Monday, February 25, 2013

Lean On Me

Some aspiring street artist had bombed a splashy nurse with a horse hypo on Mother Mary’s door.  I pushed the button, leaned on the railing.  There was little resemblance.  The signature was elaborate.  I couldn’t read it.  The door opened a few inches.  A thick graying shirtless black man said what do you need. 

I said probably stitches.  I took a header. 

He said show me. 

I took Suzy’s hat off. 

You fucked up? 

I said no.  Just a little dizzy. 

She know you? 

I said yeah.  Mickey Houghton. 

He nodded noncommittally.  Wait out here.

Rain dripped from a leaking seam in the awning, a corroded lightfixture.  Its brightness hurt my eyes.  Looking down made me dizzier.  I held onto the railing.  A cat squeezed under the tall narrow gate between the houses, hurried down the alley.  A dog barked.  The door opened.  She was barefoot in a blue robe.  Her face shiny.  Older.  She’d got bifocals.   
I said sorry I got you outta bed. 

What I live for.  What’s goin’ on. 

I let go the railing with one hand, worked at Dave’s bandana.  I was told I might need stitches. 

Leave it.  By who. 

Lady gimme a ride.   

Behind her the man said he come drivin’ that blue shitbox.  I saw him get out.  Wasn’t anybody with him. 

I said the ride was before.  Long story.

Always is.  I’ll see him.  She turned away.

He said you carryin’ a needle, tell me now.  I get stuck, your head’ll be the least of it. 

I said no needles.  I’m just a pothead. 

He said yeah you look it.  You make it?  Wait.  Here.  Lean on me.