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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Don't Talk No Code 2

My mother and I had held a small family reunion for the Colorado branch last Friday, and on Sunday an East Coast contingent stopped by to scatter ashes of more loved ones with a small ceremony, which they were kind enough to allow us to take part in.
When these things were finished, my mother went across the street to chat with a neighbor whom she had not had a chance to talk with, and I closed up the cottage for the week.

My brother called. He wanted to be taken to the hospital.

Of course, during the get-togethers we had discussed the four funerals of 2013 and the cat's demise in May. On the trip home, we got to wonder if this would be another sad funeral in a year of funerals.

I have gone through these things with my brother, however, and up until now, he had always arisen the next morning in a much better state than that of the previous night of the long knives...

By the time we had gotten home, he had changed his mind. He did not want the hospital.
I went to visit him anyway.
I tried to hook up a new DVD/VCR player, but he had a Trinitron-scale TV on his media center, and I could not get behind it to hook up the cables. So I decided to come back the next day to drill some holes and finish the hook up, and to see how he was feeling.

Monday afternoon he did not answer his phone. Again, we have gone through this type of thing many times before.
So I drive to his place and get out of my car, and I call him on my cell phone: no response. I walk across the street and look up at his windows. Nothing to be seen. I go into the bar across the street, and the barkeep says he hasn't seen him in a long while, which agrees with what my brother said previously about getting into a heated disagreement with the wife of the bar owner and being banned as a result.

So I walk down to another restaurant/bar. I'm walking both sides of the street and holding my phone, calling him every few minutes....

A young lady - no older than 25, I'd say - comes up to me as I finish a call. She asks me the time. I motion her to wait a few moments as the call ends with my brother's voice message, then I check the time. I tell her it's 5:07 PM.
Now I can look up from my phone. She is quite good-looking, tanned and healthy, and has a top on that reveals a good deal of skin. She is smiling. I wait for a quick "Thanks, bub."

But she keeps smiling at me.

Now I grow a bit uneasy. I have a sense of having gone into a parallel universe in which I am fifty years younger...

I tilt my head quizzically. I look at her again.

"It's time for me to feed Sarah", she said.

I was silent for a bit. Quite a bit. My dream of parallel universes was quashed, but the replacement was even more bizarre. Perhaps I was entering dementia.

"I have to go home a feed Sarah now. It's 5 o'clock." She was still smiling in that beautiful smiling way that people have when they are either interested in you or want something from you.

"I think you have the wrong person." I said. I was pretty sure of that fact and no others right then.

She... jiggled a bit. "Sarah's back home. She's in the basement, ya know. I gotta feed her."

I had begun to think that "Sarah" was a happy sobriquet of some warm body part, but when she said this business of being in the basement, it struck me that perhaps Sarah was a dog or a small pet of some sort, and the elixir of meeting new folks was rapidly turning sour.

We looked at each other; she was smiling, I'm sure I was not.

"I think you have the wrong person", I said. "I don't speak to people in code."

I could have said that "I don't talk no code", but that sounds as if I would have been being purposefully menacing, and I really did not want to seem menacing.

She pulled a smile from her quiver and put it into her toothy longbow and shot it to me one last time as she turned to walk away. A young male companion was awaiting her a short way up the street.

"You said it the wrong way !" he said when she walked up to him. She tossed her head in a devil-may-care way.

I stood there a minute.
Then I thought that if I looked as if I was actually selling drugs, some real drug dealers might also see me and mistake me, and then begin to cut up rough.

I left Quay Street.


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