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4

06/06/2012

“Can you tell us anything else about him?” asked the bored looking detective.

“N-no. Not really, I mean. I was kind of out it” I smiled sheepishly “I was trying to catch a couple of winks–until the one guy hit me.” I wanted to feel bad for the dead man, but other than revulsion at the memory of the corpse I was feeling a little numb just now.

“Right, so what I’ve got is white male, mid to late 20’s, about six feet tall, average weight” the detective sighed “and you can’t remember eye color, hair color? Did he have tattoos? Or a scar maybe?”

“No sir. Like I said, I was. . .”

“You were trying to sleep. Right.” The detective shook his head as he continued to stare down at the note pad in his hand. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small case “tell you what, you remember anything else–and I mean anything— you call me at this number”.

The detective handed me a card with a phone number he had circled on it, which was his personal cell phone number apparently.  I took the card and clipped it inside the little metal clipboard I carried. The truth was every detail of the murderer —hero?– was still engraved firmly in my memory. It’s not often you see a man straight out of an action movie, actually do things from an action movie.

I wasn’t sure why I was reluctant to give them details. Maybe it was because I felt indebted to him in some way. I think I was on the verge of developing a man-crush on him. I tried my best to shake it off and get my head back focused.

I still had to go to work.

Of all the things I had dealt with so far this morning work was the one I had trouble contemplating. For the third time that day, I froze. It wasn’t even ten a.m. yet and I’d encountered more foreignness in one day than I would have if I’d been dropped off in a Marrakesh market.

What was happening to me? What the hell was happening to this world?

I’d always counted myself an atheist, but today I felt the hand of some greater force stirring, moving the landscape, the fabric of my reality to please him or herself.

I needed a drink.

—-

I never realized there was a ‘get out of work free’ card mostly because you have to be witness to a double homicide to get one. I poured myself a tumbler full of whiskey and thanked the universe for that small favor.

I sat in my little tinderbox of a house in complete silence. The idea of playing a video game where you killed people seemed almost abhorrent to me. Almost. I smiled as I closed my eyes and replayed the scene that had taken place on the bus that morning. I’m sure my memory wasn’t entirely reliable, and now, aided by alcohol, I was watching my own personal John Woo film complete with doves.

I clicked on the TV and sat back with my feet propped up on a small table covered with work that I’d brought home over the past few months.  I switched aimlessly through channel after channel looking for anything to take me away from all my troubles.

It was approaching noon and I was pretty well sloshed when I heard the commotion outside. My neighbors had apparently taken the day off as well and came home to celebrate, their loud music battering the thin walls of my house once more.

Under normal circumstances I’d be pissed–and do nothing about it. Today was different though; I was drunk. I was easing myself into a blackout drunk and the thumping bass coming from the neighbors  stereo was actually seemed pleasant, providing a comfortable rhythm that was lulling me to sleep.

The music stopped and I jerked awake at the sudden silence. I poured myself another tumbler of the honey colored liquid and took a sip. It took a few minutes for me to notice, but the neighbors music wasn’t the only thing that had gone away. My TV was off as was the air conditioning that had been slavishly pumping out cool air trying to bring the interior temperature of my house down to the low 80’s.

I steadied myself and walked to the window that overlooked the neighbor’s yard. As I looked out the window I could see my neighbors standing around looking out at the other houses. Power outages, while not exactly new, were a little unusual here in the suburbs. I went to my bedroom and found my laptop computer and opened it thinking to look up the local news stations webpage.

Unfortunately with the power off, and in my drunken state, I didn’t remember that there would be no Internet.I strolled outside glass of whiskey in hand as I wandered over to the neighbors to discuss our predicament.

“Hey Juan,” I began, slurring my words drunkenly “what the hell is happening? You do this?” I smiled at him and waved my glass sloshing whiskey around as I did.

Juan and his wife, and several of their friends stood out back on his patio beers in hand not looking particularly concerned about the power outage. “No man, but hey who needs lights?” He smiled and beckoned his wife over with a fresh beer which he offered to me. “Just cause we ain’t got no electricity don’t mean we can’t have ourselves a party!”

I took the beer gratefully and popped the tab swilling it down and chasing it with whiskey. I realized I had the procedure backwards and laughed as I took another drink of whiskey and this time chased it down with the beer. Juan and his friends didn’t seem to care.I was glad that nobody had noticed my party foul, but I still wanted information. Call it the curse of the modern age, but I just can’t stand around not knowing what’s going on in my world.

Juan’s wife who I think was called Teresa, sent one of her children off to find a chair for the new guest which I collapsed into gratefully as my legs just didn’t seem to have the impetus to keep me upright much longer.

“So hey man,” Juan began “what you doing home from work so early in the day?”

I started to think of a response, but I just wasn’t sure how to put into words what it happened to me that day. “The government, decided they can help anybody anymore.” I laughed “so they sent me home.”

Juan stared at me all traces of humor draining from his face. “No shit? I knew shit was getting bad, but man…”

I started to correct him. I didn’t want him wandering around thinking that the government was in total collapse but somehow the alcohol prevented me from expressing those thoughts.

“Oh yeah buddy” I gave him a wink this time. “The shit has officially hit the fan!”

Of course the truth of the matter was that my official shit had hit the fan. But I was drunk and I just didn’t give a fuck.

Juan called his wife over and put his arm around her. “You hear what he said honey?” He said pulling her close “said the government got no money.”

The woman I thought was called Teresa, looked at me and smiled. “He’s just drunk. If I listened to everything a drunk man said I would be married to your brother!”

We all shared a laugh at that, but the truth was those words were closer to the real truth than any of us knew.

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2 Comments
  1. This is shaping up to be just as good as your first one. Thank you for writing.

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