Tuesday, April 14, 2015
“You met him,” said Gal, “No surprise. Aura and Francis are together most of the time.”
“Why is he named that?” I asked.
His Favorite Gal reached over and brushed Clay’s hair with the back of her hand.
“You know, the saint, praying mantis, get it?”
Evening pressed shadows of Swiss cheese through holey window screens. The neighbor dog woofed as its owner pulled into their driveway. Clay stirred, farted, and sat up. Swiping at a dribble of spit his lips were juggling, he took up his cold coffee and guzzled it.
“Indian Tacos,” said Gal whiffing the air and leaning away.
Clay belched. “Yah hon, we had ‘em. Didn’t know you was comin’ over or I’d a brought ya one home. What you’s guys been yakking about anyways?”
“Francis,” I said.
“Oh yeah, now I remember, before we come home.”
Gal stood up and switched on the kitchen light. Chilly air moseyed through the screen door so she closed the inner one for the night.
“How you feeling brother?” I asked, eye balling the cabinet where the pill bottle of chemical lariat stood ready to rope in chaos.
Reaching across the table Clay took my coffee and finished it. Handing the empty mug to me, he replied.
“I saw ya look toward them pills.” He glanced at His Favorite Gal clanking jars in the refrigerator. “Hey Gal, how ‘bout some bloney sandwiches and Ain’t It, leave them meds alone. We’re stickin’ to the plan.”
“Grubbin’ right up,” said Gal. “I’m makin’ instant taters to go with. Oh, and Migizi asked me to tell him about your name. You awake enough to do it yourself while I get food ready?”
“Yup, can do,” said Clay. “But first I gotta ask one thing of my buddy.”
I was glad when Clay woke and the conversation went around the corner elsewhere.
“What’s that Clay? What you wanna know?”
“Well, you met Aura and Francis, got whapped by her medicine power you said. What you think of that?”
Gal slammed a pan hard and fell out laughing. Clay and I grunted in shock.
“Dammit Gal!” I yelled at her but started chuckling. Clay looked at her then me a couple times in confusion.
“Clay, Gal asked me the same thing and we talked about it while you napped. My short answer to you is that I didn’t like it at all. It pissed me off. I had no control of myself. Anyway, why do you ask?”
Clay sighed, yawned, and stretched his arms out to the side.
“Well, I’m wrung out and that means someone got healed of somethun’. I thought maybe it was you man,” said Clay. “Gal mentioned the healings right?”
His eyes searched me hard for telltale evidence.
“Yes she did and brother it wasn’t me. You were out of sight a bit when you went to the can, the woman’s no less. You chatted with a mom and her daughter. I heard it from outside. Could have been one of them.”
His concern I needed healing puzzled me but he led me away with more talk.
“HMmmm. Anyways, yah, my name. Still baffles me, you bein’ the curious snoop and never asking about it all these years.”
“Yes, so I’ve heard, several times now,” I said and motioned toward Gal. “Common man, before Juvember already.”
Gal showed up with paper plates, plastic spoons, and napkins. She plopped them at our places.
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