

So the kid and I were pretty much on the same wavelength—speeding down the highway high as kites. That was the problem with Haskell—taking too much of the stuff and having a heart-attack.

He’d been sleeping in the passenger seat—with me driving after he picked me up. But it was a snooze that he’d never wake up from that’s for sure. So the kid and I were both hitchhikers—and what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. I didn’t off Haskell—he offed himself. I wasn’t the killer type—at least not yet anyway.

I nodded to the glove compartment—he read my mind. Pretty soon we were both toked-up just fine—with the moon coming down outside Las Vegas.

I didn’t wanna get stuck with a dead body in the car—plus everything else. So I dumped Haskell on a side road outside of Salt Lake City and kept driving. Haskell or no Haskell—I was gonna get to LA one way or another. Hopefully without a hitch or a homicide charge.

We drove awhile longer—and my pants felt sticky. I realized I’d been squeezing my butt tight together for who knows how many miles—feeling that familiar knot tightening in my stomach. A balmy, sickish sensation tightening my balls—making my nutsac ache and hurt really bad.

My temples were throbbing—I felt kinda dizzy. I looked over at the kid—he was slouched down in the seat. He looked passed out to me—or maybe he was just sleeping it off.

The clothes I had on were the only ones I owned—the same with the kid. I made up my mind we’d stay at the next motel—both of us needed a nice hot shower and a good night’s sleep.

I was completely fagged out—but I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t help but notice it—a long slithery snake going down the side of his leg. It stayed that way for mile after mile and didn’t move. I reached over and felt him up.

Nothing happened so I unsnapped his jeans and eased down the zipper. He wasn’t wearing any shorts—so down my hand went. All the way down to the tip—it was all moist too.

He raised his hips—and with one hand I slid his pants down to his knees. I kept my eyes on the road. He kept his eyes closed—like he didn’t really wanna see my face. I can’t blame him—there’s nothing worse than “that” kinda look. That kinda look on a grown man’s face—looking for some serious action.

Talk about stink!!! The stench was bad enough to gag a maggot—he had enough smeg down there to start a cheese factory. I didn’t do that anymore though—I was into safe sex like everybody these days. So I just jacked him off…

It didn’t take long for him to spluge all over the dashboard and windshield—it was like trying to control a spastic gearshift gone crazy. What the car needed—was a pair of extra windshield wipers on the inside too. It took a long time—it was just awful.

I had to pull over—to wipe the windshield off. It was all slimy and covered with goo. I couldn’t see well enough to drive safely—so I wiped everything down as best as I could. 

That was the first time. Little did I know though—that it was just the beginning of a long drawn-out noir nightmare movie. “Detour” had come my way—and it wasn't gonna stop. It was like that depressing Edgar Ulmer classic ‘40s movie—with downbeat Tom Neal and sullen Ann Savage. 

And sure enough—Ann Savage was what the kid was like. Sullen and savage. And I was definitely downbeat Tom Neal. Caught up in a modern neo-noir Detour that wouldn't quit...

No comments:

Post a Comment