a cathartic expulsion of horrifically cute babble from a magnificently manicured mind

Memories, Fairy Tales, Poems, & Punchlines

by Adam Graydon Brown

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The TOWER

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Okay so here is the concept.

We started with these bottom images… the idea of a Green Tower.

Not entirely green… just a series of parks along it’s sides.  Trees sticking out sideways.  Great places for picnics.  GREAT places to grappel.

 

The rest of tower idea came about as an almost coral reef.

Semi organic (or not) buildings almost growing from the tower core to form shelves.

 

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Also shelves jutting out that lead to strange little houses.

 

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All in all forming a sort of techno organic hodgepodge

starting at 2 claims tall

Bunny Skulls have Voodoo Magic (complete)

A few years ago Tina hired Joe.

Before he started both Tina and Cam would rave about how wonderful he was.

“He is so funny and learns so quickly” they said “He reminds me of you.”

They used to work with him back at the Fairfield before Tina took over here at the Roof.

 

Trainees tend to work 1-9s so I don’t meet them until their first night alone.

The first night I met Joe I barged through the door with my friendliness in high gear.  “Hi! You must be Joe!” I said as I rounded the desk to put my things down and punch in.

Joe was about five nine, with salt and pepper hair, bad posture, and a prominent forehead and brow.

He said nothing.

I kept smiling and exuding friendliness.  “Have a good first night?”

He said nothing.

I was almost done counting the drawer when Joe spoke.

He said “You done yet?!” in a harsh back.

“Just about” I kept right on smiling “Okay, All set.  You are dead on.”

Without another sound Joe marched out the door.

 

It was like that.  He was gruff, I did my best to be friendly.

Up till this point I was coming in fifteen or so minutes early every day.

Since Joe got here I started coming in right on time.

The guy exuded anxiety and rage.  He was a curled up little ball of malice, and that sort of thing is infectious.  I grew tense around his silent seething frame.  I tried to get him out of there as fast as possible.

I took to sitting in the parking lot until eleven on the dot, just so I didn’t have to be in the same room as him for more than a couple minutes.

It still took a few hours to shake the bad vibes every night.

 

It only takes five minutes to get over a guest randomly screaming at me.

 

Apparently Joe had a dog.

I had no idea, until one night a woman came in and just started talking.

She stayed here a lot because she was involved with a married man.  Once a week Phil Zappa and her would shack up in one of our rooms and consummate their forbidden love.  I think her name was Peggy.  She had well sprayed hair piled in ringlets on top of her head and a pair of sunglasses perpetually around her neck.

One night she came down to the lobby and started rambling.  “Oh isn’t Joe’s dog the cutest?  I think it’s great how your boss.. Tina right? .. lets him bring her to work with him every night.  I cut her hair for Joe did you know that? I did such a good job that Joe has me cut his hair” and this sort of thing for about five minutes before finally coming up for air.

“I didn’t know Joe had a dog.”

“What you didn’t?  but he brings her in every night.”

“No.  He must take her to the car before I get here.”

He’d been here a year at this point, maybe more

“Well he must talk about her.”

I said “No, I don’t talk to Joe.”

 

I heard about the dog a few times after that.

 

The time he got in trouble because Tina told him not to bring her in when the district manager was visiting.

 

The time the guest came in, while I was relieving Joe, panicked at the barking dog in the car in the parking lot.  “That’s my dog.  It’s none of your business.” Said Joe with all of his crustacean charm.

 

Then there was the time Jaime was doing a room rack (making sure all of the vacant rooms were clean) and she found a dog in one of the empty rooms.

 

There was shit and piss everywhere and things were chewed up.  When she returned to the lobby freaking out at this random dog Joe said “She’s mine.  She is fine.”

 

That’s it.  I never saw that dog, not even a picture.

I thought it was important to bring up because when they want to humanize a character in a movie or book they tend to give him a dog.  There is apparently something about someone having a dog that makes them likable.

 

Therefore I am telling you about Joe’s dog to make him likable.

 

Cam is my first shift person.  She’s about the friendliest most sociable person you might meet.  She is brilliant at dealing with the general public, cracks jokes, remembering their birthdays and their room preferences after they have been gone for years.  She’s just a crack shot people person, born to it.

 

Despite her knowing him for years, and all of her glowing reviews, Cam couldn’t stand Joe either.  She took to calling him Darth Vader because he used to be good but had turned to the dark side.  She called him that to his face.  It was important he knew.

 

 

Every once in a while Joe would come up for air and almost be a person for a little while.

 

We only had a few brief conversations.  During one he told me about his chronic headaches, Tina would tell him to go to a doctor but he was afraid that if he did “They will just tell me I am going to die.”

 

 

Another time he told me how he went down to North Carolina to assistant manage at a bit Marriot or something.  He told me all of his employees were black.  They jumped him in the parking lot after his first day of work and beat the shit out of him.  He never went back.

 

 

He told me about how he used to use Adult Friend Finder until he got too fat, that it was a good time fucking random girls.  He told me he regretted not settling down and starting a family in his 30s because it was now too late for him.

He told me he used to be addicted to pain pills, but he still downed handfuls of exedrin.

 

 

That sums up pretty much every conversation I had with Joe.

 

Until one night he didn’t leave until eleven forty five, just lingering and fiddling.

 

I messaged Tina about it on facebook, just bitching.

 

 

The next night Jess came to work with me.  This was before we were even dating, that three month trial period.

 

 

I walked into the lobby a few minutes ahead of her.

 

When I walked in, instead of the usual unpleasant silence Joe snapped “Don’t even talk to me.”

 

I rounded the desk to punch in “I wasn’t planning on it.”

 

Then he started yelling “You post on facebook when I leave?  What business is that of yours?!”

 

Jess walked in, he said “How can I help you?”

 

I said “She’s with me.”

 

She sat quietly in the corner chair and flipped through a copy of table hopping.

 

So I tried to explain that I didn’t post shit on facebook and that he was a crazy motherfucker.

 

And he ranted about how I’d always been out to get him.

 

Then Mr Coorsen came in and asked me to make some copies.

 

So I yelled at Joe how he should be medicated, and everyone knows it.

 

Then he attacked me for being bipolar.  Oh the yelling.  Oh the drama.

 

Jess read quietly.  Mr Coorsen, a sweet little guy with tan skin, white hair, and giant eyes, waited for his copies.

 

Then Joe yelled something about how Niasia had warned him that I fuck with people and that I do.

 

I yelled at him over and over that he had to get medicated, do whatever it took to fix that crazy head of his.

 

It was a whole rigamarole.

 

I handed Mr Coorsen his copies as a group of guys walked in.

 

Joe disappeared, not out the door but, into Tina’s office.

 

I apologized profusely to Mr Coorsen about the drama.  He disappeared into the night.

 

I was trying to get the guys checked in to three rooms when the phone rang.

 

“Thank you for calling, yadda yadda how may I be of service?”

 

It was Tina “What is going on there?” she said, her voice was slurred.

 

“I am trying to get people checked in and Joe is yelling at me.”

 

“Well it needs to stop.”

 

“I see no reason why Joe can’t go home.  His shift is over…. And I just need you to sign there and initial there and there, sir.”

 

The other phone line was going.

 

“I need to get the other line.”

 

“Don’t hang up on me!”

 

“Tina, I am trying to do my job.  I’m putting you on hold.”

 

Then another couple walked in.

 

I handled the phone call, bouncing back and forth between the two computers, while finishing checking in those guys to their rooms.

 

And then I started taking care of the couple, and Tina called back.

 

“Don’t put me on hold.”

 

“Tina it is busy here.  Please tell Joe to just go home.”

 

“I took sleeping pills because I have to get some sleep and now I have to deal with this.”

 

“Really, I can’t talk to you” as even more people walked in and the other line started going… which is all really weird because 11 oclock isn’t a peak time for a hotel in Syracuse in the winter.  “Please just tell him to leave.”

 

“He said you told him I said to get medicated.”

 

“Yes.  I have to put you on hold.”

 

Which I did, and finally got to attend to the guests in front of me with more than hand signals.

 

A few minutes later Joe marched out of the back room and into the night.

 

 

I got everyone snug in their beds and then got to spend time with Jess.

 

I would have to say, that a healthy factor in her getting to know me was her getting a front row seat to me having a ridiculous screaming match with a guy.

 

Mr Coorsen got a free night and I’m embarrassed every time I see him to this day.

 

We have drama around here sometimes, like the time Hamdo pulled the baseball bat on Andy, or the time Hamdo pulled the baseball bat on Ed.  It all glosses over in the long run.

 

A few days later I was setting up a web site.  It was called OffenseIntended.com and I needed a banner.  This was the middle of the night, middle of my day, like 3am.  I started drawing bunny skulls.

 

The bunny skull was kinda my personal emblem.  I flew it on a flag over my armies when we played Risk.  It was on my guild’s tabards when we played World of Warcraft.  It followed me around.

 

It’s not like a anatomically correct rabbit skull, more of a normal skull with buck teeth and bunny ears.

 

I drew a few of them and uploaded them.  Then, for no good reason, I taped the physical copy to the cupboard.

 

Hours passed, my shift ended, and I went home.

 

 

The next day I woke to a text from Tina. “Lol.  Call me when you get this.”

So I called “Joe quit.  He walked off the job.”

I said, all joy in my voice “Why?

“I thought you’d be happy” she laughed “It was because of those skulls or whatever you drew.  Can you come in early?”

I said “Sure.”

“He got upset I called him childish and stormed off.”

“Why’d you call him childish?”

“Because he was being a baby about it.  He stormed out.  I called Jaime back and was going to tell her to take them down and she told me he left.”

“That’s nuts.  What an idiot.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying.”

 

So I went in early, and relieved Jaime from her first day alone.  I’d never met her before.  She was friendly.

She said “He walked out, and I waited a while, and then I looked and his truck was gone.”

 

I laughed and laughed and looked at my little bunny skulls hung there on the wall.

That night I sat down and wrote a shorter version of this story called ‘Bunny Skulls Have Voodoo Magic’ cause that was some powerful mojo.

 

Time passed.  Joe never reared his head here again.

We heard he got a job over a hotel in Cicero.  I kept wanting to call there and say things like “Does Joseph _____ work there?  Yes, this is the North Carolina police department just calling to make sure that his work puts him in no contact with children.”  Just that.  It kept popping in my head.  I wanted to mess with him (as he was apparently absolutely SURE I was going to do on the day I met him) but I never did it.  I just didn’t want him even having the tiniest thought it might be me.  I wasn’t scared of him or anything, just not keen on being in a room with him again.

 

Tina got an email from him.  He told her there were no hard feelings, happy to see that everything worked out Jaime, that it all worked out for the best.  He told her about how everyone over there liked him and he was much happier and that he wanted to still be friends with her.

 

She never replied.

 

Years passed.

Cam and I are still here.  Jaime stayed a while and now she’s long gone.

 

Now Joe is dead.

 

I woke up to this facebook message from Tina on Friday:

“Jason’s wife is working at the hotel in Cicero where Joe was working and he informed me that Joe died last May of a brain aneurysm”

“Well that’s weird”  is what I sent back.

 

And that seems to be everyone’s response.  They laugh.

“Joe died” … “Lol what?”

Jenny says it’s because it’s such a Joe-like thing to do.

I say it’s because he seemed to mean to die.

 

I found a video montage on youtube of his in memoriam baby pictures and what not.

I tried to brace myself in sobriety at the loss of a human life, but I couldn’t stop shaking my head and smiling thinking “That is so weird.”

 

Cam laughed, Tina laughed, everybody laughed.

It’s just so weird.

 

And the weirdest part is this…..

While I was screaming at him that night…

to get medicated, so see a doctor for these bad moods….

I guess I was actually trying to save his life.

 

The bunny skulls are still hanging on that cabinet to this day.

bunny skulls

Or an Hour Long Walk

Thunder rolled in the distance like the sky was cracking her knuckles before rolling in the dawn.

Heather got hit by one fat old raindrop and braced for more.  There weren’t any.  All that noise just to build up one raindrop whose sole purpose was to kamikaze itself on Heather’s arm.

This didn’t make Heather feel at all important. This didn’t make her feel special.  It didn’t put her at one with the universe.  All Heather felt was the weariness of her brow, the weight in her heart, and the ache of her feet.

Sun was just rounding the horizon and she’d already been walking for an hour.  The bus doesn’t run to Heather’s part of town, and she couldn’t afford to live anyplace nicer.  She got up before the song birds  every morning so she could pack her clothes for the day, eat a piece of dry toast, brush her teeth and stumble out the door.  It’d be nice to wake up early so she didn’t have to scurry, but the half an hour of sleep was nicer.

She was bundled today.  It was the tail end of winter, things were still cracked and brown and chilled.  She had on three sweaters over a tshirt and a tank top, all of that was bundled into a powder blue northface that looked like it had gotten into a few fights and lost them all.

 

She had on a pair of jeans over a pair of sweatpants.  Her legs were spattered in mud droplets.  It was nice when there was a sidewalk, but most of the times she had to walk on the side of the road.  Cars always spray.

 

It was a crap day but at least there wasn’t slush.  It was a crap day but Heather was fine with a day like this.  She’d been praying for crap days as nice as this all winter long, and she certainly wasn’t going to spit on those prayers now that they’d come true.  She tried to keep warm by thinking to herself “It could be worse” and remembering the days it was.

 

The traffic got busier the closer she got to work.  Not more than one car a day passed down Heather’s tattered street, but in the last few blocks it was bumper to bumper.  Cars were cutting eachother off, horns were honked, bumpers scraped so the throng could get to the jobs they loathed and start watching the clocks in the lower right hand corner of their solitaire machines.

 

Heather smiles a lot when people are around.  She always laughs at a joke, even if it isn’t funny.   Her wink is well practiced and often used.   Her hips are wide and her top narrow, to the extent that she wobbles a bit when she walks.  Though she never has time to make herself up in the morning she is still a fairly attractive woman.

 

She’s at least pretty enough to attract Burt’s attention.

 

Burt is the janitor.  He’s six foot four and his head is a bit too large for his straight chestnut hair.   He has a little moustache and a large round nose.  It always takes him a little too long to mop in front of Heather’s table.

 

Heather was separating the cellophane from the plastic bits, getting them all lined up so she could do her second round of assembly when Burt came mopping by.  She tried to keep her eyes on her work but she accidentally made eye contact and saw his looney grin break.

 

“Hey there, Heather” his voice was slow and sweet, less like honey and more like jello.

 

“Hey Burt” she said.  She couldn’t help but smile, it’s who she is, even though she knew it would only keep her here longer.  It’s not that she disliked him.  He was always very pleasant.  She simply didn’t enjoy talking to him.

 

“How was your walk?”  He kept on mopping as he spoke, slow elegant swirls of water and detritus on the cement floor.

 

“It was fine, Burt.   What’s the point of complaining?” She threw him her practiced wink.

 

“Did you hear I got a new car?” His smile was even bigger now. Friendliness fizzed from it.

 

“Oh really?  That is nice.  What kind?”

 

“Well it isn’t new but it is new to me.  Dodge Charger. ’98.”

 

“Charger eh?”  Heather took a break from her smile to sigh.  She wanted nothing more than to go back to bed, failing that she just wanted to zone out on her work so that the day would melt away.  It was so hard to tell him to just fuck the fuck off because he was so damned friendly.  She almost wished this goonish janitor was more of a jerk.

 

“Yeah.  I’m pretty proud of it.  Maybe on lunch you want to see it?”

 

“Maybe… Probably not though.  I have to use the cafeteria.”

 

“Didn’t bag it?”

 

“Didn’t have time.”

 

“I could take you out to lunch.  My treat.. as long as I am treating you to Taco Bell.”  He guffawed at this treasure of a jest then said “But hey I live out near you so if you want a ride or anything.”

 

He mopped in place while she considered it.  She couldn’t decide if eight minutes in a car with his guy was better than an hour in the cold.  Her brow furrowed then she said “That’d be really nice.”

She thought about what she could do with that hour.  She could pack herself a lunch, maybe put on some makeup and feel like a woman every once in a while.  She could check out the news.  Or she could just sleep in.

 

Thinking about it brought a genuine smile to her face.

 

She looked at Burt and said “Yeah.  That would be really nice.”

 

Burt, his voice that was reminiscent of Don Knotts, said “No problem.  You can pay me in blowjobs.”

 

Her jaw dropped and a pebble fell down her throat.

His face was that of a vaudevillian comic, expectant and waiting for laughter.

 

It didn’t come.

 

Tears came to her eyes.

 

She grit her jaw to prevent them from getting any farther than that.

 

Realization hit Burt, his eyes turned into twitching sauces.  He said “I was only kidding.  Just kidding.  Jeez.  You want a ride tonight?”

 

Heather sat there letting go of dreams of an extended morning.  They wrenched out of her head, yanked by the image of herself in the passenger side of a 98 Dodge Charger while Burt grabbed her and held her down.   They were menaced away by the image of his awkward penis lurching towards her.

 

It was like that for a while.  Heather staring at her work, rapidly sorting, Burt mopping in place.

 

He said “Jeez.  I’ll stop back later.”

 

Heather clipped “Please don’t” and kept her eyes on her work.

 

 

That night she walked home.

 

It had rained throughout the day, so the roads were deep with slush.

 

It got into her boots and soaked her socks.

Even her hat was spattered in mud.

 

The walk took an hour and a half, and when she got home it was after dark.

 

Still the whole way she thought to herself “It could be worse” and smiled.

Dandelion Red Eye

Last night we were dandelion seeds.
We were so warm and cozy all day long, snug on the stem with our little friends, basking in the warmth of the sun.

Night came and we were scared but the stem taught us a song.  We sang in unison, a sweet little choir, and it helped stave off the fear.

Then the big old moon was blotted out by roiling clouds.  The stars were smothered.  The wind kicked up and drove a chill through us that left us shivering.

We would have held hands for warmth but we had no hands.  We would have hugged but we had no arms.  All we could do was tremble.

Off in the distance the sky growled and the wind grew fierce.  Though my seed was still attached to the stem my head was tugged away with the breeze.  The tugs grew harder and harder.  I closed my eyes to keep the wind from battering them.  I gritted my teeth with anxiety.

I heard you cry out, then your voice grew distant.

And like that I lost my roots.  I went tumbling away from the flower.  My seed heart raced as I barrelled and plunged through the black sky.

I had some heart though, for I could still hear your far off voice and knew I was heading towards you.

I called to you again and again but you couldn’t hear me.  Around me giant drops of rain began to fall.  The sheer speed of their passage was enough to knock me from them, like a little fluffy pinball.

I called for you once more and heard you call back in panic.  I knew I had to calm you and I knew only one thing.  I started singing the song the stem taught us.  I started softly but raised my volume until finally I was screaming above the storm.

SHALA LALA OOOMAWOOO LA LA LA
SHALA LALA OOOMAWOOO LA LA LA

And out there, over the sound of my own singing, and the rain, and the thunder I could hear you singing back to me.

Slowly my fear went away.  It was replaced by exileration.  This wasn’t a tragic twist! This was a grand adventure!  This was the reason for existance!

We went on like that for hours, blasted by the wind and pinballed by raindrops.

Until the wind began to slow, and the thunder grew sparse.

My singing grew soft as I floated to the earth.  There was something transubstantive in coming down to my new home.

I didn’t hear you at all.

I landed on a raindrop between two blades of long healthy grass.  From that vantage point I watched the clouds part and daylight break.

I was very happy to have a home as good as this.  I had always thought I’d be lucky to get a cow pie… more likely a well groomed lawn for the likes of me.

But this spot was perfect.  It had sun and rich earth.  You couldn’t ask for a better spot to raise a family.

I was just snapping out of appreciating my luck and starting to miss you when I heard your voice raised in song.  From not far away you were singing the happiest song:

YADDIDDADA YADIDADADA
YADDIDDADA YADIDADADA

so I joined you.

And that was the way it went all the way until we had flowers of our own and sent our children forth on their own grand adventures.

Brain Spiders!!!

Most people are controlled by spiders that crawled into their ears in the middle of the night.

 

These spiders scurry around to the front of their brain and build little webs there.  When they want a person to do something they just tug on the web.

 

This is why people are so afraid of spiders.  The spider in their brain is afraid that the spider on the wall will try to steal their host from them.

 

Spider parasites are responsible for every, not just most, event in human history.  World War II?  Spiders.  The Renaissance? Spiders.  That Subway moving in across the street?  Spiders.

 

I’m not telling you this because I want you to rise up with me to stop them.  That would be pointless.  It goes too deep, it is too widespread, it is all encompassing.   It’s just how it is.

 

No, I just told you because it is interesting.

color me murder

Color Me Bad was playing at the Days Inn earlier. Hundreds of people crowded into that decaying lobby and they got a good value for their ticket price. Most of them came over here to stay, because we are a better hotel, so Days Inn’s investment didn’t really pay off.

All night Jenny has been waiting on these Color Me Bad hardcore fans all night. I keep thinking they are asleep in bed then one will pop in for a towel. They are the most motley assortment you could imagine. There is a one eyed man who speaks with a lisp, there is this set of little kids: triplets or twins who keep changing their clothes, there are three old ladies as different as night, day, and a totally different day. All sorts of odd creatures posing as human beings, all united in loving Color Me Bad and wanting to annoy the shit out of Jenny.

One dude with a beer gut and a warty nose just came in asking Jenny if we had an extra spittoon. She sent him away farting into the night.

One dude asked if we had coffee. He filled up enough cups to empty the pot and then patiently waited while she made some more.

One asked for one of those “things, with the bristles, that you use to scrape off your car.” Jenny said “It’s called a snowbrush” and handed him one. He must have travelled far to see this legendary band.

I sat here all night, just hoping none of them saw me in my little corner.

Then the cops walked in.

They walked straight up to Jenny and said “Do you have any Color Me Bad fans staying here?”

“I’m not sure we have anyone staying here BUT color me bad fans” she said with a polite smile.

“We are going to need to talk to all of them” said the cop.

Jenny looked at me for help. I shrugged as if to say “Yeah, call them all”

And so Jenny did, but she didn’t inform them of the cops. She said “There is $50 down here in the lobby. Did you drop it?”

It worked. There is nothing a Color Me Bad fans likes more than Fifty Bucks…. except Color Me Bad.

One by one they straggled down, hair in curlers, dentures out, nightgowns, pajamas, boxers and tighty whities… all in a rush to claim some free money.

Every one strutted in the lobby with their hand out. We’d point to the door, around which the cops were hiding. The cops were all “shhhhh.” So those pinnacles of fandom just stood around wishing our hotel provided bathrobes.

When they were all shepherded in, some drinking coffee, The cops said “Listen up. One hour ago we found a corpse in the Day’s Inn… right in the spot where the concert was. We know that to one of you this is not a surprise. And we are going to find out which one.”

They all stood there slack jawed. “Color Me Bad is the music of love and kindness for all people.. how could there have been a murder?” was the message reading in their eyes.

It was a while before anyone spoke. “Okay, start the torture” said cop 1.

Cop 2 pulled out a pair of pliers. He said “It’s torture time.” which i found very unprofessional.

It was only three screams in that Jenny stepped forward. “I did it” she said “I killed the person at the Color Me Bad concert.”

I know she couldn’t bear to see innocent people suffer. She was just that kind of sucker.

The cop’s said “What did the body look like?” in unison.

Jenny said “It was a fat old black lady missing her right arm.”

She looked so brave, so resolute.

Cop 1 said to Cop 2 “Close enough.”

They threw Jenny to the ground and kicked her a few times, slapped cuffs on her, and dragged her away.

She never said a peep. She just looked kind of sad.

Then she was gone forever.

So now i have to watch the desk, and i’m not ever sure i’m going to get overtime for it because it’s not authorized… but i don’t want to call Tina and wake her up. So, this is a stupid Saturday night and i just want to go home and see Jess.

As for the Color Me Bad fans? They all lived happily after.

The Lone Tanzimarian

The republic of Tanzimar is a very small country.  It has a stable and amiable climate ranging from 65 to 72 degrees farenheit year round.  The tiny population is well fed but always seems agitated.  In fact they positively rock back and forth all of the time.

 

The republic of Tanzimar is a rather new country.  In fact it was only colonized two and a half hours ago.  It is neighbored on all sides by the USA and it’s biggest import is coffee.  It has no exports to speak of.

 

 

 

The republic of Tanzimar exists between two of the chairs in my lobby.

It’s entire population is one guy, who never gave his name, who found our rates too high and instead of going to the Milton or the 6 decided to lean across the counter and let loose a wild scream.  When he was done I calmly replied “I’m sorry sir, I don’t make up the prices they are based on the competition in the area.”

 

This man is wearing a ragged tshirt that read “Pool Buster” in dark blue letters, a pair of carpenter’s jeans with quite a bit of wear on them, and (I found out when he marched away from the counter) sandals.   It is currently -8 degrees out.

 

He did not march out the door.  He sat between the two chairs on the far end of the room, the leathery maroon ones, and started rocking back and forth.

 

It was fifteen minutes before he started muttering “I secede.  I secede.  I secede.”

It was fifteen more before I named his country for him.  I thought Tanzimar sounded respectable, though I didn’t give it much thought.

 

A half an hour after that I asked him “Would you like a cup of coffee?” thinking, wildly, that a stimulant might calm him down.

 

He didn’t stop rocking but he did nod a bit so I poured him one and brought it to him.

 

I gave it to him black.  He was annoying me so he didn’t deserve cream and sugar.

He drank it slowly and between sips kept muttering “I secede.”

 

Ten minutes ago I called the police.

 

I feel bad, despite the wild screaming he seems like a nice guy.  I don’t want to get him in trouble but I can’t have him sitting in the lobby and I think he might lose his toes if I send him outside.

 

The police are here.  They swerve in with four squad cars as always.

 

Two officers enter, followed by another.

 

They all stand and kind of smirk at the guy then the one who looks like an action hero approaches me.  I hate this cop, for no other reason than he looks like an action hero.

“How long’s he been here?”

“About three hours.”

“He just been … rocking like that?”

“Yup.  Screamed a little.”

“You got a name?”

“Nope.  Only things he has said since he walked in the lobby were ‘how much for a room?’ and ‘I secede’.”

“I see.  And your name?”

“Adam Brown”

“Okay.  We’ll get him out of your hair.”

 

The donut-loving looking cop approaches the king of Tanzimar.  He says “Come on.  Let’s get you out of here.”

He reaches for the guy, the guy squeals and scurries into the corner.

The cop approaches him again.  “Look, I’m trying to do this the easy way.”

He reaches out again.  His highness bites him.

The cop pulls out a small vial of what seems to be pepper spray and begins spraying it into the guy’s face.

This is not cool, partly because it is along the lines of police brutality, and partly because we are in a closed room.

 

So my eyes are watering now and I am gagging a bit.

Action cop and cop number three scurry out the door.

I grab my phone and do the same.

Meanwhile donut-loving looking cop grabs the, now squealing in pain, guy by his hair and drags him out of the lobby with us.

 

When they clear the lobby door cop number three, who looks like my cousin Greg, cuffs the guy and then  grabs his legs.

 

“You have a good night” says the Action cop as they shove the guy into the back of a squad car.

 

Three of the squad cars pull away shortly thereafter.

The fourth lingers as though the driver were playing Candy Crush Saga or doing paperwork.

Then it too drives off into the night.

 

When the lobby is once again habitable I venture in from the will breaking cold.

 

If this was a movie I’d find some scrap of glowing paper that proves the guy is an alien and the only hope to save the earth.  I’d have to ditch my post to save him from the police who were about to dissect him.  I’d help him get whatever he needed to overcome the toxins in the earth’s atmosphere that were making him crazy… and then together we would save the motherfucking day.

 

This isn’t a movie though.  So the guy is just going to get locked up in CPEP, spend some time in a mental hospital if there are any rooms open…. Probably won’t be so he’ll be tossed back into the night in 36 hours.

 

Me?  I’ll just write it all down and then forget about it because it no longer has shit to do with me.

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