The Mayor

I wanted to throw up.  Honestly I did. 

My body wanted to expel the lingering demons, too, but I think they already made it into my bloodstream.

So in the men’s room of Marlin’s Inn I gagged.  I coughed.  And I could shake the ill feeling for the life of me.

Ashleigh Hayes, the former reason for my existence and current bane thereof, was pregnant.  Possibly.  Her grandmother, Grace, said so… in so many words.

I could probably manage to deal with that fact, if not for the face that we had our fling on Valentine’s Day.  If I didn’t drink so much on the day before, I might be inclined to think my pangs were sympathy morning sickness, except the night kind.

I was left alone for a comfortable stretch of discomfort.  Up until Hank came in.

Mind if I piss? he asked.

“It’s a free country.”

My back remained to him at the urinal, even though I stood up from a hunched over position.  Let it be known, I would never kneel to vomit in a public restroom.  The floors are disgusting.

So rather than awkwardly listen to what I thought would be a stuttering stream of urine, and in fact turned out to be completely the opposite sound, I started talking.

“Can I ask you a question?”

A free country, right?

With the flush of a toilet, things turned back to, well, not normal… just not as odd.

“Did you stop coming here because of what I did?”  I was referring to cheating with another man’s girl, who used to be my girl.

The world don’t revolve around you.  I thought you’d have figured that out by now.  Hank started washing his hands while I still faced my porcelain basin below me.

“It’s just that after what happened on Valentine’s, and the things you said to me… I thought…”

I thought you might stop being such a pussy by now.  He grabbed paper towels to dry his hands.  The girl moved on.  So should you.

“But it’s just that… what if the kid’s mine?”

Trash in the trash bin.  How far did things go?  I thought you just stepped up to the plate.

Why must I constantly clarify things?  And why don’t I know any good baseball analogies?  “Let’s just say, I did my half.”

Hank got blunt.  I missed blunt.  I thought you didn’t technically fuck her.

“Technically, I did.  It was just quick.”  First time’s a blast.  So to speak.

As I stared at the bowl of water at my feet and that drain to Shitsville, where I could one day hope to be mayor, I heard nothing behind me.  No pissing, no flushing, no washing, no drying.

It was the most uncomfortable sound of all.

The Miracle

Not surprisingly, Hank’s impromptu road trip failed to motivate the masses.  Upon struggling with the logistics of travelling to the strip club, noticing our funding was insufficient, and realizing we’d all rather stay at Marlin’s Inn, the intentions curled up and died…

…like the bush on my fourth wife, Hank continued.  Some say Helen’s balding below was a bad sign, but I called it a miracle.

Mind you, this was in a time before the scissors and razors and waxes and lasers had no sites set on the pubic region.  Helen liked to grab my locks and lock my head in her snatch, cupping my ears between her cottage cheese thighs.  Her sallow cushions did a good job of drowning out the sounds of the night train that were prone to give me headaches.  Every morning and every night, her hairy muffin was my breakfast in bed and my midnight snack.  Only problem was I started developing a rash on my upper lip, like a rug burn.  So I started growing in the old juice collector, and the rash disappeared.

But a new problem arose, H.L. chimed in, having heard this story probably more than once before.  It was then I had the first realization that all the guys had heard each others tales more than once before.

Damn straight.  Between Helen’s magnificent muff and my impending handlebar, we developed what I like to call a Velcro situation.  Did I mention Helen had a frotch?

“A fire crotch?  You did not.”  Red hair, down there.

Because of the tangled mess of facial and frotch, I stopped munching.  She bitched more; my headaches returned; we fought more; she broke shit; I broke more shit.

“Why didn’t you get rid of the moustache?”

I couldn’t!  I was a short order cook at the time, and though you may not think people cared much about health and cleanliness and such back then, if the fellow cooking your meal had rug burned lips, it meant something was fishy.

So to speak, Kilgore blurted.  Santiago chuckled.  Was this a part of their routine?

Everyone was quiet, as if the story had ended, but I wasn’t satisfied.  “So what happened?”

I already told you she went bald!  It kept us married another two and a half years until she ran off with the goddamned mailman.  I lost the apartment, but not the headaches.  The damn fool ended up marrying Helen and being an upright guy.  He’s the one that got me in with the postal service.

Again, silence.  For the first time I worried that my new friends might not be as lucid as I once thought.

My point being: if Helen’s ruby round and curlies hadn’t have curled up and died like our plan, I’d have never met Celia on my mail route, and she’d have never become my fifth wife.

On second thought – scratch my last thought.

The Aftermath

After Ryan’s appearance, I thought the proverbial cat was out of the bag.  But not a purr, meow, or roar was heard about this pussy’s lack of, well, you figure it out.

Santiago made a rare guest appearance out from behind his bar.  He started mopping and cleaning up the mess Hank had made on my behalf.

“I’ll clean up the beer,” I said.  Santiago handed me the mop and wet rag.

Hank returned to his stool and leaned over the counter to refill his mug under the spouts.  Remember to put this one on the kid’s tab.

Kilgore kept to his doodling; H.L.to his MegaTouch.  It was as if nothing ever happened.  Almost.  Meow.

Please tell me you at least got your straw sucked on.  I kept on scrubbing.  Hank audibly sighed.

I didn’t sleep with my wife until we were married.  Kilgore rarely brought up his beloved ShelleyAt least that’s what we told her parents.  My father caught us once in our youth.  We were embarrassed and were quick to cover up.  My old man turned right around and never mentioned it until on his death bed.  He told me, “Son, I didn’t know folks could have sex like that.”

H.L. slapped his hands together and cheered at his game.  His game: a spot-the-difference picture puzzle that takes its cue from strip poker.  I finally got to see her naked.

Hank, taking his cue from H.L.Tell me you saw her naked.  You were engaged to be ball-and-chain, weren’t ya?

“I once snuck a peek when she was changing into her bathing suit up at her family cabin.”

Everyone sighed and threw up their arms.  Santiago came back out from behind the bar and took away my mop and wash rag, shaking his head.  Hank rose from his seat like a hawk ready to eat its prey:

Boys, I think it’s time for a road trip.