Author's Notes: Sorry about the delay, long story...anyway, glad you guys like it! Keep reviewing. Got that? Never stop. Milk. I mean—reviewing.
Kurt woke up that morning like he always did—in the back seat of a '72 El Camino that had been abandoned on the curb of Avenue B for about ten months. He had a headache, and was surprised to see he hadn't thrown up while he was asleep. This meant that he had drank a bottle of schnapps last night. This happened a lot. He couldn't remember how he got it. This also happened a lot. He could never remember how he got the bottle on the night he had it since he was drunk, and he could never remember how he got the bottle on the morning after since he had been drunk.
He was, in fact, quite surprised when he looked out the dust-covered window of the car to see someone was lying on the sidewalk, asleep, hunched back against the wall of some old abandoned lot. As his eyes began to focus in the morning light, he could just start to make out the person.
Chalk-white skin. This reminded him of something. A word he had heard the night before. A name. Definitely a name. What was it?
The sky. Like something in the sky. Like a...in the sky. What's in the sky? It was something that had been out that night before. The moon? No, not the moon. The stars? Maybe. Stars...star...yes, that's it. Star. And then...what next? No, it was something before that. Something right in his mind, right in his access, but he couldn't find it. Something right there with him. Something close to—
That was it.
The person next to him was named Homestar. But what was so strange about him? Something Kurt remembered from yesterday. But he had been drinking, he couldn't see straight. Now he could, out in the light.
Chalk-white skin. No arms. No pants. Blue-soled shoes. No ears. No nose. No eyelids or lashes. No hair. Huge underbite. Red shirt. Blue and red hat.
Kurt had to get out of the car and stare at the strange thing lying on the sidewalk in front of him.
The thing woke up with a mumble of, "Huh? Whu? Oh, good morningnoon, Kurt!"
"AAAAAAH!" shouted Kurt.
"AAAAAAH!" shouted the thing. "What're we shouting about?"
"YOU!" howled Kurt.
"What about me?"
"Thanks! You're not lookin' too shabby yourself!"
"Who are you?"
"We went over this, remember? Homestar."
Stars in the sky, close to home. He remembered.
"I think so...why do you look so weird?"
Homestar laughed. "What do you mean? Why do you look so weird?"
"Where are your ears?"
"What do I need ears for? I can hear just fine."
"Why don't you have a nose?"
"Hey, man, I live downwind of an eight-foot-tall pile of crap! I don't want a very good sense of smell."
"And your arms?"
"Well, things pretty much move themselves around me as if I'm holding them, so, no probs there man."
"What's with your eyes? They're like backwards sixes."
"Well, all my other senses like touch and smell and sound are kind of dulled down, so—my sight is like my sixth sense...so of course they're sixes."
"Look, I hate to say this, but you're really annoying me. You can't just rationalize these horrible...I don't even know if I can call them deformities...by a mere lack of need…you're talking about rewriting the theories of evolution."
"Hey! No religious or scientific opinion! This is a public website."
"Oh, right...sorry...but still, you know the only reason I'm not trying to hit you in the face several times with a large stick is because I don't have one?"
"Oh, I've heard that one before!"
"Look, I'll just ignore these logical impossibilities and ask, why don't you have any pants?"
"Well, usually, I have pants...really long ones...hmm, weird. I must've lost them in the...um...uh..."
"River," murmured Kurt quietly, to himself.
The river. Everything came flooding back.
"I remember you now," said Kurt. "Homestar. Yeah...yeah, I remember."
"You told me you'd show me around!"
"Well, not much to see. It's not usually the sights people come here for. It's the apartments."
"Really? Are they low-rent lofts?"
"Studio apts?" he said, pronouncing it ever so phonetically.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Couldn't they put anything here except for apartments?"
"Yeah, of course, and they did even. This whole area used to be a bunch of music publishing factories and warehouses. After disco went out of style, they all shut down and were turned into cheap low-grade apartments so all the broke landlords could still make some money. Now, this whole area is owned by this charity organization, but other street people usually just rob the members or beat them up whenever they come around here, 'cause they say they don't need charity."
"Do you rob them?"
"No way. I want food."
"Well, then I do too! Tell me about yourself."
"I was born somewhere out east, probably during the 60s. I'm pretty sure I joined the army in the 70s, but all that left me with was vague recollections of what looks like a psycologist telling me to forget everything."
"What kind of an answer is that?"
"I dunno, it's just what I remember."
"I'll tell you about me."
"About myself. I'll tell you about."
"Umm...wait, we talked about this yesterday, I can't really remember about myself. I can remember my name...Homestar Runner.Wait, hand on, I think I got something...a r...rr..."
"Yeah! How'd you know?"
"Well, you came here in the aqueduct. And that comes from the Eaton, so maybe that's how you got here?"
"Maybe. Anyway, I'm hungry. How do you get food around here?"
"With great difficulty. Whoa, hold up...visitors."
"You mean...aliens? Greys? LITTLE MEAN MEN? THEY'RE BACK!"
"No, no! Calm down! Quiet! I meant tourists. We just call them visitors 'cause this is our neighborhood."
"I thought you said you didn't have—?"
"There we go!"
"Watch the tourists. I think Zuke might come get them."
Homestar turned and looked across the street.
There were two tourists standing on the sidewalk, looking out over the vast expanse of water a block away.
One of them wore a blue and green striped t-shirt and a blue windbreaker, and had a camera bag draped over his arm. His sunglasses rested on his nose like two huge, flat eight-balls on a hammock. The other one kept trying to tell the first one that she had a bad feeling about the area, as she tried to get his attention, pawing at his shoulder like a cat with an arm covered by a fake gold watch with the word Folex on the side.
They inhaled deeply with fright when two urchins approached them.
"You folks lost? Go around, get the car."
One of them jogged around a corner, presumably to get their car.
"Er..." said the first tourist.
"Actually, yes we are," said the second.
"I'm not surprised, this is a confusing district. I could escort you out?"
"We really fine, sir, and we can't be bothered spending money on a—"
"Hey, you got me all wrong...I'm not here to get money," said the street rat. "Actually, I'm here to take it."
The mugger slung his arm around the tourist's shoulder.
"Look over there!" he shouted, as he ripped the camera bag from the tourist's shoulder. "And I suppose this is a fake? Well, the black market doesn't care."
He held up a fake gold watch.
"My watch!" said the second tourist, raising an arm that had been recently rendered bare in protest.
"Give me that back!" said the first one, snatching for the camera bag. He missed. With the tourist's arm outstretched, the thief reached over and snatched his wallet from the tourist's jacket pocket.
"Aaah! Thief!" shrieked the tourist.
"Stop him, Greg!"
"But I'm already gone!" said the urchin. He jumped into the trunk of a passing pickup truck driven by the second urchin. He then quickly added, "BythewayIstolethiscar!"
"My wallet!" exclaimed the first tourist, as the truck drove off.
"My watch!" said the second.
"My camera bag!"
"Your camera bag!"
"That was a really nice camera! It had zoom...cropping...flash...film...color controls...contrast...saturation...sound recording...uh...text messaging...working phone probably..."
"Did it take pictures?"
"I dunno. The need to never arose."
"Uh...yeahthatsucks...anyway, should we get the police?"
"No. Let's go back to Michigippi and complain about big cities to our grandchildren."
"We have those?"
"We have what?"
Meanwhilst, Homestar Runner and Kurt were across the street. Even though the two of them did, the tourists didn't know that they were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences not really greater than theirs yet as mortal as their own.
"What the friggin'...friggin' friggin'?" shouted Homestar. "They robbed those people!"
"Yeah...it's kinda funny, actually."
"How is that funny? Criminal activities is no laughing matter! Or so that filmstrip would have you believe."
"Hey, have you ever heard the phrase property is theft?"
"Well, have you ever heard the phrase remember the Amalone?"
"Yes, many times. What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, it applies to this situation as much as that property comment does!"
"No, it doesn't."
"Oh, right. Forgot."
"Look, I know it's not really the right thing to do, but these people need money and food, and these visitors don't even belong here!"
"Of course every knows—how could I forget?—the ends justify the means."
"And you don't want these people to starve, do you?"
"I guess not..."
"Well, then, you can see why theft is a good thing?"
"Er...uh...you know what? You've convinced me! Stealing is a good thing, if it's done right!"
"That's the spirit! Not that I encourage stealing."
"No, of course not."
"I'm just saying it has some good connotations."
"Well, yeah! Of course! And some stealing has more pros than cons, come to think of it...like all those kids who steal characters from that magical book series for their internet stories!"
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but you wouldn't be referring to fan fiction? That lame, uncreative, boring, pathetic, copyright-breaching cyber-crap pile of what a bunch of manga-hungry thirteen-year-old girls think in their sick, twisted, hormone-infested minds, is something even remotely resembling entertainment? Geese, how much do I hear about that stuff? And I'm freakin' homeless, for someone's—anyone's—sake. I dunno, I think all those kind of writers are big losers."
"Hm...yeah, you're probably right."