Funny, No One Offered to Make Invitations

I couldn’t understand why people weren’t excited for me. 

I was borrowing a cell phone in the woods of very rural Mississippi to call anyone whose number I had. I left messages with some. Me, shouting over the early morning sounds of this camp of drunks catching their first buzz of the day. “Guess what? I’m getting married!!!!” Some people answered their phones. When they discovered it was me their voices turned to concern or frustration.

I didn’t keep in particularly good touch with anyone in those days. That makes it noteworthy that this was the second time in three days that I was borrowing phones to call down the list of numbers in my piss and beer stained, road battered composition book.

The first run, the one three days prior, was in the French Quarter of New Orleans…

The sun was setting and I had been drinking all day, like most days.

My pants were wet, my dogs were locked in my van, and my best friend was in a panic because my soon to be fiancé was sort of trying to kill us. Earlier in the day he had blacked out and beat a dog we were caring for. The dogs’ person was serving a four-month sentence three states away. He beat the dog and I jumped on his back and tried to beat him. The trouble with beating him was that he was easily twice my size. For the record I was not a slight person. I did; after all, drink the equivalent of several loafs of bread every day and twice on Sundays.

When he got tired of hitting that dog, he stood up and simply shook me off. Quick as I could I grabbed up the dog and my own dog and we three ran away with him lumbering slowly behind.

I found my friend. We got some beers and went to the edge of the lot that my van was parked in. Right in the middle of my sad story the end of a thick chain crashed down on the curb between us.

We looked up and OH DEAR! there was my honey baby darling. He was holding the other end of that rather long, very heavy chain. He was swinging it wildly, with a very troubling look in his glassy eyes.

My friend and her dog and me and my two dogs ran to my van. He chased after us, trying to catch one of us in the path of the chain. Thankfully whatever was in his system had slowed him down and took away his aim almost completely.

When we reached the van we locked ourselves inside and watched out the window. We were suddenly uncomfortably sober. He tried all the doors. He tried to hit the van with the chain but missed and landed on his own ass. He stood up, dropped the chain and looked around to consider his next move.

Something out of our line of sight caught his eye. He disappeared from view. I pressed my face into the window. From that vantage point I saw him wrestling with a stop sign.

Though the stop sign was, as most are, sunk several feet into concrete, this determined gentleman successfully pulled it out of the ground. He brought it round and beat the back doors of the van with it.

The dogs slept through everything, they were used to the ruckus. My friend was crying. I, for my part, was more impressed than scared just as long as he didn’t make it through the doors.

Luckily he tired before my three quarter ton van gave way. He stumbled away hollering into the dusk.

That night I rolled a crack head for three hundred dollars, missed the police raid a four star hotel by about ten minutes and inspired a former lover to nearly kill a stranger (he took a vote in a crowded room as he held the poor man at knife point and they decided by one vote that he could live). As I did these things I simultaneously sobbed to every stranger that would have me.

Turns out many of those strangers had phones and I used them to call every number I knew. I cried, begged, and pleaded to be rescued from my homicidal boyfriend and the den of sin that was New Orleans, Louisiana.

The next morning I awoke to a knock on my dented van doors. I didn’t remember coming back, but there I was comfortably cuddled up in a pile of dogs and crusty sleeping bags.

I opened the door and there he was. He looked bashful and had a brown paper sack where the chain used to be. He crawled in and apologized. He had brought me my very own 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor. By the end of the bottle we had figured out that the real problem was not alcoholism or domestic violence or anything like that. The problem was clearly Louisiana.

I got up. I found my pants and I drove us to Mississippi. There we found a group of hippies as drunk as us, parked out in the woods and called in a regional Rainbow Gathering. It was there, around the campfire, that we were engaged.

I couldn’t understand why people weren’t excited for me.

About iknowyouknowmyheart

Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better -Beckett Here I am right over there, running into opportunities to stop running and hoping they keep my scent until my prayers are answered and I am brave enough to slow down.

Posted on June 22, 2015, in big vans, literary, luck, short story, sobriety, true stories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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