Home > Remonstrations of Fingers Rolly > Getting to Know Fingers Rolly (Part Two)

Getting to Know Fingers Rolly (Part Two)

By Bernie Keebler
Senior Staff Writer
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Fingers gnarls at his dinner; he has a strange habit of putting food into his mouth sideways and hunching over his plate protectively.  Suddenly, he will bolt upwards in his seat and, remaining completely still, will gaze for an interminable period at something far off and distant out the window.  Then, he will slowly return to his meal.  For Fingers, eating seems a completely pleasureless experience.

I ask him about his last job.  “Physical education,” he blurts out.  “God damn desert high school.  No fields to speak of, just that cracked brown whore dirt.”  He spits on the floor.  “For a time, I enjoyed it.”  “How so?” I probe.  He stares at me.  Then: “It was fun to torture the unathletic children.  But then I’d have to go into my office to fill out grades or something and even with the blinds shut, I knew that god damn desert was out there, mocking me.”

He takes a long, steadying drink of coffee.  This is a rare, lucid moment.  I know it will not last long.

“Then, I took to sleeping under the gym bleachers at night.  I could no longer use facilities because, standing there, I could see that asshole desert out the window.  So, I started defecating under the bleachers.  The principal called me in after a few weeks.

“What did he say?”

“He said, Fingers– he said, we like some of the work you’re doing.  You’re making important strides in teaching the fatter, unathletic kids how to wear their gym shorts.  But we can’t have this moaning and screaming at the desert.  And now that we’ve learned of this expelling of waste beneath the gym bleachers, well, I’m afraid that’s the last straw.  So, he kicked me out on my ass.”

“What did you do?”

“I went home and made up two signs– I still have ’em, in there in the living room.  Then, I took up a post here in this very chair and started screaming at that sonuvabitch.  That cracked, god damn sonuvabitch…”

He gets up from the table (his rugged gait now marred by age) and starts towards the back door with a shotgun.  I stop him.

“There’s nothing you can do, Fingers,” I plead.

He breathes rapidly but stops at the counter.  He removes his hat and looks at the floor for several moments, blinking.  He seems near tears.

Then, suddenly, his face changes completely.  The transformation is stunning.  FFFFFFUUUUUUCCCCKKKK   OFFFFFFFF he moans slowly.  He tries to strike me but I duck out of the way.  He moves to his chair and begins the deeply unsettling desert moan broken by occasional moments of vile profanity.  I keep out of his way as best I can.  “At this point, he’ll start tearing the kitchen up,” warned a journalist friend.

I dig in and prepare for the worst.

The story of Fingers Rolly will continue in future issues.

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