New Orleans Short Story 7: Me Me Me
So now it’s four-thirty of the afternoon in question and the drugs have successfully kicking in; hell, they done kicked in hours ago and at this point they have taken me over. I looked over at the bed stand and saw the time and a half empty glass of Scotch. I feel good though, my head is clear, I feel rested and I’m only seeing one each of everything; however, I can still hear god laughing at what a fool I am.
Petey looked in on me from the bedroom door. “Morning Sunshine, rise up and join the world, you have a party to give in two hours.” He said cheerily.
“What the hell did you give me?” I queried
“A little thing that I mix up myself” he replied “kind of a variation of Desbutol*, you know Desoxin and Nembutal? This one starts with the downer, puts you out, mediates your nerve endings for relief of your sore-nesses and then time releases the upper so that you wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed. You’re good to go for another twelve to fourteen hours Chum, by which time, with any luck at all, you should be three sheets to the wind and ready for a good nights sleep. Now, at and up ‘em Soldier!”
“Swell” I said and jumped out of bed; I immediately got a vertigo rush, staggering against his waiting arms.
“Whoa there Kimosabe, you not want move fast, might fall back in canyon.” He sounded just like that frigging Indian.
“Whew, thanks Tonto. Where’s m’horse?”
Petey handed me a glass of orange juice and a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. “Juice for head, gum for breath, you smell like horse and look like buffalo dung.” he said sagely “Time to pow wow later, after long stay in rain room, go shower; Lone Ranger sweat much while sleep; remind Tonto two pounds crushed coyote sphincter.”
Well, how do you argue with a man who channels a faithful Indian companion? Short answer: you do not.
After twenty minutes in a scalding shower I was almost as normal as I ever was and Petey filled me in. “Okay Bud, nix the poultry party, likewise the use of this side of the house. I’ve got a cleaning crew working on the wreckage and I’ve called Los Tres Bastardos Grasientos catering company with dinner to be served—Voila—next door-- in the billiard room which, with the creative use of plywood and your Mama’s damask rose patterned linen, some candles and air freshener we now have ‘Chez Pierre’; the hottest ticket private eating establishment this side of Elaine’s. Oh by the way, you’ve had some cancellations so we’re down to five including me; I’ve got a call into Mo, so I’m really expecting us to be a sixer, you, me, Billy, Brandi, Anne and hopefully Mo. Sorry I couldn’t scare up Julia Roberts or someone of that ilk, they’re in Cannes or some such place watching movies and dancing naked by the pool…go figure.
“Mo, Mo?” I queried: “Really, Mo is the only one you can get? I’d even take Pearl over Mo; I’ve already had my maximum daily requirement of downers for the day; couldn’t you get anyone else?” I moaned. “Even Pearl would be preferable!”
“So solly Cholly”, Petey retorted, “Miz Pearl is either making her own movies, run off with the circus or in a slammer somewhere south of Peoria. You know that wacky sister of mine: at ease with sleaze. Besides,” he continued “what’s wrong with Mo that we can’t and haven’t dealt with? AND… you didn’t talk like that when you had her behind closed doors!”
Getting back to real time, reader, of course you know that Mo is not her real name. Onward:
Alright, alright… Mo and I had had a brief but intense ‘thing’ until I found out that she was moody, cynical, sarcastic, vindictive, armed and full-blown bat shit crazy; those are her good qualities. Her bad qualities would send a saint to Smirnoff, Seconal, and smoker’s cough. We affectionately, and between ourselves only, call her ‘Mo’ because she looks like a painting by Modigliani, if you get my drift. She’s extremely intelligent, creative, imaginative and a really great canoodler; and that’s a story for another time.
Now with mere hours to go, I hitched up my britches, put on a tie, a smile and a pair of cheap sunglasses and, ignoring the commotion of the repairmen, trundled next door to my saloon/salon. Once again, I was glad to be alive.
Over in the saloon that I had named ‘L’auberge ne relachez pas’ or ‘The Don’t Drop Inn’ Petey had been setting things aright as I could see when I wandered out of my back door, which, again, was in the front of the building and over to the back of the pub, which was likewise. The caterers were busy in the kitchen and the smell of freshly squeezed citrus mingled with the scent of burning animal flesh; a woman in the corner was making fresh tortillas while another chopped vegetables and herbs. They were joined by a couple of scruffy children in diapers; barefoot. Three burly, Hispanic looking, men were wreathed in steam and smoke from the cooking appliances and fat cigars, they were wearing matching grease stained wife beater undershirts that did their best to cover hairy bellies and the sweat flowed like wine from their pores into the food. I started to say something but feared for my safety and judging from the look of their jailhouse tattoos of old English lettering, saviors on crosses and virgin mothers, rightly so. I averted my eyes just picturing the pleasure that they would have taking a scrawny gringo in white duck trousers and burgundy velvet smoking jacket and playing ‘dunking for French fries’ in the deep fryer that they had set up outside the door using what looked like old furniture (I hoped not mine) for fuel.
I found Petey at the bar going through my mail and asked him about the seeming culinary chaos. “Who are those guys?” I hissed.
“Oh, you mean them greasy bastards?”
“Shhhh!” I whispered, “don’t let them hear you talking about them like that!”
“Hee hee” Petey laughed “That’s the name of the catering company, paleface, ‘The Three Greasy Bastards’, oh, I told them no chicken; I figured that you had enough fowl play for one day” He really got the giggles over that one.
“Very punny” I retorted, not feeling amused.
“Okay, okay. Boy, everybody’s a critic these days. Listen, folks will be arriving soon; by the smell of it, grubs about done. Take a load off, I’ve set us up in the mode of ‘Uber Comfort’. Here, smoke some of this."