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Crackman Can!
Sleepy Phatz: Can #5-B
© 2023 James LaFond
Doctor Breck sits straight before the camera next to an empty chair.
“Men and Women, sorry for the technical difficulty.”
[The camera woman has a coughing fit.]
“And, for that—are you alright, Baby?”
The camera woman’s voice is thick, “Well, I don’t have two perky birds of paradise to tame your ADHD! But I’ll be fine, thank you.”
With a confident expression of reassurance Doctor Breck addresses the camera, “Sleepy is attending to her Baby, down in the car, which we are assured is not alone, but with her disabled mother who cannot leave the car while her scooter chair is charging—we will assume the responsibility of charging the scooter chair and do a wellness check, before leaving town.”
“In the mean time, before resuming Sleepy’s prophetic story, a monologue if you will concerning the changed landscape of Middle America and The New Drug War. The situation is well known concerning the massive infusion of phentanyl, manufactured in China and shipped into America by illegal aliens entering the country by way of Mexico, if not from Mexico.
“Addendum, while ethnically I appear Mestizo, and the Mexicans at the horse races refuse to address me in English unless I am accompanied by a Whiteman, assuming I am pretending not to be Mexican and a Spanish speaker, I am neither. I am in fact a product of classic American mescegenation, a mixture of Anglo, Gaelic, Mohawk and Cherokee ancestry.
“That said, Crackman Can, seems to be a hero of wedded chemical compounds. This is important, in that in the year since Sleepy met Can at the Saint Louis, Union Station, we here, just west of the Mississippi and to include, I am informed by reliable and indeed unempeachable sources, have entered a new age of Chemical Media Feudalism.
“We working folks are earning too slow to keep up with inflation and two slow to move out of the urban blight and into the rural light ahead of the crime. We are, you might say, as the Phent-Meth Zombies describe, ‘The Slows.’ These meth heads, these dirty tweakers, have long used the high function and focus of their drug of choice to stay up for days on end committing industrious property crime such as opening an ATM with a bottle opener. Of late, over this past year to be exact, some of the most feral tweakers have been using phentanyl to deaden the pain accumulating from high activity such as running from the cops, leaping across roof tops with stolen laptops and beating to death unsuspecting Slows.
“I, as Doctor Breck, in my capacity as a noted Conspiracy Theorist, contend that these high-speed opium addicts, these pain-innoculated tweakers, constitute a new race of zombies, ‘Fasts,’ if you will. These fiends are set upon the throats of we working Slows, at the bidding of the elite ‘Highs,’ if you will,” as his voice cracks.
The camera woman speaks, “Baby, water.”
The man upends the heavy metal jug, drinks and continues, “This is, I suspect related to Agenda 2031, the outlawing of gas stoves, of gas and diesel private automobiles by 2030, and the destruction of The Georgia Guide Stones at the very outset of the Paradigm shift of America into Phentland.”
“She’s back,” informed the camera woman.
Breck sits looking at the camera, then stands as Sleepy takes her seat, draped with a sweater that is three sizes too big for her. Breck and the woman sit down and she looks at the camera, “Thank you.”
The camera woman spoke, “That’s alright, you been through a lot and your sitting next to my midlife crisis. Now focus, Baby.”
Breck turns to face Sleepy and says, “You were in front of the Union Station in Saint Louis, a busy parking area when a train arrives, and were being harangued by two men you identified as Chicago One and Chicago Two, who wanted you to get in their car against your wishes. Were these the men that you escaped from, The Chicago Situation?”
Sleepy nodded, now affecting a demure and even downtrodden posture, but then perking up when she recalled the subject of the interview. “I was screwed, knew better then to expect any help from strangers and kind of identified with the man who had asked me if I was alright and had been pushed aside by Chicago Two.”
Doctor Breck: “Could you please describe Chicago Two?”
Sleepy: “Big, thick black man, thicker than you and tall, worked security for Chicago One who was a real muscular, lighter-skinned, buff black man.”
Doctor Breck: “So you were confronted with an overwhelming force here, in these two imposing men who had tracked you at some expense from as far as Chicago.”
Sleepy: “Yes. So I was feeling sorry for myself, deflating, giving in. And then I thought that this poor man by the trashcan was being pushed back into addiction. People on Greyhound are often addicts being sent from one city to another by the law. This is what crosses my mind, that the stress of being bullied like that by Chicago Two, had sent him back into his spiral. Because he is cooking up crack cocaine—well, its already cooked I suppose, packing a pop can with a copper scrubee and lighting it.
“Chicago One,” [makes talking hand mime] is like, “Blob adee, blah, blah, dis en dat, Bitch,” and I’m like, ‘Whatever,’ and I see this dude by the can crack a fresh can of pop, take out an entire box of diet tablets, like my Mamma used to eat to stay awake when she was in telemarketing, and downs it all, like a handful of pills, chugs the pop, and while he is still swallowing the stuff, fires up the pop can crack pipe.”
Doctor Breck: “Sleepy, could you tell what kind of soda pop this was?”
Sleepy: “Oh, it was Mountain Dew—and he would only drink it for ‘charging,’ he called it, when he needed to be strong for something. Can normally drank Yoohoo or RC Cola if he could get it, Sunny Delight if he could not.”
Doctor Breck: “Continue please, Sleepy, with your amazing account.”
Sleepy, “So I’m straight up ignoring One and Two, so much so that they follow my eye and see ‘mister regular are you alright miss,’ firing up a big hit of crack in front of God and everybody. There are a lot of people there. But like One and Two didn’t care, he didn’t care.”
Chicago One is like, “Loog at dis fucked up nigga!”
Chicago Two is like, “I neva seen no shit like dis—dat can juz imploded!”
Chicago Two was, “En dat greedy fiend still tokin’. Shiee, we needz to find what he smokin’ en market dat shit right.”
Sleepy continued, “I figured this was my cue to run, that they’d latch onto this man as an experiment, and I started to turn away. The big hand of Chicago Two comes down on my shoulder and I start to cry, and the sounds, the sound of Can screaming while slapping his face with one hand and beating his chest with the other, it was just terrible. People stopped to watch and then he exploded, is the only way I can say it…”
Doctor Breck: “Not that he blew up, but that he exploded into action, you mean?”
Sleepy: “Yes, thank you,” she said crying.
Camera woman: “Baby, the hand towel!”
Breck looks at the camera dumbfounded as the voice behind the camera cracks, “She’s crying, you big oaf.”
Breck: “Oh, oh,” and he gets up and brings back a white hand towel and hands it to Sleepy, who takes it to dab her eyes as he looks at the camera and shrugs his shoulders.
Sleepy recovers and looks to the camera and smiles slightly then back to Breck, who says, “You may continue, Sleepy, with your remarkable story.”
Sleepy: “So Can, a thin guy, really, walks up to One and Two slapping his face and punching his own chest and then stands right between them and One is like, “Nigga, you got issues.”
“I never saw anyone get smacked so hard as that and previously, I had thought One’s grille was like real gold inset teeth, didn’t know it was a partial even when we kiss…”
Breck’s eyes start and Sleepy seems ready to cry again as her hand comes to her mouth, and the camera woman says, “That’s alright, sister, we do what we have to do.”
Sleepy recovers, getting excited recounting the action, “So One is crawlin’ and makin’ threats and Two grabs Can, like to bear hug him and it was crazy. Can looks up at that big monster and grabbed that big, brown, flabby throat in his ashy—they were ashy, not always, but when fiending—hands and started to squeeze. The look on Two’s face, that he was gonna die, was absolute. That dude knew that he was wrestling with a strength unstoppable, and kneeled and started to cry.
“Can kept squeezing, was gonna kill that man, so I convinced him to stop, hugged him and asked him to come along. At this point I was all about him, didn’t want him in trouble with the police.”
Breck declares, “That was the act of a good woman, Sleepy, thank you. Can you recall the immediate situation from this point?”
Sleepy was now perky, “Oh yes, this large, older dark-skinned man, he was a, you know, unlicensed sedan driver, he offered us a free lift on account of, so he said, “I hates me a bitch-ass Chicago man,” and took Can and me back to my mamma’s apartment, and, and…”
Breck seemed stymied and the camera woman interceded, “You’re good girl. You may say it, Sister. Look here, to the camera and it will be fine.”
Sleepy looked at the camera and her eyes moistened up, “Can was the love of my life, and, and, he is a real live hero and I can’t bare to tell the rest, ‘cause it was my fault he had to up and leave town.”
Doctor Breck begins to ask Sleepy something and the camera woman interjects, “No, Baby, she’s done. Wrap it up.”
Doctor Breck sits a bit straighter, regards the camera seriously and declares, “Sleepy Phatz, a good woman, has given her account of the man we know as Crackman Can, who, chemistry-minded Afro-Eugenicists will be thrilled to know, has a son! In association with Incognegro Studio, this is Doctor Breck, reporting from Phentland.”
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