PROMISE KEEPER | a Tragedy in Various Acts
by Louis P. Jaennette
I felt shitty. I needed a shower.
There was this anti-bacterial soap that was ginger and lemon scented in the shower. I was a little reluctant to slap it onto my genitals. I’d had a very unpleasant experience with cologne one time.
I applied it gingerly and was pleased with the effect. I washed my balls, dick, the insides of my thighs and up into my butt crack real good. Then my hands and arms, and soon I was completely disinfected of any cooties that Frankie might have carried.
I went into the kitchen and grabbed a head of cabbage. I disinfected it too. I chopped it up and added fresh tomato slices and some avocado. I scooped some miracle whip into a bowl and added a splash of green Tabasco. That was my salad dressing. If I was going to fuck like a queer, I figured I might as well eat like one.
Crystal walked in.
“Is that the whole head of cabbage?”
“What happened in the hallway?”
“Frankie fell down.”
“He had an accident.”
“God, I hope he’s alright.”
Crystal went to work in the hall, straightening and scrubbing. I grabbed her purse off the couch and took it into the kitchen, set it on the counter and began to paw through. Valiums. There they were. I popped two and washed them down with a cold Diet Coke. I grabbed a banana and walked out the back door and into the garage.
I love my garage. I love the way it smells. I love the fact that everything there was placed there by me. I looked around eating the banana and tossed the peel up into the rafters.
Frankie’s bike was sitting there in the middle of my garage like an insult. I guess he walked home.
I walked the bike outside and sniffed at the winter air. I felt like a kid. The bike had speeds. Different speeds. These are things I don’t understand, but I would have guessed that Frankie would have a complicated bike.
I jumped on and cruised down the driveway. It pedaled easy and the brakes were on the handle bars.
I lived on a hill and turned right, heading down. The bike picked up steam and I lowered my profile over the handle bars. I could hear the tires on the pavement, faster now. The surface of the tires making contact was being reduced with speed, thin now. Thin piece of tire met the road and singing, sizzling sand sang now between the rubber and the pavement. Sand was spitting and splitting and the tires rode on sand now and the tenuous relationship with pavement had ended. I sat up to let the drag slow me, and my profile came up with me. The singing stopped and I was glad.
At times the world gets dark for me and it was happening. The wind got cold and the bike was too fast and the eyes of dead animals shone blue in the night like morbid reflectors on the roadside. The eyes stared helpless and scared, and I wanted to slow down, but I needed to get out of there.
Then yellow eyes. Now these were alive, and I knew it. I had to shit.
A chunky Latina barmaid leaned over the bar.
“Bathroom for customers only.”
I walked to the bar: “Gimme four shots of tequila.”
“That’ll be seventeen fifty.”
She popped her gum. “You got any money?”
“I’ve got that bike.”
“You wanna trade that bike for four shots of tequila?”
“Eight shots of Cuervo.”
She appraised the bike quickly. “Okay.”
She lined up eight shot glasses and filled them with Cuervo. I shot one down.
I shot another one down. “Hair of the DAWG!”
People were looking. I pounded two more. The fifth shot stayed in my windpipe awhile. Some of it wound up in my lungs I’m sure, but I got it down. It was time to take that shit.
“Key to the restroom, please.”
She gave me a key. It was attached to a mini club of some kind. I wondered momentarily about all the hands it had been in.
The bathroom smelled like piss, stale beer piss, but there was a latch on the inside and with the key in my hand I felt secure. I put both hands on my ass cheeks and spread them apart, then set them down on the pot. My butthole was an instant fire hose, blasting away with gaseous pressure. I heard someone brush against the door.
“Ocupado,” I said in a singsong voice.
No reply. I could sense someone out there.
“I’ll be a minute,” I said.
Silence. I could feel the heat from the Cuervo rising up in me. The Valiums added a touch of the surreal.
“Hey, shitbird. Get away from the door. I’ve gotta shit like a grown man.”
Once again I could sense a rustling.
“Beat it now, pervert!”
I’d had enough. I was pissed off now. I looked over to see an empty spool of toilet paper. The paper towel dispenser was empty. My ears burned with anger.
“I want my money back!”
The bathroom echoed with rage. I grabbed a handful of those paper covers for the toilet seat and swiped them through my ass. It was a mess. I grabbed another handful and ran it under the water in the sink. I made some progress there. I kept at it until all the toilet seat covers were gone.
The toilet wouldn’t flush. All those seat covers just plugged up the toilet and brown water spilled onto the floor. I stumbled out and looked around. Nobody was looking at me. I felt very drunk suddenly. I lurched to the bar and looked at my drinks. One of them had been fucked with.
“Hey! Who spit in my vodka? Who? Huh? Huh??”
I could see myself down there in the bar. I could hear myself saying things that didn’t make sense. I was riding something and couldn’t get off.
“I’m not asking for details! Just give me a clue!”
I pounded a shot.
“Who’s the shithound? Where is he?”
I couldn’t stop.
“Go look at the toilet!” I was yelling at no one in particular.
Someone yelled back. “You go look in the toilet.”
The whole bar erupted in laughter. I grabbed someone and rammed my head into his nose. Someone screamed. I was crawling now, behind the bar. I had the bike and I swung up into the saddle and crashed headfirst into smelly, sticky bottles everywhere, and people stomping me.
— to be continued? —
leave your vote below