Early on I remember being very bored.
I loved playing with matches. I torched the backyard. Nobody knew it was me. I was a good liar. That was the first of many incidents with flame. Garages, beds, vacant lots, my fingers.
Stealing was wonderful too. The shrink said it was to get attention. I disagree. The feeling I got from stealing and burning things was a feeling of power. I imagine it was the same feeling a stockbroker gets from greenmail or inside trading. Probably the same feeling a woman gets who marries for money and has young cocky studs on the side. The same feeling a dictator gets when…well, you get the picture.
Power is relative from age 5, right to the grave.
I stole a socket set from a neighbor, Steve. I pretended I was a mechanic. I lay under the bed for hours, running wires in the box spring, tightening nuts and bolts. Loosening and re-tightening nuts and bolts. I was so bored and lied constantly.
My uncle PJ was staying with us. He had come out of the service. I don’t recall if he saw any action or not. Nor was I even old enough to be interested; in war or peace or women or money or masturbation or drugs, gambling, or tobacco and alcohol.
I just really enjoyed stealing and burning things…
oh yeah, back to my uncle. He would sleep in the spare room upstairs. I remember mom, dad, and sis being gone, Uncle PJ was asleep, I had run of the house. Wow, that still excites me having the run of anywhere. Anyway, I had a G.I. Joe talking doll. I used to pull the string and hold it up to my uncle’s ear while he slept.
“Up the hill, men”, the doll squeaked.
“A-Ten-Hut!!!” This command seemed really loud. My uncle would jump outta bed, grab the doll.
“Hey, what the hell? I’m trying to sleep!”
I would look at him. Laugh. And walk away.
He smoked a lot of pot at that time. Once I found his pot and fed it to our Doberman pinscher, Heidi. That really pissed him off. Mom and dad weren’t happy either.
But the dog seemed fine. I loved that dog. The first dog I’d ever seen, played with, lived with. Good old’ Heidi. Once I tried to put together a slot car set I had received for Christmas.
I was told not to touch it. I didn’t listen. I never listened. What they knew was slowly killing them–and I was next in line.
So I attempted to set up the slot car set. It didn’t work out. The dog chewed up pieces of track. Then she snatched one of the cars and ran. That’s when I panicked. There were only two cars. “Heidi! Heidi!” She didn’t listen, nobody listened, not even the dogs. She chewed up the slot cars chassis. My uncle was plenty mad when he got up. He put the track together and even the chewed up car worked. He wasn’t too bad, my uncle PJ. But I was on my way to being a nightmare, for all of them.
REST IN PEACE PJ.
Against my better judgment, I picked up the phone. It was a blocked call.
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude.’ It was Martin, his voice sounded flat, monotone. I didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say. There was a pause.
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude,’ Martin said it again in the same banausic tone. Still, I had no idea what to say. Again a pause.
‘Hello? You there man?’ A light wind through the screen door blew a couple of fur balls across the Pergo flooring.
‘Yeah man, I’m here.’ The furballs tumbled and settled by the dog’s water bowl. Maybe I should buy a broom?
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude?” Now his statement was in the form of a question.
I realized that buying a broom would be the obvious choice. But I had a vacuum. It was an old Hoover upright.
It developed a bushing or gear problem though; as a result, it made a sound that I imagined a blender on high-speed that was filled with hex nuts might produce. It had no suction problems though. It worked just as well as the day I rolled it off the ‘Sears Home’ showroom floor. I wore ear protection and even put the dog outside when I used it, because he literally tried to cover his ears with his paws and forearms, or forelegs as it were. It was a lot of pre-production to vacuum. It had been a while since I geared up to do it, and as a result the fur balls tumbled to and fro depending on the direction cross breeze. I’ll get to it. It might be a while, I was single, and it didn’t bother me. The dishes, the laundry, and the dog shit piled up. It didn’t matter.
“Do you want to hear it?” He asked.
“Hear what?’ Occasionally my mother visits and she will clean and do laundry and even pick up the dog shit. But I realized I felt no different either way.
“I wrote a piece of fiction dude,” now his voice sounded stressed and desperate.
“Sure man, read it.” I pondered the whole bachelor thing. Fuck it. I tried. I guess I’m not a relationship person.
“Chapter One, the deputy loaded his gun, it was going to be a hot sweltering summer day of crime on the streets of Chicago…”
My mother and father weren’t relationship people either, 11 marriages and or partners between them. Subsequently they gave birth to the same, it doesn’t take Dr. Phil to figure that out, so no mystery there. He continued,
“…Smithers was a veteran of the Chi Town P.D. He had 40 days and a wake up to a beautiful retirement in Tempe Arizona…”
Maybe just a select few can actually really pull of the relationship game. I mean really pull it off, you know?
I mean like love cherish respect, death do us part, type of deal.
“…his wife had begged for the house in Tempe for health reasons, but Smithers had an autistic brother…how do you like my piece of fiction dude?” I didn’t answer, Martin continued reading.