Archive for October 8th, 2010

In the fall of 1988 when I met a demon for the first time.  I have no empirical evidence, just the lingering horror.

That summer I was working in a plywood mill to pay my way through a college education that I was not quite sure I wanted.  By the end of that summer I was mostly convinced (subconsciously) that I needed it.  By the end of that school year I was convinced I needed it and wanted it, too.

A little knowledge of where I was will help you to understand the predicament I found myself on the night I met a demon.

I had two jobs that summer.  The first one was in a big town in Oregon known for a lot of hobos.  If you don’t know where I’m talking about right away it means you aren’t from Oregon and you shouldn’t bother to look it up.  If you do know that one I guess you won’t need to look it up anyway.  Either way, it doesn’t matter so don’t bother.

I had to drive a ways to get there from my folk’s house.  It was a difficult job working greenchain.  Greenchain is where you’re sent if you’re new and you get to experience all the ways that 3 and 4 inch splinters can be driven into your fingers under the skin, through your palms, under your fingernails, and through your hips and thighs.  The environment was a harsh one because (1) the wood was maple, rather green, 8/4 stuff of various widths, and it was typically about 12 feet long, which makes for a lot of tiresome chunks of wood to throw around, and (2) the trimmerman was a little troll who  loved seeing people suffer.  The trimmerman doesn’t even rate his own blog-name and shall receive none here.  He was pond-scum and navel-lint combined, which makes for a very smelly oily blob that looks disgusting and wasn’t too far off from his actual appearance.  It probably had something to do with his relationship with his mother, his wife, or his boss.  Probably all three.  Maybe all three were the same person.  God alone knows and I wasn’t looking very hard for the answers because just to look at him was to be transfixed by his unwashed yellowed once-white shirts which could be used as a soup base in dire circumstances.

I might have mentioned it but did I say that the man loved to see someone suffer?  The distasteful little man would cut the wood as fast as he could and backlog the two of us grunts in a giant pile of pick-up-sticks and then take a break.   If he did his job right, he got a 20 minute break.  I bitched about that and got sent to work in The Pit.  The Pit was a scorching-hot shed that housed a giant conical colander-shaped affair.  The machinery spiraled inward and drug cut-off pieces into a giant chipper.  You had to jump around from piece to piece and keep it from clogging up and incidentally not fall into the infernal device (and presumably one would avoid being ground up into little bits if one was successful). I got out of that job quickly and found one that was in a plywood mill 30 minutes on the other side of my folk’s house.

I respectfully gave notice to the owners of the first place, saying “I quit!” and slammed the phone down.  I would cheerfully rather pluck out my own toenails before darkening the doorway there again.

It was at the second job that I didn’t dodge a bullet.  On July 25, 1988 at just a bit after 1:30AM I found myself hanging from a machine with my feet four feet off the ground and my trapped arm compound-fractured.  I was in the hospital for over a week while they waited to see if it got infected and to see how it was healing and draining.  It was pretty bad.  It was a long 17 years ten days in that hospital until they let me out.  This was the summer that I went up on the hillside with my German Shepherd, Nemo, and we shared serious quality time.

Summer oozed by and I was back in school, learning with grave difficulty how to take notes with my left hand.  I had to learn to do everything with my left hand since I was in a cast that went from my right armpit all the way down to the tips of my fingers with my palm turned upwards.  People kept putting quarters in my hand, saying I should really look for work instead of handouts.  You might think this would be annoying (and it was) but it also meant that after a few of those… hey, free beer.

As if I needed much incentive, all the incentive I needed to get off painkillers was right there – cheap beer.  I loved beer.   I don’t drink at all now but I am pretty sure I’d still love it.  And there was lots of it so I was happy.   Which leads us into our story, finally.  Thank you, Patient Reader – now we will begin.

One of the groomsmen for Cruel Wife’s and my wedding day was a very good friend all through college.  Let’s pick a name for him… how about… “Min”.   There’s several levels of joke that we won’t get into right now but trust me, I count four levels without trying too hard and I can do so without descending into a gutter to do it.

Min comes in and says “Hey, guys, there’s a party down at the rental hall – wanna go?”

The other three of us roommates bounced straight up into the air whooping “HELL YEAH!”  Seriously, the heart-wrenching sad truth is that the ratio of men to women in this college was 9:1.  A party was a good way to either drink and forget that there were no chicks or if you won the lottery that night, pick up chicks – both were better than sitting on your ass wishing that you were at a party or picking up chicks.  Simple creatures, the four of us, and we found simple solutions to the equations that life threw at us.

So we went to the rental hall and while I could drive (in fact I drove the long trip to school when I started up again) I didn’t want to.  Driving a stick-shift Datsun was harder than you might think with that big damn cast.  I caught a ride with Min and we headed down there.

The rental hall was usually rented out by the Par-tay Mafia, which was this shadowy bunch of scary guys that would roll up with a small trailer, charge a token amount for the ladies, charge five bucks for the guys, and then charge anywhere from fifty cents to a dollar per beer.  It wasn’t a bad deal.  And when they ran out, they disappeared like small yappy dogs orbiting a flatulent fat lady.

Are you with me so far?  Good.  Now, try and keep up.

I had drunk probably six or seven of those odd little 7-13/64’s oz cups that they always sell beer in when the beer labels on the side of the keg read simply “Beer”  when I saw her, and here I will name the demon for what she was:  The Succubus.

She was this amazingly pretty blonde, small nose, slightly cleft chin, tall (that should have been the warning sign there), wearing a red shirt, jeans, and a suede jacket.   Nudging Min, I motioned towards the blonde, “I should go talk to her.”   Min laughed and said “Yeah, good luck.”

Well, I’ll show him.

I went over and started talking with her and we were hitting it off pretty well.  After a while Min was motioning me with an upthrust middle finger to come talk with him.  I ignored him for a bit and so I could rub it in we went to where he was.  (It was then that I realized that he still had his middle finger upthrust at me.  Perhaps it was injured somehow.)  He told us that we were having a party back at our house (we are?) and were we up for leaving pretty much right away?  The Succubus’ eyes lit up said “Sounds like fun!”  The hall was dying down because they were running out of beer and the fights would start in earnest fairly soon.  So I thought, “Ohhhhh, yeahhhhhh.”   I asked the Succubus if she was OK with driving me over on account of my arm.  She told me to wait by the door and she’d drive her car around for me.  The cast thing was a chick sympathy-magnet and as good as a puppy for ice-breaking with the females and had none of the crap in the yard that comes with said puppy.

Up drove the Succubus in a red RX-7.  I got in, smiling at my buddies with a huge grin that showed lots of teeth, and my eyes were saying “Hahahahahahaha, you sorry bastards!”   Their eyes were saying “You bastard.”

Axiom:  Be careful what you ask for because not only might you not get it, the thing you do get might be pretty awful.

We took off with screeching of rubber and slewed out onto the main drag.  I started pointing off to the left the direction we needed to take to get to my place.  The light was green and so far it was good.

The Succubus was driving a bit fast down the road but I at this point I was pretty relaxed.  Soon enough the she flicks her hair, “Do you want a drink?”

I grinned…  I like the way she thinks.

“There’s a bottle on the floor in front of you.”


I looked at the floor and reached around to find what I couldn’t see – a fifth of tequila that was probably 1/3 gone.

Okayyy… And I took a good tug on the bottle.

And then she took a big tug on the bottle and I could see the bubbles as they fought their way to higher ground in the bottle.

I looked at the speedometer and saw that we were doing 75mph on a 45mph section of highway.

Okay, this is… not quite alarming yet.  Yet.

Things can and do go sideways.

A mile or so further down the highway, the Succubus intoned “I need to find a place to stop.”  She pulled off the highway, went over the railroad tracks, pulled a hard right and said again “I need to stop!” she warbled.   I could tell she was just about to get worked up so I decided to head that off.  “OK, you need to go another three blocks and go straight, there’s a gate there where you can pull out and stop.”  I figured she might be a bit nauseous or something.

We zipped past the open gate and came to a half 200 feet down the little dirt road.   And here is where we took leave of reality and the plane left the ground.

She left the headlights on, got out of the car, went twenty feet in front of the car… dropped trou and urinated right there in the dusty road in front of me.

I opened the bottle and took another drink, or perhaps it was two drinks.  It didn’t matter because I was sobering up fast.

At times you can sort of engage in a harmless bit of denial.  You can say “Hmmm, she does have a fine posterior”.  You can say “Well, who among us hasn’t done just this very thing at one time or another?”  Or you can think “Wow, the liquor is affecting my vision… did I eat the worm or something?”   And while the little voice inside of you that is shrieking that this is very peculiar and that you ought to be thinking about the merits of walking home… you dump a load of tequila on his head and drown him.

Choices can easily be a mistake.  A.  Very.  Big.  Mistake.  Indeed.

The Succubus hitched up her Lee’s (which my in-denial self noted fit her quite nicely), and trotted back to the car.  She got in and backed up with the accelerator floored.   Dust was everywhere but I could tell immediately when we hit the pavement because my head hit the roof.   She cranked the wheel and we shot back the way we came.

Now the Succubus was muttering.

It’s at times like this when you reach deep down to the place where you last heard that little voice hoping that you can revive him, which you do with a dab of CPR and some internalized screaming.

Odds are good that you have already missed the window of opportunity that your little voice was trying to provide you.

We blew over the railroad tracks and caught some air on the downside.   The car was growling as it leaped over the highway we just came from and screamed like a banshee up a hill into a residential area.  The Succubus was still muttering but louder, more insistent, and clearly she was agitated with little facial tics showing every now and then.

Finally I could make out part of what she was saying over the engine’s noise “Oh he’s going to be so pissed… where is the house??”

“Slow down,” I said naively, “who is going to be pissed and why?”

She told me, and my little voice had an immediate cardiac arrest and died.

She had a large package of cocaine in the trunk that she needed to deliver or [PersonX] would be very angry.  These are not words you should ever want to hear.  If I understood her right, she was talking kilo-class delivery.

It was then that I saw, I really truly saw what this apparently beautiful blonde in a suede jacket and skin-tight Lee’s really was:  a demonic creature from hell, a Succubus.  Seriously, this is not reality any more.  The plane left the ground and the Earth crumbled and fell away.  You are now in free-fall in the cold, oh so cold, vacuum of space.

I was very agitated myself, “Look, I don’t know who [PersonX] is, I don’t care, I don’t want to know, all I know is I WANT YOU TO ******* TAKE ME HOME NOW!!!”

You know how in the movies sometimes the main character will get really riled up and spittle will fly as they scream?  I’m here to tell you that they do a damn fine job imitating that, most times they get it right and the stuff on the screen looks real.  She probably had to have a professional look at the right side of her jacket because it had a quart of my saliva on it.  The whole “I was so scared I was dry-mouthed” thing is not always a truism, and it certainly wasn’t here.

We turned around very fast because she cranked the wheel hard and my head rapped the glass with a crack.  Literally, we did a cookie in the middle of the street and raced back the way we came again.  I told her “GO LEFT, DAMMIT!”

Doing in excess of 100mph down a highway rated for 50mph, I was checking my five-point harness which had (to my horror) somehow become a three-point harness.  I was riding as a passenger with a crazed drunk blonde Succubus with a nice butt, a nice car, and more drugs than I could possibly imagine being around was in the trunk of the car, all moving at 100+ mph.

This was clearly not the day I had hoped it would be.

Several miles further down the road I found that I subconsciously had been fumbling with my butterfly knife in my pocket.  I had it because I was working on dexterity exercises for my left hand since I could not use my right.  I noticed that I was flicking the latch open-closed-open-closed, and at some point thought “Geez, man, you need to pay attention to the road.”

I looked up to give my attention to the road and noted how fast things were whizzing by and quickly went back to paying attention to the latch. (Sing-song)  Denial… Deni-al… DE-NI-AL… it’s just another way to face the day…

My turnoff was coming up fast.  I pointed to the flashing red light above the left-turn lane and said “Ok, you gotta turn left up there… uh… left… left… LEFT!!!”  While barely braking the Succubus put us into a harder corner than I have ever been put into in my life.   Ever.  Why we did not violently flip and roll off the road in a ball of flames is beyond me.

You learn things, though.  I learned that I needed to give this demonic entity more advance notice.  Would a Ouija board be sufficient or should I sacrifice a small animal?  Who can think about such things at a time like this?

Having neither small animal or Ouija board, I pointed wildly “It’s that house on the right eight blocks up, see?  See it?  Huh, you see it?  DO YOU SEE IT?!?”

She sputtered her lips “Okay, okay, you don’t have to yell!”

The Succubus did a power-slide into my drive and she had hit the brakes hard enough to plow the gravel beyond the sidewalk.  I immediately opened my door but in the process dropped my knife between the seat and center console.  My favorite knife!!!  DAMN!

The man had it right:  You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, know when to run.

We’ve already established that I’m sometimes not the sharpest marble in the knife drawer, haven’t we?  I was learning pretty darned fast, just not fast enough.   I was on my knees in the gravel, the door open, trying to do a reach-behind maneuver with my left arm underneath the seat to reach my knife.   I had just touched it when I realized that my knees were being drug through the gravel as she tried to back out of the driveway.  If I wasn’t very lucky, I was going to get drug to death by this demon’s automobile, The Death Cart.


The Succubus stopped.  I leaped thirty feet back.  She resumed.  I stumbled in the house, glad that I had survived to live another day, to drink another beer.

The reality is I drank a pitcher full of beer, cracking open can after can until I filled it up and Min sat and laughed at me, knowing that I could not hurt him with only one arm.  I probably had that coming.

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Post a Story Tonight?

Let’s spin the dice, throw the wheel, whatever… It’s a definite probable maybe that I’ll post a story tonight, but it won’t pop up until 1am or so.

Ride with a crazy drunk woman, I think.

Too bizarre not to tell.

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