John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Four

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The Guns of Imperial Beach

Butchie volunteers that he is the President for Life of the Tina-Blake-Can-Go-Fuck-Herself Club -- his words, not mine, but right is right. Besides, if she doesn't get to see Shaun, Butchie frets, "I think she might do something stupid." "Because everything up until now has been high math," Cissy retorts. What Butchie means is that Tina might kill herself; that sound you hear is Cissy playing the world's smallest violin to accompany the wocka-chicka soundtrack of Tina's next movie. "Who doesn't think about killing herself?" Cissy demands. "Who doesn't think about it every day of her fucking life?" Uh...people with grounded stable home lives? I'm just spitballing here. But enough hating on Tina -- let's direct some wrath Butchie's direction. "I thought you were an idiot before you started shooting dope," Cissy sneers. "But you were a 12-year-old genius compared to the stupid fuck you are now. As much acid as I took, I was never as stupid as you." See, this gets back to that whole stable home life crack I made earlier. And on that uplifting observation, Butchie exits stage right. Cissy calls after him that if Tina comes near Shaun, "she won't have to kill herself, I'll do it for her." As if to underscore that that's a promise, not a threat, Cissy goes to the hall closet, takes out a shoebox and pulls out the kind of snub-nosed revolver people used to use in 1940s gangster movies.

Outside the surf shop, Kai is locking up while muttering sarcastically about "another day of sensational business," while Shaun has reached the conclusion that it's his mother who's got Cissy acting more unpleasant than usual. Shaun wants to know why his mother would come back. "Probably see you," Kai offers. "Probably see your dad," she adds, with just a hint of bitterness that Shaun notices. "Come on, get in," he says, getting into what I can only assume is Kai's jeep and not his, since he's like 14. "I'll stick around and give things a chance to work out." That there is the triumph of youthful optimism over the reality of bitter experience, young Shaun.

Butchie is meeting Tina at a local coffee shop, doubtlessly to deliver the news of Cissy's veto. "Tell you cunt mother that if it's because I'm no good, that's one thing," she says, and I honestly pity Butchie having to serve as the go-between among these two. "But if it's 'cause I left Shaunie at the door, I didn't leave him because I didn't care. I stopped an hour before, and I didn't leave him. 'Cause when I rang the bell and waited across the street, nobody answered. And I came back, and got him, and sat with him in the cab. And when she came home, I came and rang again. And I didn't walk back to the cab until I saw she got him." Well, Terrific Mothers Monthly won't have to worry about tearing up this issue's cover story, but at least it's more insight into the not-altogether-monstrous mind of Tina. Her point: she was in no position to properly care for a kid, so she left him with someone who was. Tina gets up to leave and asks Butchie to tell Shaun that he grew up handsome and congratulate him on his fine win and near-death experience in the competition. "Come on," Butchie says quietly. "Tell him yourself." Well, that's one Yost on your side, Tina. But I suggest when you repeat the story about leaving Shaun at the doorstep to Cissy, you leave out the whole "cunt mother" preamble.

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John From Cincinnati

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