The brief case of the br.., p.1
The Brief Case of the Briefcase, p.1Dusty Yevsky
The Brief Case of the Briefcase
Copyright Dusty Yevsky 2011
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This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real people, places, or events is purely coincidental.
Cardboard containers of carryout Chinese littered the front seat of the taxi. The cabman reeked of perspiration and stale cigarettes. His belly was pressed up against the steering wheel. He jammed the toothpick laying across his fat, greasy lips further into his angry looking mouth, attempting to dislodge a wayward kernel of cooked rice wedged between his first and second incisors.
“Where to, Amigo?” he asked.
I gave him the address. He jotted it in his ledger with a pencil as I eased into the cavernous backseat. After noting the driver’s vacuous gaze reflected in the rearview mirror, I clamped and locked my heavy lids, exhausted with fatigue.
Back at the ranch, I went straight to bed. I was spent from the trip to Montana. No, it wasn’t the fresh faced room service attendant who delivered my morning coffee and that sweet honey roll eager for licking. Cinnamon wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. She was helpful and friendly, but the other tasty morsel that flagged my radar and drew me in was that leather briefcase abandoned in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn.
I kept replaying the events of the past few days, imaged like worn videotape in my head ravaged with insomnia. When it finally did arrive, sleep was sporadic and fitful, twisted and splotched by yet another disturbing and unsettling dream.
Did being in the midst of so many clusters of steamy geysers and ancient rock formations crack open a layer of crust inside my head? Through those deep fissures ugly prehistoric creatures circled just beneath the surface of my consciousness. In an orgy of violence they lunged and tore at one another, fangs glinting. Behind a billowing scarlet veil left in the wake of their carnage, monsters feasted on raw chunks of bloodied flesh, swimming effortlessly through a wake of diaphanous entrails.
I was lulled into a deeper, quieter sleep once the rampage inside my head subsided and from there fell into a pool of blackness. It was the closest I’d been to the nothingness of death in quite some time.
“A shattering cacophony of garbage trucks and barking dogs shook me. I stretched out my arm and felt for her warmth beside me in the bed, but she’d already left for work.
I climbed off the mattress and into yesterday’s heap of clothes that lay piled on the floor beside it. Outside the window a cold blanket of snow covered the earth. Above the rooftops of nearby houses, bleak clouds, still heavy and grey with moisture, drifted as the late autumn cold front moved east.
In an otherwise dark and lifeless kitchen, my toaster glowed red inside and tick, tick, ticked, like a time bomb. Waiting for it to blow, I opened the icebox and buried two 65-milligram tabs of Phenobarbital into a turkey dog and shoved the makeshift drug delivery system into the breast pocket of my flannel shirt.
The espresso machine quit spitting. I removed the filled with black ooze mug from underneath the spigot. With it and two slices of buttered bagel I bolted out the door and headed toward the bodega in the back.
However, before reaching my final destination, a dull thud broke the eerie silence inside the garage. My ceramic cup smacked the right front fender of the faded ‘69 Barracuda. Moments later, the sound of loading four scoops of crunchy nuggets into a large plastic bowl (it was more a bucket than a dish…) roused the overly large beast prone on a ragged woolen blanket.
She snorted, shooting me a rude nod from behind her mask as I pulled out the drug-laced hot dog and dropped it into the kibble. It was mostly kibble. There were few bits, if any, at all. Her bedding was plaid, primarily consisting of patterned greens and reds, with a touch of grey. A bluish chew toy, a shredded and barely recognizable Stimpy plastic and rubber doll, begged, or rather squeaked for mercy as she clenched it in her slobbery jowls.
The background dimmed on the cold cement floor. The sun bleached, splintered handles of rusted rakes and shovels stood soundless against the walls. The camping stove, old pots and pans, and cans of useless, frozen paint, the blunted screwdrivers and worn wrenches sitting on a dirty, oil stained rag were a concert of unfinished chores, hobbies and household projects I’d abandoned the previous fall when the weather, in a manner of hours rather than days, or so it seemed, turned dreary and bleak.
The old dog on the old blanket; if truth were told, we’d all seen better days, but especially her. I switched off the 40-watt bulb hanging on the end of a copper wire, and exited.
With bagel barred in my teeth, and a mixture of crumbs and saliva spilling over my bottom lip and down my chin from being held captive there a smidge too long, I turned to the right and paused. I reached forward and rotated the doorknob, pushed on it slightly and entered the portal of the bodega.
Inside the sparsely furnished cubicle, a desktop computer sat on the solid oak library table. I occupied the chair in front of it, set down the coffee and bagel next to me and flipped on the electric space heater. I rolled a cigarette, stuck it between my lips and torched the end.
From outside the door, a familiar, faint sound (that wasn’t the chattering fans of the heater…) pierced the otherwise quiet atmosphere. It was a whine, her signal that something, perhaps a longing or desire that wasn’t being met, needed my immediate attention.
“Hold your horses,” I yelled. I stood and opened the door. The dog entered, her big brown eyes sheepish and grateful.
I sat back down in front of the computer screen that was filled with a variety of mesmerizing tropical fish. With the nudging of the mouse, the exotic colony of limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animals with gills and fins suddenly vanished. In their place appeared what I hoped was my “ticket.”
There and then I took up an old ritual. One that began years earlier and had revisited me once again. I stared intently at the steady beat of the blinking cursor and felt the movement of its subtle rhythm through my fingers resting on the keyboard.
The dog paced and circled repeatedly, performing an ancestral ritual of her own. She eventually found a suitable perspective, settled her body on the floor next to me, exhaled with a deep groan and began licking her front paws.
Several moments later she rested her head and slowly dropped the lids of her wearied, bloodshot eyes. Saint-like, the dog entered the quiet and peaceful place in her being that I had long searched for in my own, but seldom located.
Then it began, a symphony of sorts, a brooding, tempestuous aria that slowly and steadily built into a crescendo of sound. It grew from inside the depths of the animal’s core and, twisted through the airways of her lungs and valves of her massive snout, was released throughout the room. Though I wasn’t certain, I thought I’d detected a Baroque quality to her…”
When that last bit of nonsense jumped off the monitor and hit me squarely between the eyes, I realized it was all over. That it was time to put an end the madness once and for all. I had to squash this wild notion of me being a “writer” of any sort. To stick a fork in it (me…), because I was, when all was said and done, done.
My work, such as it was, was finished. No longer could I pretend otherwise. Though I had at one time maintained lofty presuppositions about its worthi
Perhaps I was mistaken? Overreacting? Hallucinating? Deluded yet again??
Rereading the text I produced confirmed what I’d long suspected; that it was indeed a steaming load of drivel. Horrified by the mendacity of it all, I was physically sickened and emotionally destroyed. My efforts, my so-called “great ideas,” were not the moving and uplifting words I’d hoped would one day emerge. Rather, they were a bleak and wholly ridiculous exercise that inspired a terrific, pounding headache and after that, depression.
My futile effort to produce a tome (only a pompous idiot would employ such a word to describe one’s own work…I knew because I was one and used it despite knowing better) that would unlock the secrets to the mysteries of Life (and where that notion sprang from was anyone’s guess…) had
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