He looked into her large, dark eyes, the kind that light never seemed to escape from. As if they could hold the whole of the world.

“Don’t,” she said.

The wind rustled through the dried California palm trees in the empty lot behind the Arco Ampm. The streetlights cast frenetic shadows through the palm fronds.

“I can’t,” Jimmy said and took the one of the forties Gee had lifted from the Ampm. He took that first long, hard draw of the St. Ides. Gee melted away from and shot back into existence in the shifting light. Her black leather jacket, leggings, and a look ripped from Siouxsie Sioux made her one with the shadows.

“You know the only thing that would get you out of it would be a hate crime, then.” Gee sniffled and wiped her nose on her sleeve. “You’d go away for a long time. Folsom is a long way to go to visit.”

“But you’d do it, Gee. I know you’d do it. Since we’s knee high, we’ve been running on the streets. The Jew girl and the white boi.”

Gee looked up at Jimmy from where she was sitting and looked away to blink, washing out incipient tears. Jimmy, taller, shaved head, bomber jacket, Levis cuffed to show Doc Martens laced in white but turning a light Cali dust brown.

“Maybe. We were close. Then you started hanging with those skinheads. Do they even know your mom’s Mexican?”
Jimmy looked away, kicked an empty cigarette pack. “Doesn’t matter, really. It’s not like they’re Nazi Lowriders or any gangster shit. It’s about music, being with your bros. Workin’ guys, kids with no future. You of all people know that. Besides, it was that or get in good with the cholos.”

She stood up and poked her finger into the Balkenkreuz on his chest facing Jimmy off at chest height. “If it was just that, then what the fuck is with the swastikas?”

Jimmy turned away, “Sometimes you gotta tell the world ‘fuck you.’”

His eyes came to rest on the back of the Ampm. Graffitied on the back of the gas station in six-foot-high old English script was one word: “SUBMIT. “

“Hey, Gee, this place is rank. Wanna hit the boulevard?” Jimmy asked.

“Sure,” she said.


Jimmy cringed at the bass coming from the lowriders on the boulevard. The asphalt gleamed in the dark slick of a recent rain. Machines, chromed, metallic-painted, burning running lights cruised its path in fits and starts as the sinuous serpent of traffic came and went to the stop lights. Rich kids from the hills and bangers from the barrio coalesced in a slimy, well-oiled stream.

Jimmy and Gee did what most Californians won’t: walk.

Gee pulled out a cig and lit it, offering one to Jimmy as they leaned on the remnants of a PacBell booth. On a bus bench, a homeless man scrimshawed in tattoos sat reeking of shit, looking for a vein, reciting verse to the smog: “And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of Hell.”

Jimmy spoke to Gee, “Fucking degenerate. My dad says this city was nice once; not just the weather, but that people had no cares, no concerns.” He took a drag and let it out in a venomous, smoky puff towards the derelict.

Jimmy fell into the grip of a savage rage, pushed down, yet exerting steady pressure.

“I think I saw that in a movie once,” Gee said.

“Haven’t we all? Isn’t that why these people all come here? Hot broads, livin’ the way you want, no shit weather.”

The junkie fixed eyes on Gee and sat bolt upright. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed; and they that commit adultery with her shall be in very great tribulation, except they do penance from their deeds.”

“What is that? Some scripture shit, you dirty junkie?” Jimmy balled up his fist. “I don’t get why they just don’t take worthless pieces of shit like you.” He hocked a loogie on the ground in front of the bum.

“As I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star,” the junkie said, looking up at Jimmy, watery blue eyes set in a scabbed face.

Gee grabbed Jimmy’s arm. “Please. He doesn’t mean it.”

Jimmy backed away with Gee dragging him.

They walked away past light poles plastered with “It’s Okay to Be ____” flyers.

Someone had filled in the blanks with “fucked.”

After a couple of minutes, Gee started the conversation again. “So why’d you hit me up on Snapchat? The skinbyrds not friendly enough?”

“No. They’re fine enough. I just feel like sometimes, the crew isn’t enough. I remembered our days in Camino Court.”

“Yeah. Before high school. Before all this serious fascist shit. The cliques and the politics.”

“You mean before Trump’s screw shit war.”

A hooptie swung past them, packed to the brim. Inside were five Mexican youths, lean, hard, sharp-eyed. Their Honda POS backfired. Jimmy ducked and jerked into a run; Gee, taking his lead, rabbited close behind through a parking lot into the rear loading docks of a strip mall.

They skidded to a stop when they were out of sight of the boulevard. Jimmy bent over to catch his breath, hands on knees. Gee flopped down on her ass, hacking. She burst out laughing in between coughing fits.

“Shit, Gee, I thought we were smoked there for a sec.”

“Fuck, my heart’s still racing.”

“Just like the old days.”

She sat for a minute giggling and sniffing. “Say, you still smoke bud?”

“Yeah, I’ll toke up sometimes.”

Gee produced a joint from one of the many pockets of her leather jacket. “Well, at least on top of everything else, you didn’t turn into some sort of straight-edge groyper asshole.”

“Do I look like some dork who plays video games and trolls on Twitter all day?” he said and struck a ridiculous double biceps pose.

“No, I guess not.”

Gee sucked down a lungful of pot smoke and passed the joint to Jimmy.

They talked and got high, adding the euphoria of MJ to their malt liquor buzz.

Jimmy bloviated some bullshit about how he really wasn’t racist and how he wasn’t going to stay in his warehouse job forever.

Gee ragged on her life and everyone in it. “You know I’m going to community and the fucking Chino bitches fucking annoy the shit out of me with their Apple and Louis Vuitton…”

The sound of skateboards rolling over pavement broke their revelry.

Two greasy, grime-crusted skaters came towards them. “Hey, yo! The fuck you doin’ in our spot?”

One beanpole dude stopped first, snapping his board up. “What the fuck is this? A goth/skin fuck show? You gonna fuck for us?”

Jimmy stepped like a cat. “If we knew this is where you homos blow each other, we wouldn’t be here.”

“Dafuq you saying?” Beanpole leaned in.

Jimmy stepped on the loudmouth’s foot and drove all of his 180-pound, five-foot-eight frame into a headbutt. Skaterboy’s mouth split from nose to chin. His buddy rushed in, skateboard raised, and Jimmy pumped a front kick into his balls. The resultant carnage left the two idiots rolling on the ground moaning in pain.

Jimmy swept up both boards and shouted to Gee, “Let’s split.”

And together, they rolled off into the night.

Coasting along the boulevard, Gee piped up over the wind, “If you promise to behave, I got a place we can go.”

“Can do. What is it?” Jimmy said.

“It’s a club, Sanatorium. Follow me.”

“A club? But we’re not 21.”

“Not a problem.”

Off the boulevard, on an avenue, they traveled, wind-whipping through their hair, or lack of. Jimmy watched the movement of airplay through Gee’s tousled hair, studded belt accentuating the pump of her hips each time she propelled herself forward. They passed into the warehouse district when his phone vibrated.

“Hold up, Gee, I gotta check this.”

They coasted to a halt as Jimmy opened a text message from Wingnut.

“Yo, bro. We’re going to the TPUSA event. Wish you’d come with us.”

Jimmy worked his thumbs quickly. “Sorry, dude. Had to see someone.”

“Oh, yeah?” Wingnut texted back the next second, “Cute?”

“Nah. Just a neighborhood girl I know.”

Gee went up on her toes to try and look at Jimmy’s phone. He pulled it closer to his face, above her head.

“Okay. You dog, go get lucky. Beats the fuck out of probably spending the night in a jail cell.”

“Maybe. I could be free later.”

“Let us know. The whole crew is here.”

“Later. Oi!”


Gee was still circling around Jimmy, trying to look at his phone.

“Who was that? You trying to get out of being forced to hang out with a bunch of weirdos?” Gee said clucking, “With a giiiirl?”

Jimmy looked off into the distance. “Pot. Kettle. Black.”


Harsh, deep reds lapped against the subtle near-violet-black light inside Sanatorium. Dark electro thrummed and hammered against the walls. Jimmy bristled, waiting for a break in the barrage of musical despondency.

He wished he could get a fucking drink.

Gee led him by the hand; his cool clammy skin gripped tight against his hot palm past the roped-off bar onto the dance floor.

Jimmy caught some glances from dead white faces. He shot a couple of hard stares of his own before glancing at the pale, feminine hand locked onto his. Contrasting in the slow, pulsing light, he noted his skin had a dusky cast.

She pulled him close to a knot of post-punk-looking homunculi.

“Geeeeeeee! You made it!” a girl shouted over the music.

“Sher!” Gee let go of Jimmy’s hand and hugged some heavily made-up Asian chick.

Jimmy put his hands in his pockets and stood off to the side.

“So who’s the bruiser, Gee?” she asked.

“An old friend, Jimmy, we’ve known each other since grade school.”

Sher offered her hand. “Nice to meet you, dude.”

While the gals started chatting again, Sher’s pair, a tall, skinny white boy with a high Mohawk, introduced himself as, wait for it, “Skinny.”

“Hey, nice Docs. They the real thing?” Skinny said.

“Yep. Made in England. Thanks, man.”

“Cool. I was thinking of ditching the Chucks, but can’t decide between Solovair and Made in England.”

“For me, Docs all the way—”

High-pitched giggles interrupted Jimmy and the skinny dude.

Skinny asked, “What’s so funny?”

Some neon-pink-haired girl answered, “Nick Fuentes got arrested! It’s all over Twitter. Check out the video.”

Skinny turned to Jimmy, “I gotta check this out. Hope you don’t mind. He isn’t your boy, is he?”

“Do I look like I belong to the monkey-suit square politics world?”

Skinny shrugged, “Guess not.”

As Skinny checked his phone, Jimmy whipped his out and did a search, “Nick FuEntes arrested.” He checked Bronze Age Pervert’s Twitter and watched a video titled “Nick Fuentes Tries to Flee to Mexico.”

Uniformed CBP agents hustled away a handcuffed, slim, cherubic-faced young man in a suit.

Nick hopped and shouted over his shoulder, “Fuck that kiked-out orange nigger!” before the agents pushed his head down.

Jimmy watched it again.

“Fuck that kiked-out orange nigger!”

Jimmy let out a “Heh.”


“Skattered Kunts are coming on stage!” Gee told Jimmy.

“Who?” he said.

“A band we know.”


The band went up and started into some New Wave revival set. Clips from Hammer horror films were projected on the screen behind the band, creating a flickering kaleidoscope of camp horror.

Jimmy bobbed his head along until he caught himself while Gee and her crew were dancing it up. He slumped against a wall, the buzz worn off, leaving his head aching.

His phone vibrated a few times. He whipped it out.

Wingnut was text blitzing him: “LMAO WE GOT KICKED OUT! It was so funny. Danny pissed on the floor. We ran.”

“Shit, I’m fucked up.”

“Where you at?”

Jimmy thought a moment and texted back, “Sanatorium. Beat as hell.”

“Shit, the Goth club on Rivera Ave? LOL.”


“We got nothing to do, how about we crash? Or would that fuck up your date?”

“Nah. Crash away, bro. You save some booze for me?”

“Nah. We can get some. Hey, check this out while rescue comes.”

Wingnut sent a GIF.

Jimmy at first gagged and then laughed his ass off.

The music stopped. The hum of dozens of voices replaced the harsh electric growling. The mass separated out into clumps.

Gee found Jimmy. “What’s up, wallflower? Watching something funny?”

“Here, look,” Jimmy said.

Gee broke out into a sharp, squeaking giggle. “Omigod, send that to me, send that to me.”

Jimmy nearly dropped his phone and shot off the GIF.

“Skattered Kunts will love this. Let them me catch them when they get off stage.”

Jimmy watched her shuffle off in quick, childish steps to the lead singer chick.

There was more laughing, then they made their way over to the projectionist.

Jimmy got another text, “We’re here and we brought Ezra. Where R U?”

“Against the far wall. Can’t miss me. Only skin in the whole joint.”

Three cue balls waded through the black leather and latex tangle towards Jimmy. He jumps up and down, going, “Oi! Oi! Oi!” Wingnut starts hopping, bomber jacket flapping back and forth, creating a phantogram image of the Happy Merchant rubbing his hands. Danny was towering over the crowd and Queef the Beef followed on his heels.

They joined arms in a huddle and skanked, chanting, “Dead-end yobs! Kids like me and you! Dead-end yobs! Middle-class people look down on kids like me and you. Dead-end yobs always at the end of the queue!”

“I heard someone isn’t housebroken,” Jimmy said to Danny.

“Hey! I just ‘ad to go an’ they kicked us out before I could hit the loo,” Danny said, laughing in a faux-Cockney accent, “an’ there was all this wonderful carpet.”

“You’ve never seen a motherfucker piss and run like a jackrabbit on a hot date,” Queef added.

“So Jimmy, where’s this ‘neighborhood girl’ who dragged your ass here?” Wingnut said and added a wink.

“It ain’t like that man. Uh, she went off to show the band that video you sent me. But, we have some business to attend to. I need to get wet.”

“Bro, we don’t swing that way,” Wingnut chuckled.

Wingnut looked about, scanned towards the entrance and the bar area, “Not here, Jimmy. Besides, Danny has to finish relieving himself.”

Danny sneered at the couple making out in the bathroom and Queef ripped a horrendous fart. They stumbled over themselves to escape the sticker-slapped and scrawled-up piss-hole.

Danny grabbed a “loo” and sent forth a stream of rented beer. Wingnut slapped a pint of Ezra Brooks bourbon to Jimmy’s chest. “Get lubed.”

Jimmy sucked down half the bottle while Danny, still taking a whiz, produced his own bottle and chugged down a slug. The amber fire made his eyes water.

“That’s fucking degenerate, man,” Queef said.

Danny passed the bottle over his shoulder to Queef. “Oi, lighten up, mate.”

Queef took a shot and continued, “You think I’d get AIDS if I took a shit in here?”

“Nah, just anal rot. Then we’d have to call you ‘Whoosh,’” Danny said.

“Holy shit, Dan. You got a gallon-sized bladder?” Jimmy asked.

“Oi mate, me was saving this up all day for TPUSA.”

Danny zipped up and they hit the floor.


For all installments of “On the Boulevard Under the Swastika: A Heartwarming Tale of Hate,” click here.