Never underestimate the brutish stupidty of an angry foriegner.
Despite my numerous attempts to bring the demented little grease monkey back to his senses, he was too far gone. Years of Methyldexamphetimine abuse had rotted his once sharp mind like a pumpkin in the rain, slowly caving in until it bore only a superficial resemblemnce to it’s previous state- and the cloying stink of rot….
I am a reasonable man, and far too cautious to simply turn up on his doorstep uninvited- scores of Jehova’s witnesses refused to walk the concrete path to his squalid concrete bunker – knowing in their guts that some people are beyond saving. Let God do his own work with this one. I’ve seen better men then those bluesuited bible thumpers lose their faith when confronting the savage little wog. I knew better.
Dozens of phone calls gone unanswered- “Interventions”, the mad, lost and twisted twelve steppers call them while huddling close, lying to each other to keep the darkness away. “Interventions” Only his demented squalling and ramblings on his ancient and decrepit answering machine. No doubt Pepe was shackled to the bed again, unable to reach the phone and perform the one service that could mollify Rizzo, other than satisfying the ruthless sodomite’s morbid perfidities and perversions before the watchful eyes of the collection of stolen religious icons- I cursed and threw the phone at Zoe as she scurried for cover. She knew my temper all too well.
I made some phone calls, and arranged to have a case of wild turkey and two dozen grapefruits delivered to the AA meeting which had fed me that”intervention” crap. Swine. They had no appreciation for my talents. I had volunteered to act as sponsor for two or three of the less beastly wretches in this incestuous collection of desperate women and knock kneed suitssome months ago, but was drummed out like an effeminate marine. I don’t see how they expected me to bed these women without us both being drunk- Good God, have you ever LISTENED to them? Crisis intervention demands ACTION! And action demands HARD LIQUOR!
I was only attempting to be supportive- nurturing in their time of need. But as much as these filthy hippies may whine about “all they need is Love”… they call the cops and screech accusations when you try to get everyone involved socially inebriated enough to give them some of that love. Torches and pitchforks. The mob rules, these brutes did not know genuine compassion… I had to flee.
But once you get involved with these leeches, they sink in and won’t let go. Rizzo had started hitting me up for money as soon as he saw I had all my own teeth, which seems to be a sign of wealth and privelege among his people. He has not stopped since. His drug habits and boy toys ate up whatever money the state paid him. I stopped frequenting the AA meetings his parole forced him to attend, but his endless tales about his “automotive hobbies” consuming his income all inevitably ended with him hoping for spare change. a sound go-round with a tire iron made him flinch, but in his family, that was an intimacy. It only bound the sicilian swine closer to me.
The sound of car alarms woke me from my nap on the hall floor. Scraping dried mustard from the window, I looked out on the street and saw Pepe desperately running from car to car, stuffing ratty xeroxes under winsheild wipers as Rizzo cruised slowly along behind him in the rattletrap rust box he proudly forced the hapless ileegal to wax every sunday. Pepe had suffered endless numbers of rusty metal sctratches and punture wounds while scrubbing this junkyard’s deformed offspring- and the glazed look in his eyes plainly stated that tetanus would be a welcome blessing. Rizzo screamed incomprehensably at Pepe, and laid about him savagely with the whippy car antenna he carried with him everywhere. I had to admire his follow through, but Zoe whimpered and twiched farther into the corner every time she heard it cutting the air, lost in flashbacks and cluching at the pale white scars across her thighs.
Two or three rounds discharged into the side panels of the car got him moving again, speeding away in a cloud of foul smelling ble smoke and the showering soparks of a dragging muffler. Pepe looked at me hopefully, but knew I had no place for another alien parasite. I still was trying to shake Jeff loose. I snapped my fingers and conditioning took over. With the whimper of a whipped cur, Pepe crept forward and extended one of the stained pages toward me, but did not flinch away fast enough to avoid a kick and snarled curse.
The LYING SWINE! He was distributing these documents all over the nieghborhood? Lucky for me that the whole neighborhood was aware of his spartan vices… If such allegations had come from someone with an OUNCE of credibility, the police would be knoking down my door any moment.
Waves of paranoia began shuddering up my spine… I ran frantically around the block, plucking the flapping pages from the street, car winsheilds and the hands of horrified passersby. “Lies! All lies!” I muttered by way of explaination. I was slick with sweat, unused to this much exertion and panic. Bad craziness… the paper stuck to my skin as I made mad, heaving dashes for the flying pages, but it was of no use. I could only slink back to my home and hope he got the address and phone number wrong again, the motivating jackhammer of crack in his skull making too much noise for him to think clearly…
Slipping into the house I put an extra layer of mustard on the windows to keep out prying eyes, then began to read…
I arrived home to find 14 messages on my answering machine – again. Sigh.
That asshole. I deleted them without listening to a single one. They’d all
be the same – an incoherent rant about hookers, Mexicans and pineal glands.
Just like yesterday, and the day before. I’m going to have to change my
number if he keeps this crap up.
That dumb bastard Flagg still hasn’t come down from last weekend’s orgy of
booze and drugs. It was funny when it started, not as funny as the guy who
does obscene phone calls in the Kermit the Frog voice, but funny in a
desperate, lonely, pathetic sort of way. If only he had the originality to
subconsciously rip off genuinely good authors…… But four days of it is a
The phone rang – is he having me watched?!?! – but it wasn’t his cracked
whine on the speaker. It was my lawyer, mumbling something about marrying
Brazilian strippers and bail money. Another dumb bastard I don’t want to
talk to. I’ll call him back tomorrow.
This is really all Zoe’s fault. She’s the one who mixes up his daily
apéritif of peyote, heroin and crystal meth. Having a woman around to keep
house, provide you with alibis and mix your drugs is a good thing, but not if
she can’t keep the proportions straight. If she were better at it, he
wouldn’t need an alibi so often. Of course, he could move farther away from
the playground, too. She may be doing it on purpose. If she is, I can’t
really fault he for keeping him sauced. When he’s on that stuff he’s a
crude, nasty, vengeful asshole, seeing slights and insults in the most
innocent of comments and responding with immediate violence.
It’s a vast improvement over his lucid personality. At least the drugs give
him a touch of creativity.
The phone rang again. This time it was Flagg, cracked out as expected. “Send
Pepe over, you selfish savage! My toenails need pruning! You owe me, Rizzo!
You OWE me!” His voice trailed off. “You goddamn wop. Can’t trust the lot
o’ ya. Zoe. Zoe. Where are you, bitch?” It picked up an octave or 2,
and gained volume again. “Tha’ reminds me! Make me some spaghetti!” Across
the room a bottle broke. I couldn’t tell if he had pitched a 40oz at her, or
if she had hurled one at him. I had once postulated that this was the reason
why the apartment was always littered with them – so ammo was always within
arm’s reach. That comment had earned me a sucker punch while I was taking a
leak. Don’t insult the cleanliness of Zoe’s house.
Flagg wasn’t done. He babbled on about Pepe, Veronica and “Squeezums” as if I
knew, or cared, what he was talking about. I was about to hang up on him
when the line went dead after a brief “snortle-ulmph-pblehhhh“. Good. I
headed for the kitchen to cook up some crack of my own.
I decided to fortify myself with candy apples first and had just begun to
boil the sugar when he called back. The machine was in the other room and he
was mumbling, so all I heard was “Pepe” and “tea bag” and “Crayons! Crayons!”
I snapped. I just couldn’t take it any more. I could see him, slouched down
in the ripped and torn chair, staring at the blue screen, head glistening,
rubbing his distended belly like a moldy Buddha, phone cupped in the flab of
his left tit. I stormed into the bedroom, almost slipping on my new copy of
“BigUns: The Holiday Midget Special” and snatched up the phone. “Shut up!
Shut up!” I spat at the phone. “Shut up! Stop calling. Lose my number. I
never want to hear from you again, you drug-addled sicko!
“Whaaa? Surrender to the bats? What are you thinking, Man?”
“AAAAGUUUGGGHHH! I hate you!” I slammed the phone down onto it’s cradle so
hard I cracked the football. I turned and strode from the room, turned, and
snatched up the phone again. Conveniently, I have the asshole on speed dial.
“And next time you call me, put on some damn pants, you pervert!”
Over on 31st Street, the cashier at Mike’s Diner wondered who the idiot was
who would call her weekly and tell her to wear pants, and went back to
answering take-out orders.
The phone rang again. “Pineal glands! Pineal glands!”
I ignored it for a while and then ripped the cord from the wall. I’d have to
talk to him face-to-face. On the short walk over to his hovel I mentally
rehearsed how I’d explain it to him. It was simple, really: Leave me alone.
My cunning plan was shattered as I turned onto his block. A patrolling
police cruiser forced me to abandon my most pursuasive argument on a nearby
front porch. Unencumbered by the aluminum baseball bat, I skipped up his
front steps and smiled as Zoe opened the door. “Good afternoon, baby.”
She nodded hello. “When do they unwire it, next week?” She shook her head
and held up 3 fingers. “Oh. Well, look on the bright side; that’s three
more weeks he won’t be pimping you out for blowjobs in the park.” She slowly
shook her head and tuned around, bending over slightly. Her white panties
displayed scarlet skid marks. Heh. So that’s how he’s been able to maintain
his standard of living these last couple of months.
I stepped over the cat and into the filth. It looked like an east side
tenement’s garbage chute, but it didn’t smell that good. He had crawled down
to the couch. Lubed by sweat, he was slowly sliding off, and I suspected he
was too far gone to notice. I waded around the table and through the kitchen
to the back door. I was almost finished relieving myself when I heard the
crash from the next room. I slogged back to the living room. He didn’t
appear to notice he was now sitting in a pile of McDonalds wrappers and
licorice sticks. “Rizzo. Good of you to drop in. You were expected, of
“Shut up, Flagg. Pay attention, ’cause I’m only gonna say this once. Stop
calling me. Do you hear me? Stop calling me.”
He slowly raised an eyebrow. “Calling you what?”
This was like dealing with a child, only there’s no way I could fit him in a
duffel bag. I grabbed a chair to make my point, but Zoe arrived with two
steaming plates of spaghetti. “Dmmhmn a sudud!”
I had eaten half the plate when I recognized the mushrooms from last weekend.
I looked up at Flagg, but he was still out of it, duckwalking across the
living room, arms akimbo, twirling his hands at the wrists, fingers spread
like he was palming a fourteen-year-old’s ass. The room began to spin. Why
was I reaching for that bottle? Mescal doesn’t go with spaghetti.
Lynna popped a tape in the VCR. Great. First, my legs don’t work, now the
“Fantasy Island 3rd Season Marathon.” From across the room Flagg started
yelling “Pepe! Pepe!”