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Sleepy Phatz
Can #5-A
© 2023 James LaFond
The subject is a slightly built Caucasian woman wearing pink flip flops, cut off jeans and a low-cut white blouse. Her upper breasts are tattooed with twin birds of paradise looking at one another. Her hair is in pigtails, her bangs hanging evenly just over her brows. She is seated in a hotel desk chair.
Next to the subject, conducting the interview is Doctor Breck, in white button shirt and faded blue jeans. The man hulks beside the slight woman, appearing to be a heavy-bodied working mestizo. His voice is scratchy and not as big as the man, and canted with a strident tone as he makes great effort to pronounce each word in standard English as he looks at the camera:
“Hello, this is Doctor Breck, Conducting Interview, at the Ramada Inn, Saint Louis, Missouri, in association with Incognegro Studio.”
He then looks next to the camera and says, “Videoed by Doctor Breck’s own woman—say hi to the audience, Baby.”
A lady smoker’s voice says, “Hello, y’all, from Saint Louis.”
“Good girl, Baby,” says the man as he eyes the camera more narrowly, “As my 36 regular, millenial, basement-dweller, oxygen-thief viewers know, Doctor Breck is dedicated to the rebooting of The Patriarchy, of reversing First, Second, Third, and Fourth Wave Feminism and putting women productively and usefully in their place.”
The off camera lady smoker’s voice intrudes, “Baby, your mumbling, speak up.”
The man sits up straighter on what appears to be a folding metal stool and declares, “Next to me is a good woman, an example of the kind of loyal woman a real man needs by his side in these hard times.”
Doctor Breck looks into the unsure face of the subject, “Miss, may you please identify yourself however you would like to be known for the audience?”
The subject inhales tightly and juts her breasts unconsciously, as if from long habit, as she speaks. Doctor Breck’s eyes drop from her face to the twin birds of paradise painted on her cleavage.
The subject looks at the camera with a smile, wiggles slightly in the chair and says, “Sleepy Phatz, Saint Louis, Missouri, born en bred. I used to have a lazy eye before the lay-sex procedure, is where I got Sleepy. The Phatz part is a joke about me never gaining weight, even after I did a month long hush puppy and Indian Taco diet on a dare.”
“I see,” said Doctor Breck as he continues to stare at her breasts, “What is your relationship with the now legendary Good Samaritan known as Crackman Can?”
The voice of the camera woman known as Baby interjects, “Baby, stop staring at her breasts—you’re making her uncomfortable.”
“Yes, Baby,” answers the man as he redirects his gaze into the face of the subject and she says, “Oh, I don’t mind, really.”
The camera woman snarls, “You better mind, little sister or shits getting really real up in here.”
Sleepy holds her hands up in mock offense and says, “Okay—just bein’ friendly is all.”
Doctor Breck clears his throat and raises his voice, “Sleepy Phatz, what is your relationship with Crackman Can?”
The subject squirms slightly in her chair and purses her lips seductively towards the camera, “Can is My Man, my Baby Daddy, a good man, and I don’t for a minute believe the lies that so-called law enforcement have been spreading about him.”
The man’s voice cracks slightly, “How did you come to know Can?”
The camera woman’s voice interjects, “Baby, drink some water, you’re dry.”
The man looks around, spies something, picks up a half gallon metal thermal jug and takes a drink as the subject shrinks her shoulders.
The interview resumes with Doctor Breck’s gaze now firmly fixed once again on the birds of paradise, and the muffled voice of the camera woman sounds, “Oh Lord, preserve my last plucked nerve.”
Sleepy pulls back her shoulders and Doctor Breck widens his eyes as she answers with a seductive drawl, “It was a year ago now.”
“A year,” interjected the camera woman. “Where is that child?”
“In the car, of course—I have the windows cracked—if you must know!”
Sleepy waxes indignant with a flutter of eye lids, sits up in a wide-shouldered pose and continues, extending an open hand dismissively towards the camera, “I was at the train station, getting out of a Chicago situation. I had been suckered up there on one kind of proposal and put into something else entirely and had come right back down here, back home.”
“Continue, please,” said Doctor Breck, staring at Sleepy’s breasts, as he is hit by a balled up piece of paper thrown from behind the camera. He begins looking once again up at her face.
“So, a girl escapes bad Chicago intentions and Illinois lies, by train, and leaves the train station. This is underneath the highway overpass, in the rain, so even though it’s cold in April, this was last April, cold and rainy, I just had to get out of the station. Everyone was still with the mask in the Pandemic, and I feel better being outside. And here comes Mister Chicago, his lackey done drove him all the way down from Chicago to retrieve me.”
“So sorry to hear, Sleepy. Please continue,” says Breck.
“There is one security man inside, nobody outside and they, Chicago One and Two, they are telling me to get in the car, that they have my luggage and clothes and they’re sorry and they just want to drive me to my mother’s apartment... I wasn’t havin’ it.”
“Good on you, sister!” exclaimed the camera woman.
“Thank you,” smiled Sleepy to the camera, her hand now withdrawn to her lap in what might by a posture of contrition.
“This dude, just walks up, having come from the Greyhound Bus terminal in the same building, I was to find out later. He was a mild mannered, regular looking black man and says, “Miss, is everything alright?”
“Well, Chicago One is like, “Step the fuck off, Negro!”
“And Chicago Two, a big thick gorilla, pushes this fellow along so easily, like a bouncer might do, over to the trash can between the pillars, pats him on the back and walks back over.”
“How did that make you feel, Sleepy?”
“It made me feel good that a man cared, and at the same time bad that he had been pushed off like that, and even worse that I was headed back to Chicago. A course, Chicago One is endlessly full of the same shit and keeps goin’ on and on about how he has to make the decisions that are best for me, and that it’s all about me…”
“Oh, I hear that, little Sister!” sounds the camera woman’s voice as Doctor Breck winces visibly.
“Sleepy picked up her chin, “Well, I know he’s gonna run that mouth for three minutes, getting softer and sweeter, while Chicago Two poses like he’s a Hollywood bodyguard. I’ve heard it all before. So I’m intrigued about this man who tried to help me, and I look over—and I felt even sadder now for him then for me.
She breathes deeply, reminding Doctor Breck that he is once again staring at her breasts, and he makes eye contact and recalls something, holds up his big hand respectfully and says, “Baby, how is the battery level?”
“Oh shit—I’m sorry. We’re good, I just need to change out.”
Doctor Breck then looks to the camera, “Men and women, we will be back with Sleepy Phatz Two after the resolution of this technical issue.”
Sleepy smiles demurely at the camera, as if hoping that those on the other side of that device would be inclined to take her side.
Russel Drinks
Crackman Can!
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