Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Post

Out on the dock, next to nine in the evening.
There was a large bird circling above me and I named him Tom.
For a bird to be circling long enough for a man to name him Tom, and for a man sitting on a dock long enough to come up with the name Tom might tell you how boring animals can be.
Or patient.
The bird was probably after a fish, but the man was just sitting there out of boredom.
But neither were doing anything to make their situation any better.
Sure, the bird was waiting for food, but it would have been better off going somewhere else to find it.
Hell, coming up with a baby's name takes months, coming up with a bird's name, must have taken a good half hour.
The amount of energy the bird had used circling probably would have amounted to the fish it was circling after.
So, maybe the bird wasn't so much patient as lazy. And maybe the man wasn't better off, because at least he had food on him.
But, men will always win out in survival of the fittest, so none of it really mattered once the man took out a pistol and shot the bird dead.
He had named the bird – what else was there to do about it?
The bird fell into the water and it's a good chance it was eaten by the very fish it was hunting.
"Poor Tom." The man croaked.
People croak words when they are sleepy or drunk. This man was both.
He took out the sandwich he had in his pocket and ate.
His name was Gravel.
And I have no intention of shooting him just yet.
He received the name from what friends he had and the circumstances behind the naming have little to do with rocks and more to do with Gravel's lack of a grasp on vocabulary.
"And when the Judge dropped the gravel, I found myself owing the old lady half the boat." He told them one night.
"Dropped gravel? Why did he drop gravel?" One of his friends had asked.
"Gravel! He dropped the thing that looks like a hammer!" Gravel barked.
"That's a gavel."
And the name stuck.
That was about four hours before Gravel shot the bird.
He also had a Christian name, but if I keep naming Gravel I'm going to have to shoot him out of boredom.
And Gravel can't be shot. He has too much to do.
And, in fact, he got up, put his gun away and walked to his car that he had parked at the end of the dock.
Before pulling out of the space, he cracked a beer and chugged deeply.
It would be a long drive back to Seattle, and there was no way he was going to stay awake unless he got drunk.
Which is why he crashed the car some 30 miles away, near Aberdeen.
The car had smacked straight into a telephone pole when Gravel made the same wrong turn everyone makes in Aberdeen and tries to correct. Gravel was an older gentleman and was by no means in good shape. So, trying to remove himself out of the car before the cops came made no sense. So, he pulled his cowboy hat down over his eyes and fell asleep.
The next morning, Gravel found himself in his car, still stuck around the same pole.
He lit a cigarette and tried to pull the car out from around the pole in reverse.
This took the pole with the car and a long line of poles fell down like dominoes all the way down the street.
The whipping sound of wires and glass breaking broke Gravel's stupor and he gunned the car forward taking the wires with him down the street and moving the initial pole across the street just as the first cop arrived, stopping the police officer's chase and giving Gravel ample time to make it to the highway, where he produced another beer from his glove compartment and ran the car off the road again.
This time, the cops did come promptly – or rather were already there as Gravel had run off the road into road construction and had rammed a police officer in the knees with his car.
Did I mention it was sedan?
The car, that is. The police officer was French.
Well, his family had been French long ago. Now they were American, but the blood of Frenchman swelled in his veins.
That is until Gravel hit him with his car and bled the officer to death as a major artery in his leg was severed by the grill of the sedan.
After raising his head up to see the carnage, Gravel muttered "What a mess."
The officer was stuck between the car and a large wood chipper. Blood was pumping out of the former Frenchman and other officers were yelling at Gravel to back his car up, but Gravel fumbling with his jacket trying to find his gun.
"I'm getting out of here." He muttered as the officers approached the car.
Then, Gravel put the gun to his head and fired.
It was a clean break.

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