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The Song of Karen
Part 2 of Midnight at the Well of Chumps
72nd and Powell, 10/31/2020, 11:50 P.M., In Front of the Mexican 7-11
“Do about what,” inquired Yeti Waters, grinning down at the woman in faux pity as he noted that as she clenched her fists at her side in anger that those big pale pears were beginning to slide out from behind the ill-fastened bathrobe, obviously donned in some haste.
Karen pointed across the street at the tweaker banging heroin into his ruined left forearm, wearing and, taking in the fact that the fiend was chewing on her panties which he wore as a face mask as his dirty arm was injected with a dirty needle, she stammered, and said nothing comprehensible, then noting the eyes of all the men on her breasts, regained her dignity with a flash of sneering anger and shrilly crooned, “Why you losers are no better than he is!”
Yeti Waters looked around at the other three and asked, “Does the Defense rest?”
Mescaline quipped, “Yeah, he’s better than me. If I was your old man I’d whip your ass for parading out here on the street.”
The woman grated her teeth and snarled angrily, about to say something, then, as Mexican Mike walked up to hand the bottle of red wine to Mescaline she reached out, grabbed it, twisted the cap off and began to chug the wine and between gulps said, “Fuck you, Sombrero… You wish.”
Mescaline shrugged his shoulders and downed the rest of his beer, smacking his lips and proclaiming, “This is the only real goddess, the Liquid Goddess.”
Karen “Harumphed,” and drank more wine as she looked at the other men with indictment flashing across her crazy green eyes.
Mystery Meat Pete, shrugged his shoulders, “I never assaulted no lady. But Tweak over there never did nothing to me and you never did anything for me, so, honestly Mizz Karen, I don’t care. You wanna go start some shit about what he probably already forgot—that’s on you.”
Karen, as she turned her back on Pete sneered, “Don’t pretend you actually knew my name—I know you’re making fun of me.”
Then, as she looked at the eldest man, next to Pete, busily adding more rum to Pete’s coke bottle as if nothing was amiss, snarled in accusatory ire, “So, chivalry truly is dead at 72nd and Powell!”
Silver Back Jack looked at the woman, about his own bent height and drawled, “Shoot, ma’am, if I weren’t hangin’ wit dese young fellas, dat tweaker might be mugging me—those are some wiry somebodies. A human being who sleeps outside like that, they got a feral strength, almost an other-worldly glow. I’m sure sorry ‘bout you fine titty en all. Might I suggest closing your window at night?”
“Fuck you, you old loser!” barked Karen, which was apparently her real name. She then fumed in her throat as she clenched her left fist by her side and drank some more of the cheap red wine. She then looked up at Yeti Waters, a man about her own age, both seeming to be aged somewhere in their late thirties, and chirped, “What’s your excuse—fucking sasquatch in heavy metal T-shirt two sizes too small. Do you just throw everything in the dryer—ever heard of a fucking close hanger you loser?”
Taking a draught of Southern Comfort whiskey so massive that it emptied half the bottle, which elicited an “Ewww,” of disgust from Karen, Yeti Waters, then paused, belched a sweet, charred-oak whiskey gust of warm air into the cool Halloween air under the rising moon, and slurred, no, sang, as he played air-guitar with his whiskey bottle:
“Bitch named Karen,
I’m way past carin’
But if I were still a homeless man—
Bein’ by far the betta man…
Slidin’ by your invitin’ open window,
I’d a slid one dem titties in each hand!
Oh, yeah…”
Karen fumed and punched the big man in his whisky barrel gut, winced as her wrist folded, and the rest all laughed and applauded the master sassing of the Circe of 72nd and Powell.
As she looked at her small soft hand flopping on its weak wrist, then seemed to wonder in stunned disbelief, Silver Back Jack took pity on the girl and poured some of his 151 into her wine bottle and soothed, “Dis make the pain seem like yestaday, Girl. Take id from one what know.”
“Thank you,” she acknowledged, sniffing with some trepidation at the bottle, and then taking a wincing swig.
Low laughter went all around at the unexpected addition to their ranks, and, just as Mescaline was about to take his round at quarters, two suspiciously hooded young men of ebony cast walked into the 7-11. They all watched, and then as one could be seen placing wine bottles under his hoody as the other distracted Mexican Mike with a cigarette purchase, Mescaline asked, “Approved ordinance,” and Silver Back Jack answered, “Fish bats—Pete, brick it up for the backup.”
Within seconds Mexican Mike, I his bright yellow Paris riot vest, was chasing both of the shoplifters in their grey hoody’s and bright white, fitted hats under the hoods, so that they looked like prancing, skinny-legged ducks darting out the door.
The two were running left, to head out Powell towards the shopping center, when Mescaline flung back his poncho and Karen recoiled as an array of small aluminum bats could be seen holstered around his belt—a tool belt it seemed—and two of these wicked little bats came out in his hands and were hurled like spinning juggler’s pins at the running figures.
The lead runner with the wine bottles was taken in the head and went down like a stone with a clink of glass. Mescaline then hurdled the curb and threw a side arm bat which caught the second runner between the knees and sent him sprawling. No sooner did the face hit the asphalt and scrap away the skin, but Mystery Meat Pete—who looked to Karen like a fat Hawaiian—was straddling the slighter hooded figure as it tried to rise and dropping bricks on its ankles.
Sometimes, when a person has been locked inside working from home for half a year and they get drunk in the presence of outrageous strangers, they get caught up in the moment. Karen would not even be able to remember how she got there, but would never forget how good it felt standing over that fallen felon, her slippered foot on his back, as she broke open a fresh bottle of red wine from under his hoody and took a swig like Artimus might have in an ancient Thracian night—it was Halloween and the moon was maxing noon high and bright.
The rude giant was now relieving the body of the rest of the wine and returning it to the clerk—Mike was his name—who looked at Karen quizzically and said, “It’s on the house, Senora.”
“That tweaker is still pissing me off,” she snarled as they all returned to the sidewalk above the sewer grate, clanged bottles and cans in a salute to the multitude of gone souls that preceded them, and Silver Back Jack bumped her shoulder with his and counseled, “Time not jus’ right, Ma’am. Let dat heron work its spell. He’ll be right for the hook between syringe and meth pipe.”
To be Concluded in:
Mista’ Camoonity Evolvement: Part 3 of Midnight at the Well of Chumps
prev:  Midnight at the Well of Chumps     ‹  fiction  ›     next:  Mista’ Camoonity Evolvement
the world is our widow
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logic of steel
winter of a fighting life

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