Driver’s Side Airbag #40
48 pages

order form

joi's home page

email joi

yesway mutations

email billy

simon's home page

email simon

Gothic Betty Likes to Kill Kill Kill!
by Joi Brozek

It's fun to humiliate men who you know are into you cuz you look like a freaky chick. It's even more fun to hurt them. And funnest of all, would surely be to kill them.

There you are, innocently standing, waiting for a train, waiting for a light to change so you can cross the street, whatever. And there he is, a seedy little useless prick, no place to go, no life to live. He feels he has an "in," because you look wild and like you don't discriminate. But you do. Your fuckhead detector is preened and sharp, baby. But what, you ask, can you really do? Women typically have the fear that a man could hurt her because he may be physically stronger than she. So inconvenient. Men don't ever have that same fear of women. I say, let's surprise them. Let's make them afraid.

I'm not talking about the guy who tries to make innocuous conversation at, say, a bar, library, party and the like. Know the difference because indiscriminate killing will not serve any purpose here. No, I am talking about the sleazoid type who lurks and leers, possibly even makes those despicable kitty cat sounds. I adore cats as much as the next Goth girl, hell I worship them. I do not, however, want to be reduced to "pussy" status by these wastes of life. These uncreative types don't really know what you're about at all. They just know you look hot and crazy and then their flow-chart mentality concludes that you're wild in bed. I have cultivated my own flow-chart mentality which comes to this: "See man. If spoken to by man who is leering, dehumanize him. If actually hit on by said man, hurt man physically, go for the balls, maim him if you see fit. If, Goth forbid, touched by said man, kill kill!

Let's look at this picture in its Shellyian Gestalt: we shall an example. This is but one incident I have had the misfortune of enduring, however at the time I had not yet had my epiphany.

Here I am, it's August, one of the most ungoth of months, riding the (not)G(othic) train, going to visit a friend. I am wearing a sleeveless velvet dress, with thick-soled Maryjanes and I'm reading a sublime book, Hawkes' _The Cannibal_ , whilst blocking out the odious visages of the three other people (all men) in the same car with me. It's a Saturday evening, at an UN-Goth hour, at an UN-Goth area in Brooklyn. The aesthetics are not all in place, it's the G train for fuck's sake, but I try to make the best of a bad situation. The train stops in between Carroll and Bergen streets. Someone appears directly in front of me, offending me with his sorry presence in baggy pants, Tommy Hilfucker or some such little man designer, and he's proudly sporting a wee mustache, not to mention the slicked back hair do-do. I look up, and pointedly ignore him by returning to my book. No provocative actions here. He sits down right next to me.

"Hello Lovely. How are you this evening?"




He has the gall to wave his hand in front of my face.

"What?" I growl.

"Can I look at that tattoo on your arm?"

(Please recall that I am sleeveless and last I heard, one does not have to ask to look at someone's lower arm. Gee, could it be that he wants to start up a conversation?)

I roll my eyes and say, "Whatever," and glare at my book.

"So what is that?" He has this predatory smile under the little mustache.

(Well, lets see, it's big and looks surprising like some mysterious species of dragonfly)...ignoring...

"Excuse me..."

"Look, I am trying to read here." Try dismissive politeness at first.

"Okay, okay, just curious..."

I can sense the arrow on his flowchart pointing to another box. If no response to "innocent" question, then...make small talk trying to let girl know you know she is a wild woman.

"Excuse me, are you a vampire?"

"No, I am a reader so get out of my face."

"Well, put the book down!"

I do. I stand up and shout, "No, I don't want to put the book down. Why don't you leave me the fuck alone?!"

He is clearly embarrassed by my success in the art of emasculation.

"Fine, I'll leave you alone." He practically crawls to the door. "I didn't like your tattoo anyway, it's ugly, just like your face....Just like your face!!!!! He screams as he exits the train, surely leaving because he is too much of a pathetic shit to stay in the same car as me. He then bangs on my window as he sees me bent over with laughter.

Yeah, yeah, missed opportunity, I say now. One may say all he did was try to talk to me. No sir. That kind of thinking just goes to prove you know nothing. No, this was of the most severest of insults, for this creature to think he had an "in" with me, merely because he made note of my appearance based on something he saw on the Jenny Jones Show. Now get out of my world.

Hmmm, let me revise here. Why wait to be touched? From now on I will allow myself extreme annoyance license. That vamp comment was so banal. Anyone with a brain knows that NO ONE likes to be so limited...banished to an ass-backwards category of mankind. Why not kill anyone who has the nerve to use cliches or any other such comments clearly indicating one gets his ideas from an afternoon talk show?

To my gothic sisters, the next time a man approaches you with that, "I bet you're a crazy fun girl, let's play" look in his eyes, why not show him what crazy really is. This may be news to those folks who think a Goth girl would sooner die of consumption than fend off men with anything other than her eyeliner brush. Your method: a Chinese Throwing Star (they are so Goth). Know how to use it. He will never see it coming because he thinks you are delicate and femme. Fuck that. Of course if you can apply some Kung Fu Praying Mantis kind of action. All the better. You'll look graceful and you'll be the shit while kicking his ass. All women should cultivate some type of ass-kicking talent.

Black Chrysalis
by Simon Logan

As the zip is drawn over his cracked skull his blank, open eyes still shine with the terror of the fall. The sheath crackles with static from police radios and the milling crowds and shuts everything to a quiet, black coldness.

The stretcher he has been laid upon is loaded into a meat wagon and heads are shaken. So young. So tragic. He didn't need to do that.

And then mops are brought forth to scoop up the mess he left behind. The parts he left behind.

He feels the thrum of the road lull him into a grey drone and he twitches within the body bag. He sees the concrete rushing towards him like a sheer white ghost. His hand spasms at the memory of it colliding with a lamp post on the way down; grows warm as phantom blood trickles across it and from his nose.

The freedom of the fall groans through his arteries, shudders a half-life into him and there is movement in his back as the changes begin to act upon him.

billy.jpg (114851 bytes)His skin itches, eager to be drawn free of him and as he peels it away from his withered cartilage he finds himself rubbing the scars cross-hatching the moult, scars he made because of anger and hatred and fear of the world. His eyes sockets lie empty as something new grows into them and a clawed finger presses at the leather body bag.

He dreams of the wind against his face again as he climbs from the chrysalis, wings unfolding on his back that are brittle and immature and dripping with fragments of semi-formed flesh.

The meat wagon swerves across the road, throwing him into the cold metal walls as he was thrown to the ground mere hours before, as the driver glimpses him in the rear view mirror - a massive, bulbous artefact of mythical darkness, this black gargoyle rising from the body bag anew. He pushes open the rear doors to the traffic swarming behind him, to the police escort, and to a set of wide, terrified eyes behind the windscreen like the ones he sloughed.

And then he lifts into the air because it is the most natural thing in the world to him.

Fragments of his former self trickle across his new black hide in red tributaries as he hovers before the squad car for an instant before falling into the deep, dark sky.

Billy Mavreas

AN00020A.gif (1492 bytes)    BS00825A.gif (3117 bytes)    TN00572A.gif (3542 bytes)    PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)