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Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.

It was mid-afternoon when I got off the bus. It was getting towards the end, I knew it. It was just a matter of finding a room.

I wandered into town. The sidewalks were in deep oppressive shadow but it was hot as hell. There was a fat lady in a floral-patterned dress standing in front of a pharmacy. She was reading a magazine that had a bunch of igloos on the cover. She looked me up and down as I passed by– I didn’t know what the hell to make of it.

I reached the end of town, then doubled back to the pharmacy. The fat lady was still there. She had tossed the igloo magazine into the street and was now staring at a calendar. Her fat finger slowly passed over each day of the month, then switched to the next month and continued the same. It was all senseless- who knew what to do with it?

I bought a couple of razors and a pack of cheap cigarettes. “You want some shaving cream? We got a new brand in that’s a soothing green color. The gel protects your face from nicks, cuts, and irritation– leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated,” the young guy behind the counter said. He was enthusiastic– really wanted to help me. You had to admire it. But I knew I wouldn’t need it and declined. As I was leaving, I turned around to see the kid fiddling with a shotgun. I moved a little faster.84377

It was down at the other end– just a mean god damn place done up after a border style twenty years out of fashion and built into a rough, brown hill like someone had shoved it there angrily– like they had said get the hell in there, you abominable little godless motel. Nothing but hate, pigheadedness and perversity, done up in white enamel.

The guy behind the counter looked the part. About seven foot tall, hairless– he never said a word but slammed the coins down on the laminate counter enough to crack it through. He pushed a desk calendar with a saturated photo of the place and an ashtray towards me before stalking off towards the office.

I looked out towards the parking lot– empty, stained and streaked with oil and tire tread and then headed off to the room.

There was a scratchy blue bedspread with a pink blanket over top, made so tight that I could barely get into the damn thing. I pictured that same dark, looming figure, angry as all hell, preparing the rooms with a convulsive fury. I’ll bounce a whole roll of quarters off this god damn bed, this god damn cradle of impiety, of vice. I will bounce a god damn pie plate off it I heard him say. It seemed real– like he was in the room with me. I didn’t know what the hell to make of it.

I lay there for a long time. When I got up, it was dark. The guy hadn’t put any outside lights on at all– I stumbled around for awhile until I found a chintzy desk lamp that put out a sinister little beam of light. I heard the guy suddenly– this time I knew it was him. He was out there in the breezeway, fiddling with an ice machine. Want some god damn ice? HERE’S some god damn ice. I could hear the bucket crash against the access door. 1/4 pound of ice per god damn second– what do you grotesque abominations think of that? 

What do you?

That last, directed at me.

I fumbled with the razor. There was a second boom, louder, like the entire ice machine had been tipped over. And then the guy was going at the compressor with his boot– over and over again, plastic and metal being sent into a dangerous ricochet against the concrete walls and the guy just howling now.

I found my sports jacket– removed the tattered bus schedule from an inner pocket.

Damned if I remember how I got out of there.

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