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He Gets Out of his Car

By Farrell McNulty All Rights Reserved ©

Poetry / Mystery


A man arrives for an appointment of sorts and entertains various thoughts.


The moon was reflected on the streets after a thunderous rainstorm which rendered the glistening pavement a driving hazard. He was careful as he pulled up outside the point of his destination which was a disused warehouse made of brick with a steel-tube sliding door which was held in place with a rusted 6-inch padlock which bore the legend of previous attempts to sledgehammer it open. There was obscene graffiti on the bricks which were weather beaten and slightly corroded with age.

As he marveled over the graffiti, he mused to himself that this was the artwork of a disaffected gang member who was very skinny, had a shaved head, and who was wearing pants slightly below the butt-crack to symbolize his time in reform school, which was run by a very anal-retentive taskmaster who was feared by all involved, due to his 7’2” height in stocking feet. Such said stockings were so crusty they had crunched like a Nestles’ bar with every step, and bore the smell of not having been washed in 3 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, eleven-and-a-half hours and 10 minutes.

He very slowly and deliberately pulls up to a proper parking space, and with foot firmly on brake, he shifted the squeaking gear-shift-changing device into “P”, takes a long, involved drag out of his cigarette, the filter of which was soaked in saliva due to his glandular problem. He had great difficulty stamping it out in his ashtray because it was soaking wet and slippery, it slipped straight solidly through his fingers, which were covered in welts and cuts and stitches and bruises and tattoos and ring marks and unevenly cut fingernails, all of which were thick and had ridges on them and which were so long they curled at the top of his fingers. This, of course, would make taking a shower a health risk as he stood the chance of clawing himself to death, which he nearly did. One of his nipples was practically torn in half as he showered on a day in which he was in a very big hurry, running so fast, it was hard to tell whether it was water he hadn’t patted dry, or whether it was perspiration. This was a memory which continued to haunt him to this very day.

He was 18 years old that day it happened. As he was quickly approaching his 65th birthday, he would stop whatever he was doing and take at least an hour to reflect.

He shut off the ignition which made a grinding noise as it wound down and finally came to a stop, which sent a pregnant pause in the air of deadly silence. A silence which did not soothe, but caused more apprehension, a slightly trembling hand, a turning stomach, beads of sweat above the upper lip, to be licked away by a tongue which was infested by scars from being scraped by jagged teeth – from either his own mouth or from those of his many lovers, all of whom had a two-answer multiple choice regarding their fate – prison or death.

He takes a super-long deep breath in, and breathes it all back out. He gets out of his car.

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