Quote of the Day:
- Sweet: “…..I had to go chase down Henry first and then…”
- TB: “wait a minute, who’s Henry?”
- Sweet: “I didn’t tell you about Henry? That’s my dog.”
- TB: “What kind of dog did you get?”
- Sweet: “Aww, I don’t know, man.”
- TB: “Whaddaya mean you don’t know.”
- Sweet: “I just don’t know. He was here when I moved in.”
Got a call from Sweet the other day. The above exchange was part of the conversation. I told him I was making a note and that scene would be in the book I’ve been contemplating and trying to get off the ground. I’ve got this character in mind that, coincidentally, has a lot in common with Sweet, you see. Smily too for that matter. He’s fictional to be sure, and Sweet’s already given me permission to use his stories and I ain’t even askin’ Smily–he doesn’t mind, and there’s little bit made up and a lot more borrowed from my other asshole runnin’ buddies planned too. They’re a pretty messed up bunch, lot’s to work with. There’s a little nod to Zeek in the last paragraph below, by the way.
This project is ultimately about the ongoing struggle between the forces of convention and order vs those of chaos and freedom. It’s gonna be a caper-comedy, I think. I’ve actually gotten further with outlining it and nailing down the conflict and climax than with anything else I’ve so far abortively tried. So, we’ll see where it goes, if anywhere. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One of “The Last Eccentric.” It’s just an introductory scene that doesn’t push the actual plot. A few of you will recall the real story that was the inspiration for the fictional version. For the record, TB wasn’t really there that day. Thankfully.
In eleventh grade we skipped school one day in the spring and went to Gulf Shores to lie on the beach with our whole gang. We made it home that evening before Billy’s parents came in from work. He was fallin’ down drunk and I had to help him into the house. He begged me to show him to the shower. I dragged him in there even though he purposely allowed more dead weight than he had to, and I got him down to his shorts and, thankfully, he said he could handle it from there so I shoved him in his Mom’s bathtub and went to watch TV on the hard wooden floor in his bedroom and sober up. I guess I dozed off, and it only seemed like for a minute, but suddenly I felt a powerful urge to pee. Waking with a start, I realized my hand was in a shallow, rapidly spreading puddle of warm water. I looked down the hall and saw it was coming from the bathroom.
How in the hell that boy managed to get the door locked and why is a question I cannot to this day answer. After a few minutes calling for him to find out why water was pouring out of the bathroom and a few more minutes deliberating, after receiving no reply, I finally decided to kick the damn thing in, taking the frame out in the process. Wish now I’d have felt above the door for the key, but I was in a tough spot and a little over-served myself and ill prepared for a crisis of this sort. Water was everywhere. The shower curtain was open. Billy sat below the nozzle with a shit-eatin’ grin on his face and his eyes mostly shut and with his boxers, thankfully, still on as the water crashed over and around him unrelentingly. His right ass cheek had formed a perfect seal on the drain while the water ran and he was flooding the whole damn house.
I turned off the shower and stood back for a minute, a bit in shock. The water had penetrated my shoes, soaking the socks within and I hate that so I went back in Billy’s room and pulled them off and stuck them up on the shelf in his closet. Back to the bathroom and Billy’s drunk ass hadn’t moved and his expression was unchanged. “Hey man,” he slurred, “why you wanna come stormin’ in here like you some kinda…..Han Solo or sumpin’ and turn off my water?” His grin broadened, pleased with his analogy I guess. The water was up to his chest. “You flooded the whole damn house you imbecile!” I castigated he and his lineage mercilessly as I lifted his carcass off the drain, threw a towel over his shoulders and set him astride the commode. We didn’t have much time before the big Mamoo came home and I ordered Billy off the toilet, to grab some towels and start helping me sop everything up. He just grinned up at me and said, “That was the best shower ever. I can’t believe you ruined it for me Whitey.” That’s what he calls me. Whitey. Don’t think it’s ever registered with him that I’ve always disliked that handle.
That’s the part of the story I like to remember. It was fun, mostly fun I guess re-telling it all these years. At any rate, just so you know, I got the place all dried up before Mamoo came in, even had Billy asleep in his bed, but she couldn’t help but notice the busted door frame so the jig was up. We boys had a code to never “eat the cheese”, so I didn’t say anything, just played dumb while Mamoo went off. Billy slept through it all, and I slipped out of the house when Mamoo wasn’t looking. Billy lost his driving privileges for a month but he didn’t care. Told us it was two months, in fact. He was the only high school kid in history that hated driving. I should’ve known he’d only get weirder with age; hell, he didn’t even like riding shotgun.