Ultra Dan

By Brian Childs

It'd be wrong to say I live with four other guys because in truth I live with five. I say I live with five because one of my roommates is perfectly schismed into two personalities, one normal and one ultra.

Daniel is a good looking, well rounded student planning to go to med school.

Ultra Dan is the ultimate incarnate of an ADD drunk. Spastic, random, He will do anything as soon as he thinks of it.

Whereas, Daniel is a concert violinist.

Ultra Dan and Daniel have never met, although they share the same body they do not share memories. Daniel doesn't know Ultra Dan videotaped himself having sex with an inflatable doll; Ultra Dan doesn't know Daniel has a girlfriend.

When Daniel's girlfriend hangs around, Ultra Dan is generally baffled. Who is this little girl that nags him as if he, Ultra Dan, should pay heed? Ultra Dan's most common method of dealing with Daniel's girlfriend is to pour beer on her till she leaves.

Daniel invited me to a concert the college was hosting on a Thursday night. It was kind of a nuevo hippie jam band and one of his favorites. Unfortunately, he never made it to the show.

We started drinking at Suz's around seven and at eight Daniel decided we needed to do a power hour, a drink a minute till nine, and he was very serious about it.

"I don't know if this is such a good idea." I said coughing.

"Minute's up, drink."

"I'm kind of coming down with something."


"I don't feel so-"


"Shit. Fine, damn Daniel. Fine."

"Daniel," his girlfriend said nervously, "I don't think you should drink that much."

"Ah sweet heart," he said, "I'm paying attention to how much I'm drinking. I'm not going to get that drunk." Then he laughed good naturedly.

And sometime around 8:45 the moon shuddered in the sky; a glint appeared in Daniel's eye and Ultra Dan was unleashed upon the world.

He leapt out of his chair and adopted a staggering pose.

"Oh no," Daniel's girlfriend said, "Oh no."

And then Ultra Dan threw his glass though a window.

"Daniel!" his girlfriend said elongating the word.

"Alright," he said, "I'm ready to go."

Dan jerked jagged down the street as spastic as a cat with a spinal injury.

He saw a gas station.

"Forties!" he said, "We need forties!"

And he ran inside.

He emerged with two forties for us and a third for himself which he was trying to pour into a big plastic cup. He bought none for his girlfriend.

"Daniel stop!" His girlfriend implored tugging on his sleeve and begging.

Ultra Dan wheeled on his heel and looked at the anchor holding him back from a wild ocean night then placed his beer on her head face down.

She stood there shocked and still and let go of Dan's sleeve. He romped into the night.

"Err.sorry." I said and took off following Dan's path of ultraness. Suz ran after.

When I caught up to Dan he stuck my forty down his pants so they bulged goiter-like and then we got on the train heading south.

It was a short ride but Dan would pee every five minutes between the moving cars. In between runs he made a crack about Suz being flat and Suz said Dan's girlfriend's vagina was covered in scabs.

"So's yours from what I hear," he said and stepped back out to piss. Suz looked at me.

We were busy dispensing beer to our bellies when a cop walked onto the train. We stared off like gunfighters and then Dan came back, piss all over his legs and shoes, and grabbed my forty and bubbled the bottle. The cop looked disgusted.

"I don't give a fuck," he said, "I'm off my shift." And then he went to the other side of the car. A shudder ran through all of us and we resumed drinking.

The concert was a block away from the train stop but it took us an hour to get there. Dan started screaming about fast food and took off into a restaurant. I made chase but when I got there he was nowhere to be found. I searched the bathrooms and came out front confounded.

Suz was looking up worried. I looked and saw Ultra Dan on the roof trying to steal an inflated Disney character, in open view of an empty cop car down the street.

I booked it round the building, hopped atop the dumpster, the eve of the roof, and then tackled Dan as the cop was returning to his car with coffee and donuts. He drove off.

"Dan we're going to miss the concert." I said. His eyes were fixated on the inflated figure. I slapped him in the face.

"Dan, we're going to miss the concert."

"The concert!" he said and kicked me off him. He rolled down the eves on the front of the store, not bothering with the dumpster/step and I followed. I could see cashiers through the plate glass, bug eyed at our appearance.

And then Dan rushed down an alley to go pee.

We made it to the show just in time for the encore. To the slow strummed songs about life and love Ultra Dan started to mosh.

"I don't care," I thought and I jumped in and moshed too.

On the closing notes of the concert Dan and I were tossed to the street.

We lost Suz and ended up at a bar that only catered to men.

It was a gay bar, sure, but for gay bikers or gay cops, or perhaps ex-cons that'd been imprisoned too long.

Dan was already bantering with some guys at a table. I sat down on a stool at the bar exhausted. An old guy that looked crusty but mostly harmless made to talk with me.

"You look like you could use a drink."

Why not?

"Actually, I'd really appreciate one," I said and he passed me a beer.

I sipped the bottle and enjoying the pull.

Suddenly realty was watered down with contortion and distortion and it occurred to me I'd just been drugged. I stumbled back away from the bar and dropped my bottle, shattering, causing a commotion. My bar buddy leered clownish and evil. I grabbed Dan by the scruff and we tore out of there like tornadoes.

I don't remember much else. I was filled with bad medicine and I wrung my poison out all over the streets of Chicago.


I woke up with my head on my desk, naked, crick in my neck, throat throbbing and scrawls all over my notebook.

I tried to decipher them.

"You just started writing like crazy and then passed out." A girl explained from behind me, in my bed.

I was startled to find anyone there at all.

She turned out to be Dan's little sister.

Daniel was upset.

Ultra Dan didn't care.

Copyright 2006 Brian Childs

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