Page 61 - WTP Vol.VII #3
P. 61

Richard looked confused.
“I’ve done a few things I wish I hadn’t,” Jim said. “Oh yeah, I sure get that.”
“Get what?”
insomniac, so I know how that messes with your head.” “Yeah, but you get used to it.”
 “I dunno. Sometimes I think we’re all waiting at this huge bus station, and some people get on the bus that’s going to Las Vegas, while others are on the one that breaks down in the middle of someplace stupid like Kansas. And then there’s me, who ends up on the bus that disappears into a tunnel and never comes out.”
“You can get used to most anything if you try hard enough, Mr. Keegan. You can even get used to stuff you don’t want to get used to.”
Jim laughed. “Well, save me a seat, Richard, and maybe we’ll survive the crash together.”
“See, Mr. Keegan, you always come out with some- thing cool.”
For the first time, Alex didn’t mind being dead. It was actually kind of fun, drifting above the town with two beautiful girls, sometimes caught in the draft of their seductive maneuvers as they plunged into the silent music of the night. Other times, he went off on his own but only so far, for fear of crossing paths with the black-haired girl, the one with the charcoal eyes.
“For the first time, Alex didn’t mind
being dead.”
He could smell the night air, almost taste the dew dampening the grass below. And, oh, how he wanted these two girls.
 “Not really. The bus metaphor was yours.”
He sailed over Echo Pond, not saddened when he recognized the spot where he’d been shot. He trav- eled over the bordering woods, and then toward the football field, wanting to see it one last time. He was surprised to find Campbell and Tyler and the other guys there, even more surprised when Tyler knocked out Campbell with one punch. In a way, he wanted to know why, but who cared anymore? There was this night, and the flying, and the two girls suddenly ap- pearing next to him. This time they were naked and teasing him, and when they took flight, he followed, ending up in a cemetery he’d never seen before. The girls stood to the left of a tombstone with “Phineas McGee” etched on it. To the right was an old man
Richard stood. He seemed pleased with himself. “You’re the last person I would’ve thought had prob- lems,” he said. “It almost makes me feel good about myself. If you want I can give you a Xanax. It’s just a .5ver, so it makes you chill, not comatose.” He removed a pill from the watch pocket of his jeans.
Jim hesitated, then took the white oval tablet and wedged it under his tongue. He pointed to a Dunkin Donuts across the street. “Why don’t we get a coffee and split some Munchkins.”
in a white waistcoat that covered a ruffled white shirt. He wore white breeches, knee-high socks, and black leather shoes fastened with buckles. A wide- brimmed hat turned up on three sides covered his pale wig. He looked very tired.
“That’d be cool, though the caffeine will fuck with the Xanax,” Richard said, then caught himself. “Sorry, Mr. Keegan. I meant no disrespect.”
“Who are you?” Alex said.
“I could ask the same question,” the old man said.
“No problem, Richard, but let’s do it, anyway, then I have to get home.”
Alex thought this was some kind of initiation, and that
“Yeah, how’s your baby? You always used to talk about him. Man, did you look tired after he was born. I’m an
the girls wanted him to see the terrible afterlives of some of the dead before leading him away to have fun.
Jim didn’t agree with Richard about that, but he didn’t feel like leading anyone out of the darkness tonight. All he knew was that he was hungry and needed to be home where he could go to the baby’s room and rock him until they both fell asleep.
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