Negative Capability

Fuck Your Symbols

Negative Capability

Fuck Your Symbols

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Welcome to My World

When I finally got my freedom back a few weeks ago, I decided that the world was dead to me. Not in an abstract way; I mean that I regarded the entire world as already dead and anyone who crossed my path that disagreed would be smacked back down into their grave. There was only one thing in this whole dead world that ever meant anything to me—revenge. I hustled like a starving pimp to find the means to that end and I knew I’d find it in Miami. The first thing that I needed was money because we all know that money is power and sometimes all these dead motherfuckers understand is a real man displaying his power.

When I woke up this morning at the car dealership, I had no idea where the last few days had gone. I don’t drink anymore, so I can no longer conveniently blame alcohol for the holes in my memory. I vaguely remember stopping at Phil’s place on my way over here, but I don’t remember what I bought from him. He’s always got dangerous shit for sale and maybe it’s better if I don’t remember what I bought. My wallet always feels lighter when I wake up, but that’s the curse of being a man, I guess. You can’t trust anyone in this town unless you want to end up double-crossed and dead in a ditch. Having a vendetta is just like carrying a TV—it’s a job just big enough for one man who is strong and who can focus on the task at hand.

I grabbed my keys, walked down to the garage in the back and decided to take the Cuban Hermes that I’d stolen a few days ago. It’s a big boat of a car, but it’s roomy and gets the job done. It had already taken a lot of damage, but on my way over to the diner I stopped at the Pay N’ Spray and got the dents hammered out and a new paint job.

There are days when I wake up here and I wonder what the hell has happened to my life. It seems like no matter what I do, I end up on some crazy, fucked up mission to do something that’s going to get someone hurt or killed, but as long as my neck’s not in the noose, I don’t give a fuck. When it comes to death, my motto has always been, “Better you than me,” and when it comes to money, “Fuck you, pay me.”

I met my contact at the diner and he was flaming pissed off. He said that some rival gang members were bringing in highquality printing plates to make counterfeit bills. I had an interest in a printing plant in the middle of town and those plates meant big money if I could get my hands on ’em. I am sure the guys who currently had them weren’t going to give them up without a fight, so I made sure to have plenty of ammo when I left the diner. On the passenger seat of my Hermes I had a couple of good guns including a Desert Eagle and a small Uzi.

I got word on my cell phone that the target was leaving the airport with my plates and I immediately shifted into combat mode. I was driving along the beach when I finally caught up with the assholes who had my plates and they had no idea what they were in for. I pulled my car up alongside them, lowered the passenger window of my car, raised the Uzi and aimed it right through the window at the driver. I squeezed the trigger and I must have fired more than fifty shots because I shot out the back passenger window of my car, both side windows of the other car, and even put a couple of hot bullets into the face of the front seat passenger, who was holding onto my briefcase of printing plates.

By the time the driver got his gun out and aimed at me, I was shocked that he hadn’t returned fire before. I slammed on the brakes and let him pull his car out in front of me. I hadn’t seen the guy sitting in the back seat of the car, but he sat up, blew out the back window of his own car and then started shooting at my prized Hermes. The hood of my car was riddled with bullet holes but the guy couldn’t hit me if he wanted to. I had a vest on, but you can’t wear a vest on your head, so I still felt exposed and in danger. Smoke started billowing out of my engine and I smelled burning oil. Jesus, I just had this car fixed. I mean, these assholes could tell I meant business, but they acted like they had a chance in hell to get away alive.

Once the oil started burning, it was only a few seconds before the first licks of flame came out and then I really started to panic. I was looking around for another car to steal, but I was in the slums of Little Haiti and there’s nothing there but angry, unemployed and crazy Haitians. Not my idea of a good neighborhood no matter how armed I was. I could feel my car start to shake and shimmy as the fire spread from the engine to the rest of the car. Shit, I was just about to finish off these guys and complete my mission.

I grabbed two of my favorite guns and bailed out of my car while I was still doing 30MPH. As I scraped up my arms and knees, I dropped both guns and my car just kept on rolling, spewing smoke and fire. The assholes looked surprised that I bailed on my car, so they slowed down. For a second I thought they would turn around and try to waste me while I was splayed out on the hot pavement, bleeding from both knees. As the thought flashed through my mind, my flaming car continued to roll toward them where they’d stopped. I sat up, grabbed both my guns and tried to get back to my feet. As I stood, the engine of my Hermes violently exploded, sending flaming debris right into the assholes. Seconds later their car was engulfed in flames. I reloaded the machine gun with a clip from inside my vest and walked toward the two burning vehicles.

As I got close, I could tell that no one was going to get out alive. Except me. I didn’t even have to fire another shot. I walked up to the burning corpses in the car, opened the passenger door and retrieved my case full of plates. Some Haitians must’ve heard the explosion because they came over to investigate. You can’t blame them, but witnesses are witnesses and there’s only one rule for dealing with witnesses, even if they’re armed. Shoot first, shoot second, shoot third and if there’s time after everyone’s dead, you can ask questions. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how many of them I shot, but I did take two hits right to the middle of my vest that hurt like a motherfucker, but probably not as bad as the headshots I was dishing out. I stole one of the Haitians’ Voodoo cars and headed over to my print shop to drop off my plates and start making some real money. It’s just business, man. I don’t take it personally and neither should you—after all, it’s just a game.

Web Bonus Info:

While this is a work of fiction and the authorship might legitimately be claimed by the good folks at Rockstar North, my feeling is that this is my story. The mission I was on was just to get the conterfeit plates from a gang, but everything that happened was my personal means to that end. That I succeeded at the mission using completely non-standard methods makes the story uniquely mine, I think, and since I am the one who actually wrote the story using my words and my interpretation of the events, I think it was inspired by GTA but written by me.

The reason I wrote this piece was that in the past few years, most nights after a long day at work I would go to the gym. On nights when I wasn’t up for the gym, I would stay at home to work on the zine. From time to time, I would let myself off work a little early so I could unwind with a little bit of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and weed. One night I was playing, I was doing really well at the game and I felt really guilty about not working on the zine, but I was having too much fun. After this mission, I couldn't believe how cool it was that I killed my enemies with my wrecked Hermes. I loved that car and I really was upset that I lost it. Normally, if I had lost the mission and the car, I would have restarted again with the car, but since I won the mission but lost the car, I had to keep playing.

I wrote this whole thing in one fell swoop in about forty minutes and only edited it to work with the art, otherwise, this thing is as close to the original version as anything I’ve ever done.

I was playing GTA: San Andreas and I was about to score with my first girlfriend in the game, Denise. My character, Carl Johnson, is invited in to make love to his girlfriend. The game prompts you to reply positively or negatively, and the game unfolds differently based on your choices. My normal instincts are to do the worst thing possible and if that means killing EMTs and stealing their ambulance, well, I gots bills to pay, my brother. So in this instance, I decided that I would reply positively, just to see what would happen. I replied positively and my character said, “I hope you clean!” I was completely shocked and upset. That is just so wrong! I know GTA is supposed to be offensive on many different levels, but this was just too much, even for me. He should have said, “I hope you are clean!”

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