ON THE SHORES OF LAKE NIPISSING
I wrote as I was sleeping by the Big Lake up here -Lake Nipissing… sleeping in a shack on the shore with
with one blanket, two dogs, and three bottles of
strong wine (20% alcohol by volume).
Have you ever given a dog some of your dinner?
And the dog wouldn`t eat it?
In the reality-fantasy now, I`m living
on the sandy shore of that 90 mile lake, and I`m tucked in…more or less with the dogs…and now only two bottles of wine! Fuck!
Some bastard’s been drinking my booze! I look up and down the shore and I see nobody.
I`m trying to get an article down to the office ( THE TALK OF THE TOWN PRESS offices) and there`s no way
I can make it that far.
The wind`s blowing up like a bastard… I hope
no Wendego howls tonight… Although I thoroughly
like the howling of most beasts. I like the howls a lot.
In fact, I often join in.
The sun rises over the hills to the east.
Mist rolls over the waters by the shore
It`s morning and no one to talk to out here
on the sandy heath,
no one to send on an errand.
I walk a mile to call a taxi…. except it`s more than a mile… It`s way more than a mile. I feel I`ve fallen off the map…. and now I`m into a different time zone…
I`m in a desert that has never been recorded, on a road
that no one knows… an empty quarter…through a time warp that no one remembers.
I`m exhausted. I`m hung-over like
a motherfucker. My mouth is so dry my tongue is looking
around for company. The tip of my tongue sticks
to the back of a tooth. It`s like I`ve been stuck in
the desert for 40 days…. I fall to my knees… rest
with my face in the sand… briefly go to sleep.
I hear a car door slam. The driver is standing
over me… I see… I see the glint of something
smooth and fine ,,,, It`s a woman in a short skirt
and nylons… She has fine legs but I I cannot see properly up the legs. Gasping, I manage to sit up
and shake my head.
I hand her the story and say: “Don`t worry about me.
Get this story in to the Talk of the Town Press. It has to reach the press by 8:45 this morning !”
” Can you get it there for me?”
The mystery woman nods silently… She sets off
across the desert with her precious cargo… This time
I do notice her legs….I scratch my head with incomprehension… As so often happens with a
horrid, dry hangover, I find I’m aroused with
my groin in the warm sand.
The first words in the paper the next morning I recognize.
I had scratched them down myself the day before.
The words are:
“I WAS GOING TO SEND THIS STORY IN BY PONY EXPRESS, BUT THEY SHOT ALL THE PONIES.”
This whole tale about sleeping on the shores
of Nipissing (as terminal drunks have been known to do for decades) it’s part reality with a fantasy dream
…Sleeping with a blanket (that how you spell blank et??? surely not)
Having my wine delivered by boat—- and
attempting to get stories off by return boat.
It`s not so bad now I got a shack. I stole
2 gallons of gas — so I can inhale the fumes,
when my spirits fade — AS THEY`RE SURE TO DO
SOON AS I GET WET DOWN IN THIS PLACE…
Fuck! I better dig a hole and light a fire,
do it in the shack… pretend I`ve got a stove. Steal
a rack from a used stove in a dump.
Soon as that fucker comes back with the boat….
I`ll borrow his 22, shoot a few birds and muskrats,
make a stew. Now I`m thinking! (Yeah, right!)
“I’ll shoot a pigeon,”I shout out.
This is the kind of story that used to get those
cards and letters rolling in (to the editors)
demanding police action.
Hank staggers out of the shack…
“I got a friend who boiled a pigeon for about
2 hours – he said, “Stink! Did it ever stink!`
“Ya gotta take the feathers off em first!” I tell him, “You can`t just cook them like they`re some sort
of microwave dish…. there`s stuff you gotta
take out of those birds — the bowels would be a nice
start- take those out & ya got a chance…”
The dog`s definitely hungry. I can
tell by the way he stares at me… those mournful eyes.
Perhaps tonight he won`t turn up his nose at my dinner.
JESUS, WHERE AM I?