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My pussy ass is staying put 

Losing a friend to the sunset

Lord Jesus God, Lary's missing.

Not in the official sense, but in the nobody-knows-where-he-is sense. "Where the fuck is Lary?" I screamed at Grant, because I had just realized that, because Lary is missing, I spent the last 10 minutes talking about my broken cellphone. I can't believe I wasted Grant's earspace on such a mundane shit-ass subject.

"Why'd you let me go on and on like that?" I cried. "Where's Lary?" Lary would never let me bloviate for 10 minutes about a phone, for god's sake. I couldn't get four sentences into it before he'd start reassembling his rifle or something, which is usually my clue to change the subject. "No, seriously, think about what I'm saying," I remember appealing to him over my Momma Cass theory and how she was no less cooler than Jimmy Hendrix just because she died choking on a sandwich rather then her own vomit. "We're just talking degrees of digestion here, aren't we?" I whimpered as he ran me out the door waving an exposed electrical wire.

Lary has the sensibilities of a sea urchin, an essential ingredient to any group of friends; otherwise it all just goes to hell. For example, Grant loves women too much to threaten me with death if I don't deliver on entertainment, and Daniel just plain loves me too much to shut my ass up when I become boring, but Lary ... Lary is thoroughly unencumbered by any need to be polite. "Bitch," he'll interrupt, "be interesting or shut up."

But Lary's not around to reboot my brain. Usually I can last pretty long in his absence, but he's been gone for, like, ever. The last time I saw him was last month in New York, and before that Grant and I saw him in Los Angeles. He keeps saying that he happened to be in those places while we happened to be in those places, but I'm starting to wonder if he lives here anymore at all.

"Where the fuck are you?" I finally e-mailed him, and that is saying something, because Lary never bothers with e-mail. He still has an old Mindspring account from way back when the internet was nothing more than a morass of elbow valves populated by rats with notes tied to their backs. "You pussy-ass fuck up, get the hell home right now. The place is falling the fuck apart without you. We don't know who we are. Grant and I have no criteria against which to compare ourselves. Without you here to pollinate the air with your insanity molecules, we're just bumping into each other like farty fools. Come home. Now. Fucking suckball."

Notice how I dragged Grant into this, because if it were just me in crisis Lary would take his sweet time responding. In reality, Grant is about as shook up over Lary's absence as a brick of petrified shit. But me, I'm in serious danger. The last time Lary disappeared it was when he went to Germany to manage a rock band for half a year. When he came back I was married to a geologist and living on a cul-de-sac in Roswell. "Christ," I exclaimed when he finally called, "see what happens when you leave me alone?" He almost had to employ his experimental dead-body-mulching breakthrough to get me out of that one. But thankfully no corpses were in need of disposal that time, as my hapless new husband was as happy to see me go as I was to touch turf on the concrete floor of the dilapidated warehouse Lary calls home.

Amazingly Lary e-mailed me back yesterday. It turns out he's now living on a ship somewhere in the Caribbean, which is owned by his ex-girlfriend's sister's husband and must be equipped with some form of spacecraft satellite receptors, as now Lary keeps sending me pictures of his finger pointing out coordinates on a map. "This is where I am," his e-mail says, "no cars, no motorcycles, no bicycles, just a small private island with a big crescent beach. My pussy ass is staying put, so don't bother looking for me. As for criteria against which to compare yourselves, check out some of the early Japanese sci-fi radioactive mutants."

Oh, god, it's happening, it's starting. Lary has sailed off into the damn sunset and now he's gonna be one of those human barnacles you see on islands in the Caribbean living under lean-tos made out of bent beer cans and old umbrella handles. Oh my God! I knew it. We all wondered what the hell he was doing here, anyway, in the city, when he has that head full of wild blond straw for hair and skin as brown as a suitcase abandoned at a bus stop. He's got to be 500 years old, probably, not that any of us know exactly how old he is, just that he always said he'd wait until he was 60 before he sucked his first cock.

"Is that it?" I implored. "Are you out there sucking cock across the Caribbean? There's plenty of that here, get your ass back here!"

But the answer that comes is forebodingly guileless for Lary -- Lary, whose home here is an abandoned factory next to a mortuary. Lary, who roams his in-town neighborhood at night waving a gun to scare away the slumming yuppies. "I will come home," Lary said, "when I have a good reason."

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