Chapters 3-9, Dumb Dragon, Lachance, 1995:
So we ran to the Lemonmobile! We buckled our spaghettibelt, then I put the Lemonmobile on full sour juice! But the tomato sauce was still chasing us! Then we were on Guava Street and then the Lemonmobile ran out of taste! So then we went to the Guava Station. “Fill ‘er up!” I said. But instead of taste juice, it had tomato juice! So we went off before they could put anything in!
“Where are we?” Luke said.
“Running to my house.” No I mean in the script. Oh, page….6.
“Where’s the car?” I said.
“Oh!” said Kyle. So we ran all the way back.
By the time we got back the Lemonmobile was gone…”
“Karen was an exclamation point the first time Bob slid his tongue over her bellybutton. Conversation following was curt and sealed by the shutting of an apartment door. See you soon? Alright. Burning clean with a removable showerhead, steam sinking in pores, she returned to her kitchenette in a towel, puddles accumulating on floorboards; a pineapple was split. Later, falling in the duvets of a warm mattress, she yawned refreshed exhaust. Twenty-one: When separated, they trudged about like cars riding on E, gliding on fumes. Attached. Bob’s friends grew concerned for his ‘well-being’ (for the potential loss of another single friend) and worked to remind him of glory days.
I heard Nancy’s back in town, they teased.
So I hear.
Think of all that’s out there!
What does that even mean?
Not getting married on us now, are you Bobby boy?
The fuck out of here!
Karen, a bartender who only drank socially, and no more than two drinks (his entourage, on the other hand, required two to start up a conversation) was a threat: She ate organic meat (chickens allotted time for yoga before coming under a blade) and exercised five days a week. She attended talks on the environment and volunteered for Green electoral candidates, excelling in the company of extroverts, particularly knowledgeable about food, music, and wine… all those civilized tastes; cultured… rooms swelled with her presence, bursting at the hinges.
It should be recognized that Karen’s entourage was also concerned for her ‘well-being;’ Bob, part-time mechanic and full-time drinker; Bob, intoxicated propaganda yeller; Bob. They worked in concert, inviting new people to previously exclusive parties- comedians, bankers and salesmen- personalities they felt reflected Karen’s characteristics, bringing together the positive edges of two magnets. Speed dates were attended. Karen got drunk- for free- and they probed about Bob’s failures in bed, in his stained sweaters, baseball-cap style. But does he satisfy your ev-ery need? The relationship, conscious of the attack, built walls. Designated Protest Spaces were established, and disseminated to both groups: BOB: “Don’t talk that kind of shit in my apartment anymore, alright?” KAREN: “Bobby is having the boys over again- sorry!”
Words did invade their sanctuary when Bob adopted a kitten. Let’s be honest: He’s a mess! I didn’t want to tell you this, but once, Karrie, I saw him humping a police officer! When was that? Well, before you met- but are you listening? Hel-lo! Kar-rie! Karrrrie!
The children of Merrickville – Wolford Elementary (MWE) screamed in bus number seven at 15:31. The leaves on a row of trees downtown had flushed blue- neon, as if lit by Christmas lights. Oh my god! Granola bars were removed from pack-sacks and thrown between boys on the bus, excitement bringing them to take up more space with noise, things they had been taught that men did to impress women, or, in their case, the Older Girls Of The Back Benches. I dare you to fucking throw the fucking thing, you fucking fuck! Bruises. A tangerine hit the driver – brakes pressed – tires screech – children smack against plastic seats. The acrid smoke of burnt rubber slivered through seams in the metal of the bus. Coughs. I think I’m getting asthma! The driver’s attempt at discipline comes in the form of slow, patronizing sentences, accidentally mimicking someone from her own childhood. Do. You. Think. That. Was. A. Good. Joke, I said, Do. You. Think. That. Was. A. Good. Joke? Pack of crackers to the perm sparks a transition in her mood, her sentences closing as the engine putters to a start. I’m. Calling. Your. Parents!15:46.
They danced to “Roxanne” at the wedding, against Karen’s wishes, and, when lights dimmed, spotlight on the couple, Bob’s half-shaved face was highlighted to the families, clear that he had not shaved for his wedding. Shame, murmured Karen’s father. Bob’s father was laughing. Look at them- they’re drunk, said her sister.
He didn’t seem to notice. The room went black. People wondered aloud if an error was made by the audiovisual-guy, someone’s well meaning nephew: I can’t believe this! Daddy what’s happ-a-ning? Noise dropped to a hush as the light returned. A bass line and a drumbeat accompanied a flash of dancing from Robert that surprised everyone, his typical dance repertoire pivoting on the beer-in-hand, bar-lean-crotch-grab. Dance lessons learned in secret brought proof to the previous speculation of an organized personality. Words were exchanged, in a lighter tone: he’ll make a good father; did you know; my man, Bob-by; who knew about this? Did you now about this? You knew about this and didn’t tell me? Karen’s father sat undecided, having always questioned the sexuality of men who could dance. Glasses, purses, cameras, and suit jackets were left on tables; table-clothes stained purple. 1994.
2013: Duke! What were you- raised by wolves? Give your brother back his spoon.
I guess that makes me chief wolf, said Bob.
Wolves don’t have chiefs: They have pack-leaders, like Beyoncé, said Ella.
A bark prompted food to be flung from forks, and Rock, the husky, charged to the living room…”
© L. Lachance, 2014
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