Monday, May 24, 2004

Fernando and Jesus 5: The Baby

Fuck it. I'm bored:

At first, I couldn't believe it was a real baby. I hadn't heard a baby cry during the entire evening, even when things started to go sideways. I guess the kid had been born with a heightened sense of self preservation--but when Darlene picked her up in the other room, she began to cry.

The preceding hours had been tough on all of us, as you can imagine. Consider:

1) It was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30 in the morning. Jim and I had been struggling with Fernando for the better part of three and a half hours, if not longer, and all of us were drenched in sweat. This made it doubly difficult to keep hold of Fernando, who was fighting (still) like a madman to get loose. He seemed to be getting stronger, and we were getting weaker.

2) We were tripping our asses off, I think. I remember looking at Jim's eyes around this time, and the pupils were still huge. Luckily, we were veteran acidheads, and quite able to throw off the shackles of tracers and pretty colors when the going got weird. But it's still there--and you can only ignore so much ugliness before the horror begins to back up into your cerebrum. We were close, that night, to The Edge...

3) There was a constant creeping fear, or maybe resignation combined with dread, as to when the cops were going to show up. Lying there with one hand behind my head (protecting my scalp from getting ripped off), across the naked legs of a screaming psycho wearing nothing but a metallic purple set of bikini briefs, I had plenty of time to ponder just how bad this situation was going to look to the local PD. I've had a run in or two with those fuckers, and I knew there was a better than even chance that one of us would be shot before it got worked out.

Think about it: you're called to a house in crackville, and when your squadcar turns the corner you can hear screaming--dismemberment screams. As you approach the door, they get louder--very loud, and the fearsome monotony of them is enough to make you loosen your gun in its holster. It sounds almost like it's a recording--or like the person's brain is shorted out.

Of course, no one can answer the fucking door, because we're all inside pinning down the psycho, and of course goddamn Darlene is either out the back door or attempting ineffectually to flush bricks of coke down the toilet. So when it gets kicked down, the first thing our theoretical policeman sees is a naked guy being wrestled around by two other semi-naked guys (Jim and I had managed to remove our shirts, otherwise we'd have died of heatstroke). And a pile of white powder, and most of a case of beer that had been kicked over in the melee.

Which, come to think of it, I spent a large portion of the night looking longingly at a can of beer about 2 feet beyond my reach.

So by the time good ol' Darlene brings in the baby, I'm good and freaked out. Even more so by the feeling that I had when I saw her: "goddamn, that's a lifelike doll. that's a fucking doll, right? oh god, it's not a doll. I'm going to hell. I'm so going to hell, and I don't even believe in hell." Although Fernando was doing a great job of converting me, if just by force of creepiness. There's something weird about praying in Spanish--just ask Gibby Haynes.

That was obscure, but I'll explain later.

Darlene brought the baby in the room, and before either of us could react she sort of dangled it in front of Fernando's face. Being a stupid fucking bitch, she hadn't seen that Fernando had one hand free, gripping my ponytail like there was no tomorrow. The good news was that he finally let go of my hair. The bad news was that he had hold of the baby's leg, and was making a go at getting his other arm free to grab the other. Jim was completely taken by surprise, so it almost happened. The baby's screams (and her mother's) were added to the cacophony. Fernando's redoubled, and I swear I actually saw that baby stretch a little bit, as Darlene pulled as hard as she could to extricate her child from his grip. I had this horrible, permanent vision of the child's legs being torn off. Nothing would be too fucking awful for this night.

After an eternity of screaming and pulling and thrashing about, Darlene pulled the baby free and fled into the next room. Fernando was rigid, like he was in an electric chair--and I looked up to see the whites of his eyes, and just a touch of foam at the corners of his mouth. He was convulsing, literally, and screaming about Jesus and the Devil. All I could think of was him biting his tongue off, or swallowing it, while we held him on the cheap carpet, under the glare of a television stuck between stations.


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