- I know I have not posted in a while, and I am by no means officially coming back. I wanted however to share this. I wrote this a while back and never finished it because the title muse of this story got locked up for real. I never got the heart to finish it. Its a fictionalized Sherlock Holmesian, modern day story. I am the Watson character and come from an affluent neighborhood ( in why most of the stories were to take place), and H.K Dacha is the Holmesian character. I used the house/homes joke, and took it one step further calling him Dacha which means "summer house" or cottage is Russo-English. Marconi is based on Will's neighbor, who always complained people were dicking him, and never takes personal responsibility for his actions. Dacha is based of off Will. The story was to conclude or be centered around the shady physical and misunderstood movements of the pain-addled title character; the misunderstandings of which created the mystery.
but without further ado...
Who B dicking Marty Marconi...
I had taken the train back from the City of Brotherly Love at about 8:10 in the am, and had arrived at the stop next to my grandmother’s house 25 minutes later. I had not slept except for the ten minutes of shuteye on the train, for a good 36 hours. I had parked next to my grandmother’s house to avoid paying the parking fee at the station, and was walking back from the station to the apartment complex when I remembered that today was Saturday. This would normally mean nothing, but on this particular Saturday, I had promised my mechanic I would stop by and get my oil replaced in my car.
Rather drowsily I reached my car and decided that I would not say hello to the grand folks. As I turned the key into the ignition though, I realized I had been spotted and turned the car off. He came running out of the apartment, in a wife beater, grey suspenders, and black sports pants that went out of style in the 1970’s. He looked like Larry King, if Larry King had a Hemingway mustache and came from Brighton beach. He was, as usual, aghast, in that way that only grandparents can get.
“ Nu Nu Nu” he said “You can’t even come in for a moment and say hello”
Most people had trouble telling their family members that they have not slept in the last 36 hours, especially when those reasons don’t involve finishing up some college paper, and this only gets harder when the family member in question is older. My grandfather knew that I was out of college now for a few years, and that I had never put in it diligence or procrastination, during my alma mater years. However in some weird way, perhaps the same weird way that made his outfit make sense to him, he understood what had happened. It seemed to me that not only was I forgiven for not saying hello after such conditions; but that that there was pride in how these conditions came about. I had the feeling that if the 36 hour binge had indeed come from a study session and not a bar rumpus with Don Kingsman, that my grandfather would find a reason to make me feel guilty. But I had a feeling that debauchery was not to far from my grandfather’s memory, and that these shenanigans were looked upon positively, as a stepping stone to ultimate manhood.
This theory was supported in fact by the suspenders and old sports pants; for I knew that my grandfather knew how out of place they were, and that he simple didn’t care. This type on non-chalance in my experience only comes around from serious shenanigans; the type that end up with you and your buddy at 2 Am on a Sunday morning talking about molecular physics, and Marxism, too drunk or high too figure out there is no real connection between them. My grandfather hated Marxism, and all forms of “socialism”, but I had a feeling that many of his nights were spent in a similar fashion back in the old country.
It took him two minutes to convince me that; before I continued my valorous duties, I should stop by and have breakfast. He never specifically blackmailed me into eating breakfast, but I had a feeling that had I rudely turned down the offer, my mother would know my breath still smelled of whisky at 9 am on a Sunday. Most normal people, expect breakfast to be something light; but most normal people don’t understand the joys of buttered Plov, with a spinach salad, when you stomach is expecting waffles. I have never confessed myself however, to be normal; and hard it would be to consider myself as such, when here I was eating heavy grains on the day of the lord, after having drunk the grains on the day before.
I emptied the plate, while my grandfather watched television, much in the same outfit, except minus the sports pants. The combination of suspenders and underwear, considering suspenders rely on pants in the first place, was in my opinion a reminder of how little of a fuck my grandfather gave. I left the house, as my grandmother was waking up. She had been woken up by the propaganda machine my grandfather had blasting in the living room, and her sleepy sanity was even more disturbed by the attire my grandfather wore. She reminded him that they had company, and I reminded her that company was strong word for myself. I left before the argument began, completely sure of one thing, that my grandmother had never been in the type of shenanigans that made the scene I just left understandable.
Traffic was rather light as I made my way into the little street were my mechanic resided. The street was the back way connection, between two roads and had at one moment supported residential homes. It was one of those streets that only locals in their small towns know the usefulness off, and that only got visitors who knew exactly were they were going, or were completely lost. It was the type of street with businesses that could still in this century be used at 9pm for notorious activities. Famous for the Italian shoe store, an Angel Wings buffalo wing joint, a used book store, and a dentist’s office the street stood as a martyr for a more pure time, not quite as pure as 40’s or 50’s, but quite pure enough to suffice for the late 90’s. The only one living in the now was the mechanic, who constantly boasted of his internet connection.
He was an elderly Jewish man, who constantly wore a baseball cap, and stared at pornography when he thought no one was looking. He had a partner, an Irish chap with a thick dyed black mustache, who was bald at the hairline, where the redheaded evidence of his Irish descent came through. This lead me to believe that his mustache was indeed red-haired too, and I would pay a heavy price to see his trimmings in their natural property; for I couldn’t imagine what it looked like. I had speculations, that he could imagine what it looked like, and that this was the reason for the dyed stash, but for the life of me couldn’t figure out why he didn’t simply cut the whole thing off if it bothered him so much.
The older partner asked about my family, and how we had spent the holidays. He tried to make me feel guilty for not going to synagogue anymore, but was unsuccessful.
“We are all Jews, you know” he said with a smile, as he bit into a stale orange he had on his desk.
“There were 12 tribes of Israel” he reminded me “and they scattered throughout the world”.
As he processed the registration, he proceeded to mention the cosmology of at least 5 of these tribes. He was getting to number six, when his partner came out and stopped him. I had the distinct feeling that the Irish were indeed the 6th tribe of Israel, but that his partner had been reminded of this, a few too many times. It was hard to imagine what brought these two together in the first place, but scattered throughout the office were random hints. Photographs hinted at hard lives, across the Atlantic; and in the corner attached to a wall below a fire extinguisher, which was heavily out of date, was a glass box which contained the true symbol of their relationship. The box about half the size of a shoe box and had the same inscription on it as the extinguisher, it read: “Break In Case Of
End of The World.” Inside was what looked like a mix between a tea biscuit and
piece of bread, and a little 2 shot bottle of whisky. These men were in
business together because they would happily die together. It came to me that
these two probably had other people, and I knew they were both family men, but
it seemed to me that these two understood each other well. They got to work and
told me to come back in an hour.
Had it not been for the breakfast, I would have stopped to get some lunch at the wing place, but fuller then I really needed to be, I proceeded to the bookstore. It was in the middle of the plaza, and was a lot less shabby then the wing place, which had a giant sign, near the road. It had no manager’s corner, and occupied the entirety of the property. It had about 12 or so shelves going into the back and it had three rows of these, with the occasional vertical shelf. The only people inside the store when I entered, was a heavyset man around my age in his mid-twenties, with a Phillies shirt, black jorts, and aviators; the manager who was an elderly lady with an attitude in every step, and square glasses that hugged her obviously ill-content face; and a women in her mid thirties who had a blond streak going through her dirty blond hair, and a fat ass with a tattoo of a polar bear sticking out of the little piece of visible back. The manager frumpily asked if I had needed help, jolting her head at the store in reference to the fine selection, she had just spent her time reordering. Her hairpiece moved in odd motions as she gestured.
“I am fine”
I said nodding, and proceeded to look through the front corner of the store, where the quality of books told me that much was to be desired. Old Science Fiction was gathered in the corner, and old Mystery behind that, followed section by section by other old selections. The other man was looking through the Mystery section with a look of disgust on his face, but behind it in an intelligent way was a look of non-judgment, as if he expected to find something worthwhile in the trasheap, precisely because of the low quality of the literature. What struck me as odd was that he wore the aviators as he closely examined each book, in the already poor lighting of the store.
I had passed by the other lady, and was looking among the tray of books out of place, that the manager had yet to put back, when the door opened and a young girl walked in. She had pigtails, almost no teeth, and a pocket full of change. It looked and sounded as if the tooth fairy had stopped by the house on a daily basis for the past week. No adult walked up behind her. She approached the counter where the manager was fine tuning the radio, dumped all the change onto the counter and proclaimed in a loud voice
“Can you tell me how much this is?”
The manager looked around expecting to hear “please”, but the girl looked down and started tying her shoelaces. The manager kept ogling the little girl, who noticed looked up and repeated her question, at no point even going in the direction of please. The girl had noticed the lack of action and proceeded to add that she was looking to buy a book, and wondered how much they cost. The manager sighed and counted, as the little girl ran around asking how much each book cost. The man took off his aviators, held his book like a cigarette and observed this with a face of utter amusement.
I had meanwhile found a copy of “A Farewell to Arms” and a cookbook with a favorite celebrity chef on it. I had been approaching the desk to buy these when the little girl cut in front of me.
“Its $5.15” said the manager, pushing a nickel and a dime back into her hands. “For $5 you can get any of these books” she said pointing to one stack “or three of these” she said pointing at another.
“No thanks” said the girl, collecting her change rudely from the cashier’s side of the desk “I will come back with my dad”.
I had been checked out, when the little girl ran back into the store, again alone.
“Where is your dad” I asked
“Next door” she said
“Is he coming” asked the manager
The girl shrugged her head and ran around the store, as I spotted another book I wanted. I was thinking about whether or not to buy the book when the little girl bolted for the door, towards a man in the parking lot getting into a red truck. She looked at the people in the store as she ran past them, finally locking eyes with the manager, who wore a sigh of relief at seeing this one leave.
“You should get a job next door” said the little girl “they are open all the time” she added looking clearly at the door where the store hours were listed “and they make more money then you”, she added.
She said this last part so matter-of-factly, that the manager was made a face of complete bewilderment, registering how a six year old could have jousted her so well. It was clear to me however that these were borrowed words, most likely on lease from the man in the red truck that had pulled up to the door.
The little girl left, and as the door closed two sounds surrounded me, as I lay my book down deciding not to get it. The first was a under the breath “Good-Riddance” from the manager, who looked as if she took the insult to heart, and the second was a very loud laughter. The man in the aviators, holding them in his hand was shaking as he laughed, he closed his eyes which were watering with tears, and dried them away with the book in his other hand. At the sight of him laughing, I was made aware that I too was laughing, but I could not remember if I had started laughing at the original incident or how hilarious this man found it to be.
“Well, come on now” cried the manager “What…what is it... seriously”
She looked flustered and approached the man with the aviators, who had a good head on her height wise. She shooed at him, but made sure to shoo him in the direction of the store, and not the door.
“It wasn’t like I said it” he said amongst a loud and quite low laugh.
His voice was quite high and deep for someone capable of excreting such a sound. I giggled and smiled nodding towards him. I have always been told that I have one of those faces that can’t mask emotion well. It’s a goofy face, with glasses, and nappy hair. I have big features, and like a big screen TV, it was easy to see the details of what was going on.
“He found it funny” he said pointing to me
I turned to the manager “Well technically mam,” I said with a broad smile on my face “they do have good wings”.
She put her fingers in her eyes sitting down in her chair, and shook her head. The girl with the tattoo pretended not to witness any of this sitting on a footstool in the back biography section. The man approached the desk laid down 7 dollars and some change, and a number of books, and said nothing.
“You owe me 40 cents” the manager replied going though the change with her fingers. He dug in his pockets taking out a paperclip and some small papers.
“One second” he said taking out a ten dollar bill. The manager looked like this extra step of counting looked painful. I reached in my back pocket and took out two quarters, and put them on the desk, to which I was now standing to the left off. I picked up a dime on the desk and pocketed it. I did this gesture very seriously, as if to remind the manager that her request for 40 cents was as petty as my taking of the dime. She either didn’t notice the intention of this, or had been in a similar situation before, and had learned not to show it. The aviator man did notice this and smiled, as he had at the little girl. I turned to leave the store, and he followed; both of us wishing a good day to the manager as we left.
“I’m half tempted” he said as we walked towards the wing place about three steps from one another “to go in and pick her up an application”.
I stopped and looked at him, he was obviously just playing
“How do you think she’d handle it” I asked in one of those obviously scenario-sarcastic voices.
“I unno” he uttered as he reached in and picked a packet of cigarettes out of his back pocket. “What options does she have?”
He had made one of those motions in which he simultaneously lit a cigarette and rolled his eyes towards his nose in a probing matter.
“I mean we have nothing to lose, I am never going back there” I said
“That doesn’t matter, you could do it and come back here tomorrow, what’s she going to do? The thing is” and at this he lit his cigarette and puffed at it very smartly “that she isn’t going to do anything. She cant” he waved his hands in a scissoring motion. “She relies on assholes like us” he motioned with a sarcastic condolence while displaying his brown paper bag “cause we are the only ones who read”. He stared at me like a father telling his son a joke. “The thing people need to understand” he said pausing as if he was about to reveal his big secret to me “is that most actions have no consequences; because people are too shit scared to do anything about anything.” He continued smoking his cigarette, “they can’t easily leave their assigned role, and feel unsure about reading other people, so most people do nothing.” He made a gesture of pity with his face “they act accordingly”
“But most people” I responded “also act accordingly. I mean us not actually bringing her an application, is exactly what most people do”
“Well you don’t have to act like an ass” he said smiling coyly, as if surprised that I got what he meant “but you do have to be prepared for the consequence if you do. Then you have the option of acting exactly how you want to, whenever you want to. In the end the risk is worth the reward every time though.” he blinked and continued “I mean if people are only going to react 1/100 times, and you can handle it when they do, you can have a lot of fun”, and flicking his cigarette he finished “and you’d be surprised at what you learn, when you probe things in unexpected ways”
“What’d you find anyway” he asked reaching for the bag in my hands. I handed it to him. He disregarded the cookbook, but nodded approvingly at the Hemingway.
“He looks like my grandfather” I explained, but in a tone that made it clear that this was not the only reason I was getting the book. “Well he has his mustache”.
“That might not be enough” he rebutted
“Yeah well we are Georgian” I explained “so he has a much more…”
“You Slavs have great mustaches” he cackled “but you can’t match the elegance of the American facial hair that existed in the last century”
I started laughing. He handed the books back to me and held out his hand.
“H.K is the name”
“Vasily” I countered “but most people call me Vasil”
“Most people call me Dacha” he said biting his lip “it’s my last name”
“What’s the H.K stand for” I asked
“I’ll tell you when you’re older” he winked
“What if I told you I’m Oldev” I asked
“Oldev is my last name” I said “I am practically older, if you replace the right letters”
“Well I am practically Dacha” he said ending that dialogue “Do you live around here?” he asked changing the topic.
“No, I live five miles down that way” I said pointing towards the hills “you?”
“I live on Rudolph Street” he said “Which of these 3 are yours?”
There had been three cars in the parking lot, and I looked each over.
“Which do you think?” I asked half being an ass because I knew he’d be wrong with any guess.
But he wasn’t looking at the cars, he was gazing straight at my face; in fact he hadn’t turned to look since he asked the question. “None of them are, but you car is in the vicinity, meaning you need you needed oil changed, and now you are going to pick it up and agree to give me a lift home” he finished
I gazed at him. He really was an asshole, just throwing that last part in there; but how did he do that? It made some sense to me, but the quickness of it all made it seem like it was all a game. Like the question of where do I live, and all that followed, was some single entity, pre-structured in this mans head. Like he knew that he would get to me dropping him off at home, by simply asking where I lived.
“Its simple” he began “Not only had I noticed inside, that your keys had a Toyota insignia, but you facial expression gave away that none of the other cars where yours in addition to the Toyota. Also you wouldn’t have had to look at all if any of those were yours”
“I see” I said
“You clearly didn’t want the white truck to be yours, and think its trashy”
It was getting creepy.
“You could drive the Chrysler, but you looked at it too long and were clearly playing a game, trying to divert my attention to it”
“You clearly didn’t recognize any of the cars though…and clearly wanted to pretend you owned the BMW”
“3/3” I said, showing concern not at the logic, but at the logic behind the logic, the share pragmatism and clearness with which he explained it.
“I knew you’d give me a ride home, because you clearly like me; as you made conversation with me, and stayed to have a cigarette. I also know people, and you look like it was no trouble to you”
“I see” I repeated
“You knew where Rudolph street was” he continued “this was also visible by your facial expression” and at this he made the expression of someone remembering something he had seen a while back, and with his left hand pointed at his own face to show me. “Also, you made no movement or eye contact with the plaza across the way, and since that is the only other place a logical person would leave his car; if he was to shop at the bookstore, so your car has to be here”
“The only other place it can be is the mechanic?” I guessed probing myself
“Exactly” he said “As for the oil, I knew this by two different ways”
“I was only waiting for a short while?” I asked
“Bingo” he said “that and 90% percent of people who go to mechanics on weekends go with casual work, as most mechanics use weekends for the really long jobs, and don’t receive customers often”
“Jesus” I said
“You also have a hangover, overate, came from the city by train, ate rice…probably a spicy variety, and are expecting a call from your family wondering where you are”
My jaw had dropped to the floor, but he had smiled.
“I will explain it all, if you give me a lift home!” he said
“Oh oh yeah” I said “Fucking groovy”
He started looking at his book opening it up and smoking another cigarette. He made no motion as if to follow me to get my car, but had clearly deduced that the car should be ready now. I told him I’d be right back and went to the garbage to get it. I had walked in and right away the partners had realized something was amiss. They told me I looked not quite there. I was not making conversation; as they were clearly busy and my head now hangover, tired, and bedazzled was not in the place to think. I had reached in to get my insurance information inside my wallet, when I noticed a piece of rice hanging off my pants near my pockets. Could it be? I wondered.
I hurried back and pulled up to the curb where he sat. I had time to wish the guys good luck and a nice weekend but they could tell I was in another zone. He was just sitting there when I pulled up, and very slowly as if he was doing me a favor, he got up and got inside the car; at this point the passenger door had been opened 45 seconds.
He looked at me, and closed the door.
“So” I said, picking up the grain of rice I intentionally reattached to my pants “you owe me 4 more explanations”.
”Your memory is the problem”
“I never told you anything”
“You didn’t have too”
“How’d you know I rode the train” I said looking around for any hint on my person. My pants were matted, but I realized that could come from the car.
“I knew you were expecting a call” he said ignoring me; as I was making my right. “Because you kept looking at your phone, like you didn’t want anyone to call”.
“Ok” I said
“Your concern came from you being hangover, thus I knew that the people who concerned you had to be family members. Are you with me so far?”
“Sure” I said
“Concern shows cautiousness, and cautiousness hints that you didn’t drive from the city.”
“You also threw out a receipt for what looked like a train ticket” he said, and seeing my concern he pointed at his head and added “memory”. “You also ate at an irrational time which you wouldn’t have done if you had your car with you”
I had been in his development now.
“So I explained how I knew you took the train” he said.
“And I figured out how you knew, I ate rice” I added.
“That’s two” he said as we pulled into his street “and it’s this one of the right”
As we parked and he opened his door, a neighbor started walking over.
“The phone thing is three” I said
“You farted” he said “a spicy fart” he laughed at this “inside the store”
“How’d you know it was spicy?” I asked
He pointed at his nose and said “Memory…well that and a predisposition to Indian food and a index of smells I memorized”
His neighbor was now listening.
“You memorized fart smells?” I asked
He just laughed “Yeah”
“I just know you’re hungover” he said “it is just obvious”; and at this he looked at his neighbor and laughed. His neighbor laughed too, but it looked like he had been on my end of the joke before.
“Well that’s 5” he said
And he picked up his hands and counted
“Hungover 1, spicy-overate 2, rice 3, phone call 4, and train is 5.”
“Do you realize what you could …” I began
“Here is my number” he said, ignoring me and handed me a card with a handwritten number, “give me a call”
I dialed his number and his phone rang, he winked at me shook my hand and we said goodbye.
“Thanks” he added.
“No problem” I said.
We both said “see you around:”
He had made his way towards his friend, when his friend made his way towards my car. His friend stuck his whole upper body in my passenger window. He was a thuggish kid with a huge frame, which was filling up the entire place. He had thick brown hair and a scar on his chin. He had black eyes that didn’t blink, and was unevenly shaven.
“Marty Marconi” he said
“Vasil” I replied “nice to meet you”, we shook hands. He stared for a moment
“See you around” he said and backed out of my window, just as suddenly, aware that Dacha had been walking blindly up to his house. I nodded. Marty was walking toward Dacha, but had stopped and tipped his head back toward my window. Dacha thinking Marty was behind him, kept walking.
“I bet you don’t realize this yet” said Marty “But you’ve just met the world’s finest detective” he said all this like some cartoon figure
Having said that, he started following Dacha, who was headed toward Marty’s porch with a cigarette in hand. I closed my window and honked my horn as I drove away. I had wanted to go home badly, to sleep; but Marty Marconi was wrong, I had indeed realized it. In fact it boggled my mind for the ten minute ride home.
As I walked in, relived to see an empty house, and crashed on my bed naked, one thought kept poking into my still hungover head, but it summarized the entire vibe of the last hour.
What does HK stand for I wondered? I had pondered a few guesses, but fell asleep soon. I wouldn’t hear from Dacha, until next Tuesday.
* * *
I have said seldom little about myself, and have written quite plainly thus far, because in retrospect it is important to be introduced to Dacha properly. He is that big. That is not to say that he is the sole purpose behind the adventures we have, or by that reasoning that he is the main force behind them. We are surrounded, in fact, by other very interesting people, and many of the adventures are more their faults then Dacha’s or for that mater mine. In fact, Dacha never looks for these adventures; they simply fall into his lap. What I am trying to say is, that before I met Dacha, I and my friends to whom he was introduced had never had the adventures we do, since we met him. The same however is true for Dacha.
In fact, Dacha for all his gravitas and reasoning was only known as a great detective - on his block; and most of the cases he solved - involved petty neighborhood scamps. The thing that really started the real adventures to come was indeed the two of us meeting! The two of us are always if not present, front and center; we are the Batman and Robin of the story. But he is surly the Batman. That being said, he is only the Batman on a one to one comparison.
What is important to realize is that these stories started because, we introduced each other to our friends. You might recall that Dacha had advised me about the lack of consequences one should approach a situation with and, the many fruits that such an approach warrants. Dacha undoubtedly understands this and has internalized this better then I ever will. This is why he is the Batman. But in making his speech, he would later admit that the forerunner of his thoughts was something, he did not have to lecture me on. This non-judgmental/ what-do-I –have-to-lose attitude works even better with people, then with situations. What Dacha had not expected when he met me, was that I already knew this small part of his trick, and that I had as many crazy friends, as he did. What really facilitates the adventures are what happened when you mix my crazy with his.
I would never hold myself above Dacha; especially not because I had a car and a credit card. He is undoubtedly my better, whether mentally or physically; and I am if anything distasteful of whatever affluent edge I might have been born into. I’m a fucking immigrant after all, and have been through a poor in which Dacha’s three bedroom house seems like a mansion. These differences seem almost non existent when the two of us are compared alone, as our worlds do not collide roughly. But the same cannot be said about the collision of the worlds we represent, and because of the aforementioned disposition to befriend in a non-judgmental way drug dealer and cheerleader alike, we represented worlds; worlds that were worlds apart.
It was not that I knew people that did this and that, and he knew people that did that and this. We both knew a place to get weed, a friend with a pool, someone who had a daughter at sixteen (well he knew a bit more of these), and an asshole who became a cop after a lifelong but failed ambition at music. We both got to experiment, with these people being in our lives. What separated us was the difference between the people we knew. Suffice to say my drug dealer, was nothing like Dacha’s, and the banter at his barbers was nothing like the banter at mine.
For two assholes with a nothing to lose attitude, we had little arguments between ourselves normally, but we were clearly aliens in each others world. This if nothing else, was the catalyst behind our adventures. My friends and I had never in our sheltered lives, even in the city, met someone as real as H. K. Dacha and the world he represented; and his friends and he were given in me an almost unprecedented venture of the other side of the hill. It wasn’t like I had the money to buy them anything, or for that matter the tenacity to think I would or should; so much as it was that they saw in me, perhaps because of my resemblance to Dacha, a rich boy (which I was not) they could understand, who would lend an ear and because of his predisposition…care.
So it came to be, that my world brought the opportunity for action into his and his in return the potential action into mine. His was the fire and mine was the torch. This might not give one a lot of information about me per-se, but it reveals who we are in comparison to each other. I can talk about myself later.
But for now I digress back to what I was saying before; back to the fact that I had not heard form Dacha until next Tuesday, when I was sitting with my friend Kurtz drinking mind-erasers, at a local pool bar; which had no pool table but instead an indoor heated pool. My phone, which was on the counter rang and vibrated towards the chlorinated waters which would surly mean its end. Luckily, I answered it before it met its fate, and was summoned by Dacha to do him a huge favor, with a problem he was having. I asked if I could bring Kurtz, and was told that the more the merrier, but that I would need room in my car for at least two people. In the background I heard a voice I recognized, it was that of Marty Marconi, and it was yelling something about dicks.
“You don’t even know this person” said Kurtz getting in my car. I yawned not really in the mood to respond and told him I could easily drop him off, but it seemed like this was a genuine call for help.
Kurtz had started up a new pack of cigarette with his window down, as we zoomed downward Business Route 1, Megadeath blasting on the radio. We passed the little street where I had met Dacha, but kept going straight. I was telling Kurtz all about the oddness of that morning. We pulled into his street and were about to park in front of his house, when I spotted him, across the street on Marty’s porch. He was with three other people. We parked in front of Marty’s house, which looked like a much worse place to park then Dacha’s. They were both ranch homes, but Dachas had an additional add on towards that back that had a small upstairs room. This was not visible from the front of the home, where there was a bench, and a sloping green lawn with a single huge pinetree in the middle. Dacha’s driveway looked a bit messy, but the rest of his property looked clean; as if everything was swept in the proverbial corner. The driveway was littered with all sorts of mechanical mumbo jumbo, car parts, golf clubs, and fishing bait. It gave the impression of being pragmatically located, and did not seem as it was just lying around.
Marconi’s drive way on the other hand, was hare to walk up to. It was littered with ashtrays, and buckets with water that also had cigarettes in them. Children’s toys were scattered throughout the property, which contained 3 trees and all the debris that they had procured over many years. A tricycle with an odd yellow and pink design that was a bit nauseating stood, near a deflated kiddie’s pool too small for anyone bigger then a sparrow. The property’s driveway ended rather curtly and was short. From about the middle of the property, there was a walkway that led to a large indoor Gazebo- Porch, the front of which was currently down. As soon as we got inside however, Marconi started putting the front mosquito net back up claiming his son was getting bit all over.
The little kid, who was one of the two other people with Marty, was introduced to me as his son Harvey. He had lighter hair then his father but the same black eyes. He was wearing an official setpeice of Eagles gear and Spiderman sneakers. He had a grin on his face, as we walked up, but refused to really say hello, instead bolting out the patio door and across the street where he rolled up and down Dacha’s hill, like some robotic dog, laughing like a maniac. His father watched all this, and visibly lit up, it was clear that his four year old having this freedom was reassuring to him. The other person with Marty was a black dude named Nick, with short black hair, and a big smile. Dacha, was sitting on the green swing-couch, observing the greetings, during which it was reveled the Kurtz and Nick has a class together at a technical institute. Dacha shook hands with Kurtz, as Marty finished up the netting, and turned around, picking up a cell phone in his pocket that had began vibrating.
Dacha had a very interesting look to him that day, wearing a black t-shirt, and jeans, and purple-orange sunglasses. He looked, a little like John Goodman, but with a trimmer beard. He held his finger to silence us for a moment as he observed Marty on the phone, who indicated that this was a relevant phone call. I listened for a minute trying to discern what was going on.
“You were the only person in my room!” Marconi was saying loudly on the phone, and on the other end someone who had a deep but cringing voice mumbled something about someone, to which Marty replied that he didn’t care. Kurtz was watching this with some interest, but being shy and not one to stick his nose in others business, he was also playing nervously with his cigarette packet, examining it. He stepped outside to light up a smoke, taking a few feet so that the smoke didn’t blow into the patio. I sat in a small wooden chair by the door, equally far from everyone else in the room. Marty went inside the house for a second, and Nick and Dacha started exchanging glances. The little kid was still rolling down the hill, but this time was looking over to see if his dad was watching.
The kid ran back across the street without looking. Kurtz had bolted at seeing the kid run, because he didn’t know how long the kid would take to cross, and saw a car at the top of the street. The kid made it with a lot of time to spare, but Kurtz who was very caring and worrisome in this way, looked like he needed to double up on nicotine. Marconi came out at that precise moment, opened the screen door to let the kid and Kurtz inside. He took the kid by the shoulder knelt down to him, and very loudly started screaming at him.
“What have I told you about crossing the street” he bellowed, and after saying some more things, he turned around to face Dacha, making a face one would make at an ex-wife. He raised his hand which was shaking and looked at me with his large beady eyes. He turned back to the four year old kid who was crying in one those no tears, no yells; kind of ways.
“You’re the best thing is my life Harvey, BUT you keep FUCKING me up.”
He turned around and sat down, as a woman who looked like Marty came up to the patio. She looked at all of us, looked at the kid crying, looked over at me trying to take all this in with my shit-eating grin on my face; picked up the kid and went inside. Marty got up and went in after her. From inside we heard commotion and language that was rather crude. It became completely clear the woman was Marty’s mother, and that she wanted to know who the hell we were.
Nick got up, and went outside with a very awkward this-shit again look in his face, and I followed. Dacha and Kurtz looked at us for a moment, and also came out.
“I am sorry” said Dacha looking at me and turning to Nick he raised his hands and shook his head “He never has his shit ready”
“What exactly is going on?” asked Kurtz staring equally at me as he did at the other two.
“Marty used to ski; back in the day” Nick began “he used to take these huge snowtrips as he called them and go to Vermont”
“He was very good, even thought about trying it professionally” Dacha said “but he had an accident, and broke his neck”, he looked at Nick and imitated a stiff neck. Looking back at me, Dacha continued “that why he always seems to be coming at you, he has no neck movement; he just treats his noggin like a giraffe”. I smiled remembering the abrasive step towards the inside of my car Marty had taken on our first introduction.
“He takes anti-pain medication, as his neck is chronically shitty” Nick said “but he needs to buy it on the street because he had gotten into a … situation”
“More like shituation” Dacha said. Kurtz started laughing, looking around to see if anyone else had spotted the jewel.
“Anyway” continued Dacha “you will hear this from him, but long story short he needed to get rid of pills before his parole officer got here tomorrow, and was selling them, when half the batch went missing”
“He also can’t piss clean” Nick said “and needs someone to run him to the GNC; to get a drug cleanse”
Dacha turned to me, and put his hand on my shoulder “Usually, Nick would help him out, but he needed his car repaired, and your boys didn’t have it done yesterday, on account of how much wine the Sabbath calls for” he said winking. “He asked his sister to pick it up yesterday, but she said it wasn’t there, which he knows isn’t true. So he is pissed cause everyone is…” but Dacha had stopped talking and turned around as Marty came outside
“Everyone is always dicking me” Marty bellowed. “I can’t have one good thing in my life”.