Monday, May 03, 2004

Sketchy Bill 18: The Madman In The Kitchen

I've found that it's nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep on your average size bathroom rug. No matter what contortions I try, there's always some part of me that slides off and winds up touching the cold bathroom floor. It's frustrating. My friend Dan developed a talent for actually sleeping sitting up on the toilet (clothed, generally), but I haven't had much success with that. Truth be told, I'm still shooting for sleeping on couches or even beds...but that's neither here nor there.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that it didn't take me long to wake up when Bill started in on the yelling and throwing shit in the next room. I kind of cracked one eye open, and wondered briefly who could have possibly pissed him off again. Whoever it was had really done it, judging from the near shrillness of his voice and the frequency of the crashes over in the area of the kitchen.

I stood up and gingerly approached the sink to fill my glass with water, careful not to look into any bright lights. This accomplished, I stepped outside the bathroom door and began the arduous trek down the long hallway to see what all was going on, just as Bill turned the corner and caught sight of me.

He let out an insanely loud bellow, then rushed me. I found my feet dangling in midair as he propelled me backwards towards a second story window. I was transfixed by his eyes--they appeared to be glowing red. I was also pretty impressed that he could pick me up by the arms high enough that my feet didn't touch the ground, since he was about 5 inches shorter than me. He had me by both elbows, which made it rather difficult to keep from spilling my water.

At the last second, he turned left and threw me into a large leather recliner, hard enough that the footrest popped out. I had enough time to inhale, but before I could ask a question Bill thrust his big ugly face into mine and began screaming at me:


This went on for quite some time in a similar vein. Turns out Bill had gotten home, with a shitload of cocaine and a whole vial full of really good LSD, and couldn't get in the door. He hadn't told me the door would lock behind me, and I was dead to the world on a nice, thick (but as we've seen, too small) bathroom rug. Bein' all exciteable anyway, Bill beat on his own front door and hollered in the windows until he woke his neighbors up, who promptly called the cops. This did wonders for his decibel level, but absolutely nothing for his blood pressure, so by the time he managed to get rid of the police and crawl either over or under his back gate and break into his own back door, he was positively rabid. In retrospect, I'm lucky I didn't pull a Father Karras out onto the front steps right then.

There was something about this entire story that tweaked my mind a little bit. I couldn't figure out what it was about, and before I could really give it much thought, he was off to throw some more shit around in the kitchen. I sat in the darkened living room, sipping a glass of water and wondering just how crazy this motherfucker was.

After a minute, Nefertiti came in to get me. I could see the whites of her eyes all the way around her irises, which meant she was pretty fucking scared too. "Bill wants you," she whispered, leading me back into the kitchen.

The kitchen was destroyed. Cabinet doors were ripped off, mainly, and there was all sorts of broken crockery and debris on the floor. Thankfully, I couldn't see any knives. While I was scanning the room, Bill was kind of hunched over in one corner, facing away from me with something in one hand. Ominously, quietly, he said "Jeff, what do you have to say for yourself? What the FUCK could you possibly have to say for yourself?!" He turned, and as he turned his voice rose. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him extend his hand. Everything went white. I felt a shock square in the middle of my chest, and I was knocked backwards into the wall behind me.

Oh fuck, I thought. This is it. This fucking nutjob has shot me. I'm gonna die on this asshole's stupid fucking kitchen floor, with a pocket full of ecstasy. No one would ever know what happened to me. Hell, I didn't even know his last name.

I licked my lips. They tasted sweet.

He hadn't shot me. He'd nailed me with a bag of sugar.

I don't know how many of you out there have actually been shot, or for some brief moment of time THOUGHT you'd been shot, but I will say that the joy you feel when you realize you've just been beaned with a bag of sugar instead of a 9mm slug is NOT worth the second or two where you think you're going to squirt out your life on some trashed out kitchen floor with some fat Jersey mobster screaming insults at you like some kind of bad video game character. But relief there was, I won't deny it.

Bill was still staring at me, demanding an answer. I gave him the only answer I really meant:

"Bill, I'm sorry."

And I was. Really, truly sorry. But there was something that kept buzzing around in the back of my mind, something I still couldn't pin down.

He continued to stare at me, like he was gauging the distance between the two of us, in case he felt like lunging across the kitchen with a bottle opener or something. Then, slowly, a sick kind of smile lit his face. It was a smile that didn't make me feel very comfortable. He grabbed Nefertiti by the arm and said "mix me a fuckin' drink. I'm going upstairs...and calling Razor."

She and I locked gazes for what seemed like an eternity. It was weird, seeing her performing the domestic task of pouring a screwdriver for Bill. The orange juice container was achingly normal, and so was she. She asked me what I was going to do. I shrugged, and stuck my hands in my pockets. What WAS I going to do? I had no clue where I was, the cops were already on the prowl in the neighborhood, and I had a pocketful of...uh...

My mind flashed again. I knew that this whole thing was somehow based on a misunderstanding, but I couldn't pin it down. What I DID realize was that I had a pocketful of the strongest mood altering drug known to mankind, and if I didn't do something quickly I might be dead. I peered closely into Nefertiti's eyes, and found that she didn't want to see anyone hurt, especially if she were to be a witness. I grabbed a can of Coke out of the fridge, and crushed up three of the ecstasy pills. Without saying a word, she stirred the powder into his drink, then took it upstairs.

I looked at my drug bag, and shook out two pills for myself. Upon reflection, I added another one. There's no way this will ever work, I thought, but I'll be damned if I let any of these crazy bastards eat all my shit.

I waited, for what seemed like forever. Nefertiti came back down and mixed two drinks, then beckoned for me to accompany her upstairs. Bill was holding court in the bathroom, and he had some more lecturing he wanted to do.

Bill wasn't just holding court in the bathroom, he was actually in a bubble bath. It was ridiculous, and only the gravity of my situation kept me from breaking out in peals of mad, inappropriate laughter.


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