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Squid Man (standard:other, 1138 words)
Author: AJAdded: May 30 2001Views/Reads: 3437/2258Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A brief introduction to Squid Man, the madly charismatic character known and loved by can't read Squid without him becoming a part of you.

His hair was a creamy jaundiced white, like the paper of a cigarette an
instant after it’s touched the flame.  His eyes were a hypnotic, 
iridescent, inky black-blue, framed by white lashes and brows.  They 
called him Squid Man.  They said he was going to be president, or a 
rock star.  They said he didn’t have friends, he had apostles.  He had 
stones embedded into the soles of his shoes, and charisma popping out 
of every pore. 

Squid Man liked to go to diners, because he liked the bottomless cups of
coffee and all-night smoky atmospheres they offered.  Every night, he 
and his gang would kick open the doors of one of the four twenty-four 
hour diners in Apple Valley, Minnesota.  They’d stand together, a royal 
five-person parade, in a straight line like a united generation gap, or 
a collective cloud of dirty air and booze backpacks. 

The gang was Leon and Mal and Oren, and whomever Squid Man was screwing
this month.  This month, the girl was Jane, and the diner was the 
Parthenon.  Jane was a Nordic beauty with cheekbones sharp enough to 
cut butter with.  She clung to Squid Man as if she knew he would dump 
her soon.  She probably did know.  Squid Man sat at a booth and looked 
at his gang.  He had never wanted a gang; he didn’t really even know 
these people.  Squid Man pulled on his sunglasses to block the weird 
light in this neon hangout. Squid Man was nearsighted, but he didn’t 
wear prescription glasses or contacts.  He didn’t want to see anything 
that wasn’t worth straining to see.  He never strained to see anything. 
For him, every night was starless, black, huge and empty. 

The seats were cracked lime-green vinyl, and each booth had a little
jukebox with flipping pages of choices.  Leon was flipping through the 
pages, flip flip flip.  Squid Man silenced him by slapping his hand 
down on Leon’s wrist.  Squid Man removed his hand and pulled a Camel 
out of its soft pack.  Oren quickly thumbed a flame from her plastic 
lighter and held it up for him.  He ignored her and lit the cigarette 
off his Zippo.  Mal, Leon, Oren, and Jane all lit up their Camels and 
started puffing.  They searched their brains for some information that 
might interest Squid Man. 

“I heard Clark’s boyfriend died.”  Mal offered. 

“AIDS?”  Squid Man asked.  The gang gave internal sighs of euphoric
relief at the orange juice sound of Squid Man’s voice.  Mal nodded 

“He was leaving the clinic and he got hit by a bus.” 

Squid Man looked pensive.  The gang waited anxiously for him to speak. 
Finally he sneered. 

“They’re not even close to finding a cure for that.” 

The waitress ducked her head into the smoke cloud that hovered over the
booth.  “Just coffee?”  She asked. 

Squid Man stared at her through the glasses.  “Cups too, please.  I get
blisters on my lips when I drink directly from the pot.” He remarked 
cooly.  Jane giggled.  The rest of the gang looked at each other in 
disgust.  They felt only scorn for the flavors-of-the-month that Squid 
Man brought into the gang.  The teenybopper girls didn’t understand 
Squid Man like they thought they did.  Nobody laughed at anything Squid 
Man said.  It just wasn’t done. 

Leon, Mal, and Oren were proud that they were friends with Squid Man. 
Everyone wanted to be his friend, but Squid Man could tolerate very few 
people for extended periods of time.  The gang couldn’t place the exact 
aspect of Squid Man that they found intriguing, but he intrigued the 
whole town. 

They said that when Squid Man was a little boy, he sat on roofs.  He was
not comfortable inside houses, but he would run upstairs and find a way 
onto the roof in every house he visited.  Because he was so revered 
among the townspeople, he was allowed to have this quirk.  As he 
matured, he grew able to tolerate being inside diners and his car, 
nowhere else.  He never sat on roofs anymore.  But he never went 
inside.  Squid Man slept in his car. 

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