PS We're Blowing Up

from PS We're Blowing Up Los Angeles, A novel
by Luke B. Goebel

Her letter arrived by post in the afternoon last week. She carried it now and was in a black car, the letter in her hands, in a fuckinggoddamnUBER, arriving in the old neighborhood with her luggage. Her nails perfectly lemon. Dropped out! It felt good to say it! Drop out, drop out!!! Mexican rich bitch drop out, coming home, in a white suede fringe suit, and her daddy, her white fat Papi, he was going to get it!

He was going to get more than he ever had bargained for—the key to life was to already know you were dead, that there was no way out, that you were the skull, like in the cultura, la muertos de dia de los muertos, rumba y skeleton, and to live totally fearlessly because porque no, fuck it. It was past time—it was time to make life a pastime. Pasatiempo, baby, it was a window in the mind, the whole mind a window, the whole alma, the soul, a window, a dream, a chicken erupting from an eggplant—a cow spraying snowflakes, bring the soap, washing in the sea and drying on a marble island! Fuck it! It was the time of the big bottom and she had it! It was the time of nothing more matters, and she was coming home to destroy her ignorant papi!

The letter had shown up in her actual college mailbox. Behind the brass door and window. She still checked it because she had a friend who wrote handwritten letters, from the old neighborhood, and she also used it for her credit cards because she had no mailbox off campus. She got the bills for the credit card but she didn’t pay them, her Mami paid them, but she was forced to get a copy anyway.

The little metal box was brass with a silver star of letters A-J on each branch of star and a silver lever to press once the code was entered. It didn’t go to S or she could have make her combo BIGASSES. She chose BABEBABE…Probably every girl in the world used BABEBABE. Probably every kid in the entire college set it to BABEBABE. Unless they used BEEFBJBJ or BJBJBJBJ. You could see through a little window into the box and see when letters had arrived. There were about a million of them, boxes, and it made her dizzy—only Susie Fox Bordeaux, that white little bitch, would be so preposterously hoity-toity and coy as to send letters, perfumed, in ribbon, inside an envelope, to a friend from childhood. From the old neighborhood. In a time when there was texting, facebook, instagram, snapchat, what normal people used. Message me, Bitch, please! She swore Susie was an ancient woman trapped in the wrong era. Did Susie know what that stationary cost? Thousands of dollars for a hundred sheets of good personalized stationary, California had looked into it.

Still, it was good to get mail from her. She worried about Susie. She worried because Susie was such a stupid rich white girl. All the girls in the neighborhood were stupid rich white girls, plus a Japanese girl, but Susie took it to a whole new level. She was obscenely rich, Susie, insanely rich. So rich and yet restless, so crazy, so disinterested in her money, disinterested in everything except art, and she was the worst artist.

She wasn’t rich like Susie, and did not, for instance, have pressed monogramed stationary with a gold seal of her initials. She did, however, have a father who was a racist senator from Arizona who was on a witch-hunt against her own kind, her mother’s kind, Mexicans, the fat white fuck, who recently stood at the border and pointed an assault rifle for the cameras, with the Homeland fucks, and having a senator for a father and living in a gated community in Brentwood, gag, and going to college at this pretentious white school full of sickos, puke, she wanted to sit on them all with her juicy gorgeous Mexican American culo! Smother all the fuckers. Now he was against Muslims.

What had happened to real class? Like those marble floors, those Corinthian columns of redwood at school, the slender fluted columns decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls, and furthermore what happened to diamond print dresses and chevron stripes, and polka dots? It was such an ornate and celebratory, funky past and now it was Gmail. Go fuckyourself GMAIL. Whities. Fucking whites! Whities! Then she remembered the bygone era of class was built on the back of colonization, destruction of the indigenous, murder of her people. It was no joke. Still, it had style. Her people had had style, too! The new world had no style, and was still fucked toward Mexicans, toward everyone, plus the Middle East, Africa, everything was out of control. How was she going to change it! Fuck college. There is no future.

And the letter read:

Dear California Riosnegra-Otis,

Please come home. Drop out and join me back in the old neighborhood. I cannot do this anymore without you. I am feeling like I have nothing left to run myself on. Please come home. Please? Let’s make a plan when you get here. Besides, don’t you think it’s time we punish our fathers? While we are young enough and they are young enough, before we are old and have to feel sorry for what we have done? I have no idea what to do with this world. It has had me, already, and I have not had it. Please return to where life makes sense, and let’s come up with a plan! My friend, my sister—come home.

Sincerely and Cordially,

Susie Fox Bordeaux


She looked it over in her lemon yellow fingernailed hands. What the fuck was so poignant about this letter that it made her come home? She was arriving in the neighborhood in Brentwood? She didn’t have a home. She was a senator’s daughter. What was a home? Did anyone have a home anymore? They pulled up to the Bordeaux residence and no one was there. She had to talk to the driver and explain they were seeing if anyone was home. She didn’t want to get out of the car with her luggage in the car. It was worth too much. She could tell no one was home. There was so much to worry about, for someone who was proclaiming they had to embrace death—but luggage is luggage. Clothes take time to acquire. Fuck Andy in this UBER taking her clothes and going through her panties. Anyhow Susie wasn’t there—figures!

She told the driver, who wanted to act for a webseries and had an audition yesterday, and bothered telling her about it, to take her to her favorite hotel in the city. She had to find the address for him and everything. Directions, fucking Uber, and this was a black car. He kept saying he couldn’t believe he didn’t know the hotel. It wasn’t a hotel. It wasn’t in the city. It was an inn nested in the woods and was psychedelic grandma chic. The place was a trip. The grounds are a horse farm, and it was by the Riviera. The country club they belonged to. It was just across the hills within riding distance. She got the suite she liked with all the wingbacks, the old funky bathroom with the tiny tiles of six sides, black and white, the carpet that was red and black Scottish four square, the floral wallpaper, the mix of early 20th century and 60’s mod.

She would set up shop here and wait for Susie to emerge, to plan the first round of attacks against their fathers. It was a good place to bed down and make plans without having to tell her parents. She felt free. Freer than in years of reading Jacques Lacan and about Desdemona and studying atrocities of history and present day, and filling in scantrons and writing her student ID number on exams in lecture halls. She picked up a book. It was Watership Down. By God it was Susie’s wet dream, all those terms of plants and flowers, none of which any normal human being knew the names of any longer and perhaps ever had. The writing was good for a bit, and then she got sick of rabbits. Fucking white people! She did some selecting in a dating app.

Luke B Goebel is a writer who lives in California. His first novel Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours won the Ronald Suckenick National Book Review Prize for Innovative Fiction. He is currently at work on the novel the excerpt published in this issue is taken from, PS We’re Blowing Up Los Angeles. The book is as yet unsigned. Holla.