Jim looked at the manila envelope on the coffee table. In large, neat, red letters done up calligraphy style the envelope carried a message, “Read Now. Read Careful. Read again.”
He undid the flat diverging fastening pin. And instantly regretted it. There were at least a hundred typewritten pages.
The first line read.
“I know you are a fool.”
‘Yep, that’s Hants voice. Gee thanks ya crusty old hick. At least I don’t have to have some witchdoctor type up my letters.’
“You’d best heed Lizzy. She’s your aunt.”
Jim laughed aloud. “So he isn’t gay after all.”
The next few pages read like a chapter out of Leviticus. They were all stern commands spoken like a Hebrew prophet about the cleansing of this and the placing of that.
‘I’d make up weird shit too if I had nothing to do besides play with my prick and get drunk.’ He mused.
The Sunday School lesson was putting him to sleep and he deposited the pages back in the envelope.
“Maybe if I get bored…but right now…I’m gonna get blitzed.”
He walked over to the mantel. Saw a mostly full Johnnie Walker Red and poured it into an ornate crystal tumbler featuring a thistle.
“Musta done more than sell ginseng and mine…this shit costs more than my apartment.”
Jim plomped unceremoniously onto the mahogany leather couch and stared into the unlit fireplace. He was too lazy to light it. And there was no reason to. He was accustomed to broken heaters and Boston winters. Besides there was something hypnotic about the stillness.
It was so different than the roar of engines and the howl of sirens. Jim found it far more intoxicating than the whiskey that warmed his bones. Soon he sank into deep strange dreams.
Dreams that he could not recall when the brilliant mountain sun filled the cottage with waking. At first he panicked because he was late for his shift at Dempsey’s. Then as his bleary eyes slowly grew accustomed to the light he panicked even harder.
The envelope that he had left on the coffee table was lying neatly. Balanced ever so carefully so as not to fall off the armrest on the opposite side of the couch.
He started to his feet and cursed as the empty fifth clattered beneath them. He lost his balance and fell back onto his makeshift sleeping quarters.
“Guess Dorkothy’s not in Boston anymore.” He remarked chuckling at his own incompetence. Half from actual mirth and half to shield his wits from mulling too deeply on the implications of the letters new position.
“Shit, I musta drunk too fast.”
He figured that he must of got bored and played balance the bullshit while shitfaced.
“Yep…that’s that prehangover warning headache.” He said aloud as he ran to the kitchen and guzzled three tall glasses of well water from the faucet.
‘Thank Christ the guy has OCD.’ Jim mused as he happily discovered how easy it was to find the essentials. Eggs, frying pans, butter everything was in its place. He made himself a large omlete. Ate. Drank more water.
It was already past noon and pleasantly warm as he pissed in the outhouse.
“I could get used to this.” He spoke aloud again to no one in particular as he slowly recalled the right method from that one time he’d had to use a percolator.
He plopped on the front porch with a tin cup full of rich dark coffee and lit a cigarette.
“Yeah, I could get used to this.”
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