Sunday Morning, one A.M. and I had just run out of booze.
Can’t buy booze until noon on a Sunday.
So at one o’clock a.m. the count-down began.
I was resolved to weather the approaching storm.
Tried to keep my mind occupied by watching YouTube vids.
Listening to ‘Happy’ Songs.
Reminiscing of all the beautiful women I had known.
None of these activities were working.
Dread and Impending Doom loomed larger and larger in my head.
“And how slow and still the time did drag along.”
I was counting down the hours until noon.
Surely I could make it.
Hell! I’m a ‘Tough Guy’
I had ‘almost’ become a Navy SEAL!
(I was wrong)
Heard heavy footsteps approaching around 0900 hrs.
No point in locking the door; he had his own key.
I heard the key in the doorknob and in he strolled.
“Good Morning Cowboy. How’s Trix?”
“Go fuck yourself,” I said. “You only have three hours before I kick your sorry ass to the curb.”
“An awful lot can happen in three hours. And I do mean ‘AWFUL’” He said.
“Well you just hide and watch, but you are wasting your time here today.”
“I got nothing better to do at this moment, nor any other place to be, so I accept your invitation.”
“Suit yourself,” I said.
Approximately ten o’clock the shakes had begun mildly at first, about a two on the Richter Scale.
By eleven, up to a six.
I looked over at DT Man. He was reading my copy of ‘Huckleberry Finn.’
“Hey Asshole! Who gave you permission to read my books?”
“You did, when you were foolish enough to let yourself run out of booze.”
Eleven-thirty, up to a nine on the scale. Shaking very visibly now.
DT Man said, “Hey, I found a great passage. I will share it with you.”
Then he began to read aloud:
“I don’t know how long I was asleep, but all of a sudden there was an awful scream and I was up. There was pap looking wild, and skipping around every which way and yelling about snakes. He said they was crawling up his legs; and then he would give a jump and scream, and say one had bit him on the cheek–but I couldn’t see no snakes.
He started and run round and round the cabin, hollering “Take him off! take him off! he’s biting me on the neck!” I never see a man look so wild in the eyes. Pretty soon he was all fagged out, and fell down panting; then he rolled over and over wonderful fast, kicking things every which way, and striking and grabbing at the air with his hands, and screaming and saying there was devils a-hold of him.
He wore out by and by, and laid still a while, moaning. Then he laid stiller, and didn’t make a sound. I could hear the owls and the wolves away off in the woods, and it seemed terrible still. He was laying over by the corner. By and by he raised up part way and listened, with his head to one side. He says, very low:
“Tramp–tramp–tramp; that’s the dead; tramp–tramp–tramp; they’re coming after me; but I won’t go. Oh, they’re here! don’t touch me –don’t! hands off–they’re cold; let go. Oh, let a poor devil alone!”
Then he went down on all fours and crawled off, begging them to let him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging; and then he went to crying. I could hear him through the blanket.
By and by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking wild, and he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn’t come for him no more. I begged, and told him I was only Huck; but he laughed SUCH a screechy laugh, and roared and cussed, and kept on chasing me up.
Once when I turned short and dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me by the jacket between my shoulders, and I thought I was gone; but I slid out of the jacket quick as lightning, and saved myself.
Pretty soon he was all tired out, and dropped down with his back against the door, and said he would rest a minute and then kill me. He put his knife under him, and said he would sleep and get strong, and then he would see who was who.
So he dozed off pretty soon. By and by I got the old split-bottom chair and clumb up as easy as I could, not to make any noise, and got down the gun. I slipped the ramrod down it to make sure it was loaded, then I laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set down behind it to wait for him to stir. And how slow and still the time did drag along.”
“Ring any bells?” He said.
Twelve o’clock. FINALLY! And a solid ten on the Richter Scale.
It took me five minutes to get to my feet and grab my car keys. They jingled against my house key and my rent-a-shed key, making a terrible music. My legs were shaking so badly I thought I was going to collapse right there.
DT Man said “Well, my work is done here.” As he was walking through the door, he turned and said,
“Have a nice day.” And left.
Astute enough to realize there was no booze run in my future, if I even had a future, I managed to find my phone and dial 911. Then I tremble-walked over to my door and opened it, leaving it so.
Staggered over to my bed, collapsed, and waited.
About ten minutes passed and the Paramedics entered my room.
“Can you stand up and walk Sir? “One of them asked.
“That would be a ‘No’” I answered.
“Okay, just sit tight while we bring in the gurney. It’ll just take a minute”
“I got no pressing engagements at the moment, so sure, I’ll ‘sit tight’”
They wheeled in my little ‘Four-Wheeled Chariot’ close my bed. Stupidly, I tried to stand up. Immediately collapsed back down on the bed.
The two of them, one on each side, helped me to my feet and steadied me alongside the gurney.
“Think you can lower yourself onto it?” One of them asked.
“I can try, but most likely I’ll miss then you will have to pick me up off the floor.”
Using some brute strength, they succeeded in planting me on the thing, then strapped me in.
And off we rolled.
Once outside, I noticed they had fetched along a fire truck along with their ambulance.
“You Boys thinking I had set my place on-fire? For Fuck sake, I couldn’t strike a match even if my life depended on it.”
“No, just standard operating procedure.” One answered.
Just before they loaded their ‘precious’ cargo (That would be ‘me’), Deb appeared and asked if there were any I wanted her to call for me.
“Yeah,” I said. “Call my bookie–he’s in the book–his name is ‘Guido‘, and tell him to cancel all my bets. Oh and tell Cynthia I won’t be needing any toilet paper for a while. Other than that, no, there is no one. Catch ya later.”
They wheeled me into the ambulance.
And off we went, (The driver finding every pot-hole along the way,) headed to the Hospital I presumed / hoped—as opposed to that ‘Other’ Place.
As one of the paramedics stayed in the back with me, taking my “Un-Vital Signs,” this song kept playing in my head. I sure did hope it were true.
Chapter Three Coming Soon…