The Bartender Journals: Anachronism Chapter 2

Friday, August 25, 2006

Anachronism Chapter 2

I keep having this dream. I’m stuck in the back row of a plane. The plane is hot, too hot. I keep sweating like a madman and as more passengers board I hope to hell nobody sits next to me. Just as people get situated and begin reading the Skymall catalog, it happens. There she is. She looks different every time but all that I know when I look at her is that she’s the girl of my dreams. Sometimes blonde, sometimes a redhead, always beautiful. Not magazine twenty grand boob job, thirteen inch waist beautiful, but that kind of better than real beautiful you see in real life. The kind of girl who takes all the attention in the room when she really shouldn’t. This time she has bobbed black hair and thick black plastic rimmed glasses. She’s reading a dog eared copy of “The Sun Also Rises” for what must be at least the dozenth time. I can see at least a dozen tiny Post-It notes placed about the text. She sits next to me and stares. She stares straight into my eyes, my heart, and my soul. She speaks. I can never remember the words when I wake up but it’s as if her lips move silently and I’m filled with that feeling. That feeling that everything is going to be O.K.. That feeling that this is right. Then the plane jumps. At first I pass it off as mild turbulence. Then the turbulent becomes violent. We begin to plummet to the ground. I’m in the back row but for some reason if I look down the length of the cabin I can see through the canopy and see the ground coming ever closer. My nameless dream girl and I are holding each other. Then we hit the ground and I wake up. I’ve been having this dream for over five years now.

* * *

“Holy fucking shit!” I yell as I sit up from the cot in the Doctor’s office. The first thing I see is a some three hundred pound man in a khaki Sheriff’s outfit complete with Mountie hat and aviator sunglasses standing over me. Before I can get completely upright, he slaps me in the face with a cold wet palm that, if it were a steak, would set you back eighty bucks in any decent restaurant.

“Get a hold of yourself boy! No need for profanity.” Before I respond I slide my tongue across my teeth looking for anyone MIA. It’s then that I feel my chest. I recoil back with a sensation like Paul Bunyan had kicked me in the sternum. “Now just get a hold of yourself son. Doc Smith tells me you cracked a couple a ribs turning over that motor scooter of yours so save your strength.”

“Where in the shit am I?” Again Boss Hog slaps me and this time I’m more bewildered than in pain.

“Now I told you about that language. Keep a lid on it.” With that the sheriff rubs his chin, removes his glasses, and gives me a once over. “Now where you from son? Doc tells me that your license says Denver.”

I think about this and say. “I was formerly a resident, yes.” It’s then that I realize that the sheriff is gumming a long gone coffee straw. “Now don’t horse me around son, ya see I ain’t got the patience for it.” It’s only then that I can bring my knuckles to my eyes, clear the teas and grime, and blood, and look at the man to see that he is speaking with all seriousness.

“Yes sir. I’m from Denver. And to be totally honest, I don’t have the faintest clue of where I am.” Feeling at least semi re-acquainted with reality I say this with my best talking to the cops face.

“Well son.” He says, not missing a beat. “You’re smack dab in the middle of Eden Springs Colorada.” That wasn’t a typo. Like many a podunk before him he actually pronounced the last o with an a.

“Hell’s bells.” I say. “So what happened to my bike?”

The Sheriff thinks about this for a sec, taking time to suck on his swizzle stick and says. “Danny over at the service station is working on it for the time being. You gotta understand we don’t get much in the way of tourism round here. I just wanted to give ya a once over to make sure you weren’t some kind of trouble maker. Ya got a foul mouth on ya but that’s understandable seeing as yer circumstances.” With that the gargantuan man grabs the side of my face and gives me a good shake and has a laugh. “Name’s Bill Brunson, Sheriff Brunson to you.” He says as he grasps my free hand with the prime rib. “I got a couple a matters to attend to so take care and let me know if there’s anything I can do for ya.” With that the Sheriff leaves but his odor and demeanor remain.

Had I presently been capable, I most certainly would have become once again physically ill at this encounter but my upper bowels were as dry as the Kalahari. I take the time to examine my chest and find that it’s tightly bandaged from belly button to nipples. Having previously broken ribs, I know that sitting up will require Herculean fortitude. Bereft of alternatives I decide to proceed and once again dress myself from my set of clothes that I find once again, neatly pressed on the dresser. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing repetitively and expecting new results.

I hobble once again into the office to find the doctor at the reception desk with his feet up doing a crossword. He gives me a quick but altogether unimpressed glance and returns to chewing on the back of his pen.

“What the hell is going on?” I ask.

“Five letter word starting with L for ‘One who lacks success’?” The Doctor asks, never looking up from his puzzle. “If you want my advise, son?” The Doctor says, finally making eye contact. “You best get yourself squared away and get the hell outta here and start back whence you came.

The phonograph in the corner is playing again. This time it’s Hank Williams’ “I’ll never get out of this world alive.” I tell the doctor he couldn’t be more on the money.

“Just who do I see about that?” I ask.

“Your best bet would be Danny, over at the service station. He’s working on your motorcycle.” He says stuffing the pen back in his mouth as if our conversation was an inconvenience to his oral fixation.

“Where might I find that?” I say, just now having to gain my balance once again due to either internal blood loss, shock, or the detrimental effects of time travel.

“Downtown.” He says, putting down his paper with great annoyance. “Head out that door, make a left, caddy-corner to the diner.”

“Thanks.” I say, mustering the bag of broken bones and bruises that is now my body towards the door.

“Don’t doddle now.” The Doctor says. “I mean it. You got no place in this town and this place ain’t got no place for you.” I give him the international signal for “Rock’n Roll and leave.

* * *

Strange is a relative term. One man’s strange is another man’s commonplace. That said my conversation with the Doctor just now had readily convinced me that I best make my way out of Twin Peaks as soon as fucking possible. Then the real strange set in.

I start a couple of blocks down Main street as instructed by Mengela and am distracted from gazing upon the abhorred pastel wasteland of exterior home colors before me by a kid pushing one of those metal rings with a stick. Up until now I’d only seen shit like this on cartoons and Leave It To Beaver. The little bastard was even wearing a beanie with a propeller on top. I look at the little tike in much the way I imagine I may look at a werewolf or leprechaun for the first time, dumbfounded by that which lay before me. A combination of the apparition and the ever present pain in my ribs compels me to lean against the jet black Chevy America parked on the curb. I rub my eyes and take a look down Main Street and see a neon sign still glistening in the noon sun reading “DINER” about a block down. First thing’s first. I need some coffee.

I enter the diner looking like what must be ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. Much to the surprise of what I was hoping was a surrealistic and existential drug trip, “Mr. Sandman” was not in fact playing on the jukebox as I entered. It was in fact Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel”. I meandered my way up to the bar and what do you know I find an ashtray in front of me. It seems that being stuck on the pimple on the ass of the Earth has its advantages. They don’t enforce the statewide smoking ban here. I light up, like any good American would.

A waitress in her mid forties positions herself in front of me wearing a bulletproof amount of eyeliner. “Howdy shug, what can I get ya?” She says with a smile both comforting and terrifying.

“Just a coffee thanks.” I say as I examine for the first time, the new bandages on my right fingers.

“Sure I can’t talk ya into a piece of pee-can pie? I make it myself.” She says with a wink.

“No, thanks, just the coffee.” I say discovering the four inch long dried strip of road rash on my right arm for the first time.

“Suit yourself.” “Mary” as her nametag implies says.

Moments later she comes back with my coffee and that same perky grin. “Let me ask you something shug. Are you that new fella in town I’ve been hearin' about?” I ask her what made her think that.

“Can I ask you just one question?” Shoot I say. “Now I’m a high-school graduate and all but I’m not too keen on science and things.” You don’t say, I reply. “I just gotta ask. If a zeppelin was a made outta lead wouldn’t it just sink right to the gal durn ground?” I almost drop the brown ceramic coffee cup Debbie just filled for me as I look at her vapidly and it dawns on me that she’s referring to my t-shirt. It’s a Zeppelin 73’ tour shirt with the occasional blood stain that the Eden Co laundrymat apparently didn’t get out.

“Well… you see.. Hey, what’s the damage on this coffee?” I say downing the rest of the lava hot cup.

“That’ll be twenty cents.” Mary says in all seriousness. I ramble through my pockets but soon redeemer that my bankroll and my wallet mysteriously disappeared whilst I was unconscious.

“I hate to tell ya this Mary, but I seem to have forgotten my wallet on my way out.” I give her the old puppy dog eyes I learned on my mother and have used liberally on every girlfriend I’d ever had.

“Tell ya what shug. I’ll put it on yer tab. Now what's your Christian name?”
“James.” I say. “James Blake.”

* * *

I ring the bell at “Eden Auto Body” for what felt like a fortnight before a homely looking character in coveralls with fresh oils stains on hid midriff pokes his head up over the counter nearly giving me my sixth coronary of the last forty-eight hours. “Hey!”

I almost loose my footing as he springs up from the counter like a Jack in the Box. “You must be the fella that wrecked his motor scooter.”

In a perfect world I’d find all this amusing. In a perfect world, all these things would be mere contrivances while I sat on my yacht deciding between a Grey Goose or Kettle One martini. Being the type of person that I am, in the situation that I am, it is annoying. “Yes.”

“Well I’ll tell you what I’ve always wanted an opportunity to work on one of the two wheeled variety.” Danny says according to the nametag on his coveralls. God god damn, everyone here seems to be wearing identification.

“Danny, and I say this with all due respect. What the fuck are you talking about!” It sounded calmer in my head than it came out.

“You know.” Danny says, not missing a beat and obviously not offended. “The type of car with two wheels like you got here.”

“Bear with me for a moment Danny because I’m gonna speak slow and avoid contractions. Do you mean to tell me that you’ve never worked on a motorcycle before?” I say this using several gesticulations and hand movements as violent as possible hoping to get my point across.

“Well hell naw. But I can’t imagine it’s much more difficult than a Buick.” He says scratching his head with a wrench in a posture that denotes that what he’s saying is obvious.

“How long until it’s done?” I ask.

“Oh, not long. I just gotta figure out how to make my wrenches fit this gall durn thing.”

“You’re using metric tools right?”

“They make em in metric too.” Heavens why.

“Because it’s Japanese.”

“Well I’ll be damned. I read Kawalski and thought the bastard was from Poland.” God is testing you James, there’s a beer in this town, find it.

* * *

I meander my way back up to the bar at the diner just as the suns about to set. I run both hands through my greasy hair. Dr. Mengela and Nurse Ratchet obviously denied me a sponge bath during my unconsciousness. I need a shower. Mary comes by again.

“Change your mind about that Pee-can pie?”

“As a mater of fact Mary, I did. If you have accomplished nothing in your life up unit this point, make sure that for the next hour all I see is draft beer and pecan pie for as far as the eye can see.” As sarcastic as that came out, I can smell the pie, it smells damn good.

Just as I’m about top experience the best pecan pie The Outer Limits has to offer, I’m interrupted. There’s a tap on my shoulder. I look to my right and see a subtle, red haired man, maybe forty, with a smile sweeping so stringently across his face it could end world hunger.

“Hello friend.” The man says. I’ve never been greeted this way before and it’s as creepy in person as it sounds. “I’m Dale, Dale Goodwill from the city council and the local representative of the Eden Colorado Elks Lodge. I was hoping you could come and answer a few questions for me.”

Now I’ve been watching T.V. for he last thirty years like he rest of you. Despite this feeling like a deathtrap, anyone who’s been to an Elk’s Lodge knows that they are up to their elbows in hooch. Who am I to deny a free drink or five. What do I have to loose.


Blogger Dave said...

I'm WAITING for this book to be released!!!

Let's make it happen!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous usa cheap deals said...

Agree to it. I think it's better if you publish your own book. Thank you for sharing your journals to us. Really interesting and helps me to kill some time. :)

7:41 PM  

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