I was tired, frustrated and fully drunk after spending three days drinking with Buck and still no stories. Dinner had consisted of two plates overflowing with prawns–a treat to appease me.
“I’ll bet your tummy is just,”
“Bursting,” I finished.
“Well, take your pants off.”
“Ah, boy, are you ever a prude. No pants off, won’t take your top off. No. No. No. What do you think I’m going to do?
“Oh, oh, you don’t look so good darlen, did you eat too fast?”
“You know I’ve had a lot of women leave me because of my eating habits. You know old Uncle Buck, I don’t eat until the beers gone. I’m not opening a can of beer then eating. Nope, no beer after dinner.”
“If I eat any more I’m going to be sick.”
We sat quietly in the baby-shit yellow kitchen for a few minutes as the constant music that permeated the shop wrapped us in its gentle melody. “Say you’re looking pretty laid back. You must be getting tired.”
“I am. This is a hard lifestyle for me. I’m not used to it.”
“I should fucking think so. A fucking micky of Southern Comfort a day. No wonder. But you and I are going to have the best sleep of our lives tonight because you are going to get out of your little bedroom there and come sleep with me, and I won’t even try to fuck ya. We’ll just cuddle. And if you are not comfortable with that tonight–tomorrow. Ha ha. I’ve been partying with you for three nights.”
“Yeah but I have been going out of my way to stay out of your way.”
“But I’ve been going out of my way to be with you.” He lit up a joint he’d been saving for after dinner.
“Yeah well you’re not supposed to.”
“Hey you want a toke of this joint. You're smoking aren’t you?”
I reached across the table and accepted the smoke.
“You know why I’m afraid to let you do my story? I want to be on top of things. I mean, you know more about me than anybody.”
“I know, why do you think I never told you I was coming. You’d have taken off and I would have been stuck here by myself for three days.”
“Yeah, you know me, and I trust you.”
“Right, because you know I’m not going to hurt you with my stories about you.”
“The thing is, I don’t want anyone to know that I’m crazy, eh. Because it only takes three people to commit you. Man, I’ve been evading fucking being under psychiatric fucking observation for years. In 1967 they wanted a court order to put me under fucking psychiatric fucking observation to get my head checked out hey.
“I went in front of the judge. I’d already talked to the judge and, boom, that was good. You know boom. I had a chance to talk to the judge before I went in. So, I went in and the prosecutor says, ‘We’d like a court order for Daniel Gail to seek psychiatric treatment four times a month for a period of.’
“But I’d already babbled to the judge and my dad had babbled to the judge too hey. See, ol pops was a Mason and the judge was a Shriner, and pops was going to be a Shriner too, see what i mean.
“My dad got me off. I know he did because his buddy, who is a Shriner, knew that dad wanted to get into it over at Lickel’s Hot Springs there in Terrace. So the guy says to pops ‘Herb, I’ve set up a meeting with you and the judge whose going to do your fucking son,’--1967. And so, boom, this comes down. Dad spent three days with two Shriners. One owned Lickel Hot Sprints and the other was the judge. And my dad, who was just the coolest guy, I mean the coolest, I mean I am nothing compared to my father. He was a million times more of a man than I was. You’d have fallen in love with him if he was ninety. I mean dad was a swooner. He had women fallen all over him. They just couldn’t say no to him.
“So this deal comes down and the prosecutor says, ‘we’d like a court order for Daniel Gail to seek psychiatric care four times a month.’ Because I smoked marajuina. But I’m way out there anyways. They laid it on the drugs, but he, when I’m straight I’m way out there. I mean I’m way out there. I’ve been conning these cocksuckers all my fucking life. Sometimes I think I probably am insane.
“Then he looks over at the prosecutor and says, ‘No, I’m not going that route.’
“That judge told the fucking prosecutor what’s what. I owe that fucking judge. I owe pops. He really was the coolest.”
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BA Hubert lives in Vancouver British Columbia, a long time writer wanna be with the metal boxes of unfinished manuscripts and the rejection letters to prove it.