They took my finger,
it was the right-hand runt;
they chopped it clean off
and cauterized the stump;
I couldn’t believe it,
even as I sweat and bled;
while they closed my wound
I brooded on my pinky, instead;
And when the shock wore off,
and they dumped me down the block;
I came with my remaining four,
pounding on your secret door;
“Where did they take your finger?”
you demanded to find out;
hell-bent on reconnoitering,
racked your rounds and bombed out;
You returned with twenty seven;
pinky fingers in a champagne tub,
you held it out in front of you;
an offering of my murderous Coconut;
I crushed through pink ice cubes and fingers,
but not one of them was mine;
I stared at my heavily bandaged hand,
and you said, “We’ll get it next time…”
She didn’t tell anyone, because she’s just like that…(she only shares her burdens when she feels like there is no other way), but the Bear Trainer is in major surgery today.
I shouldn’t be airing her laundry like this either – but I feel like EVERY last person who sends her positive energy will make a difference for her outcome. I won’t get too personal with this, other to say that her condition is very serious and life threatening at present; and I ask any of my readers to keep the Bear Trainer in every possible thought towards the upswing until I hear from her.
There are things of importance in this world;
things that only come to us one time, at all –
things that we don’t see for what they are,
while we hold them in our sweaty palms,
we look past the beauty at the spaces beyond;
we don’t send them trinkets in the mail,
as we really, really should,
we don’t send them letters describing to them:
a worth that can’t be mirrored or matched,
it’s too easy to get caught in the nets of –
“tomorrow’s tasks” and “today’s necessities”,
we take for granted: what these things mean to us,
what these things are for us – the work that has been,
back-breakingly and unfailingly – out of loyalty;
A loyalty that doesn’t bend or give with pressure,
doesn’t burn under the heat of a torch’s flame,
these things of importance, take heed of them –
they are a gift from a God or Goddess to you,
sent to our lives for specific purposes and reasons,
we too often, become easily aware of their presence;
yet, we come to fool our human minds of the permanence,
of those who stand most staunchly at our sides in battle,
those who bleed with us in the trenches, who deliver us salvation,
we abuse them and deny them of their precious worth –
a worth measured thousands of times higher than the purest gold,
a resource more necessary than water to drink or food to eat,
these things of importance go unseen beneath our feet;
There is one thing of importance, that I have recently seen –
a bear and its trainer have thoroughly shown this to me,
the wondrous ties that bind, and connect some of us,
to a much bigger, much broader and profound destiny,
things of importance that were long ago, handed to me,
things that I’ve lived this long unable to see.
Dicky (Richard) Hatfield demonstrated perfectly: the epitome of “sayin’ something – doin’ nothing”.
With beady eyes and reptilian features, including obnoxiously yellowed-blonde hair that was reminiscent of a Bearded Dragon’s spiky scaled mane. His lower jaw was underbitten badly, and he had one, bright fluorescent blonde streak for an eyebrow that remained burrowed deeply in the center of his perpetually sunburned forehead. His voice was nasally and he always sounded to J as if he was begging not to be smashed in the face, no matter what he was actually saying. He was an idiot and a judgmental ass; a tattletale and a poor sport; a man nobody trusted or liked – only tolerated – because of who he was little brother to.
Dicky’s infuriating machismo and self-righteous attitude had found him the fat end of more than one Louisville in his time alive so far. Dicky Hatfield also happened to be what the guys (and J) from the shooting range referred to as a stereo-typical ‘BOB’, the acronym used among them in short for ‘Brother of Boss’. The brother that represented the son-of-a-bitch’s Lifetime Get out of Jail Free Card was the none other than the local face of the Law: Sheriff Mac Hatfield , a fair enough man…
J: Don’t act like you don’t recognize the name Hatfield, S!
S: Oh Ye! I do, I do! I…..do…..
J: Yes, Einstein! Now, it’s coming back to you isn’t it?…you fuckhead, shit!
Red the Undead turned slowly around to face the girls without the industrial strength flood lights from inside the shop blazing in his eyes, pulling a dirty rag saturated in grease and gear oil from his back pocket and wiping his brow before speaking in his drawling, matter-of-factly tone – one that bore so much bass that his final word of a sentence resonated between one’s eardrums for moments after he finished speaking; he said,
“Well, there’s only one thang we can do with this shiny little mo-chine now ain’t there?”
J: Red, we can’t take it back – don’t make us take it back, they’ll put us both away for eons and you know it!…
Red cut her off and held up his huge hand to silence her anxious plea, he whistled a sharp, shrill chirp loudly and his huge Malamute appeared behind him;
“We gotta get this Mini to the Chop Shop before sunrise, Ladies…” Red smacked a hand against his thigh and the dog snapped to attention when he addressed it, “Let’s go Bullet, get in the tow truck.”
J sighed as she watched the pinkish-red brake lights come to life through the motion amidst the busy parking lot; she eased out onto the road slowly, following every traffic rule she could think of at the moment, including the use of her blinker as she slowed again and pulled off to the shoulder to wait for S to snail-crawl the ancient Mini from its inconspicuous spot towards the rear of the lot.
Inconspicuous to everyone besides S…
J thought to herself, chuckling.
After several anxious moments of an unintentional, however – record-breakingly uncanny – imitation of a bobble head in the driver’s seat on the side of road waiting for her fairy-like partner in crime, the Mini at last appeared in the lineup of cars waiting its turn to pull out onto the highway. Before long, the two friends were in tight caravan formation and heading home, or so J thought.
The fog was sinking down onto the road with the setting sun, and J wasn’t sure but she thought she saw the Mini driving itself during several stretches of straight two-lane highway. Additionally, J mentally noted at least five separate cigarette butts flying out the driver’s side window in the deepening darkness of night: something she had to make certain to give S a good chastising for when they got home. Just then her phone rang from the passenger side door panel, where she has stashed it prior to indulging in her earlier catnap; the vibration rattled it down deeper in the door’s built in pocket as J imagined herself as Gumby or Inspector Gadget and tried in vain to lean far enough over to reach it.
Another red cherry butt of a cigarette exploded against the windshield.
J thought to herself, and tore to the right with her grip on the steering wheel with a few quick flashes of her high beams at the Mini in front of her. Oddly, her best friend is pulled over and out the Mini before J can even put the vehicle she is driving in NEUTRAL.
S: What’s the problem? Let’s just pull off up there at the next exit if your toes are cramped up, eh?
J: My toes are not cramped up, S…did you just try to call me right now?
S: Oh, ye…I did…I was going to suggest that we stop over at Red’s and let him take a look at it, see what he thinks, you know?
J: Now? Seriously? It’s white-hot, S…I think we need to cover it with canvas for a while in the junk pile out back or something; not flaunt it all over to our friends in a pissing contest…
S: So you’ll follow me over there, to Red’s?
J lets out the frustrated sigh that S has come to know and love the way a child associates a special blanket to comfort;
J: Yeah…S…yeah but let’s go! And stay off your phone no smoking while you drive!
S: Okay! Follow me!
S hops back to the archaic Mini and starts the engine with a fierce and victorious howl from her doll-sized lungs before pulling out into the traffic. J pulls out right behind her and matches her speed as they make their way to see Red the Undead – the best mechanic around.
She has a tangible, imaginary friend
who comes to shine when the light grows dim,
who calls off the demons that crawl under the skin,
who forces her upright when her knees keep giving in.
An unimagined force that flows between the minds
inside of two hard-heads,
a whisper that breathes the hope of life back into a dream, long dead,
a tickling in the inner-ear, recalling words
that were heard and said,
She is a tangible, imaginary friend
who hears a clone of her own crying across the sea,
who speaks to the spirits and commands them to be,
who remembers each lifetime and treasures such memories.
not a single loose string hanging from the thickened vine
of life-line towed between the two,
a shadow to the naked eye, a real-life confidant, tried and true,
a beckoning that guides the sight of the eyes
a coconut flavored truth.
The car, with its trunk now packed to capacity by sloshing, black trash bags, was hosed down and shammed dry, engine running and brake lights blazing red through the darkness. J gunned the gas pedal a few times to affect her growing impatience with her best friend (who she loved fiercely, obviously).
J: Let’s roll, Short stack! It’s getting metallic in here!
J: Mmmmm hmmmm As the two roll on, deaf farmer’s farm-bound, S leans over and turns up the music to blast Nina loudly.
S: I LOVE this song!
J: Me too!
J: You know, Bear?…You didn’t have to murder four people just to get me over for coffee and a play date…?
S: I honestly didn’t intend to murder four people, J, I promise…
J: I know, I know…we really gotta work on your inner-vigilante some more, babe…this is what Henry was talking about when he was telling us about collateral damages…you won’t be able to call me prison cell to prison cell…
S: Don’t start with me…you’ve got some blood in your eyebrow…it’s about to get in your eye…
J: I know what you’re doing, S…it’s not gonna work… J wipes her brow with a quick swipe, and turns down the volume of the radio.
J: I’m no murderer…
S: No… but your best friend can be one…
S: And, you are a really good housekeeper…just saying… J lightly chops S in her throat as a gesture of love and acceptance before saying: “You sawed-off, scary lil’ Fucker….you know I’ll come clean your house any day of the week…”
A NOTE ON THE VOICES OF “S” AND “J”:
• “S” SOUNDS LIKE AN ADORABLE SOUTH AFRICAN (WITH TOURRET’S)
• “J” SOUNDS LIKE A HIGH-STRUNG VALLEY GIRL (WITH TOURRET’S)
Liquid noisily splashing against plastic sheeting in background.
J: So, uhhhh….were ya gonna tell me about the toaster or…..?
S: J…would you please stop stepping there! You’re making a mess – LOOK!!!
J: Sorry, oh oops…my foot was stuck to some Jello-y stuff that’s stuck down…oh shit…oops…
S: J! Stop fucking around and help me with the mirror real quick – hurry!… or else the dude you didn’t see yet becomes a problem for us!
J: Okay, okay… slips and slides her way over to the counter and climbs up next to S, who is tearing off a sheet to cover the vanity mirror with
J: Bear! The toaster!
S: Right right…the toaster…
the two struggle briefly to reach all the way to the ceiling, as they are only ten feet tall – combined.
J: This is about your Gods damned burgle, isn’t it?
S: Huh? Oh….that….huh?
J: Don’t play dumb with me!
S: You do realize your own circumstantial lack of leverage here, don’t you?
J: THE TOASTER!!!
*The final sheet of plastic has been lain; and the two tiny creatures sit down on the vanity counter-top with surprisingly heavy ‘thuds’, one grinning widely and the other exhaling a sigh of frustration *
S: That toaster was well worth the money I spent on it, though – for the record…
J is totally distracted by a shimmer in a puddle of dark blood