Monday, January 10, 2011

that guy - part 7

           “It’s okay,” her saying it making it so, her leaning against him, nudging him with each careful dab of the cotton swab, so familiar, forgiving, allowing him to breathe, speak.
            “I don’t know what happened, I must have slipped…”
            “You cut your head on the door,” said Babe gently, “when you passed out.”
            “Think of it,” his heart tipped, “I came to ask if you needed help. Me!”
            He wiped more vomit from the face-down side of him and spoke through the side of his mouth without the bruise. Once he started talking he couldn’t stop. He told her what he’d seen, told her how awkward he felt, how awkward he was and had always been, in fact, how uneasy he was with simply being alive.
            “It’s not that I am afraid of life, it is just that I am uncomfortable with being alive, always have been. There’s been a mistake - this can’t be mine, this life.”
            It ran out over his lips and onto the floor. He did it with bitter pride. He spoke and she listened and the more he spoke the more softly she attended to his wounded head.  Every waterlogged word that came out of that guy’s mouth there at Babe’s kitchen table took another barb out of the hooks on the lure she was supposed to be. Oh yes.
 Lure. That’s how corny the whole thing really was up until today.
That’s what Gus had wanted. She didn’t know why, but Gus had been sufficiently cruel to convince her of his sincere spirit. Bait, anyhow, as he put it. And it hadn’t really been the threat, the cruelty, no, no - not for Babe. It was the boy, Crawly.
Crawly had asked Babe to humor Gus; asked as he rolled off her late one morning, his sweat stuck to her supple flanks. “He’s got his shitty little murder plan, make him happy. Keep him off my back and let the old man think what he wants to think, ‘kay-Babe?”
Believe it. Wheezing little feint just fresh out of pimples. Banging Babe. Backspinning with delusory visions of vengeful romance, true love, punch-drunk cupidity; stupid ass Crawly, he didn’t fall for Babe, he fell for her falling for him. He needed, she provided.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

that guy - part 6

            It took the rest of the night, diligence on all sides, to get the whole thing stuck in order. In fact, there was more order than expected, more than could have possibly been dreamed of. An extraordinary batter of festering neuroses, desperate fantasies, depraved aesthetics and simple bad luck went into creating this particularly deadly delicacy. A heartless putty of sweet dissimilitude came together that night and it was nothing less than a perfect sum of parts that pushed the dawn, belching grey and beaten dim, into the early morning sky that following day.
            Index finger from chin to buzzer - two-feet? and a half? Really, how long is it shoulder to wrist? Watching it traverse the short distance gave him the hiccups. Watching the sick crescent of chewed nail across the top of it bob and weave along a miniature horizon gave him gas, on the spot, hot farts, burps like lesions.
            He’d shoveled himself across the hall where history and future collided there on the landing; a cosmic parallax failure made him dizzy, then nauseas, and then spun him into something more tragic than he’d ever known. By the time that finger was upon the buzzer, that pathetic guy had watched every opportunity in his life bob, and dip, and scoot off into the land of Mysterious-Impossible.
            The buzzer screamed like a B-movie murder victim. He vomited. Babe unlatched the door. It was too late to run. He farted, burped, and wiped his mouth.
            Babe drew in the vision, the offering, the failure. She smiled.
            “You’re that guy,” she said, nuzzling her nose in the direction of his door.
            That guy vomited again.