Friday, March 19, 2010

A Day with George (Part 5)

In silence, George and I walk the few blocks to the river. It's a gorgeous day outside. People are walking their dogs, while kids go by on their bikes, and a sweet spring breeze is rustling the leaves, blowing pleasantly against our faces. George seems to be getting it back together, at least beginning to relax.

We get to the park and take a seat on a bench near the water. We haven't said a word to one another since we left the zoo. I'm enjoying the quiet. The only distraction is George's leg which is twitching uncontrollably. His face is a mask of confusion and his lips are moving but no words are coming out. I try to ignore it until he takes the picture of Marilyn out of his left breast pocket and begins to rub his thumb along her cheek, muttering a string of incomprehensible words.

The people continue passing, others sit down on the grass near us. George's muttering grows louder, he is now audible to all of those around us and passing. I still can't make sense of what's he's saying. Then the wrong person passes.

“Excuse me, is your friend okay?” The young man asks. I look at the man carefully. He is the athletic type with short brown hair and a perfect white-toothed smile. “You could be a Kennedy,” I say to him, fearing that if George makes the same grim connection he might try and attack this man. George, depending on the day, blames either John F. or Bobby Kennedy for Marilyn's suicide. I look over at George who has a scowl on his face and I immediately realize that he's made the connection and so when the man looks over at George, the expected happens and George freaks out on him.

George is quickly on his feet and pushes the man in the chest a couple of times. The man takes a few steps back until he feels he's in a safe range. “Damn you! Damn you!” George shouts. Get away from me you bastard! You weaselly little asshole. I'll kick your ass!”

George is now totally out of control. I try grabbing a hold of him to get him back on the bench but he twists away and takes a swing at me, his fist connecting with the side of my face. Spinning left and drifting, I fall back a bit as he kicks me in the ass, then punches me on the top of my head.

“Hands off, you son of a bitch!” He screams at me. I'm now on the ground. I look up, George is running full speed, hands in the air, then I hear his shouts as he dives into the river. I shrug at the people standing around me watching George swim. I get on my feet and watch him head down river, moving strong and fast. I'm impressed. I take a seat on the bench and keep watching until George is just a speak, then, gone. This wasn't the first time George has done this. The last time he made it a half mile down river, then claimed to ride a manatee to shore after he almost drowned. This time, who knows, maybe he'll swim all the way to the sea.

I wasn't sure what else to do, so I watch the water slide by. I lose myself in the rippling water, the scents of spring, the feeling of the breeze through my hair. After awhile the sun begins sinking. Once it's dark, I head home, make myself some dinner and wait for George to return home.

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