Man in picture. A morning’s history of night. v2.o chapter eleven bitches

The watch looks still to me, it reads five after nine.  For days it reads five after nine. Everyone else can see the time while they admire it.  I think the way they look at it would compel them to tell me if it’s stopped.  I hope. People comment on it often.  I look at the second hand but can’t see it moving.  If someone asks me the time, I turn my wrist and hold it up or my answer will be a guess. Sometimes they say the time they see out loud as though I’m waiting to hear it.

I am.

So confused.

A pair of those reading glasses might allow me to appear less culpable.  I could fumble for them as I hold up my wrist.

If he’s of me in any way at all, he must own his cowardice.  I believe he does.  I see it in him.  Just like me.  He’d rather just fuck with me than confront me.  He shows me what he can do but he never comes straight at me.  A jackal.  A pussy.  Just like me.  He’s always running.

I’m going to kill him.

He thinks I can’t or won’t.

I think I can.

I submitted to a bully once. I was in the sixth grade. I was confused. He wasn’t any bigger, he was simply more evil. Mean. For awhile, I was afraid. I went to ridiculous ends to avoid him. I stole a small hunting knife from a sporting goods store. I would duct tape the leather sheath to my leg before I went to school.  I was desperately afraid of his face and his capacity for cruelty.

I pictured stabbing him.  I believe I would have.

One day the entire student body sat in the gymnasium bleachers for an assembly. A giant red brick structure built in the thirties with an ancient oval roof. Autumn. Cold inside, colder outside. I sat with my friends and spit Skoal on the floor. All of us had our coats on. We did our best to casually smear the tobacco juice into ambiguous weather puddles with our feet.

My friend Lance was next to me. He didn’t chew tobacco. He’s now some sort of neurological physical therapist and or surgeon.

His last name was Dalton and I could feel him behind me.  Every time the crowd would gasp or jeer at the ridiculous civil defense film on the soft sell of nuclear attack we were being shown, he’d hit me hard on the back with fist and middle knuckle.

It didn’t take long for Lance to clock it, look me in the eye and say “Who is this fuck?”

Dalton had always been a coward. He’d always confront me with his friends around him or never at least in a crowd where there was a chance of me having an ally. I would back down, because my shame was my own. There was no one else to see it.

This was different. He’d grown bold. I don’t think he was very smart. He certainly hadn’t thought far enough ahead to understand the corner he’d backed me into. Fear is a great force multiplier.  Fear can be everything.

I didn’t snap, but my decision came quick. I was humiliated and terrified.  I exploded. I spun around and swung as hard as I could for his head. He turned away in anticipation of the blow and my fist landed solid with a pulchritudinous smack on his ear.  It was all I had until he toppled like a raw turkey carcass on a tripod with a shit leg.  I went to work.  I swung and swung, over and over.  He bled and pleaded.  His blood and snot were all over my hands and sleeves.  They pulled me off and away from him.

He spent the rest of the afternoon sobbing and bleeding in the nurse’s office.

His meat was under my fist.  I defeated him.  He was mere flesh and fear.

It’s time for my fist again.

I am sure. I begin to understand him. It will be easier if I lure to him to a mall or a bar instead of an empty field or a park at night. I will kill him. We are the same he and I.  I am smarter.  I wonder how well he understands that.

I will kill him.

Does he know to look inside to figure me out?

Does he drink wine with his meat?

I’m giving him the name him Richie Cunningham.

I will kill Richie Cunningham.

Opie is toast.

The night is pleasant. Barely a moon. I’ve been asleep, the fire is embers. The carafe of water is empty and I figure that I can’t hold out until morning.

Something I hate; finding a bathroom in a strange house in the middle of the night.

In a hotel room, I just bounce around until my feet feel cool tile.

Whatever, I’m like a fire hydrant. I feel good. Energy.  I throw off the blanket and bounce up. Legs are good.  Barely sore.  Past the den and there’s a small bathroom with a light on the left just beyond the kitchen.  Thoughtful of Carlo.

There’s an actual urinal with a heavy duty chrome flush, what looks like a quartz puck that smells like fresh and disinfected heartburn, and one of those long low toilets with a black seat and an identical chrome flush all municipal style. White tile. It’s clean and smells good with an institutional dispenser that spits brown paper when I turn the crank.  The sink has no cabinet and is a white  deep porcelain tooth protruding from the wall.  A vaguely art deco wall mounted soap sprinkler vomits pink powder when I toggle the lever back and forth. I smell pine.

I piss.

I’m back in grade school.

As I’m draining I see the open door leading to the kitchen.

I rinse my hands again.

I decide to make my way back through the kitchen. It’s smaller in the dark.

I come around to the couch and sink back into it’s comfort.

I’m thinking I expect what’s next.  It begins as deja vu.  Creepy.

Richie smacks his hand on the windows. Running around the deck. Frustrated and in a frenzy. I’m spooked but I know he can’t get in or he’d be in.

I attack the fucking window.  I bang hard on it with my knuckles and demand that he look at me.  I scream at this fuck to look at me.  I want to see him. Close.  So I do.  It shocks me.  His eyes are desperation and rage.  He’s not here today.  His head is never still.  It shakes back and forth and nods up and down furiously.  It never stops wagging.  Like a relentless spasm disease.  I’m in an aquarium gawking at a manic shark.  But He’s the beast and I’m in the cage.

Sputum violence.  A misting of blood.

Carlo’s yard is full of dark swine with fear in their eyes.  They scream and stomp.  They swell back and forth like shiny schools of  slippery rapid fish.  There are hundreds if not thousands.  Blue black and brown, stinking of catastrophe and madness.  I think if I just had some weapons of mass destruction.  Guns.  I need guns.

He doesn’t look at me.  Panes of glass divide us.  Either one of us could reach through like the movies.  Pull the other through the panes as our first bad ass movie move.  Then we would do Kung Fu for a little while.  I end up blowing his head clean off with some giant gun.

Oh, man.

I yell and flip him off. I mock and tease.  I laugh at him.  Scream and curse.  I’m seventeen.

He’s sobbing and sucking back drool.  He bleeds from all the openings in his head.  It drips and sprays.  He’s a mess.  He’s in his underwear again.  It’s grimy.  Yellow.  I realize it’s a diaper.  There is dirt caked on his thighs and forearms.  He is hairless except for his head.  He could be comedy.  Tragic while hysterical.

I press my index finger and face to the glass and tell him I understand.

I tell him I understand it’s him or me and that it will be me.

I tell him I’ll kill him.  He will die.  It will be me.  I am shouting.  Promising to kill him.

I work at holding his gaze, his eyes in their convulsing head.  I promise with little breath left that I will kill him.  I will cut him.  I’m going to gut him and watch him bleed out.  I’m whistling and whispering, out of breath.  I’m out of breath but still screaming.  My face feels on fire.

He bounces off the front door.  Raging.  He screams in the yard.  He pounds his own face and head with his palsied curled fists and long ass talons.  He even throws rocks at the windows but none so much as crack.   He leaves sobbing and sucking it back.

I stand and watch his retreat.  He lights a fagot while marching away and his army of swine follow.

He cannot enter.

Dumb and exhausted, violent resolve is slow comfort.

There’s a particular and peculiar sensation upon a man experiencing when he needs to pee real bad.  It vibrates and tickles on down to the wrists and hands.  When the man is able to unleash, there is no greater instant gratification.  The body does quiver and rattle yet the the spasms are cathartic relief.  It is existential.  Primal.  When it’s over, it’s over.

All my fears and unrest go dormant.  The watch still ticks and I don’t care I can’t see it moving.

I go to sleep.  I dream of the watch.

It all stinks of asphalt and road.  Petroleum.  Oil.  It stinks bad.  I check the watch.  It tells me I have twelve hours to go on an eight hour shift.  Life smells toxic pink like nail polish and green weeds in the desert halfway between here and Vegas.  Heat.  Pulled Pork is a despicable term.

Dad says the watch needs a battery.  Tells me Wall Mart.

I leave the dream as we sit down for Rueben Sandwiches.  Corned beef.  Sauerkraut.  Swiss Cheese.  Rye bread.  Mayo and the Poupon.  Grilled.

Drinks for my friends.

4 Responses to “Man in picture. A morning’s history of night. v2.o chapter eleven bitches”

  • I get a kick out of this bit. I always love to read, “I will kill Richie Cunningham” (check the line before that for a speed-typo) It makes me think of Sting as the young Harkonnan in Lynch’s shitty Dune adaptation saying “all I see is an Atredies that I want to kill” Funny shit. It’s right about now that I start looking forward for you to kill him. Looking forward in earnest. For that scene. Will you kill him like Fonzi? Or will you Ralph Mouth him to death? Or will you Shirly Feeny him in the back like a scared little chick?

    Hey there Mike, just checking in. You know me, I come and go. I drift in and out of the internet like high plains drifter.

  • admin:

    It was pretty good art direction and set design and all that.

    Just tell me if it’s working for ya High Plains.

  • Oh yeah it’s working

  • admin:

    Gotta find that typo.

    I won’t kill him like Fonzi but suckering him with the Shirly Feeny sounds good to me. It’s become a bit of a burden. Both books have. The longest consistent set of thoughts I’ve ever maintained.

    There’s lots of things to like about that movie but ultimately, it sucks ass. The books rocked way too hard.

    I heard you were talented too.

    Bitch.

    Adored your xmas love. Rescued it from a cat.

    Actually got offered a record last week.

Leave a Reply

Archives