— an excerpt from Confessions of a Lint Head by Wyatt Duvall, pg. 132
Behind the Back Alley Bar there’s a dumpster, and next to that, a grease vat. Inside the vat there’s an indoor swimming pool of finger nails, nose hair, and stillborn slivers of bacon. Over the vat, there’s a ledge. On that ledge, the dishwashers leave their half-smoked cigarettes and whatever little self-respect they have. Sometimes they return to finish them off with a smoke and another self-preservation bow to the boss, but more often than not, they leave them as offerings to the roaches and feral cats that call the alley home.
Unbeknownst to the dishwashers and cats and cockroaches, there’s a small hole in the wall four bricks above the ledge. Inside that hole, there’s a dime bag of lint. I know because I put it there. It’s my secret stash. And on those nights when I need a bump of bounce in between pints, I head to the back door of the Back Alley, and I smoke.
My friends think I’m a junkie, but I’m not. I’m just a method actor getting into character. And so I’ve begged on street corners. I’ve passed out in the gutter. I’ve blown white-collar narcissists just to steal their belly lint. I’ve shoplifted tampons, dipped them in ballpoint ink, and sold them as lint sticks. But I did those things in service to my craft, not a habit. After all, I could have easily walked down the street to the flagship store in the Wyatt Sheets empire. It was always there, 24-hours a day, and I owned every single dryer in the joint.
The truth is, I had to test my dedication. I had to see just how far I would go for a role that nobody ever wanted to play. I had to live life like an Oscar after-party, and dodge the paparazzi of bloody noses and bleeding gums along the way. I had to suffer for my art.