Slohump tucked her quarters up under the rail of the table, she wanted to play. Frank had already played and won four games, he was tired. "Nah, I'll pass," he told her. "Fuck you, white eyes, " she laughed. Frank waved her off with his right hand like you would a summer fly. Slohump must have weighed four to five hundred pounds, her face chiseled from plain meanness. I bet your damn crotch weighs at least a hundred pounds by itself, Frank thought as he sat back down next to Crazy Charlie at the bar. Charlie was talking to a drunken cowboy about some topic he knew absolutely nothing about. That was typical Crazy Charlie, he knew a lot about nothing. "Ain't that right, dawg," Charlie said, slapping Frank on the shoulder. "Shit, yeah," Frank answered, looking around the room. The place was packed, considering it was Christmas eve. He adjusted the four flat boxes that sat in front of him on the bar. Not any Indians though, except for Slohump and Charlie, he thought. Frank and Charlie had driven the fifty miles to town to sell these collector Indian plates that Frank had ordered through the mail from the Franklin Mint. It was a good scam, because you never had to send them any money. They just sent you the plates and billed you. They had both decided to sell the plates and buy something for Charlie's nine-year-old daughter for Christmas. "Fucking cowboys," Charlie told Frank, turning his back on the drunk. Just then, three young well dressed Indian dudes walked in and sat down at a table. Charlie nudged Frank. Frank slid the boxes over to Charlie. Charlie took a plate out of its box, one that had a colorful picture of a war party on it, put it on top of the other boxes and walked over to the table. All that Frank could hear over the loud juke box was Charlie saying, "Hey, dawg." Five minutes later, Charlie came back with four twenty dollar bills. Frank ordered another pitcher of beer and they sat there laughing at their good fortune. It was too bad that it was only 10:30 in the morning. By the time 3:00 in the afternoon rolled around, they were pretty drunk. After buying drinks for all the fools around the bar for the last four hours, all they had in front of them for change was $9.00, and they would need that for gas. They sat there listening to Freddy King sing Christmas Tears on the juke. After awhile Frank said, "Fuck it, let's go to the Salvation Army... it's still early, they got toys." Crazy Charlie nodded as he leaned into Frank. "And merry Christmas to all!" he slurred. They got up, blew kisses to the drunks in the bar, and left out the side door to the parking lot. Frank's old Chevy station wagon sat there like a dinosaur next to all those new pickup trucks. They got in and Frank carefully drove the fifteen minutes it took to get to the Sally. They could see there was a light on in the back. Frank parked the wagon and they half stumbled up to the front door and knocked. A small grey shadow appeared and became larger as it approached the glass door. The shadow was now wearing a uniform and had grey hair. The door opened and an old man said, "I am the Commander, may I help you?" Frank and Charlie looked at each other. "He needs some toys for his daughter for Christmas," Frank finally said. He didn't seem to remember speaking. "Come with me," the Commander said. He took them down a hallway that opened into a large room. "This is all we have left... grab some of those plastic bags and take what you need," The Commander then went and stood against a wall watching them. The room was filled with cardboard boxes full of Barbie Dolls, all in clear plastic packaging. Frank and Charlie smiled at each other and began to fill trash bags with Barbie Dolls. When they thought they had enough, they stood up and looked at the Commander. "All right then," the Commander said, and he walked out of the room into the hallway. Frank and Charlie followed, carrying the trash bags full of dolls as the Commander then escorted them to the front door. "You boys have a good Christmas now," the Commander said, locking the glass door behind them. "Thanks dawg!" Charlie yelled through the glass. The uniform then turned into a small grey shadow once again.
In the morning, Frank slowly opened his eyes and began to realize that he was in his house. He opened his mouth to yawn, and his breath turned into a small white ghost. No fire in the stove. He began to piece things together. It was snowing. He had dropped Crazy Charlie off somewhere. Tiny asses, legs... no... tits, arms... fuck, the dolls! At least parts of it were coming back. He got up out of bed and noticed that he was still dressed. It was freezing. He went to get a glass of water. It was eleven a.m. and he was flat hungover. He looked out the window and saw the Chevy out front. That was a very good sign. He then remembered it was Christmas day, and that he was invited over to these Indian's house for a party and dinner. Fuck making a fire. At least they'd have some beer. He locked the front door and went to go warm up the wagon. He opened the door and got in, and saw all these Barbie Dolls all over the front seat, some with their arms and legs torn off. The floor was covered in plastic packaging. He didn't notice any beer anywhere. It'd be frozen anyway, he thought. He pushed the dolls, legs, and arms onto the floor, and tried to start the Chevy. On the third try she fired right up. It didn't take him long to drive the ten miles to Beatty, even though the road was solid ice. When he got to Trina's big green house, something didn't seem quite right. There were only three cars in the yard, and nobody was pissing off of the porch. He parked, walked up to the front door, and knocked. Trina opened the door and let him in. Her old man and a couple of other people were sitting around the kitchen table, drinking. Frank sat down and Trina got him a beer. "What the fuck's up?" Frank finally asked. They were all so solemn. "Kevin blew his brains out with the 12 gauge early this morning in the back bedroom," Trina explained. "Fuck...," was all Frank could say, his hangover giving him a feeling of floating. Kevin was Trina's pretty teenaged daughter's white boyfriend from California. "The cops took the body out of here a couple of hours ago, come on," Trina lead Frank to the back bedroom. Through the open door, Frank could see Trina's sister and a couple other women scrubbing the brain matter off of the walls with toothbrushes. "Fuck...," Frank said again. He went back to go sit at the kitchen table and drink beer. Trina's old man and another guy named Eyeballs were now playing dominoes. Frank had always hated Christmas. He sipped on his beer.
The Circumference of Why
2 days ago