I left the radio station as quickly as I could. Not remembering much from the night before, I was freaked out. Had I let something spill? I hoped this guy didn’t have much of a recollection of the previous night. A twenty found its way to the station’s front desk– just a “thank you” for the previous night. Feeling almost ill, I hurried out, noticing on my way the flyers posted on the beautiful blue walls of the radio station.
Herbert Johnson Jr. comes to the Children’s Home today. The name rang a distant bell. Wasn’t he friends with Father? Oh, God no. What the hell did I tell that man last night?
I crossed the street outside the station, narrowly escaping getting hit by a speedy, furious driver in a blue Subaru. I walked home by way of the Children’s Home, turning down Herbert Johnson Road instead of continuing on Dreamwood. I hoped to get a glimpse of HJ Jr., but there seemed to be a crime scene with yellow tape up ahead. I hope it wasn’t a murder, I thought. I am all too familiar with those.
Right then, I fell down. The sky went dark– first indigo and then black. I was flat on my back, and all the sudden I was back at the Church of Faith being carried home by the man. I was telling him about murdering my own father. Well, it wasn’t me. But I helped. The flashback ended and I got up. I need to get out of here, I thought.
The blue Subaru that almost hit me earlier was approaching me again. It was probably the man from last night. He must have wanted the whole story. I started running. I ran track in high school and knew how to run. But this guy had a gas pedal and suspicion. I followed Dreamwood and checked my shoulder right around Joe’s Bar. The Subaru was still right behind me. I nearly tripped as I turned onto Main Street. I ran and didn’t stop again until I noticed blue streaks of paint on the ground. What in the world is going on?
I crossed the street and hid behind a dumpster to catch my breath. When I re-approached the street, I didn’t see the car anymore, and I walked into O’Harley’s to grab a bite to eat. I walked in, out of breath and hoping to see a familiar face.
The cramped air in the bar felt worried, like I wasn’t the only one having a stressful day. I would have ordered a drink, but I don’t like to be impaired. I don’t want people to find out things about me without me realizing it. I ordered a mountain of food, hoping to forget about the blue Subaru and the crime scene and possibly going to jail for life.
I got up from my seat and immediately spotted Yesu, the man from the Laundromat. Christians, I thought, relieved. I needed a friend and forgiveness, and save for the crazy, he seemed like a good guy and able to provide me with both. I neared the man, he finished praying, and he sized me up. Still crazy, I thought. His mouth was moving like he was talking to someone, but he made no sound. He looked insane and afraid, just like last time. He continued to try to talk, looking longingly at me. I asked if he was okay. Finally, words. He said, “Yes, I’m fine.” He paused for a while and then looked angry. I think I had angered him with my lack of words. He yelled then. “NO ONE can help me!” Was he hallucinating?
As I headed for the door, I spotted a woman on the ground. She was sweeping glass into her hand and was bleeding. I didn’t ask. I grabbed her hand and started to help. I introduced myself, but she didn’t tell me her name. She looked eerily familiar. She looked like my mother.
She asked for a favor, I don’t remember what, but I was enthralled. She was beautiful, but not in a sexy way. She said she was from Belgrade. Belgrade, Maine was where I last saw Father’s bluing body, so I figured she meant the one in Serbia.
Making small talk, I told the woman about my trip to Turkey, and she mentioned that her dad didn’t want her to go there. For a minute, I forgot that other people had parents who were alive, let alone involved in their lives, and I told her she was too old for that stuff.
I remember now what the favor she wanted was. We were filling up bottles with a strange blue liquid. In the midst of it, she asked about my travels, and I reached into the pocket of my raincoat to get mother’s list, which is now stained with the drying blue liquid.