The metal of the next door is rusted to violet in heavy rivers under the sun-washed and peeling orange paint, the same as any department store's freight exit that lets out to a loading dock. The number Six, in black stencil, is badly obscured by what the weather has done to it. Just how the real Brad is obscured by what the world has done to him, what the girl has done, his father, what society did. But all society really did was get away with the evasion of any responsibility by blaming itself to begin with. And a sick, sad world can't answer for itself, so why should Brad?

MUSIC PLAYING IN THIS ROOM

Brad's slender torso, in a loose, white undershirt, is lit by the pale light of an episode of Cheers. Strings of dishwater blonde hair swept across his forehead, the age of his face betrays the length of time between each instance of bad luck he's endured in his life, gentle rifts forming at the edges of his eyes where not five years ago, his skin was devoid of wrinkles. Gone is his chubby innocence, and in its place is the sarcastic expression that the disaster of all his decisions has taught him.

"Hi," he says, to any new acquaintance, disingenuously enthusiastic, extending himself stiffly toward them. "I'm Brad Majors."

And stuffing his hand into yours to shake it, his grip is intimidating and dry.

Room Six is a shock of a hundred shades of pink on black, the bastardized depiction of Japanese culture adopted by the wealthiest of the Western world in the 1980s. The black enamel dresser matches the headboard, and the nightstands are inlaid with pearl blooming Hanakotoba. Brad's nature is as cheap and shameless as his decor, but something more genuine wafts from under the dirty clothes that litter the floor; the smell of stale anal sex mixing with the steam of a dirty bath house overseas that every man like Brad would have visited during the war and never told the boys back home about.

WHEN ARE WE?

Look I know you got your own business to take care of and everything but I was thinkin since you're home again now and you said you're staying for good this time although fuck if you didn't say that last time maybe hey. Hey maybe you finally wanna take a look at some of the shit we got going on and make sense of it. You know earn your keep. I've been around lately, you know AROUND like a lot of different times and they pretty much all feel like the SAME time to me but there's some key factors that tell me they're not so I gotta figure out why THESE times all in a chain like they relate to each other. I gotta figure why these themes and shit but to get there, I need a timeline. Fuck I hate timelines. I didn't ask to be jumping all over like god damn Scott Bakula alright? You could start by making a master timeline and we'll break it up as needed ok? Thanks. -Brad ps yeah I know that's kind of vague but just trust me. Start taking down dates if nothing else.

UPCOMING

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