Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dirt, Manure, and Flat

Part 1
I smiled, licked some fudge from my teeth, and took a long sip of condensed coffee from a paper cup. I could barely tolerate its scalding heat. The candy shop had a pot of the thick stuff evaporating down to less than a third remaining. I guessed it had been sitting overnight and they confused the process for making maple syrup. 

I drank the stuff and considered it similar to an allergy shot. It would prepare me for Clay’s brand of brew. I deftly placed the container of medicine in my car’s cup holder just in time to hear my phone start singing, “Even though we ain’t got money…” 

I changed the ringtone back at Brevort to honor Clay and his companion, His Favorite Gal. She entered his life somewhere between line dancing and swing. It was hard to pin down as Clay went AWOL for a long spell and we lost touch. She was around to rescue him after I gave that job up to save our friendship. That was my excuse, one my heart called evil.

Keeping my word to His Favorite Gal, I didn’t answer. It wasn’t Clay calling, intuition said so. A few minutes later I heard the musical chime that notified me of voice mail. An hour later as I neared Gaylord, that chime increased to ten. Jittery from a crashing blood sugar level and caffeine overdose, I took in the state’s rest stop a mile before the city. I listened to the voice mails, well, the first four. Five and beyond were single syllable messages of “Ass”.

Message 1: “Ain’t it? I know what you said but you gotta know. The man’s gone, well not gone gone but gone in spirit. It’s bad Ain’t It, worst I ever seen, and you don’t even know cause he won’t tell. And besides…”

Message 2: “Okay, okay, I know I’m making your balls sore but…dammit I hate phones. Okay, so anyways, Clay has gump real bad. That’s what I calls it Ain’t It. Gots poop leakage to the brain. There’s real people took over his soul and mind, squatters, moved right into his brain somehow. It is way worse than those fits of depression caused by that demon tellin’ him to kill hisself. Remember that sons-a-bitc…. Clay! I mean Jack! I’ll kick your…”

Message 3: (His Favorite Gal weeping bitterly and a man’s voice shouting at her)

Message 4: “Don’t hurry Ain’t It. Clay ran off. I called tribal uni’s to catch him if they can. If they get him before you and me do he’ll be beddin’ at the hospital again and he won’t make it a week this time. You was all he was holdin’ out for Migizi.”

His Favorite Gal quietly sobbed for a half minute then concluded the message.

“I never asked nothin’ of you, have I? Not in all the years. Took up the slack for ya, I really tried. I’m beggin’ and I don’t never do that. Help my man, save your brother, and for damned sake, redeem yourself. I gotta get outta here a while. I need smokes for my nerves. If I ain’t here when you make it in its cause I passed out exhausted at a cousin’s somewheres. You know I mean it (she sniffled again) I said your name proper. I just hope you…”