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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 25 Enter The 9th Circle

The buzzer started to sound with alarming frequency. I was afraid there was a fire in his apartment and he needed help. Everyone at the bar was looking at the buzzer and when I looked at Don, he was shaking his head from side to side. Skip who was bartending at the other end of the bar pointed at me and pointed towards the ceiling. His message was clear and I was on my way.
Don immediately set up the tray with water, cigarettes and empty mason jars. My dinner of one lone banana lurched in my stomach. “Dead Man Walking,” I yelled out crossing the floor with the tray. I got to the door looked at Don and got buzzed into the stairwell. Climbing the stairs I passed an old man humping Stinky in the corner. Stinky looked at me, nodded, and then glanced at his watch. It was now clear that he charged by the hour.
Arriving at the second floor I noticed there was the usually cocaine fueled party happening in the bathroom. I could tell that it was packed to capacity and could hear a choir of voices all trying to hush each other. It’s hard to keep about 10 men putting blow up their noses quiet while they are crammed in a tiny bathroom.
Walking up the stairs tonight seemed like the longest passage of time to me. I didn’t want to go in to Bobby’s apartment tonight that was clear to me and my brain.  I didn’t want to have to feed or worse yet clean up after him. The thought made be grab the banister and hold on for dear life. I let out a chuckle because at this moment I was reminded of the movie the Sentinel, where Chris Sarandon is stroking the cat while Christina Raines is let in on the plot of the movie. Bobby is the guardian of the gates of hell that much I am convinced of.
Arriving at the door and seeing his favorite “Go Away” sign posted on the door let me know I was here. Well that and the smell and sound of the cats. Grasping the knob and turning it in my hand I then used my hip to open it. The wave of “stench” that rolled over me seemed to have been turned up since my last visit. Looking around at the sea of cats swarming me I can see an unusually large number of mason jars filled with yellow liquid. The sight and sound of the room made my head swell. Quickly putting down the tray, I ran to the sink and coughed up my digested banana.
I can hear Bobby in the other room. “Who’s here?” he is screaming over and over again. Wiping my mouth on the back of my hand I call out that “It’s Geoff.”  Without missing a beat he screams back “What the fuck took you so long?” Popping my head into the bedroom I can see him lying on his side facing away from me. He looks so fragile, like a bird. An old dirty piss soiled, shit stained smoky bird with a millions cats and questionable personal hygiene.
“Did you barf in my sink?” he yells while trying to roll on his back. “If you fucking messed up my house I will throw you out the window!” I figure it will take me a lot of work to mess up this house but the thought of cleaning the house with gasoline and a pack of matches needs to get pushed out of my mind.
He starts with his list of demands. “Feed the cats, bring me my cigarettes and hold that jar while I piss.” When he says this he breaks into hysterical laughter like we are watching an Evening at the Improv. Spittle flies everywhere. Suddenly he stops laughing tries to roll on his back to look at me.  “Don’t just stand there with your mouth hanging open catching flies.” ” Feed the goddamned cats!”
I walk back into the kitchen. Cats come from everywhere to get fed. “Foods in the fucking cabinet” he snarls. I reach towards the cabinet doors, years of filth cling to it. I reach out grab it and yank it open. Half the contents in there avalanche onto the counter. “Don’t mess up my fucking house,” he screams. “Sorry, I’m redecorating,” I say. This strikes him funny and he cackles away. “You’re a goddamned comedian, a goddamned comedian,” he says.
I empty several contents of several cat food cans onto slightly used paper plates and put them wherever a cat is. I grab one of the mason jars go to the fridge and grab some ice and throw it in. Walking back into the bedroom I put it down next to him. “Tell Jerry I want to see the fucking receipts,” he says trying to lean on his elbows. I reach around him grab the pillows and help come to sitting. “Are you trying to break my ribs?” he screams inches from my face. “That’s it,” I yell. “I’m out of here!" I start to stand and quicker than a flash of light his hand reaches out and grabs my wrist.
“Please don’t leave me,” he begs.
To be continued……….

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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