Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Halloween Night


I cant recall much of my college days, it feels to me much like all a blur. Part of the condition was due to the fact of all the constant drinking I did, with my fellow artists at the time. This particular story was of one of those filthy Halloween nights that me and Steve shared.

We had once spoken about writing and illustrating the 8 years we wasted at the Fashion Institute of Tech in NYC. This here is part of that project, enjoy!



 

(art sketched by me and painted by Steve)




1001 FILTHY NIGHTS: A FILTH SLITHERS IN BROOKLYN

 

By: S.J. Wameling II

 

Though most nights in New York City can yield weirdness,
Halloween seems to be king of them all. The popular belief is that all the real degenerates stay inside and let the amateurs have at it for a night...
teachers, Wall Street types and other assorted retail salesman and pet shop owners. This is wrong. To others of a much different temperament,Halloween is just a reasonable excuse to run amok in public, raving drunk,dressed as Margaret Thatcher, committing the most vicious of crimes and giving small trick or treaters’ and their parents, brain damage at the spectacle of it all.

As I recall this particular Halloween started like many others, light chatter around a pitcher of beer wondering what parties we might attend and how we might get there. The call came in around 5:30 I think, to my friend Al who was already half in the bag from too much drink and not enough food. The call was from one of his long lost brothers, from the felonious side of the family. Dase. Or Irving as his rap sheet might read. He had just gotten out of prison about a week before and wanted to get drunk and violate his parole as quickly as possible. Al hadn’t seen him in years. Not since
Dase got sent up on a whole laundry list of charges ranging from petty theft and sneak thievery, to sodomy and other wretched charges that even I won’t repeat here.

“Well….” Al said, “My brother said we should pass through in like a
half hour.”
“Where does he live?” I asked.
“Sunset Park. We’ll have to take the bus.”
“OK,” I said, “But we’re going to need supplies, how long of a ride
is it?”
“About 45 minutes I think.”
“Well… we had better get moving then.” After 20 minutes or so of
gathering bags of chips, liquor and other supplies at the china-man store down the block, we were finally ready for the bus.

The wait wasn’t long, and we boomed onto the bus like two bull elk
with tranquilizer darts sticking out of our necks, bumping into people, knocking things over, grunting and cursing and not offering an apology to anyone for any of it. The bus was jammed full with people. There were mainly young mothers and there offspring dressed in they’re Halloween costumes. Sweet faced little monsters and other assorted trolls, spider-men,hob-goblins and glitter crusted ballerinas. Most of the children were completely overcome with sugar fatigue, eyes wide open and unresponsive. Foam decorated they’re mouths from Pop Rocks, Pepsi and Now-N-Laters.
 Some were even sleeping peacefully in they’re mother’s arms. They were at least until Al sat down with a huge thud and launched into a loud soul purge about the looseness of his bowls.

“Jesus fucking Christ.” he yelled. “I haven’t had a solid shit in
almost a week and I can’t seem to stop farting.” Just then, a terrible rippling noise erupted from his seat and he laughed greedily. Al tore open a huge bag of chips, most of which ended up on his chest and eventually on the floor. “I think I need to cut down on all the grease I’m eating." He continued. "I get pains right here.” He jabbed himself in the left part of his chest with his thumb.
“It’s fucking killing me.”
“Nonsense!” I said sharply. “Would you rather be constipated? Eh?
7 or 8 whole days without evacuation, painful cramps, yellow skin and feeling so impacted you actually entertain the thought of going up there yourself with a high powered drill of some sort. No…. your better off the way you are. Less stress on the colon and the small veins in your skull.”

“Maybe your right.” he chomped, as potato chip shrapnel hit the
woman next to him.
“I know I’m right.” I said. The conversation was ugly and had turned
many heads in our direction. We were getting many disgusted looks from those around us.

Al had to be the filthiest individual I had ever come across in all my days. A foul mix of Picasso, Cortez and at times Hitler himself. Hitler was an artist you know. And so is Al. This man jams through life like a drunkard through traffic at 2 am on a Saturday morning. Total disregard for safety of any type and no respect for the established norms whatsoever. I’ve seen the man do many strange things. Some of which might be considered noble. But most things I’ve seen him do would make anyone shrink away with shame and embarrassment. But the main nut, I think, of Al is to make every one else in the room or within ranting distance, as uncomfortable as
possible. If for no other reason than to amuse himself. I have seen him brazenly spit on modern art pieces at the museum, boot people in the ass on the way out of an elevator before the door closes, and for no reason at all and turn a whole drafting table on its top, in the middle of class and then cackle proudly over it like some nut out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. Not to mention getting us kicked out of 2/3 of the bars in New York City, for.. if you can believe it, being too loud. We’ve even gotten kicked out many a no-
name Spanish bar in the heart of Brooklyn for being too loud. Generally speaking you can rant and rave at the top of your lungs on almost any subject in most of those types of establishments. If you‘re not white that is.

They’re very suspicious of gringos, make no mistake, and those that hang around them. Al might say, “look at that shit, my own people turn on me.”
Then, he tries to blame it all on me, the white man. “It’s your fault fool!
They don’t like seeing your kind in they’re neighborhood and they take it out on me. Fuck you! Why do I even hang wit you?”
 “Look, I’ve done nothing wrong,” I’d say, “I’m just sitting here trying to have a quiet drink; you’re the one causing trouble. All that yelling in a strange language and those jerky body movements no wonder they won't look you in the eye.”
I make a strong case to convince him, and whatever weird folk that might be in earshot, that I am only an innocent bystander to all of his filth. That I’m basically a good person and it shouldn’t matter that I’m white. But the shot glasses, light bulbs, signs taken from the walls, coasters, bowls, half empty
liquor bottles and other souvenirs falling out of my pockets betray my argument. My drunken kleptomania aside, it seems as though we are always in search of a new watering hole.

“Answer your phone.” I said.

”Huh?” Al looked around lazily.

“Godammit! The phone, answer it.”

“Phone? Oh shit... that’s me. Yeeohhh…” he drolled in a low voice.
“Ya, what up baby, what you doin’?”
Jesus fuck, I thought, there he goes again… slipping into his half dumb, Spanish Dean Martin persona. I’ve never heard anyone talk to so many different women at once. He has 4 different fianc├ęs in 3 different foreign countries, and other assorted “playmates” through out this one. And he seems to find at least two more each week. The funny part is he doesn’t even remember most of they’re names. I’m always waiting for him to slip up but it never comes. Perhaps he has an elaborate system of flash cards that I don’t know about. He says he remembers asses, not faces or names. Most half bright Puerto Rican men can usually get away with that kind of stuff. But constant drink and other abuses over the years, seem to have warped his brain farther out of whack than most Ricans I’ve run into, and that makes him a dangerous type of animal to be around.

“Who are you on the phone with now, God dammit?” I demanded.

“Just this tramp.” he replied. “No, no, not you baby, yeah that’s
right.” he continued.

“Hey fool, I think we’re here.”

“What?”

“We’re here!” I hissed. “Don’t we get off at 59th?”

“Yeah. Let’s go.” he said as he stood up and shook his body like a
wet dog, sending a meteor shower of crumbs onto everyone around him
while wiping his face with his greasy free hand.

“Watch what your doing!” One woman shouted, while brushing chip
fragments out of her child’s hair.

“Shut your mouth wench!” Al snapped back as we filed past all the
other passengers and slithered off the bus. “No, not you baby.” he said again.

“It’s a good thing we got off of there when we did… ” I said. “They
were ready to lynch us.”

“Never.” he replied. “They’re my people, they understand.”

“So which way do we go?” I asked as he hung up the phone.

“Up.”

“Up?”

“Yeah fool, up this way. We still have four blocks to walk.”

I had no idea where I was. I knew of course, I was in Brooklyn but I
had no idea how to get home if I had to go it alone and that was a distinct possibility with this one. You could never predict when he might disappear from right under your nose and call three days later, asking what happened,not able to remember how he woke up four hours upstate. It’s happened before. Twice. Would I really have to take a 45 minute bus ride just to get back to the train, alone? Then, an hour ride on the train back to Queens?
Shit… and if so… what bus would I even take? That would blow.
Especially in the condition I knew I was soon going to be in.
 
“Where’s the Bacardi?” I asked.
 
“Oh Fuck!!!” he shouted and slapped his forehead. “I must have left
it on the bus… Son of a bitch.”

“You worthless fucking Mexican!!!” I screamed. “You and your
fucking trollops… the next bottle is all you, slick!”
As we came up onto the block, right away I noticed about 5 or 6
criminal looking, thugs, yelling, screaming and carrying on outside of an old building. 

“Jesus Christ.” I said. “Look at them…. maybe we should cross the
street here.” I fondled the knife hitched to my belt.

“What for?” Al asked with a grin.

“I don’t want to get all tangled up with the likes of them; they’ve
probably been up for 3 days straight, doing cocaine, speed and crystal meth… eating unsuspecting white people every four or six hours just for fun. I can smell the blood on they’re breath from here.”

“You woman!” Al snapped. “Where you think we going? Bah ha!
That’s my brother right there!”

“Oh… great.” I said, as we continued our walk. Suddenly he broke
into a run up the sidewalk and punched the biggest one straight in the arm.

“Hey fucker!!” Al shouted. Four or so of the guys grabbed him by
the arms and held him fast, while two grabbed hold of me. Terrible
gibberish in Spanish, can’t understand a word.
The big one squinted, “Oh shit!” he exclaimed, rubbing his arm.

“Al!! You can let him go, dats my brother right dare.” Al looked over at me still in a meat hook hold. “Mi amigo Steve.”
 He said and the gorillas reluctantly released me.
 
“Yeah… hi ya doin?” They wanted to eat me. I could tell by the look
in they're eyes. I have seen that look before.

“Come on, lets go inside. I been waitin' for hours,” Dase rasped.
“Where the hell you been at?” Al and I shuffled up the steps and followed him in.

“Your friends ain’t coming?” I asked.

“Nah, I don't know dem. Only just met 'em tonight.”

“Still attracting the worst riff raffs in Brooklyn I see.” Al observed.

“You fuckers are here aint ya? So shut the fuck up! Ha-ha, it’s good
to see ya Al.”
 Dase led us down two flights of stairs until we reached a rickety paint chipped door.
 “We gonna have ta hang out down here tonight.
Da wife on da warpath. Told her I was going for cigarettes.”

“And how long ago was that?” Al asked. “I don’t know… afternoon time.” Dase replied.
 “Nice.” Al said.
Dase unlocked the door and we started down a new set of stairs in the dark, Dase was fondling the wall.

“Goddamn… oh, dares dat fucking switch.” Dase said triumphantly
and flicked it. A single light bulb was hanging overhead.
We descended the rest of the stairs and came into the basement of the tenement.
 A dirt floor? I remember my surprise, and as I looked around I noticed several holes dug in the dirt. There must have been ten or twelve of them.

“Why are there holes down here?” I asked.

“Don’t know.” Dase replied. “Didn’t dig ‘em.”

“Mira paga esa madita luz!” A voice whined from under a big
sombrero in a corner. I was shocked to see a small Mexican man slumped over a card table with a half bottle of white Bacardi in his grip. Dase stalked up to him and pushed him right off the pile of boxes he was sitting on.

“We playin' dominoes here, fuck off!”

“Dominoes?” the little man said. “Mi gusta dominoes.”

“Get your ass up here then.” Dase said. He went to the far end of the cellar and reached his hand into a big whole in the wall, where at least four bricks were missing and retrieved a full bottle of white Bacardi and a few dusty Styrofoam cups. I remember wondering how many other bricks down here were either missing or loose and how much it would hurt when the whole tenement came down on our heads.

“We need ice.” he said. “Come on Al; give me a walk to the store.”

“Wait I’m going too, you’re not leaving me down here with him.” I
said, as I started to put my coat back on.

“Nah wait here…” Dase said. “We gotta go see duh doctor too. He
don’t like white people he don’t know.”

“Doctor?” I said.

“Yeah… the tree doctor.”

“Tree doctor?” My brain began to work. “Ahh… trees… right.”

“So it’s you and Meh-he-co over there.” Al said as he and Dase
clomped up the stairs and disappeared.
I was soon to find out the little Mexican spoke almost no English and I spoke almost no Spanish. We stared at each other for a while. His drunken babble broke the silence. I shrugged my shoulders.

“I can't understand you.”
He babbled louder and faster.

“I…CAN’T…UNDER…STAND…YOU!” I said, matching his
volume and pitch. The little man sniffed at me and pounded his fists on the card table, jabbered wildly and kicked up a huge dust cloud. He was growing angry, I could be sure of that much. But I was prepared if things got ugly. I was armed with my usual cache of weapons, not just the small knife hitched to my belt, but also an obscenely large bastard nestled in my boot. He picked up the Bacardi bottle shook it, and pointed at me.

“Yeah, yeah…okay.” I said, as I picked up one of the cups and blew
some of the dust off it. The little Mexican laughed as he poured me a full cup. His eyes were like slits and he began to look more like a china-man than a Mexican. He held the bottle up garbled out what I thought might be a toast and took a huge swallow right out of the bottle.

“Salute!” I said as I took a drink from my cup. The Mexican wiped
his nose and laughed again. “So... Meh-he-co... you... ah... come here often?” I joked.

“Que?” he puzzled.

“Never mind.” I said, and began building a castle out of the
dominoes. He smiled and seem to approve of the construction.
We drank in silence for what was probably a half hour, when door
crashed opened and two a sets of footsteps came down the stairs. Dase appeared, and Al staggered down the stairs behind him. They were both clearly altered. Al cracked one of the rickety stairs and weaved wildly to the side catching his balance at the last moment but clanging the liquor bottles and ice he was carrying, against the stair case.

“God fucking damn it!!” he snarled. As Al walked the few feet to the
table I could see that the bag was pissing clear fluid. He had broken one of the bottles. Al clanged them into the warped card table, which quickly filled with rum and started to spill onto the ground making a mud puddle.
 “Jesus, no… oh god!! Why does this stuff have to happen??” Dase ried. He threw himself onto the ground into the puddle to catch the Bacardi dribbling off the table, in his mouth. Al took the other bottle out and poured the liquid contents of the bag out onto the table, sending a deluge of rum, dirt and broken glass over the edge and into Dase’s eyes, down his throat and up his nose. He choked and snorted and shrieked and tried to sit up,clawing wildly at his eyes.

"Oh God!” he shrieked. “Oh God... I can't see, Al, I can't see!” He
finally managed to get to his feet and began to run blindly around the room.
It looked like something right off the Spanish channel. But there were no dancing girls and no one was dressed in a bee suit. We were all laughing and hooting at him like a pack of drunken owls. The little Mexican lost his balance and fell backwards off the crate he was perched on, crashing into a pile of boxes where he seized violently with laughter. Dase finally tripped in one of the holes and did a face plant into the dirt. He rolled onto his back, alternately groaning and crying and cursing in Spanish, still rubbing at his eyes.

“Well…” Al said, as he wiped his tears away. “That mouth full of
dirt ought to keep him quiet for awhile… Fucking animal.”

“Fuck you Al.” Dase hissed from the floor. 

“You didn’t get the soda.” I said.

“We didn’t have enough after the trip to the doctor’s office. What’s
the matter you can’t drink this shit straight? Here fool.” He poured my cup full of rum. “Drink this it’ll make you swim better.” I shot him an ugly look.

“Are you the one who told me that?”

“Told you what?” Al answered.

“Never mind.” I said. He had already forgotten.

“So are we going to play fucking dominoes or what?” Al demanded.

“Mi gusta dominoes.” The little Mexican said happily and clapped his
hands.

“Get up out of that hole you retard! Come on!” Al threw back
another slug of straight rum and shivered. Dase was doing his best to get to his feet and get to the table. His face was covered in dirt, stuck to his face with the rum. If he doesn't wash his face, I thought it would glaze over and set up hard, like glue. But I wasn’t about to say anything. What fun would that be?
Dase sat down with a thud.

“I can’t see Al.” Dase rasped.

“Suffer boy!! I can't help you with that.” Al replied.
We played several hands of dominoes and continued to drink heavily.
Dase managed to wipe the mud from his eyes but left most of what was on his face. He looked like a reverse raccoon. We were about to choose dominoes for another hand when we heard the door open at the top of the stairs.
 
“Who dat?!” Dase demanded. No answer. Footsteps started down
the stairs. A huge black man appeared. He had on cut off jeans shorts, no shirt, dirty socks and a cheap, black, plastic fedora cocked off to the side of his head. He wore a thin mustache that consisted of maybe four or five hairs on either side of his lip. What sideshow did this freak wander away from, I
wondered. He staggered over to the table, put down the half full bottle of Old Granada, let out a burp and jamming his index finger up his nose, began to burrow.

“Yo... let me get your phone Dase. he demanded.

“Don't have it. It's upstairs. Da wife got it.”

“Yo... let me get your phone man.” he said to Al.

“Nah man, I don't know you.”

“Yo.. I'm starting ta git pissed, somebody better give up they phone. Come on white man, let me get your phone.”

“No.” I said simply.

“You know this clown?” Al asked his brother.

“Yeah, he live down da block.”

“Who you callin' a clown?”

“You fucker, wit dat hat on. Where you got dat from?”

“Beat up some white guy, like him.” he waived his digger finger at
me. “Now, give up dat phone whitey.”
He got right in my face, stinking like that bottle of Old Granada. I snaked my hand down to my boot for my knife, not sure if I was really going to cut him or just try to scare him off of me. Just then I could see Al rise silently behind him. He was wearing a cartoon character grin and had a half full bottle of Bacardi in his hand. He swung. Smashing the bottle over his head. Glass and rum went everywhere. The black face went blank and his strength left him. He fell and sprawled
out on top of me sending us both to the dirt floor. I was covered in glass and rum.

“Fuckin' animal.” Al said.
 
“Jesus Christ... Ya killed him!!” I shrieked.
 
“He's not dead. Come on help me drag him over here.” Al grabbed
an arm.
“Come on!”
 
“Alright, alright.” I grabbed the other arm. “The police are coming for you, you know.”

“Police...” Dase cried.
The little Mexican watched in amazement and made no comment. He
seemed a little shaken by Al's violent outburst.

“Come on Dase get to work.” Al ordered.

“Fuck you Al, I ain't goin' back! They lock me up forever for dis.”
Al and I dragged him across the cellar and curled him up in one of the holes in the corner.

“Gimme that bottle over there.” Al called to Dase. “The one thats
almost empty.” He complained but brought the bottle over. Al took the bottle and drank from it, then handed it to me. I drank, then poured some rum into the parted lips of the sleeping prince in the hole. I put the bottle down and wrapped his arms around it.

“Well... that's that.” Al said, wiping his hands together then waiving them in the air.
“Come on lets play these dominoes.”
“We can't stay here!!” Dase said. “Dat guy knows me, he'll kill me
when he wake up!!”

“Tough titty.” Al said. “Sit down and take a drink. I come all the
way out here to hang wit you and all you wanna do is leave. Fuck him. He wakes up... I'll crack him again.”

“I think he's right.” I said. “He'll be out for a while. I picked up the dented, black plastic hat and put it on. Al poured some rum into one of the cups and handed it to Dase.

“Who asked you, white man?” Dase asked.

“Just drink this.” Al handed him his Styrofoam cup. “The drunker you
are, the less you'll care.”

“Jesus...” he said, took the cup and drank off the slug. “Jesus...” he said again.

“Jesus isn't here... " I said, "and if he were, he wouldn't help you
anyway... stop asking for him.”

We drank and played dominoes for another hour, maybe two,
finishing off Big Black's bottle of granada. We got drunk, very drunk and the Mexican passed out in a hell of a dramatic fashion. He stood up and slammed the half full bottle of Bacardi on the weak card table which promptly collapsed.

“I have to get home.” He said. “I'm late and my mother is waiting for me.” Then he weaved forward and caught himself but over compensated and did the “Nestea Plunge” into the pile of boxes behind him. Al and I looked at each other and promptly rose. We dragged him by the arms over to one of the holes where I began to shovel dirt onto him.

“You know English, you little fuck.” I hissed at him.

“We're getting a collection over here.” Al said.

“Yeah... now I know why these holes are here. Should I put dirt on
this guy too?” I pointed to the black man.

“Yeah we better.” Al said. “Fair and equal treatment.”

“Righto, don't wanna get sued.” I finished shoveling dirt onto the
Mexican and packed him in tight. I looked at the black man all peaceful and snug in his hole. He was sweating profusely.

“He doesn't look cold.” I observed.

“Maybe we better leave dat fucker alone. Don't wanna wake him.” I
agreed and we made our way back to the crumpled table.

“We playin' more dominoes, er what?” Al was getting sloppy. “We
gotta put dis fucking table back up.” he kicked at it and missed.

“I've gotta piss.” Dase announced.

“Go piss. There's two unconscious fools over there... give you
something to aim for.” Al said.

“ Dats a good idea, Al...” Dase grinned and struggled to get out of the chair. But he couldn't move. He shot both arms up in the air and swung them down like a diver, trying to build up enough momentum to get up out of the chair. Grunting each time. After many attempts he was breathing and sweating so heavily that he had to stop. Some of the caked on dirt began to come loose and drip on his shirt.

“I can't get up Al.” he breathed.

“So?”

“But I gotta piss.”

“Quit your whining... just piss. Turn around, pull the pecker out and piss.”
Dase swiveled the chair away from the table and dug for the zipper
under his massive gut. Finally, we saw the arc go up, glisten in the light and come down to make a pitter sound in the dirt.

“Oh God!” he grunted. “ Yo... yo, dis is da best fucking piss I ever
took, Al. I'm tellin' you.”
Al got up to get the Mexicans' bottle of Bacardi laying on the ground, lost balance and almost ate the corner of the table.

 “Jesus Christ, you're all fucked up too. Hey Dase, you see that? Your brother almost took one on the chin from that table. Dase. Dase!” Al struggled to his feet and weaved over to his brother and swung him around.
Dase was sound asleep with his cock still in his hands. It was still dribbling piss.
 “Oh fuck man, turn him back around. I don't wanna see that.”

“DASE!” Al shouted into his ear as loud as he could. The force of
which took him off his feet and into the dirt. Dase made no stir. Al crawled on his hands and knees back to his chair and slithered onto it. “Add one more to the body count!” I said. “Well...what now?”

“I think we better get outta here.” and all at once, he stood, wrestled his coat onto his back and swung his bag over his shoulder.

“Okay... I guess we're leavin'.”
I gathered what was left of the bottles and put them into my satchel. We made our way to the stairs and climbed.

“What about them?” I asked.

“They'll keep till morning.”

“Your gonna leave your brother?”

"Do you want to try to pick him up with his joint flopping around like that?”
 
“No.”

“You wanna put it away for him?”

“No.”

“All right then.” He switched the light off and closed the basement
door. We made it to the front steps and Al had to take a rest. He drew in a breath as if to speak, then blew chunks all over the stoop. It seemed to take him by surprise. It had a kind of, creamy quality to it. I remember wondering how, since the Bacardi was clear. He continued to wretch and convulse and sputter.

“What a filthy night.” he said and spat on the side walk.

“Yeah. Come on we gotta leave. It fucking stinks here now. Can you
walk?”

“Yup.” He stood up and fell forward all in the same motion as if he
meant to do it that way. He lay spread eagle on his back on the sidewalk, as if to make a snow angel.

“They're not gonna let you sleep there.” I said. “You better straighten up, man. I can't take you on the train in this condition.”

“You got any water.” he asked. “I just wanna... I just wanna rinse my mouth.”

“No, but I got this Bacardi left.” I reached into my satchel. “Here
man, you want this?” I shook the bottle in front of his face.

“No.”

“No? Come on, it'll disinfect your mouth after puking, this is actually good for you, it's better than water.”

“ Oh fuck... give me the fucking thing.” I held it out again. He sat up, seized the bottle, unscrewed the top and took a gulp.

“Your not supposed to swallow it stupid, just rinse!”

“Oh, fuck you I'll drink when I want. You my mother now?” He was
getting nasty. "You shat me outta your womb?"

“Alright...maybe you better smoke a joint and calm down.” I said.

“It's all gone.” He said and took another gulp.

“You smoked it all?”

“Yea... on the way back to the building.”

“Well, your fucked then. We gotta go. Can you behave yourself long
enough to make the train ride home?”

“I'm just gonna rest here for a minute.” He said and laid back down.

“You can't sleep on the sidewalk, we've been over this. Listen... any minute now a patrol car is going to roll by and see you sprawled on the sidewalk. Once they see your not white they'll get out and beat you on the kidneys with clubs on general principal. They'll demand you tell them what your doing out here alone at this hour of the morning.”

“Alone?”

“Yes alone, you don't think I'm gonna be around for this squalid act, do you? Just what do you think will happen when they look in that basement? Hmm? Two half buried bodies, broken rum bottles, busted card table, one drunken Puerto Rican, with his cock out... and another one trying to sputter out an explanation for it in between fits of vomiting. All of you will be dragged down to the station, babbling about some phantom white man that no one can find.”

 Al sat up, took another gulp of the rum and brooded heavily.

“Sure, yeah, we gotta go.” I took the bottle from him and drank off
the rest. After much effort Al managed to drag himself up off the pavement. He put his arm around my shoulder and we weaved in perfect unison to the top of the train station steps.

“Okay, come on fool, one step at a time.”

“I got dis.”

“No you don't”

“I got dis, fucker! Let go.”

“Alright asshole, it's your wheelchair.” He made the first two steps
and stopped. Grinning with pride. Al was confident now and took the next few in quick succession with a suave arrogance. Then as I knew he would, he tripped over himself and tumbled all the way to the landing. He made no outcry and didn't even try to stop himself. I descended in a calm, deliberate manner and knelt down beside him. He was groaning softly. 

“You have another flight of stairs to go ya know.”

“I know. I just wanna rest here a minute, maybe... take a little nap.”  

“You can't lay here. The police are coming.”

“What police? Right now?”

“Right now.” I told him. “They're going to arrest you for public
drunkenness and indecency, sodomy, reckless endangerment and corrupting the morals of a white man. The station agent just called them. Can't you hear those sirens? You have to get up man, quick before they get you.”

“Well.. all right, sure, I just wanted ta rest here a minute, no big deal, I'm sure they'd understand.” He said, as he tried to get to his feet. The fall had taken some of the menace out of him.

“Understanding cops? Jesus... you must be fucked up.” I managed to
get him down the last fight of stairs.

"Get your Metrocard out." I told him. He groped his ass looking for
his wallet.

"You get it, you get it... I can't find my pocket."

"There is no power on this earth that would make me root around in
your pockets... while you were still conscious. You owe me a subway ride you useless, sorry animal." I swiped my card and pushed him through the turnstile, he weaved violently to one side and was on the floor again. After getting him to his feet I propped him up against a steel roof support. There was a gaggle of sleepy eyed Halloween revelers next to us. Sexy nurses, slutty witches, ect.

"Hey sweetheart," he croaked at a naughty cop who was waiting for
the train next to him. "you like art? Papi'll show you some art." He was fondling his chest. "Come 'ere." He lurched forward and spilled himself on the floor again, giggling.

"Jesus Christ man, what is wrong with you?" I lectured. Mercifully
the train came and I dutifully shoveled him onto it.
There was no fanfare, no ticker tape parade, the night was over and Al was the MTA's problem now and anyone else's that wakes him up and gets him talking.
Dawn was tickling the sky pink when I finally came up to ground
level in Queens. What was the meaning of such a night, I wondered, as I staggered up the block towards home. I was broke, drunk, hungry, dirty and may have assault charges pending by now. A wave of paranoia crept over me like a cold draft and I shivered. Sitting on the stoop of my apartment I reached into my bag for the last bottle of rum. There was only a few swallows left. Am I any happier now than I was yesterday? No. Then what was it all for? Maybe there is no meaning. Ahh... who knows? Who cares?
It's time for bed. I drank off the last swallows of rum and slunk into the house. I can always look for meaning tomorrow.




No comments:

Post a Comment