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     | |      c   o   m   m   u   n   i   c   a   t   i   o   n   s     | |
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  ...presents...                Time out for Pop
                                                         by Malcolm D. Moore

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1994 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
  ____       _     ____       _       ____       _     ____       _       ____
 |____digital_media____digital_culture____digital_media____digital_culture____|

that sunday:

10:55pm:  phone rings.  mom answers.

10:58pm:  mom gives phone to me after talking.  i answer: hello?

          son, you know you should have called someone to let them know where
          you were.  you really scared your mother doing that shit.

          i'm sorry, dad.  i didn't know when the next 68 came.

          well, you should have called anyway.  i don't want to have to be
          angry at you for not taking care of your business, understand?

          yes, dad.

          okay.  i love you.

          i love you too, dad.

          now put your mother back on the phone.

          ok.  here you go.

          parents talk for a while, i go to sleep because it's a skool night.


the following tuesday:

 2:55pm:  skool lets out.  my friends and i rush for the bus stop.

 3:04pm:  the 17 arrives to take us to the transit center to get the 68.
          everybody is chill.  we're all crackin jokes.  we start playing the
          dozens on each other on the bus.

 3:09pm:  the bus arrives at 6th and princevalle streets.  we get off.

 3:11pm:  the 68 to san jose arrives.  we board and continue our dozens game.
          the driver has to tell us several times to pipe down.

 3:21pm:  the 68 gets to my stop, at monterey highway and highway 152.  i tell
          my friends 'later' and step off the bus.

 3:25pm:  i unlock the gate to our apartment complex and get inside.

 3:27pm:  i open the door to my house to find my mother in a sea of tissue.
          what's wrong?  i ask.

 3:28pm:  it's your father.  he's in the hospital again.  i throw down my bags.

          who called you?  is gran at home?

          she's at the hospital, my mother said.  call there and see if dead is
          at the house.

          i pick up the phone and frantically dial the number, having to hang
          up several times because i misdialed it.  finally i get it right and
          make the connection.

          ah-hello?

 3:29pm:  hi dead, it's malcolm... what's going on?

          well, he's in the hospital again.  he went in early this morning.

          well?  is he all right?

          no, he is not all right.  jay has been at the hospital all day.  i
          don't know his condition.

 3:30pm:  well, have you heard anything from anybody?  a wave of sickness comes
          over me.

          20 seconds of silence ensue.

          no, i haven't.  jay called an ambulance to take him to the hospital
          about 7.30 this morning.

          seeing as this was going nowhere, i said, okay, i'll call you back
          later.

          okay.  

          i turn to my mother.  what do you know?

          i just... i just know he's not all right, he's sick and in the
          hospital.  bernice called me at around 9.30.  she said he may have
          had a stroke.

          a stroke?!  what could have caused that?  i think as i wring my hands
          nervously.  i decide that maybe i could pass the time by going and
          playing some games on my atari.

 3:55pm:  patrick comes home from work.  they talk nervously about the
          situation.  i can't hear because i'm trying to focus on playing the
          computer.

 4:10pm:  the doorbell rings.  it's my best friend eric.  he comes immediately
          into my room.  hey, let's go play some ball at las animas.

          not right now, man.  my father is sick and in the hospital again.
          remember what i told you yesterday?  well he's back in there.

          no shit? eric sez.  well i hope he'll be all right... hey, fire up
          some boulderdash.

          i proceed to fire up the boulderdash game and we play doubles for a
          while.

 4:35pm:  my mother makes the first in a series of hysterical phone calls up
          north.  i can't hear the conversation, but i can tell by the waver in
          her voice that she is distraught.

 4:43pm:  my mother places the second phone call.  this time i can clearly hear
          what is being said.  please tell me what is going on! she cries out.
          i try harder to concentrate on the game.

 4:57pm:  the third phone call is made.  my mother has now lost total control
          and is crying into the phone.  this point is when i can no longer
          concentrate on the game.  my friend sees this and we quit, and go out
          into the front room.

 5:03pm:  eric realizes the situation is very volatile and excuses himself,
          telling me to call him with whatever details there are.

 5:10pm:  the weather on the channel 4 news comes on.  it's 65 degrees now.
          it's supposed to be 72 tomorrow.

 5:18pm:  the phone rings.  patrick answers.  it's one of his friends.
          he talks with the guy for a while and then hangs up.

 5:26pm:  my mother places the last of the series of phone calls.  this time
          she is more relaxed and stable, asking whoever was on the other line
          to give them any information about my father.  there is not much
          information to be had, so the phone conversation is ended.

 5:32pm:  the nbc nightly news comes on.

 5:36pm:  tom brokaw finishes the news headlines and goes to a commercial.  the
          commercial is for tide laundry detergent.

 5:38pm:  i get up and go to use the bathroom.  i can barely manage to sit on
          the toilet seat, i am so nervous.

 5:39pm:  the phone rings.  i answer it.  a woman is on the other line.

          hello? i say.

          hi, malcolm?  hi, this is bernice.  how are you doing?

          i'm okay, i say, if not a bit nervous.  is everything ok?

          we hope so.  can i talk to your mother please?

 5:40pm:  my mother and patrick walk out of their bedroom.  i hand the phone to
          her.  she nervously rests the handset on her shoulder and says hello?

          there are 5 seconds of silence.

          yes.  is everything okay?

          i am not looking at her.  i am watching television.  i am gauging the
          situation on the amount of silence between her speaking.  this
          particular amount of silence kept growing.

          finally, she said okay.  the next thing i heard was the phone clatter
          as it hit the wall.

          he's gone, she said.

          i looked at the stereo clock, and beyond it past the balcony, outside
          to the trees and the darkening sky.  the time was 5:41.
 _______  __________________________________________________________________
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 [ x x ] |Metalland Southwest..713/579-2276|ATDT East...........617/350-STIF|
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  (' ')  |            Save yourself!  Go outside!  DO SOMETHING!            |
   (U)   |==================================================================|
  .ooM   |Copyright (c) 1994 cDc communications and Malcolm D. Moore.       |
\_______/|All Rights Reserved.                               07/01/1994-#270|