posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 08:36 PM
That voice was so annoying. When she used it she sounded so uneducated. I tried really hard to distance myself from her ignorance. When confronted
about it, I denied that I felt that way, but I wasn't really known for my honesty and she knew that.
It carried all the way through the house and met me on the back porch. I had just finished 'relaxing' the way that was all too common for me those
days. My head felt stuffy and my chest hurt a little, but I liked it a lot and I wasn't about to quit. It was about six o'clock, so she was just
getting home from work.
She called my name one more time and her voice had changed a little bit. I didn't like the sound of it, but I wasn't angry at it this time. As much
as I didn't appreciate what she was, or where she was from, I still didn't want her to hurt. She was definitely panicked.
'Something's wrong with Donny! HURRY UP!' The front door was wide open and she had a terribly desperate look on her face.
The trip to the carport seemed to only take one step. God, I hated that place. The engine was still running and he was just sitting there, with his
hands on the wheel. His eyes were closed and there was some drool or something coming out of his mouth. His head was cocked slightly sideways and he
looked like he was asleep. I pushed on his shoulder and called his name. He didn't move. I knew she was watching and that I had at least better make
it look good, so I shook him harder and yelled a little louder. He still didn't move. 'Is he Dead?' Just two days before, she had complained to me
that he was sucking the life out of her. 'Sometimes I just wish he would go ahead and die.'
A month before, he had bled from his eyes. Apparently high blood pressure can do that. Who would have thought? He went through the motions and wore
that silly walkman-like monitor for a week or so, but he kept eating everything he could find in the icebox. He would mix it all together and eat it
cold. That always grossed me out. I was always so much more refined. He embarrassed me. he used to have a job, but hadn't for years now.
I didn't have a lot of respect for the man back then, but he was always there for me. When I returned home from Basic he gave me a car. Not just any
car, but the Nova that they would come pick us up in the one time a year we saw them. It had died one night in a run down part of Dallas and we all
thought we were goners. My brother was with us back then. The old man closed his eyes and got really quiet for a couple minutes. When he opened them
up, he turned the key and the Nova started right up. It never even sputtered after that.
My brother had disappeared after his tour in the Marines and left his huge gold Impala behind. It had a cracked block, but was otherwise just fine.
Donny used this car when she was at work and when it was time for her to come home, he would move it out from under the carport so she could park
closer to the front door. That's what he was doing that night.
I was every bit of a hundred and fifty pounds then. When you feed the wrong wolf, that tends to happen. He outweighed me by a hundred pounds. I
couldn't budge him. so there he sat. I turned the key off and tried to figure out what was next. That's when the smell hit me. That car outlasted
the old man by at least a dozen years. When it was sold, 'as-is' to those fine, non-English-speaking guys for six hundred bucks, it still had the
same smell and the same cracked block.
"What are we going to do?" Her tears melted the resentment just enough to get a response. 'We have to call the police,' I told her.
She turned into a shadow and her proximity to me was discomforting. I picked up the phone, dialed 911 and told them that I would like to report a
death. The dispatcher sounded a little surprise. 'A DEATH?' I suppose she didn't get too many of those back then. The lack of emotion in my voice
surprised me too.
The one time in my life that I ASKED for help from the cops, they showed up as soon as I hung up. Addicts don't tend to enjoy the company of the men
The two guys were huge. I knew they could tell that I wasn't all there. I didn't care. I just wanted them to get rid of the body. I don't know why
they wouldn't believe me. He was dead. They're the experts though. The ambulance got there about a minute later. I felt like I should have done
something more, but he was dead, what good was anything going to do? They put him in the ambulance while she cried and I tried to give the cops the
stupid details they wanted. Flippant would be an accurate description of my attitude.
'What are we going to do?....what are we going to do?' I finally got tired of hearing the whimpering and lashed out at her. 'We're not going to
do ANYTHING. HE'S DEAD!' That shut her up, but the cops looked at me really weird. Looking back, I wonder if their perception of my cold heart was
the same as mine. Always scribbling on that damn pad. When they were convinced that somebody didn't kill him on purpose, they mumbled some sort of
crap and disappeared.
The ambulance stayed outside on the street for what seemed like an hour. Flashing those stupid F-ing lights. At least they turned the damn siren off.
Even in death he was embarrassing me. The neighbors all stood out there and watched, like it was some great mystery, or some sick work of art. I wish
they would all just go back in their damn houses. I stood there too, at the door; not because I wanted to, but because it was important for me to seem
like I cared. I don't know why appearances were so important.
I even hugged her once that night, but it took everything I had. When she was in Alaska for those six years, I sent her a picture I had drawn with
polar bears and penguins. Every six year old knows that's where they live.
The EMTs weren't EMTs back then. They were Paramedics. The one opened the door and stepped out towards the house. 'Finally!', I thought to myself.
"There's just nothing we could do.' he genuinely thought that he had to tread lightly with what he said. It must have been a hell of a lot harder
for him than it was for me. I can't even remember what my response was, but it led to more bawling from her.
They pulled away slowly and turned the lights off a couple houses down. The neighbors were still milling around, but we went inside. That crappy
little house seemed a little different now. I knew there was going to be a little while left before she would stop her crying and I could go take care
of my OWN pressing business.
She blamed herself for wishing he was dead. That was fine with me. In fact, I don't think I could have cared less. Maybe now I wouldn't have to
hear any more complaining about him.
Two days later she had decided that we would move into a smaller place, an apartment this time. Thank God. Anywhere would be better than here. That
weekend, three brothers, a sister and a couple of aunts showed up. Everyone was just so apologetic. I just wished it would be over already. How many
days does a living person have to give up anyway? Three brothers in uniform. what a sight. The coffin was the heaviest thing I had ever carried. I
wondered how they made it look so smooth on TV.
The day after the service came the moving sale. Being the good son I was, I took care of that. 'Everything must go.' was my mantra and everything
did go. as I watched the strangers picking through the garbage I was selling, it amazed me how little they cared about the story behind it all;
perhaps even less than I did. 'Everything must go.' 'How much for this?' How many times had it heard it that day? "One dollar.' I had said that
so many times, it seemed that everything was a dollar. 'Fifty cent?' Inevitably. They all wanted to feel like they were getting a bargain. 'Sure.'
I would say. I didn't really matter to me any way. Strangers that I despised made some good deals that day. Being the good son that I was, I put the
wad of cash that made up my cut and left to feed a wolf.