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Thread: Tocky's Tales

  1. #101
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I thought some might want to see my wife on the ghost bed. Look at that smile. That is worth a little ghost molestation right there.

    That was in the morning right after I told her.

  2. #102
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Those eyes. Those eyes stop me in my tracks. There was a girl in England who used to say to me "don't you look at me that way" and I would say "what way?" and she would say "with those eyes". I thought that was the funniest thing but I guess I know what she was saying. The eyes are the windows of the soul and they speak your feelings and sometimes those are intense. Mygod look at hers. When she is in love with you, which for me is most of the time, she can look right down into your soul. Do you know she is psychic? She knows things there is no way she should.

    When our son broke his arm visiting his uncle she knew something was wrong immediately and told me so. I poo pooed it but she knew. She got hold of her mother and found out she was right. She knows. I have to hide my innermost soul because she might see what a blackguard I am. I'm not always successful. She loves me anyway.

    I recall shortly after we first married showing her around my grandmothers big old Victorian home. My grandmother was the sweetest most gentle old girl who used to let us kids have the run of the place and we did. We ate her teacakes and drank her cocoa and rattled the floorboards with our running feet in all the rooms but one. We didn't play much in the parlor. About the only thing we ever did there was hold seances because for some reason it was a creepy room. We never went in there alone.

    The seances were fun though. It made a good excuse to hold hands with the neighbor girls. We would intone in our most spooky voices for the spirit of a local Indian chief to "give us a sign". Someone would toss a coin across the room or knock over a book and then a hand would creep up a slender back and squeals and laughter would erupt. My cousins are very much like me.

    The house was empty as I gave my wife a tour of my old memories. Watching dough made from scratch be flattened by a rolling pin and cut with an empty can to form biscuits that I would split and top with butter and sugar in the kitchen. Playing the Barnabus Collins game in the living room while the belly of a Fatso stove burned cherry red to push back the cold. The bedroom where quilts six deep kept the cold from young giggling boys not willing to let go of a day full of play. The couch where grandma told us morality tales crafted on the spot and as interesting as any in any book made. Just one more grandma. Grandma is tired boys. But she always would. We didn't know she was dying of cancer. I wish I could hear her voice one more time.

    I was recounting all these memories while walking through the rooms I love so much. Everything I saw brought forth a flood. I stepped into the foyer where the old Philco cabinet radio stood and looked into the courtyard where the well still stood and recalled the echoing ping of the water cylinder as it made it's way up the pipe and the squeak of the large ornate pulley as the rope threaded through it. I could see it outlined against the sky on it's lintel. I could feel the soft weathered gray rope in my palm.

    I stepped across the threshold into the parlor. The old feeling of chill settled on my shoulders. I stared at the fireplace and wondered how long it had been since a fire shed ashes there. I had learned since this is where the bodies of my ancestors lay during wake. My grandmother had lain here looking so alien without the warmth of her smile animating her face. It was the old way to keep them at home until the funeral.

    I thought of telling my wife all these things and looked back at where she had stopped short of entering. What was the matter I asked. Why didn't she enter? I hadn't told her anything about this room yet. She had no way of knowing the feelings it conjured. Something in there is looking at me she told me. That's it. That is exactly the way I had always felt about this room but had been unable to put into words. It was so simple and she had pegged it with nothing to go on. I joined her in the foyer.

  3. #103
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Strange things happen. Most resolve into common enough occurrences. I recall being at Old Lebanon cemetery late one night with my buds and talking with Frank when he asked what would you do if the dead began to rise like some Romero film. Silly question as I would get the hell out of where I was but it got us talking about zombies. As if on cue we hear a shuffling noise in the dry leaves deep in the woods. Oh shit. At first it sounded like one or two and soon grew into a large group. Visions of shambling husks dragging their rotting corpses through the dark forest were in all of our heads I'm sure. What the hell? Who is out there? Speak up! Moo. Son of a bitch. It's cows. We better go tell Mr. Bradley his cows are out.

    Then there was the time I was awakened by the voice of a demon. It must have been three in the morning when out of the blue eeeooooorrrrraaahhoooooowwwooooooorrrrrrrrruuuuuuuunnnnaaaaaaahhhhheeeeeeaaaaargh. JESUS CHRIST! Buuuuunnnnaaaahhhhhgaaarrrrrrrruuuuuuuaaaaaahhhhhkakakaeeeeeettaaaaaahhhhhheaughreeahoooooaaaauuuhhh hh. JESUS CHRIST AGAIN! It went on long enough I was full awake and listening like there would be a test on it with my life at stake. No words at all just guttural belligerence from hell. I've never heard anything so evil. Completely unintelligible but unmistakably wrong in every way unholy.

    I managed to focus on the area it was coming from by the time it stopped. I turned on the lamp. There was nothing there. There was nothing anywhere in the room that could have spoken like the voice of the devil. My wife was still wrapped up in the covers asleep. Heh. But there had to be some explanation. My eyes seized on a pair of kissing squirrels from some cutesy valentines gift. They were in the general area. I put their lips together "mmmmmmmah I love ya!" Somehow they must have activated spontaneously at super low speed. I couldn't make them do it again and I just tested them not long ago (when the hell are those batteries going to run down they must be twenty years old) and they work but bygod that is what it was. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

    Some things happen that make you wonder. When we were teens and Kevin lived in a trailer park I would come over and visit and sometimes we would go over to his next door neighbor and burn one with him. We were over there, me, Kevin, and Frank, when a girl who looked like a young Stevie Nix came over. She wasn't feeling too well. Her face was strained and washed of color. She thought perhaps a few tokes might help and joined our circle.

    What was it she thought was the problem? Voodoo. Say what? She had fooled around with this woman's husband and the woman had put a curse on her. Sure. She better see a doctor is what we all said. Her stomach pained her something awful and she bent over with the strain of it. No seriously, see a doctor. That shit is nothing to play with. No, she insisted, it wasn't anything a doctor could help with. It was voodoo. She said it so convincingly that whether or not I believed I damn well knew she did.

    She sat and smoked with us awhile. We were all looking at her. Her face betrayed her pain. I felt one of us was going to have to take her to the doctor. After a bit she said the pain had eased. Well thank Marie Laveau or whatever right? That shit was scary. It could be an appendicitis chrissakes. Her face looked completely different eased of all signs of pain. Then the pain came back. Like an evil beast come to claim it's rightful victim.

    It was hard to look at her. I felt so sorry for her. I wished so much there was something I could do. I wished I could take her pain for her. That was the wrong thing to wish. It came true. Instantly. You don't believe? I didn't either. Makes not one damn. It came true. It entered my guts like a thing with claws. I felt the blood leave my face and a clammy cold take hold. It was like the worst diarrhea you ever felt only just the cramp part. It was scary awful. Like a thing alive and willful. As I broke out in a cold sweat trying to handle it I heard her say she was feeling better.

    It couldn't be. I tried to hold on. I tried not to believe. It hurt anyway. I could not concentrate on this being bullshit for the enormous scary pain. Not believe? That simply wasn't an option. It wasn't that it was insistent. It just was. Belief did not enter into it. I heard her laughing and feeling so much better and talking about it and how we just did not know. I knew. Locked in my bubble of concentration I knew. I fucking knew beyond any doubt. This shit was not play. This shit was real. Oh I understand how this will be disbelieved. I don't blame you. I would. I would be smug in my logical sane world thinking this guy is full of shit and some kind of attention seeker story teller whose mind has tricked him into thinking some false memory is real. But it just isn't that way. I remember. You don't forget a pain like that. It scared the shit out of me.

    I tried to hold out. I tried to out think it. It wasn't true. It wasn't possible. It made a lie out of everything I thought. I gave in and gave up. I pussed out. I wished the pain back to her. Instantly it left. It did. Like it drew from my body and never was. Only I knew now it was where I had doubted before. She was hurting again. Now I knew exactly what she was feeling. I felt ashamed but more than that I felt relieved. I was ashamed at feeling relieved. But thank God it had left. No matter where it had gone at least it wasn't in me anymore. Maybe I could have taken it for my wife or child but maybe not. It would be a near thing. I took a drag of the joint that came round.

    After a bit she said she was feeling better again. I started looking around the circle immediately. Frank. I could see it in his face. He was pale and concentrating. I knew the feeling. His mouth was set and his jaw locked. His eyes were staring at nothing. He held out a lot longer than me. All this time conversation was going on and I participated but I watched him. He wasn't saying a word. He was lost in that feeling. I wanted to say something to him but I was too afraid it would center on me again.

    Finally she said it was hurting her again and I looked at Frank. He was breathing easy again. I could visibly see the weight of it off him. He was a better man than I though. He had taken it twice as long. I decided right then I wouldn't say a word about it. I would forget it ever was and think of it as some fluke mental quirk to fade away. When we all parted I told her again to see a doctor. She said she had two more days of it to go. I could not imagine two days of that. I wanted to pat her shoulder or give her a hug. I did not dare touch her.

    Back at Kevin's we stood around in the streetlight talking about her. I had made up my mind to forget what happened and pretend it never did. Kevin said he had felt so sorry for her that he had wished he had the pain instead. Holy fuck I had missed that one. It must have been that first time she said the pain had eased. He hadn't lasted long. Frank was amazed and said he had done the same thing. They talked with each other excited that they had felt the same thing and had someone to confirm it. I just listened. I never admitted my part. It was like it would just be superfluous at that point. If it hadn't been for them talking after maybe I could have forgotten. I wanted to.

    This is a hard one to hit post on but fuck it. It happened, psychosomatic or whatever, it happened.

  4. #104
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I've thought perhaps the fact the government was spraying Mexican pot with paraquat at the time that perhaps it would explain the above story somewhat. Lets say it does and ignore the things that don't fit.

    I'm going to get away from strange shit for a bit. There is plenty more but since guns are being debated perhaps a story of them would be in order. I've grown up with them in the country which is a tad different from growing up with them in the city. Hunting is just a hold over from the days when it was a necessity for putting food on the table and we were not far from those days when I was a boy. I fondly recall dove hunting trips to my uncles corn fields and squirrel hunting trips into the last of the old growth forests where the oaks were all huge and with plenty of room to traverse between. Those no longer exist.

    On these trips my Dad taught me to aim. He did so by having us plink at cans, though when he saw I could hit them with little problem he had me try peeling certain words off the cans. He could do it by setting them up with those words to one side. Sometimes I could but mostly I hit too far in and made a hole. What he was teaching me was aim small- miss small which is a principle of firearms training but not of country life which had more practical application. I was to hit the squirrels in the head to save the meat, which I did. This is much the way Sergeant York shot turkeys.

    So when I had M16 training on the Air Force range it was easy. A human sized target at one hundred and at fifty yards was silly. Of course I aced it. The only thing that was in any way hard was shooting from the hip. I had never done that but apparently it wasn't too hard. I got my marksmanship ribbon that day. But what was funny was the DI's reaction to the fact I was the only one to do so. This was back when they could curse and he did so prodigiously. You mean to tell me out of the whole mamma's titty sucking flight only the medic can shoot straight? The only shit sack among you who can handle a rifle as well as his pecker is the one who does not carry a rifle? Goddamn. The rest of you can do extra laps while this ram rod hard dick has a smoke break at PT and you reflect upon the error of your upbringing.

    I wish I could recall his exact words but it was very similar and more of them. They were a thing to behold. I think we shall never see the like of those old drill instructors again. They were a breed apart. You can't say the things now they did then. We lost something when we became more PC in regards to them. On our first meeting fresh off the bus while we were still in civilian clothes he would get in our face and ask where we were from. There were various responses he came back with for our replies, mostly to do with protocol on answers and all insulting. Mine was "I hear only steers and queers are from Mississippi, which one are you?" Well I wasn't a queer so I answered "moo". That was not the correct answer when done smiling so I had to drop and give twenty.

    When it came to PT I volunteered to run with my flight as anyone with half a brain would. This received a "goddamn you are one fine individual" or some such. Anyway I told this story on the way to one my brother told me about Vietnam. When he was in he was on the range and the drill instructors were betting on who would hit the target the best he kept pulling up the barrel with the trigger pull. You have to squeeze slowly but firmly. Never yank. So the DI ordered him to place his finger in the open breech. Can you figure out what comes next? He knew but it was an order. The DI hit the button and slammed home the stiff metal loader like a hammer. It smashed his index. It made it numb. He could not feel the trigger. He won his instructor money after that. Maybe if Dad had been able to raise him as he had me he would have done better from the get go but his mother divorced Dad for some reason I've never quite been able to fathom.

    The best story he told about Nam was as a young marine lieutenant. They had guys that went scouting for months at a time. It was more than being on point. He said the clothes were rotting off these guys by the time they made it back to base. And they were hungry. Starved. They would gather information on troop movements and what trails were where and report back. He told me this one summer he visited with his girlfriend in his custom Chevy van when I was a preteen.

    He said this one guy came in about breakfast time after quite a while in the field. The guy was starved and in rags. He piled his plate with runny scrambled eggs and bacon and toast and began to dig in oblivious to all around him. Just ravenous. But he hadn't come in alone. A Viet Cong sniper had followed him in. As he sat at the table the sniper set about trying to shoot him. Everybody hit the deck scattering or hiding behind overturned tables except the guy who had come in from being on point. He was still wolfing down the food.

    No telling how long he had been without rations but he just did not care about anything but eating. He was the only one still in his seat shoveling down the chow. At least until a bullet knocked his tray off the table. Nicky said he just hung his head a moment as everybody shouted for him to take cover. He reached over and picked up the rifle he came in with and calmly propped it with his elbows on the table and took careful aim. With his first shot the sniper dropped from a tree at the rim of the clearing. He went right back to shoveling down food. That guy was hungry.

    Mostly Nicky didn't talk about anything but the funny stuff that happened in Nam.

  5. #105
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Guns. I would give them all up if I could only be sure everyone else would. I don't use them much anymore. I use my shotgun to cut limbs from the line of sight of my sat dish to satellite. Dove hunting is just a memory now since my son didn't take to it like I did. He is actually a better shot than me though. He won money from a friend of mine by betting he couldn't stack bullets in the same spot from forty feet. This was with my 45. I haven't practiced with my pistol like I should and that is one of the responsibilities of owning one. About the only shooting I do is when my grands want to shoot targets with my BB gun these days.

    How I got my 45 is maybe a bit interesting. It was the first gift my wife gave me. It happened because we thought we might need it. Plus I have to admit I love the heft and balance and sleek lines. It is heavy enough that it levels itself and stays that way fairly easily. But on to why we might need it.

    One evening we came back from seeing "The Empire Strikes Back" at Cinema 6 theater. But no. Let me back up a bit. There was a rapist in Water Valley where my wife lived before we married. He had already gotten six women and they had little to go on except he was black. He would break in and wait on them inside their homes while they were away. Before we dated Rena was alone and noticed the same vehicle slowing several times as it went back and forth past her drive. She didn't know who it was but my wife is proactive as hell. When it came to a full stop blocking the end of her drive she kicked open the door and fired a round from her 22 rifle over the car. Could have just been someone lost but they got the message and got moving quick. She was all alone with her son and took no chances. Her ex came in and took the gun to sell for drugs not long after that leaving her defenseless.

    So yeah, we came back from the movies. I unlocked the back door and stepped into the hall and stopped them as I sniffed the air. This may sound racist but it just is. I smelled a black person. That smell was indelible in my memory since childhood. I told her to go lock herself in the car. She said what if he is out there? True enough. It was very dark out. Okay but lock yourselves in the bathroom (after I check it) while I go and check things out. She did. At first. After I had checked every nook and cranny of our bedroom I was passing back by the bath when she opened the door and insisted on going with me. No. Stay put. Do you happen to have any weapons though? We had only been together a couple of months at that point so I didn't know. A bat? A golf club? A Bowie knife? Anything? Nothing. She didn't even have a phone. Jesus.

    A smart man would have taken everyone back to the car and gone on back to town to the police station. I am not that man. At least I wasn't then. I like to think that now I know better and have my priorities straight. Then though, I was a confrontational and impulsive idiot. I look back over the many many times I was a dumbass and wince. Being a dumbass with your own life is one thing but doing it with those in your charge is entirely different. I decided to proceed. I hadn't even a pocket knife.

    On the floor was a toy gun and in those days they looked fairly realistic. I picked it up saying loudly, "It's okay I found my gun. I'm going to check out the living room." Her head pokes out the bathroom door and she says we don't have a gun. Then my sons head pokes out saying, "Dad, what are you doing with MY gun?" Jesus. I don't even have the comfort of scaring him away with a bluff if he can halfway hear. I try to shush them and tell them to go back. Lock the door. What a comedy.

    The living room was empty and untouched. There was no room to hide but I pulled the couch away from the wall anyway and looked behind it. Not a thing was out of place. I had been checking windows and finding them locked and unbroken. I continued on into the kitchen. I hear a noise behind me and whirl. Rena has sneaked up behind me. JESUS WOMAN! Don't do that! Go back. She gets us knives from the knife drawer. I look and see they all appear to still be there. Only one room left. Go back and lock yourself in damn it. No. She won't.

    I shouted, "If I catch you in there I'm going to kill you motherfucker!" Giving it a five count I enter my sons room by kicking the door wide and rushing in. Nobody there. My eyes lock on the window screen which has been pushed in and is lying on my sons bed. No way that is right. I turn and see Rena and Dan in the doorway. Jesus Christ go back and... oh hell just stay out of this room until I search the closet anyway. Did you knock your screen out son? No. Then stay out till I find out if the coast is clear. I could smell him strong in here but there was nothing in the closet. The house was clear. He must have gone out when he heard me earlier. I closed and locked this window. Dan slept with us that night.

    A few weeks later it was my birthday and Rena had me meet her at a pawn store in town. She already knew I liked shooting a friends 1911 Colt. There on the top row was a brand new Mark IV black as sin. The guy said it had a recall defect and he could get me the easier slide spring so it wouldn't bend my shells on eject but I told him that was perfect. It was a hard pull. Plus it had the handle safety that wouldn't fire unless depressed.

    I keep it in a locked compartment I could break in an instant so really all it does is keep honest thieves out. A gun safe? That gathers all your guns in one box so they can be taken out all at once. There is no safe way outside of a safe room or vault and who has the dough to build one? Living with them is like living with a rattle snake though.

  6. #106
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    You smelled a black person? Yeh you know that does sound pretty racist.

  7. #107
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    What is just is. Go back to my story of Lara. They smell different. These days most wash so well you can't smell the difference but... well look at it this way, have YOU ever been the only white person in a black juke joint on a Saturday night? I have. I know the smell. What is IS. Do you deny the truth for the sake of being PC or do you just state it? What would you have me do? Lie?

    Actually, I take that back, I was with my wife and sister in law at the juke.

  8. #108
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Anyway, damn it Pig, when I saw your name I figured you might have a story for me. I got all excited for nothing. You psyched me out. I think you owe me a story for that. Also do you know black folks acknowledge the difference in smell? Of course they come at it from the other side. They say we smell like a wet dog. I can see that. It's not exactly it but kind of. Theirs is more of a smoky copper sweat but that doesn't cover it. It's unique. I guess you have to have been in close contact in working conditions other than office work to know though. Tell you what, tell me a story and I'll tell you about a black juke called The Turning Point.

    Also also here is a pic of my early family. It's one of those family portrait things they used to do at Walmart about two months into our marriage.

  9. #109
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    So just a spitball from the peanut gallery, Piggy? No story? I won't tell of The Turning Point until you do. It could be a good story you are keeping folks from hearing by your silence. Maybe I pulled an Animal House and abandoned the girls when some guys asked could they dance with my dates. Nah. Doesn't sound like me does it? Maybe I said something stupid and honest and had to fight the whole place? That kind of does sound like me. But hey, you will never know if you don't post a story of yours. I posit this place is dying from lack of posts by those who "can't be arsed" rather than any assholes it may have doing actual posting.

    What I'll tell now is the last time my home was broken into which was in the early nineties. My wife found out first having arrived home before me. This was in the days before cell phones so it was a surprise to be met at the door by her with a gun in her hand. She had gotten home maybe fifteen minutes before me and found the kitchen window open (someone hadn't put the stick back in the sliding window) and all the plants that were on the sill in the sink and the ceramic frog sponge holder broken on the floor.

    She had waited on me to search the entire house to see what was gone. Are you sure one of the cats didn't just knock everything off wanting out? The screen was pulled off too and look at the footprint from stepping on the plant dirt in the sink. Hmmmm. And that wasn't all. She took me outside. Look what I found. A cigarette case was lying not far from the window. Recognize it? No. It's from those teen girls who moved in down the road. The ones who came to visit and asked for a cup of sugar.

    The more Rena talked the madder she got. "I told them if there was anything they needed to just come right over. Well they sure as hell did." Okay but what did they get? We searched the house. At first all we came up with was my sons half dollar collection. So maybe a hundred bucks at most, I said. I was being really calm about it all and that pissed her off more. Maybe I was thinking of the time I got taken to court for the cokes thing and was feeling lenient but as long as nobody was in danger I was feeling generous with my forgiveness. Stuff doesn't matter. My family being hurt is all that does.

    Then we searched further and found out they had taken the contents of our freezer. We had done something we hadn't before or since. We had bought a whole cow cut up into steaks, roasts, and such. Now it was gone. I don't think we had eaten any of it. Rena was livid. I was trying to say how I couldn't possibly press charges against anyone for stealing food but she was saying how we aren't rich and that food was for our family. We will get more. It's not that big a deal I argued. She was on the verge of crying.

    I decided I would call the local sheriff. I told him we had a break in and though I wasn't going to press charges I wanted him to give the ones who did it a talking to. I wanted him to let them know that I knew and had they come to us we would have let them have any food or other help we had to offer but if they ever broke into our home again I would press charges. He said he would. I felt the weight of his being the law would give that sentiment more meaning. The cigarette case wasn't proof positive but it was pretty damning.

    After I hung up I heard the first shot. BAM! "You motherfuckers!" Oh shit. Rena. I ran outside and saw her heading into the pasture between our houses shooting straight up into the air. BAM! "You fucking theives!" I ran after her. BAM! "I'll fucking kill your ass for breaking in MY house!" When I recount this story for friends I say I tackled her but that isn't true. What I did was grab her free arm at the bicep and reach up placing my thumb in the hammer gap and pull the gun away. I guess I underestimated how mad she was. I think she would have run out of bullets at that rate before she made it there but why take chances? You have to know my wife. She would not have shot anyone. She knew I would stop her. She just wanted them to know how pissed she was.

    We told the local store to be on the lookout for the halves and they told us that sure enough the girls had come in and tried to buy something with them. I hadn't wanted them to be ostracized but the store would not take the coins and told them why. They moved away about a month later. I felt kind of bad about that but you can't do anything in a small town without everyone knowing.
    Last edited by Tocky; 31st Jan 2018 at 22:26. Reason: more more is the most

  10. #110
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    My wife and I spent the weekend at a cabin on Natchez Trace Lake with her sister and boyfriend. They have rustic cabins built by the CCC during the depression with nice size decks and fireplaces. We grill steaks and have some drinks and shoot the shit and have some giggles. It makes a nice weekend getaway. Also it's close enough that I can check out my favorite old comic store in Tupelo.

    So Scott tells me about his days growing up nearby and all their fun skiing on the lake. How an uncle accidentally cleared a beach of sunbathers by powering around the bend and mistakenly hit the raise engine button which of course takes away all steering as well. How a friend tumbled out of a speeding boat yet came up still in his fishing hat and holding his hand over his drink. And how the lake ended skiing because they had a ski ramp there and a guy lost it on the jump but then swam to the ramp to await the boat and found he had upset a tangle of moccasins hiding from the noonday sun. He didn't make it.

    That reminded me of this story, which I told him and I've told before here, but some may have missed it. Me and Elliott used to go swimming and knew all the local lakes and ponds. I recall one spot fed by a spring we called the ice cold swimmin' hole for the obvious reason even in the heat of summer. We never worried about snakes at that one. This story isn't about that one.

    We found this watershed lake down a little used heavily wooded side road in January and he dove in first. He tried to tell me not to go in but couldn't form a word from shaking. "Haba ta haba n n na no". I dove in anyway. I don't know how those polar bear club people do it. Last January swim I've ever done.

    When summer came we decided it would be a good revisit. At the other water sheds we had been to the intake for the overflow was an open affair and we did stupid shit like " ride the pipe". You see, the intake is a concrete box tube thing about sixty feet out from the bank and if you swim out to it when the water is high and pouring in heavy you can enter by a metal door facing the lake and hold your breath while you find the tube that runs straight under the levy. It sucks you in and you ride the pipe about eighty yards until you get shot out like a cannon ball on the other side at the drain pond. The bottom of the pipe is slick with moss and there is no going back so you better be able to hold your breath. Kevin once voiced the sobering thought that there could be a grate or log snag somewhere along the pipes. This story isn't about that.

    The intake for this watershed was surrounded by a chain-link fence not to keep idiots out of the pipe but debris from blocking the door. It was only on the front though so we could still climb the horizontal L shaped rungs along the side where water poured in. These were even spaced about a foot apart and would have been easy except the sides sloped outward \ / and you had to hang on good to make the top. Once at the top you could take a running go and clear the spiky top of the chainlink some fifteen feet down and about that out to splash in non cut you in half open water. Dangerous but not a story about that either.

    No, we had been doing this for quite a while without decapitation. The slab concrete top of the thing was full wet from our running about on it. So were the rungs. The inside of them faced away from us. I was looking over the edge as Elliott climbed and his feet slipped so that he hung pull-up mode from one rung. So he did a pull-up.

    I don't know if he felt something or why he chose to look over inside the rung but when he did he eased himself back into the water and swam for the bank churning water. What the hell right? As soon as he got there he turned around and told me to look in the rungs. I've never seen so many water moccasins in one place in my life. They were laid out end to end like links of sausages. Dark scaly gray black primeval nightmares where we had bent our wet fingers and toes less than an inch away for hours. I imagine the water from our feet dripping onto them making them uncomfortable.

    How did they get there? When the water was high maybe? They were on every rung. I could have shit a brick. Elliott was shouting instructions about the best place to jump and to do it far as possible but I was dumbfounded. I had no choice. I had to come down. Were there others under the water? Would I come up with them hanging off me like dreadlocks? It was mind boggling that I would have to jump into that dark water once more. I did. I'm here now. I got as far to one corner as I could and made a hard run to the far one. We never swam there again. Damn a bunch of snakes.
    Last edited by Tocky; 5th Feb 2018 at 00:12.

  11. #111
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Sardis Lake is a fairly large one. It has beaches whose heyday passed some time in the early seventies though folks do still come to swim and lay about on summer days. Mostly folks camp and boat and fish. Many fish all night on the rocks near the spillway. There one can catch crappie, spoonbill catfish, and the occasional bass. Mostly what they fish for is the spoonbill. Those can weigh in at upwards of thirty pounds but of course most don't. Some, like me and Rodney, just stop to watch what folks are catching.

    We were doing that one night, just leaning over a rail as the water roared, boiled, and misted from the huge concrete opening, when Rodney elbowed me and turned to look down the road which went the way round by the camps and beach. There walked two young girls bathed in the blue arc sodium of streetlights. I had been broken with Belinda for about a month at that point and Rodney was likewise free. We watched them walk straight to us like mana from heaven.

    I don't recall all the conversation but I do Rodney saying "What are you ladies doing out by yourselves on this fine ass evening?" You just have to know the inflection he gave words. Not real good looking but damn he had swagger. We talked for a bit and burned one and somehow the pairing off happened. We were in Rodney's big Chrysler and already parked in the shadows so we listened to some tunes, him and his girl in front and me and mine in back. I can't recall what she looked like except dark hair and eyes and she tasted of cinnamon gum. I was rounding third when the door opened and the arm rest she had her head on was taken away. Her head looked up from it's upside down perspective and mine from being buried in her neck.

    Oh shit it's my boyfriend. You damn right it is, bitch. Hey, hey, there are ladies present, no need for foul language. Get the hell out of the car. Do you want to? We better. And so it went until we were standing across from "the boyfriends" and one of them with a gun pointed at Rodney doing near all the talking. I'll try to recall the conversation because I couldn't keep the gun from swinging in my direction with each of my comments. Keep in mind he is trying to talk to Rodney.

    Guy with gun- What the hell do you mean kissing my girlfriend?
    Rodney- She didn't taste like your girlfriend.
    Guy with gun- Shut up you stupid fucker. I asked you a question.
    Me- A dumbass question.
    Guy with gun- You shut the fuck up.
    Me- Okay but I don't know how the hell anybody is going to shut up and answer. Telepathy maybe?
    Rodney- Look we didn't know anything about no damn boyfriends.
    Me- Yeah, it didn't exactly come up.
    Guy with gun- I told you to shut the fuck up.

    At some point during this the girls had changed sides. The one without the gun pointed at it.

    Me- Just a fact. This is some bullshit.

    I was staring at the guy without the gun who looked like he wanted to make a move on me but instead turned to the girl and started berating her.

    Guy with gun talking to Rodney- Tell me one reason I shouldn't just shoot your ass right now.
    Me- Maybe because you're not a complete moron? Not a complete one anyway.
    Guy with gun- I thought I told you to shut up motherfucker.
    Rodney- Yeah maybe you ought to be quiet.
    Me- Okay. Just trying to talk some sense. Somebody has to.
    Guy with gun- Last time you cunt. You're going to be talking out of another hole in your face in a minute.
    Rodney- Godamnit I told you we didn't know anything about no boyfriends. I don't know what the hell else you want me to say.

    At this point the guy with the gun just goes on a cursing binge. At one point I said "fuck take a breath" but he didn't hear that what with all the creative character slurs and all. But then one of the girls said something about seeing the Park Rangers coming and they disappear quick. Sure enough on the way out we see them pulled over and I'm saying yeah fuckers find that gun but before we left me and Rodney had a little conversation in the car.

    Godamn man I thought I would shit when you said she didn't taste like your girlfriend. We busted out laughing. When we were done he told me thanks for taking some of the heat for him. I told him I just couldn't shut my damn mouth is all.

    This is Rodney about that age-

  12. #112
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Well it's another evening and I'm feeling fine as a frog hair split ten ways. I wish I could get some stories out of folks but that's fine too. It's just that we learn so many things in so many ways and all of them are a story. I like hearing about that. It bolsters my faith in humanity.

    I've always been more confident than I had any right to be. Look at my wormy butt in that early picture. I couldn't gain weight in those days if I ate a gallon of lard every meal. Look at that face. Ridiculous porn 'stache and I could walk up and smack the prayer out of a popes mouth. I'm blessed. My ignorant ass is blessed. I can't lose and I know it. I've always been lucky. Maybe in the end I will pay. Maybe in the end I will die alone and in pain. It's okay even so. I have it coming for the good I've been given despite my evil heart. I tried to pay back but I always got more than I gave.

    My wife hasn't always been aware of my lack of immortality either. For awhile I was the go to guy who helped her friends move out of the home of whatever low life cheating lying bastards they had been suffering. I was the muscle in case things turned bad. LOL. I didn't have enough lead in my ass to fill a number two pencil. I had bravado and a certainty things would turn up aces on the last deal of cards. After a bad turn on one packing up leaving where the guy went to get a shotgun from a closet and I stepped in front and spoke reason, though unarmed, I carried my 45 from then on in the small of my back. No sense being extra stupid.

    I never pulled it. It was hidden. I let them rant and rave. Why not? They knew they were losing their good thing. They knew it was their fault. They blamed others but later would blame the right one. I knew that. They said some really awful stuff though. I heard terrible things like one where a guy spoke of fist fucking his wife in front of his kids. Awful shit. I hope they felt the weight of what they said later. I hope it made them better people. For some it does but they usually have to lose it all.

    I felt a bit used though. I wanted my wife to understand I was not immortal. No matter how I acted, no matter how I never let on I felt any fear or let on I was anything less, I wanted her to worry I was not all the bold ass I made out to be. It's a peril of this fake front you put on that even those closest believe you. Even my daughter believes. When she had a stalker she didn't go to her husband. I dealt with it. I had to. I knew he would and that could not be. He has the future. I'm all the past and over. That's another story. I'm a liar and fraud though. I'm not invincible. I'm just willing to see it through is all.

    The last time I helped in a move the guy was plenty pissed and had plenty to say. I stood calm and firm as always. But I felt old. I felt weary. I knew one time I would say the wrong thing. There is always somebody quicker, somebody stronger, somebody more lucky. Well, maybe not anyone more lucky. I suffered his words and blocked the way of any retaliation. We loaded up the stuff and the kids to take to her mothers. On the way her boy was such an angry little guy. I wanted to say something but I didn't know what. I didn't really know the situation. How hard it must be to love them both and have to choose. I kept silence but it took something out of me. That angry little face. What would it grow up to be?

    After we had dropped him off at his grands she wanted to celebrate her liberation and though I had no inclination I had obligation and Rena wanted to help her shake her out of her bondage. We went to a bar to dance. When some cowboy asked my wife and she accepted the dance her friend sat in my lap. I told her she didn't want to do that. She said she did. No. You are just grateful is all. No. That isn't all it is. Yes, it may not feel like it now but... damn it she was rubbing her ass on my crotch. My dick was a traitor. That bastard belied my words. I was still trying to tell her it was a bad idea when Rena came back and caught her.

    Oh she was pissed at her. I guess I should have stood and dumped the girl on her ass but sometimes you just can't think. But she was more pissed at me. "Did your dick get hard?" she asked as if she knew. What could I do but shake my head? Sometimes you are caught in honey and don't know enough to move until the trap comes down. As bad as it was she never had me risk my fool neck to move another of her friends out of a bad relationship. I'm alive. Even the bad works in my favor. Rena forgot. I didn't. I'm glad I didn't have to move another "friend". I'm not immortal.

    This night I'm listening to Beth Hart croon sweet sultry words as I type and I'm alive and the world is fine.

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