Man in picture. You know, for kids.

I’m at the kitchen table drinking the “decent shit” we opened while cooking. A rioja, I think. Can’t focus on the label. I’m housed.

He snuck corn into my stew just after he poured it.

The movie in my mind of Opie Cunningham rushing by in a flaming cape is on loop in my brain. It keeps getting funnier.

Carlo stumbles in the door holding the bundled red white checked table cloth from outside by the top with his right hand while supporting the bottom with his left. His face glows as he manages to release the top and settle the bottom so expertly on the table, the bottle of zinfandel still stands and all stew remains in the pot.

I can’t help but applaud Carlo Tarcisi as he relights the candle still in the stick. He rocks.

“Crazy that bastard running by on fire!”

I laugh. I may be housed but Carlo is shit housed.

He buries is head in his hands and cackles.

He lifts his head, opens his eyes, thrusts the wine at me, “grape!”

I empty it into our glasses and gulp. It is divine. So much better than the decent shit. Turley Zin. Everything from cedar and figs to cigars and plums. “Praise Baccus!” He shakes his hand and at me to assure me there is more.

Zin runs from his chin.

I flip him off and ask when he intends to tell me what I need to know.

“Any minute now”, he laughs crazy.

I remind him I need to be back on the ship tomorrow before sundown and that he told me I wouldn’t be safe here after tonight.

He looks me at my eye with sincerity, “I have much to tell you”. He points a deliberate finger at me right before his lamps go out.

His head hits the table hard enough to startle me.

He’s gone. Unconscious. Next.

Fuck me. Now what?

I pat, slap and shake his
dead weight. My legs cannot possibly carry him. Blowing out the candle and kicking off my shoes, I remind myself to listen for his eventual climb from inebriation to concsiousness. No sooner do I pull the blanket and I’m gone.

It’s dawn. The coffee is pungent, Carlo, smelling of fresh soap and shower, shakes my thumbs in each of his hands. Looks like Carlo passed conscious and now owns lucid.

Look at the big brain on Mr. Tarcisi.

I hate fuckers that can do that.

I plod to the table barefoot and there is buttered toast and jars of marmalade. A small plate of glistening hot sausages.

I hoover one. Fuck, it’s tasty.

I sip and chew for a minute as he looks at me.

I ask if he’s got any cold mineral water or maybe some champagne.

“Not much time and some ground to cover. I need to tell you what I know and see.”

He grips a pomegranate from the bowl on the table and slices it open. The intricate insides, the contrast of ruby candy nodules and mucus white layers startle me into imagining an open human torso with muscle, bone and blood fat internal organs.

I convulse while hot liquid rises to my mouth. Behold a dissected rodent from a fourth grade science fair. Pins in organs with tags naming them. The shrinking moldy rictus of it’s mouth is horrifying. Can’t help but see the stench.

I hold up a finger while my cheeks fill with vomit. I make it to the bathroom sink. Velocity is jet like, I’m grateful the volume is not nearly as spectacular. It goes on for a few minutes. The sausage shows up intact. My bile is day glow on top of the gravy that came before. I stomp my feet and seize. Crystal clear snot streams from each nostril to meet at my chin. Looks like a sling shot made of hand sanitizer.

I look in the mirror and cackle.

I cough some and clean myself up. Drop a deuce. Wash my hands again. As I open the bathroom door I hear him take a loud sip of coffee.

Outside it looks to be a gorgeous day.

There is a wooden box on the table.

It’s so odd. He’s definitely had a presence these last few days. His weight though, is so much lighter. Not so pregnant with consequence. Less evil. He doesn’t like it here.

I picture him dancing and playing a fiddle with it hot underfoot. Wearing a flaming cape. Maybe some fake devil horns.

“You are well enough to talk?” asks Carlo.

3 Responses to “Man in picture. You know, for kids.”

  • mi familia @River rouge; Krista:

    Standing behind my bro’s and sis waiting in line, kids would cut in front of us, sometimes divide us up, I’d start to tweek, then get tugged at by either LaLa, or Dante. My siblings always whispered in silence when we were out in public. I was the the exception, thinking hell, these kids with strong Haitian, and southern dialects, wouldn’t be able to understand me anyway. If ever it got to the point, when they would move on me to knock me to the ground, tall, tall Eric, Nic,and LaLa, would come to surround me. Still leaving Dante,and my twin Daniel in our original place.

    Daniel, and I were the youngest when our downtown Detroit,house was arsond and burned to the ground. My parents grew up amongst a lot of Italians, and Polish, catholics, so I supposed they thought they needed their own mob. Thus the names Dante, and Dominic. Then as their hair and eyes, went from brown to burned rusty brunette tones, names started to change. First Dominics was changed to Nicholas,when he was 2 1/2 then third bro when born, was named Eric. The immigrants leaking in from Canada, brought a decidedly northern European, influence, so sibling no.# 4 was named Lara, aka LaLa. Always when in public there was silent harmony, amongst us. But after we lost the family house, near the Olympic ice hockey stadium, life changed drastically for the older brothers. We moved into a garage, of distant relatives, and wore nylon stocking for gloves, leggings, and hats, we almost fit in.
    It was made clear to Dante, Nic, and Eric, that we needed fast cash to fund building on the land that dad bought.Dad would bring the Detroit freepress to the garage,for us to fold and they’d deliver news papers all night long, I don’t remember any of them ever sleeping. LALa, Daniel, and I would separate and count the change. When they weren’t working they were playing hockey; always at least two, of them had huge red swollen infected dog or hockey injuries on their shins, or thighs.

    Something about a stolen delivery truck, a dead Haitian, and auto parts for Impalas and Chevys, begin to dominate our living environment. The brothers, and dad kept mocking the heist of products destined for markets other than our garage. Of course the first thing they began to build on the promise
    land,situated on the canal, was a garage.

  • Latin, Espanol, Castillian;mi familia:

    Thinking of diving down onto the concrete off some high rise; which wasnt quite high enough. All I could think of was to get into the car and drive, towards the water, hoping I’d get out to a cold-deep, enough Undertow zone, to defeat my awesome pulma powers. Its treacherous to have all the knowledge, and use what one loves to self destruct. Overwhelming, sorrow and fearing will, I give up; and swim back towards land? Apparently I’d let the officials, that were driving me over the cliff know.
    They first pleaded, for me not to dive down the stairwell, all you’ll get is a quebrado neck, paralyzed. Me and my 20 something aliases, are well enough known to these official Iraq attacking fucking frauds.., They said others will imitate you, as has always been the custom, on any block I reside on.
    I slammed the phone, down on them, and tried to focus, on executing the plan. Zig zagging almost eliminating life, all around me.
    I couldn’t drive worth shit, running stop signs, and red lights, insanity would not yeild,in this traffic. I had other peoples lives in danger, I needed to get gone.., I arrived at a bridge, over the cold Detroit river, and flew over the edge, into, sooty ice chunks, slapping my face, then ripping past me, my body turned blue. Head above water I was still breathing EZ…,floating fuck this is my sport, hielo aqua, this is my terrain, freeZing cold, hell I’m no place but home. Treading water, in ice cold fast running currents, I am Dolphkim, we all know that Kyoto, Japan won’t let me in. And then an undertow grabs onto me, I float like a log, away I go, swaddled in a coffin, of mucho frio, aqua. I head towards Island of Atlantis, the lost, the mysterious, and missing.

  • Latin, Espanol, Castillian; familia:

    Thinking of diving down onto the concrete off some high rise; which wasnt quite high enough. All I could think of was to get into the car and drive, towards the water, hoping I’d get out to a cold-deep, enough Undertow zone, to defeat my awesome pulma powers. Its treacherous to have all the knowledge, and use what one loves to self destruct. Overwhelming, sorrow and fearing will, I give up; and swim back towards land? Apparently I’d let the officials, that were driving me over the cliff know.
    They first pleaded, for me not to dive down the stairwell, all you’ll get is a quebrado neck, paralyzed. Me and my 20 something aliases, are well enough known to these official Iraq attacking fucking frauds.., They said others will imitate you, as has always been the custom, on any block I reside on.
    I slammed the phone, down on them, and tried to focus, on executing the plan. Zig zagging almost eliminating life, all around me.
    I couldn’t drive worth shit, running stop signs, and red lights, insanity would not yeild,in this traffic. I had other peoples lives in danger, I needed to get gone.., I arrived at a bridge, over the cold Detroit river, and flew over the edge, into, sooty ice chunks, slapping my face, then ripping past me, my body turned blue. Head above water I was still breathing EZ…,floating fuck this is my sport, hielo aqua, this is my terrain, freeZing cold, hell I’m no place but home. Treading water, in ice cold fast running currents, I am Dolphkim, we all know that Kyoto, Japan won’t let me in. And then an undertow grabs onto me, I float like a log, away I go, swaddled in a coffin, of mucho frio, aqua. I head towards Island of Atlantis, the lost, the mysterious, and missing.

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