Chapter 9: Isaiah: 45:7
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
With the floor lamp providing mood lighting, and two desk chairs and the couch providing just enough seating room in Studio 619, John cued up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon to provide the backdrop for the second show of the new season.
“So this is where all the cool people hang out, I guess?” Little John passed up a hit from the Monster, sipped on a beer, and provided a phlegm-filled laugh.
“Little John, first of all thanks for agreeing to be on the show,” John extended his appreciation. “We’re looking forward to hearing about your prison experiences and the life circumstances that got you there, but first we’re going to hear from my co-host, the one, the only, the Wee Wow man himself, Andy the Yard Ape Krekorian.
“Wee Wow. Wee Wow,” Andy exploded.
“What the fuck?” a startled Little John jumped and looked back at Andy.
“What words of wisdom do you have for us today, Kemosabe?” John asked.
“The Lord moves in mysterious ways.”
“Hey, Y.A., I’ve had my fill of church the past couple of weeks; please don’t tell me you’re going religious on us."
“No, Eggs, that is the caption for my new tasteless cartoon which is due up in October, just a couple of weeks away.
“Anyway we can get a sneak peek?”
“Got it right here with me.” Andy reached deep into his gym shorts and produced the cartoon which had just appeared in the September issue of Hustler Magazine. He passed it to James, and it worked its way to Mike, Kurt, Little John, and John. Above the caption was the drawing of a Christ-like figure, standing atop clouds, and clearly engaging in some odd dance moves. Everyone laughed when they saw this, especially John.
“Fuck me; that’s funny as shit, but Mary will kill me if we pin that on the door,” John explained. “I got shit for the Easter Bunny before we were dating.”
“Yeah, and I’m going to lay odds that Mary still believes in the Easter Bunny,” Mike laughed.
“Wow,” Andy added, "maybe you’ll get lucky, and she’ll dye your eggs by next Easter, Eggs.”
“You think?” Like a prospector fondling his drawstring bag of nuggets, John pulled out his scrotum from his gym shorts, rolled his testicles a few times and looked at them wistfully saying, “I sure hope so.”
“Hey, Boy, put that shit away before I get sick,” James said.
“Water, you’re just jealous of my eggs.”
“Bro’, remember that I’ve seen you in the white boys’ section of the shower after practice and games,” James reminded him. “Looks like they might have made a mistake in shipping and handling with my boy’s package.”
“Ha, ha, ha,” Little John cackled. “Where you going with this, Water?”
“Well, let’s say Eggs is a Mr. Potato Head. They got all those attachments like eyes, ears, nose, lips, and shit. I’m guessing that John’s nuts go on Mr. Potato Head, but the dick he got go on Mr. Potato Head Junior.”
“Woah,” the occupants blurted out collectively, except for Andy who had been drinking water and spit it out after James’s comment.”
“Damn, Water, you made Y.A. spit out his good stuff,” Mike said, and he handed Andy the jug.
“Yeah, well I got a grower, not a shower, Water,” John excused his anatomy.
“Then you might want to get Weed and Feed to sponsor the show, so they can put some fertilizer on your dick.”
At this point, James received high fives from the group and said, “Now we done, or do I got to talk some shit about your mama?”
Not as practiced in the dozens, John Carver rose then cracked open the window as Carol had suggested, and even six floors up, they could hear the splashes, quacks, and honks that gave life to Brew Pond. It was a breezy mid-September evening, and the wind was rustling the leaves that were clinging to the last moments of their lives; some having fallen to their death could be heard enduring the additional indignity of being dragged and scraped along the sidewalks. The distant buzz of a passing airplane, an indiscernible windblown conversation, and the barking of someone’s dog became instantly audible to the cast of people in 619. Their cloud of smoke exercised precise timing as it exited the window. It took Little John from the haze into a sudden clarity that highlighted his introduction and his appearance, a visage that would encourage a fortune teller to abandon his palm and simply read the hardened lines of his face.
“Anyway, to be fair, I got off easy for having come from a shit neighborhood,” Little John stressed as he began winding up his bio. “Six to 10 for being there when that store owner was shot and killed was a blessing for me. I got my high school equivalency in the joint, and I may be the world’s oldest college student, but the people I grew up with are dead. That’s where I’m coming from, Hell, and I’m back!”
The group had listened in stunned silence, mouths agape, frames of reference hanging crookedly on the white walls in their minds, watches ticking in the distance until John emerged.
“Little John, I know that everyone in the studio is awed by your resurrection and inspired by your story,” his voice a God-like intervention.
“And I want to thank you guys for listening and inviting me in your lives, but I don’t know if resurrection is the appropriate term,” Little John corrected him. “I like to think of myself as a fallen angel,” and he provided a gravelly laugh.
The laugh seemed to linger, still audible too long after until John cut into its resonance. “Guys, I’m adding a new segment that I would like to include at the conclusion of all our shows, kind of one of those what’s-on-your-mind pieces. I’d like to be the one to start, seeing as how it’s my idea.”
John got his blessings from the group and cleared his throat. “As you guys know, I’ve been doing the Sunday revivals with Mary lately, and to be honest, I’ve been inspired. I don’t want to get too heavy at such a happy occasion, but I’ve been kind of depressed about my ankle and my basketball career being over. The priest was talking about how shit happens for a reason, but he didn’t use the word shit, but that’s what he meant, so Mary and I are talking on the way home, and she brings up my ankle and maybe the idea that we met because now I’ve got time to give to someone, and that maybe it was God’s will to bring her into my life. What do you guys think?”
Andy looked at his cartoon and said, “The Lord moves in mysterious ways.”
John scanned the room, and Kurt offered, “The Lord giveth and taketh away.”
James looked at his feet and said, “Yeah, and the Devil do, too.”
Little John looked at the entire group and said, “Yeah, he do,” and he crinkled his eyes and laughed. When he saw everyone staring at him afterward, he smiled, held up his palms and asked, “What?”
From the world below them, the leaves rustled, died, and scraped. The ducks quacked, and the geese honked. A couple’s argumentative tone was being carried on the breeze, the airport must have had a busy night, and now the dog was howling.
It was a silly discussion that he had initiated, and she continued, accepting the challenge. He had always prided himself on his take-down-and-restraint tactics. An enormous man, economy of movement was to his advantage, so it seemed that grappling with her was in keeping with his pride and sense of showmanship. She would be a moment’s effort, and, of course, he promised to not hurt her.
He remembered the discussion phase, the initial contact, and the impact, knocking the air from his lungs, leaving him stunned and gasping. Her body seemed to be rotating above him, almost spinning until stopping suddenly, her thighs wrapping tightly over his head and neck, squeezing with surprising power. Then, there came a loss of time and sequence announced by his uncontrolled twitching and affirmed by a new set of circumstances.
“Well, hello there! Good thing you landed pretty close. I wouldn’t have been able to drag your fat ass too far, and I only get so many seconds to work with. Surprise!” She stood over him, long legs parted, the top of her body decorated with his blues, swallowing her shoulders and covering her to mid-thigh.
He felt the carpet burns on his body, and she had found use for the ‘bracelets’ as he had called them, so his arms were spread wide with wrists slapped onto the bed’s frame. He kicked with his legs, bed groaning, bracelets jingling, her light laughter mocking, but it was pointless. “This is a little bit much, don’t you think?” He phrased this with little inflection to seal it as a question, still trying to fill in the missing sequences.
“Just remember who has the key.” She motioned toward the dresser area to their left. “If you want to argue, I’ll just leave your ass in this room, so the maid can find you in the morning.”
He exhaled forcefully as she knelt at his right side, unfastened his belt buckle, and dragged down his pants and briefs together, stopping just below the knee. He saw her brandishing his billy club and looking downward. He felt a sharp poke from the club as she dug into him, and he saw his fat belly moving toward him. Her head moved to the side and downward as she prodded even harder, and smiling, she said, “There you are!” She ceased the poking, and he watched his fat roll back into place. “I wasn’t sure you had one, Officer.”
She rose from her position, and did that thing girls do with their hair, a grasp, a tug, a band appearing from somewhere, a quick twist and a pulling apart, and there was a ponytail. In the dresser mirror, she saw the badge glowing and thought of power and influence and how often it yielded a distillate, a seeping relinquishment of both, a humility requiring the branding iron of perversion. She rifled among the loose items he had first freed himself of when they had entered, seeing in her peripheral vision his chalky, hairy, middle-aged body with the bell-shaped curve, and working up the necessary disgust and detachment.
He again exhaled vigorously as he watched her return and straddle his legs, leaning forward with her arms so that her face was just above his, her youth pulsating, the heat and smell of her body, the fullness of her breasts peering from under his shirt, the whispers of her breaths winding around his taste buds, all clothing him with a promise as she parted her lips and moved her mouth toward his, stopping, stopping so that all the things that didn’t happen managed to become moments.
She righted her position, again straddling his legs, and ignoring the buttons, she peeled his shirt off her body, the soupy smell of his sweat repelling her. Now, she wanted him to see her, knowing what he had shared about his wife, her disinclination, the bodily ravages of three children, the schedule and weariness that didn’t permit the personal touches to meet his ideals. His justifications had now mingled with his guilt, and she moved her breasts over his face, grazing his eyelids, crisscrossing his nose, and sliding down his torso. She then moved her body upward, transitioning with the grace of a dancer, her fingers tracing, taking a brief moment to open her, the headiness released like a spritz of perfume, to savor, to want.
“Oh, my fucking God!” he blurted.
“ Yes,” she explained, "Look at me, and look at you,” she interrupted her carefully orchestrated production. “All the money and power in the world won’t get you this. God won't get you this because there is no God!" This she screamed in his face, her spittle settling like a beachy mist. Resting backward, depressing the camel hump of his stomach, she began squeezing the fat of his breasts, lifting them northward from their east and west settlements. “I’m jealous; you’ve got bigger tits than mine,” she laughed and pinched his nipples, twisting them harshly until he groaned in pain. “No! No!” she admonished him. “I’m just getting started. I can’t have you making noise!” She stood over him and reached for her panties on the bed. “Open your mouth,” she said, dangling the garment over his face and resuming the straddling position.
He shook his head side-to-side, for the first time feeling real fear, as each phase grew increasingly less-staged. He absently tested the handcuffs, and thoughts of his wife and children intruded. He watched her reach back, digging under his layers of flesh, first feeling the warm heel of her palm grazing atop his hardened stub, and then the tickling fingernails, and then the sudden cruelty that had him yelp like a dog.
“Open your mouth, or I’ll give you that and then some,” she warned. She watched his mouth open, his yellow-and-brown-stained teeth corrupted by ancient dental expeditions, his breath like whiskey poured over an ashtray. She worked her panties inward and listened as his stuffy nasal passages took on the task of breathing, whistling rubbery mucus intruding upon the silence. From the periphery of the desk area, the badge again glared off of a shared light angle.
He watched as she rose, turned his head to follow the impossible perfection of her backside, the majestic columns of shoulder blades, the gentle arch interrupted by the symmetrical dimples, both spilling into the globes of her bottom, two worlds in which he knew he didn’t deserve to live. And he felt the hardness of humility mingle with the harshness of being unworthy.
She saw a distorted version of herself reflecting in the badge, then within it the amorphous entity, its presence and influence looking for her weakness as it had been since she first became a woman. She released the long pin behind the badge and tested its sharpness with an index finger. His silver flask was there, its contents a worthy disinfectant when not steadying his nerve. Symbolism crossed her mind as she went to the bathroom sink and poured it over the back of the badge. Behind her, she could hear the rustling of the handcuffs and their grating against the bed frame, the huge grunts, a pathetic long fart fighting with him, then a lifeless acquiescence as her silhouette emerged into the light. She saw the lather of sweat glowing atop his body and the wide-open terror pounding against the walls of his eyes as she approached him and again straddled his midsection, molding its clay-like substance, squeezing a new shape as though it was water in a balloon. Her left hand reached for his left breast, pinched it like a chubby child’s cheek, and she said, “You really shouldn’t go anywhere without your badge, Chief.” Beneath the layer of fat that filled her palm, she felt the beginnings of muscle tissue and made a choice. She watched his eyes as she slowly inserted the pin, saw the lids straining, the pupils darting, heard the jangling cuffs, felt his legs bucking, took satisfaction in the arching of his back as it made the task easier, and his drawn out, throaty scream, its resonance hopelessly captured by her panties. Blood streamed rapidly from his breast and passed under the badge until it met the resistance of his girth and began to collect and stream down his left side. She re-positioned herself, sitting cross-legged at his side, and lifting him with the billy club, she witnessed the stubby purple head straining as if reaching and falling short, and when she stopped pressing with the club, his stomach came down like a car hood. A brief absent smile curled up and vacated as muffled urgency announced its presence anew, and her ideas widened to join his, fear and anger crowding into the same space.
He watched his fat push toward him again, watched her studious head tilt and felt her warm fingertips pulling him, up and down. He breathed heavily in response, his nostrils picking up the scent of her, the familiar approach bubbling inside him, surging, and then she stopped, stopped to watch it reach and fall short. His hips moved up and down, imploring her, his gagged mouth begging like a man with no tongue.
She rose again and went to the dresser, coming back with a key, unlocking his left hand, and watching with amusement as he immediately pleasured himself, sending white columns into the carpeting, his body shaking, staggered whimpers breathing through the panties, his pleasure coming before his freedom.
He had watched her wordlessly slip into her clothes, hand him the key, grasp her envelope, and politely pull the door shut, the click of the tumbler quickly joined by the sound of her heels growing distant and fading somewhere beyond the red neon. It was hard for him to use his left hand to unlock the other handcuff, and he worked against the fear of possibly dropping the key beyond his reach. His heart pounded against his chest with the exertion, and thoughts of dying and being found this way began to haunt him. After numerous frustrating attempts, he achieved success, next freeing his gagged mouth and gasping. On his first step to the bathroom, he glanced at his image in the mirror, a balding, saggy-breasted, pot-bellied aging man with no visible genitalia. He reached for his flask, took the last sips of what remained, and smiled at the badge before yanking it upward, the scream finally finding expression, blood bubbling and slipping to freedom.
It was well past midnight when he finally managed to stem the blood flow. He was naked and alone in a cheap motel, having paid handsomely to have a girl torture him, humiliate him, and watch him masturbate. He patted smooth his blue uniform, flattening it out on the bed, and re-situated his badge, knowing that dignified trappings did no more than provide the illusion of dignity, and before he donned them, he tended to a last detail, holding her panties to his face and breathing deeply.