The night started out with 2 racists in the Middle East Nightclub & Bar on the South side of Cambridge. Each man on the wrong side of a real bore of an argument. The spit that flew off their tongues stained the fabric of this particular dimension. The one we selfishly call ours.
My next case is a Walter Simms. Eighty-three. Wife deceased. Estranged from his children. No siblings. A truck from the Department of Water is pulling away as I arrive at his home. I wouldn’t have their job no matter how much it pays.
“The moon loves you, Dad,” said Jeep, one of my grandsons who lived in Maine and who was practically born in the seat of an old ’56 Jeep relegated to the farm. You can imagine very easily that is how Jasper got his nickname. The Jeep was an old army surplus vehicle left over from the Korean War that I was in during all of 1951. From the first, Jeep was a mover, hardly slowing down, except for cows, goats, sheep, hens and ducks, sometimes a pig as big as a mountain, at least big as your house. He roamed the whole farm and knew all its secrets, including the secret visitors that came onto the farm in the night time when most animals and people were sound asleep.
…I always wanted to have a shot at some of that inner dialogue speaking to me.
You know the shit that I’m talking about; the ‘Sex In The City’ voice, ‘True Romance’ and me hearing Alabama, or even I suppose, John-Boy from The ‘Waltons’. Any of them would have done and I wanted it to be from me for me.
It nearly happened. Once.
The voices of the three funny men occupy my headphones, and I rub my new, hastily bought gloves together. On a Friday afternoon, in early December, the central train station is naturally pulsating with luggage-burdened passengers. Their conversations are upbeat, their postures eager. I find it a nice change of pace; seeing faces that aren’t marred by frustrated creases. The train times are so far unaffected, and for the time being, civility reigns supreme. We’re all going home. And it is such a wonderful feeling.
Beachum stops at the Bi Lo to get his latest prescription filled. While he’s waiting he looks for something to kill the cat, some kind of poison. He looks up and down the aisles. It appears that grocery stores do not carry poison anymore.
“Where would I find the poison?” he asks the pharmacist
“What kind of poison are you looking for?” asks the pharmacist. He acts as if the mere contemplation of such a question has given him indigestion.
“Something that will kill a cat.”
The pharmacist sighs. “There are many things that will kill a cat,” he says stapling a sheaf of instructions and disclaimers six inches thick to the bag containing Beachum’s prescription that no one, least of all old Beachum, will ever read.
“Can you recommend something?”
The pharmacist shakes his head sadly. “No,” he says.
And now little Charlie is banging on the door. He doesn’t understand why his dad has locked himself in there, and neither do I. All I know is that I started looking at myself in the mirror and now I can’t get out. And I’m sweating through my shirt, my tie hanging undone around my neck. And I’ve only just realised that my trousers are down around my ankles. I’m ridiculous. A grown man rooted to the floor with his trousers down. Imagine if Charlie was to see that? He’d be traumatised, confused, even more than I am.