Chapter 8: A Thanksgiving Remembered.
A neon Burger King sign illuminated the brown shuffling figure that was Remy. He smacked his lips at the sight of a discarded Whopper in the parking lot. Picking it up, he put it under his filthy rags of clothes and set out to find a location to eat. A place where he would be hidden and out of sight.
The burger meat was cold, the bun stale, and the cheese hard. Surprisingly he didn’t have to pick off any insects. Usually, depending on how long the food was on the ground, the ants always attacked first, then the bees set to work, and if it was a substantial piece of organic protein, the maggots would soon take up residency. Remy was only forced to pick off maggots one time, before he knew the ins and outs of being a condemned person. It was right after she took everything and changed the locks on the doors. His drinking drove them away, it drove everyone away. He had no where to go but the gutter, and there he stayed, just like he deserved.
“When is your mother getting here?” he shouted from his chair in the living room.
“You need to go and get her from the bus station. Damn, don’t you remember anything?”
“Don’t patronize me woman, I remembered. What time?”
“You need to leave in about ten minutes, and you need to stop at the store to get some dinner rolls,” the female voice ringed in his ears. He loved her to death but she never stopped sounding like the little squealing high school girl he asked to Prom all those years ago.
He opened the drawer on the end table and thumbed open the flask filled with his favorite companion, Mr. Black Jack Daniels as he affectionately called it. Good ole fashioned southern fire water, just like his daddy used to drink when mamma wasn’t lookin’. He took a pug off the steel canister and an extra because he had to deal with the Mother in law. His buzz set right in letting the awkward smile and distant gaze come back, he was to drunk to drive, that was for certain. You see, he was one of those functioning alcoholics. Able to be piss drunk and still perform regular tasks just as good as a sober person would. Well, almost just as good. He grabbed his keys.
“Give us a kiss babe,” he puckered and she pecked him.
“You okay to drive?”
“Sure I am, just had a little taste to take the edge off.”
“You better watch that, you know how your father got with that stuff,” she said.
“Don’t compare me to Dad, you know I hate that.”
“Sorry I brought it up, be nice to my Mom. It is Thanksgiving after all, let us try and be civil. If Roger and I have to be on our best behavior than so do you.”
“Well maybe if she wasn’t such a condescending bitch. She comes in here every holiday to white glove the place, and then criticize our parenting,” he said.
“It’s just her way,” she defended.
“Des, it’s insulting.”
She walked over and put her arms around his neck. The long silky red hair flipped back and Remy caught the sent of flowers. The pair of deep set blue eyes stared into his.
“Let this be a peaceful day for us, for me?” she pulled herself into his chest and grabbed a handful of hair behind his head. It was one of those kisses you see in a soft core porn flick. Since they aren’t going to show any actual sex the foreplay better be damn theatrical. Remy left for the bus station. He would pick up her Mom, but forget the rolls. The first of many things he would forget, thanks to Mr. Black Jack.
Chapter 9: Ground Control to Major Winston.
John Martian dropped off his old Datson at the body shop and had a buddy take him home. He bumped a pole last night and didn’t want his Dad to see the damage to the back fender. He still lived with the parents; envious of his older brother who had the balls to get out. But John was the breadwinner, the prize boy, and he didn’t much mind living at home still. Free rent, food, and the company wasn’t so bad, I guess. He came in to find his father sitting at the table with an open letter from the Police Academy in his hands. Some follow up to John’s acceptance judging by the look on his father’s face.
“Why? Are you stupid? Your brother is out there everyday risking his neck for what? A city of hoodlums who should just as well kill each other off and be done with it.”
“Dad it isn’t like that and you know it. Art is doing good work and saving lives. Plus, I can do this, make good money, and take care of you and mom.”
“If you live long enough,” his Dad said. John was at his end with the argument about this. His father always dictated every decision and aspect of his life. He was his father’s puppet, and he was fed up. He would be a cop, just like his brother.
John’s Mother gasped in horror looking at the junior and senior Martian men. John squared up like a young buck lion ready to challenge the Alpha Male for control of the pride. He would never hit his father, he loved his dad. He just wished he could have the approval of his best friend, have him be proud of this choice.
He would go into the Police Academy no matter what, in fact he had already paid the fees with the money he had saved from being a mall Security Officer. Driving around in circles all night and running out skateboarders with his flashlight was safer than being a full fledged cop, but John wanted to see action. Arthur always had crazy cop stories to tell whenever they were together. John wanted that sort of life, and he wanted it bad enough to risk his father’s disappointment. As any boy who has ever been in trouble with his father knows, “I’m disappointed in you” stings a thousand times worse than a smack to the head.
“Watch your mouth. Jesus, in front of your mother and all,” Winston Martian snapped back.
John left the screen door swinging from the force of his palm. He would take the side alley and sneak a cigarette to clear his head. Yet another thing his father would disapprove of. After about ten minutes of pacing around a small cement alcove, he heard a crash. The sound of metal fusing with other metal; a nasty car wreck. He started walking around to see where it happened. Then he heard his mother scream. John, started running.
Danny Machal May 24th, 2009