WAIT-A-BIT          Part 4
_________________NO MAPS IN WAIT-A-BIT___________________
       “My name is Frank”
       “I`m glad you remembered,“ Hank mutters to himself

        I start writing again … now not saying the words out loud as I

write them:

                 I  woke up this morning with my head on a small desk

right next to the wood stove. I heard a scratching noise behind me,

and that is usually not a good thing in the Artic, when you`re living without  a door.

       I go to bed with my gun at night and I rarely clean my
clothes – so I am always ready. And I can leap out of bed and start firing like a Bonzai warrior
      You can strap that tarp down pretty tight, tho, and you can hear him if he`s on his way – the Devil Beast. I read:
   “The red eyed devil who hates us and knows out minds – the
beast with great claws and teeth who digs  better than we can
because he wants to return to Hell.”
       “The beast who eats our food and who pisses on the rest
of it, so only he can eat it later.  The beast who hides the urinated food deep in a hole of his own choosing;
who scatters our possessions. ……..Who then rapes us
improperly after the despoiling is done.”
        “Would you stop TALKING LIKE THAT!”  Hank shouts:
“It`s giving me the creeps, this Devil Beast business…. when
did you write that shit? I hope you`re not writing any more…
I don`t think I can trust you – if you`re going to keep writing stuff like that!”
      “  You sound like some evil  monk in a
subterranean cell….reading out loud by candlelight… in a
monk`s hood..” He looks over at me, he gets
down almost to his knees to look. He falls to his
knees, presses his forehead against the cool clay
of the dugout wall. He  turns and looks at me again:
“Shit! That`s what you look like, too!”
he says….
     “What you were reading out loud – It sounded vaguely liturgical”, Hank says
       ” I think we have to assume it was liturgical…” I say  “that it was a prayer of sorts…. seems like  Thomasino was praying to the Devil on Four Legs….I say.
  …..He was certain there was no escape from the Beast, the beast was surely and inexorably coming to  devour him…  …” I`m having trouble with this last bit… He`s scribbling like he didn`t have much time:   Thomasino was praying to the GREAT BEAST ON FOUR LEGS:  “Please eat my brain first!, it says, “Please eat my brain first…PLEASE! Don`t start with my testicles!“
I say,  “What!  Me? You think  Me?  I didn`t write this stuff… No, no this was a vet from South America – came up here to protect the animals..I”
          “A war vet?`asks Hank.
          “No,  a doctor…from South America, a veterinarian.  Like I said, he came up here to protect the animals.
           “THESE ANIMALS?  He came up to PROTECT…..
THESE ANIMALS!“ hANKS  shoulders are shaking, he`s laughing.. I gotta get this down… This is crazy… this is
is too crazy…. Hank is scribbling again, “A veterinarian! Ha! Ha!”
      “Yeah!      I just found his diary. I was reading it to myself..”
        “OUT LOUD!“ He turns to me.   “You were reading OUT LOUD!   It sounded as if you were saying a prayer… it sounded like you were praying to the Devil Beast…?”….  „„ “You weren`t, were you?”
           ” Of course not!”“Do I LOOK as if I`d do something like that?”
             “In that hat with 4 screens, you look as if you might
do anything at all!”
             “When we fix that door,  I won`t have to sleep in these screens. Then I`ll look normal,  you`ll see… and Matilda will, too.” I said.
              I nod my head and whisper to him the name – “Matilda.”
           Hank`s got his note pad out again, which delights me! I used to do the same thing exactly – whenever I smelt the whiff of a story.
             He still thinks he`ll get a story out of this.  And when
the story`s finished, he`ll give it to the newspaper  And,  after that?”
           “After that you`ll hit the road, eh, Jack?”„, C-U-LATER!“ Is that what you`re thinking
            “Yeah, I have to.. I got my story… too bad about
 no job, no boss newspaper building, no school,
no A&P… no…  ….But I never knew him….”
           “You got a map?” he asked.He`s standing again, almost.
                “Maps, we had maps galore…. But
after the blast, there weren`t no  maps no more.”
                  Hank had started to untie the tarp;he`d walked over to the tarp hole
                   “No maps… no more…. no maps by the door.“I said
                 ” Do you think you have brain damage?“ Hank asks
                   “That`s a hell of a question to ask, just as you`re
trying to leave!  Do you mean me?” I say
                  “ I mean  everybody here in town, but you especially,”Hank say
                   “We coulnd`t find anything…. except twisted up re-bar  for our  foxhole walls… without the rebar… and all those beasts in the lowlands before the River, we would have been fucked!   They can`t dig thru re-bar, you see… So now we`re better off – we`re not totally fucked.  We`re just completely screwed…”    I`m saying.
                “WHAT?” he shouts.  His eyes are crazed.
                  “Soon as the ringing in our ears cleared, we remembered we were hungry” To tell the truth. we couldn`t remember our own names , let alone the name of our town… and so  WE CAN`T FIND ANYTHING ON A MAP…    EVEN IF WE HAD A MAP, which…….. we…………don`t….we don know what names to match on the map….
                 “WE DON`T HAVE A MAP!“ i shout back at him
                    At least that was clear.
                             ***  ***  ***

 END OF WAIT-A-BIT  – Part 4




WHO ARE THESE DEAD FOLKS?                                                           (


          This hangover is SPECTACULAR! Don`t get me wrong,
I feel bad… but I also have that crystal clarity
that makes me think I can see for 100 miles
and call the ravens out of the white pine from way back
An old pal is getting out of the Inuvik Jail, where they`ve had him in the hole for that last 72 days.I guess they`ve had him there for the last eight months.
He`s a quiet fellow, never makes a fuss ho! ho! and
will hit town like a Okkie tornado and freight train all rolled up in one and come whistling down the river hopefully in a bush plane – he`s not high enough for travel by levitation just yet. I imagine we`re going to fix that.

  1.       We have a tragedy on our hands at the moment –

    we`re out of hooch, internal bug spray – let`s call that

    High Mountain Moonshine Overproof Special Yahoo! That`s the name of this blend…but it`s almost gone.

    I woke up this morning because I was buzzed
    by a Beaver.
    I`m not talking about a blonde in tight jeans
    about to sit on my nose – no! I`m talking about
    a Canadian bushplane/floatplane which makes quite
    a roar when it`s coming in –  buzzing your cabin, or coming
    down to land at a ridiculous speed.
    I knew who it was.  It had to be
    Bobby Carl Wildman, who had just been sprung from a jail
    only 400 miles down river.
    He`d be  rarin` to go.
    Problem with Bobby – he gets an idea in his head
    it stays in his head until something is done about it.
    Most of his ideas involve motion for everybody else.
    You could say that`s part of his charm, and sometimes
    you`d be right.
    His last name is Wildman and he acts like a Wildman,
    and every time he comes by: I have a near death experience.

    We usually follow a plan, take off in some direction
    and see what the hell`s going on over there. If nothing`s happening; that changes pretty quick.

    Once I was lying on my back  relaxing in a canoe in at Trout Lake in cottage country. The waves were rocking me like a little baby in his cradle. And the sun is warm on my face.I was listening to the song of birds.
    All of a sudden there was an
    was an explosion on the shoreline, much much louder than a firecracker. It was Robbie arriving.Robbie showed up with a couple of suspicious looking fellas in a white limousine.
    Next morning at 5:00 A.M. I wake up in New York City. With no memory whatsoever of how I got there.
    I look up and admire the plaster moulding between ceiling and wall . It`s good carved work. Then I hear the constant traffic flow… WTF?
    Then I forced myself up onto all fours – and I started
    to crawl. It seemed like a long journey across an
    endless desert.  What drug gives you tunnel vision and
    and totally fucks your depth perception, too… so that a foot
    can seem like a crab at the bottom of a cliff… What drug can make a luxurious rug at the Hotel Pierre look
    like the Gobi desert?
    What FOOL would take such a drug„,Am I that much of a fool… Oh, no! No negative script right now, revolving in my swollen brain….I don`t have time to be depressed.  Yes,
    I might be an utter shit; I might be spit on a windowpane –
    but if we don`t clear this room they`re gonna put me away forever…
    In one of those cheap government asylums,
    where all the patients are numbers walking around with their asses exposed.  Eight AM and they bring out the firehose –
    they start hosing the `residents` down with cold water…
    No need for showers…. and when they put you in immaculate white solitary confinement, that`s when, under the bright lights they let the spiders loose on you..! You can see `em real well against the bright white floor and sheets… then you`ll scream…. yes, then…scream….  you will!
    There are certain parts of YOUR body they like to eat when you`re sleeping.
    STOP IT. That`s all in my head.. No one`s turning the spiders loose on you – not quite yet,  anyway…. Now open your eyes and get a grip….

    Not acid, not cocaine, not crystal meth or MDA, not
    herb… although herb sometimes can do amazing things
    with colour… not Haldol, methadone or amitriptyline, not most of the prescription drugs… although there are
    some exceptions if taken to excess…not PCP„, not PCP….
    oh God!  Not PCP!!  What have we done?
    Why are all these bodies lying in our room.  On PCP
    you can do any monstrous thing… you might think it`s for the good of society that you`re choking the life out of your high school teacher…
    You might feel sorry for homeless people, then kill them all and drag them to your room in the Hotel Pierre
    so they`d be warm and not feel so alone anymore.     Schostokovitch! Is that what we have done?  Are any of the people alive? Am I  a certified monster, after all? 
    Were my friends in primary school right all along about what
    I would become?  On PCP, all of the above is possible
            “THEY`RE GOING TO HUNT US DOWN LIKE DOGS! “I whisper to myself.

             “get a grip…. first of all you`ve gotta go and catch that prick over there….“   I`m crawling again, trying not to puke… He can`t hear me.  I`m too quiet.

    The bastard`s over there in the corner hunched over the telephone talking rapidly.He looked like he was 100 miles away…. I had tunnel vision. WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?
    I have a wad of money in each of my front pockets… Have we robbed these people then terminated their lives?.
    Did we chop them up? I had a horrible taste in my
    mouth just then…it tasted like last night`s  liver and
    onions.Did we eat their LIVERS! Are we harvesting organs?

    I can`t crawl far or fast… from all fours I collapse on my stomach. In the rug I smell something sweet. My…

  2. My nose is in something soft… Dear God,it`s a hand! It`s perfume I smell… With my eye I follow  the hand along the arm up  to the head. The eye in the head opens.  The eye is huge

    and seems to be following me as I attempt to crawl away

    I`m about to make an exit on my knees…

    It sees me: “HEY, COOCHIE!” It shouts at me.

    “Thank God!“  I`m thinking. It`s alive! Do I have to kill

    it again?”

    I clutch the back of Rob`s collar and pull him
    onto the rug with me. So he`s at my level: “YOU FOOL! WHAT HAPPENED? “ I hiss.
    “No one`s sure.  Remember those two honchos in the limo.
    “Just barely.
    “Well, we rode in the car with them for five hours.  You told all kinds of funny stories….
    “OK OK. what happened!
    They gave five pills of that date rape drug.  They told me to try it out.
    You gave it to yourself?
    Sure, why not?
    “You give the pill to your date, not yourself You`re supposed to give that pill to the woman and SHE passes out. Then you jump on her and do your evil deeds…  And then you`re facing ten years in the slammer…

    The way you did it: “WE passed out. You can tell the guys it worked! too well…It turned us into killers, also!



    He looked at me for a long time. I was just about to pull out one of his teeth  with my bare hands if he didn`t speak up.
    He said: “That pill really got on top of you, didn`t it?“
    I say:  “What pill, you fool!  What the fuck happened?  Our room looks like Cambodea after a massacre!  WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING WITH THE BODIES!”
    Rob looks at me as if he`d never met me before,
    “Those aren`t bodies!   That`s Shula and  those are her friends! They`re all alive, I think, anyway.
    We met last night…. drank several gallons of beer.
    You must remember Shula.  She was giving you oral love under the table!“
    “I`m hallucinating are you?” I ask (I`m not mentioning
    the evil grin the HEAD haS given me)
    “Yeah, quite a bit actually… How about you? You took three times what I took… oh yeah, and the boys said there
    might be a little PCP mixed in it just to keep you awake… so any weird thoughts you`re having – forget `em.“
    I didn`t say a word. So he continued his explanation:
    “You climbed up onto the stage and did a slow striptease.Shayla got up, too, and stripped with you. The whole place went wild; the bar was mayhem.  The bouncers and the bartenders were freaking. Then you got up on a table and…things settled down when you were least at first….
    “Then you made a speech about “LIBERATION” and  things got way way worse…everybody got up on the tables throwing their glasses against the wall… Cops were called. We got out quick  We have a room here…”
    “OK, I understand.  But there`s something we`ve gotta do first. Come back into the room with me and we`ll check their vital signs.“

    I woke up this morning full of doubt and recriminations.Guilts of all manner were trickling past my ears into my enlarged mind.  I can`t drink a bottle of whiskey straight without water and expect to survive.  I could do it when I was twenty-one but even then it was a bad idea.
    These days it`s damn nearly suicide
    I have that clarity that means you`ve just dumped about a billion brain cells.

    Another time we ended up in Peru.
    That another story, one for a more adult audience. Ho! Ho! Joking, of course.  You can imagine what Bobby got up to in Peru – with Peruvian flake cocaine selling for $10.  a gram.
    I`m admitting nothing, naturally.  We went up into the Andes and we were consumed with snow.
    I remember that sudden vacation a whole lot better.
    I have a very Klear memory of it.

    Another time six of  us were just arriving back at Pearson International Airport (Toronto). I was with a bunch
    of Danes (Gerd, especially). They had just introduced me
    to Aquavit. I had six glasses of it then fell asleep behind the wheel. (Wish I had a glass of it now!)
    I drove into a concrete abutment, attempting to leave the parking garage. We weren`t going fast, but even

    at 10 MPH you can have quite a collision.There were six of us in the car.
    I drove an Oldsmobile Cutlass straight  into a cement  abutment   I WAS AWAKENED BY THE SCREAMS OF MY PASSENGERS.

    Usually within three days of Wildman`s arrival, some disaster happens

    Bobby kicks the door open  and shouts: “I NEED SOME HEROIN!”
    I just stared at him from across the room….   ….  …  You son of a bitch? YOU MAD BASTARD! You know there`s no heroin in Rat River! For the last month
    we haven`t even had salt!“
    “Fuck that! I came to pick you up!  Time for a party… I`m just out of jail and you look out of your mind.
    “What`s wrong with you — you look like you`re dying!”
    “Isolation sickness.  Mad Po left for a booze purchase
    three weeks ago.  At first the silence was wonderful…now, not so much.

           “Forget that! It`s time for a party I`ve got $32,000 and I want to spend it!

    Bobby waves to the pilot.  An engine starts up

    down the river.

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