Monday, March 23, 2015

B.M. Doesn’t Mean Bowel Movement

Falling into his chair winded, Clay wiped sweat from his brow with his tee shirt while I harvested tears of laughter in a napkin. Taking one half of a broken cigarette from its package, I removed a bit of tobacco (that’s Semah in Ojibweh, language of the Chippewa) and sprinkled it on a napkin wet with tears. I topped it all off with the 3 dead ants. Clay was amused.

“What the heck ya doin’ Ain’t It?”

“You did their honor song, I’m doing their burial. Figured some happy tears would help them walk-on better. I’ll fold this up and give this bundle to Earth.”

I stepped just outside the screen door into mid morning sunlight and laid the offering under a scraggly little cedar tree beside the steps. Clay was right in my face when I turned around. I never heard him sneak up on me.

Delighting my buddy, I yelled “YAaaaa” and punched him in the arm.

“Just for that you make us one more pan of coffee and then we’ll get our asses, I mean butts, going.”

“Goin’ where? Where we gotta go?” asked Clay.

“To work young man, we need to work on your story. By the way, how’s your liver feeling after all that dancing and hoopla?”

Clay went to the sink for water and replied, “Forgot about it till you brought it up, thanks. I’m okay for now, why?”

Once the coffee maker was set to go and turned on, it hissed, whistled, and belched like a still’s boiler making moonshine and produced its own intoxicating liquid.

“Well brother, I’m counting on you to let me know how sickly you are. Actually, what I’m driving at is how much time we might have to round up the story. This would help me plan the story structure and how long it will be, unless…”

Feeling a little chilled from the cooling of his sweaty shirt, Clay pulled his robe flaps closed and leaned toward me.

“Unless what Ain’t It?”

“Well, unless you already have an idea about the story you want told. I figured you had one, even if vague, when you asked me to tell it. The other possibility assumes you were leaving it up to me to tell as I saw fit. Is that what you want?” 

Clay processed my question while rubbing the whiskers (all seven) of his 3 day beard. Having been goosed by a good idea my friend’s eye brows jumped up with pleasure after being pinched tightly together in contemplation. 

“Yah, you won’t like it at all Ain’t It but I know the way. We start my story at B.M. man, before Migizi. For sure, we gotta start with my name. You never ever asked me about how I got my name.”

“Dammit Clay, that goes back to the realm of toddler. You think we have the time for all that?”

“You asked. And whatever we don’t get revealed by the time I croak, well, that will be your chance to make up the rest, deal?”

Screwing myself royally, I agreed. Clay amended the so called deal as soon as I did.
“Oh and, yah, you gotta do it my way all the way. Figured I’d toss that in knowin’ you always agree without negotiating first.”

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