Low Road was a novel that I completed 3 years ago. It wasn’t very good. But I’ve since revisited it and have taken out a lot of unnecessary bullshit.
Now I’m presenting it to you.
Recap: The alcoholic scumbag Rod Townshend meets fellow scumbag Jack Schilling, a has-been writer and drug addict. Jack convinces Rod to help him write one more novel. In the meantime, Rod meets the girl of his dreams, Taryn, along with her friend Sandy. Rod has been on various drug-fueled adventures with these characters, but a few bad experiences has led him to question his lot in life.
“Wanna hit this?” Jack asked, passing over a wood pipe. I declined.
I didn’t know if he slept. It appeared that he was painting shitty portraits all night. I opened his computer. It didn’t appear that he wrote anything.
“Did you work on the novel at all?” I asked.
“I worked on it last night.”
“It looks like you’ve been painting”
“I bought this shit off Amazon.”
We hammered away some chapters. That is, I did. Jack would disappear for long stretches. He’d doze off and awake at night.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.” He said to me after a long nap.
“The strip club.”
I reluctantly agreed. We took a few shots before we left.
Jack drove us a dive bar in Miami. He ordered shot after shot. Jack harassed a few women and then we were on our way.
The strip club wasn’t bad. It was smoke free. The strippers didn’t get fully naked. They might’ve showed you extra if paid more. I went to the bar. I sat there taking in the atmosphere. Then I heard that voice…
“Rod, is that you?”
I turned around. It was Sandy. She was wearing a blue thong, top, and clear stripper platforms. I stood up and gave her a hug. In heels, she was taller than me.
“I’m happy to see you here!” She said.
“Yeah! I’ve never been here before. Have you met Jack?”
“I’ve seen him here before.”
Minutes later, some dubstep or bullshit 80’s music stopped. Sandy took the stage. She danced to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
“You know her?” Jack asked.
“I’ve met her a couple of times.”
After her dance, Jack took her to the VIP room. We both went back there. Sandy grinded on me first. She pulled aside her thong to expose everything. She did the same thing to Jack. He gave her a few hundred dollars and invited her back to his place.
He was nervous.
Jack explained that he’s seen Sandy many times at the club. He was obsessed with her. We went to the dive bar again for another drink. We went back to his house. He began to frantically clean up the place. He yelled at me for not picking up pillows. Then he received a text.
“Oh god, she’s almost here!”
He checked himself in the mirror. The doorbell rang. I didn’t want anything to do with this. I wanted to go to bed. Sandy came in bundled up from the cold. She gave me another hug and then went to Jack.
They smoked weed on the back patio out in the cold. I didn’t join them. He told her who he was. His name meant nothing to her. But I saw that they were hitting it off okay. I told them I was off to bed.
“Sandy, I’ll give you $500 if you give us a striptease.” Jack asked. He completely ignored what I said.
“Sandy, you don’t…”
“Okay.” She said.
Jack was relentlessness. He turned on some slow music and she began to remove her clothes. I was uncomfortable. And tired. Per usual, he offered me coke. I declined.
Jack was furious.
“Why not? Because you got work tomorrow? It’s my fucking book!”, he yelled.
I took a hit. I didn’t feel it. I was too pissed. Sandy got drunk. The two started doing drugs off each other’s bodies.
I went to bed.
I woke up at noon. Sandy and Jack’s clothes were littering the floor. I popped a few ibuprofens. I thought about telling Jack to fuck off…that he could stick the book up his ass. Then he stumbled out of his room.
“Hey man, you’re up early.” He said
“It’s noon, Jack.”
“Shit dude, I’m sorry about what happened. I didn’t mean to be a bastard. I know I got out of line last night.”
He seemed genuine. The apology was enough for me.
“Don’t worry about it”, I replied. “Is Sandy still here?”
At that moment, she came out only wearing a t-shirt. She told us good morning and was off to the bathroom.
“What did you guys do last night?”, I asked.
“I don’t know. After you went to bed, I realized that I was being a dick. I calmed down and I think I started crying.”
“Yeah, so I smoked some weed. Then we started talking and I told her that I kept coming to that strip joint to see her. I was happy to finally talk to her. Then we went to the bedroom, but we couldn’t fuck. I couldn’t get it up. So we cuddled instead.”
For the rest of the day, Sandy and Jack stayed high. I wrote alone.