“I told her I had always lived alone; and I probably always would; and all I wanted was my freedom; and she told me that she understood. But I let her do some of my laundry; and she slipped a few meals in between; and the next thing I remember, she was all moved in; and I was buying her a washing machine” Ready or Not – Jackson Browne

It Tuesday in small town America and Fall is in the brisk air leaving a carpet of leaves under my wheels as I roll to the Laundromat to watch my too cool for this school clothes spin in the dryer. That’s what they call movie night here in Big Whiskey.

The earth is covered in falling colors; bright yellow and reds and burnt autumnal rust, a masterpiece here for my enjoyment and nothing more. I think how maybe if I stay here long enough, one day, just like those leaves, I’ll fall gentle away; and the only difference between me and them is they’ll bury me 6-0 under.

I gave my dryers to a cute, chubby ultra-white girl half my age since there was five minutes left on each one. The shock in her eyes took me back as if she were stunned at the softness of my voice and the consideration more than the generosity and even more for the fact that I’d made contact. I’ll bet no had talked to her sweetly all day.

The men up here are hunters, gun-men and bow and arrow types in snow-mobiles dragging dead deer back to the cabin to watch the Packers and Vikings on TV and drink beer. I think my California license plates made her think I was from Hollywood and soon I’d whisk her away to a Fifty Shades of Grey fantasy or at least I’ll bet she having that thought tonight.

Women my age are way, way, way too old for me. Most are worn out and gave up some time ago; especially in a place like this where nothing ever happens and more especially the men than the women but on both I never saw so many jeans and sweatshirts over midriff bulge in all my life.

I haven’t even started my slide into home yet. True though, I almost bought the farm a few times that I know of and had a few pretty close calls so I’ve taken on some bumps, bruises and scars. But I was always lucky; had that sixth sense that could feel the heat around the corner. So I always beat feet in time while those cats I came up with back in Chi-town are all grave yard dead as fried chicken now.

I do avoid mirrors more often now and thus stay in the nostalgia that I’m still Steve McQueen cool looking and virile and  not one woman whose shared my bed has asked for her money back, yet. My friend Roy told me yesterday that its better to be delusional and happy and I’ll second that affirmation.

I feel about half my age; straddling the top of the mountain even if I’m holding on for dear life. I told the Nazi pharmacist, whose on a power trip since he holds my narcotics and won’t let go till he wants to, while picking up my geriatric amount of drugs that if I knew I was gonna live this long I’d have taken better care of myself. He looked at me like he’d heard that one about 100 times. Humor, apparently, is site specific.

They must have one hell of a drug problem up here in bored to death-land since I had to sign an agreement with my saw bones to take a drug test; not to see if I was taking my drugs but to make sure I had taken them; and wasn’t selling them. In Cally it was just the opposite. Guess I have to get the lay of the land and figure out whose in charge or who thinks they are before I know who to knock over or turn to my cause. That should take another week.

Soon, I expect, once word seeps out and I get spotted enough; the kitty-cats will come a sniffing around. I’m up for a worthy candidate since the gym is the only respite I have and one can get a dose of cabin fever up here in the dead of the ass-freezing winters that lie in wait stalking my imagination. Meanwhile I’ll keep my appointment on Movie Night at the Laundromat to see what’s her name again and try to lay down the word regularly after this period of readjustment readjusts itself to this cheery bit of insanity I’ve rolled into.


About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

One Response to Prowl

  1. James Mcfarland says:

    Sad and depressing, certainly captured the mundane, boring life depicted in this piece. Grammar issues, a 7.9 rating.

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