He Loved Techno

Daniel DeRock


He loved to scribble i love techno in his notebook while the teacher’s vocal track droned on and the clock counted down tak tak tak like a hi-hat. He loved basslines bam bam bam that gripped his brainstem. He loved when his mom disappeared for days. He loved Red Bull. He loved not having to share the TV. He loved sneaking up behind zombies and stabbing their throats. He loved bam bam bam from the patched-up subwoofer. He loved the sting of a sticky new back tattoo. He loved tak tak tak in his buzzed head brushing his teeth, dancing. He loved dancing. He loved frozen pizza with hot sauce. He loved the ping of his best friend texting him. He loved hurry the fuck up. He loved getting there at midnight. He loved the doorman the dark the fog the screwed up smiles the lights the bass. The bam / bam / bam / bam. He loved everyone. He loved his best friend’s sweat slick on his shoulder. He loved control. He loved succumbing. He loved strangers’ soft hair on his neck. He loved this place. He loved to be a machine. He loved to be a skeleton. He loved to be a raindrop. He loved the smell of brass on the key snow-piled with whatever was in that bag. He loved being smothered. He loved levitating. He loved another bump please. He loved his best friend’s fingertips on his lips in blue lights. He loved the inhale the climb the peak the lasers the tak tak tak and then. Wait. bam / bam / bam / bam / bam / bam / bam / bam. He loved another Red Bull. He loved a cigarette in the cold. He loved back into the hot. He loved when last year his best friend’s salty fingers slipped into his mouth in the dark. He loved louder. He loved purple lights. He loved the vocal sample. He loved white lights. He loved when his best friend’s girlfriend got too high and threw up in the smokers’ room. He loved his best friend’s eye contact, finally, again, for a minute, till he noticed and went after her. He loved another beer. He loved another one please. He loved knowing his mom was safe at least. He loved when she texted I’m okay but that never happened. He loved to be the last one. He loved when security dared him. He loved his jaw to crack when he deserved it. He loved the silver chill when the dawn was his. He loved when his mom paid their bills. He loved the thought of paying them for her. He loved the iron of blood pooling at his gums. He loved the zigzagging bats who clawed back the night, kept it there for him one more minute. He loved the bam bam bam that never quit. He loved to collect his spring-loaded muscles and scream.


Daniel DeRock is a writer from the American Midwest living in the Netherlands. His fiction has appeared in Rejection Letters, Gone Lawn, Reservoir Road, The Daily Drunk, and elsewhere. He’s working on a novel. You can find him on Twitter @daniel_derock.