Jesse Millner: The Bus Driver's Book of the Dead

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  MEMOIR by Jesse Millner
Polish Wedding  Devolution  Aliens Among Us  Eddie Jones  
Dave   Tom MarionStarved Rock State Park  The Alcoholic Point of View   My Lost Season  Listening for God  I Remember a Pet Peeve  Hair Salon Panic Attack!  
Please Don't Bury Me in that Cold, Cold Ground


the pot-bellied Puerto Rican drinks Old Style and brags how in the middle of slicing watermelon on the 4th of July, he threw the sticky butcher knife at his wife, plugged her right in the thigh as his ten-year-old son looked on. Dave says he laughed as he called the paramedics. “You shoulda seen the look on her face,” he confides to me here in the cool and drunken dark of the Club del Morocco. “What about the cops?” I ask over the sweating pitcher that separates us. “That was the best part, I told her I would kill her if she didn't say she did it to herself,” replies Dave, who once attacked homeless “Cincinnati,” the broken-down boxer who sold left-over chicken parts from the Fulton Street Market. Dave beat the hell out of him one August afternoon, slashed a six-inch cut across the old man's skinny side, then ripped off his chicken.

He calls me “college boy,” doesn't understand why I avoid the whores who prowl this place. So he pays Cindy ten dollars to blow me, dares me to turn it down. (The next thing I know I'm in the bathroom, too drunk to do anything except be embarrassed.) When I stagger back to my bar stool, I'm not “college boy” anymore, and Dave grins welcome, as I lurch into his darkness, celebrate with shots of bourbon the blurry, high-pitched minutes before “last call.”


© 2010, Jesse Millner

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