Home > Opinions > It’s All True! Tales of My Misspent Youth

It’s All True! Tales of My Misspent Youth

By Tony Zaino

I don’t think Bambi and tennis would mix. And, she’s never forgiven me for the cat incident though I ought state for the record that if any cat deserved to be tossed out a warehouse window, it was that one, yet I refrained, such is my self-possession, even when badly addled by, as I reminded Belvedere, a mix of painkillers and that band from the Northern Suburbs, whom I’d been listening to for 36 consecutive hours, doped up and flat on my back, recovering from oral surgery, an appendectomy and rickets that I merely feigned having thrown the cat out the window, and this after the cat had . . . well, it’s a long story, and I merely hid the cat near a tree outside, where in its senile obesity it had not moved as I knew it wouldn’t, and yet she called the cops on me all the same, and my only regret about the incident, the one place where I did go too far, is that I slapped the phone out of her hand, sending its battery cover and batteries flying across the floor, but the phone was fine in the end and actually ended up being able to call long distance for free and the cat was fine in the end –but Belvedere’s possessions and important keepsakes were ruined forever, by that damned cat, which I had forbidden from the house, but Bambi brought the cat anyway –dishonestly — and the cat proceeded to piss on my brand new sleeping bag bought at Barlow’s on sale and never used, and on Buck’s bed that wasn’t a bed and not even a cot, and on the couch, and then, the crowning insult, on Belvedere’s things, and I couldn’t take it anymore, I had been good to Bambi, giving her breaks, even paying her rent, and then she goes and brings this cat in, after specifically asking me and me specifically saying no way, so yeah, I hid the cat and told her I threw it out the window, so what, but in truth this had been building for weeks, there had been some dishonest dealings on her end, and I think she felt justified because the house into which she had moved had, it is true, turned into a bit of a madhouse, and thinking back I remember one night specifically, this some time before the cat incident, the poor girl waking up at 5 AM to start her shift at the Decorative Ham factory, she wakes up and what does she see but Buck and I who are still up from the night before –Buck having returned as if from the underworld confronting no end of personal horrors and deceased loves, having drank at the very least one fifth of gin which, of course, greatly browned his stream over which he fretted endlessly and I having done god knows what –something with Danette Breechen I believe, and having in me an entire fifth of Old Lankville, and Buck and I are sitting there on contingent couches in our postures of despair, howling in pain, desperately stuffing ourselves with old mushrooms, and to make matters worse, who is standing there speaking to us but Belvedere, who is not necessarily up from the night before because for Belvedere day and night had long ceased to have any meaning, it was quite possibly the first time he’d left his room in four days, and he is standing there wearing rags –his nipple and belly button exposed through the holes in his shirt, and he is wearing –they are not pants exactly –and they are backward, and there Belvedere is sober as a saint with a 40 in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, carrying on a perfectly calm and reasonable conversation in the spaces between Buck’s and my howling, and Bambi who went to bed at 10pm so she could be up bright and early just gives us this look, and it’s clear she is having severe second thoughts about her choice of roommates, and I think this atmosphere got to her a little bit, for neither Buck nor Belvedere nor I were at our plum best during this period, although I oddly remember the period with tremendous fondness and it is true we were having a tremendous amount of sex, and somehow I was working at the Lowinger Brothers Utility Shed company the entire time, working more and more from home, trading forty million dollars in sheds across the border but just barely, as guests lay about the floor and couches in states of dishevelment, I going on 3 hours of sleep, waiting until I heard back about the sheds when I could untether completely, those were the days, I bear Bambi no ill will –on the contrary, she was actually a fine tennis player.

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