i was standing on the corner of main street and hawthorne when harrison reed's truck pulled up to the gas station, red paint peeling in the dim flatline of october's four o'clock sun and there, in the palm of his hand, was an open bottle(more) of beer that felt more like a slap in the face than anything.
"he doesn't drink anymore," patrick had said. "he stopped drinking three years ago."
harrison stopped drinking when his wife died. he started again when it was his daughter.
"i'd like to hangout sometime," he says.
"do you want to hangout right now?!"
"hey, if it's too soon we can hang some other time."
"16 candles is on demand if that's any incentive."
"see ya soon!"
we watch 80s and 90s tv til 5 am.
"er, do you want to sleep on the couch or?"
"uhm, it's up to you. i don't mind either way."
"i'm gonna brush my teeth," he says.
"i should too. i, uh, carry this with me when i travel. oral hygiene and all that!"
i'd packed a toothbrush because I knew.
we stood in his dirty bathroom and brushed our teeth side by side.
the laughter rung out as we made eye contact.
"it just occurred to me how strange this is."
"i'm not even thinking about it," i said, spitting a tiny bit into his scummy sink.
he left the bathroom and i spit out the remaining gob of toothpaste.
i went into his room and made him look away when i changed into his pajamas. how old were we?
he kissed me with a soft urgency and kept asking me if he tasted like smokes. (less)
The last thing I remember is that shape in the alley. I'd finished my routine and I was having a cigarette outside by the exit. I was exhaling these big fat snowclouds for Margy's amusement, and just stamping my feet on the pavement, it was so fucking cold. She fini(more)shes her cigarette and goes back inside. I finish mine and wonder if I still had my toothbrush in the car. I almost started walking to it, then I thought I might have one in my locker. Toothbrushes. That's what I was thinking about when what that big pile of trash across the alley stood up just like a man and walked toward me. I froze.
When I woke up, I was on the ground, and I thought I must be drunk and that I pissed myself. But It was just some shizz water on the pavement that soaked through my dress. My head hurt bad, and that's when I realized I got clobbered. I could feel the lump above my ear. I probably need stitches but I can cover it up with a wig for now. That sonofabitch hit me. I didn't see him do it, but he knocked me out all right. I swear the guy was in some kind of costume made out of garbage bags and rags and pieces of crap, like those suits that hunters wear made out of fake leaves and branches. Only his was garbage.
I hope you guys find this creep cause I can really see this turning into some real horror movie shit. The guy was huge, six five, easy. I used to date a guy that tall, and this weirdo was every bit of that, maybe taller. Jesus, he could have killed me right there. Can I smoke in here?