adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


In one decisive moment, she jumped from the rust-bucket car as it paused at the corner. In one decisive moment, I became protector, knight-in-shining-armor, for a drunken redneck chick who bore the wounds of her drunken redneck man and had used that decisive moment to do something about it.

I kept a 38 tucked in the back of my trousers, under my jacket, a snub-nose Harrington and Richardson I had prayed I would never need to pull. The cops knew I carried it and winked at the illegality – they knew the streets, too.

So I stood there, her behind me, looking at this car where half-a-dozen or maybe eight drunken rednecks were looking back at me and I looked at my one stoned buddy who didn’t seem to quite grasp the situation and thought again of that H and R and did not like the thought.

But only her abuser stepped out to confront me, a little Charlie Manson sort of guy and drunk as shit and I knew I could take him out with two or three punches if he didn’t have a gun himself, or knife, and he stood there, staring me down, I guess, until he said, The hell with it and got back in
and they lurched away.

A deputy showed up soon after I called and drove my damsel in distress off and I don’t know why but I asked about her later and was told the husband picked her up and she never charged him. It was no longer my concern, anyway, and I can’t remember what she looked like but I remember him and I remember the fear that one moment might ride with me into eternity.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

As I was saying in the last post, it might be a good idea to rewrite/reformat some of my more matter-of-fact (and semi-biographical) poems into short fiction or prose poems. Hence, this one -- the story is, yes, essentially true though I cobbled together a couple different incidents (one from when I was all-night tollbooth attendent, one from when I managed a pool room). Gee, I'm more interesting than I remember...

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