Perfecta

4 Jun

Ha. What you know is pure Hollywood junk. My bookie was a sap I knew from middle school who had gone bald by grade 10, and conveniently grew a full moustache over his hair lip–by grade 8. In the end, he became a county commissioner. Timmy Gaydos. This was my bookie in college. Only legs he ever broke were his own, driving drunk into a fucking telephone poll in 1987 before he graduated high school. He was also high on freon. When the EMT troupe found him, he was reclining in the passenger seat still inhaling cooling gas from the portable can. The concussion had thrown him there.
He slurred.
“Goddamn, I feel sorry for the fucker who was driving this car.”
Three metal pins in the femurs later he was out on parole, having dropped three Gs on lawyers and court fees.
This swine was my bookie. What you know is pure Hollywood junk. That’s the problem. They’re funneling Seabiscuit down our throats, when in reality the joint is full of Timmy Gaydoses. Illiterates. Degenerates. Lesser prophets. County commissioners.

I like wine. If you switch out the red for Rhine, you’ll drop about fifteen pounds. There’s my secret for looking sharp. Or was. I also brush and floss three times a day. None of that really matters.

Only time I hit the trifecta I was broadsided by some Pakistani doctorate student coming home late from Johns Hopkins. That’s the wheelchair for you. Or was. The fucker who hit me wasn’t wearing belts and was ejected through the windshield. He landed on my hood. He broke his neck. Lovely ornament, really. You know those orange-suited separatists who still hunt? They hoist the deer carcass onto the hood of the car and tie it down? That’s how this was. He just rested there looking through me with his dry, lifeless eyes. I thought about venison and laughed. And that was that. Funny, there was nothing personal about his death. Anyway, it wasn’t really a lucky night for me, either. Still, I hit the trifecta. Six-hundred and seventy-two bucks for a two-dollar bet. Eight horses. If you don’t know, the trifecta is a parimutuel bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order. The word comes from the related betting term, perfecta. Right.

I can tell you the manner in which I died wasn’t personal. And it certainly wasn’t valorous. I had ordered a pizza on a Sunday night and when I opened the door, the guy had brought two friends over to rob me. They grabbed my chair and pushed me into the house and dumped me on the carpet in the living room, face down. I don’t know what they took. I had practically nothing. I felt the barrel of the gat pushing into the back of my head, and then one of them pulled the trigger.
I thought.
Usual way to go, considering the neighborhood. And that made me sad. I lived and died a stereotype. Never really felt like I achieved anything. Except the trifecta. And even that came with conditions. To finish it off, they stripped me and put one of my tube socks on my penis. And then they left me there for the cops to find. Like I said, not a valorous way to go. Not a valorous way to be found, either. Brian Wilson’s dad, Murray, died on the toilet. That’s a pretty unceremonious way to be found, also. I don’t know why that came to mind. It’s always been like that–tangential pieces wedging themselves into my brain.

I still like wine, though. If you sub white for the red, you’ll drop a good dozen just from the switch. I know, I know. You give up the heart benefits. Pure Hollywood junk; all of it.

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4 Responses to “Perfecta”

  1. Anonymous 04/06/2007 at 12:30 PM #

    I like this. I like the tie-in with “Pawning Dowry.” And again, the thing you do best: no sentiment, no melancholy, just straight up writing. (You know, Metz would be proud of you. Proud of this. I know you miss him. We all do. You did well.)
    J

  2. choochoo 04/06/2007 at 1:17 PM #

    I went to school with a guy who tried his luck as a bookie. Then he lost an ear, and said it was because of the bookie-thing. But then it turned out that he never was a bookie… He worked at the bingo… Apparently, those old ladies can be brutal.

  3. slyboots2 04/06/2007 at 2:39 PM #

    Ah, nothing like beginning the day with your writing! Seriously- perfect wake up call.

  4. Lx 04/06/2007 at 10:00 PM #

    J, always think of him.
    choochoo, brilliant.
    sly, glad you likes.

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