Monday, January 4, 2010


“The main thing isn’t knowing whether you’re right or wrong. That really doesn’t matter…The main thing is to keep people from bothering you…The rest is eyewash…” Céline

I’s working at the hospital, and this guy comes in…you know, real suspect, real fidgety…kind of wiry and dirty…eyes red as V8 juice. And this guy he’s kinda…well, I can see he wants to speak to me about something, but he’s…well, maybe he’s nervous. Yeah. So he’s kind of just hemming and hawing, blinking a lot, and he’s inching his way over to me. But I’s busy doing whatever it is they’s paying me to be doing, and so I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend like pondering all the who-what-where-whys of the situation, you know? And so I just kinda keep him in sight a bit, in my peripheral, you know? Peeping at him. Make sure he’s not stealing shit or whatever…or, you know, I’s had people try to attack me before… throw shit at me…all kinds of shit…even a wallet once. Downright weird the shit people will chuck at you when theys all up and p.o.’d. But this guy, well, I can just sense he’s got something real serious like on his mind, and I don’t get the kind of vibe from him that he’s like gonna go all apeshit or whatever, and maybe… yeah, it just seems like maybe he might start a crying jag or something. Turn on the waterworks and spill…or whatever. I don’t know. I’s thinking about Cannonball Adderley for some reason. I remember that. And it doesn’t make sense but I got one of them songs of his stuck in my head, and I start like feeling bad…like real bad…like everything in the world’s just dead…gone…and I’s all alone…like real alone…more alone than I’d ever right felt before. I mean, shit, at least not like that. Not even like that. It was an old kind of sad. A sad that’s been around for a long, long time…that’s been like marinating since god said let there be light and isn’t ever going to go nowhere. And I want it gone. But it stays…well, and then, you know, it doesn’t too. I don’t know. It’s odd as hell. Can’t figure a way of telling it right…but, so, this guy, this fidgety guy who is like tiptoeing his way in my general direction…well, he’s got this quiet way of walking, like a cat, but not so cool as that. Nothing’s got style like a cat walking across a room. Come on. You know…but it’s a different way of walking than most folks got…very sneaky, like he’d be a good burglar. And then it is that he just kinda spring up on me…and then, you know, blam, he’s all up in my face…and his breath wasn’t tasty one bit…and I sees all his rotted teeth and his clothes is all torn and he’s like chewing his lip up something awful…and I’s inspectin’ all these scars and welts and shit all over his face…like crooked lines and red bumps and stuff. And it’s like his nose is all dripping this like fungusy green shit…ah, damn…it isn’t pretty. It’s bad. I don’t like it, but what could I do? You gotta look at people sometimes, especially when theys all right there in front of you all suddenly like that. So I try to pretend and be all normal, and he’s like looking around, like checking to make sure nobody’s too close…or something…like maybe he’s scared, like he’s being followed or something…anyway, like I said, my suspicions were like arised. So I’s being mighty careful there. Don’t want to go shaking up the soda bottle, you know. So I asks him real nice if I coulds help him with anything, and he kinda does this scared smile thing, and his eyebrows get all lifted up like a vampire or something…and he’s a pretty pale customer at that…and I sees too that one of his ears is like bit off on top, like something took a damn bite out of it, or chewed on it. I swear, it likely has teeth marks in it. I swear to Jehoshaphat. It’s sure disturbing to me, and I don’t feel sad just then, ‘cept maybe for him. Yeah, it was like I’s putting all that old sadness into him…like I hads me a hose and is washing him in all that sadness, but it’s not really taking. It’s like the water running off of him…and he just standing there eying me real suspicious like…and then he leans in closer, which I really didn’t care for, and he says…well, he says to me…he says, “Buddy, hey, um, just wanted to let you know, um, that there’s a dead body in the port-a-potty outside.” And I’s shocked to say the least, as I didn’t even know there’s such a port-a-potty outside the hospital…but there is, see, because they’s doing some construction out by the parking lot, and they had a few of them green shitters out there baking in the sun…and I know this now, but then? No. I don’t know it then. So I kinda looks real confused at this shifty customer standing there a little too close to me for my liking, and I’s like, “How’s that? What?” And, you know, it’s weird, but I don’t know what to say. And he’s like, “Just wanted to let you know about this dead body. It’s out there by the parking lot in a port-a-potty,” and I’m not sure what to do. I mean, we’s in a hospital after all, right? And this guy says…he’s all shaky and wriggling…and he says to me…he says, “Maybe you should call 911,” and I’m like, “Okay. Sure. That sounds like the right thing to do.” So I reach back for the phone, and I call up the emergency people…and I don’t knows right what to say at that moment. I’s kinda shocked to say the least. But I kinda hesitated some, and then I blurt out for lord know what reason…I say, “Um, well, I’m in the hospital here…and we’ve got a dead body here.” And that’s dumb. I know. But it just come out…and that shady stinkpot individual standing there all up way too close to me…well, he kinda grins…almost laughing, but trying not to. I can tell. And I kinda straighten out and hold the phone away and make signals at him to like shut it, you know? I’m trying to use the phone…and then I starts in to thinking about Pee-Wee Herman and that scene in his movie where he’s yelling at all the bikers and shushes them, and then he does that dance on the bar…oh well. I don’t why. Anyways…I get back on the horn, and I’m saying now…well, like, “There’s this body…I mean…this guy here is telling me there is this body. And it’s a dead body. And this guy here…well, he’s telling me that this dead body, as such…well, it is like currently residing in an un-permanent bathroom facility outside by the parking lot of this hospital…as such.” And the operator is like kind of baffled, you know? She doesn’t really know what to say, and she’s like, “You’re in a hospital sir? Where are you?” And she’s asking me all kinds of dumb questions that I don’t feels up to answering just then, as this shifty son of a gun is now like prancing around and making faces and being all goofy, and I don’t even know if I should believe him at all. So I goes and hangs up the damn phone. And the shady scarecrow guy kind of bolts out the door…and I decide I need to have myself a gander at the situation in the port-a-potty. So I go outside too, and I see the guy frolicking on up ahead…skipping and shit…looking real daffy…and I go after him…and I get to the port-a-potties…and theys all lined up next to each other…like port-a-potties always is…and the guy is like there, and he’s like pointing his skinny crooked little finger at one of them and holding his hand over his mouth like he’s gonna puke. But it’s just the smell I think that’s a making him gag, because when I went up I smells it too, and it’s something awful…something worse than most things I’s ever smelled in all my years up to then…and I’s gone smelling some bad stuff, let me tell you. But this smell’s like worse than civet smell…like rotting garbage and sewer stink and then some…and worse than burning hair…and even worse than the way most of them port-a-potties usual stink…especially roasting there in the hot sun all day. And it’s bad, bad, bad news. And I knows it too…and I’s standing there not really wanting to open the door, but wanting to at the same time, if you knows what I mean. So this little runt…this dirty rake of a bastard is just standing there now pretty damn close to the suspect port-a-potty. He’s holding his grimy shirt up to his nose, and covering his mouth, and looking really like he’s gonna be real sick. So I finally go on up…and I’s not sad at all anymore…but now I’s kinda scared…like I don’t wanna do something I know I’s gonna go ahead and do anyway. And I goes up to the door, and I kinda pull ginger-like at the handle…just with a few fingers. You know? Like not wanting to touch it really at all? And I lift up that little latch there, and the door comes open…and yes sir, there it is. The body’s all scrunched in there…all contorted like hanging over the toilet hole…and dead…real dead. I could tell just upon giving it a gaze once. Those miserable dead eyes is staring right at me…and the face is all scrunched up and pale…and this dead guy…he’s already in real bad shape before he went and croaked in the shitter there. I could tell that. But what a way to go. How real awful and all…dying in all that stink…all cramped up in there like that…and I feels all that sadness again. Of a sudden I’s now so sad about everything. And those eyes. It’s like they’s staring right through the whole of me…and I wants to shut them…but I don’t want to go close, you know? And the other guy, that scrawny shifty guy…well, he’s gone and ran off away. And it just so happens that I hear the ambulances coming…and so I guess my 911 call did go ahead and work anyway. So I goes ahead and shut the door back like it was. I don’t want to be there anymore…and I’s sad then…much more sad than I ever want to go on and be ever again. Not like that. It’s all wrapped up and tangled inside of me…and I want it to go. So I starts in running…and I run and I run and run…and it’s like I can’t get right far enough away…and that smell feels like it’s all sticking to my guts and all mashed up in my head…and the sadness is all clogging me up inside too…and I just keeps right on running…went a good long ways before I stopped and thought about what the hell I’s doing…and then I don’t want to think anymore…no more ever again…not one thought. And when I’s running I isn’t thinking. And the more I run the more the sadness goes…and also the more I forget about those dead eyes and that smell. But I gets tired. I isn’t in prime shape, you know. So I just stands there breathing all heavy…and I’s on a street corner…and I’s wishing I had a girl…and there’s this bar there, you see? This bar’s right on the corner there where I’s huffing and puffing away. And I don’t want to go back to my job…always hated that job anyway…and I don’t have no girl to call…and I now thinks I want to go get drunk…and so I goes into the bar…and I orders a beer and a whisky shot…and I sits there on that stool…and it’s real dark in there…and there’s nary a soul in the place…just the barkeep and me…and the barkeep, he tells me…he says, “Son, you look like you are in a bad way.” And I says, “Yes I am. You got it.” And he asks me if I’m okay…and I tells him, “I’m a long ways from okay. You just keep ‘em coming.” And he says some thing like, “Sure thing buddy.” And so I sits there like that for a long while, drinking until I’m good and drunk…and then, sooner than I knows, it becomes night…and people start filling up the place and playing the jukebox…and I don’t care about nothing…nothing at all…and the music’s good, and I’s drunk, and the neon beer signs is all coming on all around, and I don’t owe no man nothing, and don’t have no place I have to be…and I’s never felt that free and good before or since in the whole entire of my life.