by Andrew Varga Copyright, 1991.
What do you mean, "Tell you why I'm here"? You've got my file right there in front of you, Doofus.
Man I'm tired of this crap. Why are you here, Turkey! Why always the same thing? Why do you start with this garbage every single time?
Okay, I messed up. Messed up bigtime. That what you want to hear? I messed up when I mistook you for somebody with a shred of compassion!
Of course I'm getting excited! Start every damned time with the same damned questions-what do you expect!
No, I don't want to.
Okay. Fine. We'll do it again. Dammit.
I'll be calm. Reasonable, yes. Even reserved.
I said okay, okay? Get off my case!
Where you want me to start? Want me to explain again how you got the wrong one?
Maybe I should go.
Okay, okay. So, what's your pleasure?
Okay, but don't interrupt, got it? Just you keep still 'til I'm done.
Unplug the phone.
So's we don't get interrupted!
I told you I'm in control, now unplug the phone.
Fine, have it your way. First ring and I'm outa here.
Okay, so I come home.
Yeah, from work! You want to do this or what?
Then don't interrupt.
I come home from work, and Julie meets me at the door. Right away I can tell that something's outa sinc. She's actin' funny. I gotta admit, she's a good kid. When can I see her?
Don't pull that on me! If it was up to me, a whole lotta things'd be different.
Then cut the mind games, man. Okay?
Okay, so I give her a big kiss like always and when I step inside, the whole trailer smells. Kitchen fumes. She's gone and put on a genuine feed. Right away I'm extra nervous. It's Friday night and she never cooks on Friday night. Told her before it's my night out, I know she's doin' this just to stall me.
Cling-ons, man. Women are just a bunch of damned cling-ons.
Now that I think of it, she even looked different. Puffy, or fuzzy. Yeah, kinda fuzzy around the edges. Oh, she was glad to see me. Hell, she's always glad to see me.
I swear, if I brought home a bag of dog crap and told her it was a present she'd be tickled. I can just see it. Here she is meeting me at the door and I'm at the top of the steps and I hand her this paper sack saying here honey, I got this just for you and by now it's gone all soggy-bottom and when she takes it the bottom falls out and this fresh glob splatters on her feet. She looks down for a second and her smile doesn't even flicker and she's going oh sweetheart I love it you shouldn't have I know just to do with it you're so nice to me here let me take your lunch pail. And before I get to the table, she'd have a big pot of flowers planted in the stuff. That's kinda how she thinks.
Okay. So we're having dinner and she knows I'm going out. Been telling her for weeks. I'm thinking, so what's the big stinking deal? It was a flawless plan. I even got into a pattern. One night a month, out with the guys. No way could she suspect anything 'cause it was a pattern. I mean hey, it'd be a whole different animal if we were married, right?
So she just sits down from serving. Big platter loaded with turkey. That's another thing, man do I hate turkey. It's the best we can do on what I'm making now. Like a fancy French restaurant steak to somebody like you, understand? I still hate the stuff.
So I'm choking down this slimy old bird 'cause time's just screaming by and I look up and she's starin' at me. And her lost-puppy eyes look like the little mutt's been gone for months. I know she wants to talk, but I'm shoveling away 'cause I've got the plan, you know?
So I finish and stand up to go and she hits me in the guts harder than I've been hit in a long time. Three stupid words.
"Honey I'm pregnant."
So what could I do? She's expecting me to cheer or grab her up and hug her or whatever.
Remember that oh God not again my guts are being ripped outa my mouth feeling I told you about? All I could do was go throw up. Told her it must be sympathy pains. She took it, loves me that much I guess.
Okay, I lied about the bowling. Happy now? Gonna let me go on?
Yes I was mad! Tell me this when she knew I had to go. I mean I told her enough times. "Every month. Friday night. Bowling."
I remember getting the you're-going-to-see-another- woman-aren't-you look when I left. So what should I tell her? "Yes, Darling. I'd never do anything to hurt you but I'm going to pay a visit to my ex. But don't worry, she won't even know I'm there."
Hey, I was in such a hurry I almost forgot the bowling ball. Now that woulda been a major screw up. I remember thinking, backing down the drive, maybe I should've had it drilled, in case she ever checked.
While I'm driving I get this major rush. My plan is unfolding and I'm watching -no- I'm living it after all this time.
I'm going kinda fast but I don't care. I'm going home.
Okay, her house. I misspoke, big deal. It used to be mine, just like everything else.
And the truck starts sputtering 'cause of this foggy misty crap coming down and I start to get like electricity shooting into my stomach 'cause I get the idea I'm not going to make it. But then I figured it'd somehow make it easier, I'll be harder to see and I can walk if I have to, so the pain quits.
I even planned out exactly how to park the truck in the trees out back so's nobody'll see it. And I'm so quiet I can't even hear myself, pulling the rifle out from behind the seat, running army-style across the field, crawling under the fence, ducking behind the garage.
A coupla years ago, back when I had the good job, I brought home some barrels. You know, for trash and stuff. Boy did I catch hell for that! Anyway, I had to put 'em back there. I used them to get to the roof. Knew they'd still be there, she never took care of anything.
I was so stealthy Rambo woulda been proud.
So I crawl up on the garage roof, which was a major achievement 'cause it's wet and slick as ice. I scramble up to the peak and look over it where I can see the driveway and the back of the house.
Man, was I pumped. Like when you're about thirteen and you've got your favorite magazine in the bathroom with you and your dad suddenly starts pounding on the door.
Excuse me, you probably never did that.
I didn't see my car -I mean her car- in the drive so I knew everything was perfect. I hung on to the peak and waited. I remember checking my scope a couple of times and wiping the rain off.
I must've closed my eyes for a minute 'cause the pictures started again.
Can we skip this part?
Little Joey, yeah. Laughing and running and we're kicking this soft little soccer ball around the back yard.
I really don't want to get into this.
So tell me this, Mr. Wiseguy. Why is it that catharsis and catheter sound so much alike?
All right. I'm watching these pictures, stop action. Joey stops in mid-kick and his little face turns all sober with tears running down his cheeks like the day I left. Cattle-prod in the gut stuff.
And then I'm in the morgue.
Whoa pal, I'm not going into this again. Told you a million times. I told you how she swore she'd get me.
That accident story is pure bullcrap, U.S.D.A. inspected prime.
Hey, she even used to get me when I was graying.
Graying, you know. sliding from awake to sleep. When you're laying perfectly still, 'cause you're too far gone to move yet your mind is still going. You're in the gray zone, you can't move but you're just awake enough to know it and you can't make it stop.
She'd lay there right next to me and whisper over and over. I had to be cheating on her. I had to be cheating. Who was it with. Who was I cheating with. Tell me I had to be and why was I lying about it. Telling me how she knew I had to be doing it and how, the minute she had proof, she was gonna take a knife to a certain private part- MY part.
Yeah? Never heard that part before? You think I'm gonna tell you everything that slaps around up here? You think I'm crazy? How many more times do I have to tell you, she's the one who should be in here, not me!
Look, I'll make you a deal. I'll stay if you put her in here, too. But she's gotta be in another building.
And nobody, but nobody tells her where I am.
Not the topic, not the topic. Man you're persistent!
So I must have fallen asleep 'cause the next thing I know I'm sliding down the roof grabbing for my rifle. Got right to the edge before I stopped, too.
I sat there staring at my hands thinking, isn't this funny, my fingernails are gone but I don't feel a thing. 'Bout here is where I hear the car coming so I scramble back up to the top.
Looking back at it, I can't figure how she didn't see me. Here's my head sitting like a pumpkin on top of the garage and the headlights are starin' me right in the face.
The lights go out and the engine dies and now I've got the crosshairs on her door. She always took so damned long to get out of the car. Used to drive me nuts.
But that's okay this time. I USE MY time. Slow and quiet, I bring the bolt back then forward and down. And I wait.
The door opens and she's getting out and my thumb reaches for the safety. She's just standing there and I can't decide, headorheart, headorheart, headorheart.
Cold and wet as it was, I was sweating all over. I finally rest the crosshairs on her chest. Man she had a big chest!
So I'm pushing off the safety, trying not to let it click, and the other door opens! She's brought somebody home with her! I lay there thinking the poor dummy, he doesn't know what she'll do to him and I should do her now and save him from her.
He comes around the car and puts his arm around her and they start toward the house and I almost yell run! Run before she gets you, too!
But I hunker down and aim again. I can still get her in the back of the head before it's too late.
Never wear street shoes if you're going up on a roof, especially a wet one. Screw you over every time.
They're too close together anyway. Besides, I'd never do a stranger. Poor dope's just going in for a quickie. Thing is, he never knows what it's really gonna cost.
Isn't his fault. I mean I fell for it, didn't I.
At least he had the decency to pull the curtains.
I wait, wet clear through and teeth sounding like maracas. Like I figured, they came out about an hour later. Took the safety off as soon as I saw the back door open.
I knew what to go for this time and I waited as they came toward me. Hey I was loving it. Major turn on. I mean I was Excited.
I waited until they separated to get in the car. The rifle was slick in my hands but I was too busy fighting the shivers to be bothered. I settled the crosshairs on the bridge of her nose and waited for the right, the exact right split second moment.
As it came I slowly squeezed the trigger.
I gotta admit, that was the closest I ever came to a total body orgasm.
Guys can have them, you know. Read it somewhere.
Lying there and thinking I've got you now you baby-killing whore I'll fix -no- I AM fixing your nasty old hide and there's no way you can BS your way outa this one and threaten all you want now it ain't gonna save you you're gut-splatters now you always were and you don't even know where it's coming from!
All that stuff all at once, at that exact moment.
I remember rolling away and my damned shoes sliding and the next thing I'm on the ground and she's screaming and the guy's coming around the garage.
I hurt like hell but I had to get up 'cause the guy was coming and I wanted to look dignified when he shook my hand and thanked me for saving his little backside.
'Bout then it hit me that he didn't really know what she could do to a man and maybe he wasn't all that thankful.
I thought about using the rifle for a crutch but no, it would slow me down and I felt that I could fly if I wanted to anyway, so I left it.
I'm half way across the field when I hear him shout. Little dummy ran into the electric fence. Then is when it hit me. Here's this guy who should be sending me fan mail for trying to save his butt and instead he's busting it trying to catch me.
I musta been a real fright. Sitting there in my truck, wet through, caked in mud, having to use my left foot on the gas pedal 'cause my right's broken, and laughing my fool head off. A fat Rambo on nitrous oxide.
I swear I don't know how he got there so fast. He couldn't have. Don't you think I'd have heard or felt something if I'd have really run over him? Don't you think it would have left some kind of mark on the truck?
It's her fault, the vengeful witch!
I'm going back to my room now, okay?
I never really meant to hurt anybody. I mean look, I didn't even buy any ammo for the rifle.
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