Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fear Is In The Eye Of The Beholder pt 2

“You got another one of those?” I ask Gil. He pulls another cigarette out of the pack handing it and the lighter to me.

“What in the hell are we waiting for? You forget how to start the car?” I ask him, before laughing hard and heavy in his face.

He gets his piece of shit Corolla going and we get rolling. Gil's driving erratically and it's making me fucking tense. I hate it when Gil's stoned, the dope turns him into an old man with a severe head injury.

“Okay, I've had enough of this ride,” I shout at Gil. I had it together until we hit the highway, six lanes moving north to south, it broke me.

“Let me out of the car. I want to walk.” I yell in Gil's ear but he's trying to ignore me. “Let me the fuck out now!” I demand.

“Shut up. I'm trying to drive. ” Asshole snarls at me.

“I have to get out of this car we're being followed by a priest in a Lincoln Town Car, an off-duty cop in a Ford Taurus, and Dolores' first husband Daniel, in an Oldsmobile Cutless. This evil three are going to take us down.”

“Shit. Can you please just calm down. I don't think any of those people are behind us. Even if they are, they're not going to do anything now, this street is too busy.” Gil begs me, but he doesn't realize the trouble we're in.

They think I haven't figured out who they are, but by God, I'm on to them. I'm on to them like stink on shit. They're gonna catch up to us if you don't speed up, I can already taste the blood in my throat. I bet Dolores sent them, she's out to punish me.

“Stop being a pussy and speed up or we're doomed. The priest is gaining on us, I can see him in the mirror. He's gonna go around us and cut us off down the road.”

“Alright, I'll speed up a little.”

“You know, when I was a kid, my dad was a drunk, loved betting on dogs. Mom, well, she was sweet lady, but she died when I was thirteen. That really messed me up. Dad didn't know what the fuck to do with me, so he just left me alone. You know what I did? You know what the fuck I did? I ran away, just took off. I wanted to join the circus. When I was a kid, I read a book about a kid who ran away and joined the circus. I'd always liked the idea. Well . . . I traveled around until I found a circus . . . A guy named Lester gave me a job selling tickets and cleaning the animal cages. Then I met a girl, a contortionist named Sandy. Was she somethin' else. What a body. Not much up top, but an ass that could bring tears to your eyes. I traveled with them for awhile. Sandy and I became an item, which pissed off her parents and some of the other performers. Most of these people were circus folks for life, had been for generations, and they didn't care much for me. They thought I'd get tired of it and want to leave, taking Sandy with me. After a few months, we ended up in Texas. Man, Texas . . . God awful place. You know I have this fear that I'll either die in Texas or that when I die my soul will be trapped in Texas for all of eternity. It was in Texas that Sandy broke it off. That fucked me up. I left and went back to Missouri. When I got there I found out my father had taken off. I had nothing. But fuck it, I'm here now, drunk as hell. The big king or some shit.”

“That is a hell of a story. How come you've never told me that one before?”

“Gil, my man, it's too painful to think about for too long. You never get over your first love.”

“I hear ya . . . I think about mine more than I should.”

“I think we need to prepare ourselves.”

“For what?” Gil asks.

“We're about to go down. A cop and Dan Mankowski are right behind us, and the priest is somewhere lurking around and I'm pretty sure the guy next to us in the silver car is a narc.”

“What the fuck is a matter with you?”

“This is a perfectly reasonable freak out I'm having.”

“Shut up. There are no cops or priests around and you told me Dan is dead.”

“I never told you that, and I'm being very fucking serious about this situation.”

“Just calm the fuck down until I get you home. Close your eyes, pretend none of it is happening.”

“If you would drive like a man and not a drivers ed reject, we would have lost these guys already.”

“We're fine. There's no one following us.”

“You're not hearing me. We're far from fine, in fact everything is falling apart.”

“We're near your house. Just cool out for me. I'm too stoned for your shit right now.”

“You need to lay off the dope, you've gone stupid on me. They're going to nail us at my house. It's the perfect place for this kind of thing. They'll kill me and blame you. We'll both be fucked.”

“Jesus Christ Chet, are you out of your mind? What you're saying doesn't even make sense.”

“Listen to me, I know what the hell I'm talking about, bad shit is about to happen to us.”

“We're two fuckin' blocks from your house, shut the hell up you drunk bastard.”

“Don't say I didn't warn you. When we get to my place and they're waiting for us. Not a fuckin' word outta ya. Got me.”

Chet and I arrive at the house unscathed, but I'm now gripped by fear. Chet says goodbye as he lunges, propels himself out of the car, and unto the driveway, where he scans the area around us thoroughly. Panic stricken, I watch him walk from the driveway and into the house. At some point, probably within sight of my house, they will pounce. I take out a cigarette and light it, then turn off the car, recline my seat, and pull my t-shirt over my face. If I can't see them, then they don't exist. When I was a kid, I would pull my blankets over my head when something terrifying was lurking in my room. It was a move that worked for me then, no reason it can't work for me now.

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