|The Old Man
||[Dec. 10th, 2012|01:00 am]
I thought it would last forever you see
But for this you cannot plan
And now I am lost in grief’s empty streets
I say this to the old man;
He answers me not, as the wind grows cold
And I reflect on my broken Clan
Life given in minutes taken by time
There is no installment plan
Once gone away they are gone forever
I share this with the old man,
Harsh wisdom taught by a hole in the ground,
Darkwater was the name of my Clan
Malevolent Fate gives and then takes away
Mankind has no counterplan
Smiles few and conversations one-sided
That is all I can offer the old man,
Death arrives to destroy lives one by one
For you or members of your Clan
To be taken or left here to suffer
Unknown to us is the creator’s plan
Photographs scream of lost moments in time
Cross off lost members of your Clan
Once joyful memories are now tainted
Listen to Fate’s rataplan
Half-hearted regrets and sorrowful tears
Are all I have left of the old man
Life bursting with moments we cannot share
In the war against Fate I am a Veteran
Gone now is my Superman
Cursed with laryngitis I sing the blues
My one-man band has a show plan
Shattered notes crammed with what I wish I said,
The things I never told the old man
Not a day goes by, that I don’t question why,
When I think of the old man,
Everyday I fret, playing the game of life without a net,
No longer kept safe by the old man,
And so, with a heavy sigh, the pain will not die,
As I think of my father, my friend, and say goodbye
I am lost without the company of the old man
I will always miss my old man
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2012
|When the eyes close
||[Dec. 10th, 2012|12:56 am]
I would like to be inside a dream
Free me from the chains of the world
Save me from depressing wakefulness
Leave the rules behind
I would like to be inside a dream
With libraries full of books never written
Visiting places never recorded on maps
Bathing in never-ending possibilities
I would like to be inside a dream
Cold and frosty, bitter nightmares
Warm and cozy, fuzzy happiness
Dancing between ripe imagination
I would like to be inside a dream
No longer concerned with time
Worldly worries left behind
Baptized in magical fantasy
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2012
|Eulogy for Joseph L. Douglas Jr
||[Apr. 5th, 2012|05:53 pm]
This is the Eulogy I gave for my father on March 12, 2012.|
Eulogy for Joseph L. Douglas Jr
(February 14, 1954 - March 7, 2012)
Our father liked to tell stories, and although this was wonderful he often told the stories again and again and again. He would start one and my brother or I would take turns to say, “Yeah Dad, I remember, you told me this already.” He would answer, “Oh, I did?”
And then he would tell it to us anyway.
He would tell us stories about Relay. He always talked about his friends there with great affection and with a twinkle in his eye that told me it was a place he had fun, but as a son I should probably never really learn just how much fun.
In the last ten years or so these stories were largely dominated by my daughters: Mary Isabelle and Mary Gabrielle. Joe had many stories about the granddaughters he loved so much. For Belle, he would tell me over and over how he remembered me bringing her to one of his softball games when he played for the Casual Fish. My dad had gone out to pitch and Belle would run up and down the fence looking at him yelling, “Pop-pop! Pop-pop!” She would have been two or so at the time. She’s thirteen now, and it was a memory my father cherished. For Gabby he adored all of her little sayings. She and he would look through pictures together when she was little and Gabby would ask him who all the people were. Once they were going through some pictures and they got to one where Gabby had asked, “Who’s that?” And my dad replied, “Oh, I don’t know darlin’.” And without skipping a beat she said, “Well its got to be somebody.”
For many years thereafter, whenever we were with our dad and we didn’t recognize someone he would turn to us with a grin and say, “Well its got to be somebody.”
Everyone here might have known Joseph Douglas Jr at a different time in their lives, and the Joe you may remember may vary a bit to ours. After all we knew him always when he was the sum of all his experiences. But that’s ok. Whenever you knew him or loved him it does not matter. All that matters is that at some point he touched your life.
When I was a kid I was up in my parent’s attic and found one of those old marble notebooks. I flipped through some empty pages and found some words written in it that read, “Joseph Douglas could have been anything he wanted. He could have been an astronaut, he could have been a fireman, he could have been a doctor or a soldier or a teacher, or a million other things. He could have, if he wanted to…”
I showed it to my father who was puzzled. He wanted to know if I had written it. I told him, “No.” In retrospect I think a friend or family member must have written it for him and it got lost in the other books he had stored in the attic. I think those words sum up my father pretty well.
Joseph L. Douglas Jr was not an overly ambitious man. Not really. Sure there were things he wanted to do, and things he might have wished he had done, but he was not the kind of person that chased wild dreams and wrestled them down to the ground. If he did have a lifelong ambition though it was to be more like his father.
Joe was not always a romantic, but he knew when to get my mother some flowers. And this was not only when he was in the doghouse. Every Christmas morning he addressed the Christmas gifts to my mother Denise with “To Delinez” or “To My Polish Princess.” Even if his gifts were not always original, no two packages were addressed the same, and he revealed his love to her by always finding a new term of endearment.
He took my brother and I to Orioles games every year, and he watched them regularly. He coached my brother’s Little League team, and when he was not coaching he always came to the games to cheer us both on. My dad and my brother Brian used to talk Baseball and though I know the basics about the sport, when they talked it was always more than I ever understood. Nevertheless, I loved that they had their own language with one another. Their love of sports always gave them that.
In recent years Joe did all of the food shopping and cooked most of the dinners. He had also all but taken over doing the laundry. He would joke that in his retirement he had become the perfect housewife.
Seven years ago I was in Afghanistan. He would write me letters that read, “Dear Shawn, I do not really know what to say. I hope I find you well and I look forward to seeing you again. I miss you.” He would then write at length about not knowing what to write, and he filled up pages with words that touched my heart and gave me strength to get through that tough year. By not knowing what to say, he told me everything.
Probably the greatest joy I personally had with my father was watching how much his granddaughters had changed him. He was a great father, but he was an amazing grandfather. He loved the years he spent with the girls, playing school with Gabby or losing to cards against Belle.
Our father wanted desperately to be like his father and always felt like somehow he did not measure up. When my grandfather passed away last year my father stepped up to try and fill that void as much as he could. He loved his mother, Margret, and visited her often. Nanny, he loved the time he spent with you. He also spent extra time with his sister Mary, his brother Mark, and his sister Marguerite. He may have been retired, but he made being there for all of his family his full time job.
What he failed to understand and what we understood quite clearly was that he was like his father in the ways that were most important: To him, Family mattered above all. And it was in this way that he did not just measure up, but he far exceeded all expectations.
Our father had a special affinity for St. Joseph, who is the very example of the perfect Earthly Father. He prayed to St. Joseph, and had a renewal of faith, especially in the last year. Joseph loved and cherished all of his family. He loved all of his friends – past and present. We could all learn by that example. While we are on Earth it is each and every one of our responsibilities to love and take care of one another. Joseph Douglas knew that.
I did not get a chance to say goodbye to our father, Joe, and I would like to end by doing that now. “Dear Joseph, I do not really know what to say. I hope I find you well and I look forward to seeing you again. I miss you. In all our talks about my future over the years I shared with you my hopes and dreams. I have a secret. When I was little all I wanted was to be a father like you. I will always try to be as good to my family as you were to yours, and when I struggle, I too will pray to St. Joseph. Dad you were, and are, my hero. Goodbye.”
|Before the World Ends
||[Jun. 2nd, 2011|12:14 am]
I came down to the shore for some alone time, some time to write, and to watch the end of the world. The beach house I rented for the week came cheap and had a perfect view of the vast ocean from the deck. From there, day and night, you could find me sitting on wicker chair at a small wooden table. Sometimes I ate my meals there, but most of the time I was trip-trapping on the keyboard of my old and tired laptop.|
The battery had gone to shit a year earlier; however, there was an outlet outside and I ran an extension cord from there to the dying electronic box I transcribed slivers on my imagination on. The only time I really went inside the fully furnished beach house was to use the bathroom, to cook, or to sleep. I had no idea if the TV worked because I never turned it on.
I knew the world would end because I saw it in a half-dream. One of those moments while you are passing through consciousness. I saw it clearly, in my mind's eye, after waking from a dream about my ex-wife. Some would say that my feelings of dread and belief that the end of the world was approaching was the direct result of experiencing a dream of my ex. To this I often smiled when recounting this tale and would say, "They both remind me of black holes where all happiness, light, and goodness disappear into, true. But that is merely coincidence."
They do not take to my explanation, and yes they probably still equate the dream with the other; nevertheless, I know they are wrong. I saw it in that second I passed from one state of mind to the other, in a moment that seemed like hundreds of years, when Lovecraft came close to me and whispered secret things in my ear. I saw what was to come. It frightened me though I understood.
I remembered Lovecraft. His face a blur like using a camera that would not focus. His breath stank of mint and earth. And though he spoke to me I had the distinct impression he thought I was someone else. Had I received the message in error? Was it meant for someone other than me? I would never discover. Lovecraft revealed it all, and then he left. And I was awake. Remnants of Lovecraft's explanation of the end of things and a foul dream about my ex dancing within the reaches of my mind soup.
I recounted this story for my friends, my family, a few bartenders, and one local radio personality to asked listeners to call in to tell him their theories about the end of the world. One woman told the DJ that Aliens would return to Earth, claim they were here first, and kick us off the planet. A man told him that the world had already ended and we were in Hell. (I assumed he was still married.) And they all thought they were right, but they all were wrong.
Even though I remembered Lovecraft I could not, for the life of me, remember the date The End would come. It seemed to have been whited out of my memory. At least that was what I thought until two weeks ago when it came to me out of nowhere like bad news or bizarre sex scandals involving politicians. It must have done that on purpose, burying itself deep in my noggin until the time came to act on the information.
I quit my job. Grabbed a bag of necessities. Then I drove for the coast.
I am a procrastinator you see. Life has a way of making one forget things like hopes and dreams and instead often has you living in the world fate wants to stick you in. I have, for the better part of my life, wanted to be a writer. To share stories, not unlike what Lovecraft did once upon a time. Sadly my novel had sat half finished for longer than I cared to admit.
I decided I would sit in a house by the water and finish my book while I awaited the end of the world. And really, what better way to meet the Apocalypse then by besting Fate? At least, I had hoped that would be the case.
Seven days to craft this story. God, they say, made the world in seven days. I was making a world too. Creating something from nothing. I wondered if that made me a God. I wondered if that meant the Apocalypse would spare me. It seemed doubtful.
On the last day I did not rest. I wrestled with words and phrases. I clashed swords with sentences, and mounted paragraphs like they were my sexual playthings. I dominated pages. And the story I had to tell poured out of me like a violent storm. A storm like the one gathering on the horizon, turning the light blue sky into a dark purple bruise.
Finally I reached the last two words in my story: THE END.
There was a crackle of thunder and a flash of lightning. A storm was coming, but I already knew that. I sat back in my chair. I saw the dark, massive shapes spring up from the ocean as Lovecraft's Old Gods were (re)born and ready to put an end to the time of man. The blurry faced man was right. The Old Gods were returning and it meant the end.
But I had finished my story. The story I might never had finished otherwise had I not known that the Apocalypse was nigh. I smiled as the dark, scaly things slithered up the sandy beach, croaking like demented frogs.
I wondered how the rest of the world would meet their end. I wondered perhaps selfishly if any people I spoke with would remember my warning and realize with their last breaths that I might have had a point. It did not matter. Not anymore. I hoped they met their end like I did mine.
Had the Old Ones come a day or even an hour earlier I would have been a man that never achieved the purpose I had or wanted for myself. With my story ended I am giddy and laughing when they come upon me.
The last words I utter in this world are straight and to the point. "Fuck you Fate. Fuck you."
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2011
|Eulogy for Joseph L. Douglas Sr. My Grandfather
||[Mar. 25th, 2011|12:03 am]
This is the Eulogy I gave for my Grandfather on Monday, March 7th.|
If I were to stand here and tell all of you the wonderful things about Joseph Douglas, we would be here until tomorrow. Maybe even the next day. It is not easy to sum up a great man like him in just a few words. But I’ll try.
Back when I was in high school my grandfather told me a story. He was talking about his trip to Ireland and about the Douglas family history. While he was telling me this story he casually mentioned that the Douglas’s left Scotland once upon a time and moved to Ireland.
“Why did they move?” I asked him.
Without missing a beat he told me, “The Douglas’s were kicked out of Scotland for being Horse thieves.”
He paused for a moment before he offered me a smile. Joseph Douglas had an amazing sense of humor. Revisiting this memory now I cannot tell you for sure if he was telling the truth, or having some fun with me. At the very least if I ever go back to Scotland my grandfather will have me looking over my shoulder for anyone still bearing a grudge. That is how powerful his stories were. They stayed with you.
Joseph Douglas lived an amazing and full life. He was the type of man that did not tell you how you should live, and instead led by example. There are not enough people like him in the world. Where others talked the talk, he walked the walk. He was kind, compassionate, funny, patient, and full of the kind of goodness many aspire to and never quite reach. He was extremely hardworking and even up to a few years ago was still cutting his own grass, and making chairs and lanterns in his workshop in his basement.
He was a humble man, but always a man possessed of strong character. I think most people in the world today wear different faces for different people. Not Joseph Douglas. He knew who he was and never strayed from that. He is without a doubt the most genuine person I have ever met.
During his life he had many roles: son, soldier, friend, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. I believe the thing he was most proud about in his life was his family, who I can gaze out into a sea of faces and see right here. He loved all of you so very much. You want to talk about love stories? There might be no greater example of love than that between my grandfather and grandmother. Joseph and Margaret Douglas had between them a love story most only dream about. They were married 64 years, and were every bit as in love last week as they were when they first became man and wife. That love grew their children Marguerite, Joe, Mary, and Mark. That love extends to all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. And I, for one, am eternally grateful of it.
He was a very religious man. When life became difficult you never found Joseph Douglas complaining about it. Instead he prayed. He prayed the Rosary four times a day, which is two times more in a day than I think I’ve done my whole life. Whenever I came to St. Athanasius with my kids, which I am sorry to say does not seem like nearly enough times now; he smiled immediately on seeing us. Sharing his faith was important to him, but he never preached his position, like everything else in his life he lived it. I think he would have offered one of those trademarked smiles of his to each and every one of us today for coming here to worship and to celebrate his memory. I have no doubt he wasted absolutely no time among the angels in starting to pray for each and every one of us because that was the kind of man he was.
He had one of the greatest smiles. He never just smiled with his face; he smiled with his whole body and his whole soul. Every smile he gave the world revealed a man grateful for every happy moment that came into his daily life. To share a moment like that with him was an honor. Joseph appreciated all of the blessings in his life.
The last time I saw him in the hospital I got up to leave and I got close to him to say goodbye. He looked up at me and took my hand and said, “Thank you for coming buddy.” And then he smiled. I will never, ever forget his smiles, and I will miss them.
Joseph Douglas passed away last Wednesday March 2, which also happened to be Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Proving the Lord works in mysterious way I found a Dr. Seuss quote that made me think of my grandfather. It goes: Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
With apologies to the good Doctor, I would like to alter it to honor a man I am proud to have had as my grandfather.
Don’t cry because he’s gone. Smile because he happened.
|Thought pulses, and brain meat.
||[Jan. 29th, 2011|12:04 am]
Cold and irritable are my mood and frame of mind respectively. Rum in my glass and beef jerky on my breath reveal that I both have taste and am not afraid to be comfortable. I contemplate the world, the universe, and the reality placed before me.|
I think about how the universe is ever expanding and how all objects within it are moving away from one another. My mind repeats lines from William Gibson novels and sometimes I can hear songs from my youth that act as a conduit to relive moments with friends whose fates have taken them away from mine. The frigid temperatures and snow piled high outside make me think of vast white wastelands, as well as, remember heat scorched dirt and sand that laid under my boot heels for over a year. I marvel at the love for my girls and how, though they love in return, they still possess a certain disdain for me because in their eyes their mother is all.
When television pundits start by saying, "I'm not a racist," I wonder if they listen to the rest of their rhetoric later and possibly think that perhaps they are wrong. Corporations now have the same rights as you or me in America. That means in addition to having more money than you can dream of, they control the conversation too. All of them like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Emotionless voices backed by the souls of people that would rather have money than do anything meaningful in this life. The mechanical voices tempt us with, "COME FLESHY ONES. WE OFFER RICHES AND PRODUCTS AND ALL WE ASK FOR IS YOUR OBEDIENCE,YOUR HUMANITY, YOUR DECENCY, AND YOUR IMAGINATION."
There are those that would give it all away so they can vacation somewhere nice and warm, be regarded as successful for the size of their bank account, never mind who else gets hurt along the way. I am convinced if there is a Devil, he is an Insurance Company acting as a middle man between a patient and their Doctor. And if there ever was a Devil worshiper it is anyone that wants to give that Devil control again to reap profits from the dead and dying. All of those rich freaks in Congress, with their very FREE healthcare, voting on repeal. They might as well shed their clothes, commence the orgy, and sacrifice a goat. BAAAH, motherfuckers. BAAHHHH.
When the world only looks like that horribly painted picture, I am reminded that all the shadows do not fully eclipse me. Art will always heal the soul. Always. Someone's words, photographs, illustrations, films, music, comedy, performance, or passion will touch your heart. Even if you do not fully appreciate or understand what you are experiencing, their devotion to their craft will be a gentle breeze on a hot summer's day.
I think about how my own happiness requires giant sacrifices. I wonder if I am standing up for me or simply being a coward for not making the tough decisions. I wonder if my laziness and struggle with my own soul will result in forgetting my dreams. I could have done so much more with what I have. I do not want to be saying that fifty years from now.
When it gets hard, lately, I have been thinking of a young man or woman, younger than I am now, trying to peacefully demonstrate in a place where the Pharaohs once ruled. I wonder what kind of person stands up to armored guards and tanks and threat of death to shout, "FREEDOM!" I wonder if they will live to see tomorrow. I wonder if those in my own country understand how lucky we are. I doubt it.
Sometimes I wonder if the comets will come and obliterate my world. I wonder if the zombies will pick the bones of the planet. I am curious if God is angry with the life I have led and, if so, why he never bothered to give me a user's manual. If it is like the one for any number of electronic equipment I have ever owned I can promise I would not have read it properly anyway. But at least he would be free and clear and I could accept all of the blame.
I contemplate the Universe and all of its mysteries and contradictions. One truth unites us all - the lovers, the fighters, the lonely ones, the marchers, the artists, and the rest - we all do the best we can with what we have.
And with that, I go to refill my glass.
(c) Shawn J. Douglas 2011
|Please Don't Go.
||[Aug. 24th, 2010|02:07 am]
She died but he would have none of it. |
They all tried to tell him, comfort him, in those gray granite days and hopeless black nights. "Grieve and move on," they said in one voice through many different words. "Make your peace. Let her go." Family. Friends. All those bastards turned against him. They had made it clear where their allegiances now rested. He understood perfectly what this meant.
They were the enemy. Do not listen to them.
He understood the value of patience, you see. Never was there a man that could bide his time like he could. After she was put in the ground in the aftermath of a short though sweet memorial service, the enemy came to him often. Frequent visits. Numerous phone calls. Gently pushing him to let her be no more. He knew the game. He played the part. He offered sincere looking smiles. He assured them all he was on their team.
After some time the voices slowly melted away, sure they had brought him over to their side of things. He quit his job. Men in suits had given him a lot of money because she had died. He used it to help his patience. He redid the master bedroom exactly as she would have wanted it had they ever had the money to do so. He drank often and with grim determination.
He waited the enemy out and when he was sure they were gone, he went to work.
On a night, moonless and rain soaked, he grabbed his newly purchased shovel and drove to see his lady. The wet ground made getting to her a bit easier, but his muscles screamed the deeper he went with the only thing pushing him forward being his unyielding love.
She was dead but he would have none of it.
He was a mess of wet mud and fury. When he got to the coffin, he chuckled with glee. He could not haul it up by himself and instead opened the lid and saw her lying there. He cried tears of joy. They were reunited after all.
He wrapped his true love up in blankets he had bought with the money he made from her death. He carried her to their car and he drove her home. He let her take a nap while he cleaned himself up. When he went into the bedroom with her he was nervous. He felt like he did the first time they had met, when shyness was impossible to overcome. They were together again. The enemy, even death, could not keep them apart. He played her favorite music. He told her everything that had happened during her time away. He knew she was happy to be home with him but there was just something off. He suspected being dead had made her very sad.
They had always wanted to have children together. They had put it off thinking of course they had all the time in the world, as all young couples do. He knew she wanted a child. For the next couple of days and nights, before the police came to separate them once more, he tried to give her a child. He knew they would not know for sure for a couple of weeks but you know.....
At night in the dark, holding her close, he whispered the same thing over and over. That he never wanted her to leave him again.
He's still waiting on her reply.
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2010
||[Aug. 22nd, 2010|12:41 am]
She was always his Dream Girl. |
Once upon a time this was because she was the girl in grade school he wanted to be with. To hold hands with, pass notes to, and steal chaste kisses from in dark corners of the brick school building. He desired her before he understood what desire meant. The girl of his dreams. His Dream Girl.
One smart, elderly man once said: "I have the same nice things to say about politicians that I do about Long Distance Relationships." When he asked what that was the old man answered, "Nothing. The same nice thing I have to say about both of them is nothing. There is nothing good about either, in equal measures."
His Dream Girl and he connected again almost in another life. Years after they played on playgrounds. Years after awkward moments at the water fountain or in later middle school years, barely registering on her radar. They reconnected when hairs he had started turning gray and he felt all his dreams had passed him by. They found that each had been what the other was searching for, and secretly wanted in their own heart of hearts. Missing puzzle pieces. The final note in their respective unfinished songs.
They lived great distances from one another and they declared they would find a way to make it work. And they tried. Continue to try. And it wears on them, sadly. Days together. Weeks and months apart. They go to visit one another when they can and let time manhandle them between being in each other's graces.
Recently he spent lovely days with her. Magic days.
But those days are gone now. Back to their respective lives. Back to time that drags. Nights like these where he is tired and upset and feeling ill as a result of being away from her, he sees glimmers of their time together flash before his eyes. Waking dreams. And he begins to wonder if she really exists at all or if it all only happens in his mind.
In the years he possesses now, he lives this partial happiness where they plan to be together but are still apart, hoping that somehow it all works out. In these new years she is still the girl of his dreams. His waking dreams. The girl he dreams of having visited and whose visits seem like nothing but elaborate fairy tales one has when visiting the Sandman in his own realm. Lonely days like today he is convinced she will not come and be with him. On those days she only lives in the vapor of a well constructed fantasy one has when they close their eyes. Where she might only be make believe.
On these days, she's still his Dream Girl.
She was always his Dream Girl.
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2010
|please, not tomorrow. No.
||[Jun. 9th, 2010|11:39 pm]
The world did not end. The Apocalypse did not come. Survivors of the non-event had to set their alarms again to wake for the jobs they hated, returning to lives that held little interest for them any longer. |
They had prepared, you see. For the riots and the viruses. For the zombies, the rise of the machines, and for the promised religious smiting. They had counted on it. They horded duct tape like Walmart rat-packers. They had gallons of water, canned goods, and weapons. Guns, ammunition, knives, bats, and homemade concoctions ready to brave the world in the hereafter. Ready for tomorrow. When the Mad Max lifestyle stepped off the big-screen and became our "based on a true story."
But then the world kept spinning. Kept turning. In spite of all the signs, promises, and beliefs, it was not over yet.
It was not lost on them the irony that the joy of Armageddon that was not theirs to have. They would not have the nomad freedom. Here the lost and forgotten of society would not show their true colors, rescuing their friends from undead armies, alien invaders, or robotic assassins.
Instead they would have to live now. As they had done. And find some purpose in that.
Real life was much fucking scarier.
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2010
|This girl, she walks into a bar.....
||[May. 13th, 2010|01:23 am]
When she found me I was probably two drinks away from pissing myself at the bar. Luckily I had laid my head down to stop the place from spinning, thus preventing more alcohol from finding a way to trigger an accident. If I was any other poor bastard laying his head down at the bar Anusi would have tossed my sorry ass into the streets. Luckily I was not some other poor bastard. I was me. I had special house privileges. |
"Jesus Christ, look at you," she said as she took the stool next to mine.
Brave girl. I would not have sat next to me after as much as I had to drink simply because no one could be positive it would not be coming back up soon. Even drunk I could smell her. She smelled like jasmine, honey, and sex. If you could bottle that up I would spray every inch of my roach infested apartment with it before I jacked off at the end of the night, first thing in the morning, or every spare minute I had in-between.
I lifted my head. To do so and vaguely look in her direction was to me a miracle equivalent to walking on fucking water. "Do I have to?"
"I suppose not," she answered. "but it was rhetorical, I wasn't asking you to."
My brow creased and I tried to remember what day it was right after I remembered my name. "Mmmm. Well then. I guess you should go now."
"You really do disgust me," she stated. She waved the bartender over and when he moved closer to her she said, "I'll take a Guinness and shot of Jager."
"Put it on my tab, Anusi," I managed to say. I may have been drunk out of my mind but I knew this woman and even though her current image appeared fuzzy to me, I knew she was sexier than most women that walked in and out of my life. Therefore I had to buy her a drink. Just in case.
"Bullshit," answered Anusi. "You don't pay for the drinks I give you now."
"I'm just waiting for that commission check to come in," I said.
"Uh huh," Anusi responded. "You can drink and run a tab. Her, she has to pay."
Anusi went off to make good on the lady's drinks and I offered her a grin. "Sorry. I tried."
"I see that," she said simply. "It really doesn't matter. I wouldn't have allowed you to buy me a drink."
"Because I'm not going to fuck you."
"Oh," I said, not surprised. "Well you can't blame me for trying."
"No, I can't." She leaned over and whispered in my ear. "It's a shame because no one fucks as well as I do Nathan."
Anusi brought her the shot and the stout and she had the Jager down so fast I was pretty sure I was in love. "That a fact?"
"That's a fact," she said.
"Bully for you then," I answered. "If you aren't going to offer me your body we have nothing else to discuss. Go away now."
"Oh no Nathan," she said. "You're going to sober up and come and do God's work."
"I don't think so."
"I need someone of your...talents." She genuinely sounded like she believed that and hated it all at the same time. "You have to come."
I opened my eyes as wide as I was able to do so and focused on her. She wasn't as sexy as I had thought. She was sexier. Blue eyes, long red hair (my personal kryptonite), and lips that should be licensed and only used by a professional. "You hate me. You made that clear that last time we did this, luv. I'm not on call, for you, or anyone. Go find someone you do want to fuck now and piss off."
We had known each other for years now. She loathed me for who I was and who I wasn't. We had a falling out recently mostly from my inability to stay sober for very long and her inability to throw me a mercy screw. Every time I opened my mouth to speak for the last two years her eyes started to roll. The closest we had ever come to getting physical was the time she had been plagued by demons and I had to paint sigils over her naked body. I used finger paints to do it. I could have used a brush but I never told her that. Mostly because I'm a bit of a bastard, and secondly because if you saw her naked you'd want to touch her too.
She clenched her jaw. "I need your help Nathan. I've got a problem only you can solve."
Only I could solve? Oh hell no. "Not a fucking possession Emma."
"Yes, a possession," she said coldly. "And it's Wednesday you daft prick, not Emma."
It's true. Her name was Wednesday. No Addams Family jokes please, she's heard them all. I always got her name wrong. I promised her one day I would get it right. But not before I had been inside her.
I started to get angry. "You shouldn't take any possessions if we're not working together you loopy cunt. You've never done a possession in your life."
She looked down. She appeared vulnerable then. I hated her for it. She was doing it on purpose. "I know."
She said nothing then. I sat up like my body did not hate me. "Call Jacobson. He'll do it. He fancies you."
"I did," she informs me. "He went in for ten minutes then came out to tell me he quit. He called me an hour later and told me to give up on it. He sounded scared."
"Well he was always a bit of a pussy."
"Please Nathan," she said. I would not look at her because I knew she was giving me The Look, and if I saw The Look, I would do whatever she told me to. "I can't do this alone. I know we're not getting along now but you have to do this."
"Babycakes I don't have to do anything, ever. Tell your client there's nothing can be done. Shit, tell them to get a priest."
"They already tried that. The priest went crazy."
I shrugged. "That's all she wrote then."
After the last time exorcising a demon I had given up on the whole thing. Being a natural exorcist required far too much work just to right click and delete a demon from this plane and it always put your own soul in jeopardy.
Wednesday's eyes became glassy. There were tears there. I needed this to end before I promised to do something stupid. I needed to do more shots or make her go away.
"It's my daughter Nathan," she implored. "The client is my daughter."
Wednesday gave her daughter up for adoption years ago. Her sister adopted her. Wednesday and I don't lead lives that mesh well with traditional things like families. She had done it so her little girl could have a real life. Now her daughter was caught up in "our" world.
"Fuck." It was all I could muster. Honesty, kids in general would have made the difference. That it was Wednesday's kid made it a forgone conclusion.
She finished her Guinness and stared straight through me.
I shook my head. "I'm going to need a few things."
Her smile as the tears fell down her face said everything I needed to hear. "Ok."
"Anusi," I yelled to my only other friend in the world. "I'm going now. We'll settle up later."
He came over and started wiping down the counter in front of me. "I hear that at least twice a year Nate. Just go on. Bring me back more friends who do pay."
I offer him the best shit-eating grin I had. "C'mon Anu. You know I don't gots no friends."
He sighed. "We can always hope you change your ways. Go sober up."
I stood without tipping over. "I might need your help getting to the car."
Wednesday moved close to me. "Put your arm around me, we'll go together."
I did as the lady asks. "Don't worry," I stated. "I won't touch you....much."
At the door I added, "If you let me drive I'll let you give me a blowjob."
"Nathan, I wouldn't let you drive if you were sober." I could hear the laughter behind her words. "And if you put anything in my mouth I'll bite it off."
Out in the parking lot the night was cold and clear. "C'mon you kinky bitch," I tell her. "Let's go save your little girl."
(c) Shawn J. Douglas 2010
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