Klippinger, Minnesota

(page 2 of 9)

No it’s not. It’s a gun.

Klippinger is less dangling it, he’s handing it to me. I overact, obviously. I heave; I jump to my feet and pace.

What is that metal spider?

“Self-protection. My brother gave it to me. I think it’s a good idea.”

You need a gun. For what? What do you do that’s gun-worthy?

That’s when he takes me to the closet and introduces me to the hash I’ve just smoked.

What is the meaning of this?

“I’m in a new line of business,” he says, picking the morning’s Frosties from his teeth. “I deal mass quantities of drugs. Wanna do some coke?”

I want to leave Minneapolis immediately.

I’m just leaving Minnesota, I tell her.

“Yea, yea,” she smacks her lips and looks back down the road, at the ghost of my speeding car a mile back, “Ya know you’re in Wisconsin, yea?”

Yeah, I am in Wisconsin. Beautiful, beautiful country by the way. The bluffs! Right? I love the bluffs, is that what -bluffs, you call em?

She gives me an incredulous smile. “You know you were speeding?”

I was? I was. I must have been, otherwise… trailing off.

I stare at her. Her eyes go to my passenger’s seat, to the back seat and to my face in one sweep, “You traveling?”

I have bags, yes, those bags are for travel. Like I said, just trying to leave Minnesota.

“Yea, you said that. Now you’re in Wisconsin where the speed limit is 65.”

I look out in front of me, the cars speed past, and the whole moment turns into water, it drains out of me. The sky is grey, the land is dead, and Wisconsin, the foreign soil with an incredibly slow speed limit, is my death, because it is at this moment I remember what I have in the back of my car. It all drops from me, held by some god who has my testicles, my lungs, and my tongue in his hand and has injected my stomach with feverish tickle juice. It is all over now. I see him before me, this invisible inventor, the mad scientist-love child of cosmos and afterbirth, “Yo bitch,” god rumbles in me, “You shoulda left that hash where you came from.”


Does he know I had no choice?


After we steal the groceries I ask him if he has any immediate intentions for his life, a question he always avoids but I ask anyway. He shakes his hand at my face, as if to detract a frenzy of paparazzi, and demands that I drive. I don’t mind driving, I just don’t know where I’m going. He jumps on top of the car and flashes his genitals to a passerby’s. “Hurry,” he screams. “They’re gonna turn around and kick our ass!” He jumps into the passenger’s seat, getting his way after all. I’m driving.

Klippinger had lived in and around Minneapolis most of his life. I had met him in Pittsburg years earlier at which point in his life he was an attorney and was well regarded amongst his colleagues as the craziest motherfucker to ever step foot into a suit. He was fresh out of school at the time and had landed himself what he referred to as an “idiot’s job,” fighting for the rights of small time criminals. His greatest accomplishment, equally bewildering to him, was his ability to make anyone believe he was telling the truth and for this he was the only honest lawyer I have known. I would meet him in the evenings at our favorite bar and he would arrive bowled over in hysteric laughter at himself, tears welling up in his eyes as he relayed his day in court. He could barely get through his monologue without choking, “And they believed me!” he would scream in finality.

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About Adam R. Burnett

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Adam R. Burnett is a theatre artist, writer, curator, producer, and cultural critic originally from Topeka, KS. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Buran Theatre Company, an ensemble based collective of disparate artists that creates new work in a satellite system of communities across the globe. Adam...read more writes plays and memoirs and short stries that reconstruct history and build new mythologies with an eye on place and travel. He pursued an MFA in dramatic writing in the middle of the New Mexico desert but found it all to be quite silly and gave up on it after a year. Adam lives in the neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. He was raised a Roman Catholic and unfortunately he even feels guilty about this bio.
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